Many things have the potential to make a good story and, as time has shown, some of the greatest of stories have come from late nights at bars with your best friends.
Once upon a time, five young men sat drinking the night away in a Tennessee bar. Agreeing upon a new band name had been difficult for them, but just as these five youngsters just about gave up on the challenge, their luck changed. Vocalist Charlie Cosser recounts that fateful night. “We were in Nashville and we had an old band name I won’t mention (laughs) and we knew we wanted to change it before we released the album. The bartender at the bar was talking with Mike, the bass player, and he was sort of trying to cheekily get out of paying the bill. She didn’t really believe he was English. She thought he was putting on his accent, so she called us a bunch of charming liars. It just kind of stuck.” And it was so. Charming Liars now have two EPs on their resume with a third on the way.
Originally from the UK, Charming Liars have called California their home for two years now and have made working hard look easy while building a solid reputation in the most musically populated city in the industry. Still so early in their careers, they have accomplished some impressive feats. They have played all over American, overseas, and right over the border in Mexico where they have frequent radio play. Their fusion of catchy pop-punk and classic rock and roll make them both a respectable and likable bunch.
Graced with a stroke of genius, the young band chooses to keep fans and critics intrigued by releasing little bits of music a couple times a year. “We made an album and we decided to split it up into three EPs so we’re constantly putting out music. You can expect another EP in a few months. We wanted to continually be putting stuff out to our fans and we were a new band so we didn’t want to just put an album out and have people not hear from us for a few years. We decided to set ourselves up in a position to put out five songs every three or four months and give people something to look forward to.” Their latest EP entitled We Won’t Give Up came out May 14, 2014 and Cosser says to expect more from The Charming Liars towards the fall.
After recovering from their gigs in Mexico and before their return to Mexico City in August, Substream caught up with front man Charlie Cosser to discuss the beginnings and future of Charming Liars.
Substream Magazine: When was it that you moved to LA? How do you like living here?
CC: We slowly transitioned from London to Los Angeles over two years ago. I absolutely love it. We never get bored of the sunshine and we’ve made a really great group of friends out here. It was the right time for us to be here rather than back at home, no disrespect to the scene or the industry back in the UK – it’s incredible – but for what we wanted to make, it made sense to be out here.
SM: With so many bands flooding the LA area trying to break into the industry, what do you think has helped you guys stay afloat? Besides the great music, of course.
CC: We have this awesome street team that was self-started by a bunch of our fans, initially in America but expanding across the world, called “The New Disorder.” If anyone comes across our music or for those becoming fans, they should find out more about The New Disorder and how to become a part of it because they seem to have become this awesome family of their own. They’re amazing. They’ve been incredible to us.
SM: How has the reception of We Won’t Give Up EP been?
Charlie Cosser: So far it’s been fantastic. We had been playing the songs on the EP live for quite a while so we kind of knew from the reactions that people liked them live and we wanted to make sure the recordings did them justice.
SM: Where had you been playing these songs live? Do you have any tours planned this summer?
CC: We’ve been touring in a bunch of random different locations. We toured all over North America earlier in the year and we recently got back from playing in Mexico, where our songs have been playing on the radio. We didn’t really expect to be in Mexico City this early on in our career, so that’s exciting. Then we’re going back home to the UK for some shows after the summer.
SM: You guys have a commercial, but still edgy, sound. Musically, what kind of influences did you have growing up?
CC: We all grew up listening to rock and alternative. Everything from Blink-182 to Slipknot to Outkast to Eminem. It was really that era of buying those records with “Parental Advisory” stickers on them. That moment when Napster was coming out but you’d still buy the album and just download a couple of other songs. It was a lot of the alternative and rock music around that point. As we got older it was more punk and hardcore, and our first few bands were that sort of music. That’s what allowed us to go out and tour and cut our teeth on the touring circuit. We took time out from all of that to learn to write and record ourselves and that’s when our music became more refined.
SM: With such a vast blanket of genres that The Charming Liars encompasses, what kind of bands do you like to tour with?
CC: It’s different because there’s so many different types of bands that we can potentially tour with. Whilst we could go and jump on something like The Vans Warped Tour, I guess, we wouldn’t be your typical Warped Tour band. We’ve played with a really wide range of bands. The first big U.S. Tour we did was the Uproar Festival opening for bands like Alice in Chains, Jane’s Addiction, Coheed and Cambria, and Circa Survive. That tour had a really eclectic lineup and that’s where we like to be – around a really wide range of different types of music and guitar music.
SM: You guys have released a number of videos in which you do acoustic versions of your songs. Have you ever thought about releasing an acoustic EP?
CC: We love recording the acoustic versions of the songs because that’s really how sounded like when we were writing them originally. We might do videos for them, I don’t know. But you can definitely expect to see acoustic versions of the songs over the next month.
Besides sprinkling acoustic versions of their songs onto the internet in the near future, the Charming little Liars also have a music video for their single, “The Desperation” out now. Watch the video below and follow Substream on Facebook and Twitter for more information on their upcoming tours.