Interview: Liberty Lies

Liberty Lies are a band we keep bumping into at festivals – after interviewing them at Wildfire last year they appeared on the bill at FortFest a couple of weeks ago. The band are due to hit the road with Saliva, SOiL and Sons of Texas in November and have just released a new single – one the band reckon is their heaviest to date.

The band took time out from preparing for the run of gigs to answer a bunch of questions…

A little catch-up first – where are you guys from?

We’re from a small town called Wednesbury in the Black Country, West Midlands. Jeremy Clarkson once described it as the worst town in England, so we’re five classy guys!

And how long have you been playing as a band?

Liberty Lies formed in 2008, but the band as it is today started around 2013. There has very much been two different incarnations of this band, but the gradual change meant we kept going under the same name, rather than completely starting again.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

BEFORE we get sick? Haha. Man, we do get asked this a lot and we wish we had a cooler answer. It really is time we thought of one… It is simply a case of, we liked the way it sounded. We decided we liked Liberty something but it needed something else. Anyone who has our album will know we’re fans of alliteration haha.

We have got quite lucky though really, as it’s stood the test of time. In 2008, our favourite band was Velvet Revolver and we definitely wanted to set out in the vein at 16/17 years old. The alternatives were a LOT worse!

liberty-lies-are-you-listeningWhat are your influences?

We all listen to really different bands, compared to when we first begun writing music. We usually say our main three influences are Coheed & Cambria, Biffy Clyro and letlive. Lately in the practice room, we’ve been taking influence from the likes of Tool, Rage Against The Machine, Deftones, Queens of the Stone Age, Black Peaks. The latest Thrice record has really blown us away as well. We are also really into softer stuff like The 1975 and Fatherson, but if you ask our singer, he’d probably say Michael Bolton and a few musicals too.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

Nothing particularly that runs throughout our back catalogue. Our last EP ‘Fracture’ looked more into religion, or more specifically atheism. All of our songs mean something to us, there are some really personal moments, but we enjoy listeners taking their own meanings. We spend a lot of time on our lyrics and pride ourselves on getting the best words we can. We feel it adds an extra dimension to a song, if you can create that emotion within it.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

A lot! We’d like to think we have paid our dues to the unsigned circuit. If things do take off for us, there will be many people that can say they have seen us play to ten people in tiny venues up and down the UK. Since 2012 we have been playing anywhere we can, so we have clocked up some miles.

Our show meets somewhere between completely spontaneous and clinically rehearsed. We pride ourselves on our live show, I think we’d all say we are a better live band than on record.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

We aren’t ones for stage diving or trashing things up. One, we can’t afford it, two, the music is the most important thing to us. We’d have to say seeing letlive at Slam Dunk. The singer, Jason tossed his microphone so high on stage it got caught in the railing that held the whole thing together. Him and the stage manager pulled on this cord for like a whole song, but it just never came down. They’re by far the best band we have seen live, as a whole. It’s just like a different beast to their record.

The last time we spoke to you was at Wildfire 2015, though we saw you at this year’s Fort Fest as well. How was that new event?

It was good man, we really hope it takes off. Obviously, we were early on the Friday, so didn’t get the crowd we’d have liked but they have such a cool thing going on. And the line up was one of the best we’ve seen of a small festival. We’d definitely go back to do it again, if asked. Black Peaks absolutely smashed it though, by the way. They took it to another level that day.

You’re billing new single “Are You Listening?” as your heaviest song to date. Is this a deliberate change in direction or a little experiment?

We wouldn’t say it’s as deliberate as it is the result of our developing music tastes. We’ve moved on from the music we listened too as teenagers, and with some incredible bands releasing top quality albums in 2016, it rubs off and you can’t help but take influence from it. We’ve toiled with adding more screamed vocals to our sound for a while. We have done it for a while live, but we weren’t sure our fans would take to it. AYL came about really organically and we just played what we thought was right, rather than worrying about being commercial or fitting certain brackets. We never discuss what sound we are after, we just jam through some riffs, some of it sticks, other bits we try our best to forget we ever played! hahaha.

liberty-lies-soil-salive-sons-of-texas-2016So… you’re playing a couple of dates in November. Excited much?

We are indeed! 16 dates to be exact! We cannot wait, man. This is what being in a band is all about. We’ve been itching to be a part of something like this for a while, and we have come close a fair few times. We have been confirmed on a couple of tours, that never came to fruition. It has been a frustrating year in that sense, but we are going to make the most of this opportunity. We just hope people come down early to catch us open up the night up for the rest of the bands!

How did you manage to get on the line-up for this tour?

Our agent offered it to us. It seems like a lifetime ago now, and there are lots of little details that have to be sorted before you can announce it to people. Within ten minutes of the email hitting our inbox, we’d all rang round each other to agree that we would do it. This is going to be our longest ever tour!

Are you getting to play any towns you’ve not hit before?

Quite a few actually. As I said before, we have played all over but mainly aiming for cities. We’re based bang in the middle of England so we are lucky that in four hours, we can pretty much get anywhere. But obviously there are places that never crop up. Barnstaple is the one. Not going to lie, we had to google where that one was. We are excited to get back to places that we’ve not been able to visit in a while. Going back to Southampton for the first time since we supported Magnum in 2009 is going to be ace.

(Without using any bands on the November tour!) If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

Oh man, this is tough! We’d probably have to say Biffy Clyro to headline. Those dudes are playing huge stages now, and have still managed to keep their originality and complexity in their songs. We also really respect the fact they have worked their way up the circuit to where they are now.

To go on before us, we’d definitely take In Search of Sun! We toured with them a few years back and not only are they one of the best bands we have played with, but they’re awesome dudes. It’s one of those where they push us to be better every time we play with them. We really hope they do well!

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