“Ted Dansen plays a good surly cunt,” Fraser Harvey articulates, in a corner of the beaten Hollywood Hotel on Foster St, Surry Hills. I’ve been sitting here with him for a couple of hours, drinking and talking. Initially an interview, it fell into a maelstrom of non sequiturs and laughter.
I’ve found that interviewing can be a cautious endeavor – too readily they fall into a back-and-forth of Googled fact-sheets detailing tours and anecdotes on how the band came together. By fate’s good fortune, my rampant unprofessionalism and alcohol-related downfalls leave me as a bit-part conductor. Fraser himself shakes his head midway through the night and mutters, half-jokingly, “This is going to be a terrible interview.”
A question in the night: roughly how long do you think it takes an unmanned craft to travel to Mars? Fraser replies, “Sixteen years.” I am not fucking with you. I offered him the reasoning that his response would imply that for a mission to reach completion this year, it would have had to leave in ’94, but Fraser was adamant, so we searched for the answer. Needless to say, he was wrong (“I fucking knew it, man – no chance it takes sixteen years to get to Mars”).*
When asked to describe the ugliest human being he has ever seen, Fraser promptly snaps, “Julia Roberts.”
We briefly spoke about CAMERAS’ recent gig at Oxford Art Factory, where he lamented the fact that the two acts either side of their time-slot were acoustic numbers, making stage set-up irritatingly long, though he confesses that “it meant there were more people milling around, drinking.”
I briefly posit that people are jaded now moreso than ever because we’re universally aware of our pointlessness, and am unanimously shot down. We snap back into a prior conversation about Seinfeld.
*On record: it takes about nine months.
People sometimes can’t recognise other people when they’ve cut their hair because they’ve gone a steady length of time adopting that hair into the familiarities of that person. Imagine if, instead, whenever you cut your hair, you couldn’t recognise anybody. Imagine if your hair was tied to your memory, growing like tangled vines in knots down the length of your back. Everybody holding onto their dirty locks not wanting to let the people they’ve met go, and likewise chopping at every ringlet when their minds are overflowing with stalled relationships, unsuccessful careers, failures and apathy.
Imagine the unnerving gears of dread when you awake one morning to find the wardrobe emptied, the car gone, and from the bathroom to the front door a telling trail of shaved hairs.