In conversation: Liars and Deerhunter
Editor's note: you might want to make a brew for this read
Holding onto conversation with Bradford Cox isn’t easy. I found this out for the first time a while back, prior to Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel (review) being released back in Spring (interview). Part of the problem was that rather than tie his visionary moves with the same bow as his contemporaries, he has the tendency to jump on tangents from discussing his own output to talk up the records that are inspiring him. Water from a stone to some extent, but it’s equally part of the charm of the Deerhunter lynchpin. That evening he particularly spent the time serving out hyperbole about how hyped he was about hearing the Stereolab and Breeders records he’d managed to get his mitts on, his usual pining after Animal Collective and one particular other: Liars.
So, given Cox’s conversational ways it seemed obvious to rope Deerhunter and Liars together as they continue to tread similar paths, away from the bleak fields of avant-garde hardship towards stadium support slots to offer up what us leftfield chancers perceived as pursuing a pop sensibility. Those pop nuggets from the oikish nostalgic kicks of Liars (review) and the forthcoming bristling doo-wop of Deerhunter’s Microcastle seemingly fell on idle minds, as the Liars backbone of Angus Andrew,* Aaron Hemphill* and Julian Gross were grouped together with the Deerhunter and Atlas Sound don to talk shop, whether Cox’s decision to appear in the recent Converse ads or to Gross bemoaning the days of Audiogalaxy.
All culminating in Cox and Hemphill arguing about whether the Atlas Sound don was a preacher of the good word of the Lord or not, this is one mammoth read, but stick with it - you’ll learn a few lessons.
So, I’ve got you together just to get some conversation going over a few topics…
BC: I can tell you something that happened outside that’s quite interesting.
AA: Go for it…
BC: I want to explain it because you guys will probably be looking at it all night. This unicorn horn here in the middle of my head. This shit hotel we stayed at had this automatic door that was fucked and it wouldn’t automatically open. So I had to open it but as soon I tried it started up again and smacked me in the face and I thought I’d broken my nose because of the blood and then I woke up with this huge thing in the middle of my head. Have you guys had anything like that happen?
AH: Yeah, had lots of those sorts of injuries.
BC: _[addressing Andrew] You had to do a whole show sitting down didn’t you?
AA: That’s right. I had a back injury.
BC: We have similar bouts of bad luck.
AA: We do, we do. It’s true. I guess that’s the connection between the bands – bad luck.
BC: United by bad luck. Perseverance and youthful punk energy. Is there a napkin in here?
Start with a complimentary question, I guess. Speaking to Michael Rother at ATP recently, soon after I’d spoken to you, he was lavishing praise on you having watched your set…
BC: Michael Rother from Neu!? Fuck, man.
…and he was saying how there’s that Motorik beat that underpins a lot of Deerhunter’s material…
BC: Totally. It’s funny because I’d read this interview with him after he had seen Stereolab and he said – I can’t remember if it was negative or not – but he said that when he watched Stereolab he felt like he was watching himself. So I was kind of scared when he watched us because I knew he was there and someone came up to me right before the performance and said that Michael Rother’s in the audience and I was worried he might think we were aping his shit. But that’s awesome. I also saw [Hans-Joachim] Roedelius from Cluster – we shared a hotel room with him in Munich.
*What I was coming to was that also Colin Newman from Wire seems to eternally bang on about Liars at any opportunity. *
BC: That’s awesome. May I ask a question really quickly? Is* Colin Newman *gay?
*No idea. *
AH: He’s got a child and a wife.
*He’s the guy that gave birth. *
BC: Well, it’s actually a woman.
JG: Wasn’t that Arnold Schwarzenegger?
BC: Mr. Mom?
JG: No, _Mr. Mom was Michael Keaton.
BC: OK, which was the one with Schwarzenegger?
AA: The one with Danny De Vito? Twins.
BC: What’s the question?
JG: But there’s the one where Schwarzenegger’s is pregnant. Dr. Dad? _Muscle Dad?
BC: I thought you said muscle dyke.
AH: My Two Dads?
