Editor’s Note: Music is supposed to be fun and lighthearted. The four-piece pop/punk/alt band Swimwear Department certainly likes to remind us of that fun. They recently released their music video for “At The Pool”, and Swimwear Department shared some insight with Madness To Creation on this. Also, they talked about Super Toy Run, mental health awareness, and potentially making an album about mall kiosk salespeople. Fans can find Swimwear Department at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: Take us into the Houston music scene.
Matt: Anytime! Just let us know when you’re in town, and we’ll go to some shows! Just let us know what you’re into. There’s something for everyone!
Madness To Creation: Take us into the band’s obsession with swimming pools and shopping malls
Matt: It’s not really an obsession. We just picked something to write about.
Jeremy: Yeah, it’s just a writing constraint that worked. Also, lots of people have nostalgic feels about it.
Matt: I really do like to go swimming, though.
Ned: And I do like malls. It’s definitely. It’s not an obsession. It’s just a very exciting subject.
Matt: Oh I hate the mall. I hate shopping at least.
Jack: Eh. Love-hate. Swimming–I like it, but I’m a bad swimmer. I don’t know if y’all know that about me.
Ned: How are you with shopping, Jack?
Jack: Shopping? Probably worse. I’m so indecisive!
Madness To Creation: Best waterparks and malls that you have ever been to?
Jack: Never been to Schlitterbahn.
Ned: Can it be a swimming hole?
Matt: If so, Barton Springs is pretty great.
Ned: Barton Springs is amazing!
Jack: Barton Springs is a go-to.
Jeremy: Jacob’s Well. Near Wimberly.
Matt: Best mall you’ve ever been to?
Matt: I think for me it’s the mall I grew up going to ‘cause that’s where I did all my stupid teenage shit.
Jack: Yeah. Woulda been Katy Mills for me.
Jeremy: First Colony.
Ned: Baybrook Mall.
Matt: My mall was and will forever be Post Oak Mall in College Station.
Jack: Also–Katy Mills has a water park next to it now!
Jack: And…they actually do shows at the waterpark.
Matt: Let’s play there!
Jeremy: You know what? The Galleria is actually a pretty cool mall.
Ned: The Galleria is cool.
Jeremy: Like architecturally and historically what it means for Houston is really cool, but also culturally. You go there; you see like 45 different cultures in two minutes.
Ned: If you were going to play the license plate game, that’s the place to be.
Jeremy: That’s what I like about The Galleria. It represents Houston’s diversity.
Matt: And it’s hot here all the time. The Galleria like a huge climate controlled park.
Jeremy: And it’s got an ice skating rink!
Matt: And a pool on the roof!
Madness To Creation: I give you $1,000, what are you buying at the mall?
Ned: I think I’d go through Kay Bee Toys. What was that Nickelodeon show where you’d have a shopping cart and you throw as much stuff into your cart as possible?
Matt: Uh…Super Toy Run?
Jeremy: Is this as a band or each of us personally?
Matt: Matching bathing suits!
Ned: First things first. Matching bathing suits.
Jack: I say we go and buy whatever boat for under a thousand dollars that will fit us all.
Matt: A boat?!
Jeremy: Wait. There’s a mall in Dallas that has a Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Ned: Step 1. Go into Dick’s. Step 2. Get boat.
Madness To Creation: The single for “At The Pool”, is rather quirky and awesome, what can fans expect from the single and video from Swimwear Department.
Matt: A lot of quirkiness and some awe.
Ned: Pools, fun, and something kind of spooky!
Jack: Although there are no pools, really.
Matt: Do pool tables count?
Jeremy: All quirkiness aside, we wanted the video to give viewers a taste of what our live show is like.
Matt: There’s a mummy.
Matt: Sorry! Spoiler alert! There’s a mummy.
Madness To Creation: Your single biggest reason that you got into music.
Ned: It seemed tight.
Jack: Yep. It looked fun.
