Transcript Episode 649: Tracyanne Campbell (Camera Obscura)

Tracyanne Campbell  0:12  
We were rehearsing with Louie Abbott from Admiral Farlow. Because he is gonna drum for us on our US leg of the tour, or North American leg of the tour. Because Lee, or drummer, he's not going to come to the States and Canada, Mexico. So Louie is going to come. So we're kind of, we're just kind of rehearsing with Louis, on with Lee. So we're doing double double rehearsals with two drummers.

Brian Heater  0:48  
Maybe not a bad setup, at some point you could do I'm trying to think of there are a few bands over time who have done the double drummer setup would definitely, definitely be an interesting change, I think, from your sound to have to

Tracyanne Campbell  1:00  
have to, we have to the same time No, I

Brian Heater  1:05  
know, I'm just saying that, you know, you could theoretically do that at some point

Tracyanne Campbell  1:08  
to think which bands I've seen that. Oh, definitely seen bands play with more than one drummer. I don't think we need an AR. It

Brian Heater  1:19  
might be a little heavy for much camera obscura. Yeah, I think it's mostly an interesting process, though, to me, is there a way in which it's kind of you're kind of relearning your songs at the same time teaching them somebody from the start, kind

Tracyanne Campbell  1:36  
of but Louie's very professional. So he, he just charts all the songs. And he just turns up, and he knows how to do them. So yeah, I guess, though, a lot of the time when you play while I was thinking about this, because a lot of the time, if the speed isn't quite there, or something, or I noticed the speed is different from how we would normally play with Lee, I have to think well lose, probably listening to the records. And he knows exactly what the speed is. Whereas I don't listen to the records. I just have an idea in my head. And, you know, we've been playing some songs for so long, that are actually have forgotten what the speeds are. And we just play them the way that we played them. So yeah, you're right, it is a beacon sort of relearn if you you want to if you need to

Brian Heater  2:29  
talk to a lot of musicians about how their relationships to songs change over time. And obviously, there are cases of artists to make a very concerted effort to evolve their songs. But it sounds like there's also just kind of a natural evolution that happens over time. Yeah, I

Tracyanne Campbell  2:45  
mean, I think some of the songs that we've been playing, are so old, that, you know, the muscle memory is there, and you just don't really need to think about it so much. But then seeing that we haven't played them for eight years or something in a regular way, you know, the way we used to. So actually, I must confess that I'm finding it a little bit harder for the new songs to sink in. Because of course, you write the songs, and you know how to play them when you record because you're recording them and we do it live. But then there's a gap. And then you've got to relearn them again. And the, I think, because we don't spend every day together practicing the muscle memory is maybe it's because I'm getting on there, it's harder for me, it's harder for me, for them to sink in. But the old stuff, you know, if I, if I just have a little faith, it's in there, you know, send their summaries have to dig it

Brian Heater  3:54  
up. In the earlier days, were you practicing every day,

Tracyanne Campbell  3:57  
not every day, but there was a period when the grip were all full time musicians. And, you know, we were, we were really in the thick of it, you know, we were either on to it or rehearsing for a tour or, you know, writing songs or practicing the songs to record and we were just, you know, a bit more on it. And we have not played not much as a group, apart from making this album over the last, you know, seven years or so.

The last record we made was 10 years ago. Previous to this new one. So that would have been a time when we would have not every day but certainly three times a week or something

Brian Heater  4:49  
when you are touring on the regular and when the band is your full time job that gives the songs a chance to evolve prior to x be recording them.