BC: Wasn’t their an Addams Family episode of My Two Dads called _My Two Deads?
JG: Bit of necrophilia?
BC: Why is it that everyone tries to sexualise everything, turn it dirty? Change the title to make it pornographic? What if it was just to make it more gothic?
_[looks of bewilderment from Liars] _
JG: Like The Simpsons?
BC: Yeah, and you could be ‘Diers’.
AH: What if it was titles to be more moral, more righteous? Because I think the only thing that is shocking today is morality and religious faith. Not sex.
BC: That’s true! Whenever I tell people that I’m a virgin they freak out, but if I were to say I fucked a 15-year-old boy at a show last night and there was blood everywhere, then people just think “Ahh man, great”. Whereas when I say I’m a 26-year-old virgin they just think it’s weird. Virginity is the last taboo.
*OK, taking a step back to the question, with Wire and Neu! both cited as important acts by elders: who’s the most stoked you’ve been to receive praise from? *
JG: Leo Sayer.
*I hadn’t heard about that. *
BC: Mine’s got to be when my dad said that he liked one song on my new album. He hated Deerhunter’s album but heard one song from the new album and said it was bearable.
Right. [addressing Liars] I remember speaking to you when the last record came out and the themes you were picking at, the youthfulness and teenage…
*Yes. And Bradford, you too have always focused on that slightly nostalgic child bliss. Why do you think you’ve both picked at those themes? *
AH: I can say for us – well, for me and what I give Liars – things don’t ever change – it’s not a new thing that drives songwriting – but perhaps is something that makes it easier to share with people given that some of previous thought processes – constant or not, whether the pagan or witchcraft themes, we felt it matched the music and was easier to talk to people with.
AA: I’ll tell you we felt young when we wrote the record and it felt fun, like when we were younger and thought about music in a much more simplistic way.
*Is it your midlife crisis? *
JG: _[laughs] Just got the career 9/11.
AA: No, it doesn’t feel like a midlife crisis.
JG: Sometimes I feel I’ve lost that whole excitement in some ways and when I was a child – not even a child, a teenager – and listening to a whole new category of music was so exciting and so new and somehow slipped away through time without even noticing – that Rage Against The Machine feeling, or Nirvana when you wanted to hate _‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ but you still sang along every time it came on the radio.
*Was it strange in revisiting a terrain with much more of a pop sensibility that people suddenly seemed to creep out and demand the material that initially saw you ostracised? *
AA: It’s been an interesting reaction to this one and a lot of the people who did react serve as encouragement to think that the more abstract stuff that we do is worthwhile.
BC: To me it’s funny to hear that, because I’ve just realised because if I didn’t know us all, y’know, and I was looking at Deerhunter and Liars it’d probably appear that we were always one step behind you guys because this album that we just did, you could pose exactly the same question to me – because Microcastle leaked…
AA: We don’t have that.
BC: You don’t have it? I’ll get it to you.
JG: We didn’t want to download it.
JG: _[stirring pot mix] It’s illegal.
BC: Anyway, it’s just funny because, in response to you last question about adolescence – it has a lot to do with the same sort of thing – the thing that I would criticise the most about Deerhunter and the last album, _Crytograms, is that to me it sounds almost narcissistic how much it dwells on adolescence and the whole ambient-droney-experimental side of things and creating soundscapes and things, it just got really tired and old.
AA: [somewhat sarcastically] Really old, I know!
BC: When I heard you’re new record months and months ago it’s just getting back to, well, rock. Just chords and…
BC: It’s just the kind of things people can remember. And I don’t know. It can be fun but us bands tour constantly. Like, how many times have I seen you this year? And with touring we’re constantly running into each other and though it may be exciting for the more experimental audience members and kids that want to trip, but for you as a performer to get on stage with a guitar and a mic that’s just echoing around having dragged the equipment, I just got lazy and sick of it.
*Do you think that writing more pop-focused material is as a result of your rise and getting to a stage where you feel a bit naked without a few belters? *
AA: Stadium rockers?
