Interview With France CampNov 27, 2013
France Camp talks to Radio K about covering Metallica, the Forged Artifacts Showcase, and their new project with Frankie Teardrop.
Radio K sponsored the Forged Artifacts Showcase and the Gloss EP Release Show on November 23rd. Just before heading over to the Triple Rock to open for Gloss, label-mates France Camp, chatted with Radio K. Aside from providing in-depth description of a time when the band had destroyed half of their instruments while covering Metallica. Radio K has an exclusive including a few exciting new projects, recording with Ollie of Hollow Boys in his attic.
Pictured from left to right: Dylan (drums), Kyle (bass), Jay (vocals, guitar), and James (guitar).
Photo credit: Bridget Bennett
Radio K: If you guys can just start out by maybe introducing yourself and what you contribute to the band. I’d also like to know how you guys started out and how that all evolved.
Kyle: I’m Kyle, I’m the bassist. I’ve been playing bass since I was in 4th grade, about 8 years old.
Dylan: I’m Dylan, I play the drums, I started this band years ago. Just kidding, Jay started it. I’ve been playing a year and a half with these guys. It sucks.
Jay: I’m France Camp, Jay France Camp. I started the band with this guy and this little woman, she’s gone now, so we continue. I play guitar and I sing and Dylan wrote all the songs.
James: I’m James, I play lead guitar and I provide philosophy to the band, words of wisdom, [and] comfort.
Jay: He’s the only deep thinker in the band. The rest of us are just barbaric.
James: It’s kind of like being a full time babysitter. I’m like a hot dad, but the kids aren’t mine.
K: When did you guys start recording as the four of you?
James: [Gesturing to each band member] This as a band, like this collective, is about three months, four months old, something like that.
James: Jay and I first started, I don’t know, maybe two or three years ago now. We just kind of started as another creative means to a band that we were in before hand and we just wanted to do something else. and it changed we lost some members gained some members. but then it kind of formed into this. Kyle was the keystone, the missing piece.
Jay: Kyle was our missing beard. I think of us as a four month old band, but technically we’ve been going under France Camp for awhile.
James: That’s the benefit of having all these songs down; when Kyle and Dylan joined the band, they were pretty much ready to go. We didn’t really spend a lot of time figuring out new songs. It was kind of already there, which it’s nice because we got to be a band and then got used to playing with each other. So, now as we start recording our second record, it’s going to be a really fast process because we’re all used to each other.
"It’s kind of like being a full time babysitter. I’m like a hot dad, but the kids aren’t mine."
K: You’re playing at the Forged Artifacts showcase at the Triple Rock Social Club. How did you get involved with record label, Forged Artifacts?
Jay: Nice Purse was the first Forged Artifacts release, and shortly after [Matt, of Forged Artifacts] released that and put out a bunch of vinyl [Nice Purse] broke up as a band so that was an awful thing.
James: Matt had said “Hey, I want to start this label and start putting it out, will you guys be the first band to have a vinyl?” [However] like Jay said, we broke up pretty shortly after that,[Matt] kept going and he put records out for Prissy Clerks and Holographic Sands -
Jay: -and we thank him for even considering putting out our record. I remember emailing him and just like ‘god I hope he doesn’t remember Nice Purse, I hope he doesn’t remember.’ He remembers Nice Purse. He was kind enough to put out our record, and he’s a good dude.
James: It’s been great working with him, honestly.
Jay: There’s some projects coming up with other bands, too. Really good projects. We won’t talk about it; we’ll let him bring that up.
James: It’s been really awesome. He’s 110% behind the bands that he’s supporting, and he does a lot of it just because he cares so much, and that’s a really cool thing.
K: Awesome. France Camp’s 2012 in-studio with Radio K had such a presence in Studio K and most recently you were in again dressed as a Pharaoh. Dose France Camp have a set identity, or do you just wing it?
James: Well, about every week and a half Jay will come to all of us and be like, “you guys, I really want to write a song like this.” It will be anything from fifties doo-wop to Metallica. He also made us cover Motley Crue.
Jay: I tried to make us cover Metallica, and this is actually the best story ever. It was “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, and literally, our first attempt at it, he [pointing to Kyle] broke a bass string-- you don’t break bass strings.
