“Being a loser has a lot to do with wanting to be a winner too much”

Alex og jeg konkurrerer lige om, hvem der har den hurtigste brille på

Smuk magi opstår på Heartland. Det fandt Peter ud af, da han for to år siden fik et interview med Flaming Lips-forsangeren Wayne Coyne. I år var det min tur. Og jeg ved godt, der er en verden til forskel mellem Wayne Coyne og Alex Cameron, men det er en mand på vej frem, og det er mit første rigtige internationale interview, så det var en stor oplevelse. Næste gang bliver det Morrissey. Jeg siger det bare med det samme!

I’m glad you had the time to have a small talk.

  • I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me!

Yeah, I’d love to. I think you are quite an interesting persona and I loved the concert. It was really great. I also saw you at Roskilde last year.

  • Oh! Nice! I like that. Roskilde was fun.

It’s your fifth concert in Denmark in a year

  • Is it?

Yeah, you played five concerts. So what’s the appeal?

  • If you are an artist that knows what they are doing, you can tell when you play a show and the audience responds to your music. You feel included and you get motivated. You get a feeling that you want to get back to a place. So we’ve had a really good time playing here. And people have been really sweet to us. It’s one thing to go to one place, and there is a lot of people, it’s another thing to go to a place, and there is a good vibe. The spirit is great here.

So it’s more important to have the right crowd than a lot of people?

  • Yeah, and if you do it right then you get both, but that can take some time.

How are you received in Australia?

  • Australia has been a little bit behind Europe but that’s my home, so I’ve got a lot of fondness for Australia. We went back recently and did some nice sized rooms in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. It felt really nice and it’s coming together there. The work is consistent and if I’m working, then I’m happy.

I have to ask. Do you like the Danes as much as they apparently like you?

  • I really like the Danes, man. Every now and then someone will pop up that really blows my mind. Today there was a security guard riding a segway and he was the most serious gentleman and he was deadly serious about his job, but that was obviously a little bit deflated by him choosing to ride a segway. That’s just a bit of seasoning. Every now and then you get somebody like that in Denmark, which makes me believe that there is something complex going on inside the minds of Danes.

What do you mean by complex?

  • I mean that in European countries it is sometimes easy to generalize between the cultures. You know. There’s something interesting going on here.

So you’ve visited two Danish festival, Roskilde and Heartland, what is your general impression of these?

  • They are really well run. People know how to do their thing. When you are a part of it as an artist it’s nice when it’s fluid and there’s no stress involved, and you don’t have to do any other thing than what your job is. Well, there’s a reason why Roskilde is popular internationally. It’s not a mystery. I always want to go back to where I have experienced a good spirit and vibes, you know?

Yeah, so if you were a spectator, what would you think?

  • Later I will walk around have drink and listen to some music, but I haven’t yet.

What do you want to hear?

  • I really want to hear The The!

Yeah, I just bought the t-shirt.

  • That’s a great t-shirt. Where did you buy that?

Merchandise right next to the big stage!

  • Cool. How much was it?

250 kr.

  • How much is that in Euros?

35 I think.

  • And what size is it?

Well, how tall are you?

  • How tall are YOU?

Erhm, 198 cm.

  • Yeah, me too. I might be one nine five. But I buy small because I like the fit. It fits you though. You look good, man.

I’m glad we had this discussion. In Denmark you are becoming quite popular with your onstage persona, so I’m curious as to, when you gain more succes, is it difficult to maintain your onstage persona as a failed entertainer?

  • What happens to me when I’m on stage…

(Vi bliver pludselig afbrudt af kvinden med mindst situationsfornemmelse i hele verden, og hun namedropper alle mulige nordmænd og noget med en eller anden festival, lige som jeg skal til at stille mit præmiespørgsmål. Det gør mig heldigvis ingenting, det er jo bare mit første internationale interview)

  • Erhm… What where we talking about?

(Passivt aggressivt *hehe*) The stage persona.

  • All that happens on stage to me is an amplification. And you kind of have to go with the gut instinct and take your mind of.

Yeah, that makes sense, but I was more curious about you onstage persona as a failed entertainer. What happens when the failed entertainer actually becomes succesful? 

  • Ahh, I see! Well, there’s many ways to fail. I could have money in the bank and still be a complete failure. Right now I don’t have any money, so that’s my failure. So if you want to investigate all the reasons a person can fail it has nothing to with financial succes or notoriety.

And how do you fail?

  • I fail a lot. Emotionally I’m still learning about my self.

Is learning about yourself failing?

  • It takes multiple failures. If I have a brain explosion and get angry at the wrong thing or if I feel as if I’ve made the wrong choice in a social interaction with someone. These are what I’m exploring.

How would you define a loser?

  • Being a loser has a lot to do with wanting to be a winner too much.

In Denmark you would never be considered a loser as long as you keep on trying and never give up.

  • I like that. Persistence is important.

Are you persistent? 

  • Yes but I don’t think it’s concious. Maybe other people would think so, but to me I am never doing as much as I should be doing. But in retrospective.. Holy shit I’ve put in a lot of work and a lot of hours. And for some reason it’s starting to pay off. I believe it’s my ability and my persistence that helps it pay off. So I agree with the persistent quality of the Danes.

Do you know the concept of the Danish “jantelov” or “The law of Jante”? 

  • In Australia we have a thing called “Tall poppy syndrome”. So when a flower outgrows the rest of the poppies, you snip it. Because you don’t want it outgrowing. So if somebody gets too arrogant and loses vision of work ethics and beliefs except their own. Like they buy tickets for their own shows, is what we say. Then we chop them. So I like the idea of a level playing field.

How would your onstage persona fit into this concept of jante?

  • I think a lot of my songs are about delusion and about thinking you deserve to be a tall poppy, but in reality I don’t think that wanting to be a tall poppy is a good mentality. I don’t necessarily agree with snipping it, but it’s case by case, but I do think that my songs do involve that sense of thinking you deserve more than you have.

So the core concept is thinking that you deserve something you can’t gain?

  • I think it’s about thinking you deserve something just because of who you are and not because of the work you’ve done. You feel like you are owed privilege.

And that’s what your persona thinks?

– For sure.

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