A Love Like Pi
By Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
A Love Like Pi is a New York based rock-electronica outfit comprised of Lief (vocals,guitar/violin), Krier (drums), and Chez (bass), that commands a spectrum of sentiment which spans both the transcendent and the tangible, weaving a product that is akin to a palatable philosophy in which the only requirement to relate is to be human. And while that all sounds very high-minded, what A Love Like Pi brings to the table is an output that is chiefly stripped of the trappings of their genre and instead focuses on clean, instrument focused arrangements with fulfilling concepts and concurrent media to flesh things out further. Having recently released an expansive and hypnotic video for “Jack And The Giant”, the newest track off A Love Like Pi’s recent EP of the same name, singer Lief took a pause from the studio grind to pen a few concise, well-worded answers for Black on the Canvas about the band’s M.O., Pi Day and a dash of nostalgia.
Let’s start off with your name. ‘A Love Like Pi’ compares two infinite and obsessed-over concepts – can you brief us on how you came to coin this moniker and abandon your initial name ‘Blind and Driving’?
Lief Liebmann: Definitely. I think I was really struck with the imagery of pi growing up and wanted to figure out a way to mirror something honest and personal in it. The name was an attempt to reconcile really conflicting elements of the music we were writing as well as the motivations we had for writing it.
Blind and Driving was a completely separate project, the only thing it shares with A Love Like Pi is a Wikipedia page.
How did you three meet and come to form the band?
Lief Liebmann: I was writing songs that required way too many instruments. Krier and Chez were the only ones with the patience and capacity to learn how play them with me.
A Love Like Pi was initially conceived as a film scoring project that naturally evolved into a high-energy performing band. Do you think you’d ever try to return to or incorporate that original inclination?
Lief Liebmann: Without a doubt. The barrier of entry for mediums like animation, video, and web are super low these days. There are so many more ways to highlight the themes of your music than just an album jacket and a performance video. We’ve definitely experimented with a few pieces of web and video art in support of the Jack and the Giant EP, and plan to move even farther down that road for the next release.
You recently released a video for single ‘Jack and the Giant’ off of 2014’s EP of the same name. Regarding the video, you guys state ‘Jack’ as being about the ‘space that widens between you and your imagination as you grow older’. Can you describe how you conceptualized this idea and brought it to life for the music video?
Lief Liebmann: The “space” that Jack and the Giant focuses on takes up no physical room in the real world, but feels enormous to us at certain moments. We followed that idea really closely through production of the song and the music video: The track takes a tiny bedroom electric piano and makes it feel huge. The video take a few drops of dye and oil and makes a world out of them.
As a child I can remember having a few fleeting, lucid moments of appreciation for my youth. Can you recall any similar instances when you knew being young was something special and brief?
Lief Liebmann: I remember spending an afternoon kicking the waves “back into the ocean” as they surged up onto the beach. Tuckered out, I sat in distain of all the clueless adults around me who had no idea about the great service I had just provided. I thought that getting old meant you stopped paying attention to the waves. I think I might’ve been right.
The Jack and the Giant EP spans concepts both intimately immediate and infinitely sweeping. Is there a tried and true process you have come to use during songwriting?
Lief Liebmann: My mind works better when my body is occupied. I pace a lot outdoors as I hum out a melody I’m trying to finish or mumble a lyric I’m fleshing out. It looks as maniacal as it sounds, I try to avoid being seen.
With Lief’s orchestral background, do you guys think you’ll incorporate additional instruments into your sound in the future?
Lief Liebmann: A recent trip through southeast Asia left me pretty enamored with some of their instruments. At least one of the tracks on the new record will feature something in that vein.
What are some of the main emotions you hope to engender in your listeners, or atmosphere you’re hoping to create overall?
Lief Liebmann: I’d love for our music to have the same effect as a good novel. I want people to get lost in the 3 minutes of fiction we build in every track.
Please tell me you celebrated Pi Day last month – if so, what did you do?
Lief Liebmann: As a band, we gave the EP away for free. Individually, we each thought about who the .14159th member of the band was and if he should be chipping in for gas money.
You’re touring the Northeast US this Spring/Summer. Will you be trying to give us West Coasters some love in the near future?
Lief Liebmann: I imagine we’ll be on the road pretty heavily supporting the next release. I have really fond memories of driving up the west coast that I hope I’ll have a chance to relive.
What’s up next for A Love Like Pi?
Lief Liebmann: More pacing, more songs.
This last one is mostly just for me – read any good books lately?
Lief Liebmann: I can’t recommend Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe enough. I’ve never been so completely baffled and absorbed by an imaginary world, those feelings are usually reserved for the real world.