Every week, we’re going to be introducing you to a brand new artist we’re going mad for here at NME Towers via our ego-busting Q&A, What’s Your Band Called, Mate? This week, Baltimore’s Julien Chang talks Baltimore life, gigs in the afterlife and translating new music into a full-band prospect.
What’s your band called, mate?
“Julien Chang. My parents came up with it. It’s just me playing all the instruments when I’m recording, but when I go live I take a band of friends I know from school.”
What do you sound like?
“It’s a weird practice describing your own sound. I think musically I’m too inconsistent for a description to hold true for very long. It’s totally contingent on what I’m inspired by around the time of the recording. I’ve recently been really into Alban Berg and Thomas Mapfumo.”
Are you any good (honestly)?
“I would hope so.”
What’s your best song?
“The next one!”
What’s been your most memorable gig?
“I’ve only just recently given a performance context to this music which had for so long been a completely solitary thing. I recorded the whole album alone in my basement. Working with the members of my live band to translate the songs into live arrangements has been its own novel excitement and challenge.”
Tell us something really interesting about you, that isn’t to do with music.
“When I’m home in Baltimore, I go lindy hopping at least once a week.”
We said really interesting…
“I went to the same high school that Tupac went to.”
What is your karaoke song?
“I don’t know that I’ve ever done proper karaoke. ‘Uptown Girl’?”
Scenario: We’ve given you a shit load of money to make a big budget video – what do you do
“Help my mom buy a farm. Then we could film it there.”
What do you want to achieve with your music?
“Still working on my official mission statement. For now, retrospective fulfilment and the contribution to that of the people involved in my life and music.”
If your tour bus was hanging over the edge of a cliff and you needed to throw out one band member as ballast, which member would it be and why?
“We’d all have to jump and look for gigs in the afterlife. What’s the scene like in heaven?”
Fill in the blanks: When you listen to our music, it feels like Mother Earth is stretching your limbs.
If your band had ‘stans’ (superfans, like Katy Perry’s Kitty Cats or Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters), what would the name for them be?
Where can we see you next?
“Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn on October 15th.”
What do you want to happen at your last ever show?
“Aerial silk or other circus arts.”
Any final words?
“Very much hoping to see you in Brooklyn on October 15th. If you can’t make it, I’m also playing two nights in London on October 28th and 29th, Brussels on the 31st, and Berlin on the 1st of November. Thank you thank you.”