“I'm more excited than nervous. I just want to get it out there.”
For keyboardist/vocalist Eleanor Dunlop, Camera's debut album has been a long time coming. Over the past three years, the Sydney alt-indie trio has wowed crowds on the local scene, released an acclaimed EP and also just recently toured America. Now, finally, the public can get their hands on In Your Room, the band's first long-player, and Dunlop is happy to unleash it on the world. “Some of the songs were on the EP, but I'm excited for people to hear the new ones,” she enthuses.
The record sees Cameras fuse the dichotomous styles of their two vocalists. Dunlop comes across all atmospheric and ethereal on keys, while guitarist Fraser Harvey's compositions are more direct and urgent. It is a fine combination and one which has garnered interest from far afield. Hence the recent trip to the US. “We've had really good feedback and support from over there, so it was always going to be a given that we'd go. We'll also be going to the UK early next year as well. So that will be another expedition.”
It's clear from talking to Dunlop that Cameras are an ambitious bunch and that they have always been keen to take their music to Europe and America. “It's interested us from the very beginning,” she admits. “Relatively speaking, we've had a lot more support from overseas. We were first signed to a US label, then we were signed here. We've always felt an affinity to the US. You normally crack the UK and then go to America, but the US has always seemed to be quite receptive to our music.”
So, when the opportunity arose to test the water overseas, they didn't need to be asked twice. Like many Australian bands, relocation to Europe or America is something Cameras are seriously considering. “Going [to the US and the UK] will give us the chance to see if it will work for us and to find out where we feel most comfortable. Fraser has always spoken about Berlin and we've always loved the idea of New York. It's good to travel first and find out where you feel most comfortable and then see what happens.”
That's not to say the Sydney band are forgetting their roots. Their album launched with a show in Sydney on Friday (above) and more will follow across the country. While they are officially a three-piece (Dunlop and Harvey are joined by drummer Ben Mason), when they play live, they bolster their numbers to create a fittingly epic, huge sound. On stage, three becomes six. “That was mainly due to how we were recording the songs,” Dunlop explains. “We record heaps of different layers - Fraser does at least three or four layers of guitar on each song - and it just lent itself to broaden the sound. When we first started the band we didn't even have a bass player. So we've gone from having no bass player to having six people on stage. The music just needs it.”
While they are clearly ambitious, talented and ready to take on the world, it's never been about shifting units. This is a group that has been very patient, paid their dues on the local scene and at no stage compromised their original vision. “We've just tried to believe in what we've been doing from the very beginning and stuck to it. When Fraser and I started writing we knew it would take time for people to catch on and for us to develop our sound. It's taken a while but I think we are finally getting through to people. There's no real master-plan though. We'll just see where it all takes us.”
Interview by Bobby Townsend. It first appeared in Sydney's Drum Media.