Seismic Interview With: Angus Andrew of Liars
Liars will be in town playing in support of their new album WIXW at Neumos July 8th, so I took the time to pick lead singer Angus’s brain about his favorite basketball team (Clippers), the bands fashion evolution, Seattle connections, new band crushes, and finally some of his gayest moments in his heterosexual life.
Most difficult part of making the WIXIW album? Does it get any easier six albums in?: You’d think it’d get easier right? but somehow its quite the opposite. I think the hardest part about making wixiw was overcoming the fear and doubt which seemed to be inherent in the process we undertook.
I read that you’re a Clippers fan and said “when they do well, everyone in the world seems like its in the right place and will understand the album”. So they did well this year, and your album has certainly gone in a bit of a different direction. You think it will be understood?: Hmm…thats a tricky question. Its hard for me to say whether or not our album will be understood. Of course I hope people can connect with it, but at the same time its very much out of my control at this point and in a way I just like to focus on the fact that I’m very proud of what we accomplished.
Yes, the clippers did well this season, but could they have done better.
You also said that “writing personal lyrics is scary”; but doesn’t it seem as if artists (on the whole) get the best results when putting that “personal” energy into their music? Seems therapeutic and beautiful all at the same time. Your thoughts?: Well … I agree to a certain extent, but in my experience it’s always been more interesting to project those feelings onto something more objective or universal that people can identify with. For example, if I feel isolated or dislocated then it might do well to discuss a place like Los Angeles, or if I feel frightened or misunderstood, then maybe I could utilize a theme like witch hunts, y’know? its just that I’ve never really been excited by work that is all ‘I This’ and ‘I- That’, woe is me and all that jazz.
In that vein … what’s the most personal song on the new album ‘WIXIW’? and can you tell us what its about?: Yikes – yeah its hard to single out just one, as I think they’re all much more personal songs than we’ve ever put out before. Ill valley prodigies is one that discusses the kind of haunting nature of drug dependence which I find to be one of the most difficult subject matters to talk about and maybe thats why its the shortest track on the album.
Since the direction of your music changed, it seems as if, from my gay point view, that the hair and clothes got a bit more fabulous if I may say so myself. Are you inspired by fashion?: How kind of you! hmm.. its hard for me to say that I’m inspired by fashion in a musical way, but I do enjoy the possibilities of clothes and appearance … how much they can effect a mood or create a certain feeling within or in relation to a work. I also have great admiration for those people who can grab fashion by the scruff of the neck and shake it about without care or abandon. Maybe thats the best way to describe how it inspires me … via admiration.
I read in a interview for REDEFINE in 2010 that Aaron and yourself feel dislocated from whats going on around you, but its seems as though you’re very much connected to whats going on culturally at least. You still feel dislocated?: Yeah I think its interesting that you can at once be very aware of whats going around you and at the same time feel so separated from it. Maybe part of that is just sort of consciously choosing to be an outsider … is it more alluring? I don’t know. Definitely when making stuff I like, the feeling of being apart from things, to have a more objective perspective; and really since I left Australia its been natural for me to feel like that.
Some people may describe your music as “weird”. I’m attracted to weird or non-conventional personally. What’s weird to you?: In some ways weird or ”experimental” for me is veering toward the conventional. I guess you could say its more common for me to be confronted by what is quote unquote weird and so the things which seem really obtuse are the more traditional. A good example of this is in my music making, where it feels easier or more natural to create some kind of abstract sound collage, but alternatively really experimental to try and write a straightforward verse chorus verse, pop song.
So I know you’re friends with now defunct Seattle band The Blood Brothers. You stay in touch or keep up with what they’re up too?: Sure, yes I just heard that Marks project Champagne Champagne is on the Warped Tour! how exciting! and yes we played with past lives last time we were in Seattle. We love those guys.
And since it was just Gay Pride week here in Seattle … can you tell us the about the “gayest” thing you have ever done? Details please: Wow – well its probably too boring to discuss any of my boyhood experimentalism, and not very exciting to talk about the many tours where I enjoyed performing in a flashy red prom dress … so I’d say that maybe my two most current “relevant” undertakings are the full bodied anderson cooper bookmark I travel with and my ginormous man crush on the portugese footballer – Christiano Ronaldo.