Get To Know: Alex Cameron
We’re introducing you to the weird world of Alex Cameron in this weeks introducing interview…
Alex Cameron’s ‘True Lies’ is possibly the most powerful song you'll ever hear concerning a taken man battling with the guilt of being in love with another woman... over the internet... and despite knowing 'she' is probably “some Nigerian guy” in real life.
We should make clear, though, that this is no laughing matter to Alex Cameron, nor to ‘Alex Cameron’. Albeit often funny, in a surprise spit-take kind of way, the purpose of these songs is more than to entertain – they’re written to critique the very sort of characters which he is embodying.
Alex Cameron was born in Australia, is 28 years old, has toured with Mac Demarco, The Killers, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Angel Olsen, and was a member of successful Sydney-based electronic music trio Seekae.
‘Alex Cameron’, however, is an older musician fallen from grace. He’s out of touch - he’s (as he puts it himself) “Marlon Brando circa 1999”.
At this point, we should clarify, Alex Cameron is ‘Alex Cameron’, and they’re somewhat inseparable.
He deals with the fringes, the outsiders, the weirdos, and his latest album Forced Witness sees ‘Alex Cameron’ be a forced witness to a plethora of hideous men; possessing their characters as well as his own, to expose them for what they are: toxic, macho alpha-males, and perhaps even worse, the men who aspire to be them.
Despite this, Forced Witness isn’t sonically dark; it’s shining bright with 80s pop glee, power ballads and uplifting, hopeful melodies. This contrasted with the lyrical storytelling delivers an end result of juxtaposing catchiness AND creepiness. These together form a surprisingly a light-hearted experience, which is at times funny, at times truly surreal, and altogether strikes a powerful chord.
To understand - take a look at the surreal, yet unexpectedly moving video for ‘Stranger’s Kiss’ (Ft. Angel Olsen), starring himself and his partner Jemima Kirke:
His old website, now defunct, used to state: “under no circumstance should an interviewer mention Alex’s teeth. His teeth, their size, and his gums are a very sensitive issue.”
So… we tried not to. Read the introducing interview below:
1) For those who don’t know about you and your music, tell us a little bit about who you are and where you’re from…
My name’s Alex Cameron. I was raised in equal parts on a farm and by the beach. In Australia. Now I spend most of time on planes in economy class getting leaned back on and watching movies on other people’s TV screens.
2) How would you describe your sound in three words?
Algorithm n’ Blues
3) Who or what inspired you to start a career in music?
Bob Dylan’s looseness. Buddy Holly’s whiteness. And Nina Simone’s transcendence.
4) Who are your biggest musical influences, past and present?
John Phillips has a reckless thing that gets me going. Judee Sill is like religion on speed. Pusha T and MF Doom connect the dots in a way that’s never been done before. Barry Gibb gives me the license to do it all.
5) Tell us about the writing and recording process for Forced Witness. How did it all come together?
I started seeing how men were behaving in positions of power. Then I started seeing how their behaviour was trickling down into bars and nightclubs and on public transport. Men follow the leader. If the leader is a pig then that’s the standard set for a term or a period of time. I started writing about that in Sydney. Then it kept going in Berlin when I was tangled up with a girl in an old apartment. Then it all finished in Las Vegas. The aftermath happened in Topanga Canyon.
6) For fans who haven’t seen you before, what can we expect from an Alex Cameron live show?
They can imagine some kinda fluorescent door opening up in front of them. The opening to the no judgement zone. You can be who you are at birth. You can contemplate the chemicals of the mind, your mistakes made on behalf of them. Some kind of personal ecstasy. Wet patches and bulges and a spiritual understanding.
7) Have you had a stand out career highlight so far? If so, what was it?
I liked playing at Madison Square Garden. We opened for the Killers on their world tour this year. I didn’t expect it to feel so intimate. Everyone was right there. My parents saw that show. So did my girlfriend, and her children. She’s a single mother. Until I can afford to do something about that.
8) Have you ever met anyone and found yourself completely starstruck?
I saw Tim Robbins riding a bike down Santa Monica Pier once. He looked so calm and pleased. Like he coulda rode that thing straight into the ocean and never returned.
9) What’s on your iPod/playlists that people wouldn’t expect?
Probably a lot of pop music. I love the melodies and despise the words. So, I listen to it almost like the songs are instrumental. Pop writers are manipulative. But generally, not all that interested in timelessness. Timelessness is what I hope to deal in one day. And that comes with words.
10) When can we next see you live and what’s next on the horizon for you?
I’m renting an apartment in Queens using my manager’s money. I’m writing songs here. I’m gonna play shows and hope to pay off some of this debt. Then I’m gonna make a record and put all my money on it being a classic. See if that pays off.
Intro words by Alex Beach (Not Alex Cameron, nor another character played by Alex Cameron)