Charming Liars, a band that started in London but is based in Los Angeles, released their single “Like a Drug” a few months ago and all signs have pointed to the trio ramping up to release a new set of music. Alternative Addiction recently talked with Charming Liars bassist Mike Kruger about the band’s latest single, how they write, and they’re upcoming release.
“The way we write isn’t that different than any other band, but we like to get together in the studio and write as we record,” said Kruger talking with Alternative Addiction. “’Like a Drug’ is one of those songs that we had the basis of the music first, then Killiyan [Maguire – vocalist of Charming Liars] came along with a hook that was so catchy, that we ended up changing what we wrote and then writing the rest of the music around that song. The lyrics were done first with that song and then we went back and changed the music around them.”
Charming Liars doesn’t have a formula for writing their music even though they do write while they record. Kruger talked about the different sparks that start song writing for the band and how they work on them in the studio.
“Sometimes songs start on an acoustic guitar, sometimes they start with a riff, and sometimes they start with a melody. Once we have that initial starting point, then how we work on them is pretty similar. We produce all our own music in our own studio so it’s easy for us to show up and decide to work on something specific. We don’t have to get any help from anyone and we can work at our own pace. The only thing we deal with is arguing with each other about various parts of the song.”
As for those arguments, Kruger said that the band deals with them in a pretty straightforward way – if somebody’s idea is better, then it wins, but they still have to win the vote.
“We have one simple rule in our band, if you want to replace something, the idea you have has to be better than what’s already there,” noted the bassist. “That’s what’s good about having three of us, there’s always a majority. Someone’s going to be outvoted. That’s how we make things work for us.”
In addition to talking about “Like a Drug” with Mike, we also talked about the song “Insomnia”, a song we featured on Alternative Addiction’s Top 20 earlier in the year.
“That song came before ‘Like a Drug’,” explained Kruger. “That’s a song that we had the music together before the lyrics. Killiyan went home and was working on lyrics and he couldn’t sleep. The idea of him not being able to sleep turned into the lyrical content of the song. It’s amazing how inspiration can come from the most mundane places. With both songs we wanted to see what kinds of synths and electronics we could use to accompany guitars in our music. We’re not really that type of band but we do like to use some textures and things like that to help choruses to give them that huge type of vibe/feel to them,” he added.