Liam Finn


Written by Seun Mustapha
04 Friday 04th July 2008

Originally known as the frontman of Betchadupa and the offspring of musical prodigy Niel Finn of Split Endz and Crowded House fame, Liam is basically already a veteran performer on his first solo release. Moving on from the more traditional rock/pop fare of Betchadupa into a more experimental and technology-driven sound Liam has brought the concept of the one man band into the post-millenial music scene, away from the bandstand and onto the indie stage. Performing as a multi-instrumentalist recording and looping himself via various analouge pedals and minisamplers, Finn is as naturally at home behind his drum kit as the theramin and microphone and recently made, at the young age of 23, Rolling Stone magazine's list of top ten new acts to watch in 2008.

Touring Europe with nowt but his analouge set-up and backing singer and old friend Eliza-Jane-Jones (daughter of Jimmy Barnes), Finn's sound is as refreshing as it is original - as was shown with his scene stealing set at this years SXSW and will be shown with the many gigs he has across the UK over the coming weeks.

Hey Liam.


You play so many instruments. Were you classically trained in all of these or are you completely self-taught?

Well I come from a musical family. There were always lots of instruments laying around the house. I’m not classically trained, not that I’ve got anything against that. I just feel you can have a natural knack for instruments and music. It's something you can have a feel for.

Betchadupa were a successful act. What made you want to quit the band life to go solo? Control freak much?

I just felt the need to do something different. The band was a lot of fun but after when it starts to become more of an obligation than something enjoyable then maybe it’s time to move on and start taking things more seriously.

Obviously being in a band is hard and arduous work.

Haha. When I got to around 21/22 I just decided I needed to do my own thing.

How did you hook up with Elaine, your backing singer?

I met Elaine a looooong time ago! She used to help us out with places to stay when we were in Sydney. She started singing with my friend’s band and I really liked her style and ended up poaching her.

How do you feel the album has been received?

I do feel the album has been well received, as far as I can see anyway. The whole project was never supposed to be anything too self conscious. It was more me being myself and letting go. I think that’s really what a lot of people like about it.

It’s always good when people understand where you’re coming from.

Yeah, without having to be too obvious about everything.

I didn’t notice a laptop in your live set-up.

I see there can be benefits with computers and laptops. I’m not a technophobe or anything, I just genuinely prefer the sound of analogue equipment. There’s a kind of warmth that you just don’t get with software set-ups.

That old analogue ‘warmth’.

I also like the restrictions you get with an analogue set-up. You have to work your way around things. With a laptop you can just layer track after track after track. When you only have 16 tracks, you have to think carefully about each and every element you use. It feels like writing a demo again, just writing music and not worrying too much about mixing and all that stuff.

Liam Finn's debut I'll be lightning was released by Yep Roc Records on Monday. Catch whats left of the tour on his myspace and official website. You must go there now!

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