This is one amazing interview with Kris from Camel Of Doom.Since he was 13 he has an incredible musical vision of fuzzed out psychedelic journeys.If you haven't heard Camel Of Doom yet then i am sure this will inspire you to check it out.Read on.
ED:I read that the concept behind Camel Of Doom started back when you were only 13 years old.You must have had some intense Doom visions even back then,rare for a 13-year-old.
KRIS:I grew up with rock and metal music, so I developed more obscure tastes at an early age. I also had quite an appetite for drugs even at a young age, which may had something to do with it.
ED:Camel Of Doom started as a one man project,how did it all start?
KRIS:Just playing around on a computer with some dirt cheap DAW really. This was the music I was listening to at the time, and I was trying to emulate it.
ED:The music has a big Psychedelic feel to it,are you influenced by other Psychedelic bands and if so which ones?
KRIS:I have quite an eclectic record collection, but one thing ties it all together – it is all trippy/psychedelic to some degree! Whether it's the classic bands, Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, King Crimson, Camel etc, more modern/revival 70's bands like Sleep, Ufomammut, Monkey 3, and even darker bands like Neurosis, Swans, Winter, Unholy, Skepticism… if it sends you into a trance state, then its something I enjoy listening to, and will inevitably influence me.
ED:The first album "The Desert at Night" came out n 2003 and got some really good reviews.How has the music progressed since then?
KRIS:Its got more epic, better written, better played. Just better really. Hopefully it will continue to do so!
ED:Everything i have heard from Camel Of Doom seems to take the listener on a long journey in the same way Hawkwind and Pink Floyd did it back in the 70's.How do you approach coming up with these epic ideas?
KRIS:Tough question really, to be honest I don't take any specific approach, I just sit down and write music, and what you hear is the result. It's a very natural process. This is the only band/project I've ever done where I can say writing comes this easily to me. I've tried writing in other genres and it comes out sounding very contrived. Playing really long trippy songs must be where I'm meant to be.
ED:Moving from one man band status into a full band.How did that all happen?
KRIS:Pretty much from day one I would jam with Tom on drums, and various people playing other instruments. I was writing all the songs on my own and recording/releasing them myself, but then we'd get together every week or so and blast through some of those tunes, and do some endless jams. We were still very young and naïve about the industry so we didn't really know how to sort any proper gigs or anything, and I didn't have the ability to record drums, hence all the early records being just me. Around May 2004 I was asked to play a show for the first time, and I just accepted without really considering the consequences. At the time Tom and I were the only people turning up to the jams, the guy who had been playing bass had just moved away, and we got rid of the second guitarist. This left us with a bit of a dilemma, as the gig was around 3 weeks away! Fortunately, still being in school played to our advantage because it meant we knew plenty of people who played instruments. I asked Laura to play with us as we'd been playing together in a shitty death/thrash band and she was always quick to pick things up. We rushed a set together pretty quickly, with a few of the newer songs I'd been working on, some from "The Desert at Night" and a couple of Hawkwind covers to make up the time. The covers were the initial reason for getting the sax. At that first gig she was just playing on those two songs. Once we'd done a few shows with this line-up, it was a lot easier to write songs, and develop them together in rehearsals. I feel this is the turning point where we really became a proper band, and I think the step-up in quality of music that followed is noticeable.
ED:Onto 2008 the band is a studio project or that is what I have read. Is there any plans for a fully fledged band going out on tour?
KRIS:Yes, at the moment I am working alone again. The band basically stopped functioning in 2005 due to a variety of reasons, none of which are remotely controversial or interesting. We'd started recording the second album at that point, but I wasn't really happy with how it was turning out, so I shelved it and didn't really think about it again till around the end of 2007. By then I had so much more experience at all aspects of playing and recording that I managed to finish it to a standard close to what I had hoped. The resulting record was "The Diviners Sage". Revisiting a band I hadn't thought about for years, and realising I could be doing similar music but improved filled me with a desire to make new Camel of Doom music, so I started writing new stuff in the studio. There are plans to get a live band together again, but they are embryonic and there are a lot of hurdles to get over before this goal can be achieved. I also wonder if I would have the time to put in the amount of rehearsal required to play the stuff live to a good standard. When the old band was together and playing shows, it was my main concern, but due to my activities with Esoteric, Camel of Doom is down to side-project status. Having said that, I do have a full line-up's worth of people who are keen to get the band going again, so we will see.
