Dirty Beaches adalah sebuah band dengan 1 anggota saja: Alex Zhang Hungtai dari Kanada. Mempresentasikan musik yang mengaduk musik rock klasik era 60 dan 70an dalam balutan yang sangat sinematis dan produksi – yang secara sederhana dapat disebut “lo-fi”, tapi lebih cocok disebut…kembali lagi, sinematis – Dirty Beaches adalah band yang tidak hanya menawarkan pengalaman aural, namun juga visual. Diskografi band yang sangat produktif ini dapat dilihat di bandcamp mereka; namun sebelum kalian berlari ke situs tersebut, nikmati dulu bincangan kita dengan Alex yang sebentar lagi akan merilis album barunya, sebuah double album dengan judul “Drifters” dan “Love is the Devil”
You’ve posted Love Is The Devil from your forthcoming record on Youtube much to the surprise of many of your fans and, it seems, label. Why did you feel the urgency to share the track that early?
I think people should always try to be free because a lot of times we are not in this society. Whether its from culture, work or family it binds in ways that debilitate us. It was partially also an announcement to Dirty Beaches fans to try and reach out to them and urge them to follow me, to a different deeper, darker, more real place artistically. You can’t make everyone happy.
The track also has a heavily orchestral touch and maybe, more-direct cinematic feel than your previous songs. What kinds of emotional changes and experiences prompted this sonic shift? What do you think the track says about the current “you”?
I’ve always been interested in ambient, orchestral, film music. So it was natural to explore more and share more of that side and use it and learn it and evolve and make it part of my palette.
What was the initial idea behind your new record? Did you plan for it to be a double LP when you began recording the songs? Were there any particular double LPs from other bands that specifically inspired you? Why did you feel it was important to infuse the record with these particular songs?
It was a practical decision to save money from the label as we were worried that it will compete with each other. My original plan was to release both separately at the same tie, but in reality it’s not very realistic so we put them together, after all they were written the same time so it’s 2 side of the same coin. One of the surface, and one of the inner world.
How different should Dirty Beaches fans approach the record? Aesthetically, how different an experience do you think the record will provide?
Aesthetics are disposable. Like fashion or clothes. The core of my music will never change and listeners that are close to me and know me will know that. Deep inside I will always be a child of the pacific.
How different will each section of the record (Drifters and Love is the Devil) be? – Both emotionally and musically?
You’ll have to listen to it
Since this is an Indonesian publication – Do you have any words for Asian musicians trying to get their songs heard beyond their country? Do you feel it’s important to do so?
No time is wasted time my brothers. Keep accumulating those life experiences, it’s what makes you unique. Upload your songs to the Internet and keep writing don’t ever stop. There’s someone out there in the world that understands you. I’m living proof of that. Don’t give up. There’s a place for everyone in this world. Where we belong. That hard part is finding it.
Text: Marcel Thee