Interview: The Veils
Exposed caught up with Finn Andrews from The Veils to chat about forthcoming album Total Depravity, how he got into music and how the scene in London compares to his home in New Zealand…
Hi Finn, what are you up to at the moment?
I’m currently in Greece, hanging out for a bit before we start rehearsing for the tour. It’s bloody lovely.
Lucky for some! The forthcoming album Total Depravity is out in August, can you pick your favourite three tracks from it?
I guess I could, though it does change a lot. Iodine & Iron is very special to us; it was a one take beast which is always endearing. Both ‘Here Come the Dead’ and ‘House of Spirits’ deserve shout outs too.
In general, how was the writing and recording process for the album?
In general it was a perilous cluster-fuck with seemingly no end, though there were rare moments of calm and enjoyment within it. It was recorded in 4 different cities over the course of 2 years, so there was a lot of flying around nervously carrying hard drives.
‘’Axolotl’’ sounds like a slight departure from your usual sound, can you talk us through the track and where the idea came from?
Yeah that was the first song I recorded with El-P, it was just an experiment really to see what it would sound like if you splodged our two brains together. It’s sung from the perspective of an evangelical preacher evolving into an endangered Mexican Salamander. What’s not to love!
That sounds a bit mad! You’ve spent time in England and in New Zealand, but how does the music industry compare? I’ve spoken to bands from New Zealand who say there is a lot more camaraderie there…
Oh for sure, London is constantly in flux. You make friends with a band and they’ll generally only last there a year before they go live somewhere for less money with better weather. New Zealand is very different, there’s some amazing artists there that have started to also do really well overseas likes Connan Mockasin and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. It’s really great to see and long may they reign!
I’m aware that your father was a musician, but your mother’s record collection was kind of your education – which record was your lightbulb moment?
It was Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs for me. I grew up watching a lot of films with little interest in music, then when I was 12 or so I heard that record just as I was also getting into folk music, and I guess I realised music told stories too and I really fell in love with it. It’s so vast and infinitely generous; you’ll always find something new in it.
Do you enjoy touring? Or is it a bit of a ball-ache…
Honestly I would tour forever if you’d let me. I have no hobbies or other interests. This is the life for me.
Your vocals are incredibly rich and the emotion really does come through, but who are your musical influences?
I guess it’s the obvious ones really. Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Dylan, Nina Simone. They’re still the pillars I judge everything else by.
You worked with producer Adam Greenspan again on this record, is familiarity in a producer important whilst in the studio?
It’s not so much about familiarity, more just about knowing who exactly who you’re going to bed with. The life of a producer can be a fairly insecure one, so some are just fucking unbearable to work with because they just want to just mess with everything and leave their mark. I think it’s important to find people you trust and stick with them.
In a review, the Guardian almost sexualised your music by saying the band have a seductive power, but how would you describe The Veils and what your average fan gets from your tunes?
Oh man – I dunno, I only work here! I have absolutely no idea how we come across to people, it’s really beyond me to figure that out. I think it works better if you just stay on your side and get on with it. That’s where the power is. That’s where things get really interesting.
Total Depravity is out on the 26th August via Nettwerk Records.