Jeremy: Something to do with your friends.
Matt: One night when I was like 7 or 8, my dad and I were sitting in a grocery store parking lot waiting for my mom to get some milk or something. He was scanning the radio stations, trying to check the score of the Astros game when he stopped for on some classic rock station. It was like. We built this city! We built this city on rock and roll! Built this city! We built this city on rock and roll!
Jack: I am rock and roll.
Madness To Creation: Your band has several gigs coming up in Houston and Burnet, Texas, single biggest reason why we need to see Swimwear Department in concert.
Jack: We might surprise you.
Matt: Spoiler alert. It’s fun!
Jeremy: It’ll make people believe in live shows again!
Matt: Yeah! I really like what our friend Glen wrote on her facebook page the other day…
Jack: Yeah! Just quote her whole post!
Matt: For real? Ok. Hang on. Let me pull it up. Here it is.
“I’ve been to a lot of shows. At one point I thought I had reached my concert burn out because I had seen so many shows. Some of them just weren’t fun anymore, some of them were just to socialize. They just didn’t hit the same. Many of them have the same layout (you in audience, band on stage).And then there was Swimwear Department. It was so refreshing. Original music that you can follow, makes you feel silly and makes you *want* to jump and scream and laugh. The way the band interacts with the audience completely breaks the outline of how concerts have been for years.There are only a few bands that can truly pluck my heartstrings and get me to physically jam out at shows nowadays, and Swimwear is one of them.”
Ned: That was really sweet.
Madness To Creation: Madness To Creation also covers mental health awareness, what are some things you turn to to help with your personal mental health?
Ned: I would say like playing shows is a definite release in a way. I like to have a lot of different projects and jumping in between things is good for me. It helps out a lot. It’s relaxing.
Jeremy: Having an outlet, having a community.
Jack: Yeah! If I don’t have a show to look forward to, I get real bummed, actually.
Matt: I think the relationship that I have with an audience is something that I’m not getting anywhere else. We haven’t had a show in a couple of weeks and I’m missing that.
Jack: Playing live music that’s really loud is fun.
Jeremy: We’ve all been in bands that weren’t this fun.
Ned: For sure!
Jeremy: Watching people enjoy their hour that they’re with us and then afterwards they’re like ‘that was so fun!’ Feeling like you’re making someone else’s day.
Jack: Yes! Hell yeah!
Ned: I get so much out of it. I want to give it back.
Matt: People have said things like ‘you guys being free to have fun and be silly makes me feel free to do that, too.’ That is mental health, baby!
Madness To Creation: Complete this sentence, the thing that makes you smile the most is….
Ned: Cool junk? Masks.
Matt: My dog.
Jack: Pure Joy.
Jeremy: Do babies count?
Ned: Baby Smiles.
Matt: Have you guys seen Jeremy’s three-month-old wake up from a nap?
Ned: Do your best impression of her waking up.
Jeremy: I picked her up and she like pfffffft “HAHAHAHA”
Matt: Wait she made that sound with her mouth like you just did or she really farted then giggled about it?
Jeremy: She literally farted.
Matt: I wish this wasn’t a print interview.
Ned: Seriously. That’s the funniest thing I’ve seen…all week.
Madness To Creation: What else would you like to add in regards to Swimwear Department?
Ned: I’d say being in a band is fun. Giving yourself limitations in fun. This band is all about approaching things weirdly. I’d encourage people to do the same.
Jeremy: What keeps me in it though is more than just the fun, there are a lot of earnest lyrics, introspective reflections, and storytelling that’s beyond just silly. It’s relatable.
Jack: You can still get serious in a fun way.
Matt: We like to interview mall kiosk salespeople and write songs about those conversations.
And there you have it! Check out Swimwear Department at the following gigs in Texas:
Sat. 11/16- UTOPIAfest 11 in Burnet
Sun. 11/17- Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar in Houston
Fri. 12/13- Continental Club in Houston