Camp Radio follows its own frequency

Always leave them wanting more. In the case of Ottawa rock n roll band Camp Radio however, they might have taken this old adage a little too far. Their brilliant sophomore record, Campista Socialista, released this past September, arrived almost six years after their debut effort earned the band critical acclaim and a swell of support.

Camp Radio will be performing at Moncton’s Plan B Lounge, located at 212 St. George Street, on Monday evening. Also performing is the Ontario-based all-female Weezer tribute band Sheezer. Formed in the country’s Capital City in the vicinity of 2005, we must disclose that the extended time between records was not a deliberate, Chinese Democracy type of build up to get fans frothing at the mouth for the group’s new album. The delay, quite simply, could be chalked up to the individual members of the band leading their lives.

When not playing as a part of Camp Radio, bassist Dave Draves operates a recording studio in Ottawa, the popular Little Bullhorn Prods, and working with the likes of Kathleen Edwards and Moncton’s own Julie Doiron. Camp drummer Scott Terry plays with no less than three other bands while guitarist-vocalist Chris Page has a burgeoning solo career of his own.

You buying these excuses yet? Us neither.

‘Everyone has been busy, off doing their own thing,’ a friendly Page explains from his Ottawa home. ‘Each of us has a number of other projects on the go. At the time we made our first record, the band actually wasn’t anything that we took very seriously. The band was born out of fun, basically. Then the record came out and the response was good; we knew we would eventually get around to making a new record at some point.’ Page says that musically, Camp Radio offers each of its members the chance to ‘rock’ more so than their other musical ventures typically allows them to do. The fact that they almost came together by accident is just a footnote, really.

‘I think our first record was more of an accident, a very good accident, that is. I had been off doing some solo work but had some songs that didn’t necessarily fit that mold. Scott had been bugging me to play drums for the project and then Dave stepped in, expressing interest at playing the bass.

When we made the first record, I don’t think any of us were too sure about how it would turn out but when it came time to making this newest one, we simply figured that we would try to do more of the same. It is as though we set the bar with our first album and just wanted to aspire to reach that point again.’ Indeed, those privy to Camp Radio’s first record were eager to hear more of the group’s melodically fuzzy, power pop-drenched material. And with their profile at arguably its highest thanks to Campista Socialista, Page insists that there will not be a half-decade gap before the group releases its third effort.

‘We are definitely hoping to keep the momentum behind the band going,’ he shares. ‘We are currently about half-way through writing a new record, which is actually kind of fast for us, especially since we took our time the last time around.

We figured now was as good of a time as any to get back in the studio and capitalize on what we’ve got going on now.’

Article published in April 13 edition of the Times & Transcript