"My right ear is really hot"
“I haven’t done many telephone interviews so I’ve had no time to develop any policies or pet peeves,” Alex Cameron tells me from his balcony in Berlin.
This may sound odd but face-to-face Alex does have terms and conditions you see, and you can read them on his idiosyncratic web 2.0 home. Samples of which include, ‘interviews with Alex Cameron (hereafter ‘the artist’) are to be held at AMF Bowling, Randwick,’ or how about, ‘under no circumstance should an interviewer mention Alex’s teeth. His teeth, their size, and his gums are a very sensitive issue.’
I avoid all denture talk but do ask the Sydney-born Cameron if he’s for real? “Well, I like talking on the telephone but there is a certain amount of time that I will allow a phone to be pressed up against my ear – I don’t like to feel the heat of a phone. That’s the only thing I can think of right now… oh and there is a slight delay on this call, which I am noting.”
After a good while chatting, Alex eventually answer’s my question but for the time being his wonderfully complex online and on-stage identity are all I have to go on – that and the dead pan voice still discussing telephones on the receiver.
Alex Cameron is a secret and he knows it. “Outside the committed few who have heard my album, ‘Jumping The Shark’, it’s just industry who know me. I am known in show business but not by the general listening public,” he proudly tells me.
“The strangest thing happened, I was getting these emails from a friend of mine, Henry, he was a sound engineer that I worked with in Australia and he was saying how he had a radio show, so I sent him my songs and I thought that’s weird Henry has a radio show but it turned out later it was Henry Rollins and I had made a mistake. The songs ended up on KCRW in Los Angeles.” I have no idea if Alex has a friend called Henry; it’s the way he tells them, I think. Like you’re waiting for the punch line.
‘Jumping The Shark’ is Alex’s storybook of sadness; it’s an intimate ensemble of his deepest thoughts that’s strangely uplifting considering the dark lyrical content within, not too dissimilar to Mac Demarco’s largely forgotten ‘Rock and Roll Nightclub’ EP. Whether you feel like dancing or pulling the curtains, it turns out a synth and drum machine are heavily potent weapons in his hands. “Well on the whole part, my songs are quite sad,” he says. “There is a thread of sadness throughout the entire album and the record really hits you, it hits you for six, you know, it’s a melancholy that makes you feel ecstatic.”