Interview: Alex G
A few months ago, we sat down with Philadelphia based-bedroom emo pop angel Alex G ahead of his Glasgow gig. We talked everything from DIY ethos, the recording process to upsetting small children.
Post__Nothing: Hello Alex G! It feels like you’ve been constantly touring recently
Alex G: Yeah pretty much, a constant tour. We get a couple of weeks off and then another month or whatever. It’s not a problem, it’s cool and keeps you busy. You get to see a lot of places.
P__N: Do you like playing shows over here? Is it cool to come away from your scene and hang out with local bands over here?
A.G: Yeah it’s cool to see the bands over here and to just play over here. I think we’re treated more professionally. It feels nice over here yeah, we get treated especially good which is really cool. Not that we aren’t treated good in the states too. It’s just the music and the treatment here compared to the us are a little different.
P__N: How would you say they’re different?
A.G: It seems like over here people come out like ‘my friend was playing you the other day, I thought I’d come and check out your music’ but in the states if it isn’t a band you already know then you probably won’t see them. People come out to shows a lot more easily here.
P__N: Clearly you’ve been to some good cities for gigs then. It’s cool that you’ve seen the best.
A.G: Yeah that’s what it seems like. There’s just been really cool crowds and venues.
P__N: Do you think there’s any similarities between your scene in the U.S to here?
A.G: Yeah, it’s hard we only get to see the one band we play with and sometimes it’ll be something that sounds familiar to me. It’s hard to tell I guess because I think the stuff in Philadelphia that I would be comparing it to would be all the in-house shows, in DIY venues and we’re obviously over here playing non-DIY shows.
P__N: Is there much cross pollination between Philadelphia/D.C/Baltimore/NYC because it’s quite condensed. Is that a great place to tour about because it’s so close together?
A.G: Yeah it’s really great. I didn’t realise how good we had it until we went out to the Midwest and people were like ‘the closest city we can get to is five hours away’. We could play shows in NYC and Baltimore each weekend and not have to officially tour because you could still go back to your bed at the end of the night. It’s a great place to be a musician, the East Coast. It’s a collaborative place, nobody thinks too hard about where you’re from.
P__N: Is DIY in any way important to you. Is there a reason you’re so in that scene?
A.G: To be honest I don’t know how much I can say I’m part of that scene now. It’s almost like it’s not the same anymore once you reach certain level. But yeah it’s a beautiful thing to have all these people that are so passionate about music and seeing music, or art or whatever, and it’s not about making money. It’s just about seeing shit you think is cool and showing it to everybody and that’s really respectable. I’m not like gung ho about DIY or anything. I didn’t realise I had a DIY mentality. I just really like to make music. Nobody was gonna do it for me so I made it in my house and it just happened.
P__N: Do you think you’re sound is ever gonna change at all? Do you think it will become more produced over bedroom style?
A.G: I think I’ll probably end up doing that just out of boredom with the means that I have. But I wouldn’t do it from pressure from any outside source, I would just do it. I’m already finishing up recordings now. Doing it the same way for so long. It would be cool to make a CD that you can put in a car and just blast. My music now isn’t just something that you can do that with. I think I will, eventually, when it’s the right time.
P__N: I think there’s something that makes that relatable as a listener, something that’s not super high quality and feels warmer and more similar.
A.G: I think I stay away form high quality because I have the means myself to do it. When I go to a studio there’ll be a middle man altering it. That freaks me out a little because I do so much messing around after I’ve recorded it. So I feel like if there’s a middle man then I might lose something.
P__N: How would you describe your recording process?
A.G: Just me in my room. I’ll write a guitar melody, record that and then just layer on top of that and then the singing part last usually.
P__N: How did you get together with Lucky Number Records?
A.G: They must have just heard DSU online somewhere, liked it and said we want to put this out in the U.K. They’re the most concrete label that I’m on because they’re keeping DSU in press, but I’m still with orchid tapes, they rock.
P__N: Is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with?
A.G: I don’t think I have a good answer to that because I don’t think about that at all Because I just don’t work well with other people. Not in a confrontational way. I’m always a little disappointed with what I make with other people as opposed to what I make myself on my own.
P__N: So how did your Ryan Hemsworth collaboration come about?
A.G: He just emailed me a track and I recorded vocals for it and he moulded it into what’s out now. It was really cool, really quick. I forgot about it until the record actually came out.
P__N: How do you feel about being mistaken for Alex G?
A.G: It’s really cool actually. I’ve had some funny encounters from playing shows and people thinking I’m the other Alex G. That’s why I’m getting booked as SANDY Alex G instead of just Alex G. One time we had this dude who came up at a show and was obviously really angry, like, ‘I’m here to see Alex G, she’s my favourite artist, I can’t wait to see her’ and someone was like, ‘it’s not that Alex G’ and he threw a fit. He really couldn’t believe it. Like I can’t believe I have to let down these people. One time this little girl came to the show and burst into tears. Her and her Mom were there and her Mom was like ‘we drove three hours to see this show’. I was so sorry.
P__N: You should have covered some Frozen.
A.G: Yeah or Katy Perry. I don’t really mind about it other than it sucks to let people down and upset them.
P__N: Maybe that’s a collaboration that should happen, G².
A.G: Haha yeah. There’s also a DJ called Alex G. I haven’t listened to his music but he comes up when i Google myself.
P__N: When we interview people we like them to recommend stuff that we should listen to from their neck of the woods. We spoke to Girlpool a few months back and they told us about you. So who would you recommend?
A.G: Oh wow that’s so nice. There’s a band called Porches, Snoozer and this band from Texas called True Widow. They’re awesome. There’s a guy called Brandon Can’t Dance and that’s really cool stuff, just guitar loops and weird drum machine stuff. There’s a band called Cold Foamers too but they just broke up.
P__N: What’s coming next?
A.G: Probably just the same thing. I’ve done a new record so I’m gonna jump through all the record label hoops. I’d like that come out in September, and then just tour for ages.
P__N: Cool shit! Thanks Alex G!
You can find Alex G on Bandcamp.