Stac­cato in­spi­ra­tion

Three high-pro­file mu­si­cians who have cho­sen to live abroad.

VOGUE Hommes International (English) - - CONTENTS - By julien gester

An enGlisH­MAn in PAris Joseph Mount nAMe Found­ing mem­ber of the Bri­tish elec­tronic Known As pop group Metron­omy Love Let­ters, 2014 lAt­est Al­buM 32 Totnes, United King­dom AGe born in Paris, France re­sides in

— “I prob­a­bly would never have left Eng­land if I hadn’t met my part­ner in Paris, where she and I have been liv­ing to­gether for sev­eral years now. I had no deep de­sire to leave. When you spend most of your time tour­ing, there’s a 70 % chance you’ll meet the per­son you love far from home, so you re­ally have to learn to be flex­i­ble. I love the Parisian life­style, es­pe­cially the ven­er­a­tion of fine cui­sine and the so­cial cus­toms that come with it. Treat­ing din­ner as the main event of the evening, for ex­am­ple — tak­ing time at the ta­ble to ap­pre­ci­ate what you’re eat­ing and drink­ing. In Eng­land we dine early and quickly so we can then busy our­selves get­ting dead drunk by 11pm, which of­ten puts the dampers on the evening. But there are things I also miss, ter­ri­bly. Nearly all the build­ings here are twice as high as those in London, and I of­ten feel a lack of open space, of ac­cess to the sky. I’ve re­turned to Eng­land to make each of my al­bums, although I’d love to record in France or the US one day. But the rea­son I haven’t un­til now is that there’s a part of me that keeps want­ing to make au­then­tic English mu­sic, to be fully a part of that tra­di­tion. I’m very in­flu­enced by wher­ever I hap­pen to be. When I moved from the coun­try up to London I was 24, the per­fect age to en­joy the nightlife, and that led to Nights Out. The next al­bum, English Riviera, was a sort of imag­i­nary pro­jec­tion of the place where I grew up — Devon, on the coast. I’d have th­ese day­dreams of the golden age of sea­side glam­our, which Devon cer­tainly never knew. My new al­bum has lots of songs that have to do with the feel­ing of be­ing up­rooted, far from the one you love, and miss­ing out on what’s hap­pen­ing back home. It’s some­thing any tour­ing mu­si­cian has to han­dle — at some point they end up hope­lessly ob­sessed with the idea of go­ing home. Love Let­ters plays with this idea and the emo­tions that I think go along with it, although I can’t say that I’ve felt all th­ese emo­tions my­self.”

a Cana­Dian in lis­Bon Alex Zhang Hung­tai


Dirty Beaches, ghostly Known a s garage rock mu­si­cian

lat­est a lBum Drifters / Love is the Devil, 2013

34 Taipei, Tai­wan age Born in

Lis­bon, Por­tu­gal re­siDes in

“I’m talk­ing to you f rom Shang­hai where I’m cel­e­brat­ing the Lu­nar New Year with my fam­ily, who’ve been here sev­eral years now. I was born in Tai­wan, I spent most of my ado­les­cence in Honolulu, and I’ve lived many years in var­i­ous parts of the States, in Canada — but re­ally, I feel I’m from nowhere. I’ve just moved to Lis­bon, where I adore the ar­chi­tec­ture, the weather, the food, the pas­tries, the friendly peo­ple, the ocean, the low cost of liv­ing. Be­fore that I lived a year in Berlin, a city of many con­tra­dic­tory qual­i­ties where I felt I found a mir­ror. Berlin has this weird ten­dency to am­plify peo­ple’s character traits. I’d never lived in a place like that. Un­for­tu­nately, I was one of those North Amer­i­can ex­pats who to­day are de­stroy­ing the city’s iden­tity. I said I lived there, but I be­lieve that in the past year alone, I was in over a hun­dred dif­fer­ent ci­ties ( I’ve stopped count­ing ), strid­ing across Europe to Vol­gograd and Jerusalem. This wan­der­ing has al­ways been cen­tral to the iden­tity of the Dirty Beaches project, which feeds off of t rav­el­ling and be­ing in ex­ile far from home in or­der to speak of life from a for­eigner’s per­spec­tive. It all fits per­fectly with the odd itin­er­ary that’s been my rite of pas­sage. And the need for it just grows stronger, to the ex­tent that I now re­lo­cate from one coun­try to another ev­ery few months. At this stage, the whole no­tion of ’ home’ can be summed up by the bed I’m sleep­ing in. But my mu­sic is also in­spired by places where I’ve never set foot — like Egypt, or this dis­trict in Istanbul that in­spired me to write a song after I fell asleep watch­ing a doc­u­men­tary on it that worked its way into my dreams. I thirst for lands and cul­tures that I don’t un­der­stand, and ev­ery­thing that for me is un­known. Maybe in the process of un­der­stand­ing th­ese new lands that I’m al­ways ex­plor­ing, I’m ac­tu­ally dis­cov­er­ing a part of my­self that’s hid­den. I’m go­ing to take a short break from tour­ing to write and record some new songs in Lis­bon. Then I’m go­ing to per­form in China, Ja­pan, Viet­nam, Thai­land. And maybe af­ter­wards I’ll move to Asia — who knows? I think it’s al­ways bet­ter to have a clean slate and just let the wind take you …”

They hap­pily went

where the wind took them. In­spired and in­spir­ing,

mu­si­cians Joseph Mount, Alex Zhang Hung­tai and John Grant

speak of the need to be else­where.

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