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INTERVIEW: Jeremy Phillips On Liars Soundtrack
Christian Eede , August 16th, 2016 19:47

Director Jeremy Phillips makes his debut on film with soundtrack from Liars to be premiered at Pop-Kultur later this month

1/1 trailer from Jeremy Phillips on Vimeo.

This year's Pop-Kultur festival in Berlin sees Liars team up with director Jeremy Phillips for a special collaboration taking in their soundtrack work for Phillips' film directorial debut.

Liars have specially picked the festival as the premiere spot for the performance of their soundtrack for 1/1 having developed a connection with Berlin as a city back in 2004 when they recorded their third album, Drum's Not Dead, there. The movie's screening will be preceded by a talk involving both Liars and Phillips - it all takes place at Passage Kino on August 31, while Liars will perform the soundtrack a day later. You can find more details here.

Below, we had a quick catch-up with Jeremy Phillips to talk about the film and getting Liars involved in its soundtrack.

When did you first encounter the music of Liars? What about it spoke to you?

The first album of theirs I heard was Drum's Not Dead. People kept recommending it to me, so I bought it and was immediately hooked. I'd never heard anything quite like it. On subsequent listens, I became more and more engaged with how tense and contradictory the music was -- epic and intimate, emotional and cerebral, chaotic and highly structured.

They've made some of the best music videos of recent times, both as collaborations and with other directors. Do you have a favourite? Was that part of the appeal?

JP: Agreed about their music videos, but that wasn't really part of the appeal for me, I just love their music on its own. That said, my current favorite video of theirs is probably "I'm No Gold", in fact I was just showing it to someone today.

When you approached them what sort of brief did you give? Were you happy for them to be fairly freeform or was it quite a tight one?

JP: Since 1/1 uses so much mixed-media, my intention with the music was that it would bring all the disparate pieces together and give the audience an immediate connection to the main character.

Did you have much input with the band while they were doing the soundtrack?

JP: We first met when we were in the middle of editing and the general direction was that the score should be electronic. WIXIW had been a huge influence on the scriptwriting and storyboarding of the film. We actually have a few storyboard panels named after lyrics of theirs.

Angus and Aaron recorded the score in Denmark. I think they felt they'd be able to get into the proper somber mood there. Prior to their leaving, we had lots of discussions. They asked for a written description of what I wanted each of the music cues to sound like and said that these didn't need to be in musical terms but should be emotional/descriptive. I came back with some fairly inscrutable things like, "a 100 piece puzzle but you have 1000 pieces" and "submerged in water at 4am" that they somehow made sense out of.

Did it end up being quite different to what you'd expected?

JP: This is 100% honest - the way it was different was that it was even better than I expected. I know that sounds like a cliche and seems hyperbolic but it's true.

Have you had any discussions as to how it'll be played live?

JP: No, I can't wait to hear it!

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