If anybody needs proof of how useless the recording industry has become, look no further than TheSwimmingPools. In the past few years, the NYC-based duo has recorded three albums and produced a slew of videos using only a computer in their East Village apartment. Comprised of Christophe Doloire and Daniel Smith, the group plays a brooding electronica that feels as if it would've been as appropriate in the mid-'80s as it does today. You can sample their new album, When You Don't Know What You Want, along with videos, on their website.
How did you guys meet and start to write music together?
We met each other at a club called Luxx in Brooklyn. At the time, there were lots of new electronic music acts performing there and the crowd was either drunk or "fabulous" or both! Christophe had been playing around with this music software called Reason and was making some musical experiments, he asked me to have a listen and he had these really kind of sparkly songs that were strange but they sounded like something new and I had been wanting to do music for a long time, so from there we started collaborating.
Can you point to any primary influences that directly inform your music?
Living in New York, you're constantly inundated with information, so you have to be very focused in order not to be influenced, but then while you're trying to be focused you find yourself in a shop listening to Joan Jett or something and you're like, "Wow, this is good!" Then you come home to check your email and a friend has sent you a track by their new favorite band and again your being influenced. It's very difficult to trace things back to their origin. It feels like, between where you start a song and end a song you've taken thousands of completely different directions.
How did you end up self-releasing all of your stuff, was it a conscious decision?
Oh no, lack of interest was the motivating factor. Technologically we've entered a time where the tools to create, produce and promote are available to everyone.
How do you see the videos interacting with the music? Are they a necessary component or just an additional element?
Visuals have always been a very strong part of our work. For our first performances, we were doing these really elaborate live video sets using paint and ink and creating these little vignettes and all these crazy video feedbacks. We love making videos because they can be such a magical thing, totally transforming the music.
Where do you see TheSwimmingPools going in the future? Do you expect more extensive touring?
The stars and YES!
Until then, you can catch TheSwimmingPools handful of dates in the New York area.