"There’s so many millions of 7” records and albums, too, and I don’t see them rising to the top in a unique way. A lot of mainstream indie these days is too many steps removed from rock bands like the Velvet Underground—but that’s just our era now."
"When I came to Interscope 10 years ago, the first thing they did was offer me the chance to work with Timbaland and Missy, to cross me over. They still offer me that. But this is what I am. ‘Paper Planes’ was an accident. It wasn’t a song we made for the masses."
"I am generalizing, of course, but in hip-hop, it’s like you get this shine for using the word ‘pussy’ a billion times, and I think that that’s weirdly healthier than not doing it at all— even though I really hope it ends soon because, you know, how many decades can we do that? And with white dudes in indie rock— generally speaking, once again— there’s this guilt: ‘Oh, we’re not going to talk about that.’ And there are plenty of people who don’t talk about those things who end up having really unhealthy relationships with sex."
"At this point, with music in general, especially modern dance music like Skrillex or even ‘Gangnam Style’, there are these bended, twisted synth parts; those feelings that we were exploring has become completely mainstream. I don’t think it came from us, but we explored it first in a lot of ways. It’s a strong element, so because of that I still think we have to make more records and maybe by then a lot more people will get it."
"I wanted to draw from Wagner to create an over-the-top love theme, even though masturbation is as close as you get to a love scene in this film."
"If I had any advice for young musicians, it would be to use your own ears, your own common fucking sense, and pay attention to what’s going on around you before you listen to douchebags like me."
"Kurt Cobain was a spirit guide in the beginning. I knew what all the fame would feel like already because I read about it in his journals. […] To be told that you’re the voice of your generation is such an incredible amount of pressure, and I haven’t faced that. Maybe by the time our third record rolls around, I will. My goals are to be a band like that in five years."
"I’ve smoked it in the past, but I find it funny that people consider weed a pretty normal, go-to drug, when it’s the one that can make you paranoid and want to hide in your closet. I’m not a heavy drug user. I’m a family guy."
"The way I look at it, this is my job. Before all this, I was fucking washing dishes. It’s not like I’m a fucking rich boy who does music in my free time. So I don’t give a fuck what people type on the internet. If they want to say something, they can say it to my face, and then I’ll decide if I should take them seriously or not, in person. But on the internet, I respond really strongly because it’s my heart and soul that I put out there."
— Take heed: Dirty Beaches' Alex Zhang Hungtai takes social media— and pretty much everything else— very seriously, as Larry Fitzmaurice learned in this interview about Hungtai’s forthcoming experimental double LP.