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Tracyanne Campbell of Camera Obscura
Her Heart is in San Francisco
by Matt Crawford on May 21, 2009
Scotlandís Camera Obscura return to the United States this month following the April release of My Maudlin Career, an album full of heartbreak and disappointment, despite a few seemingly upbeat songs. The band stops at the Fillmore on June 8th. Tracyanne Campbell (vocals/guitar) spoke with SF Station during a phone interview from Scotland before her tour.
SF Station (SFS): Where do you feel most at home in the United States?
Tracyanne Campbell (TC): Iím not making this up, San Francisco because I have friends there and Iíve gone on holiday there. I know San Francisco more than I know other places in the states.
SFS: Youíre not just saying that to bring more fans to your show here?
TC: I wish I were that clever. Itís true; the first time I went to San Francisco was on holiday in 2001. I met really great friends and I still stay in touch with them.
SFS: What did you do while you were here?
TC: Itís a great city and I just enjoyed walking around. I like the fact that itís sort of 10 little cities inside one city, and every place has its own character. Iíve done all of the touristy stuff, and Iíve also just hung about with my friends and gone to bars.
SFS: There are strings on almost every track on the new album. Are you bringing any additional performers with you on this tour?
TC: No. That is really something we canít do with expenses. Itís hard enough to afford the band, let alone a string quartet. Maybe one day.
SFS: Is Camera Obscura still a nonprofit organization, as the documentary on your myspace page states?
TC: Technically, I donít know. We are all full-time members of Camera Obscura and donít have to do any other jobs to pay the rent. If that means we are profit-making, then we are, but Iím not really sure how much profit we actually make.
SFS: Excluding performing, what is your favorite part of the day when you tour?
TC: To be perfectly honest with you, itís after the show when I can go back to the hotel and get in the bath.
SFS: Is that a routine for you?
TC: Yeah, Iím a bather or a bathing freak or whatever you want to call it. I like spending quite a lot of time in the bath.
SFS: Bubbles or no bubbles?
TC: Sometimes bubbles, sometimes oil, sometimes nothing -- It depends on what kind of mood Iím in.
SFS: Was it strange to hear your music on "Good Morning America"?
TC: Itís bonkers. I donít spend too much time thinking about it. Itís bizarre to think that our music was getting into so many houses while people were trying to get their kids ready for school and eating breakfast.
SFS: Itís a whole new demographic.
TC: I imagine so; I donít know if that is a good thing. Our music would never get played on "Good Morning Britain".
SFS: I read somewhere that you write when you are not feeling well. Do must of your songs come from that?
TC: Yeah, I guess I deal with things differently. If there is something going on in my life, I tend express myself and sort myself with words and sentences, and try to make songs.
SFS: Are you as productive musically when you are in a good mood?
TC: I donít just create music when I am not feeling up. This is not something I plan to do for the rest of my days. I hope to create songs under other circumstances, but when I wrote the lyrics for the last album I guess I was pretty down.
SFS: Do you still feel those emotions when you perform the songs now?
TC: Not really. Sometimes I kind of feel something when I perform, but if I was really that sad about something, I think it would be impossible to tour. I donít really have an emotional attachment to them. Once Iíve written the words, I kind of feel better about it.
Camera Obscura perform at the Fillmore on June 8th. Tickets are $21.50 and the show starts at 9pm.
by Matt Crawford on May 21, 2009