Published Jul 19, 2012It's looking to be a hell of a busy year for Dirty Beaches man Alex Zhang Hungtai. Back in Montreal after moving to Vancouver a few years ago, the Taiwanese globetrotter has opened up to Exclaim! about some potentially surprising side-projects, as well as new material from Dirty Beaches.
First up, we could be looking at two new Dirty Beaches albums as early as this autumn, Hungtai tells Exclaim! Intended for simultaneous release (but not as a double LP), the records will follow "a bunch of split seven-inches with friends and stuff," including a four-way split on UK indie Clan Destine Records, featuring U.S. Girls, Ela Orleans and Toronto artist Slim Twig.
"I've known them for the past four or five years," he explains of the joint release. "I met them from DIY touring. I toured with Slim Twig. U.S. Girls played on my rooftop in Montreal. Ella Orleans, we stayed with her when I toured New York in 2008. So we all met through the same circuit."
While all that might be an adequate workload for your average mid-level indie mastermind, Hungtai is also prepping soundtracks to two documentaries and -- we kid you not -- an Italian horror film.
"Unfortunately I can't pronounce the title," he laughs. "But I met the director in Rome when I was on tour in Europe. He's a big fan of Dirty Beaches. Both the actor and director came to my show, and they invited me over to his house for lunch the next day. He showed me the rough cut and I was really interested. I'd been a big fan of Goblin, who was this Italian prog band that did soundtracks for Dario Argento. So this is like a fantasy job for me, to score an Italian horror film."
He continues: "They know that I love films and they can tell that from my music. And they are also familiar with my back catalogue, which is not very consistent. It's an array of different sounds and different styles. So I think that's why they approached me: I'm kind of a chameleon in that aspect."
The Italian horror movie soundtrack comes on top of another mystery doc, and as previously reported, a 20-minute "semi-narrative/documentary" Waterpark, a collaboration with Edmonton director Evan Prosofsky that sprinted past its $3,500 funding goal in May. They're now looking to finalize Waterpark with one last push, and you can go about providing that push here.
For now, view the Waterpark trailer below.