Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Andrew Swift || Sound The Alarm

Andrew Swift is the type of guy I'd want to sing at my wedding. Maybe not the breakup song that is Sound The Alarm - despite my slight obsession with the song - but his voice is what I've always imagined dancing to.

This Melbournite is my current favourite - although a friend thought he was Chet Faker... I've had his song on repeat for so long that I'll actually probably not want to listen to it by next week.

If you haven't listened to his amazing music, pop some on and have a read of my interview with this super talented guy!

  • I'm not going to pretend I've listened to Sound The Alarm less than 15 times already. Could you share the story behind the song? 
Well thank you, I'm flattered. Sure, so Sound The Alarm is very much a true story about the night that I met a woman that I fell head over heels for. We were at a wedding, she was wearing a very humble dress that she had found in an op-shop and we were the only two un-partnered people there. We had spoken a few times throughout the evening and when it came to the first of the evening, I grabbed her hand and pulled her to the dance floor. I'd like to say we danced, but as the song describes, it was just a "soft, subtle sway". Nothing more happened that night, just a dance and a connection. We ended up becoming something more, but unfortunately this song was born out of the break up that was to come and the desire to hold onto that moment.

  • How are you feeling about performing it live?
I guess I feel a vulnerability while I'm playing this song, I'm not sure if it's because I'm still getting used to playing it live, or because it's such a personal song. Either way I'm still very conscious of the fact the I'm playing, unlike some of my other songs where I just get lost in the performance.

  • Is it hard to write such a personal song, when you of course know that so many will hear it?
All of my songs are quite personal, maybe not to the extent of this one, but I'm usually writing about my own experiences or about someone close to me. I never expect that a large amount of people will hear my music, I just hope that the people that do hear it will be able to relate to and enjoy what they hear.

  • How do you personally know when a song is finished? When are you happy with it?
I'm such a slow songwriter. I don't write anything down as I go, my theory is that "if it's not good enough to stay in my head, it's not good enough to stay in the song". So I guess that when I can sing a song from start to finish in my head and be satisfied with the lyrics, melody and structure, then I'm happy enough to say it's done.


  • You've already been busy this year, playing at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, what's next for you?
It has been busy, as soon as Tamworth it was done, the single was out, so I've had my hands full. I also juggle a full time day job. But next on the list is a run of shows in Melbourne and regional Victoria with a stop in Adelaide, just waiting on a couple of Tassie things to fall into place. But basically [it's] gig, gig, gig, write when I can [and] then off to the States for a few more shows mid year.

  • Do you have a preference between studio recording and live performances?
I really enjoy them both for different reasons, I love performing live - connecting with an audience, the banter and filling a room with songs from the heart. I also love the studio experience, often taking a skeleton of a song in, fooling around with ideas, adding layers and walking out with that finished product. I don't think I have a preference as they're two different experiences.

  • The music video for Sound The Alarm features some pretty amazing ballroom dancing, what was this like?
Ahhh the dancing..would you believe smoke, mirrors and a stunt double? I think I was very lucky that my dance partner, Marina, is a skilled ballet dancer and her sister Stella is a ballroom dance instructor. We had, maybe, two rehearsals before the shoot, the first was a choreography session on their uneven front lawn dodging puppy mess in 40 degree [Celsius] heat. Honestly I'm just thankful that Marina and Stella were able to make me look like a half decent dancer, way better than my standard man dance of tapping my foot and nodding my head. Props also go to Marina for keeping a straight face when I stepped on her toes.

  • Which artists are you currently listening to?
At the moment I have a pile of CDs from new friends I made in Tamworth. On high rotation [are] Megan Cooper, Jen Mize, Harmony James, Paddy McHugh, [and] Mustered Courage. Gretta Ziller, Chuck Ragan and The Gaslight Anthem are always getting a solid listen.

  • What do you hope people take away from your music?
I'd just be happy to know people are enjoying my music, sharing it with friends and hopefully being able to relate to it in some aspects.

  • Thanks so much for chatting to Love 'Em!
Thanks so much for having a chat with me!