Introducing Stoke-On-Trent band, Camens.
Hailing from Stoke-On-Trent, four-piece Camens have taken their local scene by storm, from thousands upon thousands of Spotify streams to sneaking into Latitude Festival, their high-energy tunes are a glistening representation of modern-day classic rock. We had the pleasure of chatting to frontman Scott about all things music, including their most recent single ‘Leave Me In Pieces’ and, the big bad ‘C’ word.
What is the main inspiration behind Camens?
“I think we were all raised on guitar bands. We certainly all have a love and appreciation for the greats, Beatles, Kinks, Cash, Paul Simon, etc. We’re all lovers of melody and classic pop songwriting. I’d say we were all young and getting into playing on the back of that wave of guitar bands from the mid-2000s. So we end up referencing that sound a lot in the studio. If you listen to any of our records you’ll be able to hear various ‘Landfill indie’ influences. Not an insult to us. I don’t know if these influences were the inspiration behind forming the band, but we defiantly found a common ground in Strokes guitar tones and Wombats three-part harmony’s that made us all smile in the jam room. Still does, lots more to come…clear us a corner on the landfill.”
What is the band’s writing process?
“We’re a very organic band. It comes together in the practice room. By and large, nothing gets through to the studio or the stage unless we’re all behind it. It can make writing slow and frustrating… but on the flip side, the end result is always all the more rewarding. What we make genuinely is a product of the band that draws on all our individual styles and influences. It’s not one songwriter and three yes men.
Having said that the bones of the songs start with me. I’ll write initial ideas, words, and structures, fire out rough phone recordings, and then the ones that get the nods of approval get taken to the Jam room and fleshed out.
Demoing is also a big part of our process. We’ve all got rudimentary home setups. God bless Focusrite and Garageband. There are normally two or three home recordings and practice room live takes in the bag before we start shelling out for studio time. It’s the first time you actually get to just listen to what you’ve been doing to decide if it’s doing what you want it to. More often than not it doesn’t and we go back to tweak and chop.”
How has coronavirus impacted you as a band?
“Ah not the C-word, Less said the better aye! Like so many, it slammed the brakes on for us in just about every direction. All our gigs last year got canceled, we’ve not played since Feb 2020… A small music night in Glossop just outside of Manchester. Just us, a handful of locals, and the bar staff. Oh, what we’d give for just us and the glass collector after the last 12 months!
The band is/was pretty self-sufficient. We pay for all the things we need and do with the money we earn from gigs, ticket sales gig fees, and merch sales. That’s everything from running the van to making and promoting the records. With no gigs comes no money and no money means, for the most part, no band.
Necessity being the mother of invention… Mid lockdown we launched ”Ambassadors of Camens”. Essentially a 21st-century fan club. We started to use the time we had on our hands to make brand new content, exclusive content for subscribers. Starting at less than a pint a month we have been sharing all sorts of videos / new home demos / new covers etc with our fans via Patreon. The response has been so so humbling… Its been really rewarding to see people’s generosity and love for the band. It’s become a real community of music lovers and Camens fans that we’re genuinely proud to feel a part of.
The Ambassadors Club has put us in a great position to hit the ground running once the world starts turning again.. roll on summer! If you’d like to check it out and become an Ambassador… head over to http://www.patreon.com/camens”
Talk about your most recent single ‘Leave Me In Pieces?’
“It seems weird talking about it as recent. Seems an age ago now. This was our second single of last year. Covid has meant no studio time for so long. We released this in April I think complete with ‘What we did in Lockdown’ Music Video (Worth a Watch),… A month into lockdown, we had hoped it would tide us over until things passed. Not to be aye. That said we did get a great response on release… Plenty of airplay and love from radio and reviews alike. ‘Pieces’ was our 4th BBC Introducing record of the week. We’ve still not played it live, mad times.
I think I was trying to write a Futureheads record if I remember right. After going through the Camens process it’s probably ended up somewhere between there and Jimmy Eat World. It’s one of our favourites to date for sure.”
What are your plans for the rest of 2021?
“First off, Get a jab, as soon as possible, then another. Then hopefully we have a year’s not gigging or releasing records to catch up on. One big plus about being locked away for 12 months is that with no release dates to meet or gigs to prepare for… We’ve had lots of time to write. So, there’s plenty to go at once it’s safe to do so. Can’t wait!”