Face-Melting Pranks From LA’s Indomitable Avant-Rock Band
Liars’ campaign of artistic abandonment rolls on with Yoonha Park’s video for new single “Pro Anti Anti.” The Los Angeles-based band have long been known for creating intense, audio-visual worlds for each album, and Park created sculptures of Liars twosome Angus Andrew and Aaron Hemphill, with the help of 3D-technology company Direct Dimensions, and Brooklyn-based design firm, New Project.
“Direct Dimensions do body scans for Marvel Comics films, and they had just scanned Robin Williams,” says the director, who was inspired by Discovery Channel “manufacturing porn” show, How It’s Made alongside memories of Sesame Street’s visit to a crayon factory.
Park’s mix of high-tech methods and willful destruction chimes perfectly with the band’s seventh record, Mess. “It’s the idea of not taking anything too seriously or at face value,” says Andrew. “Maybe what becomes interesting about technological possibilities is what happens if you mess it up. The same applies to the way we made music with computers for the record: we did exactly the opposite of what the manual told us to do, because that’s when the really interesting stuff happens.”
The theme of science and technological progress falling apart is key to Mess. Why so?
Angus Andrews: There are a whole bunch of professional people in the world who are great and valuable because they push these things forward in a way that’s by the book. I feel there is a responsibility on artists and musicians to take what is going on there and set in fire or throw it in the pool.
Talk us through the process of having your head scanned.
AA: Unfortunately our drummer Julian Gross injured his back and could not travel. The guys who were actually doing the technical side of it had worked with all sorts of other objects but they had never done a head before. There was a lot of umming and ah-ing about the detail. I have a bit of a scruffy beard, and they were worrying how that was going to work out.
What did you think when you saw your face melting?
AA: It’s the money shot. But I can’t deny that I would have loved to keep those mask replicas to have at home.
“Pro Anti Anti” is released June 30. Mess is available now on Mute.
An outrageous video can be seen at http://www.nowness.com/day/2014/6/23/3958/liars–pro-anti-anti