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the likes. So I think we’re still indie/alternative at the core - we just like to add quirky sounds, hooks and sometimes fast tempos. I noticed that you have no guitarist. Any particular reason for that? Diane: There is no guitarist because what we have works for us. I was definitely sick of the sound of guitars in indie bands and I'm not a huge fan of angular guitar solos and riffs but that's just a personal taste thing for me.
At the moment the keys/synths/bass are the melody instruments, and if we introduced a guitar we would need to make sure the person and the melodies were right for us and were working with the songs rather than taking them over. Jarlath: The guitar is such an integral part of music, but with the thousands of guitar bands that are out there, we feel like there’s room for other instruments to take centre stage sometimes. In a way we enjoy not using a guitar as a
crutch to fill up our sound. Ian: Jarlath plays guitar on one of our songs called Skin You – it’s a heavy one –so in general I think we are not coming at it from an angle of "no guitars". It’s more about the right people writing the music that’s honest for them as a group and that excites each member. If it calls for a guitar on one song then so be it, but right now the synths and effects are inspiring us a lot. Most people would already consider your sound as being
11 fairly unique and distinctive, but are you maybe already planning to tweak it somehow in the future? Jarlath: I think we’re constantly conscious about developing our sound and the songs we write. We have had such a busy year that we feel like we’re just getting back into the swing of writing new material and so far we’ve been happy with what we’re producing. I guess lately we’ve been trying to incorporate the use of loops into certain songs and spoken about how a launch pad might work in our set-up. Ian: We really are just getting started – anything could happen sound-wise. I think it’s going to keep getting more interesting and working with established producer Karl Odlum on the EP recording will teach us a lot. Jarlath never stops surprising me with effects and riffs, and I like to sit at the drums, learn and get more technical. As long as it has hooks and feels new then it’s all good. Before Swords, did you all play in any other bands, and how did Swords come into being? Diane: I had been singing for years and had worked with a few people in the past around Dublin. I’d also been playing sax in a great Dublin funk band called The Candidates - which I loved - but I needed to leave to have time to start writing my own songs and meet people who wanted to play those songs with me. Jarlath: I had played guitar in a number of incarnations of pretty much the same band since I was in college, which I loved but which had pretty much ran its course in terms of creativity. Swords was the first time I put down the guitar for another instrument in a band set-up. I was interested in the challenge of trying to change the perception of the bassist being the poor relation of the guitarist. There was a lot of freedom in putting down the guitar and