CAMENS Interview: We Chat About Their Current Single 'Illustrator', Upcoming Gigs And How The Pandemic Affected The Band

Published on 30 August 2022 at 18:32


OSM: How long have Camens been together and when did you release your first single?
We released our first single in 2017, Seems a long time ago now having been robbed of 2 years through Covid.

OSM: Has any particular artist or genre influenced your music the most?
We're quite a mixed bag when it comes to influences as individuals. We have a few vibes that we all seem to gel on thou. namely that early 2000's wave of indie guitar music. The Strokes, The Vaccines, Arctics.. they're pretty regular studio references when writing and recording. We get a bit darker at times too, old school Weezer, heavier Circa etc.

OSM: Your new single, ‘Illustrator’ is out now and we think it's great.. What was the song writing process of the song?
Thank you! Our process is fairly similar... either I'll bring something to the room I've been working on and we'll build around it, or we'll record jams at practice and then I'll take them away and find words and melodies.

Illustrator was written in Lockdown to be fair. I've a big architect drawing board with a big flip pad on it. Whenever I get words or ideas, they go on the board. Then over time verses and ideas that marry come together. Obvs through lockdown there was a lot of time to work with. I love ideas in songs, not just words that rhyme for the sake of it. I really like the ideas in this. I think good art is a product of time. This benefited from me having that time to write I think.

OSM: What is the message of the song?
There is no particular 'message', it's more a theme really. All pop music basically revolves around the same couple of ideas... 'I like you, why don't you like me', relationships, love, heartbreak etc. So I'm always trying to find new ways to explore these scenarios thematically and lyrically in a way that's not tropey or tired. So all the verses are plays on the idea of seeing your lover as an artist or an illustrator. It's also about being attracted to creatives in general. Girls who play music, paint, write etc. Having been written in lockdown there are definitely a few nods towards that too.

OSM: What challenges have you faced since launching your career?
We face the same challenges every artist at our level faces. Money being the main one. It's certainly true that financial backing means an artist can compete at a level above those without it. It also means maintaining momentum is easier. That's massively important. We have all the material in the world to go at. We don't however have thousands for studio time, marketing, music videos, content, etc.

We also just lost 2 years of our career like everyone else due to Covid. Good to be back, but it does sting abit. It killed all the momentum we'd built up, almost feels like starting again now. That's a bit what music's like. It's snakes and ladders. You'll get so far, then something will fuck things for you, whether self inflicted or not. Then the train comes of the rails and you've got to regroup and go again. Every time, spending to get back to and beyond where you were before.

OSM: You have an engaged fanbase who are really ardent in supporting the band. How did you cultivate that following?
We do our upmost to engage with the people who engage with us. I think its so important, and it really disappoints me to see bands that don't. In general, just don't be a dick. If someone's good enough to reach out and tell you they like what you do, or come to shows etc... Appreciate it, and show some appreciation. I see so many bands who don't reply to messages or come out after gigs to talk to people. Certainly at our level, its not about purposefully cultivating anything. We make great records, then people hear them and come to shows. When they do we speak to them and thank them and it just organically grows. People don't forget.

OSM: What are the plans for the year ahead for yourselves? Do you have any gigs scheduled?
We've lots of new music to come. Some really exciting records that we're really proud of. So, can't wait to release them. Then we're off on tour in October. MANCHESTER, LEEDS, STOKE, NEWCASTLE, IPSWITCH, LONDON, BRIGHTON and LOWERSTOFT. So, if anyone's local to any of them, jump on our socials for the ticket link and come say hello!

OSM: If you could change anything about the industry what would it be?
Again, I can only speak for bands 'At Our Level', but honestly, Spotify and streaming in general needs fucking off. It's become the only yardstick any industry seems to care about. Which is so sad, because there's so much more to an artist and the experience they could provide audiences than streaming numbers show. Ticking the right box's to be picked up by 'algorithms' to reach audiences. It's so sterile, clinical.. uncreative. Also, they're robbing artists blind. What they pay artists for streams is genuinely criminal.

OSM: If you could share the stage with another band or performer who would it be?
We'd all have different answers for this, personally, I'll go Paul McCartney. But we're only a month or so post his Glasto headliner, so I'm knee deep in Eleanor Rigby and Band on the Run atm. Ask me next week and it would be someone else. lol

OSM: What songs are on your playlist right now, which songs are you into at the moment?
We had a bit of a band night out last week. Circa Waves played our local venue the Sugarmill, they're new records great. So of course, you end up revisiting they're back catalogue too. Lemonades beautiful.


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