Upon hearing their EP ‘Wellbeing’ earlier this year, I instantly gained affection for Campfire Social and their wonderful music. After that, interviewing them about the EP became a priority. Luckily enough I got the chance to here, and I couldn’t be happier!
Let’s start with 2017, it saw the release of your debut EP ‘Wellbeing‘ which I listened to the other day and really enjoyed! Were you guys happy with the release and how it was received?
– Really happy. It was the first time that we had all worked together in a studio and I think we were all proud of what we had made. The songs themselves are kind of an amalgamation of sounds we had worked through to get to where we are now, in terms of an overall vibe, I think you’ll hear how all of that comes together on our next recording. We are certainly happy with how it has been received. Last year we managed to secure a decent amount of Radio play, were invited to play Festival number 6 and travelled to South Korea to play Zandari Festa with nothing but that EP in our arsenal. So no one is complaining here! I think a lot of that is down to continued support from Adam Walton (BBC Wales), the Focus Wales team and not forgetting Gorwellion/Horizons who have helped with funding for the next release.
I loved the sound of the whole EP, especially the beautiful guitar riffs that you weave around the vocals, reminding me slightly of the Mystery Jets in some ways. What influences would you say found their way onto the EP?
– We have such a wide range of influences between us that I think they all become unrecognisable, I could list a few of the bands/artists that influence me the most at the moment I.e mewithoutYou, Manchester Orchestra, Elliot Smith, Deathcab for Cutie and of course Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys but I wouldn’t expect you to pick them out in listening to our music. Mostly I get the urge to write a song after watching a coming of age themed movie so make of that what you will. As for the beautiful guitar riffs Chris Done has a beautiful mind and that’s all on him.
‘Wendy’ is such a beautiful track, mainly because of the delicious guitar parts in it. How do you go about writing your songs usually, is it the guitar parts and melody that come first or some other special way?
– Thank you so much. Generally I watch a nice film, cry like a baby and then sit up at night holding a guitar and pretending to be an artist. Then I go to band practice and everyone pats me on the back and enables my unhealthy desire to be liked whilst quietly deconstructing what I have made and turning it into something a million times better than what I started with.
Obviously a lot of bands find going into the studio and recording quite tiring, as it can become such a long process. How was it for you guys recording the EP, were there any issues?
– I LOVE recording! It’s probably my favourite thing to do. It’s really nice to be able to hear each part and be adventurous. Russ at orange sound studio makes it all seem really easy as well.
You guys had a fairly busy end of year in 2017, playing a few shows. However over the course of last year, what were the gigs that really stood out for you? Chester Pride must’ve been pretty special!
– Chester Pride was great fun and it was an absolute honour to be asked to take part. I think the obvious winner for us, as far as experiences go though, would have to be Zandari Festa. I have never been to that part of the world before and and the shows we played just felt so special.
You guys also supported Peaness with their single launch at Soup Kitchen in Manchester. I saw those support The Cribs last year and they were amazing! Did you enjoy playing alongside them, and which other bands did you enjoy play with last year?
– Peaness are collectively one of our favourite bands that we just happen to be lucky enough to call friends. I’m a sucker for a great song that sticks with you and they just keep firing them out. Kidsmoke are another band that seem to do that seamlessly. We consider ourselves very lucky to have done a good few shows with both of them last year.
Earlier I asked you about the influences you took with you onto the EP, to quickly jump back to that, which records did you really enjoy from 2017 and what are you looking forward to in 2018?
– I’m trying to think but I’m pretty sure my first two choices, Andy Shauf – The Party and Angel Olsen – My Woman are from the tail end of 2016. I’ve spent most of 2017 revisiting old albums that I’ve always loved, off the top of my head though (and with help from Carrie) we both really enjoyed the new Manchester Orchestra album. I know that Chris was a big fan of Clean Cut Kid-Felt. Rhys has a huge collection of new albums that I’m yet to hear such as Wolf Alice, Death from Above and the QOTSA. Tom would definitely say Ti Amo” by Phoenix and “In Mind” by Real Estate. We would all probably agree on Paramore – After Laughter, especially Carrie and Eyre Llews debut.
You already have two shows booked up already for this year, the next one being on 18th January at Blackout, have you played there before, and are you looking forward to it?
– Always love playing for students, usually a great atmosphere. Can’t wait for the Eyre Llew gig in March either, gonna be great to see them again. Telford’s warehouse is also our home away from home and we always have a great time.
With the EP released and shows already booked up this year, what does 2018 hold for Campfire Social, and what would constitute 2018 as a successful year in your books?
– We’re heading into the studio with Russ again (thank you gorwellion/horizons!) to make a start on our debut album! Which we plan on releasing a few singles from starting in March. After that we hope to come back with a better live show and to play lots more shows in new cities. Another festival would be fantastic, No6 was so much fun! Lots more gigs……LOTS!
Thanks so much for taking the time out answer these questions guys, I hope your 2018 is just a prosperous as 2017 was, all the best you guys!
– No, Thank YOU X
Editor of Words For Music. Love music and support each other.