After hearing their excellent debut ‘Everyone You Know’, we had to find out more about Brighton brothers Tom and Nick, AKA the brilliant Underwater Boys.
Keep reading to find out about the new Cannibal Hymns signees and make sure you check these guys out on their first headline gig at the Sebright Arms in London on October 11th!
Can you tell us the story behind your brilliant new track ‘Everyone You Know’?
Nick: Like most of our songs, Everyone You Know started as a little ditty one of us came up with at home. I’m in Brighton and Tom is in London, and he’d come down and work with me on anything we’d been doing separately. Eventually it became what it is now when we recorded it at home, it was just something musical that we could do together without really thinking about putting it out. At the time we’d never written music that was quite so pretty or introspective.
The lyrics to the track are dark, yet the song sounds so joyous, what was the thinking behind this?
Tom: I’ve always been interested in contrasting pretty dark content with an upbeat, sweet sound. The songs are all about personal stuff to me and Nick, mainly to do with our mental health problems and how they’ve affected those around us – but we wanted to make something positive out of that, rather than wallow in it. Also I kind of just don’t like to be direct. I like the idea that someone could hear the song and just think it was a pretty thing, when really it’s about something very bleak.
You’ve recently signed to Cannibal Hymns, which is home to other fantastic acts like Our Girl, Dream Wife and Eat Fast, but if you were to collaborate with one, who would it be and what would the result sound like?
Nick: Collaborating with Our Girl would be cool. They have a really lovely balance of wooziness and aggression that I like a lot. It’d probably end up just sounding like Our Girl thought, because I’d want them to do most of it because they’re awesome.
As you’re both brothers, is this your first musical project together, or did you play/write/record whilst growing up?
We played together in a bunch of bands growing up so the act of writing and performing together isn’t new to us, but until we started this one, we’d not been in a band together for quite a few years, so we ended up going about it very differently. It’s the first time we’ve started something ourselves and brought other people into it.
There’s a really cool synthy psychedelic feel to your music, but are there any influences in your music which we might not at first expect?
Tom: Me and Nick are both massive fans of Crowded House. I think ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ is legitimately one of the best songs ever written, it’s just absolutely beautiful. I’m also really into Cocteau Twins – like if I could muster even an ounce of what Elizabeth Fraser can do vocally, I would die a very happy man. Aside from that we both really love video game soundtracks – especially for stuff we used to play together when we were kids like the N64 Zeldas and this really obscure game called ‘Little Big Adventure’ on PC.
If you had 30 seconds to describe your sound, goals and style, what would you say?
Tom: Underwater boys is two brothers who try to make really joyful, dreamy music about sad things. Our biggest goal right now is just to keep going, and hopefully some more people will find our music and like it. We’d also love to go on tour, just play more gigs. Our style is ‘Casual’.