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24 March 2021

London/NZ based indie band The Veils are touring New Zealand, and for the first time ever they’ll be performing their dark and brooding 2006 sophomore album Nux Vomica in its entirety. I caught up with frontman Finn Andrews, who is gratefully “stuck” in New Zealand, about the tour.

What made you decide to revisit this album?

It’s a slightly convoluted story. We were invited to play a festival, that’s how the initial idea started. We were like okay, well that sounds like a fun idea, so we made a tour around it. And then the festival got cancelled.

So it’s not the greatest story, but it’s sort of like I hadn’t really considered doing that show, I guess, until being asked. And then having lived in this solo album world for the last few years with like, lots of acoustic guitars and stringed instruments and just sort of a quiet little world, I suddenly got excited at the thought of going out there and making a big ungodly racket and letting out a few years worth of pent up anger and frustration.

2006 was kind of a long time ago, so I imagine there’s a lot of nostalgia. How does it feel to be playing it again?

It’s been an album of ours that people particularly have an attachment to, but honestly it’s really just an excuse for me to go back into The Veils world again after all these years, and the album is 38 minutes long or something so it’s a pretty small part of the show. And a lot of those songs I’ve never performed before live as well which is quite fun to come up with, but then obviously there’s going to be another good hour after that playing new things and some stuff from the back catalogue. So it’s just a little springboard into playing some shows and going back into The Veils world. We’ve been recording some songs over the past few months, that part of my brain is starting to tingle again.

The obligatory question: How did COVID affect you?

I mean… I left 2019 feeling pretty dejected. I broke my wrist on the last tour I did, last solo tour in 2019, and it was a really nasty break and I didn’t realize it for ages so I carried on the tour. It was a little bastard of a bone that was masquerading as some other kind of sprain or something, and then I finally got it looked at and they were like okay, you need to be in a cast immediately for however long it was, it felt like an interminable length of time… So that was how I left 2019, sort of with my arm in a cast, and just feeling pretty sorry for myself.

And then all of this happened, and we had a whole tour in Europe pulled and all that, and rady rady rah. But I hadn’t really been writing songs for about two years, I think it was the longest period I’d gone without writing anything, and then as soon as we went into lockdown here I started writing again and it really got me through the year I guess. And I guess also feeling like I don’t really have a right to complain given that I was lucky enough to be in New Zealand and not in London, and you know, I did three tours last year in between lockdowns. So it was okay really.

It’s been mostly hard just sort of, my dad’s over in London, and my sister as well, and it’s been mostly hard not being able to see them and knowing they’re over there having an awful time. But as I say, mercifully the muse was with me throughout the lockdowns or I just would have gone completely crazy really. And I was doing these little shows too, little isolation hour puppet shows and little things like that which helped me get through it as well.

You were selected by David Lynch to perform in 2017s Twin Peaks. Now it’s been a few years, how does it feel to have been part of that incredible work?

It was a fucking great time really, we had a great time. And we loved watching the series as well, Soph and I when we were 13? 12? I don’t know, when we were first becoming friends we went to Videon and rented all of the Twin Peaks, the first few series. It was a really beginning of our friendship watching that as well, so it was funny being there 20 years later in The Roadhouse.

It caught us at a real low ebb as well… The album wasn’t finished, I think we’d spent all the money and probably more than we were meant to, I was going between a whole bunch of different cities with EL-P and these other producers we were working with. I dunno, and then that just sort of fell out of the sky and David’s words of encouragement meant a huge amount and they would have anyway, but at that period particularly it sort of felt like… I could kind of see it in the performance as well, we were just like we’re going to do a really great job of this and there was a lot of really frustrated energy coming out in that scene. But yeah, it was a really magical moment for us.

Obscure and unofficial media from gigs in Dunedin, New Zealand since 2014.
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