Following the success of their sixth album, WIXIW, released in June, Brooklyn based shape-shifters Liars are about to embark on a world tour. Booked to play Sound Control on 21st October as part of their world tour, I got together with guitarist Aaron Hemphill from Liars to find out a bit more.
Why and how did liars get together as a band?
Liars essentially got started when I met [singer] Angus while he was attending cal arts for photography. He was eager in exploring every medium and would come into the record store where I worked. I saw what he was listening to, and eventually he and a mutual friend of ours asked me to join their band. Angus and i bought a four track one day, and wrote music non-stop thereafter. Liars’ approach and nucleus to me has always been how our different perspectives compliment, conflict, or inspire one another.
Angus and i bought a four track one day, and wrote music non-stop thereafter. Liars’ approach and nucleus to me has always been how our different perspectives compliment, conflict, or inspire one another.
How has your sound developed and changed since you got together?
We added Julian, a new perspective into the band. Our sound has developed naturally around the tools we familiarize ourselves with in order to construct songs. I feel the doubt we share in our mastery of these tools leads us to constantly try and explore new techniques of recording and songwriting, keeping our working relationship fresh and new, sometimes to discomforting levels. Most of the time it seems as though we are starting from scratch with each project, though our respect for one another is always such that there’s nobody else i want to impress more than angus or Julian.
What are your main musical influences?
And what else culturally plays a part in your music?
So much and so little depending on the album. For example, our previous album sisterworld we felt was an exploration of Los Angeles, an area we were all familiar with, though had just recently all regrouped to. With our recent album WIXIW, due to the songwriting involving so much new technology, we decided to let the process become the subject matter. This lead to us allowing ourselves to enter the subject matter more, and the record became extremely introspective and personal. I think the process was so consuming, I would venture to say that it could have been made anywhere in the world and still have come out sounding as it does. We were so caught up in the project, we had no time to interact or be influenced by the world around us at the time.
With our recent album WIXIW, due to the songwriting involving so much new technology, we decided to let the process become the subject matter.
Can you tell us about your new album?
We tried collaborating at a much earlier stage in the songwriting with WIXIW. This lead to a lot of doubt and anxiety, but also a stronger sense of accomplishment with the material we were agreeing on. We looked to each other for confidence and guidance, as at times it seemed like we could get lost in the new technology we were exploring. Programs such as Reaktor, as well as synths we’d never used before, all made for great sounds for us to collect, but also instilled an uncertainty as to whether or not we could turn them into songs. I think it’s this process that we tried to document with this album.
And what do you have planned for your tour?
Just trying to add a different perspective to the album. Trying to reproduce the songs in a way that shows our interaction with the sounds, but one that also allows for varied interpretations of them (mistakes). We hope that it adds footholds to the sounds heard on the album, and a new context for the album that helps to make sense of it all for the audience.