Name, where are you from?
Austin Williams, born in Worcester, then lived in Birmingham. River boy @ heart I guess.
James Balmont, we're both from the band Swim Deep.
Describe your style in three words?
Seth from The O.C.
What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
A: Nile Rodgers + Chic at Glastonbury. Literally everybody I knew went to see Arctic Monkeys croon on the pyramid stage, so me and my manager took a couple of massive pills and went to see Chic, it was genuinely the most joy I’ve ever seen en-masse. It was so beautiful, every single person dancing. Also the amount of inspiration I gained from this guy who had written an invincible army of hits.
J: In recent memory, it was Spiritualized at Hammersmith Apollo about a year ago. I've seen them a few times before but this time they were performing with full string and brass sections, and with a gospel choir. It was all seated and because of the way we'd bought tickets I ended up being sat by myself, right at the front. It was incredible, having this full, holy, musical force on stage right in front of me - and it was so loud. They ended on the gospel classic 'Oh Happy Day' and, having never heard it before, it instantly became my favourite song in the world after that experience.
If you could be on the line up with any two artists in history?
A: The Beach Boys/Brian Wilson. I think how I chose these was who would I be able to meet that I could show my songs to, and write with them or just talk. And tell them how special I reckon I could be? Sounds Uber cocky but I would wanna choose someone I utterly aspire to reach the heights of as a respected songwriter and storyteller. That’s all if they let me in the dressing room anyway. I’d proper nause it.
Carole King and Mark Ronson for all the same reasons. Such a hard one though, I could’ve picked loads.
Which subcultures have influenced you?
A: Throughout my whole life I think the UKG scene has had a strong current. I was born too late to experience the Aya Napa golden days, which then shifted in such a groundbreaking way to what we now know as grime. As much as I love the punk ethos of grime, I think I relate to that ‘f*ck everything and dance’ ethos of UKG. It’s just f*cking timeless and has always just been bubbling away, it’s made a resurgence recently and it’s such a massive influence for so many massive pop songs even today.
Also hearing Cav rap every single word to '21 seconds' was the definitive moment I properly fell in love with him.
J: When I was a teenager I was fully caught up in the fandom surrounding The Horrors and I think that's been the most I've ever been a part of a subculture. It was just raw, exciting music - they'd play for 15 or 20 minutes all dressed in black with all their back-combed hair and pointy shoes and drainpipe jeans and that would be it. The energy in the room would linger afterwards for such a long time. It was very addictive. And so I'd just hang around with all these people with bowl cuts and eye makeup and vintage shirts and blazers, and that was me for a bit.
If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Brian Wilson. The moment he wrote 'God Only Knows'. Actually making my hairs stand on end thinking about it. I know what it’s like to write something you think is amazing, that feeling is unrivalled. But I’ve never written a 'God Only Knows', God only knows what that feels like. Being in NWA when Ice Cube recorded the bars for 'F*ck Tha Police' would’ve been pretty wild also.
Of all the venues you’ve been to or played, which is your favourite?
A: Probably Manchester, The Ritz. The energy is unreal, and we had one of those gigs there where I had a real moment, as we walked on stage, it’s a hard feeling to describe, it’s unreal but so real at the same time, creating this mental state of mind.
J: The most memorable venues are always the ones that have something a bit different. In Bristol, Thekla is on a boat. Melt Festival in Berlin is on a former coal mine amongst all these massive industrial constructs like cranes and tanks. Best Kept Secret in Holland is in a safari park. One of my all-time favs was in Sheffield, at Queen's Social Club though. It was a working men's club and it felt like we were in Phoenix Nights or something.
Swim Deep will release their eagerly awaited third album 'Emerald Classics' on 4th October 2019. pre-order it at swimdeep.lnk.to/ECYo.