Coming “home” to Lido this month, Aussie synth-pop maestro and frequent Berliner Alex Cameron speaks about putting words in the mouths of despicable characters on his latest album Forced Witness.
“The characters in my songs are down-and-out souls, and I relate to them because I feel that frustration too. I think most musicians, myself included, come from a guarded community, so they don’t often think about the ‘loser’. But I also include specific characters from my own life.
[Angel Olsen duet] ‘Stranger’s Kiss’ is from the perspective of a selfish and heavy-handed guy who can’t understand the modern world, but the ‘Down Syndrome Jew’ who is mentioned was a real kid who was part of my crew growing up. He was just one of the gang, nobody ever made an issue about it. I want to reflect a reality in my music through which people like this, who don’t often get afforded a platform, are represented.
I think about my lyrics a lot, and also the idea of being a responsible storyteller. In ‘Marlon Brando’ there is a line that mentions the word ‘faggot’ twice. It’s a quote I heard a real-life bully say, and I thought it would be interesting to write a song from their perspective and think about the angst they must have to use language like that. But for me as the writer and performer, I did have to consider whether it was appropriate, by speaking to friends and listening to their experiences. But I eventually decided that because I was being truthful, I was also being responsible. I think that came across, but there’s always a risk of being misinterpreted.”
Alex Cameron Nov 20, 20:00 | Lido, Kreuzberg