Mike & Nate Kinsella talk embracing new wave as LIES, future American Football plans & more
As American Football were gearing up to write their fourth album, the pandemic forced the band's writing sessions to go virtual, and it wasn't working for the band, whose unique style was born out of in-person collaboration, especially guitarist Steve Holmes and drummer and trumpet player Steve Lamos, the latter of whom left the band in 2021. But for Mike and his cousin Nate Kinsella, virtual collaboration was something they'd done even before the pandemic, and the pair had also begun experimenting with things like synthesizers and electronic drums and coming up with songs that existed outside of American Football's usual wheelhouse. So, they formed LIES, whose self-titled debut album is due this Friday (3/31) via Polyvinyl. It finds them leaning into influences like Depeche Mode, The Cure, Peter Gabriel, Robyn, and Majical Cloudz, influences that were mostly always there, but that Owen or American Football would've covered up with a noodly guitar riff or an odd time signature. With LIES, Mike and Nate embrace the new-wavey moves that their '80s heroes would've made, but even with a more synthetic exterior, LIES still sounds unmistakably like the work of Mike Kinsella. His singing and songwriting style remains unique, even when he's intentionally paying homage to another artist, and LIES is the kind of album that fits right in with the Kinsella canon.
LIES also have upcoming shows in April, including Brooklyn's Baby's All Right on April 28 (all dates below), and American Football have upcoming shows this year too--with Steve Lamos back in the band.
I caught up with Mike and Nate on the latest episode of the BrooklynVegan podcast, and they talked a lot about the LIES album, their plans to translate these songs live, what American Football and Owen are up to, and more. They also talked about the time they realized as kids at a family party that they'd both gotten into punk and alternative rock, discovering the chemistry the two of them had on the 2003 Joan of Arc tour, that time Nate fell asleep at an Owen show, that time Mike threw himself a roast for his 40th birthday party, and much more. Listen on Spotify, Apple, Google, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
We've also got an exclusive dark blue vinyl variant of the LIES album, limited to just 250 copies. Pre-order yours while they last. They look like this:
LIES -- 2023 Tour Dates
04/23 - Chicago, IL @ Sleeping Village
04/24 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe
04/28 - Brooklyn, NY @ Baby's All Right
04/29 - Philadelphia, PA @ Ukie Club
04/30 - Washington, DC @ DC9
American Football -- 2023 Tour Dates
JUL 1 SAT The Old Market Brighton, United Kingdom
JUL 2 SUN Finsbury Park London, United Kingdom with The 1975
JUL 5 WED Brudenell Social Club Leeds, United Kingdom
JUL 6 THU G2, The Garage Glasgow, United Kingdom
JUL 8 SAT 2000trees 2023 Cheltenham, United Kingdom
AUG 13 SUN Four Chord Music Festival Washington, PA, United States
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