This was the image I had of Liars: pretentious, self-important, cocky. Their music itself wasn’t responsible for this prejudice. Though it isn’t the type of music that I repeatedly return to without ever getting bored, it nevertheless seems to be rather demanding, radical and adventurous, deserving of a certain respect. The negative impression came, instead, from a few of their concerts that I’d seen. The kind of concerts Vincent Moon was crazy about, but that bored me. Noisy, pounding, wrapped in a disdainful attitude, aggressively hip…the worst artistic mannerisms.
Maybe I was too quick to judge. The three guys waited for us in the hallways of their record label’s offices. They had come from doing interviews, and they greeted us with big smiles. They liked the idea of messing around in the offices; they joked around, and explained to Vincent Moon that they had used one of his old videos in the Japanese press of their album. They were armed with their hands and an unplugged electric guitar, and we followed them into an elevator.
Yep, an elevator. But it was small, and Liars’ percussive force resounded impressively, we thought. And the metal walls matched Angus’ chrome glasses so well.
Their performance was fast and striking. I was crouched there, in charge of changing floors. Behind me, the muffled guitar strings twanged, and all around was banging, banging, banging, like a deep and expressive trance. I understood for a brief instant exactly what it is that grabs their fans during their furious concerts.
But Liars are, above all, pretty ridiculous. Their second song was a huge “fuck it”. A basement, a door, a poorly-prepared track from the last album, and a moment that works less because of its musicality and more because of the childlike pleasure that they got from playing it. “The Liars/ A childlike pleasure”. I never imagined that I would make that association.
Translated by Caitlin Caven