RSS feed RSS Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook 15 Questions 15 Questions

15 Questions to Andrew Liles

img  Tobias

Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Me? I'm okay - and I am... under the stairs

What’s on your schedule right now?

Insanely busy, planned over the next few months and years are possible recordings with the following people - Nurse With Wound, Andrew McKenzie and Colin Potter. Recordings already completed and coming out in October include the new 'The Wardrobe' album (a project between myself and Tony Wakeford), a double   vinyl release on Die Stadt with Jonathan Coleclough and further down the line a  remix for Paul Bradley. On top of all that coming out on Raash Records in March  2007 is 'Ourada' which is a solo release with a dozen guests. Also more live shows   with Nurse With Wound. Then throughout 2007 I have the improbable and all consuming 'Vortex Vault', a series of 12 CDs released every month for Beta-lactam Ring Records. Then maybe I should retire.

What or who was your biggest influence as an artist? Do you see yourself as part of a certain tradition or as part of a movement?
Influences are far and wide but currently my main influence is my personal experiences, both present and historical. I don’t see myself as part of any movement. My music is what it is and I don’t feel the need to be attached to any scene or club. I am bracketed and placed where reviewers and music people put  me, its not something I have much of a control of.

What’s your view on the music scene at present? Is there a crisis?
I‘m sorry to say I don‘t really get involved with any music scenes. The crisis I think you are referring to is downloading music, its only a problem in the fact that people  don‘t earn as much as they used to, but its good thing for people who want free music. I think 'real' music collectors will always want an artefact not a cold machine with a load of files that you will never listen to. Music is in a state of flux it is a changing landscape we will see what evolves. I think recordings in 5.1 with visuals is the way forward, people want more than just music these days in connection with music?

What does the term „new“ mean to you in connection with music?
New would mean something that totally blew me away, something I have never   heard before, something engaging, unique and special, I’m still looking for it.

How do you see the relationship between sound and composition?
They are one and the same. Ideas are sometimes more important than the music, a  sentiment can go a lot further than any musicianship.

How strictly do you separate improvising and composing?
They are, again one and the same. All music is improvisation. Even composing for a   regimented instrument like the piano initially starts with messing around and seeing what sounds good.

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?

Good live performance? In short something that entertains, I like showmanship. I love rock concerts, flash bombs, pyrotechnics, strobe lights, I’m quite base like  that. My approach to live music? um tentative... I am working on ideas to make it more of a multi-media experience - but it will take time. I think that to watch a not entirely attractive balding man twiddle knobs can be a bit dull so I like to use visuals

A lot of people feel that some of the radical experiments of modern compositions can no longer be qualified as “music”. Would you draw a border – and if so, where?
If you like it I really don’t think it matters. I think a lot of modern composition is just unlistenable nonsense, as regards to if it’s music or not I don’t really think I am  qualified to say. Again it is what it is, if people like it who am I to judge.

Are “serious” and “popular” really two different types of music or just empty words without a meaning?
‘Serious’ denotes complex ideas and the ‘difficult’ with a limited market, 'popular' denotes mass appeal and transitory, both have really good practioners, equally both have really terrible qualities. I like both.

Do you feel an artist has a certain duty towards anyone but himself? Or to put it differently: Should art have a political/social or any other aspect apart from a personal sensation?

For me personally it is a purely personal pursuit. There are politics in there but too personal and abstract for people to decipher. I don’t want to change the world, I’m not looking for a new England…ho ho ho.

True or false: People need to be educated about  music, before they can really appreciate it.
Rubbish, anyone can enjoy any music regardless of their knowledge. Generally people with no preconceived ideas about how things should or shouldn’t sound    make the best critics and the best musicians.

Imagine a situation in which there’d be no such thing as copyright and everybody were free to use musical material as a basis for their own compositions – would that be an improvement to the current situation?
No, it lacks imagination. Create your own music, why repeat what exists already. Anyway I don’t think we are far from that now. It is the end already.

You are given the position of artistic director of a festival. What would be on your program?

Tricky, I really don’t know, but my festival would certainly be impossible as the people I would like are all dead Raymond Scott, Blind Willie Johnson and Ivor  Cutler. If it was a 3 day event I would have a heavy metal night, a big band night and a night of abstract and innovative music and it would also have to have a comedy tent.

Many artists dream of a “magnum opus”. Do you have a vision of what yours would sound like?
It always sounds like the latest thing I am working on, I guess its unachievable. The  new album is always going to be the best its what keeps you going - you want to achieve bigger and better every time and it getting hard. Some things get better with age some sound terrible, at the end of the day I guess someone out there will tell you what it is as and when I get there!

Robot (1998)
My Pink Derriere (1998)
Birthday (1998)
The Mob Rules (1999)
The Hennaed Hand of Glory (2000)
Aviatophobia (2000)
Viva! Raudive! (2000)
I curse all those who ever wronged us (2000)
The Bulbs of the Vestibule (2000)
Prelude to an Un-World (2001) Infraction Records
Love Song (2001)
Miscellany (2002)
Interpolations (2003)
All Closed Doors (2003) Infraction Records
Aural Anagram (2003) Microphonies
Anal Aura Gram (2003)
My long accumulating Discontent (2004) Nextera
New York Doll (2004) Infraction Records
Drone Works #7 (2005) Twenty Hertz
Mother Gooses Melody (2005) ICR/Klanggalerie
Somnambulance to Dream General (2006) Pipkin
In my Father's House are many Mansions (2006) Fourth Dimension
The Dying Submariner (2006) Beta Lactam Ring

Andrew Liles
Andrew Liles at MySpace
Andrew Liles presents his Vortex Vault Project on MySpace

Related articles

Andrew Liles: Fovea Hex EP collaboration confirmed
After a lot of speculation, ...
Andrew Liles: CDs stolen/Nurse with Wound/Fovea Hex
Andrew Liles has unveiled the ...
15 Questions to Frank Rowenta
There are several signs that ...
Interview with Richard Lainhart 2
Richard has never really been ...
15 Questions to Barry Schrader
"I don't think "new" is ...
Interview with Jay Weigel
To New Orleans, a city ...
15 Questions to Aaron Cassidy
Wolfgang Schurig, who curates the ...
15 Questions to Rob Papen
Even if you don't know ...
15 Questions to Betty Ween
To invite Betty Ween to ...
15 Questions to Graham Bowers
He's not a clasically trained ...
Interview with Diamanda Galas
For some odd reason, the ...
15 Questions to Harald Grosskopf
How can be you a ...
15 Questions to Jeff Kaiser
Jeff Kaiser certainly likes to ...

Partner sites