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Band Crush: Camden

July 12, 2011

(L to R: Jason Sibilia, Timmy Miles, Jason Bergman, Jim Williamson)
There are very few moments when you’re in a small club on a Tuesday night or in the basement of some college kid’s house and you think to yourself “holy shit, this band is going to be huge”. There’s something about their swagger, ardor and song craft that completely knocks the Naragansett right out of your hand. Boston’s Camden is that type of band. Stepping out of the shadows with last years’ EP, Vale, the boys of Camden have taken strides forward on their new three song disc, Totally Fine. Combining the atmosphere and experimentation of their previous release with their live energy, the new record is bound to be jammed in a lot of Boston music fans’ CD players this summer.

Boston Band Crush: Hi, how are you? 
Tell us the uncensored, VH1 Behind the Music story of Camden.

Jason Sibilia of Camden: I am well, and I can say we all are feeling great coming off this whole past recording process. As for the uncensored story of Camden, it is fairly simple, kind of weird and a lot fun. Basically, I started out during the summer of 2008, living in Boston, making music in my bedroom with my computer, an MPC and a synthesizer. I put out a record called Other Weather, which I think like maybe 200 people have heard (I lost the masters, shouts to the die-hards). After that, I started working with Jim Williamson, who was a good friend of mine and we then started writing these pop songs over R&B/hi-hop beats that I had made which were all very bass and sample heavy. Those were the songs that we put on Vale. Timmy Miles and Jason Bergman joined the band while Jim and I were recording and mixing [Vale] out of my bedroom. During that time, we all started practicing and playing those songs as a full band as well. And here we are now, a year later, coming off a bunch of shows all over the Northeast and spending a lot of time in the studio.

BBC: It’s been a full year since your self-released debut, Vale – what’s changed since then?

JS: We have all gained and lost a wide array of weight. Things have been slightly stressful at times to be honest, but at the end of the day doing this whole thing is a blast; we really love it. One of the biggest changes that has happened since Vale is that we started working with a producer – Greg Teves produced all of Totally Fine. We worked over 7 months with him to prepare, record, mix, and master these songs. We really loved working with him and he is also producing our next record, which we are working on right now. That will be out in the late Fall.

BBC: Vale contains a lot of electronic influences, though you have a more rock edge when you play those songs live. Is that something you wanted to achieve on the new record? Did you do anything differently with the recording of this EP that you didn’t do for the last?

JS: Yes – it’s something that we were trying to achieve on this record. We all made the conscious decision that we wanted to “close the gap” while still maintaining the overall aesthetics of Vale. And yes, we also did a lot of things differently in the way we recorded this EP compared to the last one. We recorded the entire EP in studios rather than bedrooms this time around which was a really big change. Greg produced and engineered all the sessions. We also had a few other audio engineers work on the record. This whole process was really different than how we tracked and mixed Vale. For Vale, we would all just basically cram into my room for hours on end, constantly messing with sounds. It was a lot of trial and error.

For Totally Fine, we spent a lot of time doing pre-production with Greg. We really deconstructed the songs and made sure we were getting the most we could get from them. Once the songs were studio-ready, we had a rough idea of how they were going to sound once finished, but there was still a lot of trial and error in the studio as well.

BBC: You’ve played a wide array of shows from the electronic Together Festival in Boston to opening for New Jersey punk icons Titus Andronicus. What are you hoping to achieve with Totally Fine?

JS: More shows, more love.

BBC: As involved members of the Boston music community, you have had the pleasure of seeing, hearing, and working with a handful local acts. What Boston bands are you crushing on right now?

JS: We are really involved with a wide array of people who work within the Boston music scene, from producers (Greg Teves, Andrew Kline), bands, electronic musicians (Coralcola, Andre Obin), DJs (Durkin), and Stoner-Metal dudes. We also started the label Cash To Mouth Records based out of here in Boston. We are going to be pressing CDs, vinyl and doing digital distribution of not only our material, but other acts as well. We’re already working with an artist that will be releasing his first single on C2M. We’re really excited to see what everybody is going to put out in the coming months this year. And as for Camden, we are just going to keep on recording and playing shows. We’re playing The Bushwick Walkabout festival in Brooklyn on July 15th where there is going to be free beer and vodka all day or something, so we’re all really pumped for that. We are also planning a big release party/show in August that is going to be in Boston, which we’re also really excited about. I think The Acre is going to play with us and a bunch of other bands. But yeah, I guess we are just going to keep our head down and keep making records, playing shows, and most of all, having fun. We have all decided that there is no point to do all of this if you are not having any fun.

You can download Totally Fine for free via the band’s website or their Bandcamp, below.

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