Features, Print March 1, 2018

Alex Cameron & Roy Molloy Are No Cheap Dates

by Jed Murphy

Alex Cameron and his business partner/saxophonist Roy Molloy know what it means to put in time. From their humble beginnings in Sydney, Australia to their consistently sold out shows around the world, the name of the game has been stay on the grind and cash those checks when you can.

Who is this Alex Cameron and his mysterious business partner Roy Molloy you ask? They force a hard look at pop music, yet are the future of the genre at the same time. Alex Cameron’s music pokes fun at the male ego while encapsulating it with a hypnotizing performance. After releasing the full length album Forced Witness in 2017 (which features an impressive list of guests such as Angel Olsen and Brandon Flowers of The Killers) every step they take is another step forward for their careers. We caught up with Al’s business partner Roy Molloy and chatted about all the things that make them tick.

As long-time friends, clearly you and Alex have seen a lot over the years. At what point did you decide you wanted to be his business partner instead of just a band member or his manager?

Me an Al Cam been in business together to some degree since we were about 16. Workin together, little grifts, projects. The official business partnership was a natural progression I guess. Jumping the Shark was a beautiful album in my opinion, but at the time we really had to work to get it in front of people. To get its hooks in. We saw it affecting people at shows but the industry was largely deaf to it. We realised that it wasn’t gonna get heard unless the two of us tipped all our funds and expertise into it an took it on the road. We realized early on it’d be a long game, high risk kind of situaish’, an’ we figured we ought to make the business side of it official in case we had to liquidate the whole thing and walk away. So we started Cameron, Molloy and Associates. Then we went to work.

Watching your career, particularly after the release of Forced Witness, has been exciting. For the average Al Cam fan, the growth from 2016 to now has been exponential. What are some of the biggest changes you’ve experienced in the last year, particularly with the release of Forced Witness?

Al said once that 2017 was the pill an 2018’s the come up. That made sense to me. We’re playin’ bigger clubs and the crowds are more jacked up. We’ve got the money to employ a full band and really get the music cookin’ on stage. There’s rarely any question that we’ll sell out a show or have any trouble getting booked, so that anxiety’s gone. Other than that we’re still doin’ the hard grift like we used to. Playin’ shows every night and driving to the next town. Tryin’ to keep the work rate up.

When was the last time you were starstruck?

I don’t get easily starstruck. I encountered Kirsten Dunst about a year back. That really got me. I guess I was twelve when Bring It On came out, and she was this impossibly beautiful leading lady. I remember I had a vivid dream at the time that she’d crawled into bed with me, warm and sweet, and whispered in my ear that she loved me, just me, all along, and of course it had always been me she’d loved. And then I woke up just hollow and sick with longing. Like a door with a draught under it. I got over it, I was only very young, but man it fucked me up when I saw her in person. A real ache in my heart. She’s very beautiful and charming in person and I was 100% starstruck.

What’s the biggest surprise you’ve experienced in the last year?

Russell Crowe reached out on Twitter to say he liked the music. In a million years I wouldn’t have seen that coming. What a strange morning.

One aspect of your band that spoke to me early on is the care you put into your social media posts. Your posts are often elaborate and long almost like you’re modern-day essayists. The name of the game for most bands has been short posts as everything gets so lost in the average person’s feed. Knowing this, you choose to take the long road anyways. What brought you to this point?

Me and Al are writers an we’ve got plenty to say. It’s easy and pleasurable for us to write. We’ve done it since we had less than a hundred followers, so it started as us just kinda shouting into the void. Trying to get people interested. Expressing ourselves for cathartic reasons. It’s ended up bein’ a large and long-winded chronicle of the last four or so years. A document of what we’ve done and how we feel about it. Also we were tryin’ to G people up to come to the show.

What advice would you give for maintaining physical and mental health on a long tour?

Eat vegetables, stay hydrated and keep ya arsehole an dick or vagina clean. If you’re mentally collapsing you’re gonna wanna lay off the booze, an don’t be afraid to talk to your mates. I made that mistake before. Drinkin’ 8 beers a day an not talkin’ candidly with my friends really caged me for a minute there. Made me very unstable and sad.

What’s the best meal you’ve had on tour so far?

Every now and then we catch a really fancy meal off the label or Sony or someone. I ain’t a cheap date an I normally get the seafood if it’s someone else’s shout. That bein’ said it tends to be the home cooked meals that really get me. Our friend Matt in Melbourne had us around for lunch the other day for roast chicken. Our guy Samoyed cooked us an Asian breaky in his flat in Scotland with his girlfriend that I still think about. There was a French venue that had the promoter’s mum out in the kitchen knockin’ up pasta and salad. A home-cooked meal in a loving environment can easily bring me to the brink of tears. Happy, grateful tears. Man. What a world.

If you weren’t living the dream as a professional musician, what would be your ideal job?

I done a lot a different jobs an been pretty happy in all of them. Furniture moving really appealed to me and so did workin’ as a tram conductor.

I was a particularly adept chauffeur. I think if it all fell apart I’d go try an get my chauffeur work back, or failing that I’d go get my commercial driver’s license and get work at the bus depot. Get the morning shifts and just ride it out real cool and calm.

Thank you for your time, I’m a big fan of everything you’re doing!

I’m just happy to be out here runnin’ around. Cheers.