INTERVIEW: SWEARS | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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To an outsider, Middlesbrough might seem like an unexpected city to be such a haven for the budding musician. Those of us in the know, however, recognise the Teesside town as a source of some of the North’s most promising acts. SWEARS are seeking to add their name to this roster, with the release of their debut EP Seersucker this month. Getting out their first record has been a bit of a process, but at long last SWEARS have found their feet, and are ready to unleash their work upon the world.

We got together in the summer of 2017. We’d known each other for years via various bands, admired each other’s work and decided to give it a go together…” They explain. “We started this band with the idea to be a little more pop-orientated than in our previous bands, but as time has gone on and we’ve defined our sound, we’ve ended up becoming darker and heavier.” 

Any remnants of SWEARS’ pop sensibilities have certainly been buried beneath outlandish, grimy punk energy. Standout EP track Say Nothing is plucked straight from the 1970s alt. scene – blistering guitar riffs and purposefully lackadaisical vocals make for a fittingly misanthropic vibe. 

These songs are all fairly new – in fact, I think we’d only played Warm To The Touch and Brain Dead live once or twice before we went to the studio. This is arguably us at our moodiest. Our music reflects our feelings towards the outside world, the darker and crazier it gets. We recorded the EP in December 2019, just after the UK general election. Although we’re not an overtly political band, I think we were all fairly disappointed with the result and the way that we thought the country was heading.”

Our music reflects our feelings towards the outside world, the darker and crazier it gets

Moody is an understatement: every song on this EP is a well-expressed tirade against something – which is fair enough considering the turbulent past few years we’ve experienced. Warm To The Touch is a eulogy to a world seemingly bound for destruction (ironically written before the end-of-the-world began) with an old-school grunge vibe; Say Nothing is an angry, fast-paced punk song aimed at the divisive voices within our society while Catacombs is a sludgy gripe against toxic relationships and Brain Dead is a metal-infused mockery of religious and dogmatic ideals.

SWEARS’ timing is impeccable, as there’s bound to be a few people in quarantine at the moment looking for some angry tunes to thrash about to. It’s unfortunate that we’re limited by circumstance as to how SWEARS can celebrate their debut, but at least they’re pretty much guaranteed an at-home audience for its release, even if it’s not exactly what they were hoping for.

We were in the middle of planning a big hometown release gig for our EP and booking some touring dates around the country, before this all went down. We also had a bunch of cool ideas for music videos which will probably never come to fruition now – they all involved being around people! At times like this, it’s important to be creative and think outside the box. We’ve still got a few ideas for promotional content to release – you should be seeing some of that. Who knows, if we get out of this situation soon enough, we might still be able to make a video or two.”

SWEARS release their debut EP, Seersucker, on 22nd May

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