By ELLIOT DAWSON.

The Veils’ new album, Total Depravity has just dropped, and it’s dark and creepy and excellent.

Speaking to lead singer/songwriter Finn Andrews, you wouldn’t think he grew up in New Zealand, as his accent has adopted a more posh English vibe. The band is based in London, where Finn was born, however he grew up in NZ.

“I think we are just a weird, geographically mixed-up band,” he says. “I mean, I certainly feel New Zealand has been a huge part of my life.”

Coincidentally, the first single from The Veils’ new album Total Depravity debuted on the show of fellow UK-based Kiwi Zane Lowe, after Lowe emailed Finn asking if they could do it.

“You tend to run into [Kiwi] people and Kiwi bands when they play in London, so we get to stay in touch with a lot of people,” says Finn.

The songs on the new album are notably based on various stories, some from firsthand experience. Finn explains how King of Chrome came about after The Veils’ first tour in America. They lived in Oklahoma for six months and would drive to shows on the coast and then drive back.

“They were ruthlessly long drives and so usually we were out on these dark desert roads with truck drivers. I got a bit obsessed with truck drivers around that time, imagining what goes on inside of them.”

The early process of writing the album was rather unique. Finn describes the first year of writing in a small, humid room in their London studio, where he would go in from nine to five and instead of starting on the guitar or piano, he might start with loops and drums.

“I guess it just takes you down a different path when you begin with a different instrument. I like writing on things I can’t really play very well. Good accidents can come from that and that’s what started us on a different path for this record, in that hot little room.”

In addition to that room, they did recordings in various different studios around the world, including places in Portugal, New York and Los Angeles.

“Los Angeles certainly had a big influence on us in many ways,” says Finn. “We met [producer] El-P and [film director] David Lynch there and all these different things came out of that. We were also recording in New York at the start of the year when they were having that huge blizzard. We were in this little cabin and we were totally snowed in!”

El-P ended up having a pretty large role in the new album because he helped to produce it, as did Adam ‘Atom’ Greenspan, who has worked with the likes of Arcade Fire and Band of Skulls. Finn considers El-P’s involvement to be “extreme” due to his unique style.

“We were more of a collaboration than a traditional producer/artist relationship and we bounced ideas back and forth a lot. It was a very collaborative and unpredictable record and we didn’t really know where we were going until we got there.”

Considering this is The Veils’ fifth album, it’s surprising how unpredictable the recording was, but the band are happy to keep it that way. “Whenever we become too comfortable, things don’t go very well,” says Finn.

The frontman’s enthusiasm for music comes from being open-minded and continuing to learn. “Rather than just going, ‘Okay this is the sort of band we are, let’s bash out another 12 songs’,” we try to keep it on the edge of collapse and make it interesting and exciting and unpredictable. Otherwise I’d have probably got bored of it all after one album, just doing the same thing.”

Looking to the future, there’s a bunch of exciting stuff coming up, including a worldwide tour, which Finn hopes will include places like Africa, Asia and South America.

He also speaks briefly on his involvement with David Lynch, who is using one of the new songs, Axolotl, for the return of the cult TV series, Twin Peaks. “Getting to know him and work with him was just a fantastic experience. He was one of the first people we played the record to, so that was a surreal experience and then to hear words of encouragement from him went a long way.”

 

The Veils’ homecoming shows are confirmed, with dates to be announced soon. While you get geared up for that, get onto the brand new album Total Depravity. And check out the creepy-as video for Axolotl.

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