My Campfire song selection contains 15 songs in total, 10 different songs; from 9 different sources. I’m highlighting these statistics to point out that I’ve gone to a little bit of trouble to seek out your material. Of those, ‘Before the Owl will Fly’ ranks as one of my favourite songs from anyone at the moment.
“Thanks for going to all that trouble. Great to hear Before The Owl Will Fly is one of your favourite tracks of the moment, it’s possibly my favourite Campfires song too. It’s also evident you love Scottish music so much you’ve ditched the Americanis(z)ed English word ‘favorite’, opting for the British ‘favourite’ instead. Nice touch!”
I can already imagine the comparisons the press will make, your evocative voice will inevitably be likened to other artists, but I think they will miss just how much more there is under the hood here. Do you consider yourselves as fitting into this or that genre? Having been tasked to come up with a new genre myself– I’d like to submit my first attempt: post-glasvegas.
” Oh dear. As far as I know, all of us in the band dislike Glasvegas. However, I can definitely see where you’re coming from, though my vocals often tend to be compared to James from The Twilight Sad. I don’t think we really do fit into a genre. I actually have trouble just describing how we sound in general, nevermind what genre we slot into. Someone – I cannot remember who – once told me Campfires sounded like Post-Rock Pop, which I suppose kinda fits to an extent. We quite often have the slow-building soundscape-type-thing going on with an eventual crescendo, all the while remaining melodic, catchy and memorable. Well, we at least try and make it those three things.”
Having seen Mogwai twice in May of ’96, I like to pretend I rank among the first of their North American fans. How long has your band been making music?
“I’m sure you rank among the first of our North American fans now too, I don’t think we have too many! We’ve existed in some form for almost seven years now, since we were all around 14/15. We only became Campfires In Winter in 2009 however, and our line-up changed recently with our old drummer leaving to be replaced by Ewan Denny.”
‘Before the Owl Will Fly’ should definitely track right before ‘With A Ragged Diamond’ on the first full length. Is there any news on how you are progressing toward that goal?
“Hmm, you think so? They do go quite well together on the recent demo so aye, maybe that’s how it’ll end up. Who knows what’ll happen, eh? As for album progress, we laid down our first few drum tracks a few weeks ago. We’re still writing too, got a few good ideas kicking around at the moment that still need some fleshing out. We’ve a long way to go yet but we’re getting there.”
What Scottish band buttons would we find on your jacket? Assuming that’s where they’d be pinned?
“I’m into Mogwai, Frightened Rabbit, The Twilight Sad, Arab Strap/Aidan Moffat/Malcolm Middleton, Errors, The Phantom Band, Idlewild, The Unwinding Hours/Aereogramme plus loads more. I don’t think I could list them all. The rest of the guys are into some or all of these bands too.”
In the spirit of some long term vacation planning, what Scottish festival would you recommend? What is your favourite indoor venue?
“Sadly the last Scottish Festival I was at was the now-defunct Connect Festival in 2007. However, one festival I liked the look of earlier this year was Insider Festival. I couldn’t make it along but it looked really nice. Maybe we can play it sometime.
My favourite indoor venue is probably the Oran Mor Auditorium in Glasgow. It’s a beautiful big former church with an interior painted by writer/artist Alasdair Gray. I’m not too keen on the wall with the rainbow but the rest of it looks fantastic. Other notables are The Art Club in Glasgow where I saw Moon Unit in surround sound last year (‘ooooft’ is the only expression I can use to describe how good a gig that was) and the Barrowlands (Barras), of course. My favourite Edinbrugh venue was The Bowery/Roxy Art House but it’s closed now.”
I just checked the Scotsman’s Radar page. There seems to be an oversight. Campfires in Winter is not on the band list. What in the world is going on over there?
“Not a clue, I’ll get them some stuff sent over!”
Do you have a hat tip toward someone else we absolutely need to check out?
” Right this minute I’m listening to theapplesofenergy album which is out in a few weeks time. It’s superb, unlike anything else I’ve ever heard. Just finished listening to the Monoganon album too. Great albums, I’ll be struggling to pick a favourite between them come the end of the year. Moon Unit deserve a mention too, excellent band.”
Lastly, we’d love it if you asked glasGOwest a question.
“Who would win in a fight between an ambulance and a fire truck? (Wee bit of American English for you there)”
” Thanks again for this, really enjoyed answering them. It’s good to be answering questions that are a bit more interesting than the usual stuff you get.”
And there is our reason for existence; to ask questions a wee bit more interesting than usual. As to the contest, as a “Scottish” music blog it shames us to admit that The All New Adventures Of Us’s song ‘Firetruck’ soundly womps The Scottish Enlightenment’s “Ambulance”. Hopefully this observation doesn’t deter them from sending their answers back.