THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY MUSIC NEWS IN JUNE 2010.
Formed from the ashes of previous cult acts The Argonauts and The Bon Vivants, the band started life as Liz And The Ligers before shortening their name and starting afresh with the release of their debut ep, What To Lose, early last year.
Featuring a carefree fusion of psychedelia, rockabilly, pop and folk, it was a glorious start, marking Ligers out as one to watch. Imagine Nerina Pallot infiltrating Fleet Foxes in the Summer Of Love and you’re not too far off the mark, and the band have been working on expanding their eclectic roster ever since.
Now the band have released their debut single proper – the double A-side Break You//Goodbye – completely free via Soundcloud.
Information on the band is currently thin on the ground, but with their reputation rising, and a few summer festivals on the horizon, Music News caught up with band members Liz, Daniel and Jono to discuss their past, present and future.
Music News: Hi Ligers, welcome to Music News. The first thing that hit me when I heard your work is how summery and laid back it all feels. Is this the sort of vibe you’re aiming for?
Liz: Yes, I think it is definitely the vibe we are going for and enjoy. We want people to be able to have a dance and sing along to our songs! I think we have always enjoyed bands that capture that surf guitar sound well. We actually went to watch The Zombies recently who were amazing! Also living in London, it’s pretty dreary most of the time and it’s nice to play music that gets us excited about the summer!
MN: Information about Ligers is fairly thin on the ground. What can you tell us about yourselves for those who have yet to discover your charms?
Liz: Well, we used to be called Liz and The Ligers, and have been going for a couple of years now. Mostly, we’re based in North London. We have all played together in various other music projects in the past such as The Argonauts and The Bon Vivants, so I think that makes it easier to write and work together… it’s also ace being in a band with your best mates!
MN: If I’m not going insane, there’s hints of 60s psychadelica, folk and even rockabilly in your work. Are you keen to avoid categorisation?
Daniel: It’s not really something that we’re conscious of, but we’re all into different genres. From a guitar perspective, I try not to get in the way of Liz’s vocals too much so I guess that’s where the clean rockabilly sound comes from on something like What To Lose
MN: What’s your songwriting process like? Is it hugely collaborative or does the main writer safeguard the core ideas?
Liz: Normally one of us comes up with the initial song melody and idea, then we try to work on lyrics together and then work out the structure full band in rehearsal!
MN: Your first EP came out almost eighteen months ago. Does it feel so long?
Jono: 18 MONTHS? YES, it feels long! I remember keeping my flatmate up mixing it at home to try and get it out on time. It was a brilliant experience for Liz and me at the time as it was our first go at producing something ourselves for release.
MN: How has your sound developed since then?
Jono: At the time of the first EP, we had a very definite idea about the how we should sound. It was all a sort of folk and country pop vibe, but we soon realised that that trend was on the decline and we were dying to try other things out anyway! We’ve had a transnational period since then and a few line-up changes due to real life and the shit that goes with it. During this period we’ve become more eclectic and experimental, and although we’ve kept the best of the old tunes, we’re now playing more thoughtful and ‘out-there’ songs.
MN: Your reputation has been steadily growing thanks to word of mouth and a cult following. Would you rather this be the case, or gain overnight success?
Daniel: Depends on what you define as success really. We’re just plugging away doing what we do and trying to develop something interesting, and if people are starting to tune into that, then great.
MN: You’re playing a number of festivals in the summer. Does the festival circuit appeal, or is it a neccessary evil?
Liz: Nah we love festivals!! Best bit about being a musician is playing them!
MN: Where next for Ligers?
Jono: More of everything. We’ve cracked our working routine now so expect more releases and off-the-cuff recordings. We want to play more exciting and different venues that offer more than a shitty PA and £5 for a shit pint in a fucking plastic cup fighting for sticky floor space! We want everyone to be comfortable and enjoy the musical journey like we do. Speaking of places, we want to do loads more filming in weird and wonderful places, capturing the vibe of different people we meet and places we visit. We’ve not done a full-on tour yet either, so that’s on the cards!
MN: Finally, can you tell us a random fact about each band member you’ve never revealed in an interview before, however trivial?
Liz: Jono’s signature sound incorporates a kitchen scourer.
Daniel: Liz has been on Blue Peter 3 times and fainted once on their set!
Jono: Daniel still wears a coat he bought for £1 about 10 years ago.
Liz: Steve is Canadian and his real name is William or “Big Bill” as we like to call him!
MN: Ligers, thank you very much!
Liger’s new single is available now for free via Soundcloud. Their debut EP, What To Lose, is available via iTunes, Spotify and Bandcamp.
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