Tracyanne Campbell  5:00  
We were never really a band that would work up a song and play it live before it was recorded. We didn't really do that, or we weren't really much of a jammy band, you know, jam, too uptight and conservative for that, that kind of thing. Yeah, no, I mean, yeah, I think we just would do in, right, we need to make a record. So here's a bunch of songs, let's, you know, work in them. But we'd never, we'd never really might have tried the old song, it would probably have been recorded first, before we'd play it live. It

Brian Heater  5:46  
sounds like from my interviews that I've listened to and read that, that writing comes in fits and starts for you that there are definitely periods that are much more fruitful than others. Yeah, I

Tracyanne Campbell  5:57  
mean, I don't know what the norm is anymore. Because nothing feels very normal at the minute, you know, we've not been doing this for a while. Yeah, we haven't made a record in 10 years. But I've made another record and I have continued to write songs. You know, but yeah, fits and starts. I mean, sometimes, certainly, in the last 10 years, since becoming a parent, haven't been able to just concentrate in myself, you know, my life hasn't been just mine. It's, there's another focus there. So certainly, when it comes to songwriting, I don't maybe have the have had the time or the energy to, you know, put the work in and might have had the inspiration in places, you know, I might have had that, certainly. But the time that I think it takes sometimes I feel like I'm the sort of person that likes to have a lot of time on my own to do that. Yeah, that's it's not really a thing when you've got a child needing

Brian Heater  7:11  
all the things that makes sense. And I it didn't even occur to me that the time of those two things match up. But this, I don't have kids, but I've got a lot of friends who have kids. And time passes differently when there are children. Yeah, I've noticed. And when you think about, on the flip side of that 10 years, maybe in some ways, doesn't feel like a long time. And then you realize, like, Oh, I've created this human, and now they're, like, 10, at this stage in life, and it's wild. Yeah, that's gonna happen in a decade.

Tracyanne Campbell  7:41  
As wild, it's wild to think that it was 10 years ago that we brought our record at that that much time has actually passed. Because in some ways, it just doesn't feel like it's not like we we didn't do anything, we still felt very busy. haven't felt like, particularly like, took a big break. But of course, in a way we did, you know, we did take a big break,

Brian Heater  8:13  
initial hiatus with the band was started for, for different reasons. But, I mean, there is a way in which I actually let me let me retake that I. One of the things that I've heard from a lot of parents, especially of younger children, is those who are in bands and who tour that, that there is this benefit of the pandemic that I hear from all these people who tell me that, you know, because their life is being on tour so much that maybe they weren't like their for their children in the way that they would have liked to have been. And the pandemic forced that but it sounds like this was also whether intentionally or not an opportunity for you to be there every day in a way you might not have if he were in a really active band.

Tracyanne Campbell  9:05  
One thing is impossible for me to think about it being any other way than how it was because in not not only obviously, did we, some of us have children in the last 10 years, you know, Gavin's Gavin and Kenny and I all are, are. We've got those two have got two kids each, and I've got one but we've all got a boy that's around 10 1011 They're all the same age. But of course, Katie passing away as well was really the thing that I suppose forced the hiatus, but who knows? It might also, you know, it might have been difficult anyway with small children. But having said that, we've all have done some tutoring. When small children were around, you know, I did a tour four years ago with Danny caughlin. You know, I made a record with crybabies, Danny Cochran. And him and I went away in two stints of you know, North American tours. We went to Europe, and we went to the UK, you know, we did the UK, so I have done it in my thing, my kid was like, six then. And that was probably I was talking to him about that the other day, actually. Because, you know, I like to sort of, through through and, and maybe a drive to school or whatever. Remember, I'm going away soon. And it'll, it might seem like a long time, because I'm actually, personally I'm actually feeling quite anxious about are quite nervous about that length of time, you know, that I'll be away. And he seems to be quite cool with it and sort of says, oh, yeah, it'll be fine. You know, it's not like I'm a baby or something like that. But I do remember, I think it was difficult when he was six, and I was away for that length of time. I think it'll be easier. I mean, the thing is, when you're away, you're busy. So your mind is on the job. And when you're in the moment, you're, you're focused, and it'll be the same for him, you know, there'll be this. So, as a as a, as a bit of a pool, you know, there's a sort of, you want to do what you do, which is make records and go on tour, but you also have this life that requires you to be around your torn alarm torn by it, it's not easy to make the decision to, to go, but it's not because for lack of desire, want to do your job, I desperately want to be able to do my job, I wish I could do my job more more, you know, do more of it. So it's, it's like a sort of, maybe, I'm not saying it's not conducive to have children and to love this life, as people can make work. And of course, you know, kids are pretty resilient, they get on the, you know, they're, they're gonna, as long as they're fed and more urgent, per to school with, you know, some clothes on their back, they'll be fine. It will be fine. But

Brian Heater  12:46  
it's not to be, you know, super corny about it. But there are certain things that if you miss, you can't get back. And you can always, you know, as long as your body is still able, you can always keep touring in the future.

