Formed in the fires of the pandemic is the post-punk (with a pinch of psychedelia) band Damn Good Liars, who recently dropped self-titled their debut EP. It’s a four-track taster of the band’s sweltering sound which is reminiscent of The Kills and Garbage.
With the lead single ‘Station Wagon Motel Chic’ making a splash on BBC Introducing we were eager to chat more about their project, its influences, and much more!
Kieran: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions! How have you been?
Steve: We’ve been well thank you; busy with the promotion of our EP, and looking forward to working on some new tracks soon.
Kieran: How did you all meet and at what point did you decide to start Damn Good Liars?
Steve: Ian and I (Steve) met back in 2001, and quickly found a common interest in music; Ian has been recording and producing bands since the 90s. So, my ‘aha’ moment revolved around an opportunity that I came across to receive some songwriting mentorship from Lindsey Troy, frontwoman of one of my all-time favourite bands Deap Vally. And together with Ian’s unending support and vast production knowledge, it dawned on me that this spark of ambition could transform into existence, in the form of a studio band.
The EP that you’re now hearing was the product of jamming sessions at Ian’s Pearce Farm Studios in 2019. It was then that Lindsey, on discussing three of our demos, suggested that we find a vocalist to bring my penned lyrics to life and move the project into band status; and so the search began.
A friend of Ellis spotted our Facebook ad and sent a text the same day suggesting she find us on Soundcloud and possibly apply. A remotely recorded audition later and we had our vocalist!
Kieran: Did you have an idea of what you wanted to sound like or was it something that developed naturally?
Steve: Thanks for the great question; I guess I had specific tones and textures in mind, but through the recording process a definite DGL sound emerged. Our bass and drums have a distinct signature that, coupled with Ellis’ layered vocals, really creates a unique soundscape.
Kieran: Are there any specific bands or people that influenced Damn Good Liars?
Steve: Firstly, without a doubt, I would credit Lindsey for the input she gave us on the demos in the early stages, and again during the mixing of the final EP tracks. Influences: I would say Daniel Ash – Bauhaus, Troy Van Leeuwen’s Sweethead work, The Kills, Garbage, mixed in with some Portishead and a hint of Nine Inch Nails.
Kieran: You recorded and released your self-titled debut EP during the pandemic, how was that experience?
Steve: A little challenging, but it gave us space to experiment. The tracks on the EP were recorded in three separate locations. Ellis recorded the vocals in Somerset, Ian and I recorded all the instruments in our own studios. Lots of large files sharing over slow internet connections, but we got there. In fact, we hadn’t met Ellis face-to-face until the EP was mastered and we went to shoot the video for Station Wagon Motel Chic.
Listen/watch Station Wagon Motel Chic’ here:
Kieran: What can we expect from a live show and do you have any in the pipeline?
Steve: DGL was initially just a studio project, but since the EP release we have had a lot of interest around playing live. It looks like our first live performance is going to be in late July. We just need to figure out how we create our sound in a live setting and load the studio onto a bus!!
Kieran: The pandemic has been tough for musicians across the world but how has it affected you personally?
Steve: It’s been tough for so many people out there, and we feel enormously, not only for the musicians but the crews, venue owners, the whole ecosystem that it takes to power the industry that we all so love.
Kieran: Do you feel there have been positives and negatives?
Steve: I suppose for us it gave us the time to truly craft our songs. There were no deadlines to meet or shows to gear up for. I am very slow in my song writing process, which I’m sure frustrates Ian and Ellis, so this time worked for me.
Kieran: Once restrictions are lifted and gigs return, who is the first band/artist you’re going to see?
Steve: Oh, I’ll have to check the ticket dates to see which is first but we’ve got Bauhaus, Garbage and Royal Blood lined up. I also hope to catch The Pearl Harts soon and Deap Vally, whenever they can next make it to Europe.
Kieran: Lastly, we like to end on a story, do you have anything funny or weird that has happened to you lately?
Steve: Hearing our single played on Alex West’s BBC Introducing show was a pretty surreal experience. And then doing our first radio interview was so much fun, thanks to Tim for that.