If you haven’t noticed the attention we’ve been paying Summer Camp then it’s probably your first time here. With London as their home base Jeremy Warmsley & Elizabeth Sankey aka Summer Camp have spent the last year making earnest, electronic pop songs and subtly increasing their share of the airwaves. Summer Camp is currently in Austin, TX at the culmination of a small American tour playing a handful of shows for SXSW.
We got the chance to talk to Jeremy and Elizabeth the other day while they were hanging in a California park playing with two of Jeremy’s nephews. They gave us some details about Summer Camp, their style, what they expect from SXSW, and what to expect from them in the near future. Jeremy handled the first half of the interview before he passed the rock to Elizabeth. Play I want you and check the scope below.
Summer Camp – I Want You
gold sweats: So you guys are over here in America, how does that feel?
jeremy: Yeah it’s great, we really love America, we would actually like to live here at some point. We had three days in New York, we had a show that was really great, it was probably one of our best ever shows for us actually it was really fun and crowds were really nice and stuff. and then we came over to LA… my brother lives in Orange County so Elizabeth and I have been staying with family over here.
gold sweats: These are your first American shows, correct?
jeremy: Yeah, that’s right, and we’re playing SXSW starting, tomorrow — we’re leaving tomorrow
gold sweats: So you guys played in New York and LA. We know that Jeremey played SXSW, how are you feeling about the upcoming SXSW shows?
jeremy: We’re really excited about the SXSW shows, mostly about the food, because we’re big BBQ fans. There’s a lot of music also that we want to check out. There’s a lot of hip hop actually that we want to see, like Kanye is playing obviously, and some of the more peculiar stuff as well, we wanna see Blood Orange as well, and we want to see friends playing. And yeah there’s a lot of great bands playing and we have a bunch of shows so we’re going to be pretty busy ourselves, it’s going be crazy fun we’re looking forward to it, we’re doing a daytrotter session actually, which is the big one and I’m really excited about that.
gold sweats: All of the sudden I am very excited about that now,. Umm idk I just gotta say if you get the chance you should see Teen Daze at SXSW, I’m not sure if you’ve heard of him, he’s great
jeremy: Teen Daze ? Cool yeah we’ll check it out, we’ll keep an eye out for it
gold sweats: Is there a difference in responses between the UK and the US? Are kids dancing here?
jeremy: I guess in the UK, because we live in the UK and so we do more shows in the UK I think sometimes it can be a bit like “oh I heard Summer Camp is playing oh we’ll go check it out, all right, whatever” But we then see we’ve come to the US and play because it’s our first time here ever, and you know we’ve had fans out here for since we’ve existed like you guys I think they’re probably more excited about us playing not – not because of the music or anything just because they haven’t got the chance to see us play yet. So we’ve had some really good shows in the UK as well especially outside of London in the districts and stuff. We just really love America and being in America, so that’s probably coloring my answer as well.
gold sweats: We’ve heard and loved the new single but it’s notaly different from the young EP, is I Want You going to be the overall sound of the album?
jeremy: I’d say no, I’d say it’s one of the directions of the album and I’d say it sounds like kind of quality and song writing and production I hope it’s representative of the album ’cause I do feel like the album is a big step forward in terms of song writing and production but on the album itself there’s a couple of kind of electronic numbers that are a bit close quality of I Wa there’s a couple hip hop …….there’s a couple of songs that are more like the EP and there are a couple more guitar-y kinda songs, uh so it’s quite, it’s quite a mixed bag but I think I Want You is kind of representative of our ambition and. hopefully our capabilities, but not necessarily of the sound, no.
gold sweats: Speaking of the Young EP, are any of those songs going to make it onto the album?
jeremy: That’s something we’re still deciding on I can’t give you a firm answer on that yet, but I’d imagine certainly at least one of the tracks from the EP will be on the album. But I can’t confirm that yet, because we haven’t actually finalized the album yet.
gold sweats: (To Jeremy) Does the album feel like a debut?
jeremy: Oh completely, it’s a totally fresh start– for me personally this is new really. Yeah, this is a completely fresh start actually, writing with Elizabeth is so different from writing on my own; I can’t really put the two together. Yeah everything about this project is different, like working with a producer I never really worked with a producer on any of my solo stuff, we worked with Steve on this record, just kind of feeling like we’re doing something that’s really really good. I mean obviously at the time at my.. High school, I was onto something pretty cool, but I think some of the stuff we’re doing now it’s going to have a real step ahead of that
gold sweats: Through the photos on the summer camp blog, the music videos and album artwork we can tell that you guys have a lot of style. Are you guys just that cool? Or, are people submitting photos or is there some sort of kick-ass vault you have to choose from?
elizabeth: We have like a big collection. I’m always doing it, and like old photos and I have loads and loads of old film cameras and I used to take polaroids all the time… we just have this like huge collection of them, of just stuff that we’ve accumulated over the years.
