"It is all about the intensity between the two halves" - Delaire The Liar
Delaire the liar, a band that needs no introduction to people who like to keep an eye on the hottest prospects in the world of rock and alternative music, recently played a show at The Fighting Cocks Bar in Kingston-Upon-Thames. Using the opportunity, I sat down with the boys for a quick interview. We talked about their music, favourite venue and the challenge of trying to describe their band to someone new. Check it out below!
Kacper: So, first of all, I wanted to congratulate you on One Of Us Is The Killer, it’s an absolutely amazing record, 2000 Trees and Camden Rocks Festival. This must be quite exciting for you guys, right? Ffin: I’ve always wanted to play at 2000 Trees, I went there a couple of years ago and it was an unbelievably wholesome experience, there is just such a good vibe there, [it will be an absolute pleasure] to be a part of that family. It’s gonna be sick!
It must be really challenging being a two man band on stage. I love your attitude of ‘Fuck you if you don’t like that’, but do you still find it challenging at times, not having for example a bass guitar to back you up?
F:Yeah, there’s certainly no one to hide behind but its something that I think we really thrive on actually. The whole premise of the band is kind of like… [Looks into Joey’s eyes] Me and Joey have in incredibly intimate relationship…
[All burst into laughter]
F: That makes it sound more romantic than what it actually is, but it is all about the intensity between the two halves of this one ‘home’ and bringing someone else into that might be a little bit more relieving but also forces us to work harder and also as soon as you get comfortable, it starts to be a little bit boring, so we try to push ourselves and try to maintain that tension between two parts. It’s really good, it makes us want to be better at what we do.
Joey: Yeah, with just the two of us, we have to compensate for what’s not there which makes us better at what we do and expand our horizons and experiment a bit more to see how we can fill up that space.
You’ve played at multiple venues now. Which one was your favourite and why? Koko must be up there, right?
J: Oh yeah, Koko was absolutely mental, but aside from that one I loved the Borderline. I just loved that stage and the sound there. Every time I went to the Borderline, it’s been to see a really sick gig, so I ranked it quite highly personally, every experience I’ve had there has been really good. So playing there when we played with Wallflower was really good.
F: Yeah, Borderline and Sticky Mike’s were both absolutely amazing. Also, the release show for Not Punk Enough was in this basement venue, at the Constitution in Camden. That’s probably still one of my favourite shows we have played. Small, 60 cap room, packed out to the back, so hot, I pulled this guitar cabinet to the middle of the room and got my dad to come and catch me crowdsurfing.
J: That was crazy, and it was a very intimate show in every sense of the word, because it was small and It was packed, but also because we have just formed as a band, it was our inaugural release, so everyone there was a mate, or someone really close to the band so it was amazing playing for 50-60 people who knew us really well.
Not a lot of people have heard of you before Koko. I just wanted to ask, how did you get that show? Did you know someone from the band [Creeper]?
F: No, not really. We played a show at Southampton and our manager knew Will. J: So Will came down to the Southampton show F: Yeah, and he got sent our EP before it got released to see whether or not he liked it, and he was really into it and came to the show. Next thing we know our manager gets a text “Would your boys be up for opening for us?”.
The promo for One Of Us Is The Killer, the idea to send little cards to fans, with lyrics inside and three letters on the front, which spelled out the song title when put together, is very much in the style of Creeper. Did you get influenced by their break up at Koko and previous campaigns like the cryptic messages from The Stranger?
J: We were sat at a pub just talking about how we wanted to do the release. We all agreed we wanted to do something special, that would spark a bit of interest, its nice to engage the people, rather than just release the music, play some gigs. Remember the Christmas Cards as well? Stuff like that, it's just a nice thing to do really for the people who like your band.
F: We want to be more interactive with the people who are showing an active interest in the band because I don’t think its fair to like distance yourself from the people who enjoy your music.
So how did you guys meet in the first place? How did the idea for Delaire the Liar come about?
