This week’s fresh, new and exclusive tracks come all the way from a little group from Groningen, Netherlands called ‘We Swim You Jump‘.
They were kind enough to grant me a short online interview, one of the most interesting ones I’ve had at that, with founding members Niek and Richard sharing their interesting take on the answer to the daunting question – ‘What is Indie music?‘, as well as their drummer’s conspiracy theory involving the Beatles.
How do you guys define Indie Music?
used to think indie music was made by native americans. That their
music was never intended to be sold to millions, and was only to be
heard by a few tribes who lived in tents. Just music for the pure
enjoyment of making music, not for making money. That’s what made their
music so good and pure. However, the European colonists tried to blend
in with the indians what eventually led to great conflicts between the
two. At this moment indie music is so distorted and changed that we now
all play indie music and therefore we are all indians. Off course there
are still a few that approach music the way it was intended by the
Unfortunately we still don’t know what indie music really is…
Do you consider your music ‘Indie’, and why?
We don’t really mind where our music is filed under. We think
we have a pop approach on our songwriting, and a DIY approach on
recording, cause we record everything by ourselves at home. As for the
indie thing, we play at amazing shitholes, we have barely money to pay
gas for a rented van, but we do have complete creative control for our
songs. Maybe you can consider that as indie.
What’s the story behind your name, We Swim, You Jump?
mean lots of things. For example a name of a dolphinarium in Sweden
where you can look at swimming and jumping dolphins all day. Or it can
be the name of a countergroup that reacts to the immensely popular
“Jumpstyle-dancing” scene from Holland. It of course, can also be the
name of a music group that thought We Swim You Jump was a better
band name than Hellhole.
How did you guys start out?
started when Richard recorded some songs at Niek his place. Niek added
some keys and strings and the collaboration felt so good they decided
to write together. Soon people wanted to hear it live. So they needed
some extra musicians. Those extra musicians were found in already long
time friends, you can say We Swim You Jump started out as a duo but is
What are your influences? I can hear some folksy and rock influences in your music – the Beatles? Simon and Garfunkel?
We love Simon and Garfunkel and The Beatles, except for our drummer who hates the Beatles. He thinks the Beatles are pathetic and everyone fell for them because of mindcontrol put out by the British government…
name a few other artists we like, Midlake, Elliott Smith, Kelly
Clarkson, Lou Barlow, John Fahey, Iron Maiden, Guns n Roses, Nada Surf,
Devon Williams, CCR, Beethoven, The Get Up Kids, Loney Dear, just too
many. We listen to almost everything. Oldies and newbies. We think you
can also learn from bad music as well…
Indeed bad music can be an inspiration as well – is it why they put a bit of country music guitar in their new track ‘Answers’? Surprisingly, as much as I hate country music (which isn’t really bad..just bad in my opinion) – I found the song quite good. It did remind me of ‘Help!’ era Beatles. Is it why there isn’t much drumming going on with this song?
According to Richard, who penned the lyrics to the song – ‘Answers obviously is about a love that stays, even in
difficult times. It always interested me how some people naturally find
their way in falling and being in love, while for other people, the
difference in needs for the two sexes will always remains a mystery. ‘
The next track is a slightly different version of their single from their Demo EP, ‘Sharks’. Commenting on the song, Richard says: ‘I guess ‘Sharks’ says something about how people differ in pace.
For example, one can jump from the one relationship into another, while
others need more time to reflect things and then move on. You can count me in that last group of people:)’
It’s been a while that I had a song stuck in my head, where it was the first thing that I would hear in the morning when I woke up. ‘Sharks’ had that effect – which says a lot. It has that nice upbeat, make-you-feel-good kind of vibe which makes it so easy to fall in love with. Interesting bit of trivia about this song – the first version of ‘Sharks’ was guitar and vocals only. It had a
totally different guitar strumming rhythm than the final version, that didn’t fit with the drumbeat. Since the group really wanted the drumbeat, they actually changed the guitar rhythm. Wise choice overall, since it turned out to be the great song that it is now. It kind of reminded me of the story behind that hit song in the movie ‘That Thing You Do!’. Hopefully, this group won’t share the same fate as the movie’s one-hit ‘Wonders’. I have the strong suspicion that they won’t, since based on their demo EP, they’ve got the potential to make more than one, hit-worthy song – which hopefully, a whole load of other people in the world would discover. In any case, if it matters at all, they’re a hit to me.
If you like to check out more awesome tracks from the group, We Swim You Jump‘s Demo EP is available for purchase at the Subroutine Records site. You can also sample some of their tracks at their MySpace page.