BC: I think one misconception for both of our bands – well, I can’t speak for you – but when a band writes a pop record everyone wants to question their motives and says they’re trying to sell out and that it’s their make-or-break album and them trying to break out the underground and it’s not really the case. You look at our record collections and probably for every weird Hermano record you’ll find a…
AA: Just to make a fucking pop record.
AH: Thing it is, and I am going to generalise here, is that when your new record comes out it’s time for everyone to put forward their initial reaction is similar to me, as it is the public’s, how their sense of hearing changes for an election in what is considered offensive or racy. It’s this whole rhetoric of weaving and out of context thing. So, granted we have the same… things sound very similar to us, these rock songs – they’re in our past body of work for both bands and you can hear the interest maybe manifest itself in a song, it’s suddenly taken completely out of context as this whole sort of puritan shock of “what? Did he say all fathers suck or just me?”. In our country we have Barack Obama and there’s a lot of reading into his statements as being “whoa!”, but what he’s really doing is talking to people in a way that’s maybe about how the world is amongst themselves, and him trusting that maybe this language is ready for this, for this language to trusted upon them. I’m not saying that everyone continues to listen to the records like that, but the initial reaction seems a frenzy of: “Oh my god! They’ve gone pop, that’s so beneath them.”
BC: It’s like the internet just has a longing to encapsulate everything in tag line, like the way people tag photos in Flickr or people tag music in – what is it? Last.fm – everyone wants to… Look, I’m jealous of bands like Kanye West or mainstream acts…
AA: Linkin Park?
BC: I don’t know about Linkin Park as much but like… Coldplay…
AH: The difference is that maybe both our bands exist in this accepted as a community of music and listeners, where it is expected to push the boundaries et cetera. So if you’re listening to what you consider experimental music, is that consistency? That Sun Ra Orchestra that can never play standards, are they really freaky if they’re doing the same freak-out forever? What does that mean? If we’re experimenting and we change isn’t that what an experiment is – a question put forth you don’t know the answer to.
BC: I think of it more in a context about the internet and that… I download music and it’s not a moral opinion of that, but it has affected the way that people listen to records. People will download five records a day and listen to them for five minutes of each record, skipping through the songs and slowly context goes down and down and where it fits into a discography and how it represents a change. It’s like when I first lived in the suburbs of Atlanta and was 18 or 19 and the internet first started to kick off, all the bands that I’d read about in books and magazine and never been able to hear because I could never find them in records shops, like DNA and no-wave bands, I’d never download a whole album, I would download seven random songs because you’d just search for the artist and I had no idea whether I was listening to early DNA or late DNA. We also live in a box where 90 per cent of the kids coming to the show will be indie, hipster, experimentally-minded and know pretty much everything about both our bands that probably go on message boards, know what I’m talking about? But then there’s this entire...
BC: Well, millions of regular kids who aren’t obsessed with weird, like, French acts.
AA: And it’d be nice to connect with them.
BC: It’d be great to connect with them!
AH: And then you’ve got Deerhunter heading out with Nine Inch Nails and we’re out with Radiohead and you meet these kids who are not self-considered experimental music fans, but then they also don’t put forth this front of this shock or horror at us “turning pop” because there isn’t this constant self-referential swamp. And I don’t think that people are genuinely shocked that Deerhunter’s new record might be poppy, but that it’s a firework expression. But it’s really amazing when we’ve got to speak to those kids because our reference points are so far from theirs.
BC: Have you guys been told something like: “You guys are completely like Incubus”.
AA: Yeah, totally! Primus… and one of the best ones was Rage Against The Machine.
BC: Oh yeah, awesome. That’s rad. And it’s funny to me because when we talking about touring earlier, I’ve gotten hate mail every day since the (Nine Inch Nails) tour dates were announced and Trent Reznor did this thing where he gave away this CD of all the bands that were supporting and get the audience pumped on the opening bands.
JG: That’s cool.
