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Lordy lordy if it isn't Lloydie


Interview: Emma Whitelaw

BACK in old Blighty, newlywed and proud father, Alex Lloyd, talks to IndieLondon about life, love and living out of a suitcase.

Affectionately known to his Australian public as 'Lloydie', Alex has been very busy of late.

With a six-week tour of Australia, a sell-out gig at Islington Academy, various appearances on UK radio AND the release of his new single, Hello The End, the former Mother Hubbard front man is sure hard to pin down!

Fortunately for us, he took some time out from his busy schedule for a quick chat about his soon to be released third album, Distant Light.

"Well, it actually makes more sense when you’re travelling, it’s a travel record. I actually thought it would do really well with Australian Backpackers because it's just about all that," he explains.

"It’s about basically being away from home and the shit that you go through. So it’s actually, probably, more so than the Australian public back home, it’s probably better for the Australian public in London.

"It’s songs like Far Away, Coming Home and 1,000 Miles. You kinda go away, you go overseas to find yourself, to some degree. A lot of young Australians I reckon do anyway.

"I’ve never been that specific about songs, or wanting to give away too much, cause I kinda figure that when people go and buy and listen to music, that’s what they get given - that memory, or that gift; it's their own, it becomes their own and it has their own meaning and has their own interpretation. So at the end of the day, it's whatever you want it to be."

But, when pushed a little further, he adds…

"Personally it was about me travelling.

"It was almost like the end of my travels, kind of after three years of touring the world over two records.

"Cause I wrote it at the end of Watching Angels Mend and that had just come out in America, and I did six months of touring there.

"Mostly with Beth Orton, and I was kind of at the end of my tether to a degree.

"I’d stayed in thousands upon thousands of different hotel rooms, every night. I just had too many freaky experiences, and I just wanted to go home.

"And I guess, yeah, I started writing it and I guess Distant Light was sort of to me the light at the end of the tunnel.

"But it’s funny, cause that chorus for the song Distant Light was written before I’d even travelled.

"I wrote it years and years ago, but I never had a verse to go with it. ‘Outside away, it’s calling your name, it’s your life from a Distant Light’.

"It’s sort of about wanting to travel; it’s actually wanting to get out of what you know and the everyday sort of thing, which was sort of Australia at the time.

"But it’s weird that it came full circle and it really stands for wanting to go home. I guess home to me has always been the people that you love and the people you want to be with."

Bouncing between New York, London and Sydney is a typical week in the life of Alex Lloyd.

After being on the road for so long, Alex has grown to appreciate coming back to the land that he still calls home.

"Yeah I love it! I think Australia is by far, on just a pure lifestyle level and everything, I think it's one of the best places to live in the world. The quality of life is incredible compared to everywhere else."

And yet like most of us, he still craves all that Europe has to offer.

"But it’s so good to go and experience England, and I just went to France before I got here, and just sorta hung out in Nice, just for a week to have a bit of a rest after my tour, and it was wicked just seeing and living a different lifestyle, and listening to a different language and experiencing a different culture.

"And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? And then last record, Watching Angels, came out in Italy and that was really good.

"I got to play Milano Football stadium and, yeah, just did heaps of really cool stuff that I otherwise wouldn’t have got to do.

"It’s been a while since I’ve been here, it always is. Black the Sun, my first record, came out here and that did quite well, like with reviews and all that kinda stuff, and it got a bit of critical acclaim.

"And then Watching Angels Mend came out and it did all right on radio up in Scotland and a few places.

"It’s pretty hard to crack London, there’s so much music coming out every week, and its sort of, in a weird way, that if you’re Australian it works a little bit against you because I don’t know we’re very much convicts really.

"Nah! It’s got a lot to do with bureaucracy and if your signed directly to a UK label, or if you’re signed to an Australian label. You know it’s just a harder way in. But you keep chipping away and hopefully one day you make it then.

"Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I wouldn’t give up my life for anyone else’s. I’ve been really privileged, I’ve made good music, and I’ve played it to many people around the world.

"Experienced things, I guess. I guess the kind of cool thing about being in London,and not being that famous, you have a bit of anonymity as well. And that’s really nice because you can sit in the café and listen to conversations again.

"Whereas, in Australia, it’s a bit more like 'oh, that’s Lloydie', so it’s kinda nice to have that.

"In France, I’d just go to the beach, I don’t care, I just have a good time. I don’t worry about a photographer getting my white arse on film! I like that. It’s like being the underdog again."

Travel aside, Alex talks candidly about his latest, life-changing experience, the birth of his four-month-old son, Jake.

"This last tour I’ve probably been the most professional about my business and my career than I ever have in my life," he observes.

"I’ve changed, since I’ve had my kid, Jake. I’m a just a different person. My whole approach to everything is completely different.

"I guess it’s more mature, you know, and it’s more of an approach of 'I’m here and people have paid to see me, I wanna do a really good show'.

"Rather than before, where I was probably more likely to get really pissed and just get up there and do whatever and hope for the best.

"Every now and then, you don’t have a voice cause you didn’t sleep, or you partied too hard. So it's just about growing up a little bit and wanting to do better at what I do with my craft, you know?

"I don’t wanna be a rock star. I just wanna make good music and make a living from it.

"I’ve never tried to be in the tabloid magazines, or be that kind of a person.

"And its weird, the more personal I’ve got in my life, having a child and getting married and doing things like that, the more I’ve gotten into the tabloids.

"And I don’t mean not do interviews and not talk to journalists, you know what I mean? Just not get papped and all that kinda shit."

So what next? A move to France?

"Some days I just go 'fuck it, I’m moving to France'.

"But yeah, I thought I could do a stint definitely now with my kid and everything.

"I’d love for him to know another language. I could definitely handle doing some time overseas. I just guess it just has to be the right time, I’m not sure right now is.

"I’ve pretty much written my next record so I’m kind of pretty keen now to just go and do that and not really worry about America, or anything this time, and just concentrate on a new album.

"I feel like I’m at sort of a new chapter at the end of three albums; I feel like it’s a new beginning and I’m starting again. I’m kinda keen just to get on with it.

"But you never know I might move to France!"

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