Los Angeles-based rock staples Charming Liars have hit the ground running since relocating from the United Kingdom to the sun and melody soaked streets of Southern California a few years ago. Perpetually on the cusp of greatness, their growth has been exponential since 2013, releasing music every year, culminating in their anthemic and polished “12:31AM” EP, released this past May. The record marks a distinct change in the band’s sound and possesses the tangible feeling of a band hitting its stride, with vocalist Kiliyan Maguire provided his soaring and captivatingly-brilliant vocals throughout.
— — —
Chris Remmers: We’re going to talk a little bit about the places you’ve been, things you’ve seen and your different cultural experiences. So, why don’t you start off by telling me a little bit about how you got into music?
Kiliyan Maguire: Of course, this is defiantly a good question! It all kind of started just by growing up [and around] all this great music that was sort of blossoming. From there I kind of just always knew I wanted to do something in music. I did school band in fifth grade. Then high school happened. I knew around that time I wanted to become a singer or a guitarist. Now, here we are today.
CR: Do you feel that played a significant role in shaping your musical talents today?
KM: Yeah, I mean it was just kind of a sweet place to grow up. There is always a bunch of things to do. I have a lot of friends and people I know that stayed in the area and never left. I feel as though it definitely had an impact on my musical talents today. It’s a place where some of my first musical endeavors took place, and that is why I feel like I need to pay tribute to the place that helped grow me as a persona and as an artist.
CR: Of course, branching out is always important, but it’s also important to never forget the things that helped shape who you are. With that being said, where have you played some of your most exciting shows thus far in your career?
KM: This is a tough one for sure. I would say one of the very first ones that comes to mind I think I was 16 at the time. I don’t remember what the place was called, but I remember this show because I was in a harder band at the time. It was one of my first experiences where I had no idea what the crowd was going to do. It was awesome. I was watching this crowd react to the band before us, and I just remember thinking, being 16, that this was the sickest thing ever. That’s when I kind of knew that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
CR: You are very lucky my friend! Not many people realize their dreams at such a young age. To switch into more of a travel scene, if you’re going to go on a vacation, would you say that you’re more of a beach, city or a woodsy kind of guy?
KM: Jeez, I feel like you hit the nail on the head with most of those. I guess it depends on what it’s going to take to get me to relax in that moment. Sometimes I’m a bit more beach minded, but at the same time I grew up near awesome mountain ranges, so I used to do writing there. As far as the city goes, I need quiet to relax. Some guys thrive on that city life, but I need a relaxing environment to write my music and just unwind. That’s just what works for me. Overall, I guess my final answer is I’m more of a beach guy than anything.
CR: I myself am in the same boat as you. I like the beach and hiking in the mountains with my dog, but when it comes to the city, that’s always something I think I could do without, between the noise and speed of it all. I enjoy quite times. So, have you ever gotten to play anywhere that ended up being just a total culture shock for you?
KM: Yeah, I have definitely had some culture shock experiences in my time. When I was maybe 21, I was playing a couple of shows every now and then in Mexico. There were some cool shows, but some were kind of hit or miss. But, that was one of our first experiences playing in another country. Just getting that different atmosphere and kind of just not really knowing what to expect with crowds in different countries, as far as the way they interact with the artist on stage. They are very welcoming, passionate and friendly. Not to say venues in America weren’t, but it was just a different kind of feel, they lose their [minds]. So, that was definitely a positive culture shock for sure.
CR: I’m sure it must be totally awesome to go to a different place and experience a completely different crowd. I’m sure it’s an amazing feeling. With all that being said, how do you feel music and travel really fit together in your life?
KM: Well, actually it’s interesting, I was just thinking about this the other day. I was talking with my girlfriend, and before we left for tour we had been doing a lot of writing. We have had little time away from the road and I was feeling just a tad bit drained before we left. I felt myself slowing down. I wasn’t pushing myself as hard as I could, as bad as it sounds. When you work like a machine sometimes you just break down. But, when I go on the road though, no matter how drained I feel, it always gives me energy and kind of helps me bounce back. So, being on the road and writing always have a way of balancing me out.
CR: Believe me, I understand you there. It must be a nice little recharge for the batteries. So, to wrap this up, everyone has a bucket list. What would you say are the top three places you still have to visit, whether it be for vacation or music?
KM: I have been fortunate to go to a lot of cool places. I think I would really enjoy going to Ireland. I heard those guys know how to drink a beer. One place I have not gone with the band yet, that I want to, would be New Orleans. I would really love to check that out. I heard culturally it’s just another world down there, so that’s definitely something I want to check out. The last place I’d really like to visit and play is Hollywood Bowl. There is just something kind of romantic about that spot. It has this old-school feel that just sets up a good atmosphere and vibes. That’s somewhere I’d really like to get to.