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Melbourne surf-punks Going Swimming are making a big splash with their second full-length

We wanted to have a bit more fun with it so we were writing songs that barely made two minutes playing them as quick as we could.”

Going Swimming are back with their second album Sultans Of Swim. It’s got all the happy, good-vibe beats we’ve come to expect from the Melbourne outfit, but it’s not without the twisted whimsy we’ve also heard in their previous releases – in fact, Sultans Of Swim wouldn’t be out of place as part of the soundtrack on the ‘Big Wave Beach’ level of the game Plants Vs. Zombies.

“I haven’t played that game in ages. Maybe it was a subliminal thing, maybe I heard it forever ago and it embedded, it was a big influence secretly,” teases vocalist Nicholas Leggatt.

The band do, however, defy genre, and while the surf rock elements are easy to discern in the group, it’s a little harder to put your finger on the self-ascribed punk aspect in the new release. “Every record changes,” says Leggatt. “This is our second and we’d done an EP before that. The first stuff we were writing, we’d just come out of other bands that were writing longer, more serious songs. We wanted to have a bit more fun with it so we were writing songs that barely made two minutes playing them as quick as we could.

“Then we have that surf element, Ash, our guitarist, has that influence on the band. It’s not really what he listens to, it’s just the vibe and the way he plays, we riff on it a little bit. Our first EP, Shark Attack, has that vibe in it.

“Our debut album [Deadtime Stories], I don’t know if it was the bands we were playing with or the direction we were headed outside in life, but it was a lot more angsty, louder, I was probably shouting more. We enjoyed it, and we like being loud and brash, but when it came to this album, we said alright, the surfing stuff is fun, let’s make it more like that again.”

So far, each Going Swimming record has been a subconscious reflection of where the guys are at in life, Leggatt says. “It’s not something we think about too much and a lot of the song titles are a bit stupid.”Does this mean the song titles reflect the nature of the band? “We like to have fun with it and it comes from the fact that the bands we were in respectively, a few years ago now, they were a bit more serious and a bit tighter.

“Often when the guys come up with a demo for a track they’ll put a stupid title to it and then it’s my challenge to come up with lyrics to fit the stupid title. It’s a fun little game. I don’t keep huge journals of lyrics, I don’t have heartfelt letters of writing I pull out for each song – while you’re obviously influenced by what’s going on in your life, we try to make it fun, different.”

Going Swimming, with their catchy riffs and devil-may-care ambience, don’t really squeeze into any genre and as such, they don’t have too many bands they perform regularly with, preferring instead to adopt that need for fun into any live performances. “We like playing shows with our mates,” Leggatt says. “If we meet other bands and we get along with them, we’ll play a lot with them. We figure if we like the other band there’ll be common ground for people who like both [bands].”

Indeed, involvement was key to putting together Sultans Of Swim, and single ‘True Lady Of Leisure’ is a definite crowd-pleaser.  “The working title was ‘Clusterfuck’ which sums up the song a little bit because it’s a mish-mash kind of song. Eventually, we worded clusterfuck into the lyrics but we didn’t love it, so we riffed on what the lyrics were about.

“We don’t like doing videos very much, we get a bit self-conscious. I had to be a bit of acting in this video, me and some mannequins, that’s all I can really give away, but it’s one to look out for.”

Going Swimming will launch their second album Sultans Of Swim at Yah Yah’s on Saturday March 3. They’ll be joined by DPRS - Democratic People's Republic of Surf and Le Pine.