Interview mit Alex Cameron Foto Corinna Sauer MUSIKMUSSMIT

Im Plausch mit: Alex Cameron | Mensch, Mythos und Pomade

„I’m not that attached to what people take out of my music. I’m attached to what we put into it.“

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Konzert am 10. November 2016 im ACUD Berlin, Support: Pictorial Candi
Text, Fotos und Interview: Corinna Sauer

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Mensch, Mythos und Pomade

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Wikipedia sagt, dass die Bedeutung des Begriffs „Persona“ in der Antike die „Schauspielermaske“ bezeichnete. In unserem heutigen durch soziale Netzwerke geprägtem Verständnis bezeichnet das Wort „Persona“ vor allem eine Art von Schein-Identität, in die man nach Belieben hineinschlüpfen und der Außenwelt ein bestimmtes Bild der eigenen Person vermitteln kann.

Wenn man sich das Schaffen des australischen Musikers Alex Cameron im Netz betrachtet, erhält man recht schnell den Eindruck, dass er eine Geschichte erzählt, in deren Mittelpunkt ein junger, etwas eigentümlicher Musiker steht, der den selben Namen wie er selbst trägt. Alex Cameron zeigt sich als den perfekten „Loser“, den Lonesome Rider auf der Suche nach Authentizität und Bedeutung im Unbedachten. Seine Musik beinhaltet das: unaufgeregt, klar und ohne ablenkende Schnörkel bildet sie das Herzstück der Erzählung. Elektro-Pop, Minimal und Syntie mischen sich gradlinig miteinander und bilden rhythmisch durchgängig den Rahmen für Alex‘ wunderbare, tiefe Stimme und seinen teils düsteren Gesang.

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Der Stoff, aus dem seine Lyrics sind

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Inhaltlich handeln seine Erzählungen von dem, was er erlebt, wenn er zusammen mit seinem Saxophonisten, Freund und „Business Partner“ Roy Molloy auf einem ihrer Roadtrips unterwegs ist und er berichtet von seinen Erfahrungen mit dem Musik-Business. Von seinem persönlichen Scheitern und davon, wie jenes Scheitern etwas Unterschätztes und Wunderbares sei. Das Thema des Scheiterns zieht sich wie ein roter Faden durch diese Geschichte, die aus Songs, Anekdoten, kurzen Dokumentationen und Videos besteht.

Interview mit Alex Cameron und Roy Molloy Foto Corinna Sauer MUSIKMUSSMIT

Alex und Roy live im ACUD Berlin

Am 10. November 2016 bekam ich die Gelegenheit Alex Cameron nebst „Business Partner“ Roy Molloy auf der Bühne zu erleben. Sie präsentierten ihr neues und erstes eigenproduziertes Album „Jumping the Shark“ im Berliner ACUD. Neben dem Musikalischen waren es vor Allem Alex‘ gesprochenen Anekdoten, die uns, das Publikum berührten. Tragisch-komisch, skurril, alltäglich waren seine Geschichten, die zusammengenommen wohl die Dauer der Songs übertrafen. Diese lieferten sozusagen den Soundtrack zu Camerons Roadmovie. Und war ich vor diesem Auftritt sicher, dass Alex Cameron aus sich selber eine überspitzte Kunstfigur geschaffen hat, die wahrscheinlich eher peripher mit ihm selbst zu tun hat, war ich mir auf einmal nicht mehr sicher, ob dieser ernst dreinschauende Typ mit den merkwürdig schlaksigen Bewegungen, den übertrieben pomadisierten Haaren und seinem eindringlichen Gesang eben doch nicht die Persona, sondern die Person Alex Cameron ist.

Und was macht es auch am Ende auch für einen Unterschied, wenn eben all das ankommt, man mitgenommen wird, sich amüsiert, berührt und unterhalten wird und nicht zuletzt einen Abend voller guter, im besten Sinne eigensinniger und interessanter Musik erlebt.

Im Folgenden könnt ihr das Interview lesen, das ich vor Alex‘ Auftritt mit ihm und seinem Kompagnon Roy Molloy geführt habe.

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Interview mit Alex Cameron und Roy Molloy

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Hi guys! Nice to meet you. Did you arrive to Berlin today?
Alex: That’s right, yeah. A few hours ago.

Have you been here before?
Alex: I spent quite a lot of time in Berlin. I lived in Neukölln for about six months. And I’ve been coming here regularly since 2014.

Since when have you been touring?
Alex: We started in Europe in May. Then we went to America in August. And now we are back here.

Your new album „Jumping the Shark“ is your first solo album as Alex Cameron. For you, is there something like a red line that’s connecting the songs of the album?
Alex: Yeah, I think there is a plot or something like that. I think the focus is on the small stories. On the small tales of personal tragedy, that link us all together. With our writing we don’t focus so much on societal issues, because as story tellers it’s much more fun to build a character as opposed to try to tell people how to live their lives. I don’t understand generalizing.

Your album is self produced…
Alex: Yes, it was produced at home. We had friends that worked very hard with us on the record as well.