Tracyanne Campbell  13:01  
Yeah, we'll see. I hope so. I hope so. You know, touring is a big deal, though, isn't is a big, it's a bit of a big operation. You know, it's a, it's logistically, it's, logistically, this band, will find it difficult. You know, we're not filled, we're not all full time musicians sort of sitting around, you know, waiting to do that. Some people have pursued other careers, and they're juggling those other jobs with this job again, and family life and everybody wants to do it, and we want to all it's just working at home, how to get it all, how to do all, you know,

Brian Heater  13:49  
was that ever a thought for you that maybe it's time to look into also doing something else not to replace this outright? But you know, another? I guess, another chapter for you.

Tracyanne Campbell  14:00  
I mean, I think I'm a bit of a one trick pony, to be honest. I think I like the idea of doing something else. It's just that nothing else is. I've never been pushed to, to to go anywhere else in a big way. You know, I'm sort of hanging on for dear life to this in a way. Who knows? I mean, I'm 50 and a few months. It's never too late to to start something, but you need to have the desire to start something and I'm a bit sort of all or nothing, I think, in some ways, you know,

Brian Heater  14:46  
I am as well, I understand that.

Tracyanne Campbell  14:48  
Yeah. And I'd like to be able to maybe have another income or something or interest, but I just haven't Found anything that I like as much

Brian Heater  15:03  
you're married to a musician. So there isn't that external pressure, or at least there's that built in understanding of what it is you do.

Tracyanne Campbell  15:14  
Yeah, there's, there's plenty of understanding. And I've always done this. So there's no problems with that. It's just yeah, you know, I don't it's a fun thing to do. But everybody knows that it's, it's gotten a bit harder, you know, you know, financially is quite a big feat to, you know, to finance a tour and do the thing and, you know, make some money from it, or breakeven, or whatever us, you know, spec big operation. But I think the main thing is there's, there's well to, and desire to, to go in the roads and to, to meet the strike and have the opportunity to go and play to people, again, is not really anything that we've taken for granted, because we almost, I guess, it felt like we kind of lost that. You know, it was never a given that we would do this. Really, it wasn't not on the cards, but it wasn't definitely in the cards. So I think for us, it's really special to it, it means a lot. You know, it's not just you like back in the day when all right, we've done that, too. And then we're going in this too, and then we're doing that and you're just in the thing, you know, getting on with it. It's not it doesn't really feel like that this feels very separate and special.

Brian Heater  16:45  
A special time, like anything else one does for a living. There are times when it does feel like a job. I prior to that. To the hiatus were there. Were there points where it? You know, where it wasn't necessarily a given that it was going to keep happening?

Tracyanne Campbell  17:01  
I don't know. It's hard to say I think. I think I could personally, I admit that probably around, you know, before making desire lines. I was, I was a bit burned up, to be honest. You know, I was a bit, I was a bit burned up. And I think that's natural. Of course, you need time to recharge the batteries. It might might just have been that we needed some time, you know. But obviously, there were things that happened that dictated what we did next. So I don't know. But yeah, I'm not sure. Hard to say

Brian Heater  17:46  
it's a tricky line to walk in the early days of. I mean, obviously, when when you're young, when you're in your 20s, you got a lot more energy to keep going. But even then you need breaks. But it's difficult to know if and when to take one because you start building this momentum that you want to keep up.

