Formed in Oxford in 1989, Swervedriver were at the forefront of the ‘90s shoegaze movement, releasing seminal albums, Raise (1991) and Mezcal Head (1993) along the way. They turned in some legendary live shows during their time, including their first ever Australian date at the now defunct Planet nightclub sometime during that heady decade (we can’t remember when and the Internet won’t tell us, and nor could front man, Adam Franklin). They’ve been away for a bit — on hiatus (split up!) — and now they’re back with a new album, Future Ruins, and an Australian tour that will bring them to Perth’s Rosemount Hotel on 22 September.
Remembering the heady days, Swervedriver front man, Adam Franklin told Around The Sound, “Yeah, I remember that show (at the Planet). We’d arrived late, straight off the plane. We were in the green room having a bit of kip and our tour manager had to wake us up about five minutes before we were due to go on. I don’t know what he did, but it was the greatest wake-up call, we were really wound up. The crowd was rammed right up to the stage when we went on and we just gave it what for.”
Around The Sound remembers a blistering live performance that caused our mate to go and hide in the toilets for most of the night. We can’t wait to see Swervedriver at it again!
Chuckling as he remembered that particular performance, Franklin appeared to water down expectations for Swervedriver’s performance this time around.
“We do get comments every now and then from people who say they wish we’d do an album again like Raise or Mescal Head, but you don’t ever try to do anything like anything else, things shift around. We’re not always as coruscating as we were then.”
Listening to Franklin’s voice down the line from London, our heart began to sink a little, until Franklin added, “But we still can be!”
New album, Future Ruins, is a product of the current political zeitgeist. Reflecting on life in the UK right now, Franklin said, “It’s simply wonderful. Today I asked a friend who lives in Toronto if he’d sponsor me to go and live in Canada. There are many thieves and scoundrels in positions of power right now.”
Future Ruins, doesn’t find Swervedriver settling into comfortable middle age, it ventures from a bleak primal scream to a knowing introspection as they contemplate the modern dystopia we find ourselves mired in and kick out as only they know how. The songs on the album channel simultaneous despair and resignation through coruscating yet tender walls of six string noise. It’s a Swervedriver album that deserves to stand alongside they best of their output and it’s not just a moment-in-time thing, either.
“We do have a bunch of stuff to come back to,” said Franklin, “so I look forward to investigating some of that stuff a bit later in the year.”
Expect more new music from Swervedriver after this current tour, then. Nice!
For more information on Swervedriver’s date at The Rosemount hotel on 22 September, click here.