Refreshing perspectives on poison: Camden Chan


With the release of Camden’s new video, Too Pretty For Punk (see below), I asked Camden Chan this week if he ever considers poisoning people. ‘The list of people is endless, family included,’ he responded.

Camden Chan and I are both Sydneysiders of Chinese heritage and we both advocate poisoning people. I’m not sure if those two facts are related, but who is to say that they couldn’t be? I, for one, take inspiration from the Empress Dowager Cixi, who took a particular fancy to arsenic in order to ‘make things happen’. And in case you aren’t aware, she also was keen on getting eunuchs of the Forbidden City to shove unwanted people down wells, as was the case with the Emperor’s favourite concubine, the snarky Zhen Fei.

But everybody loves a story involving poison, and what’s the difference between a story and reality? Fine line. Clearly, the poison chalice is much more interesting than the chalice alone (although both hold their own in raunchiness).

Death by poison … glamorous?

I bring this all up as Camden’s new song features poisoning in the video clip and I guess it made me a bit pensive about a) how different Sydney would be if more poison was generally involved, and b) the cultural landscape of Sydney, because aside from poisoning people, Camden has other perspectives on Sydney life:

‘Sydney right now is being flooded & infected by American culture. Whether it’s the speak, the food, the ideas, the music … I don’t want artists emulating what they see overseas, borrow from it, but make it Australian and Sydney based … [This song] is about a generation lost, educated, well-travelled, stuck on ideals that 70s Australiana was our cultural peak … we are the new Australians, it’s time to forge a cultural identity.’


“Dipped in the fat of Sydney

The crown street thorns, pierce my brow,

Flights of tears,

Under a bridge, you drop your only copy of Coleridge.

So fill your boots, and come on in,

In this big town, you’re much too thin.”

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