BC: And he’s like a super-sweet dude and has the best motives imaginable but some of his fans are really puritanical and intense and I’ve got so much hate mail asking, “How the fuck are you opening for Nine Inch Nails you scrawny faggot?”, and weird shit, and then, “By the way, can I get on the guest list? The show sold out in thirty seconds here.” It’s weird because when you see all those kids queuing for Radiohead or Nine Inch Nails, all the kids who are questioning why we write poppier songs even, when we play to these audiences it’s going to sound like these songs are from Mars.
AH: Yeah, and you sort of enjoy it, and I’m not at risk at generalising but I just think the kid in the black Primus t-shirt just isn’t an experimental music fan. Self-described ones have more tunelessness in their ear and have more attentive patience to hear things in your music that I think sometimes get lost when there’s too much context or reference and, again, I don’t think that half those people that say that Deerhunter’s record is too poppy actually think that, but it’s that whole system of testing the waters of opinion with their computer peer groups.
JG: I always get this feeling that maybe with these groups and these tag labels that maybe one person starts it and the three or four people follow it and then nobody is ever going to challenge it, everyone just piggy-backs it.
BC: And then if they do, because of the anonymity of it all, you look at some of these groups of music bloggers or music commentators on these sites and they want to be the first to download it, the leak, and then want to be the first to categorise it and contextualise it in their own way which has nothing to do with the band or the music itself – they just want to give it their own context and say: “This is a pop record – what the fuck?” And then if anyone challenges it, like some kid saying, “I’m not sure, I don’t think it’s so poppy, I think it’s still weird”, then the other kids will be like, “You don’t know anything about music”. I suppose it’s because of Last.fm. I saw that recently, somebody showed it to me, and it’s actually become this thing that if I want to know where I’m supposed to be on September 21st I’ll go on Last.fm…
BC: Because it has tour dates, the whole thing.
I’ve never signed up to those things because they seem like such an incredible intrusion where people’s viewing preferences aren’t allowed the chance to veer off course for fear of having something tagged to your name you don’t want…
BC: Oh, I don’t participate, but I watch – I’m interested.
AH: But that’s the interesting thing. What’s different is that, maybe because Bradford is here, and I sound old but I prefer things how they were when I was young. But it’s almost like that, maybe – when I’m generalising or speaking in these broad strokes about ‘indie kids’, it’s mainly out of fear that I don’t see where the personal connection with the record is any more.
BC: That’s it exactly.
AH: I can see the rush to have an opinion but I don’t see the personal experience that develops into being an individual opinion and I think it’s a rush to project, “Been there, processed it”…
BC: …shat it out.
AH: Here it is on this whole wide thing, but where’s the personal focus? And I think that disappointment is key in developing a connection with a band. But even that, where’s the personal disappointment if you don’t like a band? Do you listen to that record?
Video: Deerhunter, 'Strange Lights'
*Do you think that’s because people are swamped? *
BC: It’s a flooded market place.
JG: It’s because there’s so much music to listen to.
JG: Attention spans are quick.
BC: It’s fucking crazy. Going back, you’ll [pointing at Hemphill] say a long sentence but it’ll have like seven micro ideas that’ll blow my mind. And one of the things you just said is was that disappointment is key. Now, there’s not one record that I’d get on my knees and suck the dick of and worship that I did not hate the first time I heard it. Like all the records that you can probably imagine are my favourite records, all those records, Loveless, I hated the first time I heard it. If I had been a kid with a computer and downloaded it when it leaked, in 1991 and there was this technology then, or Jesus And Mary Chain’s Psychocandy…
JG: Do you think there’s a difference between kids talking on these blogs and doing all these things, and the magazines and the Pitchforks and the things like that doing the same thing, because they do it first…
BC: I think they feed off each other. I think the Pitchfork people and magazine people probably keep their pulse on what kids think and I think kids also… it’s like they feed off each other. But not to extent a dead point, but with the disappointment thing, like when you [addressing Hemphill] recommend records to me – and I take your recommendations seriously – and at first I was a bit _[disparagingly] “oh, cool”, but then six months later I’ll find myself listening to nothing but that record. And the first time it just went over my head and the only way you can have a personal relationship with a record is if…
AA: But that doesn’t happen any more so what can you do?
