Interview: Justin Kinkel-Schuster Opens Up About His New Project, Water Liars
If you even casually follow music media in or around this town, you’ve seen a blurry, black and white photo of two shirtless, (literally) smoking dudes popping up all over the place as of late. The two young men in question are Justin Kinkel-Schuster and Andrew Bryant of the new duo, Water Liars, who release their debut album this Friday at Off Broadway. JKS answered a few of my questions about Phantom Limb and what’s in store for the band.
Tell me a little about how you and Andrew came to be Water Liars. What’s it like to be living and working together in separate states?
Andrew and I became Water Liars sort of by accident. He and I have been friends for a long time, and about a year ago I asked him if I could come down for a weekend to visit and have him record some songs I’d been working on. Andrew’s always recorded all of his own songs in his house in Pittsboro, MS, and I’ve always loved the way his songs and records sound. I wanted to see what would happen if he worked on my songs. As it turned out, he and I basically share a brain and as soon as we started recording, it was clear that we were onto something that at least the two of us though was pretty alright.
When Andrew had some rough mixes, I sent those to Leo DeLuca over at Misra and he was as excited about them as Andrew and I were and wanted to release them properly, at which point Andrew and I decided that we ought to be a band.
Are you trying to create a sound that’s different than [now defunct] Theodore? What, if any, elements of the old band do you plan to maintain?
I’m not trying to do anything with Water Liars other than just be simple. Not overthink anything. Just do the best I can to follow my instincts without making myself or anyone else insane. To let the work stand for itself and either live or die by the songs and our voices.
I think the songs will sound similar [to Theodore] to most people, just because that’s the way I tend to write and I’m not really interested anymore in trying to force songs into any shape other than what they seem to ask for.
Do you have a favorite track off the record? Why is it close to your heart?
This whole record is close to my heart in that it’s the one and only time in my life so far that I have felt such an unrestrained and simple and unpremeditated joy in making music with my friend, and it came at a time when I really needed to find out if that was possible.
After the release show, what’s next for Water Liars?
After the record release, we’re playing at Vintage Vinyl on 2/28 – the official release date – and then hitting the road on March 1st through the 31st, making our way down to SXSW and around the Midwest and mid-South, with stops at Daytrotter and a couple other festivals in there as well. Then more touring, etc. Trying to make it work and pay the dues, if not the rent.
– KDHX recently a debuted a new pre-release streaming feature on their website, Hear and Now. The first spotlight is on none other than Water Liars and their Phantom Limb. Check it.
– The Riverfront Times just reviewed the album for its Homespun series.
– More information on Friday’s show at Off Broadway can be found here.