Tracyanne Campbell  18:10  
Yeah, I think I think pre desire lines, there was no question of stopping our team taking a break, which we're just getting on with it. We were in joying it enough. But yeah, you get sort of caught up. And before you knew what you're doing the thing that you want, that you set out to do, which was be a full time musician, somebody who tours and gets the opportunity to make records and travels the world and, you know, you're in it. And that's, that is that is I can see that that is a really precious thing. You know, it's a really special a privilege to be able to do that. I'm not saying I didn't appreciate it, then I could appreciate it. But when when you think that you might not do that you really you really see it for what it is, you know. And I think that that took me. Yeah, took the past seven years, whatever to really, to get the penny dropped. You know,

Brian Heater  19:27  
I was reading another interview that you did where you were discussing the time off, and it sounds like there was also then a certain sense maybe it was taken for granted that that the band would happen again. You know, it seemed not necessarily you didn't know when it would come back together. But it felt like something that you were going to do again. I

Tracyanne Campbell  19:49  
think so. I mean there was never a you know, we didn't break up we never said all right, I've had enough of this you know it was circumstance dictated what happened and wasn't really within our control in a way. So think there was probably always the chance that we would make a record. Again, it was just something we never really talked about a lot. We just didn't, we had other, you know, there were other more important things happening. And I think when we, you know, when we got asked to play the bowtie weekend, or the balanced bass uncurated festival, it was on a sort of cruise ship from Barcelona to Sardinia. We hadn't played together for for two years, and we got together and it really, it felt, to me, it felt like I was as excited as I was, in the beginning, you know, I was really sort of turned into, you know, very sort of, I felt very alive again, I realized how much I'd missed it. You know, it made me, it made me it inspired me to write songs, it felt like, a new chance or something, or an opportunity to sort of do it better, or something in a way or appreciate it more, or to be less scared of it, or be a bit more confident about it, or enjoy it more, or don't be so serious about it, you know, that kind of thing, it was a lot lots of positivity. And, and, and my dad, we waited, you know, gone, was

Brian Heater  22:09  
the idea was, was the concern that, you know, after, after Kerry died, that it would almost be painful to

Tracyanne Campbell  22:18  
be tested? Definitely. I mean, absolutely. How can you, you know, how can you the thing had was different, it changed forever, you know, it wasn't the same. It's, you can't just, you can't, I mean, obviously, it some bands have many other bands of loss band members, and, you know, the, the pick up a knee to get on and

Brian Heater  22:45  
if people had been, you know, in and out of the band for other reasons, too. Yeah,

Tracyanne Campbell  22:50  
yeah, they had previously, but the core, you know, the most of the work that was done in this group where, you know, us, five of us. And so, yeah, it was, I think there was certainly a period where there was no appetite for it. But things change, you know, Grief is a thing that changes in a new change, you know, when you feel one thing that one day and you feel another thing another day. And that's, that's healthy, and not so surprising. not so surprising that I would want to write songs, as a HUD had done for the past 20 years, you know, kind of my identity. And I think that, you know, I was very aware that I might be losing that identity, or my identity, if I didn't get on with it.

Brian Heater  23:56  
It's an identity, but it's also whether consciously or unconsciously, a way of processing the world and this was something that very much needed to be processed. Exactly,

Tracyanne Campbell  24:07  
exactly. And the way that I've processed the world is by writing songs about things. And so what happened was just the same really, you know, something else to something else mean, it's something else that was meaningful and needed to be processed and dealt with and taking care of and and accordingly to be turned

Brian Heater  24:38  
subject matter. That's not necessarily at a place with the songs you write. I mean, because, you know, certainly, certainly you're not afraid of being melancholy on record.

Tracyanne Campbell  24:49  
No, um, no, I had a chat the other night with them. Did another interview we were talking about that that you know, whether you If I feel scared to be so I don't know if the words brutal or open or vulnerable, yeah, vulnerable. And I think that I'm not scared to be that. Actually. I'm not saying I'm used to I'm not being I'm not brazen, you know, I'm not, I'm not. But it's not with that sort of trepidation sometimes, or a little bit of fear that, you know, you write a song that, you know, where you can be perceived to be vulnerable or sad or whatever. I just, I'm not scared of that. I think that that's, I just don't want to think about it too much. I don't want to, you know, censor myself, particularly, or I'm not writing concept records, you know, I'm just sort of, and I'm not always spilling my guts all over the page. But sometimes I am an adult. I don't mind that. You know? Yeah.

