Beach Slang Interview: James Alex about new record, new drummer and the band's two hour break-up

Beach Slang, Foto: Henning Haake

Beach Slang are touring Europe at the moment so we talked to frontman James Alex about their new album „A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings“and the recent lineup changes on drums. Also James Alex opens up about the infamous gig in Salt Lake City where Alex announced the breakup of Beach Slang… which lasted for about two hours. Read our Beach Slang interview here.

Beach Slang – Interview with James Alex

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James, who’s your current drummer after JP Flexner’s recent departure?

James Alex: JP never quit the thing. After a whole bunch of very sincere, but failed attempts to make things work, he was asked to leave. Look, you try to make things work, you try to hold things together even when they’re cracking. But sometimes you don’t want to keep sticking a band-aid on a broken leg. You want to fix the break. That’s what we did. With that said, we reached out to two of our dearest mates, Arik Dayan and Cully Symington. They’re gigantic sweethearts and play like thunder. Arik toured Australia with us last month. Cully will be doing the thing with us this month in Europe. It’s like a really loud, really perfect daydream.

How much does the “Sex, Drugs & Rock’n’Roll”-lifestyle in Beach Slang lyrics differ from the band’s day to day life?

James Alex: Well, day-to-day has the grating itch of reality, you know? But, yeah, I mean, life is meant to be lived. And we hug the thing as often as we can.

I just gave your new album its first spins. My first impression: “A Loud Bash…” has a dirtier, rougher sound than your previous output(s). Many bands turn to a cleaner, more produced sound the more material they release.

James Alex: Yeah, I mean it’s an honest smattering of the things I was feeling, the records I was hearing and the books I was reading. I never want to xerox stuff we’ve done. Junk like that feels cheater-y to me. I want to write without fear, without expectation. There’s an importance in shoving forward.

Name a Beach Slang song that doesn’t have the words “alcohol”, “drunk”, “music”, “wild”, “heart”, “loud” or “kiss” in it.

James Alex:  Does one of those exist?

One final question: Are your bandmates still giving you shit from time to time for the couple of hours break-up in Salt Lake City?

James Alex:  Haha. No, man. I mean, really, that whole thing was just a momentary wobble, a broken reaction to a backstab. I think it’s quite easy to forgive understandable sadness vs. flagrant anger. I don’t know. I say it often and mean it always—Beach Slang is about honesty. And honesty can be messy business. It doesn’t apologize for showing scars. In fact, it demands it. Calculation is a dull edge, you know? And there’s more than enough plastic in rock & roll. Glorious or crashing, I just want things to feel real. And, you know, we got to feel like The Kinks for a bit.
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