INTERVIEW WITH LIAM FINN
ESTHER ESTEBAN, MADRID This is a funny interview with the songwriter Liam Finn. The Nihilist is the new album of the artist, a diferent album with twelve very special songs. Dont forget this album and discover the fantastic world of Liam Finn.
1_How born “The Nihilist”?.
After spending a year touring my last record “FOMO” my band and I decided to set up camp in Brooklyn rather than return to New Zealand. I have always loved NY and since I was kid dreamed I would live there someday. We found an apartment and I started searching for a good so space to start writing and recording.
By some amazing stroke of luck I met these great guys who had just built and opened a studio in a cool building right by the East River looking over at Manhattan. I moved into a big lofty room they had no use for, with huge windows and all the freedom in the world to make as much noise as I wanted. I quickly starting writing and recording what would become the Nihilist, while gazing out over the river. Imagining Manhattan was my subconscious where every fear, fantasy or possible life was playing out.
2_The greatest pleasure and challenge of recording this album?.
The greatest pleasure of making the record was partly the space I was recording in and the constant inspiration and wonder it provided. But also getting to take these personal and solitary demos and work them up with my band. Taking them to new heights with people who hear sounds and songs differently to how I hear them and then getting to track them as a live band… giving them a human and unpredictable element. The greatest challenge then was to take those well recorded band performances and carve them back into the other-worldly sounding pieces of music I heard inside my head. That took many nights on my own in my room experimenting with the sound and processing of these organic performances.
I think Burn Up the Road is one of the ones that feels most intimate and vital to the record for me. It was written from a riff I have had for years but only came to life once I worked on it here in NY. It is super fast and raw and manic. When I recorded it I was definitely in a state of mania and I feel like the song really portrays that… lyrically it’s pretty representational of life in NY, finding new outlooks on life and trying to keep up with the pace of the city and it’s inhabitants.
4_Is nihilist Liam Finn? Who is Liam Finn?.
At first I didn’t think The Nihilist was me. Most people think Nihilisism is to not believe in anything and to be amoral. I definitely do believe in something… and have quite a conscience. The more I researched and got into the different facets of Nihilism the more I realized how relevant it is to today’s world. Now for me it represents more of a rejection of this reality that has been presented by society. It’s hard to know what to believe in anymore. I’d say most of us can agree that between the media, government and religion we are not being told the truth, everything is biased or manipulated for a cause that does not benefit the majority of the world. Even the internet which we once thought might be our key to free and unbiased information is a farce of other peoples projected realities. We have to walk away from it all and decide to make our own reality. That’s Nihilism.
I’m Too Sexy – Right Said Fred.
6_The best reminder in your musical career?.
A few years back I made a record in NZ with some of best friends but also two of my favorite songwriters Connan Mockasin and Lawrence Arabia. Along with my touring companion Eliza-Jane and Connan’s old drummer Seamus. We spent a month in NZ jamming and recording what would become BARB. It was a great collaborative experience but was even better when we hit the road afterwards and did some my favorite shows of all time around in NZ. Especially the finale in Auckland which was probably one of the most euphoric shows of my life.
7_The reason for this title for your album?.
The world has become a farce… My record was written with the idea that I could inhabit different lives and versions of myself through believing they perhaps exist in my sub-conscious therefore fooling myself into writing songs that would maybe be too personal to feel comfortable sharing under normal circumstances.
8_How has changed Liam Finn since I’ll Be Lightning?.
I have grey hairs in my beard. I get more injured flinging myself around on stage and now I really enjoy oysters.
9_What is your ideal plan for a perfect day?
Eating good food, lying around in the sun laughing with dear friends.
10_What dreams and challenges have for this 2014?
I have done a lot of touring for this record this year… we have just finished. I am excited to start writing new music again… I want to make a record written mostly on piano, so that will be a challenge. In December I’m going back to NZ to spend a Southern Hemisphere Christmas with my family and friends which I am really excited about.
I haven’t watched any films in ages as we have been existing in a van. We have however been listening to podcasts. There’s a new This American Life series called “Serial” that is amazing. Feels like watching a movie.
Freedom ’90 – George Michael
Chromic City – Jonathan Lethem