In 1999, when Swirl began receiving some attention, the bandmembers were between 17 and 18 years of age. In 1999, Sam Norfolk, the 17-year-old rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist, was the band's main lyricist. He has a very natural voice. He was self-taught on the guitar and had no lessons. In 1999 he was studying popular music at college, and had aspirations to work in the music industry. Sam Norfolk was influenced by all types of music, ranging from Oasis, the Verve, and a many of the old british bands. Steven Harris, the 18-year-old drummer, was studying business in college in 1999. It has been said that Steven Harris was one of the most amazing drummers to watch and listen; that he had arms of virtual rubber. He also did some backup vocals for the band. He listed his influences as Super Furry Animals, Oasis, the Verve, and classic British bands. Craig Trudgill was 17 years old in 1999, and played the bass guitar very confidently. When not touring with the band, in 1999, he worked for an alarm system company. Trudgill had a great attitude toward life. He was influenced by and still listens to Oasis. Lewis Allman, the 17-year-old lead guitarist, was studying popular music in college in 1999. He had a desire to be a sound engineer, in studios and theaters. It had been said that he had serious expertise and technical wizardry that exceeded his years. He was self-taught and had never had a guitar lesson. He listed his influences as Nick McCabe, the guitarist from the Verve. He also loved listening to indie, Brit-pop, and mod.
They all went to the same school, Archbishop Sancroft High School, in a town called Harleston. Lewis Allman and Sam Norfolk were in the same class, as were Steven Harris and Craig Trudgill. In 1999 they had been together for two years and released an independent EP. Shortly after that they released a four-rack demo to record companies, with some response. They were going to the studio in December 1999 to start work on an album. They were also looking to set up their own record label to release the album. They had hopes that they might get spotted by a major U.K or U.S record label. In 1999 they could be found gigging in the capital, London England. They have played small venues made famous by bands like Oasis, the Verve, Blur, the Who, Pink Floyd, and Jimi Hendrix, and were quoted as saying, "We want to be the greatest all time band from the United Kingdom."