“I’ve sort of existed in an arrested state of development. I’m still trying to figure it out – I feel as clumsy now as I did when I was 17,” he says. “I’m just this evolving little monkey, I don’t really have things figured out, so I think it’s really easy for me to plug back into that stuff. And then as I’m looking at people that have connected with the music and I’m hearing their stories and now I’m writing through their eyes… I’m seeing myself in them but getting to write about it through this whole new perspective, but it’s still anchored in myself.”
Beach Slang’s debut LP, The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us, came out in October 2015. A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings is due out in September, and it’s an especially quick turnaround seeing as Beach Slang have been touring the globe ever since The Things We Do came out. Alex says the swift arrival of A Loud Bash stems from his constant urge to create.
“I’m not very good at being idle. I write every day – it’s just a thing I love to do. But very shortly after the first LP came out I remember telling the label, ‘I want to have the second one out by this date.’ They thought I was crazy, like it was never going to happen. And I just made that a thing I wanted to happen.”
“We’re a rock’n’roll band. I want to write songs and tour those songs. I feel like if you write songs and then you let them sit because you’re milking the life out of the record before it, they just start to stale up. I want to write these things, record them and then they come out when they’re still fresh and new to the band. Then you start playing these things live and there’s just an excitement and an energy to them that we might not have had if we’d been playing them for a year behind the scenes.”
Like its predecessor, A Loud Bash is loaded with emotionally charged, heart on the sleeve punk rock, recalling the likes of Husker Du and The Replacements. But writing and recording two such albums within a 12-month timeframe hasn’t drained Alex’s creative juices, and he intends to uphold this fast-paced release pattern.
“I like the idea of being in the moment,” he says. “There’s a real desire for me to keep charging ahead. I’m really lucky to be doing this. I don’t want to give it a chance to go away.”
Beach Slang are still touring, and they have just made their Australian live debut last month. Over the past couple of years they’ve widely traversed North America and Western Europe, but they were able to clear aside a couple of weeks in order to make A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings.
“We recorded it in eight or nine days,” Alex says. “I wrote it pretty much on a European tour. So when the rest of the guys were out seeing all these beautiful places all over the world, I was lodged down either in a van or a dressing room or a hotel room working. This record was the first time I ever wrote on the road. To be completely honest, I wasn’t sure if I had that skill set, but something very cool came out of it.”
“I tapped into that Jack Kerouac-ian spirit of just being this troubadour rambler. Everything got really poetic and it felt like a really great way to write. At first I was fearful of it, and then it was this thing I really embraced. I think some really cool stuff came out of it that wouldn’t have happened if I was in the staggered environment of the one room I typically write in. It was cool to be writing a record and be writing in different places and be talking to new people and being influenced by very different things.”
While the album is not due until September, the single ‘Punks In a Disco Bar’ is available now. The song exemplifies the tactile and electrified sonic character of the forthcoming record, which was recorded with The Things We Do producer Dave Downham (who has also worked with Into It. Over It. and Pattern Is Movement).
“He’s a good friend of ours. We can go for things and have bravado and carelessness and not be shy about taking those chances. And he gets us. I don’t really have to be technical. [I can say I want it to sound] like that Johnny Marr tone on ‘How Soon Is Now?’ – he’ll know what I’m talking about. We share that same sort of musical language. I can say things to him and he spins a couple of knobs and I’m like, ‘Ah yeah that’s perfect.’ He feels like the fifth Beatle. It’d be weird to make a record without him.”
A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings is out September 23 via Cooking Vinyl Australia.