If the fact that Ffin Colley’s guitar has been “held together by duct tape” throughout Vukovi’s headline tour is not enough to convince you to take serious interest in the up-and-coming punk-infused band that is Delaire the Liar, Ffin's emotive stance on the art of music will do the trick. Talking new singles, artistic influences, and visions, he talks Roxann Yus through Delaire the Liar’s “common theme of duality” and captivating storytelling.
Reflecting that musical influences stem from “art in the community” as much as musical genres and instrumentals, Ffin says he is a “big fan of reading”. With Audrey Lorde, Maggie Nelson, and E. E. Cummings topping the list of his favourite writers, Ffin also reveals the influence that music and literature have on each other and their combined influence on the band’s work. He explains that he discovered a great fondness for his favourite poet E. E Cummings through the work of hardcore band, La Dispute, whose 2018 album Somewhere At The Bottom Of The River Between Vega And Altair begins with the song Such Small Hands and ends with Nobody, Not Even the Rain which are lines from E. E Cumming’s work that act as “bookends of the album in reverse”.
"Delaire the Liar’s name comes from ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’, that greatly influenced Ffin throughout his childhood as an “honest, hard to read, not condescending, and interesting” series"
It is exactly this “linear style” of writing that Ffin also admires in the band Pianos Become the Teeth. The use of “vivid imagery” to tell stories through music is a traditional leverage for them in directing and envisioning Delaire the Liar. With this mind, I naturally had to investigate the origins of the band’s name. Ffin chuckles and assures me that it, too, is a literary reference. Delaire the Liar’s name comes from ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’, that greatly influenced Ffin throughout his childhood as an “honest, hard to read, not condescending, and interesting” series. “The antagonist and the protagonist are the only constants”, he says, linking that structure to the themes of “human capacity and duality” that are rife throughout their discography.
Delaire the Liar’s newest singles NO THANKS, FURNACE, and HALLOWEEN undoubtably bring these themes to light. Ffin reflects on their newest release NO THANKS as a song that captures the struggle of “putting everything you have on the line for someone despite personal circumstances”. He goes on to condense its meaning to an “imbalance in self-value against your own”. Their previous single FURNACE adds another element to storytelling with bassist Em Lodge’s first lead vocals. This “call and response” between the vocals not only gives affable lead singer Ffin “a break”, but also gives way to a focus on harmonies that can be achieved both live and on record.
Aptly named HALLOWEEN to go into every rock-lover’s Halloween playlist, Ffin opens up about the theme of sacrifice within the song. He questions whether we “value what [we] had when [we] had it” and allows those ontological thoughts to manifest into “drama and theatre”. The theatre of Delaire the Liar’s music and image is intensified by the “cultish and ceremonious” fire pit in their HALLOWEEN music video. Ffin reveals that he “got his own way” with the somewhat dangerous logistics of having a fire pit in their music video but holds in high esteem the work of Luigi Sibona who collaborates with the band to make their visions a reality.
Ffin’s visions for the future of Delaire the Liar cannot yet be disclosed, but he does assure me that it includes a big “yes to fun”. The crowd-surfing, pit-playing lead reflects that he could not have asked for “a better touring party” than Vukovi, and also reflects on the highlights of playing with Hot Milk and Doll Skin in London and Leeds just before the October tour. Whatever is next for the fashionable, forward-thinking, and ambitious band will not disappoint, but rather captivate with whatever stories are yet to come!
Written by: Roxann Yus
Edited by: Gemma Cockrell
In-article image courtesy of Delaire The Liar via Facebook.