Interview with BRASS CAMEL
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I grew up around music and it's tractor beam was inescapable. When Gordon Lightfoot stepped onstage in white python boots, my five year old self thought (surely in other words) "damn, I'm fixin' to step into those boots one day" and then seeing AC/DC live a couple years later sealed the deal. If I hadn't got into music perhaps I'd be a bush pilot flying an old Beechcraft through rolling hills to get my thrills.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I spend a fair bit of time riding motorcycles, mountain biking, reading and playing heated games of Trivial Pursuit. Other than reading which provides lyrical influence I wouldn't say these hobbies shape our music much, at least conciously.
How long has your band been around?
Brass Camel was formed in early 2018.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are based out of Vancouver, British Columbia and it influences us in that the high cost of living prevents us from spending as much time in the studio as we'd like.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
This is a great story, for another time.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Daniel: The most memorable shows have been playing Vancouver's legendary Commodore Ballroom in late 2019 and the last two shows we've put on since concerts returned in late 2021. We spent our downtime during COVID building up a pretty epic stage production by hand complete with a 25 foot marquee sign, risers, costumes for stagehands and more. The goal is to put on an independent show that is unlike any other and it has been a gas getting to play that out onstage.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Daniel: The Commodore Ballroom is a fabulous room and the dream venues would be Royal Albert Halls or the ancient Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Daniel: It would be a bill with Yes and Genesis circa 1973, IV-era Led Zeppelin, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on the modular moog and a hypothetical mid-70s Beatles.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Stay true to your creative vision. The statistics say that you're most likely to fail in this industry so might as well fail doing what you really want to. And who knows, maybe people will see that you're not faking it and suscribe to your vision.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Remember to tune your bass synthesizer pedals before dropping those Moog bombs a half-step out.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Daniel: I wouldn't say a particular song 'means' the most to me but that may change when we record album number two next year!
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I enjoy playing "King for a Day" most because it has a couple sections that are physically satisfying to play on guitar.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
It varies quite a bit, some songs are sketched out in jams and others are written, demoed and then ironed out from there. I write a lot of riffage and melody in the shower and draw inspiration from all kinds of sources!
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Daniel: Nothing in particular, I enjoy writing songs with many different lyrical approaches. Often they're storytelling narratives and sometimes they are message-driven. Perhaps we'll be able to look back after five albums and give you a better answer here!
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We try to settle things on the race track, over a cribbage board or through civilized discourse.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We are releasing our debut full length album on September 9th with a vinyl release next year. We're hoping to hit the road and tour in early 2023 and will be in the studio to record our follow up album in the same timeframe.