Quang Dinh, formerly of Little Red, The Strange and Naked Bodies, has never ceased to intrigue in the most entertaining of ways. Now, in Moonlover, Quang delivers "Thou shall be free", a sumptious new album thoroughly marinated with his unique psychedelic sensibilities and dripping with thoughtful pop. We caught up with Quang to discuss pink flourescent slime, Kid A, Bowie, the moon and moonlover ...
Congratulation on your debut album "Thou shall be free"! What has been the response been so far?
One of my friends told me she made love to her significant other while this album was playing in the background. This is good and I wish to be the distant Godfather of many children. I’m so glad the album is out there and making its way through other sentient beings.
Tell us about Moonlover... is this a new group, or is it a moniker for you?
I was standing in my backyard one night, staring at the big old moon and the name struck me, ‘Moonlover’. It is the name of the recording project, the band, me...and you.
You've been involved with a number of other groups, Little Red, Naked Bodies, The Strange and your solo act QD - how does Moonlover manifest for you as a songwriter, musician and performer?
QD became Moonlover. Just a name change. Moonlover is a night time kinda thing playing with the energies of dreams and the subconscious.
So who is involved with the recording and production of "Thou shall be free"?
I performed and recorded it myself in my bedroom studio or studio bedroom. It’s called Pink Slime Studios and to get into the right meditation I slap on a huge pink fluorescent light which electrifies the mind and cleanses the palette of the day. I mixed as I recorded and recorded as I mixed. I brought the mix to a certain level but I needed some new ears so eventually I went to John Lee of Phaedra Studios and we finished it off. He was an absolute delight to work with.
What's behind the name of your album?
David Bowie came to me in a dream and sung to me in his twee melodious way, ‘Oh, oh, oh, oh, thou shall be free.’ That was how the song was born and I thought it’d be a bold and apt title for the album.
What is the songwriting process for Moonlover?
It’s dangerous to think that there is a process. As Leonard Cohen says, after each song is finished, you have to start again...from scratch. I just try to keep my lines open and my antennae functional.
Now you've finished your album - what next? Are there any tours or festival appearances planned?
It’s all a bit hush hush at the mo.
You recently wrote a lover letter to Radiohead's Kid A. How has this music inspired your songwriting and sound, and what other influences can be heard on your album?
Kid A cracked my head open when it came out. Just the weirdness of it all. The sounds lived as pictures in my head. But Kid A wasn’t on my mind when I made the album. I was listening to other stuff. I am religious about Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan, but otherwise I was listening to David Bowie, Alabama Shakes, Gorillaz, Gabriella Cohen, Iggy, Velvet Underground.
If you could put together your own music festival, who would be on the bill?
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Aldous Harding, Iggy Pop.
If your music was to be used as a soundtrack for a film, who would you want directing and starring in it?
It’d be real cool if Stanley Kubrick and David Bowie made a spacey rock and roll film together. That’d work real well.
If you had to play a completely different genre of music to what you do now, what would it be?
I would score films.
If your work was represented by a visual artist, who would that be and why?
A very talented artist, Dali Platt made the cover and back art for the album. I saw her work ‘Octomobile’ and knew instantly that it was perfect for the album. It’s hard to explain why. Maybe the collage aspect of her work kinda mirrors the collage aspect of my work. But really it was just a gut feeling.
What songs are on your best imaginary mix-tape?
Those alien odes with all the notes that the dogs can hear.
What food/drink serving suggestions do you have for this album?
The milk of the moon, the blood of the sun...