It's hard not to be obsessed with Liela Moss. She's cool, fun, and is the frontwoman of The Duke Spirit- what more could you ask for? Plus, she looks just as awesome sporting McQueen as she does dancing crazily on stage.... and we love it. Just before the band sets off on their European tour, the London resident called us to chat about their new album, Bruiser, her style, and how she stays sane on the road.
Hey Leila! Where are you calling from right now?
I'm in London, and it looks absolutely miserable out. It's gray and cloudy...quintessential Britain [laughing].
How is your new album Bruiser different from the others?
People are starting to understand that this time it's grander, slightly theatrical in a way. Not in a fake way, but it's not like the first three songs are incredibly abrasive and a total rush like they've been before. We put something in the mix there that's a little more probing. It's a very dark, magnetic sort of etching into your head. We have four members of the band instead of five, also, so it seems a little more streamlined.
What's the story behind your first single "Don't Wait"?
I think it tries to explore the different nuances in describing longing. Sure, it can be sexual, but it can also be a longing that goes beyond that gratification. I think I was watching my friends' relationships, I was considering my own relationship. But in many ways I wasn't just talking about me; it's more of a narrator who was remarking on the different types of the desires that you go through.
With a big tour starting up soon, what are some things you always bring with you?
I always bring loads of HBO and ABC box sets like Breaking Bad and Boardwalk Empire. Without that I think I would cry, because it becomes your late-night obsession. I also used to be embarrassed to say this, but I love doing yoga on the road, so I bring my mat; I do it in my dressing room. Oh, and I'm going to try to learn German this time!
Yes! I have my notecards, my iPad to practice, everything. We're not the huge type of band where people direct you every step of the way on tour, so it would be helpful to know the language so I don't get lost or miss sound check [laughing]. I know I sound really diligent right now, but I guarantee you that by day five I will have given up on the German and will be back to watching TV!
You have a pretty awesome style on stage. Who's style do you admire?
People like Grace Jones or Bjork are total vanguards on stage, but at the same time I don't want to be formally in costume. I also look to Keith Richards in white shirts and black trousers for inspiration. It's a combination of being theatrical, but also knowing that in true rock n' roll you dress down.
Was there any trend that you used to love that you look back on now and go, "what was I thinking?"
Oh yes! I wore so many dresses over trousers growing up which was what you did when you wanted to feel kind of "alt" [laughing]. Also, when I was much smaller I had some really bad haircuts. One time my mom tried to cut my hair, and she turned it into a mullet! Like a full-on mullet. I think it was good for me, though, because people made so many nasty comments that nothing really bothers me anymore [laughing].