- Angus Andrew - Vocals, Guitar
- Aaron Hemphill - Percussion, Guitar, Synth
- Julian Gross - Drums
Forming in the Los Angeles area, where co-founders Andrew and Hemphill met at the famed California Institute of the Arts, LIARS soon after decamped to Brooklyn, gaining notice after being lumped into the early august’ post-punk revival with their first album They Threw Us in a Trench and Stuck a Monument On Top (2001). LIARS then wilfully confounded that pigeonholing with classically difficult sophomore effort They Were Wrong, So We Drowned, a confrontational, noisy concept cycle dealing with German witch trials co-produced by the band with David Sitek (TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs). LIARS then decamped to Berlin to create 2006’s Drum’s Not Dead: another conceptual album about the poisonous power dynamic between two fictional protagonists Drum and Mount Heart Attack, it proved as acclaimed for its shapeshifting surrealism and brutal rhythms as They Were Wrong… was initially reviled, reaching #6 on Pitchfork’s Top 50 Albums of that year. Perversely, the band’s eponymous 2007 follow-up, mixed by Depeche Mode collaborator Gareth Jones, replaced the now-trademark heady themes with a gripping emphasis on stripped-down, primal rock and roll; Rolling Stone listed “Freak Out” from the album one of the 100 Best Songs of that year. Such admiration didn’t prepare for Liars’ next release, 2009’s Sisterworld – and the band’s masterpiece up to then, receiving an 8.1 “Best New Music” rating from Pitchfork.
Relocating back to L.A., LIARS holed up in a seedy, violent neighbourhood above a marijuana dispensary to create Sisterworld’s nuanced yet forbidding song cycle. Co-produced by the band with Tom Biller (Kanye West, Jon Brion, Beck), Sisterworld explored in depth how we create alternate dimensions inside ourselves to cope with the horror of everyday life. WIXIW builds on those themes, but in more oblique, pointed fashion. According to Andrew, where Sisterworld was about reacting to the outside world, WIXIW proves more personal, directed more towards an inner psychological dystopia in the wake of crumbling interpersonal relationships and illness, emotional and otherwise, that band members found themselves surrounded by.
“We never can just settle on formula – that would make me insane,” Andrew says. “We have to take risks and just fuck things up anew every time. It’s ingrained.”