Seriously, time is folding in on itself. One minute we’re flashing back to a decade ago, the next we’ll be in 2020, actually referencing 2020 and will have to start afresh. We’re almost there. For now, though, the fashion cycle appears to have reached the turn of the millennium, Hedi Slimane at the head of a back step into the dawn of the Age of Aquarius, circa Y2K, with Saint Laurent SS14. The off-the-shoulder sleeveless dress and resurgent skinny ties are pretty spot on but what of the silver trousers? Maybe that was the late 90s and I’m a bit behind. I did grow up in Australia, after all. So did Angus Andrew of Liars before relocating to New York and becoming a central figure in the warehouse art punk scene, along with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Rapture; that Gang of Four and Delta 5-inspired dance rock revival that reinvigorated Brooklyn before moving on to other things.
But, like Saint Laurent’s SUMMER 14 COLLECTION VIII, the past has caught up with Andrew, via telephone in LA where he now lives, Slimane asking him to contribute a track. There’s a catch though. It has to be ‘Mr Your on Fire Mr’, run for 20 minutes and can’t be electronic. So here is Andrew talking about the original two and a half minute guitar song of their first album release, They Threw Us All in A Trench And Stuck A Monument On Top, 12 years, six albums and a load of synthesisers after the fact. Because what do you do when Hedi Slimane asks you to soundtrack his runway in Paris? You say yes.
Dazed Digital: The clothes in that collection seem pretty turn of the millennium, so I guess it makes sense that Hedi Slimane would want something from that era?
Angus Andrew: Yeah that’s what he said to me. I was saying to him that I didn’t know how he was going to translate that into fashion but, for me, I just remember it being like a lot of neon [laughs], bright colours and stuff. And I was trying to pin point what we were thinking about musically at that time and I remember handclaps and cool rhythmic bass lines being a big deal. That’s where the jumping off point came out. I saw the clothes that he made for it and I didn’t see any neon, so I guess he didn’t take my opinion too seriously about the fashion side of things.
DD: Do you think you would do more of this kind of thing?
Angus Andrew: Yeah. Anything that’s a new and different way of working is always something that I’ll be interested in doing. Something that’s challenging in a way that’s different is always worth a shot. It’s so different doing this kind of work compared to just doing your own, where there’s no one there to really say, ‘well I don’t want any electronic music’. It’s a really jarring scenario to be faced with when you’re used to just making your own records. On one hand that can be rough to deal with but on the other hand, that kind of challenge and way of working is so new and interesting that I think we’re open to it.
DD: Are you at that point in your career where you start getting integrated?
Angus Andrew: [Laughs] I don’t know whether or not you’re right about us eventually becoming integrated. I love that idea. It’s kind of nice to be now in that position where we’re not integrated but this kind of work, depending on who it’s for and what it is, is worth having a look at.