"WE'RE NOT REALLY from anywhere, this band," says Finn Andrews, frontman of the Veils. "We're kind of from everywhere and nowhere. We get asked a lot where we're meant to be from, and I'm not really sure. It gets more and more complicated every year; we've got an Italian in the band now as well."
Andrews was born in London—the son of XTC's Barry Andrews—and grew up in New Zealand, pingponging between the two throughout childhood. The Veils are ostensibly London-based, but like all professional bands, their real home is on the road. They've found individual havens dotted across the globe: Their 2009 album Sun Gangs was written in a garage in Oklahoma City, and their new one, Time Stays, We Go, was recorded in Laurel Canyon (as was 2006's Nux Vomica). "You do tend to find little nooks and crannies on the planet that give you a bit of comfort or a semblance of order in the chaos," Andrews says.
Time Stays, We Go is the Veils' first album on their own label, Pitch Beast Records, and it's a poised, gorgeous collection of songs. Andrews, capable of lovelorn crooning as well as hoarsely unhinged shrieks, has mastered both extremes to serve his songwriting on an impressive level, and the band follows suit, finding pace and grace within each track. Gone is the magnificent snarl of "Nux Vomica"—one of the most breathtakingly ferocious songs of the past 10 years—but in its place is something deeper and more lasting.
With Time Stays, We Go, Andrews wanted to focus on his songwriting first and foremost. "Sun Gangs had been such a complete emotional drain, and we'd been touring for about eight years fairly consistently—with the odd little break here and there, but it was fairly relentless," he says. "I just wanted to knuckle down and [write songs] every day, and I had all these ideas of how I wanted to write songs now and I wanted to be disciplined with it."
Still, despite the new record's sophistication and the creation of their own label, Andrews doesn't feel like he's found any easy answers over the years. "I do always feel like I never intended to make more than one record, and I've only ever made them because I really wanted to, and wanted to learn a bit more about it. It's all experimentation to me, and I don't claim to know anything about what I'm doing at any time. We've always been on the brink of collapse. I don't know—it's just the way we are. So I wrote this record because I didn't feel like I'd worked out everything I needed to with the last one, I suppose."