“Finishing a song on Reason or Ableton can feel like finishing a complex video game” – interview with Seekae’s Alex Cameron

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Australian act Seekae are one of those bands that seem easy to label at first – the words indie electronica easily come to mind – but who have carved their own style, switching things up from release to another. Their first two albums had no lead vocals – the indie inspired The Sound of Trees Falling on People (2008) and the more experimental, dubbish +Dome released in 2011. However, 2014’s The Worry saw Alex Cameron move up to lead vocal duty, thus giving way for a completely new dimension of their sound. Released on Future Classic, a label known for bringing forth equally loved and genre bending artists like Ta-ku, Flume, Chet Faker, Mount Kimbie or What So Not, the album marked a new era for the band, as they were now likened to other vocal infused electronic acts such as Caribou or James Blake. Seekae will be back in Berlin to perform at Watergate on Thursday, September 18th. We caught up with Alex Cameron ahead of this to have a better insight about their life on tour, smelly cats and other relevant coordinates.

LSD: Hi Seekae! You guys are currently on tour now, right? Where are you and what did you do last night?

AC: Hello. We’re in Belgium on a farm writing music. Last night we played a concert in Gent with new good people like Blue Daisy and NAH. I found some disgusting cats outside our house earlier. They were nice animals but now I smell like shit and cats.

LSD:  I read the name Seekae comes as an abbreviation from the HC game Commander Keen. Do you still have time to play videogames? How do you unwind during this tour?

AC: We don’t play a lot of video games anymore. Something clicked and now I feel like I’m melting when I turn on any gaming device. I think we got into electronic music partly because of video games though. Finishing a song on Reason or Ableton can feel like finishing a complex video game. To unwind I like to get online. Read. Harvest an erection thinking of sweet memories.

LSD: You’ve managed to craft your own style of indie electronica, if I may label it as such for a second. All of the tracks seem to have a very intense, introspective atmosphere. How do you manage to reproduce that over and over on stage live? It must be very exhausting?

AC: I don’t know about exhausting. I sweat a lot. But I feel tired when I’m at home rather than when I’m on the road. Touring is good. The songs show themselves for what they really are when you play them again and again. The process is different from what it used to be. Often singing live once a song is recorded is the first time I’m singing a song in its entirety. I wish it weren’t that way but we make music with computers like everyone else.

LSD: (This is a question Banksy asked the artists playing at Dismaland actually) If you could choose only one, would you rather be thought of as a great artist or a nice person?

AC: I don’t know what a nice person is. I don’t know about all that. I just want to say true things. I’d like to be caring and observant. Open to thoughts. Banksy seems tired.

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LSD: “Stars below” director Ian Pons Jewell said (in a vimeo comment for the video) that the cloud suit cost about 5k, more than the budget of the video. How important is image to you and  how important do you think it is in general to have a visual that goes with your music?

AC: Very important. I’m concerned about the music’s presentation live just as I am about it’s video counterpart. I suppose that’s because I see the music as I hear it. It tells stories. It’s a lot of work for us. I want the complete package. I don’t think the work is done when I stop recording. That’s when the work begins.

LSD: You’re hitting Berlin soon, for the second time now, a city that’s known for its freedom of creative expression. What’s your perception of the city from a musician’s standpoint? Would you ever consider moving here?

AC: I know Berlin to be an excited place. People there are keen for something. They want to be there for the experience of it. They’re good fans of music. They seem to have a vast interest. The good electronic musicians are experts. My friends from Berlin are beautiful people and I’d like to think I could hold down work there. I wonder if I’d stay productive though. Sometimes I think perhaps I’ve missed the boat.

LSD: You’ve been touring ‘The Worry’ for some time. Can you disclose if you have anything inthe works or coming out soon? Your sound has morphed from album to album, do you think that will be the case for future releases as well?

AC: We’re working on music at the moment. John has been recording in the UK and has some incredible sounding things. Our focus now is on writing good songs. Not so much a whole album. Just good quality action. I think we’ll all work on them for a while and develop that competitiveness that drives our records. I don’t know what it’ll sound like. Electronic for sure.

Seekae are making their way to Berlin for the second time around. This time you can see them perform live this Thursday at Watergate. You can find out more details here and don’t forget to join the event here. See you there!

 

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