INTERVIEW: The Veils’ Finn Andrews on 'Undertow' & their upcoming new album

Finn Andrews

After a Biblical span of seven years, indie-rock outfit The Veils will release their new double album, And Out Of The Void Came Love, in 2023. "Undertow," the first track from the double album, releases November 10. Formed in 2001, shortly after that, The Veils signed with Blanco y Negro, followed by signing with Rough Trade. The band dropped a couple of singles and then released their debut album, The Runaway Found, in 2004.

Since then, The Veils have released Nux Vomica; Sun Gangs; Time Stays, We Go; and Total Depravity, along with two EPs. Finn dropped his debut solo album, One Piece At A Time, in 2019, followed by an international tour. While on tour, Finn broke his wrist.

He explains, "It sounds wild and Jerry Lee Lewis-esque, but it was an absolute fucking nightmare. The scaphoid bone in my wrist had died, which I didn't know was possible. My sister said it was at least a really 'on brand' injury for me."

While convalescing, Finn wrote songs. Once healed, lockdowns interrupted the recording process, which took two years.

The result is an album worth the wait. According to Finn, the album is meant to be listened to in two sittings with a brief interlude: "Make a coffee or smoke a cigarette – but don't mow the lawn or go to the movies or something that takes too long."

XS Noize spoke with Finn Andrews to discover more about the inspiration for "Undertow" and how the forthcoming album came together.

What three things can't you live without?

I Googled this question for some inspiration, and a website offered these horrendous suggestions: online banking apps, hairbrushes, and yoga mats. I literally couldn't agree with them any less.

What inspired your new single, "Undertow?"

It is, embarrassingly enough, a song about writing songs, about what goes into them and what it takes out of you. I love writing songs more than anything else I've found, but they can still drive me up the bloody wall, as my grandad used to say. They continue to be mysterious, complicated, but ultimately joyous things.

The band will release a double album, And Out Of The Void Came Love, in 2023, seven years after Total Depravity. What took so long? 

That's a fair question - honestly, it's been a crazy few years. We went around the planet a few times touring that last record; then I made a solo record, then I irreparably broke my wrist on stage, then the Pandemic began, of course, and then I had a baby. So, look, I've had a lot going on, ok?

A double album implies numerous songs. Is there a theme or concept running through the songs?

It certainly does imply that. Like most people, I didn't leave the house much for the last two years, and by the time I came blinking into the light, I'd written quite a few songs. It took another few years to sift through them all and work out what was any good and which were just the ravings of a lockdown loon.

How did you get started in music?

Oh man, I don't know. We moved from London to New Zealand when I was 11, and I think I missed my father - that's my cod-psychology answer. I then started playing the guitar obsessively, learning every Nirvana song, then I discovered Dylan and joined a folk band, then I moved back to London and began making records of my own. It took me a while to find my feet as I started so young, but I feel like I know I'm doing at least 1/3 of the time now.

Where are you from?

London, England. And Auckland, New Zealand.

Did your hometowns impact your sound?

Absolutely. There are certain locations in both of those towns where most of my songs are set - kind of like the backdrop of a recurring dream. Their atmospheres bleed into everything.

What would you say if you had to describe your sound to the uninitiated?

The budget Nick Cave in a big fucking hat.

Looking back over the last few years, what have you learned?

Hmm. I think I've learned that, as a species, we are doing almost everything entirely wrong. From education to prisons, to marriage, to the whole Capitalist system in general. None of it is functioning properly, and we're systematically killing the planet and each other. This being the case, we should work hard to try and change these things as best we can, even in small everyday ways that add to a larger whole. The worst thing we can do is to assume that everything is just functioning properly and to keep wandering aimlessly along. Also, I've finally learned to stop drinking craft beer - it gave me a terrible hangover, and I'm much happier without it.

Listen to 'Undertow' - BELOW:

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