Prepare to have your mind blown! Melbourne electric duo American Doubles are releasing their brand new single The Swell. Filmed almost entirely underwater, these guys loaded a full bar setting, 16 feet below water to create mesmerising, genuine underwater scenes for their track, The Swell. It took a whole team of marine biologists, architects, construction workers, free divers and more to get this clip on the go! Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles did a quick Q&A with Robert Smith from the band.
Has it been an exciting time in the build up to release of The Swell?
Yes, it has been exciting. The Swell is our most ambitious project to date and has enabled us to combine with some seriously creative minds along the journey. So far there has been an overwhelmingly positive reaction. so we are amped!
The bio says the song is steeped in nostalgia, what influenced that? Any particular artists or bands that are considered significant?
Growing up we both listened to a lot of 70’s disco/funk including Chic, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Cool and the Gang and 80’s new wave bands including Ultra Vox, Devo, New Order, Talking Heads, Pet Shop Boys and more. The Swell draws upon these influences and also our current ones so we are always trying to keep it fresh and take it forward.
What is the song about?
I was remembering all the summer holidays I spent growing up at my families beach house. A strong memory I have of that time is swimming out to sea with a friend at one of the beautiful surf beaches. I remember crashing through the breaking waves, diving underneath them and occasionally getting dumped by one, before we would eventually make it out to calmer waters again. Then after floating on our backs in the swell looking at the sky we would dive down and try to touch the ocean floor. I wanted to try and capture a sense of that feeling of freedom we felt being completely in the moment having fun.
Did you enjoy being involved in making the film clip?
The overall experience has been great fun. We would grab a coffee with the co-directors, brothers Daniel and Jared Daperis, and discuss the process along the way. Apart from discussing the idea over a couple of meetings with jarred and Daniel, the rest was left up to the guys at late night, our involvement was minor.
Where did you come up with the idea for the film clip?
Daniel and Jared came up with the concept and though it was tweaked a little along the way, the end result was remarkably similar to the idea they first pitched to us.
How important was it having a killer film clip out there to accompany the single?
It wasn’t the most important thing for us at first, we received some great feedback for our song to begin with, but as it turned out one thing led to another and we were sold.
How did you both meet?
We met playing in other bands together.
Is there a hidden meaning behind the band name American Doubles?
Not really. Instead of inventing a name we decided to use something that was part of the vernacular. American Doubles is an informal tennis rule where three players rotate court positions, after each game. In America they call the same rule Australian Doubles. We rotated our positions in the studio a bit recording our debut EP, so the name kind of fitted in that way.
What is the plan beyond the release of this single?
Some gigs around town and maybe a tour somewhere if we can wrangle one.
Any plans to tour Australia including Adelaide which so many Aussie band leave out these days?
We would love to go to Adelaide. Most of Justin’s family is from there, so we would take any opportunity to get over and say hi.
Have you been able to gauge what the interest is like for American Doubles overseas?
The video is getting shared around nicely. We have views in over 50 countries with the majority coming from Australia, USA, UK, Italy and Germany.
In three or four words how would you describe the sound of American Doubles?
Sun-drenched Synth Pop.
The Swell is out now and keep an eye out for tour dates near you.
Interview by Rob Lyon