ED:Tell us about the new stuff you have been doing.
KRIS:The new stuff I'm working on is as you'd expect from me. Its warm, its trippy, its fuzzy, it's a journey. The main differences are that for the first time I actually have a good idea of what I'm doing and how to achieve the sounds I hear in my head, and that it has a slightly darker edge… in a King Crimson kinda way. Keep checking the site, that little "Coming Soon" box won't stay that way forever!
ED:You recently re-launched the Camel Of Doom Website offering free downloads of all the material.What was the reason behind this?
KRIS:To get the music heard… I'm a pretty shy and unconfident person, and I find it much easier to make a fancy website with my music on than I do to send it out to labels, or push it hard in any other way. This way, it's there to be discovered, and hopefully, people will keep on discovering it on their own.
ED:Tell us about all the stuff available for download.I had a look myself and I was not aware there was so many recordings.
KRIS:Here's a breakdown of the discography so far: The Song with Rocks In (EP) (2002): I don't know what to say about this one really. I honestly have very little recollection of writing and recording it. I'm pretty sure the band didn't even have a name at the time. I do know that it was a vast step up from anything I'd written in my previous shitty teenage bands, and for my age probably wasn't half bad. I like to stick it on every once in a while. Child of the Scream (EP) (2002): This is stoner rocks answer to "Under a Funeral Moon". It sounds awful, but has a great atmosphere. I didn't have a fucking clue what I was doing, and there's a certain charm to that. The Desert at Night (2003): This one was an extension of the Child of the Scream EP and has all the songs off that record on it. It has some good moments on it, especially in the prog-rock influenced suite towards the end of the album. I feel the strength of the record is let down by a few bad songs, and some very samey and repetitive parts/ideas. "The Power" is probably the only track I would want to play live now. I think it could be done in a very interesting way now. Unreleased I + II (2004): These two records are exclusive to the website and have never been officially put out before. Unreleased I was originally intended to be the second album, following on from The Desert at Night. I was putting it all together around the same time that the full line-up got together, and we ended up focusing on different material, so the album never really got finished. Unreleased II is a collection of covers, jams, and an early live show with the full line-up. I decided to put this up for completists more than anything… as a whole it varies massively in quality. Its main point of interest is that the version of EarthHammer is the first time we ever played it live. Camel of Doom (Demo) (2004): This is probably the most well-known record. I think the reason for this is probably that I was at the peak of my spamming at the time it came out. I was sending it everywhere, taking it to shows and handing it out, etc. Just doing anything to get it heard really. The version on the site is the 2006 reissue with some extra live material. The Diviners Sage (2008): As mentioned above, the full line-up began this record back in 2005, but it was never finished. I brought it up to scratch between December 2007-May 2008. This record is the closest I feel I've got to the sound I'm looking for, but there are many things that could have been done better, such as the drums and bass, which were recorded when I didn't have much idea of what I was doing. I brought them out as much as I could in the final mix, but they sounded so terrible at source that I couldn't do as much as I liked. Still, I am very happy with how it turned out, and I enjoy listening to this record very much.
ED:I have noticed the track "EarthHammer" is on many playlists.Did you know how popular this track is?
KRIS:There's something about that song, people just seem to love it. I was very happy with the way it turned out. I wrote it very quickly really, probably had the whole arrangement together within an hour. That sort of thing doesn't come along very often unfortunately. There are 4 versions on the website, the demo, the album version and two live versions. After we wrote it we played it at the end of every single show, which is why it appears on both live recordings.
