Interview: Liela Moss of The Duke Spirit

posted February 26, 2008

by Corinne

Liela Moss of The Duke Spirit

How are you?

I can't believe it but I'm still hung over at 11.30 at night from drinking only 3 cocktails last night. Like - I'm really upset with myself and with the bartender! She must have put rocket fuel in them because my head is pounding. Feeling rather edge-y, truth be told.

How did Duke Spirit come together originally?

Friends. Housemates. Going to same bars and venues all the time, liking a lot of the same music. Talking - drunk - late at night and formulating the notion of what was to become our group. That sort of thing. Iíve known Luke for over 10 years and Toby about 8 years, we all studied at the same college for a while before moving to London.

How has life changed from a few years ago, when the band's debut was on a struggling label?

Life at home is pretty much exactly the same, but when we are out on tour, we've noticed things are greatly improving. We even had a chauffeur car service in New York. That's pretty posh I think, so things are looking up.

Now that "Neptune" is out, how are you feeling about the finished product?

Beaming and proud like a parent. But a very irresponsible parent who drinks too much and curses far too much to be respectable.

Tell me about working with Chris Goss and how you got hooked up with him.

We met him through our collaboration with Unkle the year before. He collects ceramic antiques! And is hilariously funny. He is also quite mystical, and has a wonderful way of describing music. He says things like "with this song, we should think of it like a Hindu elephant, all majestic and painted in orange and fuchsia, but lumbering stealthily through the jungle."

How do you feel about being referred to as a "female fronted band" in bios and write ups as opposed to just being known as a rock band?

I sort of don't care, if Iím honest. I can see why people mention the girl thing, because historically there are less women in rock music, so itís a talking point, for about 2 minutes. And then itís not particularly interesting. I donít bring a feminist agenda to the band table. Iím just me. If I felt threatened or limited by patriarchy, I'd probably write or talk about it, but I am extremely privileged to be unhindered by that sort of thing and, in fact, feel set free by being in a band. It is a limitless and nurturing thing to be in. So - no sexism so far. Just 5 awesome humans, making a noise.

Who are some underrated bands that you think deserve more attention?

Black Lips, Archie Bronson Outfit, Burning Leaves.

What have you been listening to recently?

Townes Van Sandt. / M.I.A / Cat Power

If you could have written any song, what song do you wish you had written and why?

Any of the songs off Innervisions. I have loved Stevie Wonder since I was little.

Anything you would like to add?

There is a lyric on the album that goes 'now I have a tongue tattoo.' I'd like to see pictures of anyone that's actually done that. Does anyone have a tongue tat?

Thanks for your time!