Brian Heater  26:10  
You described getting close to burnout. What? What did that look like? How is that manifesting itself? At that point?

Tracyanne Campbell  26:17  
I think there was just a sort of, when we made desire lines, Katie had already been diagnosed, and we'd sort of kept it under wraps. And we didn't really talk about it. I don't mean with it. within ourselves, we talked about it, but we didn't really make a press statement or, you know, tell the greater world we kind of was, we sort of dealt with it in a very British way, or something where we sort of, you know, step up really well, what's just got on with us, you know, this will be well, we don't need to talk about our feelings. You know, and I think that that was kind of remarkable. When I think about it, I sometimes think about anything I did we do that, you know, was to protect ourselves. Was it to protect Kelly, does it protect her? Was it was that healthy? I don't know. But I think that record was quite a difficult record to write, you know, there were more important things happening. It wasn't, it was quite a I found it quite laborious or something, you know, Brian, some of the songs and it wasn't a it wasn't an easy record to write. It wasn't an easy period. And maybe that was partly Barna as well, just, you know, needing a bit of a change or a break. Yeah.

Brian Heater  27:44  
How did that manifest itself on the record?

Tracyanne Campbell  27:47  
Well, I mean, I think it's, I think it's quite a sort of measurable song percent in record. I mean, there's don't get me wrong, you know, we had a, we had a, we had a good experience, you know, we, we, we documented a thing, you know, we did as good a job as we've done in any other records. You know, we were, we tried our best. And, of course, working with Tucker Martine was a great experience. You know, Tucker was champion of ours, and he's a great producer, and he has a great studio, and it was, you know, kind of fun going to Portland and taking ourselves off there. But, you know, in the background, I think, on a personal level, there was a lot going on, you know, there was a lot of personal issues, and people maybe not feeling at their best for whatever reasons, you know, I just think I can only speak for myself, but I would say, my thoughts about that time was that it was quite a dark time, I think in the band's history, I think, you know,

Brian Heater  28:58  
and how could it not be right, exactly.

Tracyanne Campbell  29:00  
And Portland was like, I remember somebody sent, it might have been me called, just as well, we're Glaswegians, you know, cuz we're used to this weather. It rains all the time. In Portland, it's gray. I mean, I don't mind that because I'm used to. I think if we had come from maybe the SouthEast of England or something and gone to Portland in December in January, we might have been going, Whoa, what are we doing here? It's miserable. But Portland is not miserable. I'm very fond of it. But it's the weather is quite like classical weather, actually. So it was just a it was making a record in wintertime as well. You know, it's was sort of short windows of daylight, you know, going into studio for Saturday morning when it's dark. Coming up, when it's dark. That adds to the moods, you know, adds to the vibe.

Brian Heater  29:55  
How much of that record like actually coming out was result of Carrie really wanting to push through everything?

Tracyanne Campbell  30:05  
Well, she did want to push through it and, you know, she, she went into remission. And that's how we managed to go and make the record, you know, started to get a bit a little bit better. And so with that, you know, as soon as she was able to do that, we, we did that and we went. And then of course, we, we couldn't, couldn't quite tear that record the way we toured previous records, because she got sick again, we did a little bit of touring, but not not so much.

Brian Heater  30:37  
You describe, having been away from it as this opportunity to reconnect and re engage and really appreciate things that you know, at some point, invariably, people will take for granted. But for a lot of people experience experiencing death up close also has that, that impact of realizing, you know, how how precious life can be and how important it is to do the things that you want to do when you can do that?

