Thursday 5 August 2010

K&A with Campfires In Winter

Those three bearded fellas above are Glasgow 3-piece Campfires In Winter. Regular readers of the Peenko blog may recognise them as one third of the first Peenko vs. Aye Tunes line-up, and also Boab (on the left), from his '62 Word Review'. At the end of July they released their brilliant debut EP "Cardboard Ships" for free before embarking on an intimate 'Flat Tour'.

For the lowdown on the band, what they have in store for the future, and their disturbing findings during their recent tour, read on...

Kowalskiy: Who are Campfires in Winter?
Campfires In Winter: We are Scott, Wullie and Boab. And for the next few months we'll also have Denny from Macabre Scene with us too filling in on drums until we get someone permanent.

Kowalskiy: How did the band get together, and what's the story behind the name?
Campfires In Winter: We came about as the result of a failed experiment by a 3rd year Standard Grade chemistry class in St Maurice's High, Cumbernauld. One young Dexter tried to perform a litmus paper test and BAM! We appeared instead. It's a common occurence if the pH of a solution is perfectly neutral.

We actually used to have another name but it was crap and a bit juvenile. You could tell it was a couple of 15 year olds that had come with it 'cos it sounded 'cool'. Anyway, it was getting to the point where every time we told someone about us they went ''aww, so you're a metal/emo/screamo band then?''. So we changed it. There were a number of ideas but I really like the image that Campfires In Winter conjures in my head. The rest of the guys liked it too so it stuck.

Kowalskiy: How would you describe 'your sound'?
Campfires In Winter: Oooh a tough one. Some noisy bits, some quiet bits, wee twinkly bits on the piano but a strong sense of melody always takes precedence. We always get Twilight Sad comparisons but I think that's mainly because of the similar accent (understandable, seeing they come from about a mile down the road from us) and loud, expansive guitars, which we were doing before any of us had even heard of them.

Kowalskiy: Who/what/where are your main influences?
Wullie: Main influences for me would be bands like Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Explosions In The Sky, Frightened Rabbit, Arab Strap, Remember Remember and just general experiences that happen to me in every day life.
Scott: I've grown up listening to a lot of Coldplay but Sigur Ros are probably the main influence for me.
Boab: Probably Mogwai, GY!BE, Frightened Rabbit, Idlewild, Broken Social Scene, Daniel Johnston and Radiohead for me.

Kowalskiy: You recently released your debut Cardboard Ships EP for free over on bandcamp. What's the story behind the EP?
Campfires In Winter: We started recording the songs without any real purpose, just for stuff to put on the MySpace etc really. After a while we thought it would be nice to put out an EP rather than just have some songs recorded for no real purpose. We decided to do a limited edition handmade release to go with it (available from

<a href="">Cardboard Ships by campfires in winter</a>

Kowalskiy: To plug it further, you embarked on a "Flat Tour". What was the thinking behind that? and mentioning no names (unless you want to) what was the strangest/most disturbing thing you saw?
Campfires In Winter: Sean McCann ( suggested one night that we should do a tour of people's flats/houses and we loved the idea. So we asked a few pals if they were up for having us round, they said aye and that was that. I think the strangest/most disturbing thing we saw were the large number of books on Satanism in Sean's. Oh, wait!! There were also those pictures of Lloyd Peenko from way back in the day. Those photos were by far the most disturbing things we saw. We now have a photo of a younger Lloyd that we can use as blackmail material...wonder if he'd let us send it to you...?

Kowalskiy: I'm sure he'd be fine with that! We all need some blackmail material..... So, what would be your ideal gig?
Wullie: I'd love to do a gig at Glencoe or at the foot of Ben Nevis but I also wouldn't mind a shot at the Barras with Mogwai, GY!BE, Explosions In The Sky, RM Hubbert, theapplesofenergy, faoilteach mor and Boards Of Canada, taking place over the course a few days with an art/photography/film exhibition running alongside.
Scott: My ideal gig would be in a massive underpass with hunners of echo and hunners of people. I can't think of anyone who's ever done that before so would love to show folk how it's done.
Boab: My ideal gig would be with Mogwai and Radiohead. The stage would be a bouncy castle and all the bands would have to bounce whilst playing or they wouldn't be paid. Thom Yorke would be dressed as a clown and would hand out balloon animals all day, then he would finish the day off by fighting with Stuart Braithewaite. They would only be allowed one weapon each, and that weapon would be a balloon sword.

Kowalskiy: What can we expect from Campfires in Winter in the future?
Campfires In Winter: A few more gigs this year where we'll be back doing our full-on, non-acoustic, eyebrow-singingly loud stuff. We had plans for a joint tour with Macabre Scene this year but it had to be shelved when our drummer left so hopefully we'll get that sorted for next year instead. And an album next year too hopefully. And loads more gigs.

Kowalskiy: Lastly, what's been the highlight of being in Campfires in Winter to date?
Wullie: My favourite part was the Flat Tour which gave us an idea of what it would be like to be playing every night on a full tour.
Scott: My highlight so far has been the last few months as a three-piece finishing the EP and doing the Flat Tour. It feels as though we've gelled more as a band and establishing ourselves a bit more. It feels weird going back to having four members but in a way seems like being a three-piece has made us better as a band.
Boab: Since the others have mentioned the Flat Tour, I'll go with my next top highlight which was playing the Podcart's 1st Birthday in February. Our old drummer badly let us down by leaving two days before the gig so we decided to make do without a bassist and Wullie would fill in on percussion by playing a dinner table whilst using a cardboard box as a kick drum. We had played using this setup once before a few years ago but this time we only had one rehearsal and I was bricking it in case we were shite. It ended up being one of the best gigs we've played. The place was rammed, the crowd were really responsive and got right into it, and we had a great laugh. Cracking night.

Speaking of Glasgow Podcart's 1st Birthday bash, you can download Campfires In Winter's set that night for free here, and once again, you can get your hands on a free download of their "Cardboard Ships" EP here.

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