There are times when Alex Lloyd feels like an Australian in-joke. He skyrocketed to fame with Amazing, the single from his breakthrough LP Watching Angels Mend; and then spectacularly crashed to earth. He’s spent the last decade or so in and out of the public eye, occasionally dropping albums that a dozen people might buy. He’s still kicking around, from what I’ve gathered. Good on him.
Anyway, this was another emailer. Not quite what I was after in terms of answers, but I’ve put it up here for completion’s sake.
– DJY, April 2014
You’ve been fairly on the quiet in-between the release of your self-titled record and Good in the Face of a Stranger. What did you occupy yourself with in this downtime?
My family and I moved to London about two and half years ago. After we got settled I managed to find myself a studio not too far from where we live in North London. It was an old photography studio. I had to then build a box inside the room, so this kept me busy. Then once the studio was ready I started writing and recording Good In The Face Of A Stranger.
Some of the songs on the new record, I feel, are more polished revisitings to your early work, particularly of the Black the Sun era. Is that a sentiment you agree with?
I don’t know if I would say more polished, but it’s a much smaller, more compact sound than the previous self-titled album. I think it is reminiscent slightly of Black the Sun, but mostly due to the fact that, like Black the Sun I ended up playing the majority of the instruments on the record.
Was there a need to create something more intimate, dark and mellow after making more commercially-aware records such as Distant Light and your self-titled?
I think due to the fact that I was in London when I started to write the album I was able to get lost in the grey sky and the more introspective nature that it provides. I have always been partial to a more melancholy sound I guess. Being where I was enabled me to really embrace it.
Good in the Face of a Stranger was released very quietly, and has thus far seen very little media coverage or response. As a now-independent artist, what is more important to you at this stage of your career – the exposure of your work or simply to have the finished product out there?
I guess it has been a bit of a learning curve on this album. I feel that we have done it the right way as far as my soul is concerned, but I definitely feel like I have learned a lot about being an independent artist at the same time.
Your career has seen you take both ends of the musical spectrum, to being a platinum seller on a major label to a hard-working independent artist. What do you see as the pros and cons of both situations; and which do you honestly prefer?
It is really hard to say, because I honestly feel as though I had a great time at major labels. However, to be contractually obligated to a company can feel pretty claustrophobic from time to time, but then they do provide a valuable service. But I can honestly say I am happy with my current status as an independent artist.
You’ve chosen some very intimate, unpretentious venues for this tour. What can fans expect in terms of your set-list, and how the songs will be played?
We will be doing a pretty laidback set for this tour, with a slight electro influence. It will be Alex Lloyd songs old and new with a real sense of wood and wire in its presentation.