F: THE PUB!!!
J: That’s basically it. We have been working together for years, then we sort of diverged and I went to work at other places, and few years later Ffin popped up and was like ‘I WANNA START A BAND!’ [bangs fists on the table]
F: That is exactly how I said it as well! [Bangs fists on a table] ‘I WANNA START A BAND!’
I wanted to talk to you about your music as well, you said there is some exciting stuff happening… Can we expect an EP some time soon?
J: We’re still seeing how things go really, so we’re not sure yet. F: We write a lot. It’s just picking out the weeds. The writing process now is a lot more communal, between the two of us, whereas in the past I’d just bring something to the table and be like ‘There, it’s finished’. We re-wrote One of Us Is The Killer like 4 times, to get it to where it is now, to the point where we are actually happy with it, because that song was never supposed to be released, it was done in a really horrible time. It was basically a song which had to be written to make me feel better about a certain situation. The ideas are just brought to the table. It is kind of hard, not to be precious about your work because it is your baby, so it helps to dissect and rip it apart J: Dissect and rip apart your baby… [laughs] Its a baby, but you gotta dissect it, rip some bits out, put them back together… [both laugh]
Well that’s a very disturbing image to put in my head… F: And that is our writing process, it's a very weird, Frankenstein baby.
You said One Of Us Is The Killer was written to make yourself feel better. Can we also talk about Medicine? Whenever I listen to it, I just can’t help but to think it talks about mental health, especially depression and anxiety and especially when watching the video, the ropes tied around your body and you’re trying to escape from them. Its almost as if you’re describing a relationship which is the Medicine for your problems, but at the same time it’s dragging you down by making you feel like you need to live up to the expectation of your friends and not wanting to disappoint them. Is this the message you were trying to send across?
F: Its a tricky one, because it was written in a place where I was feeling really positive and reflective of how I have been toward what I want to be. It actually started in my parent’s garden, it was winter, a clear morning, I was just sat outside smoking and I was literally in my dressing gown, so when I say “Bare skin is my winter coat” and like seeing smoke… sticky… stack…
A smoke stack stood sticky beneath the window? F: Yeah, that was literally me just watching [my spirit] twist open and feeling quite positive, like I could move forward in what was quite a difficult time in my life. There are like underlying concerns that are, in my case, never put on me by anyone else other than myself. So I expect people to be disappointed in me if I fail, but I know that that is never to be true but it's a conversation I keep having with myself, that that is not how my friends think of me. So when I say ‘I’m not scared of my friends, just disappointing them’ and then ‘So I blame my stupid layers, leather-bound body but I'm warming in the centre’ that is me trying to realise that when you think that way about people, its a projection of your own kind of self deprecating tendencies, low self esteem that you are projecting on to other people and expect it to come back at you, but its coming from yourself and its unfair to put that on other people and you have to realise that the only person who can change the way that you interact with other people is only going to be yourself. So yeah, this song talks a lot about depression, anxiety and rejection, but it's supposed to be full of positivity and trying to accept yourself and having the power to change the way you feel.
How would you describe your band to someone who has never heard of you before?
F: [almost distraught] Thats’s fucking haaaard! Someone asked me to do that before and I couldn’t.
J: Think of a…. F: Shit Alexisonfire! Nickleback, but as a two-piece! (Fan): Nickleback but better! F: Nickleback, but worse! [starts laughing]
I’ve heard people use early day My Chemical Romance as well, would you agree with that?
J: Yes, absolutely. We also had attributed to us old At A Drive-In.
F: Yeah it kind of makes sense because a lot of what we write is not like… it’s like linear, so there is a lot of moving parts and repeated sections, it kind of gets a little weird sometimes J: The White Stripes meets Touche Amore F: Sad Stripes… Sad Screamy Stripes!
Check out the video for Delaire The Liar's newest single, "One Of Us Is The Killer" right here!