Artistic and Self Growth with Camp Cope

Interview and photos by: Makenzie Creden 

After performing a liberating set amongst the trees of Pitchfork’s Blue Stage, stopping the crowd to make sure fans were okay because they’re “not f***ing Travis Scott,” Melbourne’s indie-pop trio Camp Cope sat down with WLUW to talk all things Running with the Hurricane and artistic growth.

Read the full interview with Georgia Maq and Sarah Thompson of Camp Cope to read about their evolution, vulnerability, and Georgia’s secret ice cream combo.

Where did the name Camp Cope come from?

G: Camp Cope came from our bassist Kelly’s home state of New South Wales. There was a beach there called Camp Cove and they used to go night-swimming there. Then she moved to Melbourne and got really homesick, so she wrote this piece on her bass called Camp Cope, and then she just threw it up as the band name and that’s the band name.

How did you all meet?

G: Me and Thommo knew each other from going to shows, and then I met Kelly, who plays bass, in the kitchen of this guy’s house. I had to ask him to ask her if she wanted to jam with us because I was too nervous because I thought she was really cool

“I’m not ashamed of how I feel. I think I used to, but now I just don’t really care because everyone’s got emotions. I just articulate them in the way I can.”

Georgia Maq

So, Running with the Hurricane is definitely different from your previous album in that it explores emotions and trauma in a different way… How to Socialize and Make Friends, that felt more punky/angsty angry… I wanted to ask about your growth artistically, musically, and personally since the last album.

G: I just hated how we sounded and wanted to completely change it. I think it’s because How to Socialize… was one point in my life and Running with the Hurricane is a new point in my life… You can definitely tell I’m in a better place. I also just love country music and pop music and I decided to stop fighting against that.

What country music do you like?

G: Well I DID love Florida Georgia Line until one of them turned out to be a Trump supporter… which just sucks… And obviously like Gillian Welch, duh, and like the Chicks.

I read in a past interview that you associate How to Socialize… with stress and sickness, so how do you let go and look forward when those songs are always constantly being brought up?

G: Well now we only really play two or three songs off of How to Socialize… because I get bored of things really easily and I just want to be playing all new songs. I’ve been playing them for like five years. I’m bored, and only like three of them are good… So you play the good ones and the fun ones, y’know? We try to just play the fun, uplifting songs from How to Socialize… because it goes more with the vibe now. I don’t think I ever want to play “The Face of God” again or “Animal” and “Real” or anything like that… Like, bye forever.

Can you talk a little about vulnerability in music? I’d say you’re a band that doesn’t shy away from being vulnerable. Is that scary for you at all? Knowing that there are a lot of people who will receive that and be left to their own free will and thoughts?

G: Nah. I’m not ashamed of it. I’m not ashamed of how I feel. I think I used to, but now I just don’t really care because everyone’s got emotions. I just articulate them in the way I can… I’m not embarrassed or anything like that the way I used to be. I think it’s cool.

I also think it’s cool. I think there’s a lot of strength in vulnerability.

G: I think my music has definitely helped me as a person, and me as a person has helped my music.

Definitely. I find your music really empowering. What do you do on days when you don’t feel so empowered?

G: Thommo watches TV

What shows?

T: I’ll watch literally anything. If it’s on the TV that’s what I do. We spent two years in lockdown so that’s kinda all I did for two years. It wasn’t great, but it was fine. It was kinda weird after we’d been touring for so long: seeing people every night and seeing people react to stuff. Then being locked inside for so long… It definitely didn’t feel like that; it was just nothing. We’ve all experienced that, but now we’re back on the other side.

G: On days that I don’t feel empowered, I just do some really cringe s***, like I was telling someone in the van a few days ago how one of my least empowered moments was crying and drinking wine in a park listening to “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt on repeat

That’s kind of iconic

Oh yeah, it’s super iconic. 

One of the songs off the new album that makes me feel the most empowered is the title track. Can you talk a little about that track and what inspired the sound and the message?

G I wrote ”Running With the Hurricane.” It was actually a really long song, so we cut it down and cut out a few bits to get it where it is now. When we were in the studio, there was a grand piano, and I’m much better at piano than I am at guitar, so I just sat down and wrote a riff. That made it into the song and became one of the focal points as well as the bassline. Subject-wise, that song is about coming out of How to Socialize and Make Friends and that part of my life. Moving on and moving forward… It’s cool.

That’s really powerful, no wonder it comes across the way it does. You mentioned the basslines, but I noticed they’re really far up in the mix and they’re really hooky…

G: Yeah, well that’s like our thing because when we started the band I wasn’t very good at guitar, and Kel was really good at bass. We wanted us all to be heard. We’re very proud of our Kelly for writing her basslines and being amazing.

T: She’s in Sydney right now.

G: She’s having a baby.

Oh wow! That’s so exciting!

T: Yeah, so it’s really big shoes for Lou to play on this tour. 

G: She’s doing a great job.

Last question: Because summertime means ice cream, what’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

T: I don’t eat sugar, so I don’t eat any ice cream because I’m a f***ing freak.

G: I always get and I have always gotten and I will always get chocolate and lemon. It’s gotta be chocolate and lemon in one cone, and the lemon has got to be on top. You think it’s going to be yuck but it’s really yum.

And any last words?

G: Be gay. Do Crime. I love you.

Be sure to follow Camp Cope on Instagram, and check out Running with the Hurricane below.

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