BC: I don’t know. But I can make more analogies about it [laughs]. For instance, how many people do you know who were instantly attracted to each other?
AA: That’s the whole thing.
BC: But they don’t stay together. But the couple that…
BC: And if you like someone as a kid you punch them.
AH: No, but the thing is, in other areas aside from music and, again, I’m going out on a limb here…
BC: I love it when you do that!
AH: …but my answer to this is that I think it would be a beautiful experiment to make it more difficult for people to hear music. There’s no initiation process. Like taking the love, attraction thing, I mean I’ve climbed out of windows and walked miles in the cold under curfew laws risking arrest to get a few moments of make-out time, and that was so worth it. But everything has now been condensed to this place where you skip that walk and to the bit where you are talking to your friends about what the kiss was like and you miss the whole thing. Even the scent, it’s like, “Well, you should have smelled my finger yesterday”. With music and listening to it and opinions and a personal disappointment or a true connection with what you think about music is that there is too much and there is now people who are so quick to share something but they’re not sure…
*People like kids sucking on something and spitting it out before they’ve even chewed on it? *
BC: Another thing, and this is me just processing what you just said again, just like I did before, but the way I process that and that is something I’ve been thinking about a lot on this tour, sat with some music on feeling jaded and pissed off. As I get older I feel I’m getting more conservative in a lot of ways. I’ve noticed how everybody is so afraid of being elitist. And people that have interpreted making music more difficult to access as being an elitist statement, but you’re absolutely right…
AH: I mean just to obtain…
BC: Obtain like the cassette, or the CD or the record. To actually have to make an effort. Or, just using another analogy, I remember a definite split in my life when I was like 18, when music went from this thing I had to physically acquire to becoming this thing that comes out of the ether of the computer screen; I had access to everyone’s discography, ever. I remember the specific time…
JG: It’s like when your parents talk about where they were when JFK was assassinated, I remember the first time someone showed me Napster.
BC: And what was it called?
BC: Yes! That was the fucking shit!
JG: And after Napster closed down it was the second best thing…
AH: [interjecting] You just said something right at the start of this. You said that we were similar bands. I think I have an understanding of why that could be, but what do you…
Picking up on something you were saying a minute ago, but you have looked at tangents and other means of getting people psyched about what you’re doing. Obviously with Bradford, your blog, it comes with a technological advance, but there are not that many artists that are quite so open and willing to share as you, and equally you guys have always been quite vocal with what you’re up to…
AA: Well, we did that video project.
*The recent Kenneth Anger stuff? *
AA: No, the videos we shot for with Drum’s Not Dead.
Well, this is something I was about to pick up on…
AH: But now, that’s the one thing, but you, as a music listener, do you see an…
AH: …or something you hear?
*I suppose it’s more that you both seem to digest similar ideas? *
AH: Do you think you can hear that in the music?
*Yes, certain qualities. I hadn’t seen it as a grand overarching theme that I feel connects you, but you do seem both avant-garde groups that have done well to attract such audiences. It could have quite easily not have gone so well for you both. *
BC: It’s weird because I think of us as a very small bands and it’s easy to think of it that way because having been on this European tour just now you’d sometimes be performing to just 40 people, do you know what I mean? I think that in London and New York people look at bands that are popular in those experimental scenes and are led to believe they’re doing better than they are. But then I think about bands like Sightings or Blood On The Wall, bands I love and think are kind of similar, and if they played in the Netherlands there might be even fewer people, so we’re doing really well with 40 people at our shows. It’s kind of weird how small our world is, though.
JG: People have amazing perceptions. We once had this guy yelling at us backstage because we had food and thought we earned millions of dollars, saying. “Look at all this food and you’re not going to eat it, you have so much money”. And I’m there turning pockets out and saying how I’ve got this $30 in my pocket and that’s all the money I have.
BC: People have really been railing against me in the last few weeks because I did that Converse ad [see below]…
AH: Did you?
BC: Have you seen it? Well, you’ve seen our blog and you read the comments and people think I suddenly ricocheted into being a total rich dick.
