INTERVIEWS// CAN’T SWIM

Neil Dowd sat down with the frontman of emo-pop punkers Can’t Swim to discuss tour anecdotes, Chris’ emotionally vulnerable lyrical content, and what’s coming next for the band.

You guys will be playing The Cave Stage later on today, how are you guys feeling about it?

I’m feeling excited. I have not yet seen the stage because I’ve been talking to you guys. But I’ve heard it’s a lovely stage and 5.30pm sounds like a nice time to play. Yeah, it’s exciting!

Yeah, people will be recovering from their hangovers and making their way out to see some bands!

Yeah, it is pretty insane to think that some of the people that are here have been for the past three days and I’ve been here for three hours and I’m already tired.

Is this your first time playing 2000 Trees Festival?

Yes, it is. We have played some other English festivals. We’ve done Slam Dunk and stuff, but this is new. It’s exciting.

From your initial impressions, how would you say that this festival compares to the other festivals you’ve played?

It’s way more in the middle of nowhere than other places [laughs]. But we were talking earlier and it seems nice to have an eclectic group of human beings. You’ve got the older crowd. You’ve got the young kids, rocking. You’ve got mosh pitters and sixty-year-olds. You’ve got a little bit of everything.

You released your second album, ‘This Too Won’t Pass’, late last year. Could we talk a little about the lyrical themes going on throughout the album?

I think the whole concept was that a lot of people tell you that time heals everything. You know, things that you were bummed about in your early life, will mean nothing to you later in life like “this too shall pass”. A lot of things in my life don’t seem to go that way. I think in a lot of people’s lives it doesn’t go down that way. It’s just a lot of songs about things that have happened to me in my past and how I deal with them now, as an adult.

Do you find delving into such personal subject matter in your lyrics to be a cathartic experience?

Yeah, I’ve had that advice given to me in life. I believe it can be a double-edged sword though. On the one hand, yeah you make it into something nice and brings me to you, it brings me to England to play all of these shows. But it’s also not the nicest thing to relive the saddest nights of your life every night [chuckles]. But it’s been nothing but positive in my experience.

Yeah, I agree. I guess as long as you don’t find yourself dwelling on those things. I can imagine that’s quite a dark mind-space to be in.

Sure, but with a bunch of kids in a room singing along, it kind of makes the bad things way better.

So you guys have got a fair few festivals line-up, I believe Riot Fest is one of them?

Yeah, we’re doing Riot Fest, which is in September. Then we do a tour that kind of routes us to California which is Self Help Fest, the festival put on by the guys in A Day To Remember. We actually just played with A Day To Remember at Warped Tour, which was like a week ago in New Jersey.

Interesting thing with A Day To Remember, they recently did a song with the DJ, Marshmello. It’s really cool that bands are being able to explore and collaborate more freely nowadays.

Oh yeah, I saw that. That’s awesome. I never knew anything about Marshmello, but I do love his little marshmallow hat!

Have you had much time to think about album number three yet?

Yeah, we are actually recording it currently. We’re actually in the mixing stages. I do believe it’ll be an EP, so it’ll be a little shorter. But hopefully it’ll be done by the time we get back to the States. I don’t know when it’ll be released. But I’m hoping October/ November time.

Would you say musically it takes the same avenues as your prior releases?

You could say that, or you could say the complete opposite. I’m not sure. It’s pretty different in my opinion, but to somebody else, it could be the same thing as we’ve always done. But I had a lot of fun making it with the guys. It came together rather quickly and organically. It was probably the most fun we’ve had recording and I think that came out in the song-writing.

To end the interview on a light note, what would you say is your funniest tour story?

Well to be honest, all of our stories are fairly PG. I usually find myself in the hotel room by 11pm. Earlier, about twenty minutes ago, we won a Fireball contest and now our guitar player has drank way too much. So that should be really fun in the next two hours. I think Fireball is what most college kids drink. I’m not much of a drinker. But he took one sip and looked as if he was gonna throw up, so that’s funny [laughs].

Just as long as he’s okay for your set!

Maybe, but maybe it’d be better if he wasn’t. It’d be more of a show! [laughs]

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