Dirty Beaches (aka Alex Zhang Hungtai) has spent the last little bit touring through Europe. From the looks of his blog, it was a way better time than whatever drudgery 99.9% of the rest of us have been up to. He dialed in from Croatia ahead of his first ever Australian visit and this is what we talked about. Turns out he’s kind of a tough guy.
VICE: Hey so Alex, what’s the dirtiest thing you’ve ever done?
Alex Zhang Hungtai: Hmm I don’t know? I’ve done a lot of mean things to an enemy. I don’t know about dirty. I mean I smashed a guy's face once in high school. He called me a chink.
Well deserved then?
Yeah so that wasn’t really dirty, it was payback.
This will be your first tour in Australia. Name some things that don’t suck about the country.
Fuck, Rowland S. Howard, deep-fried Mars bars… actually I haven’t had one yet so I cant really vouch for that one. I’m really curious about it actually. And the coast, the beaches, it looks really fucking amazing. Kylie Minogue, she doesn’t suck, she’s hot.
What’s the dirtiest thing about your right this second?
Your album Badlands sounds like Elvis went deep into opiate addiction and joined a motorcycle brigade, how come?
It started out as a tribute project for my dad, and the whole character is based off him. Then it kind of turned into a Stray Cats joke band and it didn’t really work. Cars broke down, ran into racists, got into fights, got paid in nachos and PBR, but I wanted to do it so bad and that’s why the music sounds really fucked up. It’s better-than-lo-fi rockabilly.
Are there any dirty secrets you would like to share?
Not even one?
There’s definitely something but I don’t want to share it with the world.
What about with just VICE?
Ok, I can do that. I once shat on my roommate’s bed while I was passed out and I felt really bad so I washed his sheets. I had like really bad diarrhea that day and I got really drunk so that didn’t help, and when I passed out… I accidentally shat in his bed.
When I woke up my first reaction was “oh fuck!” But like any good roommate I made sure to wash it, he didn’t ever realize when he got back. He didn’t even know.
He still doesn’t know to this day?
No and that’s why I hope he never reads this.
Dirty Beaches is in Australia, February 2012, presented by VICE and Noisey. Look here for dates and details.