You may not know much about Australia’s resident indie weirdo Alex Cameron, even if you’re familiar with his work. With two full-length records, a killer duet with Angel Olsen, and writing credit on half of the latest Killers album under his belt, Cameron can still be a tough nut to crack. But if you can’t wrap your head around his abstract musical persona, his smooth 80’s-influenced songs are undeniably great.
1870 spoke with the singer immediately after he touched down in Los Angeles to start a full U.S. tour, which hits A&R Bar here in Columbus this Thursday, March 8.
Thanks for speaking with us, I know you just landed after a long flight. You’ve been doing a lot of flying lately, how do you keep your sanity with your constant international travel?
The flights are brutal, man, there’s nothing normal about it. You’re in a weird can in the sky and the whole time I’m just trying to figure out how it works. I’m going somewhere and I’m doing it at a velocity that’s never been achieved before in human history so I might as well just shut up and enjoy it.
You were just in America in January, opening a month of shows for The Killers at some huge arenas. What was that experience like, playing to the biggest crowds of your career?
Oh yeah, we played in Brooklyn and Manhattan with them, Chicago, Detroit. We’ve been touring a lot, playing a lot of shows. Madison Square Garden was an absolute riot, that was particularly awe-inspiring.
It’s one of the most legendary venues on the planet, that’s a huge milestone. Is there a venue in your homeland that you’d particularly like to play someday?
It’s hard to say in Australia. In Sydney I’d like to play outside of the Opera House, on the steps. You’ve gotta be able to sell like five or ten thousand tickets, so it’s not small but it’s not huge, it’s just special to play outside the Opera House.
Are the people that you write about based on actual humans you’ve encountered in real life? Some of them seem to be too ridiculous to be true.
I think it’s more to do with dialogue and conversation, less to do with who the people are than the way they talk. I’ll hear certain phrases or even certain ways of speaking, and then I’ll extrapolate lines from that. I try to go into the psychology of those people and try to grow it to whatever the extremes of that person might be. I think every line on the record is based in truth and fact, and if it’s ever effective it’s because of that. It’s all very real to me and based in reality, those people are out there.
Who were the bands or artists that sparked your interest in music as a child?
There was a New Zealand band called Split Enz that was really important when I was a kid, my parent’s used to listen to a lot of New Zealand bands. Van Morrison, The Rolling Stones, Dylan, that classic 60s and 70s stuff. I got infatuated with Buddy Holly and that got me excited about rock and roll. I also really liked AC/DC, they were very powerful, the first CD I ever asked for when I was a kid.
Being from Australia that was probably, like, legally required right? Do you think you’ll ever making a loud rock record like that?
I don’t know, it strikes me as a fantasy but I don’t think it will become a reality, I don’t think I go that heavy. But who knows, I plan on making a lot of records.
Tickets are available for $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Doors open at 7 p.m. and Molly Burch opens.
Photo sourced from Alex Cameron’s Facebook page.