Alex Cameron is probably best known as one of the members of Sydney-based electronic trio Seekae, who have released the acclaimed albums “The Sounds of Trees Falling on People” and “+Dome” on Rice is Nice within the last 6 years. Camerons debut solo LP “Jumping The Shark”, released in November 2013, is a collection of tales about sadness and inevitable failure, short stories documenting the bankrupt and morally vacant world of contemporary showbiz – and they’re voiced by a forgotten variety show host, Ken DuPont (Cameron). Dark and deadpan, stylistically a little bit Bowie and a little bit Byrne, with the bleak suburban musings of Jarvis Cocker and with a Bryan Ferry-/ Nick Cave-ish vibe in his singing, a voice like honey and lyrics that sting. His keyboard licks go straight for the heart. He knows what he’s doing and although he’s nobody’s fool, he is a slave to love. He also has a deep, untreated phobia of tsunamis.
6 foot 4 Point Guard/ Forward
Owns 2 quad bikes and has access to a NSW licensed shotgun (with supervision)
What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Song. Lyrics. A vast requisite to tell stories. An on going pulse knocking at me, telling me to write or do something for Pete’s sake the whole world is going kaput but you are first so say something and then die later.
How and when did you get into making music?
I didn’t have a television as a child, just a stereo. I would listen to music from the 40s 50s and 60s. Then when I was 14 I met A girl called Cand y May and I could not speak to her she was too beautiful. So I wrote songs in an attempt to get her attention.
What are your 5 favourite albums of all time?
I don’t listen to music that way, in order of preference. But here are some that I enjoy very much:
‘Beautiful’ by The Reels
‘Station to Station’ by David Bowie
‘Chet Baker Sings: It Could Happen To You’ by Chet Baker
‘Nina Simone Sings The Blues’ by Nina Simone
‘I’m Your Man’ by Leonard Cohen
What do you associate with Berlin?
Honest weather. A willing people. Moments of inspiration. Days without a shower. It is an exciting place for me. I am from the other side of the world. My brother lives in Dresden, so there is some familiarity for me, but it is vague. I look forward to walking through Berlin. When I was 19 I stayed in an old building. I watched people on bikes. I met an old man busking, he performed on a digital keyboard, and his schtick was to scroll through the sounds and demo songs at rand om. He looked at me with triumph. I payed him what I could.
What’s your favourite place in your town?
Sydney. There are a few places I love. The Sydney Game Fishing Club has some memories for me. The bays in the harbour, or the drives down the coast. Places where I can think for a moment.
If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I was very eager to play basketball professionally. I would have done that, or coached through the junior ranks at representative level with the goal being to coach internationally in Europe or at the collegiate level in America.
What was the last record you bought?
‘Embracism’ by Kirin J Callinan. My review: 8/10 – an ear opening listen.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I’m not one to collaborate with anyone outside my band . Fanny V, The Bull, Laire Pickles and Roy Molloy – not much more a feller could ask for. I would like to record with a female vocalist. Cand y May has a fantastic singing voice. I look forward to hearing her on record. We saw Sean Nicholas Savage perform in Texas. I appreciate his poetry. I would like to hear more.
What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Sydney Town Hall, 2014. The band was red hot that night. Big crowd. Big room. Big sound. We seemed to take people by surprise. A nice feeling.
How important is technology to your creative process?
Very Important. I am online for a large portion of each day. I email myself lyrics, I record visions on my dictaphone, I type poetry on my computer, I shoot video with my camera and edit on my computer. I’m running a small business here. Sure, I go off grid from time to time, but I try to stay tapped in on some level 18 hours a day. You should see my website.
Do you have siblings and are they proud or jealous of you?
I have one brother, Ian, who lives in Dresden. I have one sister, Joanna, who lives in London. I love them and their families very much. They also inform a lot of my writing. My brother has been full of advice from day one. When I was a boy he said to me ‘Each day goes faster and faster until the years become moments and then you die’. My sister works hard and takes care of me. They are both very supportive. I always look forward to seeing them.
Mclean Stephenson | mcleanstephensonphotography.tumblr.com
| Interview with Alex Cameron by Digital in Berlin