Tracyanne Campbell  31:07  
Absolutely. I mean, I think that to live your life like that every day is probably kind of impossible. Well, for me anyway,

Brian Heater  31:17  
you know, probably very tiring,

Tracyanne Campbell  31:18  
exactly, you'd be knackered within three days. So that's not really that. Possible, I don't think but it certainly does make, you know, stop and think when you lose people that you love, or when people's lives are cut short, you know, the, the the what could have been in all that. But mainly, I think it's important to carry on and, you know, Katie wanted us to make another record. Which, you know, what the time was the last thing that anybody wanted to think about, but it is the right thing, it was the right thing to do. You know, nothing, there is a lot of harm. I think we we sort of took her to bear with us, to be honest, I feel like we have kept our close and away.

Brian Heater  32:19  
You know, when you say it was the right thing to do, what do you mean? I

Tracyanne Campbell  32:23  
mean to, you know, to be so overcome with grief for, you know, to have to have, for instance, made the decision that the band should split off, or, well, we can't make another record with a third or, well, that says, you know, I think those decisions are big decisions, and they can be made sometimes, with the right intention, but not necessarily the best thing. You know, we, we took our time to heal. And we and we moved on, you've got to move on, haven't you, you've got to, you got to get up every day and and take care will be grateful for what you've got, you know, be grateful for your life and for your, your experiences. And I feel like I've not seen I've never been able to do that in my life before. But I've certainly felt that, you know, in the past few years, with with this particular opportunity to make music and to carry on and have this chance to reconnect with fans. And, you know, you realize, all of a sudden, you're a band have been together for 25 years or something in that you're part of people's lives. And you mean something to folk, you know, and they mean something to you. And, you know, we've been whizzing around the world for the past 20 years. But when you stop, you sort of think, ah, actually, it all makes sense. Now,

Brian Heater  34:05  
there is no time to reflect if you're constantly moving, not really. And

Tracyanne Campbell  34:08  
I mean, I do I am somebody that does reflect a lot, maybe in a personal way, but in terms of the group, you know, in the bonds and what we've done together and what it's meant to us, it's meant everything to me. And it's been my experience what I've done with my life.

Brian Heater  34:26  
We alluded to this a little bit earlier, but you're not old, but we're all getting older and it's becomes a you know, it sounds like it's a bit of an ordeal to really orchestrate not not only just touring, but getting that group of people back together to put out an album and for that reason, it's even more reason to take these things seriously and to really appreciate those moments when they come by and I don't know you know, realize that Everyone can live really long lives, but there's still a finite amount of time that you've got left to really do this thing.

Tracyanne Campbell  35:07  
No, yeah, I mean, it's logistically an absolute nightmare to be in this group, frankly,

Brian Heater  35:12  
bands that have been around a while, that that's what happens. And

Tracyanne Campbell  35:15  
it's just part of growing up and having kids and, you know, the, our little band family is grueling arms and legs literally. And, you know, there's all sorts of things that we have to, we have to consider and, but there's, but there's a Well, for us to, to, to get in a room and yeah, you know, try to have a good time, I'm interested only in, you know, doing it, if we're, if we're having a good time. You know, if we're enjoying it, if it's, if there's a headache, and there's, you know, if it becomes too difficult, then this, you know, it's not really, it's not really good for anybody's mental health, when that kind of thing happens. But at the minute, you know, or the record we made we, it wasn't an easy record to make, because we started making it before COVID happened. And we had to battle through that as well. And that was a bloody nightmare. And you know, just, you know, of course, it was a nightmare for everybody in the world. But in a sort of personal we it was it was difficult for us because it really it was going to be it was going to be a tall order to make the record in the first place. And, you know, and then when, when that happened, it was it got it got harder, but we we managed it and I sometimes think I can't believe we did that, you know, we really, we really slugged our guts out to try and get get to good to accomplish that, you know, and the producer worked really hard. There's a lot of flying and an Earth, different countries and, you know, grasping errors, you know, we're rehearsing at times that we hadn't rehearsed then for years. And, you know, people take in their being away from their kids and their families. And so no, it was it was hard fought for, but we had a brilliant time. And we've made a record that we're happy with. And I think we've done a good job. I don't know if that sense makes me sound pigheaded. But I

