INTERVIEW. 48 swthrt

Southport is a very small town in North Carolina. Becca and Karl are friends in their early twenties (actually Karl just celebrated his 21st birthday) and they live in Southport.
Karl has an indie/punk band called Museum Mouth, but with SWTHRT (and Becca) he's experimenting with something more delicate... something like a shoegaze pop with references to Joy Division and The Cure. Also, if Craft Spells did a more raw sound, it would probably sound like SWTHRT.
(Of course, the DIY punk sense is all over their recordings...)
'Compact Disc' is their debut album and it was recorded in North Carolina's mountains... This is one of the best albums I've heard this year: basically is made of amazing and solid guitars with subtle and gentle keyboards wrapped around a refreshing look on being young (therefore, frustrated (most of the times)).
 You can experience the making of the album watching this lovely video...

Before 'Compact Disc', they released the single Boys With Problems (with a b side) and Indian Summer, a cover of Beat Happening. You can listen and get everything on their bandcamp.

Next Monday they start their first tour... go watch them if you can!

01. Why SWTHRT? And how did you got together and decided to form a band?
Becca: We were riding in the car and were talking about my graduation project and were discussing what I would name it, and there was a car with the license plate 'SWTHRT' and so I jokingly said I was going to name it "sweet heart" and it turned into our band name!
Karl: Yup, we're a living, breathing, note playing vanity plate!  And we originally set out to just write and record a couple songs for the project, but it sort of turned into a real band pretty quickly.

02. Picture your music as a landscape or planet. How does it look like?
Karl: Totally frozen tropical playground in West Virginia.
Becca: A meadow in the spring time with a cowboy on his horse and a jackalope in the foreground.

03. Your music has a lot of references from 80’s bands like Joy Division, The Cure… Your sound seems like a mixed between dreampop with new wave and shoegaze: fuzzy and metalic guitars mixed with sweet synths and lots of layers of sound. Could you tell us about your influences?
Karl: While we were writing the songs for "Compact Disc" I believe I was strictly listening to Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, and Maroon 5.  Can you tell?  But I've always been a fan of solid pop songs, and I think that's what I'm really trying to create with this band.
Becca: I don't remember what I was listening to, but all I want to do is listen to 80's music all the time so I guess it's a pretty big influence on the kind of music our band produces.

04. As far as I know, you are responsible for all the production and recording of your music. Talk a bit about the time you spent recording 'Compact Disc'… where did you recorded it? And what were (are) your expectations with it?
Becca: Well, we had the batch of songs for quite some time and really just wanted to get away and record them in the mountains, which was fun, but after having the songs for such a long time, I think we were just ready to get them out there for everyone to hear. As for recording, Karl pretty much handles everything because I simply don't know how to, but I'll still try to convey how I want something to sound, and most of the time I don't have to because we have similar tastes and I trust that he knows what sounds good.
Karl: Yeah, we sort of took a weekend vacation to the mountains of NC and recorded the songs in my family's mountain house.  I don't think we were expecting the record to be a flawless masterpiece, I think it turned out exactly as it should have.  The songs were written and recorded during the winter, and I think that comes through a bit in it's sound.

05. All your material is available for free on your bandcamp page. Why’s that? What are your views on music distribution nowadays?
Karl: We make our stuff free because we want it to reach as many people as it can.  We're from a small town with no real music scene, we don't have the first bit of hype, we don't have the resources to be on tour constantly- I mean, if you happen to end up on our bandcamp I don't just want you to be able to listen to our songs, I want you to be able to have them!
Becca: I don't think at this phase we're looking to make any money off of this at all. We really just want to make our music available to as many people as possible, which can eventually lead to greater opportunities.

06. You’re about to go on tour… what people can expect from a live show of SWTHRT?
Karl: Yes, indeed we are!  In fact, if you know anyone who would be willing to have us play at their house, birthday party, or anything send them our way!  Lots of dates still need to be filled in.  But we're working on a live band with a bassist and drummer, and we have tons of new songs so you'll get a good taste of where the band is heading.
Becca: Playing live shows is one of my favorite things! It's always so much fun, especially if the crowd is into it and dancing, then it helps feed our energy!

07.  You are from Southport, North Carolina. I did a little research and found out that is a really small town… how’s the life there and what can you tell us about the music scene of the city/region?
Karl: Southport is really pretty but absolutely the most boring place ever.  There's no music scene here.  None!  I guess North Carolina's scene is blowing up right now but I can assure you it's not booming over here on the coast.
Becca: Southport is a tourist/retiree attraction, so it is really boring. The only other band in this area plays reggae, so I really can't wait to get away and start things with this band somewhere else.

08. Time and place to hear to your songs.
Becca: An evening bike ride in a cool place.
Karl: A relaxing afternoon spent on the living room floor.

09. Anything else you feel like saying?
Karl: Turtle Time.
Becca: Boom ba-doom boom. Bass.

10. Show us a music video you really like. 
Karl: I hate to do this, but we just made a video for our song "No Holiday" using a green screen we made out of poster board.  I mean, we spent $8.00 on this guy and I don't think it could have turned out any better:  
Becca: I've listened to Harlem for a while, but just recently discovered the video for one of my favorite songs and I cannot get over how good it is. I'm in love with it:  


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