We had the chance to talk to BC Camplight ahead of his gig in the Workman’s Club on Oct 9th. You can see the results below. BC has just released a new album ‘How to Die in the North‘ (Bella Union). Recently he left Philadelphia to live in Manchster but is currently banned from the UK for overstaying his Visa! He hopes to return to the UK shortly. Here he talks of his Visa issues, music and his new album.
BC Camplight – Date: 09 Oct 2015- 8pm – The Vintage Room – Ticket Price: €13 BUY TICKET
Have your VISA issues with the UK been resolved?
Not yet. Soon though. It’s been awful but I probably shouldn’t get into that too much. Suffice it to say I’m doing everything I can.
With so many people trying to get into the US, does it feel strange to be trying to leave?
Absolutely. It is an unnatural feeling, I think,to feel such little connection to the country one’s from. When I first moved to England I had this conversation a alot. Some dude “where are you from?” Me: “philly”. Dude: “woah cooool. why the fuck are you in Manchester then?” So yeah being “stuck” here isn’t the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
Do you see yourself living in Manchester in the long term? What draws you to the north of England?
I see myself spending a long time in Manchester. The people of that city are everything to me. It took me 32 years to find a place that I didn’t mind being in let alone thrived in. I love the shit weather and what that beings out in me. That underdog strut everyone has is a real turn on. It’s like a half a million person private club called ‘Everybody else fuck off”. Beautiful.
Do you think you’ll ever go back to Philadelphia?
I have a better chance of fitting into size 28 jeans then ever fitting into Philadelphia.
This new album is your first since 2007. Did you ever think you wouldn’t release another album?
The day I finally realized there was a potential that I wouldn’t release another album was the day I became frightened enough to make sure I did something about it. I was homeless and really mentally unstable. The only thing I could think to do was to give myself a shock. throw myself the weirdest life-twist and see what happens. Otherwise I was done for. So I thought “just get on a plane and if it doesn’t work out then it wasn’t meant to be”. So I showed up in England, somehow made a heck of a record and got a record deal again. Remember kids, if you are completely and utterly irresponsible your dreams can come true too.
The new album has a 70s feel to it, what music were you listening growing up?
I get asked this a bunch and I’m sure my answer always makes readers roll their eyes. I have never been into listening to music in general. I don’t have an ipod, record player, cd player…nothing. I know this sounds like absolute horseshit but I have always had sounds, literally not as part of thought, in my head. It probably has something to do with why I struggled in the ol’ brain box. I get really annoying with certain sounds and sometimes music makes me unsteady. Whatever I listened to as a child was whatever records my Mom was playing. I remember hearing Nilsson and lots of classical. I certainly, however, bounded with my piano since age four. I used to hear notes in my head and was amazed I could just touch this machine and duplicate them in real life.
Do you like travelling for gigs, or is it a necessary evil?
I love playing live. I don’t do enough of it. I intend to spend the whole next record campaign on the road. My live band are my really close friends from Manchester Stephen ‘Hurricane’ Mutch, Hattie Coombe, Jonathon Prestbury, Adam Dawson, and Robbie Rush. I’ll take any excuse to spend any time with these dudes. We are probably a volatile mixture but we make it work. I’m sure some hilariously weird shit will happen when we actually get on the road for an extended period. I don’t get to see them because of the visa situation unless they meet me in another country. When the dust all settles I can safely say we are going to destroy some peoples faces.
What will be the musical arrangement for the gig in Dublin?
Just big ole’ Brian and a piano….perhaps with some percussion. We have some full band gigs in Iceland and France next month.. When the opportunity came to do a pre-tour show in Dublin I thought “fucking yes”. I’ve always wanted to visit and it gives me a chance to get up close to people, on my own, and try to hold a room without the safety blanket of a raucous band. If I fail I can always just blame the sound man.
Will the performance be quite different to the album?
I don’t know. It will obviously be more stripped down so yes in that regard. As far as how I will approach the songs I usually don’t have a plan….just go with whatever direction my brain is pointing towards. I’m going to try not to over indulge in the legendary Irish beer culture until after the show but, who’s kidding who, I won’t will I.
What would you be working in, if it wasn’t music?