We got together with our buddy Fin of Nightswim and discussed his past band life, his current project, and what’s to come for Nightswim in the future.
Interview by Lisa Czech
Amplified: You’ve been in so many bands I can barely keep track of them all. Nightswim however, started off as a solo effort. How is a solo project different than being in a band, in terms of both recording and writing music?
Nightswim: First off, I’d like to say thank you for this interview. Nightswim has been an amazing musical journey so far. I had been writing and recording with countless bands, and nothing seemed right. Nothing seemed to fit; until one night when I found myself alone in a Los Angeles recording studio. I had an unearthly itch to write new music and decided to write a new song and finish it right there, right on the spot – with only hours until the studio would be in use by another client. I ended up calling the song ‘Waiting Room Of Your Mind’. It touches on a lot of personal things for me. I free styled all the lyrics and sang them off the top of my head. I then played all the synthesizers, bass and drums on it. I gave it to a few of my friends, and eventually a film collective from Italy called Sponk Studios heard the song and they came all the way from Europe to record a music video for me! It was an unforgettable experience and in a very abrupt way solidified the fact that I had started a new project. It is indeed a solo effort in the sense that I wrote, performed, recorded and mixed my first EP. I don’t have permanent band members yet, which has left me free to play with a plethora of musicians.
To get back to the original question – I believe being in a band is a gratifying, unique and rewarding experience. There are things that can be accomplished by a group of musicians that cannot be accomplished with only one. However, being solo has given me overall control of my art. Deadlines are now bubbles that pop up from my own head and my schedule is able to change and evolve to any situation. I can perform as Nightswim by myself or with a band of musicians. I would love for Nightswim to become a full fledged band.
A: How have things evolved for Nightswim since the first EP?
A: You’re probably best known for being a member of Start Trouble & The Summer Obsession, both pop/rock bands that were signed to major labels (Columbia Records and Virgin Records, respectively). Nightswim’s first EP, ‘Color Stardust’ has more of an electro-pop feel, or what you describe as “a surreal melodic experience.” However, your debut album, ‘I’m Not On the Moon,’ is a step back toward your rock/pop roots, with some electro-pop influences. Why the change in style for the EP, and what made you step back toward where you were before?
N: I have always been a fan of many styles of music. Most of my bands were influenced by rock music. My first touring band was a political punk band called Against All Authority. The reason that the EP sounds the way it does is because I was doing everything myself and I had to make sounds out of anything I could get my hands on at the time. The new album has a full band sound and I played guitar on most of the songs. This is mostly because these songs are meant to be performed live – not to be trapped forever on a tape in my closet. The original demos for all of the album’s songs sounded more like the EP. I didn’t write the album all at once, so it’s also sort of a subconscious decision to write songs like I do. These songs use elements from all of my favorite styles of music like punk rock, jazz, drum n bass, dance music, pop, blues, reggae & ska, folk, dub, and more I’m sure. Also there’s a special treat – I did a cover of The Police’s ‘Message In a Bottle’ and another cover song.
A: ‘I’m Not On the Moon’ is finished – and it rocks! Do you have any plans for a release yet? The world needs to hear this album!
N: Yes! I want to have the entire album up on my website and iTunes on December 11, 2012. I am going to start releasing singles for free on my website at www.night-swim.com before that. In early 2013 I’ll have CDs and hopefully vinyls available of the album as well. In the meantime my EP is available for free download and also on CD for only 3 bux at nightswim.bandcamp.com! :)
A: Science, nature and the earth in general have always interested you. Do these interests affect the way you write music? Do they influence your sound at all?
N: Nature absolutely affects my writing. My environment at any given time can and does give me new song ideas all of the time. For a while I was studying to become an Astrobiologist, it was amazing. Music pulled me in harder though. On the EP I have a song called ‘All The Stars Are Our Gods’ and its a song in which the Sun is metaphorically our God. On the album there’s a new song ‘Calm Down’. It’s about a dream I had where I built a space-traversing submarine to travel to the endless star systems in our galaxy. In the new song ‘Fire and Snow’ I’m talking about the elements of our creation. ‘Interstellar Get-Together’ ponders the question that is ‘what is life?’. One of my favorite new songs is called ‘The Lost Astronaut’. It’s the story of an astronaut who tries to escape Earth’s gravity to commit an elegant suicide. I try not to dwell on only out-of-this-world matters. I touch on the subject of love and conquest frequently throughout ‘I’m Not On the Moon’ as well.
A: Lastly – any touring plans in your future? Maybe to coincide with an album release? Seems like it’s been forever since you were out on the road!
N: I really want to get out on the road with Nightswim! I have a few friends with new musical endeavors, and hopefully we can get something together to bring out on the road. It may be a stripped down 3-piece version of the band, but I think I can live with that. Right now we are practicing for our first concerts in Florida. I’d love to come up to the New England area and play some shows, it’s always a blast up there!!!