Liars’ Angus Andrews talks about misguided angst and paranoia through the ages with Jay Babcock (Arthur, 2004)


Liars make it witchy (again). Jay Babcock finds out why.

Originally published in Arthur No. 9 (March 2004)

Liars boiled up in the midst of New York City’s earliest 21st century underground rock resurgence, when the same style-era of music — angular guitar-driven art-funk circa 1979 a la Gang of Four/Public Image Ltd./Pop Group, etc.– was simultaneously revived by several bands within miles of each other. The whys are tricky but they can also be a distraction from considering what really matters: How was the actual music? How were the performances? Did you witness something that moved you…moved you in the head, moved you in the heart, moved you in the shoulders and in the hips? In other words was this electroclash or was it something significant?

Whatever it was, Liars seem to have been the most defensive about observations that the music they and these other bands was slavishly derivative.

“That was brought up a lot, and we had not heard the Pop Group,” acknowledges Angus Andrews, on the phone one recent morning from his home in the New Jersey woods. “We went to England and someone gave us a CD of it and we listened to it and we got really depressed about it.

He laughs. Why was it depressing?

“It was all these ideas that we had that now we couldn’t do! I dunno. I listened to them once, then. Didn’t really get that much into it. Maybe it was just because…you start rejecting all these influences that people tell you that you have.”

And so, apparently resentful at being categorized, resentful at being lumped in with a herd of copycatters, resentful perhaps even towards the authority represented by the categorizing itself, Liars made a strategic redirection.

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