Brian Heater  37:32  
was thinking about that. And this is, this is definitely not a story that's unique to you, especially not after the last four years, but of really getting to that point. Where you've reconnected with this thing, and you've built up this momentum, you're really excited to do it. And then bam,

Tracyanne Campbell  37:47  
yeah. Yeah. I know. But, you know, there's been a lot, there's, it's like that being in a band anyway, there's always something you know, like, you get on stage at Benny Kasim. And the keyboards aren't working with just like, Ah, here we go again. Or it's not

Brian Heater  38:06  
quite a global pandemic, maybe on a scale

Tracyanne Campbell  38:09  
on a smaller scale, of course, but my point is, things will be always be there, you know, to get in your way, and it's, you just got you just got to get through it. You know, just got to push through, how

Brian Heater  38:22  
did you maintain it, like a cohesive set of songs, a cohesive album, in spite of the fact that it was essentially like splitting to me,

Tracyanne Campbell  38:30  
I don't know, I feel like it was split into exactly, to be honest, because it didn't have all the didn't have had enough songs to get started with, you know, songs were being written as we, I just this time, I felt like we should just get started straight away. You know, the song started to come around about the time we played the bowtie weekend, weekend, during, and then it's just started to come after that. And, and it was random at that time that I decided, or I suggested, I think I've, I think I'm gonna have enough songs to make a record and I think some of the songs are, they've got legs and you know, should we just get started? And we actually, this time, we actually got in touch with the rd, Harper line producer, just to say, you know, Yari, I think we want to make a record. And I think we'd like you to, to come and hold our hand and help us make this record. And so I just sent him sent him what I've got, you know, and he, that's how he works. He wants to hear the songs. You know, in whatever format, you've got them in the basic sense, and then he and then he can hear whether they're any good or not, as the case might be, he sounds like someone's gonna be very honest. He's very honest. Definitely tell you If he thinks that your songs are a little bit rubbish,

Brian Heater  40:03  
have you ever felt so strongly about one that you fought him on that I

Tracyanne Campbell  40:06  
am trying to think? I mean, we did have, we did have a lot of I mean, previously, we made it to other albums with him, there were the word such situations, shall we say, where somebody maybe didn't like a thing, and he did. Or vice versa, any, he will stand his ground, but he's never, you know, he's not like, he's never going to he's never going to be unkind or bad, or make you do something against your will. But he, he is quite often Right. And, and I know that, and all that about him. And expose with this record song that's coming to mind is Big Love, everybody. Everybody was a bit confused by what was going on, you know, we'd written this song and, and I think it took a different few different turns, you know, changed a lot, and it's quite often songs will change, you know, we might bust them and then he, we might do a different doing a different style or something, then we end up coming back to the original thing or whatever. But this thing started, you know, taking on this kind of forking type thing, and I think it was, some of us were just going I don't know what's happening here. And you know, what is this song? What is this? Yeah, what's going on here? This is weird, or people? Are people going to like this? Are the cats into this? Do we sound like we're do we sound ancient? Are we really uncool? Somebody tell me, you know, is this relevant? This music? What is it? You know, at the end of the day, he he was really into that that song? And so he was really he sent me a little sarcastic text message when, you know, big love was released as a single because he was going, Ah, cool. I see. Yeah. You know, and he was basically saying, I told you,

Brian Heater  42:08  
yeah, you're a bit tongue in cheek when you're saying it. But do you consider relevancy in that process?

Tracyanne Campbell  42:14  
Not really. I mean, I don't want to be dismissive. I don't want to sound like I'm not taking this seriously. You know, we're serious, we try our best, as as serious as we get, we try our best, and we try our best to please ourselves, individually and each other. And, you know, we try to make something beautiful, you know, when we try to make something that makes us feel stuff, and gives us feelings. And that's really all we've ever done. When you've been been away, I guess you think, oh, you know, you're out of contract. You don't have a record label, you're, you know, you're sort of thinking, Oh, when did we last make that record? or 10 years ago? All right. So is anybody gonna want to put this record? You know, you never, we're not the kind of people that assume that we're going to be

Brian Heater  43:09  
part of not taking things for granted is not taking for granted the fact that people are wanting what you're putting into the world.

