Interview with Carey
1.-Let's get out of this country' is your third album. Sometimes the
third album is the most difficult one, the moment you have to decide if you change your sound or keep it the same forever. Was it like that for you?
Yes traditionally the third album is the hardest. Also, it’s natural for bands to feel that their newest albums are their best, but I think this really is the case for us. This album was a big step for us because we parted company with John Henderson, who used to share lead vocals with Tracyanne, and because it as the first time we worked with a producer. We never intended to radically change our sound but we are always keen to improve and develop and with this collection of songs we think we have.
2.-Years go by, but Camera Obscura keeps on singing love songs about
affairs that come and go. Don't you find the love, honeys?
I think one of my greatest fears is that I might become too content in life. Art is often generated by struggle. I think there are wonderful things in searching, longing and losing.
3.-Tracyanne is composer of all songs... Do you think that it's
beautiful or interesting seeing and feeling love always as teenagers?
Perhaps with the first two albums the songs had a teenage feeling but I think with the new record it is more adult. We are not teenagers anymore and we are not trying to endlessly recycle the teenage love song. Some of the most amazing songs are about the honesty of adult life and relationships; the love songs of Bonnie Prince Billie, Richard Hawley. The idea of teenage love is immortal because it represents an ideal. I don’t think our songs are so idealistic.
4.-All your albums have "grower songs" such as 'Tears from affairs'
and instant hits such as 'Hey Lloyd'. Do you conceive your albums as a combination of both on purpose?
I think that’s a feature of most albums. There will naturally be a few songs which stand out as having instant appeal but a whole album of that could be tiring. I think a good album should have dynamics; it should be like a journey. It gives an album a longer lasting appeal.
5.-Domingo González is director of your last video, 'Hey, Lloyd'. Was your experience good on working together? How did you get in touch?
We worked with him because of the recommendation of Luis from our record label Elefant. Luis has worked with him before and loves his work and felt it would work for the Lloyd single.
6.-What does mean Elefant Records to you?
Elefant are a great label both for us personally and for the way they have put out the records of a lot of great British bands in Spain. They are very special for the un-cynical attitude they have towards music, they do it for love.
7.-Why did you write a B-side in Spanish?
We have spent a lot of time in Spain and feel close to Elefant so I suppose in a way it is an acknowledgement of that.
8.-Why did you made a single for Robert Burns? Any other favourite
We did the Burns project because we are asked to be the live band for John Peels’ Burns Night Special. It was an interesting project for us because we are all familiar with Burns’ poetry, being Scotland’s national poet he is studied at school and his rebel aesthetic still appeals today.
I have lots of favourite writers though I’m not sure we’ll be incorporating any of their work into our songs. Could be an interesting idea though.
9.-You have always said that you are tired of reading you are similar to Belle & Sebastian. I'm sure you are into a lot of bands from the 50's and the 60's, such as Love, The Lovin' Spoonful. What other bands do you like?
We’re not so much tired of the comparison as surprised that people don’t pick up on other references and influences. I like Sandy Posey, Skeeter Davis, The Everly Brothers, John D. Loudermilk, Tammy Wynette, The Crying Shames… oh there are so many.
10.-Now that Belle & Sebastian have followed glam and soul sounds and they sound more different to you, do you still enjoy their music? Do you keep in touch with them?
Yes I still like Belle and Sebastian, there were some great songs on their last album. I think they are doing pretty different stuff from us these days which is great.
We played with them recently at a big outdoor show in Edinburgh and you’re always bumping into people in Glasgow.
11.-We know one member of The Concretes have worked with you on the
album, and we know thank to your blog that Victoria cuts Tracyanne's
hair. How did you meet each other?
Tracyanne first met Victoria when she saw the Concretes play in Stockholm. Victoria was one of the people who helped sing backing vocals in the ‘choir’ when we made our album in Stockholm. The haircut was a last minute thing.
12.-Do you enjoy writing your blog? Do you think that it's funny,
useful to doing promo, exhibitionist...?
We find doing the blog a bit of a struggle. The trouble is that none of us are exhibitionists. We don’t feel very interesting. I would never write a blog if it wasn’t for the band but I think it’s a nice thing to do for the fans.
13.-What about myspace? Your page is being one of the most visited... Did you expect that?
We just drifted into the myspace thing same as everyone else. It seems to be a format that is helping a lot of bands to get exposed to a wider audience and that seems to be happening for us. It’s also nice and easy to maintain. I’ve no idea how long the myspace fad will last though.
14.-There aren't too many good British bands who have never had a top 40 hit in UK, what's going wrong with Camera Obscura in its own
I’m not sure that’s true. I think you have too much faith in the British charts. There are loads of great bands who never get anywhere near the charts and probably have no interest in it. We would love to be big enough to chart but it isn’t our big goal. It takes a lot of expensive promotion to get a good shot at that.
15.-On the other side, you are going now to the USA, where not every
British band gets a big tour. How do you feel about this tour in the
We were really surprised and delighted with the reception we got in the States. I think it’s got a lot to do with the quality of student radio in America. We’ve had a lot of support there. Merge are great label too. We did our second big tour this summer and are planning to go back early next year.
Camera Obscura [Je Ne Sais Pop]
picture: Archivo Elefant