It’s funny, we show them at our live shows and playing in America, I’m suddenly really aware that these are like, family photosand that very easily, someone in the audience could be like “Hey that’s my gram”… so it’s a bit worrying, but so far nobody’s said anything
gold sweats: It’s obvious from your song content and something in your style that you guys are down with the 80s. what element from the 80′s do you think is most missing from current culture?
elizabeth: I would be really careful about saying one era is better than another, particularly because the 80s that we love isn’t actually the real 80s, it’s the 80s looking back from 2011 and watching John Hughes films and Heathers and y’know (yea) remembering what it was like to wear cut-off tank tops and stuff, so I wouldn’t actually say that there was anything. But at the same time, I think that nostalgia is a really big thing for us and quite a lot of other bands at the moment and I think actually that’s because the 80s is a time reflected now kind of economically and socially and stuff, and… i think creatively you want to go back to something that feels safe but also reminds you of kind of things that you know and reminds you of a time that’s kind of parallel to now.
Personally, John Hughes is someone that i would definitely want reinstated. If i could bring kind of one person back, I’d bring back my Gran, but if I could bring two people back, I’d bring back my Gran and John Hughes. I’d love to talk to him for a bit.
gold sweats: What’s your favorite album you’ve been listening to on this small tour?
elizabeth: What have I been listening to… well, pretty weird like old stuff but not cool odd old stuff. I always make Jeremy a mixtape every birthday and christmas, and this year’s one is like grunge, but 90s cause I’m really into like some 90s stuff at the moment and we’ve just watched all of My So Called Life again. I put on like some Lemonheads. I also put on some U2, which some people, I hate to use the phrase: guilty pleasure but some people probably classify that as that, but I I do think that U2 do have kind of a good thing going. I also put on some like Soundgarden. I put on some Biz Markie.
Actually, yea I’d say Biz Markie is my number 1 traveling album. Just his album, all of his album. I can’t remember the names of any albums or any songs, but I think on the playlist I put “Just A Friend” obviously. Cause I think that’s amazing. I’ve seen Biz Markie a couple of times, and I saw him doing that and he couldn’t remember ANY of the words. It was actually really sad, but also amazing; he’s just brilliant.
goldsweats: We know you guys both have twitter accounts, do you think it’s cool to be that close to your fans?
elizabeth: well, you’ve noticed that we don’t have like a band twitter because, I don’t know we just kind of don’t. I try as little as possible to talk about band stuff on twitter, because I just think it’s kind of lame when you get someone like “hey come on check out our show tonight” or “hey, we’re being interviewed on this… place”. I dunno I kind of think that if people are going to like our music i don’t need to sort of shout about it and if i do have to shout about it then that’s a pain in the ass.
But um, yea I really like it just in terms of kind of following people back and seeing and it’s a great way to find out about new music [on twitter] i think. I just wish it wasn’t called twitter.
gold sweats: Reading up on an interview tih Contact Music, Elizabeth mentions interviewing the guys from Transparent and how they were talking about this great new band Summer Camp without realizing that Elizabeth was in the band. This was most likely due to the lack of information on the myspace at the time. Do y ou think this had the intended effect? / Do you think you guys still face this whole judgemental problem today (With Jeremy’s music, and Elizabeth’s work with Platform mag)
elizabeth: Uhhm no to be honest, I mean, the thing is I think a lot of people, maybe most people I don’t know – basically we started out being anonymous because we didn’t actually think we were going to be in a band and we didn’t think that anyone was going to care and we thought that if anyone did care and they realized it was us we’d be really embarrassed and our friends would kind of laugh at us and that’s about it so that was why we were anonymous you know we didn’t set out with marketing plans… At the same time I think I wouldn’t change that now because it was really good having it just people getting into it because they were into it you know the back story wasn’t that amazing it was like “people from Sweden, great” so it was nice that people liked Ghost Train because they liked the song. But then it did make it really difficult because when you kind of – when people have expectations about who it was and then you sort of – that it gets revealed that you know—it’s us and that we’re no one special. And then as jeremy said someone was saying we’re Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow which sadly we’re not but that that was really scary and that was actually why I put my twitter on private, because I was like, I don’t want people like looking at my twitter. Because then you kind of realize you’re inside this little bubble because outside of kind of 100 people no one one really gives a shit about who you really are because no one has really heard of your band.
So with…Transparent that was really funny because I was asked to write the NME, the NME magazine they do a piece about new music, and they asked me to write it about Summer Camp and I had to say ‘I can’t do that one.’ So it happened quite a lot. But to be honest, I wouldn’t actually consider myself a music journalist, I have written about kind of five bands before we started doing this soo I don’t think it wasn’t like a conflict of interest for me, it was just that I think it was just that it worked with what we’re doing and it was completely by accident and then it was like well we should carry on, not telling people who we are not because we were scared of what people would think.
gold sweats: Plus it’s pretty cool too, you know when no one knows who you are
elizabeth: Yeah I guess it’s also that – I don’t know I think it is quite nice when you don’t know that mucha bout a band but then I don’t know I think I was really scared about people kind of judging it, and still am, you know it’s still kind of difficult when people like what you’re doing and saying stuff about you but at the same time it’s part of putting it out there and people say You Suuuck!
gold sweats: but we don’t think you suck
gold sweats. Last question, do you have any plans for record store day?
elizabeth: When is record store day?
gold sweats: i think it’s April 16th
elizabeth: we were talking about doing something but I can’t remember what it was now. I would love to do something for it. There’s a song that we really want to cover, that we might do for that, or something but we’ll see. In short, hopefully yea.
We were definitely glad to do this one, the conversation was lengthy, but way nice. We hope it’s been informative, and shit.