With a strong love and affinity for everything new wave, dream-pop, indie-rock and shoegaze, Toronto-based outfit SWiiMS have now looked to bring their diverse sound to the world as they unveil their debut single 'Fill Me Up'.
Taking their cues from the likes of Pixies, Slowdive and Beach House, 'Fill Me Up' is one of those rare offerings that has both a nostalgic and contemporary edge to it. While it follows familiar aesthetics and tones throughout, there is something wonderfully distinct and fresh about its delivery, giving them a broad and exciting benchmark to start from.
So with their new release brightening our day throughout, we sat down with them to find out more about their origins and what has inspired them most over the years.
What were the first instruments you fell in love with?
Mai: My dad had a classical Yamaha lying around the house. When I was about 12 years old, I grabbed it and started trying to figure out how to play my favourite songs on it. I still have it with me - I brought it to Canada from Argentina and love playing it every day.
Colin: Guitar and drums, love learning how to play different instruments.
Cian: Pretty boring, but acoustic guitar. I got one for my 16th birthday and can’t go a day without playing it.
Ken: Drums; bagpipes.
What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?
Mai: The complexities of love and relationships.
Colin: Figuring out what I truly like about different styles of music and making them work together.
Cian: I’m most inspired when playing with people so all the amazing people I’ve been lucky to play with over the years.
Ken: The combination of styles we all bring to the table.
What kind of music did you love as teenagers?
Mai: I loved punk, nu metal and rock.
Colin: New Wave, Ska, Punk, Rock.
Cian: Grunge, Hardcore, Folk, Neil Young.
Ken: Classic Rock/Metal/New Wave.
Can you remember the first song that made you want to pursue a life in music?
Mai: No Doubt - 'Don’t Speak' was the first complete song I learned to play by myself. I used to play it in the first band I had with two good friends in my hometown.
Colin: Buddy Holly Peggy Sue. Don’t know why I listened to 50’s music??
Cian: I never had a ‘I want to pursue music’ moment, it just became a part of me. I remember being captivated by Neil Young’s Unplugged record as a kid, and once I started playing myself I couldn’t imagine life any different.
Ken: A Hard Days Night -Beatles.
When you wake up in the morning, what kind of music do you like to listen to?
Mai: Never the same as the previous morning. It depends on my energy levels.
Colin: whatever pops up on my playlist next!
Cian: Just the radio, I like to feel connected to the outside world.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
Mai: All of my songs are either about relationships or moments spent with people. So, all of them I guess.
Colin: See above.
Cian: I’ve never written songs about people but I’ve written songs for people.
Ken: Many, if not all.
What have been the most memorable moments in your career so far?
Mai: Definitely getting signed to Mint 400 Records, and the release of 'Fill Me Up' has been so exciting. Can’t wait to see what happens next.
Colin: having people respond so positively to SWiiMS.
Cian: First audition with SWiIMS, wouldn’t be here without it.
Ken: (with SWiiMS) Recording.
Outside of music, what are your biggest passions?
Mai: I love architecture, and design in general.
Colin: Learning new things.
Cian: Anything creative or outside.
Ken: Martial arts, learning.
If you weren’t musicians, what other path do you think you might have taken?
Mai: Architecture is my full time job but as a hobby I would have loved to pursue illustration art.
Colin: I have developed a real love for recording and would have loved to work with musicians in studio.
Cian: Probably a carpenter or something like that. I need to be doing something with my hands.
Ken: No life without music.
And what advice would you give to those looking to start a career in music?
Mai: Trust your instincts about the direction you’re taking.
Colin: Writing is a muscle that needs to be exercised. It takes a lot of practice and work to develop it. Make time every day to do some, make it a priority.
Cian: Write songs and put them out there. Record yourself and listen back.
Ken: Learn your instrument well; play lots of cover songs first; write lots of your own material; work hard.
SWiiMS' debut single 'Fill Me Up' is available to stream and download now. Have a listen to it in the player below.