Kyle: It was a low E string, the hardest of all strings to break--
Jay: --and then [Kyle] said “Oh, it’s alright, man. Put on another string, dude, whatever.” He [pointing to Dylan] breaks the kick head, [and] the bass drum.
K: Maybe Metallica was too hardcore?
Jay: It was too hardcore for us.
James: Or maybe we were too hardcore for it.
Jay: That can’t go on file because we will get sued.
Jay and James: We all bring a lot of things to the table, it’s very eclectic. Dylan just starts crying.
James: Dylan’s into Elliott Smith.
Jay: So he bring[s] the sorrow to the table. Kyle brings-- well Kyle was the first Metalhead I ever knew-- he showed me all the metal that I know. He’s gone in a different direction, he goes to bella. He likes dubstep a little bit now.
Kyle: No, I don’t.
James: Dude, I’m so happy! Finally, I’m not the only one that loves psychedelic music though, that’s in the band.
Kyle: I definitely listen to a lot of the Scandinavian psychedelic rock. There’s a really, really awesome scene going on right now in Denmark and Norway.
James: That’s true; he somehow knows all these bands.
"We all bring a lot of things to the table, it’s very eclectic. Dylan just starts crying."
K: Care to elaborate?
Kyle: Their psychedelic scene wipes the floors with the black metal.
James: What is it? Orange Revival is the one I like.
Kyle: I like Orange Revival, Electric Eye, The Wands, Get Your Gun, Jesus on Heroine.
James: That music video, by the way, that music video is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. It’s kind of like that White Stripes music video for “Seven Nation Army” where everything just keeps leading into itself except it’s all hand drawn and it’s just a six minute song and it just cycles back on itself and its the most surreal thing ever. and it’s an awesome song.
Jay: In a shorter version you should watch the video.
James: In a shorter version, we all bring different stuff. Garage rock, psychedelia, metal, h------s, a little bit of everything.
Jay: I think the only thing we can agree [on would be] that [what] we don’t bring to the table is Minneapolis Hip-Hop. We try to bring it to the table; we can’t really get there. We want to be Minneapolis Hip-Hop.
Dylan: I’m going to go on record and say we’ve never, ever tried to do any of that. We have not done any hip-hop.
K: This latest record, this latest tape you guys recorded- how did the recording process go about?
Dylan: I recorded it about eight times on my computer. I recorded the whole thing several times and every time something just wasn’t right, and we started over--
Jay: --We worked on the record for a year and he dropped his computer in a toilet, and we didn’t have it on backup.
Dylan: I didn’t drop it in the toilet, it just broke.
Jay: For the record, he dropped it in the toilet. That was all of our record. It was like a year of recording. It had past members on it. It had present members on it. It had everything on it, it was a mess. So then we were like, ‘what are we going to do?’ I was talking with [a friend, Ollie], he was like, ‘Dude, bring it in, bring it into my studio and we’ll make a loud one.’ Ali Jaafar, he runs Ecstattic Studios and is the lead singer of Hollow Boys. I also love him. We came in; we had all these songs to a T. We played them live.
James: Yeah that was kind of fun, we recorded them live up in his attic.
Jay: The process was really cool. When we overdubbed our guitars we had our amps facing each other. We had a smoke machine that went off. We brought in laser lights, just for overdubbing.
James: The entire time Jay and I locked eyes.
Jay: So every guitar part that you hear on that record, imagine these two faces staring at each other doing the dumbest look, like kissing at each other. I was like the grand finale of guitar-ing.
Dylan: Later, I came in and re-recorded all your guitars.
Jay: Then he came in because he wrote the songs five years ago and he had some things that he wanted to say. So, a lot of stuff that we did that day got over dubbed by him. Dylan, the primary songwriter. He’s also known as France Camp.
Dylan: "I didn’t drop it in the toilet, it just broke."
Jay: "For the record, he dropped it in the toilet."
K: What’s your next project?
Jay: I’ll just say this; we’re doing a split with Frankie Teardrop. Oh. Also, France Camp is working on getting a tour together; we’re thinking going South over spring break. I am also playing my hand at starting an ‘Odyssey-Metal’ band. We’re called Iliad Homer, and we have seven guitars.