Camille Bloom is a singer songwriter from Seattle, a city famed for music and a very specific sense of independent thinking. Her new album Pieces of Me is a reflection of the world and some deeply personal experiences. The album is the artist’s first foray into self-production, and the sense of control, restraint and personal expression is evidenced throughout the selection.
ARTISTdirect caught up with Camille Bloom to discuss Pieces of Me, her take on the meaning of success, and why you need 4 million photos of a furry friend…
Where are you right now?
I am sitting on the floor of my living room with my 4 month old puppy
Please name your fellow band members and their roles… oh, and who has the best dance moves?
My band consists of a myriad of players depending on the line-up, depending on where I tour and who can travel etc. But Gaelen Billingsley has been my only consistent duo-mate for the past 7 years and I have to tell you, I think we are tied with our sweet dance moves.
Tell us about your new project: Who did you work with? Where was it recorded? What’s it about? Is there candy?
Our new record, “Pieces of Me” was recorded in our brand new studio that we built in a re-purposed Grain Silo. We ran a wonderfully successful crowd-funding campaign to help us raise 27K – and we built the studio from the ground up.
After years of working with awesome producers, I decided to take the plunge and produce my own album. This record has some really whimsical instrumentation, but also stays true to my focus on the song – not the sound.
How do you describe your music to new friends?
I call it Feisty acoustic driven singer / songwriter. I have everything from edgy rhythmic rock to piano ballad to gypsy swing on this record.
How did you first meet, and where exactly did you become a band?
Due to my tour schedule – and the lack of ability of every musician to join me for all shows, I have a wonderful roving cast of musicians I play with, some of whom have been playing with me for over 10 years. Michael Cotta on Drums, Eric Frank on the bass, Gretchen Yanover on Cello, Gaelen Billingsley on vox, and also Jeffrey Thielens from Belgium on harmonica.
Other than your music what should your hometown be known for?
Incredible and over-priced coffee
Please look around you right now and please describe the first item or person you see that’s significant to you?
My beloved new puppy Darwin. He is a mini-Dachshund and he was the runt of the litter. He also has a kink in his tail and a coloboma so he is partially blind.
What first inspired you to pursue music? If it was a musician or a specific piece of music, please tell us all about why you find it so inspirational…
My mom and dad were both musicians growing up – though they were separated. I used to go to their shows – and in fact, decided never to be a musician. That all changed when I stopped playing college basketball and didn’t have another passion.
I picked up my Dad’s old guitar and started teaching myself. I didn’t ever imagine I would play music for a living. I got a high school teaching degree and thought I would play music as a hobby. But that all changed when I had an investor coax me out of my teaching job for the promise of big money. Sadly, that money never made it to me and I had already left my job – but it turned out to be a blessing in the end – after I finally paid off my 26K credit card debt.
What’s the best advice anyone has given you about pursuing a life in music?
Sadly, I didn’t really have much advice given to me – but I can tell you what I give to others. Music is a business first. Yes –i t’s my passion. But I spend 80% of my time running my business, and only 20 percent performing / writing / recording music. If you can commit to running a business, you may just have a shot at playing music for a living.
Not including your current crew, who (alive or dead) would you love to have in your van for an all day drive from gig to gig?
The Obama’s – hands down. I have a crush on both Barrack and Michelle – and I have had dreams that we all held hands and ate beautiful food together.
What song best sums up your life right now?
I just wrote one – and it’s called “Please poop so I can go back to bed”
What is the best reaction to your music you have experienced so far?
I feel most honored when someone tells me that a particular song helped them feel less alone. We are so isolated behind our computer / phone / gadgets that it’s incredibly common to feel like no one understands us. So – when someone connects to the music and / or to me – I feel like I am doing my job.
Take a moment to dream – Where do hope to be a year from now?
I know this sounds insane – but I hope to be right here, in my livingroom, playing with my puppy after a long and successful fall tour. I love touring and giving workshops, and I hope to continue that throughout the U.S. and Europe for the next many years. I do hope to produce more artists. I have produced 3 projects since my album came out – and I am finding it incredibly fun.
What’s your next step towards that dream?
I am working on that as we speak. I am currently booking my Spring European tour (this will be my 10) –and working on setting up the school workshops. In the summer months, I am running songwriting retreats on our farm. I am also negotiating with some artists in hopes produce their next project. I suppose in short, I feel like I am living my dream. ☺
For more information visit the Camille Bloom hub on ARTISTdirect