Liars' Brooding Frontman Talks Touring, Tokyo, & Violet Crumble

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angus-andrew Over the course of 12 years and six albums, Liars have defined themselves by refusing to settle down. While other bands try to recreate the records that made them famous, Liars have reinvented themselves with every consecutive release. First, they flipped the script by changing from turn-of-the-millenium dance-punks into high-concept art rockers, and now, with their new release WIXIW (pronounced “wish you," of course), they've gravitated toward electronic music.

Yet, for all their left turns and sonic experiments, each new Liars release maintains a common thread: the brooding, unmistakable voice of frontman Angus Andrew. We were able to catch up with the band as they were finishing the European leg of their current tour, before returning to NYC tomorrow to play Webster Hall. During our chat we talked about Liars' return to dance music, the most difficult parts of touring, and Andrew’s love for a specific purple candy.

Do you have a favorite city to play?
"Tokyo. If I had my way, I’d just tour Japan over and over and over again. Apart from it being endlessly fascinating and amusing, Japan has the best food, is the most efficient, and the crowds there often times go out of their way to give us ridiculously cute little presents."

What’s been your favorite recent show?
"Recently, we played a tiny club in Brighton, England as a warm-up show for the new WIXIW material. The place was hot, rammed to the gills, and I expected everything to go completely wrong. But instead we ended up turning out something that felt really special."

What’s your least favorite part of going on tour?
"I’m not good at being around lots of people for long periods of time."

What are three clothing items that you never leave behind on the road?
"Hat, scarf, big rain jacket."

With the new album being largely electronic, has it changed the vibe of your live shows?
"No, I don’t think too much has changed. As far as I can tell, we recreate the songs with a similar amount of physicality as we would older material, so, all in all, I still find the feeling to be pretty intense. Generally the harder songs to translate are the most fun and rewarding to play live – in this case, I think that song is the title track 'WIXIW.'”

Some of the tracks on WIXIW may be Liars' most dance-oriented since your first album. What was it like making music again?
"Yeah, in a way the technology we used to make WIXIW kind of screamed for dance tracks, and we sure as hell made a lot of them. We certainly could have released a record which was geared entirely in this direction, but along the way we began to realize that we wanted to allow for more moods, textures, and emotions, and so began to explore other ways of utilizing the equipment."

What other artists have you been listening to most often on this tour?
"The Knife, OMD, Gang Starr, PJ Harvey, Dire Straits."

If you discovered a genie who could give you anything at all on your band rider for the rest of your life, what would it be?
"Violet Crumble."