Flying Low

14 June 2013 | 12:30 pm | Kate Kingsmill

"I’ve stayed in bands in the past where we didn’t have management or a good network of people around us and it’s really easy to go nowhere."

In the year and a half since Them Swoops have been a band, they have never quite had their timing right. Just when the nation's youth broadcaster latched on to their Phoenix-sounding track Work Around It and put it on rotation, not only did their drummer leave the band but their new management decided the track needed to be remixed in the States. “That just held up everything,” tells guitarist and vocalist Dave McGann. The Them Swoops experience has been a little bit unconventional. “We didn't plan on it, but it's just the way it sort of happened.”

Being played on national radio but not having the band members to play shows, as well as being unable to release any more tracks because they were being remixed by Mark Needham in LA, the band lost momentum. In the lead-up to the launch show of their debut EP Glimmers, McGann doesn't sound nervous or excited, he sounds defeated and bored. “It just feels a bit funny that all we've got to show for the last year and a half is four songs. We know we've got so much more but it's all being saved for an album. We're wanting to get started on the album, we just want to do the same old thing that everyone wants to do.”

Recently, Them Swoops have recalibrated as a five-piece and have been playing more shows. “In the last eight months or so we've done heaps of playing around on tour, just accepting whatever comes our way. We've done a fair bit of interstate stuff, and it feels like we've put in the hard yards now,” he says.

Before that, “We weren't really positioning ourselves as a live local band, I guess,” says McGann. Instead, Them Swoops were focused on getting management and looking to the American market. “I've stayed in bands in the past where we didn't have management or a good network of people around us and it's really easy to go nowhere. Unless you're that band that just has everyone on your side and you're smashing out shows and you've got hundreds of people coming to every show like King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard or like Little Red back in the day. We were rarely playing shows so we needed the help.”

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

The co-management deal they signed has helped position them in the States, where they've landed on the influential 'alternative' radio station Alt Nation, which has been responsible for breaking bands like Phoenix and Foster The People. “You can never overlook your local market or what local radio does, but maybe a whole bunch of radio stations might pick it up over there, and it kind of feels good to have that behind it. Like, this Friday I'm having a Skype phone call with Salt Lake City x96 Radio at 4am, they've just added one of our songs to their playlist. So it feels like it could go that way. I might have a lot of late night Skyping.”

Like Tame Impala and Temper Trap before them, Them Swoops might well be the next Aussie band starting with 'T' to infiltrate the American market. “I'm not really sure how the American thing will translate to any success here,” says McGann. “I might come back with my tail between my legs in three years when I'm a failed rock star.”

In the meantime, he is handing out flyers for this weekend's EP launch, for which he has convinced pre-Little Red band The Greasers to reform. “I'm super excited,” he says. “Hopefully it will translate to people coming down just to see that.”