Tracyanne Campbell  43:16  
Exactly. So we're quite pleased. It's been received so far. You know, here we are. One

Brian Heater  43:23  
of the things that you said, about the creation of Stryker, that really rang true to me, and my own experiences in life is trying to micromanage less and trying to be less of a control freak. Oh,

Tracyanne Campbell  43:36  
I'm totally into that. Sam, that's me every day trying to be less of a control freak. Yeah, I think it's, it is hard, but I think it's important to loosen up. And it's important to, you know, just, yeah, just take it easy. You know? Yeah. Another

Brian Heater  44:02  
thing. And that also rang true to me. And this is a topic I love talking about is when you get to these points in your life, and you look at, you look at the things that you always take for granted, the way of doing things that you always take for granted. I like talking to people about this as it relates to, you know, things not being punked enough, or when, when selling out was still an idea. But there's all these little processes that we put in our life, and we just do the same. We do things the same way over and over again, and really don't have a chance to sit and re examine them. But I think that's an important part of getting older. Yeah,

Tracyanne Campbell  44:47  
I think is I mean, there isn't an awful lot of time to sit about examining how you do things and how you should change and, you know, I mean, I think that I take into want to just in general, be a nicer person or something the next day or be a bit more patient or be better, a better, less snide, or, you know, became dirt or something like that. I think that I'm not the sort of person that, you know, I've clearly I've been doing the same thing since I was about 23. So not the sort of person that re examines and really changes, you know, but I'm fine with that. I think I used to have maybe an issue with that. And I used to feel, or I'm not good enough, because I'm just doing this all the time. And I'm not doing this that in the next. But actually, I'm, I've kind of grown into myself about I guess that's what I see it happens, isn't it the, that you reach an age and you, you know, you just have to learn to kind of be a bit kinder to yourself.

Brian Heater  45:52  
I mean, of course, and I always find it fascinating talking, especially to musicians who have effectively been doing the same thing with their life since they were, you know, in their late teens or early 20s. But the flip side of that is you've, you've achieved exactly the thing that you've wanted to do early on. I mean, that's why people change is because they often don't, I think, do what they want to

Tracyanne Campbell  46:15  
do. Yeah, and I think it's important to remember that because sometimes don't get me wrong, sometimes I'm absolutely almost banging my head off the wall going, What have I done this for? You? Oh, why don't I get that job in the bank?

Ten years is forever in the rock world. There were times it seemed Camera Obscura might never return. The 2015 death of longtime keyboard player Carey Lander put the group’s future in limbo. For the first time since the mid-90s, the band went on indefinite hiatus. An invitation to perform at the Belle & Sebastian curated Boaty Weekender cruise brought the band back together in 2018. Plans to record an album two years later were themselves put on hiatus, courtesy of a global pandemic. On May 3, the band returns to form with Look to the East, Look to West.

Brian Heater  46:27  
What do I do with my life? Yeah, I

Tracyanne Campbell  46:29  
do. Everybody says that, probably. And I see it. And I think, Ah, this is too hard, or just logistically a nightmare. And I've got Mona Berta all the time, you know, to the point where I'm like, Oh, this is like a mental illness. I've got a con. I just can't, you know, slick in the sopranos, or like, I tried to get out. But it brought me back. And it's like that sometimes, you know,

Brian Heater  46:53  
pulling me back. Keep pulling

Tracyanne Campbell  46:55  
me back. And but then, and then I think, Wait a minute, when I was 19 years of age, and it didn't want to get that job in the bank. And I wanted to see to everybody, I'm going to be in a band and I'm going to try and be a songwriter, you know? Well, yeah, it happened. So I need to remind myself that more often maybe that's