Having a bit of banter and a good ol’ chat with some talented souls that have formed a band is one of my favourite activities. I wish we would be able to just meet up in person, as that is the classical form of interviewing… However, we’re currently not able to, so we’ve had to do with an online interview. Pacific Swell sound like a good bucket of fun!
Can you describe Pacific Swell in one sentence?
Adam (guitar/vocals): Getting strangled by the junkie priest, while the boys get stoned in
Emil (guitar): The sweetest choir boys you ain’t never heard of.
Can you tell us something about how and when you formed as a band?
Adam: Well, we’ve known each other for ages from around town (Grenaa), where we went to the same schools and youth centres. But the band as such started out in the back rooms of this hotel where most of us were working as night clerks, dishwashers and busboys. Having not much else to do, music seemed the most obvious option. It could get you free booze at parties, you know. That’s about it.
Nicklas (drums) : Since then we’ve had a couple of changes in the line up, that have all helped shake up our old bones.
Who have you been inspired by when creating your sound?
Emil: Me and Adam used to watch a lot of old Spaghetti Westerns after rehearsals. Can’t
deny that it rubbed off on some of the older songs especially, like for example ‘Days of Lust’.
Sejer (organ): Since me and Niels joined there has been a tendency to dive into some of
Scott Walker’s more theatrical stuff. The huge walls of sound, you know.
Adam: But the theatrics have always been a part of it.
Nicklas: For sure. We’ve gone through Mariachi outfits, played as choir boys in a church in Germany, punk shows in Copenhagen dressed in our finest Geisha garbs. We’ve been through it all.
Sejer: We’ve even gone as far as writing whole character sheets for fictive personas, that
are practical to have. You never know what might show up in the future.
Nicklas: Other than that it’s been a solid mix of Altin Güns turko-psych, the desert blues out of Mali, manic austro-pop personified by the likes of Austrian Voodoo Jürgens.
Emil: Eh yeah. It’s deep man. Oh and Niels (bass) is really into K-Pop.
What is the best thing about being a band?
Sejer: I don’t know if it’s the fame or the money. But that’s just totally my opinion, man.
Nicklas: Having a poetic excuse for sitting around humdrummin’, I guess.
What is the worst thing about being a band?
Emil: Never having money for rent.
Nicklas: Never being able to have your tobacco to yourself.
Sejer: That’s funny since I just found a whole pouch resting in between my microphones.
Adam: The worst thing that’s happened to us recently is losing a month of touring the East Coast of Australia.
What are your future plans?
Sejer: Right now our mind is on the upcoming album. Whereas the last LP, ‘Horrific Smell’,
was a collection of older songs recorded in one go, this time we’ve decided to mix it up in a process of writing the songs and recording them straight away, adding heavier instrumentation such as pump organ, mandolins, female vocals and violins, changing the settings in which we record and generally going with the gut feeling you might have in the moment.
Adam: On top of that we started recording the first songs in January and then spreading out the recording sessions and trying to go more in depth with the overdubs.
Emil: Also we are now moving towards changing our live setup. Since forever we’ve been playing as a classic outfit: guitar, bass, drums. Very standard. It worked with the old songs but with the new songs we want to go towards adding a full choir and a section of strings to our live shows. Earlier we did some experimentation at a couple of shows with that vibe, and once that massive sound gets a hold of you it’s hard to go back.
What is your biggest dream as a band?
Niels: Playing the Royal Concert Hall in Copenhagen with the Philharmonics.
Sejer: Actually getting paid would be great for starters.