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Camera Obscura - Interview

  by Jamie Rowland

published: 22 / 5 / 2006

Camera Obscura - Interview


Camera Obscura are about to celebrate their 10th year as a band. With their new album 'Let's Get Out of This Country' now out, Jamie Rowland speaks to singer Tracyanne Campbell about it and the importance of the internet in their work

This year marks Camera Obscura’s 10th year as a band. During their tenure, they’ve released 3 albums, recorded numerous Peel sessions (several at the great man’s house) and toured throughout Europe, the US and beyond. Line up changes over the years have seen founding member John Henderson leaving and the band going from a three to a seven piece, and then back to six members. Their new album ‘Let’s Get Out of This Country’ has just been released on Elefant Records, and sees the band’s sound at its most polished so far. Pennyblackmusic met up with guitarist/vocalist Tracyanne Campbell to talk about the new album, their SXSW experience and the importance of the internet. PB : Your new album comes out on June 5th. Are there any themes or inspirations that are particular to this record? TC : Yeah, there’s lots of themes on the record. To simplify, I guess being dissatisfied with life and your situation. Another theme is being heartbroken. PB : Considering style and production, what do you think makes this album stand out from your previous ones? TC : Yeah, this album was produced. We’ve never had a record that’s been produced before, so it’s a different sound. PB : Was it a good recording experience? TC : Yeah, it was great. We had a great time. We went to Stockholm. We worked hard and we had fun. It was good. PB : On your site you all have your own personal area which focuses on a different topic. How did this idea come about? TC : Well, just to make the website more interesting I guess. I guess lots of bands do that. You know, the more we can get on the website, the more interesting it is for fans to visit, and we feel we should give them something. So we chose a subject or had an idea each. PB : As a band, you use the internet a lot to interact with fans; with the website, online blog and myspace site. How important do you think it is for musicians to embrace new technology and the internet? TC : I think it’s very important, especially for us; I think a lot of our fan-base has come from the internet. I mean, I’m not really that interested in computers, but I can see how important they are and how important it is to embrace them, to have a myspace page, or have a website. Our band wouldn’t function without the internet really, so it is important. PB : Earlier this year you went to SXSW in Texas. Was it a good experience? TC : It’s kind of strange at SXSW because there’re so many bands. We played three gigs, and two were very short sets - we’re on a record label in America called Merge, and we were part of the Merge family so there were lots of bands playing those shows. It wasn’t just us. It was good. People were kind. It was good fun actually to go to Texas. PB : Did you get much of a chance to check out other bands that were playing? TC : I went to see Richard Hawley and he was amazing, fantastic. He did an acoustic set. I wanted to see Nicolai Dunger, but I missed him, and I wanted to see Nico Case but I had jet-lag, so I couldn’t stay awake. PB : This year you’ve been around for ten years. Have there been any particular high or low points in your career? TC : Lots. I think we’re at a higher point now then we’ve ever been. We’ve really settled, so I guess this is the high point so far. Low points, lots of low points. Obviously when John left the band, we hit quite a low point. Then there’s been times when we’ve felt like chucking it in. I think we’ve just managed to get on with it really, don’t think about it too much. PB : What are your plans for the next year and beyond? TC: We want to do a British tour in late June, then an American tour in July. We’ve got a Swedish festival in August, and a couple of German dates, and then a couple of dates in Scandinavia, then Spain. We’ll see after that. That’ll keep us quite busy to about September or October. PB : Thank you. The photographs that accompany this article were taken by Bob Stuart and orignally appeared on his website www.underexposed.org.uk

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Camera Obscura - Interview

Camera Obscura - Interview

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