ED:Do you think free downloads is the future for bands?It seems almost impossible for Doom type bands to make any money from CD sales anymore.
KRIS:I don't know really. I just do it because it's the way I want to do things. No label has ever shown any interest in the band, and I'm making this music for the sake of making it, not to be chasing down people to get it released. I can't imagine many doom bands ever made any money from CD sales. Certainly not any of the ones I've come across, which from playing with Esoteric now adds up to a sizeable amount.
ED:Thanks for the chance to do this interview,anything you want to add?
KRIS:Thanks for the interview. I appreciate the support. Everyone check out the new website at http://www. camelofdoom. com
Nov 3, 2008
If you like your Doom with a lot of anger with more sludge than a swamp then this band may be for you.They are from the UK and they provide some real nasty noise to wrap your brain around.Check out this interview. 1.Tell us about how the band got together,where you all met etc? Andy(Guitar)and Rog(Drums) have know each other for a long time now. They've done Music together prior to ROTS, I think it was roughly 2006 and they had been bashing about in a dark room before they asked me to join. I'd know the guys through a mutual friend and we got on well cause we all had similar tastes in music. 2.The band plays a specialist style of Doom(to my ears anyway).Its not traditional old school Doom,it sounds more like a Iron Monkey/Grief approach. Do you think this is a fair description? Some of that description is fair. We were never gonna be straight traditional Doom. We have such wide and eclectic tastes in music that we wanted to combine different styles to our music. Our earlier stuff had a lot of Deathmetal, BlackMetal and more expansive sounds to it. I think over time we calmed it down cause some of it didn't work. It was all about trial and error. 3.There is a lot of shit in the world to get angry about,is this one of the reasons they band plays this brand of Doom/Sludge Metal? Yeah. I think we that's about right. I would say Andy's quite a misanthropist. There's a lot of idiots in our hometown and I think we all get pissed off most days, by the pure ignorance and stupidty of our fellow man. Sometimes I hate going out cause I end up getting really pissed off with fucking Idiots ruining it for ya. 4.What inspires you to write songs? Seeing loads of shit bands makes us think, hey we can write better shit then these guys and we can play it better. We all love music and will allways try to write. Theirs nothing better then creating something, except maybe destroying stuff.. 5.How long has the band been going and what is in the works for future recordings? It's been going for a couple of years know. Were tying to write some nasty ass music at the moment, but im seriously low on weed so im lacking inspiration! We'll probably record another demo early next year, when the beer and weed flows. 6.What is peoples reactions been like to you guys? The majority of responses are good. Some people get confused by us and our sound. I think all Doom metal band get that reaction. 7.How is it getting gigs in your area and what is people's attitude towards Doom bands.From what i have read it is still pretty negative. Yeah it is. People in Hastings mainly listen to shit mainstream metal! We can allways get gig's, but it seems pointless playing to people who want to hear shit like Trivium and Bullet for my *gay* valentine! 8.What music do you listen to outside of the band? Loads, Neurosis is one of my all time fav bands. Im currently Listening to the new Enslaved, Krisiun, Doomriders, Moss, The Banner as well as loads of other Doom, Sludge, Black Metal, Deathmetal, Grindcore, Rock, Blues, Hardcore, Punk and other random stuff I can find. 9.What is your opinion the heaviest band you have ever heard? I really don't know. Bands can be heavy for a lot of different reasons. Every Doom band, I can think of a grind or death metal band that are just as heavy, but in a different way. 10.Over the years i have seen the true metal scene become watered down by shitty bands getting too much exposure.I think the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal is the metal of the true underground. Do you think this style of Metal could ever become mainstream(i hope not)? No,it's become more popular over the years but I don't think it music that your average joe will understand. Most people are Idiots... Thanks and keep the dirty beer drinking sludge happening. http://www.myspace.com/riseofthesimians
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