One of the pleasures of seeing bands in small venues (when they’re good) is that you get to witness how much they enjoy playing with each other – which was certainly true of Alex Cameron and his gang on their most recent visit to London. In amongst a slick delivery of the latest album, Forced Witness, were plenty of banterful asides, whispered knowing eye catches and asides made while sweat poured and Stella Artois spilled.
Such synchronicity is hardly surprising given that frontman Alex and saxophonist / business partner Roy Molloy have known each other since they were 5, when Alex was sent round to play with Roy because he was lonely ( “don’t put that in” (sorry, Roy)). That they wouldn’t tell me the name of the band they had when they were 17, or their worst lyrics, also speaks of a deep, artistic bond that means some ten years later, they’re more on it than ever.
Cameron himself likes character, starring on his first album cover ‘Jumping the Shark’ as a Scarface-esque bruiser. For Forced Witness the physical performance may have changed, but the album delves deep into various personalities and identites, unpacking as it does ideas around gender, specifically the ‘Alpha’ males of rock and roll, and the wide world beyond. And although the video of ‘Stranger’s Kiss’, a record that features Angel Olsen, Alex Cameron and Jemima Kirke play with sexuality and identity on screen, the best and most surprising expositions are most definitely to be found in the lyrics.
Co-produced with Foxygen’s Johnathan Rado and recorded partly in Las Vegas (“a completely rational and sane place”) it’s a record to pay attention to.
Read Twin’s interview with Alex Cameron (guest starring Roy Malloy) below.
Where do you get ideas for your characters?
A lot of it is dialogue with people that I’m on the road with. Someone like Mclean Stevenson who is a photographer from Australia. I worked in a government legal office working with victims of corruption, so a lot of my process is to do with taking that skill of being an assistant to an investigator; what I is a breakdown or a study of a story that I’m interested in.
Do you have a favourite one?
On the new record I really like Country Figs. My car broke down on a highway, it was me and Roy and our two ex-girlfriends and we got towed. That whole song came from a conversation with a tow truck driver.
Read the full interview, originally published on Twin.