INTERVIEW: CAM COLE
Cam Cole is the next big thing in the rock scene, and we were fortunate enough to catch up with the groundbreaking talent who made a name for himself on the streets of London, busking and performing for years and creating an invested audience and following. Now, he releases his stunning, heavy rock album 'Crooked Hill' and it's a pure statement from Cam. Here is what he had to say on the album and everything surrounding it.
Please talk us through the meaning of your powerful new album ‘Crooked Hill'.
Crooked Hill is what the Scottish Celtic name Cameron means, which is my first name. I’ve always wanted to make it the title of a song or an album or something. And that it relates to a part of nature means a lot as well. And it sounds cool. So it just made sense.
What is it about 'Message in the Mountains' that made you want to make it your lead single from the album?
I just like the atmosphere that got created on this tune. It was the one track that was really the magic take, you only know that when you hear it back weeks later after laying it down. But yeah, it’s also a good song, and lyrics are really nice, I think I came up with the lyrics at first quite quickly, just to sing something over the melody and then when I went to change them and improve them I stopped myself and was like “actually no, these will do just fine”.
What made you want to write about this topic in particular?
Sometimes there is no plan behind it, the lyrics just kind of came to me as I went to put a vocal to the melody on the guitar. Usually when this happens the lines don’t make much sense, so you have to change it or improve it. I may have tweaked some lines but most of it just came out right from the start.
How did you get into the busking scene?
I needed money and I wanted to play my songs on guitar for a living, but no one gave a shit about me 8 years ago, so the only way to survive off my own songs was to sing them to people on the street and hope that they give me their change.
How was the recording and writing process for the album?
It was cool, I spent some time in England writing the tunes, some time backpacking in India writing others. I wanted a heavier album this time and wanted to expand on my footdrum playing. The recording process was smooth except one song: We always try to record my songs in one take to capture what I do live but “I Don’t Need To Live your Way” was a pain in the ass to get in one take. No idea why! I’ve played it spot on every time live since then. But in the studio that song did not want to be captured. We got it in the end though.
What’s the music scene like in London for you?
At the moment non-existent. In other words - crap. And to be honest, for unsigned bands without following, it’s utter shite. There’s only a scene for the signed bands or ones with a fan base. And that’s just individual gigs being put on. For a scene to be present, there needs to be regular events that showcase up and coming bands and places where music people all hang out and mingle. The majority of these places are now closed due to mainstream commerciality moving in. Gentrification. England is and has been losing its music culture for some time. It’s not what it used to be.
Lastly, what's next for Cam Cole and his journey after this album?
Trying to tour the world despite COVID-19 so I can finally see all these people that follow me online in person, then at some point recording the third album in the saga, which I’m already excited about.
Check out 'Crooked Hill' here: