Music

Alex Cameron’s highly-anticipated second album is out: we spoke to his co-writer, Roy Molloy, about it

Australian sleaze-pop sensation Alex Cameron is back with a new album that promises to be full of honesty and humour, as well sex and sax (solos, that is).

The album, called Forced Witness, was recorded in Berlin, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, and is Cameron’s follow-up to 2014’s solo debut Jumping the Shark.

It features tracks that offer vivid portraits of misfits whose perspective of the world is without illusion. Secretly Canadian, Cameron’s record label, explains:

“If there is darkness in these songs, it’s not because taboos can titillate but because Cameron knows that confession has a redeeming power and that people are often at their most startlingly beautiful when their skies have fallen.

“These songs are alive with the rich detail of life lived and the radical distinctiveness of the stories they tell feel universal. In these chaotic times when we aren’t able to look away, Cameron is offering us a pure account of the world as he’s seen it.”

The album includes songs like Candy May and Stranger’s Kiss, which features a duet with Ashley Olsen. The video above is for Runnin’ Out of Luck, a track co-written by Cameron, Roy Molloy, and The Killers’ Brandon Flowers.

We recently caught up with Molloy to know more about Forced Witness.

Secretly Canadian is a legendary label for releasing low volume but consistently good, interesting, and adventurous music. What other acts on the label do you dig and why them for this new release?

“On Secretly group you got your Angel Olsens, your Foxygens, Kev Morby. The new signing I’m stoked on is Shame. They’re a British act and they shred.

“Why Secretly? We’re trying to build a team around us who can get the job done. They had the money ready for us and a reputation for being open-minded and hard working.”

Of all the places in the world to shoot the video, why Hastings?

“We’d never been there before. Our guy Nick MacMahon directed the clip and he made that call based on something he intuited out of thin air. He’s a bad boy from way back and what he says goes.”

You escaped the claustrophobic Sydney music scene a while back. What are your memories like of getting started in Sydney and how important was it for you to branch out creatively overseas?

“Sydney’s a funny one. I love the place. We were playing tiny clubs, pubs, and the odd tour support. We’d finish shows and I’d head off to night shift on the Trams. It was wild. Unfortunately, the work isn’t there. There are just no the crowds available.

“We went overseas out of our desire to get the album heard and to make money. Regarding Aussie labels? You get within coo-ey of anything progressive or Avant Garde, and people stop taking calls. Fuck that.”

How did the hook-up with Brandon Flowers come together?

“We’ve been into The Killers since we were 16, same as everyone. I got sucker punched by an ex-con two years ago and Al (Alex Cameron) came around with a half chicken and some painkillers and beer to cheer me up.

“We got bombed and watched a DVD of The Killers Live in London. It was insane. I knew they had hits, but the sheer quality and quantity of volcanic tunes were astounding.

“Then last year we were driving through Florida swamps having just played a show in Tallahassee to about eight people. Feeling good. Nice and broke. Al got an email and sort of went quiet for a minute then told me it was Brandon Flowers. He’d found Jumping the Shark on the Internet. He said we should hang out.

“That was an unusual moment. You never know what’s coming around the corner.”

Alex Cameron’s Forced Witness album is out now. To get a copy, you can head on over here.

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