Interview [Spanish tour]
What has change in camera Obscura after three albums?
I think that each member of this band find it easier to play theirinstruments and have a lot more fun doing so than before. We definately enjoy playing live together these days and we are a bit more adventurous than we used to be. Oh! and we're all very old now. So many years. In short, we are more confident in ourselves which makes us more productve.
Can you make a brief history of the band?
Gav and Tracyanne have been playing together for quite some time, with various other members of the band coming in and out along the way.
This lineup has been around since about 2001, in which time we've toured a few times, played for John Peel and generally had a bit of a
laugh. How's that for brief?
Are you surprised by the late success of your band?
It's funny because we never really think of ourselves as being that successful. We are often told that we have "cult appeal", but it has
been great reaching a wider audience recently. The audience make up reveals that, we now have middle aged couples at our concerts as well
as young kids with glasses. I suppose we never ever thought of giving up through the years, we all believe that good music will always be
relevant and discovered at some point.
How do you keep the illusion and the inspiration during ten years?
Personally I'm inspired by being able to travel to places that I otherwise probably wouldn't, and meet great people who appreciate what
we're doing. It's especially great to be able to meet people that we would consider our heroes, or who've inspired us, like Kurt Wagner
from Lambchop, or Richard Hawley.
The american market has become more receptive for
It helps that we're on one of the best labels in the country, with a really impressive roster and a great way of looking after their bands.
The college radio system over there is also a huge deal, we don't really have anything like that in the UK and it gets your music out to
kids that might not have heard it any other way.
You have a new album: Let s Get Out Of This Country . How was making different than your previous albums?
For a start, this was the first time we've worked with a producer for a whole album, which makes it a completely different process and
really got us working in a way we never had before. Our previous records had always been recorded in bits and pieces, over a long
period of time, as we all struggled to get time off from work and other mundane things like that. Recording quickly was much more
exciting, and I think you can really hear that on the songs.
What is the reason for a title like Let s get Out Of This Country ? I
mean that is a confession...
Obviously we love travelling, and playing abroad, and I think the title came out of a desire to see other places, rather than just
hating where we're from. It's easy to feel trapped, wherever you live, and I think it's a pretty common thing to sometimes want to pack up
and take a holiday, get out of the country.
What was your songwriting process in this album?Are there any change
in the the working process?
Usually it starts with Tracyanne bringing in a song and we all add our bits until we're happy with it. This album wasn't really any different
from that, except Jari encouraged us to experiment more and the finished product didn't always resemble what we started with.
Your songs are full of romantic images.Where does your inspiration
came from? What s your principal influence when you write a song?
As Traceyanne writes the songs and lyrics I am maybe not the best person to ask. I would have to say that first hand experience is
greatly important to Traceyanne when she writes, she will write songs and lyrics about subjects which affect her directly. Inspiration is
all around us of course.
Why do you prefer write about love?
Love is the staple of all pop music, we are a pop band. Love is the most complicated of emotions, it means completely different things to
different people, that's what makes it so interestring. People will listen to Traceyanne/Camera Obscura songs and take something different
Is important the influence of Glasgow in your music and specially in the words?
Yes because you can't help but be influenced by the city you live in, by your enviroment and that will come through in the lyrics.
Who have been your musical influences? What is your favourite pop composer? What s the most important element in a perfect pop song?
Every member of the band carry their own influences, so we can cite Elliott Smith, New Order, Fleetwood Mac, Richard Hawley and Can as
influences as well as the obvious ones such as Yo La Tengo, The Supremes, Teenage Fanclub etc. There are too many great pop composers
to mention here. A perfect pop song must have a great melody, that's the most important thing. A song could have the weirdest of timings, rythms or
instruments and still be an amazing pop song with a fantastic melody. That's the key. Writing the perfect pop song is no mean feat.
Why did You Choose Jari Haapalainen to produce the album?What s the
importance of him touch in the sound?
Jari was recommended to us by our friend Stephen Pastel, and as we loved the sound of the Concretes' first album we went with it. We thought he would bring something interesting to the band and it turns out we were right.
Are you interested in the nordish pop bands? What s your favourite
The stuff coming out of Scandinavia right now, especially Sweden, is really exciting. We love Jens Lekman, Britta Persson, The Tiny, Herman
Dune and El Perro Del Mar amongst all the other great artists, too many to list!
What can the spanish audience expect of your concerts? How do you feel
playing in Spain?
We'll inevitably be late, grumpy, unable to play our instruments, drunk, falling over and miserable looking. Nah, just kidding. We love
playing in Spain, the audiences are always so enthusiastic and people have really taken us to their hearts. It's hard not be affected by
that, plus the great food is always a bonus.
What s your future plans? Are you composing new songs?
We've been so busy with the touring that progress on new stuff is slow, but we've been rehearsing a few new ones lately. One of the band
is about to become a dad, so we're all a bit caught up in the excitement, and he's trying to work out how to play a trumpet and change a nappy at the same time.
Camera Obscura [Heineken.com]
picture: Archivo Elefant