You might not recognise Liam Finn straight off, but you’ll know his dad. He’s the son of Crowded House front man Neil Finn. Ringing him while he’s in Seattle, Clash manages to catch Liam literally still dripping from a shower. “Gimme a second to put on a T-shirt, mate,” he says in a typically friendly and jovial Kiwi accent.
Famous father he may have, but he’s no freeloader. He spent eight years in the band Betchudupa, which had a big, big following on the other side of the world, and last year struck out on his own with debut solo album offering ‘I’ll Be Lightning’. His live shows are renowned for him playing all kinds of instruments including drums, guitar and the psychedelic’s favourite, the theremin. Accompanied by friend and multi-instrumentalist EJ Barnes, each show is unique as the pair go off on tangents and riffs. “I get into a bit of a trance with it. I love it and it opens up the door for spontaneous things to occur,” he says of his stage performances. “It makes it more enjoyable. People get a better show out of it. I think humans like to watch things that are on the brink of disaster, when anything can happen.”
Being the musician son of a very famous musician indeed can be a burden to some, but laid back guy that Liam is, it doesn’t seem to faze him at all. In fact, he’s now toured with Crowded House during their recent reunion and was on stage with them at last year’s Coachella Festival. “I don’t know any other life other than being his son,” he says matter of factly. “It’s a special thing to tour with them, and it was amazing to be on stage with the guys. I’m proud to be his son, I hope that I can continue it on with dignity!”
In the last year or so Liam has travelled enough to go four times around the world as he’s dashed between New Zealand, Australia, the UK and America finding a unique vibe between audiences in each country. Most recently he played a storming set in Austin, Texas, at SXSW. “We did nine shows in four days and it was pretty exhausting. I didn’t get to see anyone else play,” he remembers. “I met a lot of cool and interesting people out there, that festival is about getting out in front of as many people as possible.”
Liam’s live shows are very different to his album, but he approaches them with the same DIY aesthetic and he has a very organic sound. “I try to keep it as unique as possible – for my enjoyment and hopefully the listeners too!”
Experimental pop music with a slightly schizophrenic side written by a bearded, travelling, New Zealander is his way of summing up what he does. And it fits pretty nicely too.