*Were you stood next to Ian Curtis with your legs spread, then? *
BC: Yeah. It was just like random. It’s just funny how these people have this weird assumption about success, and how it must be that a band that opens up for Radiohead or Nine Inch Nails is doing well. If anybody went to our apartments or homes they’d be slight put aback.
AH: We did some headline shows between the Radiohead dates to earn a little money, and I forget what it was but there was this kid or this guy that worked at the bar and I asked whether he could recommend somewhere to eat. So I go check it out and went somewhere else, came back and he asked how it was. I said it was a bit pricey, and he was like, “You’re opening for Radiohead dude, what’s up?” And I just thought: what does that mean?
JG: We wish it worked the way people think it works.
*There are those misconceptions where I suppose you have ten people talking about a record, and things get misconstrued. *
AH: Of all the things I could get concerned about, about the blog community, that’s the least. Misconceptions are one things but I think that’s maybe one way the element of mystery has survived despite the internet being so present.
JG: It’s still such a young age that whole world, it’s barely even started and everybody doesn’t know what to do with it.
BC: Imagine if pornography and music were… It’s weird how the conservatism… I don’t know where I’m going, I’m just going on a pornography tangent.
JG: But that’s not weird…
BC: But if a music blog was like saying, “check out this record”, but then, “take a look at the dick on this guy”…
JG: …watch Little Nemo, it’s a really great movie.
AH: If there were a band on this evening and that band had sex with each other on stage, and then the band afterwards came out and, with no irony involved, held hands and said a true prayer and believed it and was a completely religious band, which band do you think would produce genuine shock and fright?
BC: The sex band, but…
AH: No, no, no…
BC: There’d be more walk outs, but…
AH: I think that people are more scared of a person with complete faith in something and people that leads a quote-unquote ‘transgressive’ lifestyle.
BC: I don’t if it’s scared or bored. If people were doing honest religion praying it could just as easily be people just thinking: “Fuck this, I’m leaving”.
AH: People are scared of certainty.
JG: Like the Danielson Family, that kind of thing?
BC: Are they Christian?
JG: Oh yeah, all his songs are about God and going to Heaven and not cursing and saving sex for love.
BC: Then I’m a Christian! [addressing Hemphill] Are you scared of that? But I am a Christian.
AA: Madonna did that pretty well…
AH: But you knew that it was against… say Spiritualized lyrics: you know you’ve got this junkie and this whole comforting thought that he honestly can’t be an artist I like; you have complete faith in something that I disagree with.
BC: What about Johnny Cash?
AH: But see, again you have this whole other lifestyle too…
BC: But find me a hipster that’s going to…
JG: Look, God’s still down with the programme.
BC: Okay, Johnny Cash is a good example of, like, someone who was honest to God. I met Johnny Cash at a crusade when I was nine years old and he was a straight-out Christian. Nobody is going to question that, nobody is scared of that but he still has his transgressive badassness. But then he’s 100 per cent born again…
JG: But that’s the thing. He’s got that, the prison faith, it’s not the…
BC: The Prison Faith is an awesome title. We should start a band called Prison Faith. Angus?
AA: [through bleary eyes] I’ll write it down on my appendix. Yeah.
AH: I’m just saying that if you have that other thing to reflect upon, that they’re just completely in faith…
BC: You’re turning into a Christian aren’t you?
AH: No, because again I already… there’s those Spiritualized lyrics that sit with his lifestyle but if he didn’t have that and there was a band who had complete faith in God and there was no bullshit…
JG: …but was an indie rock band…
AH: …and there was no sign of faltering.
BC: But I know can name 13 bands like that who aren’t hokey, who are alternative rock bands. There’s a huge scene about it but you don’t know these bands…
AH: But if you brought these bands to different music fans they would have a more difficult time accepting them than if you admitted I did heroin as a teenager and had problems. Or I had sex…
BC: But a lot of Christian culture is based on that stuff. “Man, I was just so fucked up, I was in the gutter.” I think we just forget that we don’t know anything about the Christian alternative culture. There’s probably Christian rock bands that if you were told their name you’d be like, _“who?”
