Melbourne’s MOONLOVER has released his debut full-length album, Thou Shall Be Free through Our Golden Friend / Island Records. Moonlover is the moniker of Melbourne’s Quang Dinh, formerly of Little Red. In tune with his occult pseudonym, Dinh releases all of his music in synergy with the Lunar Calendar, with this album release falling in line with the Full Moon. The psychedelic pop album is laden with singles Queen of Sheba, The Ooiee and title track Thou Shall Be Free. The eclecticism of the album journeys the listener through stories and experiences through time and space while weaving through Dinh’s subconscious. Quang Dinh answers some questions for Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles about his new album.
It’s great that you’re back making music again, did it take a while to find your feet with Moonlover?
I’ve never stopped making music. The federal police would have to get a swat team on me. Previously, I made an album with a band called Naked Bodies, then started DIY recording solo as QD, then Moonlover. As soon as I came up with the name Moonlover, I knew where I needed to go.
Did you have the idea for this band simmering away in your mind for quite some time?
Usually you start with the band playing live and then build up to a recording. But this time, I didn’t want to start playing with a band until there was something good recorded and finished. I started playing with a live band about six months ago.
How do you compare your music with Moonlover compared to what you did with Little Red?
It’s incomparable really. I only wrote a few songs in Little Red and I was only but a grasshopper then, in more of a supporting role, playing bass, singing harmonies and some lead and drinking the rider. Moonlover is a concentrated form of Quang Dinh. Like bleach.
Do you miss those days or have you moved on and it’s a blur in the rear view mirror now?
Those times were sweet, but no, I do not miss those days. Forward is the only way I wish to travel.
Aligning your releases with the lunar calendar is interesting and something a bit different?
Indeed. I’ve given up on thinking about days or weeks. I think about Moons.
Is this the most satisfied you have been musically?
Perhaps, yes. I set myself a huge challenge to make the record alone and I wandered around in the dark for a long time making this record, climbing a mountain I did not know how to climb. I held myself to some idea of discipline, hard work and self-belief to make it.
Did you find that the ideas for songs come quickly?
Sometimes, a spirit or a feeling just hits you and washes you away with it. Other times you’re fumbling around, trying to lift your head up from the dirt to see something.
Do you get writers block? How do you overcome it?
I try not to believe in writers block. I think writers block means perhaps you haven’t learnt, felt, experienced anything new recently. The inner and outer world is too infinite to spend time on the fence.
Even though the album is out do you keep writing songs?
Yes. I’m not dead yet. You have to keep digging and digging and digging.
Are you looking forward to the fun stuff now by getting out on the road?
I look forward to the next challenge which is getting on the road. It is fun, but it’s more important to me that the band and I keep musically reaching higher and higher and that we can deliver something worthwhile to audiences.
What’s next for Moonlover?
More records. A zine called Planet Quango with all the weird meanderings of my mind. I have also been very much enjoying making music videos and wish to make more.
Interview by Rob Lyon