Swimm is just one of those bands that you can instantly vibe to. Their lulling sound mixes in elements of psychedelic rock, folk, and sometimes a little dance to create a trancelike rock and roll that anyone can dive into. Despite coming fresh off a tour in California, Chris Hess and Adam Winn of Swimm were able to sit down with Void, and talk about the band’s past, future, and its immensely successful year thus far.
Winn, the band’s drummer, said he joined his first band called Finland at age 20. t wasn’t until meeting up with Hess, who was recording music in Jacksonville at the time, that Winn decided to start a new band only six months after joining Finland. Hess, the band’s guitarist, lead singer and keyboardist, said the pair first formed a band under the name Le Blorr, which played for roughly three years before making the name change to Swimm in April of 2013. Le Blorr was a much different style of rock, aimed at just having fun and making music to party to. But as the band turned into a more full-time gig and added new members, the group decided to mix up their sound and start fresh.
“We added more musicians and wrote new music and then we decided to release a new thing, so we came up with the name Swimm and that’s how it all happened,” said Winn.
After a show in Melbourne, where the band headlined for a local art show, Hess and Winn new that something about this particular band was different. The group had worked on the performance for a long time, setting up props and getting dancers for the concert in order to play an amazing show for their hometown.
“It seemed like everyone had come together and we got such a crazy response with everybody [at the show],” said Hess. “For me it was one of those moments where I was like, man, this could really turn into something.”
Since then, Swimm has expanded from their hometown of Melbourne to share their unique blend of indie-rock with several places throughout the United States in addition to touring in Europe for two weeks last year. Over the past summer, the band set out on a two-month journey across the U.S. and toured in states such as Utah, California and North Carolina. This expansive tour can be followed with all its ups and downs via the band’s tumblr at http://swimmmusic.tumblr.com/
Though Swimm is the brainchild of Hess and Winn, several of the duo’s friends help them to write, record, and play music at their shows. These additional band members include Zac Sullivan, Gavin Little, Jared Bowser, Jonathan Berlin and Spencer Petersen. Rather than draw influences from mainstream bands, Winn said his style is more affected by peers who also play in bands.
“I feel like watching my friends play, who are adept musicians, influences me the most,” he said. Hess agreed, adding in that touring with another band pushes each of the groups to become better.
With all of these influences coming from such a diverse lineup, Swimm’s first EP Feel, which was released in April, encompasses many different genres. Winn and Hess said this is one of the many things that sets them apart from other bands in the indie-rock scene. Another element that adds to the range of Swimm’s sound is that in addition to playing drums for the band, Winn also plays the harmonica, one of the more distinct sounds in the Swimm lineup that adds to the band’s depth. On Feel, Winn’s harmonica can be heard leading the track “Souvenir,”, one of their most popular songs on album.
Although Swimm is just getting off a lengthy tour, the band already has big plans for the rest of 2013. This September, Swimm plans to focus on writing and recording a full-length album before hitting the road again this fall. The Melbourne-based band has a lot of history in Florida, and said Jacksonville has always felt like a second home. That being said, the band has plans to return to Jacksonville again this October to play The Underbelly, their favorite Jacksonville venue.
View Swimm’s recent video for the track here.