As far as I understood you have something like a special and not always easy relationship with the music industry.
Alex: Well, I’ve worked in it for some time. So I understand the Australian industry at least. I wouldn’t dare to challenge the systems over here. Some of the tunes are in the world of showbiz cause I think that is a suitable metaphor to tell our stories. I think ambition and failure are very close companions.

„The Guardian“ once quoted you with saying: „Failure has been under explored in music.“ Do you use „music“ in this case also as a metaphor, while you are talking about how failure is under explored in life generally?
Alex: On its surface level it has been explored. It hasn’t really been dissected to a certain degree and it has never been celebrated like it should be. In terms of understanding the structure of what tragedy is when you are telling a story. And the way that people can relate to a tragedy. I feel that there still is work to be done. And I think that there is denial in songwriting. What I don’t ever wanna be a part of in music is some sort of disingenuous expression for the sake of nothing. I don’t really like music that doesn’t do anything. That doesn’t say anything and that doesn’t carry some kind of beauty. There are disgusting things that are beautiful. And there are awful failures that can be dissected and if you are patient with them they can be beautiful as well.

It seems like you come as a whole package. You are an entertainer, a musician, a persona that you created around yourself. I feel like there is a lot of irony in what you say and do. But there is also lots of seriousness that lays underneath everything and that also colours your music. There is even darkness in it. It’s interesting and confusing not to really know how to take you. How much of a conscious plan is there behind creating a myth around Alex Cameron, even exceeding the part of being a musician?
Alex: I think in the way people are viewing what we do they are finding the story that is there. Because we are certainly putting a story out there. And the story is quite real. Because we are recording what we are finding on the road. We are pointing back on what we are seeing in our real lives. So I think people like a myth and characters, but really it’s quite genuine what we do. Irony is a certain safety. And failure and tragedy is poetic. And I’m happy if people extract what they want from the messages in the songs. But it’s quite serious for us.

Roy: The myth comment comes up quite a lot. The mythology thing. What we do is pretty close to reality. Like Alex said, we report back on what’s happening. And it’s strange that some people almost don’t believe it. There are many strange things happening in the world that you almost can’t believe.

Alex: Yeah, just look at the last couple of days [Trump being elected for president]. I mean, I’m on stage and I say something that’s a hundred percent dead serious and people will be laughing.

And that’s ok for you or do you feel misunderstood in those situations?
Alex: I’ll take the laughs I take the silence, I take whatever they want. If they wanna cry or dance… As long as they buy a ticket and a record. I’m not that attached to what people take out of my music. I’m attached to what we put into it. There is no way I can control someone’s reaction. It’s not about provoking a reaction out of people, it’s about doing good things.

Which kinda never works if you are trying too hard to provoke a certain reaction.
Alex: Yeah, it’s quite obvious when you do that.

How did you two find each other? And how do you work together in creative ways, when it comes to the song writing for example?
Roy: We met each other when we were very young. I moved in two houses down from Alex in Sydney. And his mother thought that I was lonely cause I was playing by myself in the street a lot. So she made him be friends with me. But I wasn’t lonely. I had plenty of friends. I just liked to hang out by myself sometimes. And then on and off we have been friends for years and years. We were also enemies for a little bit when we were maybe eight or nine. It was a misunderstanding.

Alex: We drive around a lot and we are talking a lot. Our ideas are coming from our conversations and dialogues. It comes naturally when you are driving around for eight hours. Words and thoughts are just floating around. And you can say something and then there is silence for half an hour, it’s not that big of a deal. We are trying to create good things with words. Strong things, powerful things, true things. With the songwriting generally, I’ll come up with words and send them to Roy and he will look at them and thinks about what to contribute. Also we post on Twitter a lot. We like that. I got into Twitter about three years ago. It’s a good format.

Roy: Beautiful.

Alex: It has to be sharp. One sentence. What else… We do Instagram and Snapchat. We do all of those things. There is lots of creative as much as promotional value in it.

Roy: We quite enjoy it as well.

I saw a short documentary of the two of you. Are you planning on doing anything like that again and to explore this creative field more?
Alex: We got hours and hours of footage. We film everything. So when we get the change we wanna put it all together and make a story. It’s about going back through what we filmed and finding what the story is.

What will be next? You will be touring until December, right?
Alex: Yes, until December and then we will finish album number two. And then we will tour some more.

You will finish writing your next album?
Alex: Finish recording.

So the next album will be out quite soon.
Alex: Yes, probably next year. I think you will be listening to it in summer.

Very nice. So, that’s it! Thank you guys. Looking forward to seeing you on stage in a bit.
Alex and Roy: Thanks very much!

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Corinna
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Ich schreibe nicht gerne über mich, viel lieber berichte ich über andere und insbesondere über Bands, zu denen mich "die Kanzlerin" schickt. In der Fotografie zu Hause, bin ich als Blog-Knipse jedoch hauptsächlich dafür zuständig, meine Eindrücke von Konzerten mit Euch in Form von Bildern zu teilen. Ansonsten erlebe ich gerne Dinge, Menschen, Musik, Orte (jeden Tag auf's Neue und immer wieder gerne Berlin) und was noch so alles erlebbar ist.


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