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INTERVIEW: Camp Crush

Hi folks, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi there! Great, thanks for having us!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “November Skin”?

Yes! We are so thrilled with how this song turned out and the music video. Chris is our videographer and the monochrome theme of the music video really played into the heartbeat of what I was trying to convey in the lyrics of the song.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Actually yes. We had just finished a show and a man walked up to me (Jen) afterwards. He spent 5-10 minutes telling me that “I’ve got it” and why, and how I compared to other women in the music scene, and then he went on to tell me what I needed to do to continue to succeed in the music industry and why other women fail. I had this real moment of realizing that for one, we live in a society where its very difficult for women, whether you’re in art or business or whatever, to measure up. Everyone has expectations and thoughts on what and who you should be. I also realized that people love to consolidate women down to one side of their personality. I went home and wrote November Skin right after this show.

The single comes off your new album She’s Got It – what’s the story behind the title?

“She’s Got It” is the chorus line in November Skin. I love this line so much because it really harkens back to what inspired the song in the first place. I wanted to convey that women need to be seen as individuals, not stereotypes that we then can determine if they “have it” or “don’t have it.”

How was the recording and writing process?

Our writing process is really collaborative. I (Jen) write the bones of the song – the lyrics, chord structure, the lead lines and melodic movement. I bring it to Chris who brings the song to life through his ideas on production, rhythm and song movement.

November Skin is special because it was the first song we recorded with our new producer, Bryan Free. It was such an amazing process because he came to the table with a lot of ideas, but he also listened to what we had to say. It was the perfect blend of hands on and trust with the artist. We also had Rian Lewis, grammy nominated mixing engineer, mix this song for us and he really brought out the magic in the music.

How does your relationship influence your music?

It heavily influences our music. Being married, best friends, business partners, parents and songwriters together means that we have an insane amount of trust between us. I (Jen) never worry about bringing a song to Chris in its rough state – he always listens and does his best to help each song hit its stride. Being partners in life also allows us to bring all of that on stage with us and we try to share this immense amount of love that we have for each other with everyone in the room when we’re on stage. Our relationship is one of the major things that makes Camp Crush what it is.

What role does Portland play in your writing?

Portland is an amazing incubator for songwriting and art. We are constantly inspired by the amazing community of musicians and artists around us and it encourages us to be better. This is not an easy city to be a musician in because there are so many of us, and so many of us making amazing work. But, the upside to that is that inspiration is everywhere you look and I know we have definitely grown and gotten better through the osmosis of the creative spirit here in Portland.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

I come from a folk and singer-songwriter background, so writing lyrics that matter is really important to me. Camp Crush music has pulled from my feelings and thoughts on the current state of politics, feminism, motherhood, love and hope. I believe that art and music have the power to be radically transformative and i want to do my best to use whatever platform I have for good.

Any plans to hit the road?

As parents, touring is a tad more difficult for us. We do often pack our family up in our 1984 VW Vanagon with our musical gear and play all ages shows around the Pacific Northwest. Our kids love to run our merch tables 🙂 That said, we are playing regionally quite often. We just returned from Vegas, Boise, and Seattle. This summer, we’ll be on tour in both Alaska and eastern Washington/Idaho.

What else is happening next in Camp Crush’s world?

We just finished up a successful Kickstarter and are getting ready to release this EP! One of our stretch goals that we hit with the Kickstarter was recording an original holiday song. So, we’ll be back in the studio in May to get that recording underway and then will begin filming another music video (we do all of our videos DIY, so each one is quite the endeavor). Our EP release show is May 18 at Alberta Street Pub!

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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