Guy Campo Interview July 9th 2020
Tell us about yourself and your music
I am born and raised in Philadelphia and around the globe. You see my parents were born and raised in Philly but my Dad was a US Marine. Therefore we moved a lot living in mainly the southern states like Florida, the Carolinas, Kansas, Oklahoma, etc. I guess that’s where I get some of the country’s influences in my music. My Grandfather played the mandolin (which I still have). But the sheet music he bought was all cowboy songs. Being Italian you have wonder why he gravitated to cowboy music. My parents played a lot of Sinatra, 45rpms current hits, opera, and soundtracks around the house (like Camelot and The King and I). But my Mom bought me the album “Meet The Beatles”. I guess you can say that’s when my interest in music began. The real interest like hairdos, clothes, amp guitars, and the author of the song.
Talk to us more about your latest release
The new release is a compilation of songs of wrote and recorded at home. I set the Zoom recorder on the coffee table (later a kitchen table), find the right drum track, and laid down the instruments.
What inspired you to write this release?
I wanted to put out a release that looks professional. Also to provide the background in a story as to how the songs came about – how and why they were written. So I spent some money on a photographer, packaging (I did the artwork), and had 12 songs remastered.
Describe the writing and recording process
Well, all songs come to me differently. “Crackin Up My Cadillac” – I had all the words but no music – more than a year had passed. So I sat down one day and said this needs a dark sound. I started playing a Peter Gun style riff and sang the opening lines – done! “A Duie Pyle” took nearly 10 years to write. I had 2 verses but no music. Then one day I settled on the key of E – went to the recorder – found the drum track – hit record – and out came the opening guitar riff. No thought put into it – just played itself. “Boogie Woogie Oogie” took about 15 mi utes to write. I was practicing all week this boogie-woogie/big band style (I-IV-V progression). By the end of the week, I used a friend of mine’s nickname (Oogie) for the subject – words did – over to the recorder, and in 45 minutes the song was completed.
Most of the time I mull over a phrase and the amount of time it takes to germinate into a song varies. Sometimes I will start a song on one piece of paper and another song will start to write itself on another piece of paper. I’m not a prolific writer. The words/subjects need to mean something to me. I would say a song I write has some form of reality that I have experienced. Then to flesh it out, I add the fiction.
Any plans to hit the road?
No plans to hit the road until this CV19 is corralled.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
I would say Americana. I write in a variety of styles – rock, blues rock, boogie-woogie, country-western, folk… I play a variety of instruments guitar, banjo, mandolin bass.
Who have you been listening to lately?
I listen to everything. I have a 120gig card on my phone loaded with music. I always have it shuffle, so I could be listening to John Lee Hooker, then Bruce, then Terri Clark, or even myself HA! The segue is very cool – sounds like it should be there with all the other musicians. Again it depends. If a friend hands me their CD, I could listen to it 20 times in a row. When Springsteen put out Western Stars – that went into the hot rotation. If I hear an old oldie that could get played 10 times in a row.
Who are your biggest influences?
Well, that list is long – The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Rory Gallagher, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Allman Brothers, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Frank Zappa, once upon a time Genesis, Gentle Giant, VanDer Graf Generator, Caravan, Renaissance, The Supremes, The Temptations, The Stax sound, John Lee Hooker, BB King, Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Who. I am trying to think who takes up space in my record collection…
Tell us about your passions
Guitars – I love playing guitars. Travelling and photography. I had lived abroad for 3 years (Italy 1971) but in 2017 I traveled to Paris and fell in love with the city. I had a decent camera with me and took some great photographs of the city.
What else is happening next in your world?
Nothing much – comes to my mind…struggling to write these new songs….what’s new about that!?
Thanks for an awesome interview, Guy Campo
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