Interview: "Illustrator" - Camens
Q: This song is so upbeat and catchy! What was the inspiration for it?
Camens: Thank you! Illustrator was written in Lockdown. 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.
There's 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 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.
Q: What does the song writing process look like for you?
Camens: Our process is always 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. 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.
Q: What is your favorite part about performing your songs live?
Camens: Performing live isn't like riding a bike. There are different levels of live performance and you can only reach that place where you're all completely comfortable and relaxed.. where you're natural on stage if you're doing it all the time. That's when gigging is enjoyable. At our level, it's difficult to gig often enough to get to that place. You can't get there in a practice room, no matter how long you're in there. There's no substitute for the stage and gig pressure. We've a tour coming up in October, I'm really looking forward to that feeling 3 or 4 gigs in, when it starts to really click.
Q: Who are some of your biggest inspirations?
Camens: 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 though. 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.
Q: What do you enjoy most about being in a band?
Camens: The creative process. There are fleeting golden moments in the jam room and the studio when something new starts to come together. You get to either hear what you wanted and envisaged happen and come to life.. or you might even hear something totally new and unexpected happen with your idea... everyone looks at one another and senses it, feels it. You all know you've got something. It feels as good now when it happens as it did when I was 16. It's addictive. It's a drug.
Q: What is coming next for your musical journey?
Camens: We've lots of new music to come. Some really exciting records that we're really proud of. So, I 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!
Interviewed By Kendall Koval