Artist Interviews

Q&A: Liars

By | Published on Thursday 4 March 2010


Formed back in 2000, Liars are a three-piece American band, consisting of Angus Andrew, Aaron Hemphill and Julian Gross. Despite initially being lumped into the New York post-punk revival scene of the early 21st century, Liars have come to be categorised more by their dramatic stylistic shifts between albums, a shift achieved while retaining a consistent interest in rhythm and sound texture. The band are set to release their fourth album ‘Sisterworld’ on 8 Mar via Mute, and have just announced that they will be playing SXSW, as well as a headline gig at Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London on 27 May. We caught up with Angus Andrew to find out more.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
By diving in head first. We met at art-school and began working with sound. We’d throw instruments in our studio and document them. That led to making noise on breaks between classes. Eventually, when we got hold of a four-track recorder everything changed. We began writing songs and really understanding the potential of the medium.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
We thought about what it’s like to not fit in. How people deal with that by creating their own spaces. We wanted to try to acknowledge, explain and confront unhappiness and alienation in an environment where these subjects are mostly encouraged to be glossed over – both physically and musically.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
We compose songs individually, sometimes taking pieces from each others work, so that in the end we bring finished demos to each other for further revisions and suggestions.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
With this new album, none directly, but we’re interested in artists who promote idea over technique. Artists like Lawrence Weiner, Paul Kelly and Vitto Acconci.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Wear headphones please.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
At the moment we’re working on how to translate our new album to the stage. It’s ambitious and quite tricky. In the future, we’d like to keep doing things that are challenging, scary and uncomfortable. Making sure we’re never resting on what we’ve done, but continuing to push ourselves further from our comfort zones.