Strawberry Swing

by the partae
Where are you currently based?
Wollongong, NSW.


How did Strawberry Swing form?
We met at a party but didn’t really start playing together until Nima bought a cheap electric drum kit. He couldn’t play it, so he dropped it over to my house. We started jamming, and then song writing and then decided to start a band.— Mark.


What’s been happening recently?

We’ve been working pretty closely with Cara Walkam aka meadowhip. She’s been singing for us at live shows and that’s been great. We’ve played a few cool shows lately around Wollongong and up in Sydney as well. Looking to get back in the studio in the next couple of weeks.— Mark

Your new single Bennie (Won’t Dance) ft. meadowhip is out now, what influenced the sound and songwriting?
Bennie accidentally became our most straightforward pop song. It started with this little stabby piano groove Nima had and then I started riffing lyrics on it. We kind of went down a classic rock road/80s pop thing with it. Sort of that throwback 50s vibe that was big in the 80s (think Phil Collins or Billy Joel) but still very 2022, particularly with the vocals. Eventually the point of the song became to hit the audience fast and groovy and get them dancing. — Mark


How did this single come about?

So Nima came around before Strawberry Swing was even a thing yet in like early 2019 and he had the piano stabs and this little piano groove. When he played the first chord, I think I’d just gotten Goodbye Yellow Brick Road on vinyl, and I just shouted Bennie. The rest of the song didn’t really sound like Bennie and the Jets but I just started singing about this girl called Bennie who hangs out with Mick Jagger and Billy Joel but won’t dance with us.

We thought it would be cool to swing the chorus, and in like half an hour from Nima showing me that little bit of piano we had a song. And it ended up being short because I ran out of classic rock references. — Mark


Where and when did you record/produce/master and who with?
We recorded it late last year in Wollongong and had it mixed/mastered by our friend Ben Cauduro aka Benjamino. He did an amazing job on it.


How did you approach the recording process?

We wanted it to match how we play live, so it was all about minimising any digital trickery (their all live takes, no looping or quantising) and keeping the energy really high. I think Nima got the keys down in one take and I got the drums down in two.

So Nima won that round.

We then had our live guitarist, Nate put the rhythm guitars down and wail out that solo, and Ben ended up throwing bass on it during mixing which was great.

And most importantly meadowhip, who is the featured artist, just absolutely nailed the vocals and Ben gave them a real ‘wall-of-sound’ vibe which was cool. — Mark


Please tell us about any upcoming shows?
We’re at The Alley at the Agincourt Hotel in Sydney on July 2nd. We’re headlining that one and we have a killer line up.

And then we’re at North Gong Hotel in Wollongong for a Sunday Sesh on July 10.

What do you most enjoy about playing live?

For me it’s the feeling of locking in with a band and then feeling the audience lock in with that, there’s nothing like it on earth. — Mark

I like seeing the audiences reaction to the songs. I guess the goal is to convey the emotions of the song (which we wrote it to have) to the audience. So when we’re playing live I want to see how successful we were in doing that. — Nima


Who are you listening to at the moment?
So in rotation with the band at the moment we have Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Blondie, Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, someone was suggesting a Lizzo cover the other day and Nima and I can’t get enough of Gang of Youths.


What’s planned for the remainder of 2022?
We’ve got another single or two planned and just a bunch of gigs, hoping to get further and further afield so maybe Melbourne or Brisbane if the stars align.


Favourite food and place to hangout?
My favourite food is ghorme sabzi (it’s a Persian thing) and my favourite place to hang out is nature. Specially mountains and woods. But in general I like going to  new places so anywhere I’ve never been to before.— Nima

My favourite food is, and I know this sounds lame, but my mother’s cooking. I do most of the cooking at home, so it’s nice to go to my parents house and not have to do anything. And my favourite place to hang out is wherever there’s people, I just like being with people.— Mark.


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