Liela Moss

Singer and electronicist Liela Moss takes to the chair as we stoke up the quick-fire question machine

Hello, Liela. Where are you right now and what can you see?

“I’m in a cafe near Waterloo station, looking at a load of cables coming out of the ceiling and wondering why they didn’t box them in when they refurbished this characterless joint.”

Your latest album is about finding a way to plug yourself into a new community… what’s wrong with the one you’ve got?

“Ha! My little community is sweet as hell actually. I’m talking about the bigger community, created by the people who govern us. I’m looking for empathy and I don’t hear it coming out of the authorities with the loudest voices.”

This record is your way of reconnecting?

“Well, in a funny way, yes. I have a sustained interest in brilliant scholars and speakers like Vandana Shiva, Gabor Maté, Russell Brand and Bessel Van Der Kolk. I’m interested in what they talk about… it entered the room when I began recording and writing lyrics, and it’s still here now!”

You’re doing that in part through collaborations. Let’s start with Gary Numan. Blimey, eh?

“I know! I was tour support for Gary in 2014, so we spent some weeks hanging out with him, his band and his fun wife. I’m not in constant contact, but we stayed in touch. During the pandemic, we exchanged hellos and I just sent him the track. The atmosphere in lockdown made me feel more audacious to try to make ideas happen. So why not? Thankfully, he really liked the track.”

Jehnny Beth features too…

“We’d been working with her partner, Johnny, on a remix. We loved his vibe so sent him an album track that we felt was missing something. We invited him to add whatever he thought would work. He emailed for the lyrics, which surprised me as I hadn’t heard him sing. Then ping, an email arrived with a whole middle-eight section, vocals and lyrics by Jehnny Beth!”

And there’s Dhani Harrison. We named this magazine after one of his dad’s solo albums

“Ah, brilliant – I shall tell him! I’ve known Dhani for ages. We recorded his vocals at Friar Park, his dad’s studio in Henley-on-Thames.”

People will know you and Toby from The Duke Spirit. Any plans for new stuff there?

“We chucked ideas into the computer last year, but we do loads of other stuff so we weren’t sure how to schedule time to flesh the songs out. I remember really liking a couple of bits. Maybe I’ll go and have a listen now actually…”

The Duke Spirit had a track on ‘Guitar Hero’. Did you play along?

“I really didn’t! I think I watched someone else going through the avatars and choosing severely rawk hairstyles. I liked how much they paid us, though.”

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