Article Kelly Duval.
Local band Sweet Talking Liars is performing their last show of the year (ugly Christmas sweaters are optional), after which the group of four will start off 2014 by recording a new album.
The band recorded their debut EP On My Way Out — released in November last year — in indie artist Jay Nash’s studio in Vermont. “It was a great experience. Jay Nash is a big influence,” explained drummer Richard Sychterz. They’ll be back recording in Vermont throughout January with the same producers involved, plus Sara Bareilles’ drummer Josh Day is sitting in as co-producer.
Their band name comes from one of Nash’s song titles. “We were listening to him a lot at the time,” said Sychterz, explaining how Sweet Talking Liars was formed. Sychterz and lead vocalist Andrew Haikal, who have known each other since high school, used to be in another band that lasted for about five years. “We broke up three years ago and we found new members on Craigslist and Kijiji and clicked with them,” said Sychterz.
Haikal is the main songwriter of the group while other members bring in their instrumental talents and chip in lyrics here and there. Sychterz explained the band members’ musical tastes differ slightly. “The guitarist [Robert Vincelli] likes The Beatles and Rush. The singer [Haikal] and I like more folk and country music.” Still, they share common ground with artists like John Mayer, Joe Purdy and The Lumineers. “There’s a chemistry in terms of the music we listen to,” said Sychterz.
Their varied musical influences can be heard in On My Way Out as Sweet Talking Liars can’t be described in one word—they’re a mix of folk, country, pop and Americana rock. Sychterz explained that while the different songs on their EP vary in sound, they want to achieve more of a cohesive style on their next album. They’re aiming to keep the sound of songs like “Good One” and “More Than I Should.”
They’ll be going into the studio open-minded, though. “We don’t really know what to expect at this moment,” explained Sychterz. Brass instruments come out in the song “Morning Glory Charmer,” a suggestion by their producer, and Sychterz said they’ll also have a bigger variety of instruments for their new album. Next year, Sweet Talking Liars also hopes to play at festivals in or outside of Montreal.
Somehow the band members manage to balance their full-time jobs and education with practicing and performing. Sychterz is an accountant, Haikal recently finished his Masters in Law and Vincelli is studying dentistry at McGill. “We’re all busy but we find time to play,” said Sychterz.
One of Sweet Talking Liars’ preferred songs to like to play live is their single “Good One.” “I think that’s one of our fan favourites,” said Sychterz. With a new album in the works, fans can anticipate to have a few more favourites—maybe there’ll be a preview of some at their next show.
Sweet Talking Liars is playing with Stefanie Parnell at Casa del Popolo (4873 St. Laurent) on Monday December 30 at 8:00 p.m. Admission is free.