interview :: the veils

From New Zealand, The Veils are washed inside many layers and textures of piano, string sections and guitars lingering.  The way lead singer Finn Andrews takes full control with his deep passionate screams and lyrics, creates their entire sound into romantic, lush, yearning intensity. Finn, the son of Barry Andrews (keyboardist of XTC),  became a musical prodigy as a young teen.  The Veils’ debut album “The Runaway Found” triggered an opening reflection of chaos and self discovery, and as the band matured another year, giving into their sophomore release “Nux Vomica”, their music became it’s own spiritual release, letting a sense of every single void fall away.  Now the Veils prepare to share their third studio masterpiece “Sun Gangs” this Tuesday April 7, as true anticipation awaits all over the world for the band to follow with a national tour.

L I S T E N The Letter [Sun Gangs, 2009]

Recently,  Finn Andrews kindly contributed to Music Is Art.
Please enjoy his music, words and personal mix below!


MIA: How old were you when you became drawn to the performing arts and music?

FINN ANDREWS: I’d say 13 or so. That’s when I started playing the guitar and listening to Van Morrison.

MIA: What did your parents listen to?

FINN ANDREWS: My mother has a massive record collection, everything from like, obscure Ethiopian Jazz to Sunn O))) to Townes Van Zandt. She was the one that made me understand, what it was I wanted to make.

MIA: Describe the feeling of living and making music in London opposed to New Zealand.

FINN ANDREWS: New Zealand musicians really club together in a way the English ones do not. London’s a very cut-throat place to be in a band, which is great in some ways, but everyone’s constantly stepping on each others toes. They have got that real scent for and only money.  I go back to New Zealand to write because I feel like I can get away from all that there, and just do what I need to without much concern for anything or anyone else.

MIA: Do you have a favorite way to relax when back home?

FINN ANDREWS: I’m starting an aquarium of rumble fish. I think it may be the beginning of a major obsession.

MIA: There is so much honest and intense emotion throughout your songwriting.  What is this musical process mentally like for you?

FINN ANDREWS: Well shucks, thanks very much. I don’t know how it affects me. Though if I couldn’t do it anymore, I really think there would be a serious risk of me embarking on some highly disorganized killing crazy rampage. I’m such a wanker and it’s an anchor,  I guess is my answer.

MIA: Regarding the upcoming release of the Veils’ album Sun Gangs, how long did the recording process take to complete and to finally believe that it was ready?

FINN ANDREWS: It took 3 years to write and 3 weeks to record. Sometimes it doesn’t feel entirely finished. It’s still kind of a stranger to me in a lot of ways. I’m incredibly proud of it though.

MIA: What qualities do you hope listeners may take from listening to your music?

FINN ANDREWS: I’d like our music to punch people square in the guts, give them a big messy kiss, but then shake hands with them at the end of it.

MIA: Do you enjoy to perform live? What has been the most impacting compliment, or criticism, that you have ever received?

FINN ANDREWS: I’m starting to realize that playing live is the single greatest pleasure you can have in your life.  I want to do it all the time forever and ever. Somebody once said, “the stage is the only place in the world where you can be the perfect idea of yourself” and that really stuck with me. There’s nothing more fun than that.

MIA: The writer Sylvia Plath is one of your influences, how does her work resonate with you?

FINN ANDREWS: Plath was what initially got me into music in a strange way. Her words are so rhythmic and, I don’t know, her words fucking hurt. I think that’s why the punks all liked her so much. Though Ryan Adams does too. If we’re still alive and here, I think ‘Ariel’ will be regarded as a holy book in a thousand years time.

MIA: Name some albums you’re currently listening to.

FINN ANDREWS: I’m really into Jonny Greenwood’s score for ‘There Will Be Blood’ at the moment, and some of Beck’s new record ‘The Modern Guilt’ is great fun too. I’m really hanging out for a new Low record at the moment though.

MIA: Do you have a favorite visual artist that inspires you?

FINN ANDREWS: Simon Schama got me really into Rothko recently. He’d always been someone I never really understood before as there are too many reproductions in hotel lobbies.  However, I really like how he insisted on the lights being dimmed in galleries where his paintings are shown. You can just sit with them for hours, its like staring out into a big deathly sea.

MIA: Please share a mixtape with a theme of your choice.

FINN ANDREWS: My theme is ‘Songs For Getting Out Of Dodge’.

Open Spaces by Jonny Greenwood
Where I Lead Me by Townes Van Zandt
Ghost Rider by Suicide
Gun Street Girl by Tom Waits
North By North by The Bats

4 Responses

  1. Marilyn Roxie

    Lovely interview- this also reminds me that I must check out the new Veils album! It is always wonderful to hear the band Suicide cited as an influence also.