AH: Yeah, totally, but I mean this audience here tonight.
AA: Indie rock night…
BC: If we went out, which we should do…
AH: But they already know about you. If High Places went out and sat out there… but even people know them.
BC: But you think they’d be dismissed?
AH: No, not dismissed at all. I’m saying it would be more shocking and unnerving than them showing up naked.
[Andrew leaves room for some air]
Video: Liars, 'Houseclouds'
BC: Look, I’ve said things in interviews and this is my response, because I am religious, and I am kind of Christian which repulses a lot of people and I was brought up that way and love my family. Even though my dad’s a conservative republican Christian and is a supporter of people I find repugnant and stuff, I respect his views although I differ in a lot of them. I can’t disassociate myself from a Christian upbringing. Let me say this: in interviews, just as many times as I’ve spoken about all this stuff people associate with me, all this stuff that’s dirty and some homoerotic porno vision people have of me, as some creep. As many times as I’ve said something dirty I’ve also said, “Oh, this album is a gift of God”, and people glaze over it.
JG: [laughs] But you’re not preaching the word of God.
BC: Look, my fucking album, Atlas Sound, where do you think that title’s from? THE MOTHER FUCKING BIBLE, DOG. I go to church every single day.
AH: Look, look. I’m not saying whether that’s good or bad but putting forth an idea, I think that people today would be more intimidated by someone completely consumed in their belief and certainty that God exists rather than someone who is dabbling the dark arts and S&M, et cetera. And again I’m generalising our audience.
BC: So like the Carter Family versus The Velvet Underground?
AH: No, not versus anything. Our audience today would be more confounded by someone of spiritual devotion rather than transgressive...
BC: I think it would just be irony. No matter what. No matter how sincere you were.
AH: Perhaps you’re right.
BC: I think that if I went out there downstairs I could with all sincerity, I could – and I’ve done this before, in the heat if the moment led the audience in a prayer during a jam. People thought I was having them on but I was being completely serious. Even my mum was there and everyone was holding hands and it was a moment. There’s a bootleg of it, there’s a YouTube of it; go look it up. And it’s totally sincere.
AH: Are you preaching now? [begins hyena laugh]
BC: What the fuck is that laugh? I have never heard one like that.
AH: I’m just excited about this topic.
BC: I’m excited too. I’m flipping and foaming at the mouth.
JG: But if a band like High Places had a religious mantra, or someone that they might not know of, then you might not know so much…
BC: I didn’t say that.
JG: No, Aaron said it. It’s that people already knew from reviews about you before you started up about your prayer ceremonies…
BC: Fuck that man…
JG: But it was already out, what you were like, so they were only going to take it in an ironic fashion.
AH: You have the contrasting lifestyles so it falls upon the irony blanket, that’s all that I’m saying.
BC: But if nobody knew nobody would give a shit about a pray-ass motherfucker. If some bastard…
AA: [coming back into the room] OK, we’re not still on that? Are there any last things we want to talk about before we wrap this up?
BC: We’re really into religion and I don’t even know where it came from.
AA: I just can’t believe... Anything else? Tonight’s going to be great…
BC: Can you just say that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Saviour?
AA: I wish I could.
BC: I can put you in touch with my dad. He’s a deacon of church and he’s going to tell you something you can do to achieve eternal life.
AA: Do you think he could convince me?
BC: [standing up] You’re tall.
JG: Means he’s closer to God.
- Ed Harcourt, Liars, Ghosting Season, Eight and a Half, Luke Abbott's LPs of 2012
- Epic Win: 12 Days of DiSmas Giveaways!
- Drowned in Sound's Favourite Albums of 2012: 5-1
- DiS Staff: #1 Albums of 2012
- 50 Musicians To Follow On Instagram
- This Week's Singles 15.10.12: Anna Meredith, Susanne Sundfør, Liars, Hooded Fang
- Mixtape Monday: The AIM Independent Music Awards 2012 - 50-song Spotify Playlist
- September 2012: Editor's 10 Favourite Streams + Spotify playlist