Some people will tell you that timing is everything. Amongst Liars vocalist Ian George isn’t one of them. Having formed in November 2019, just months before lockdown, the Brighton quartet managed to play just one gig – a packed show at Camden Rocks Festival – before everything shut down.
“It wasn’t the best time to form a band,” the singer admits with a self-deprecating laugh. “But we’ve got this ethic, we just want to write and work.”
Amongst Liars have powered through. With gigs off the table, they focused on building their fan base, releasing a steady stream of singles and honing their full-throttle, turbo-charged rock.
“The modern bands doing something we want to tap into are Royal Blood, Bring Me The Horizon, Architects – bands who have got that modern, heavier sound,” says George. “When we were writing the album, the big thing for us was defining what we want to sound like and who we want to be.”
That self-titled debut album is very much an opening statement. It’s riddled with gale-force stompers destined to unite crowds of raised fists, but it also introduces a band who want to be known for having something to say; they tackle environmental fears (All Over Now), fake news (Burn The Vision) and, on single Cut It, the concerning rise in domestic violence taking place during the pandemic. “We want to discuss the modern world and what’s going on around us, but put a positive spin on it,” says George. “It’s not all just: ‘Fuck the Tories’.”
That said, the swaggering Black Days burns with anti-Conservatism fury.
“I work with a lot of disabled people in my day job, and I’ve known two people who have died as a result of their policies,” George continues. “One guy I worked with was cleared of cancer, and they stopped his benefits the day after he was cured. He went into a depression because he couldn’t work, his brain tumour came back, and he died three months later. Someone else I knew took their own life. She had cerebral palsy and there were problems getting her funding and grants through. Look what they’ve done to the country.”
Amongst Liars are now taking that energy and anger on the road. In November 2021 their debut tour coincided with Storm Arwen’s deadly rampage across the UK. “We came through Birmingham with roofs ripped off houses, then driving across the Pennines between Sheffield to Manchester was snow-laden. We were thinking: ‘Are these gigs even going to happen?’ But people still came out.”
Now, with slots supporting Canada’s Theory Of A Deadman and a headline UK tour in the bag, things are finally ramping up.
“We’ve written fifteen songs for the next album,” says George. “I want to blitz it. We have a lot of time to make up for!”