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They’ve been praised and mentored by Radiohead, remixed by electronica superstars like Aphex Twin, and lauded by critics. But no number of milestones could boost Angus Andrew's confidence as he and his bandmates in the experimental rock group Liars recorded their first electro record. At the time, their moniker couldn't have felt more apt.

"While making WIXIW, we had user manuals open all the time in the studio, trying to figure out the software," the frontman says of his band's 2012 album, adding that they only found one way to cope with their insecurity: "We actually fed into the doubt and anxiety, and used it as a conceptual element. We searched out our own personal fears and uneasiness in relationships and life for the lyrics."

The approach worked, and WIXIW became Liars' most acclaimed album yet. But they didn't want to repeat that process. Below, Andrew tells the Beijinger about Liars' more straight forward follow up, Mess (released this past winter), and elaborates on the honest to goodness irony in his band's name while revealing the biggest fib he's ever told.

Why was Mess so much easier to record than WIXIW?
We agreed not to get too bogged down in details, and allow our work to flow more organically. This attitude was exemplified by the voice manipulation at the beginning of the album. That decision was immediate and instinctual. In the past we might have deliberated over it ad nauseam.

How did you create those vocals effects?
The process was actually kind of stupid. I found a trial version of a program people use to manipulate their voices in phone conversations. It's kind of a creepy tool. The trail version only lasted four hours, so I sat in the studio late at night talking to myself. The words that came out were unscripted and felt indicative of the manipulation. I was becoming the character I heard in my voice.

Speaking of manipulation and experimentation, what's the best thing about having someone like Aphex Twin or Radiohead's Thom Yorke rejig and remix Liars' songs?
It's exciting to relinquish control of the source material and allow it to be taken somewhere you'd not anticipated. Thom created a whole new way of thinking about our song "Proud Evolution." We toured with Radiohead, and I can't really say enough good things about Thom and the band. They are super down to earth and approachable.

You met your bandmate Julian Gross while studying photography at Cal Arts. How has that training impacted the decisions you make for Liars' album artwork?
I never saw myself as a photographer. I wanted to be a multi-media artist, utilizing performance, design, prose and everything in between. I even took dance classes! Now, in Liars, we not only write songs but also create imagery and videos, and use technology.

How did you choose your band name, and why is it a fitting moniker?
It represents the honesty of our work. Our rationale was that everyone lies at some point or another, and to outright admit to being liars might be the most truthful statement there is.

What's the biggest lie you've ever told?
During a job interview, when I was a teenager, I told the boss I had a lot of experience sailing boats. In reality, I had none. The first day he told me to take two ladies out sailing on the harbor. It wasn’t long before my lie was unearthed, because in less than ten minutes I ran the boat into some rocks and sank it.

Liars will perform at the Modern Sky Festival on August 30. Click here for more infomation.

Photos: Courtesy of Mute Records


Visit the original source and full text: the Beijinger Blog