Getting To Know – Cameo Habitat
A&A – Hi, Cameo Habitat. For people who don’t know tell us a little bit about yourself?
Cameo Habitat – Hey! We are a 4 – piece indie shoegaze band based in Edinburgh / Glasgow. The band consists of Oskar O’Neill (lead guitar), Nicolas Mason (rhythm guitar), Zak Watt (drummer) and myself, Rowan (bass and lead vocals). We formed back in early 2017 when Nic and myself played in Oskar’s bedroom after school. From there we played small open mic nights around Edinburgh and then properly found our sound with the addition of our ex drummer, Bonnie Kemplay (who has now moved to Manchester to focus on her solo career). Most notable gigs to date was our support slot for SPINN, King Tut’s Summer Nights and Tenement Trail.
A&A – Tell us about the band name? Where did it come from?
CH – Can’t really remember that well, I think we wanted a name that sounded ‘indie’… there is this cinema that I used to go to a lot back in Edinburgh called The Cameo and I remember my mum was buying a lot furniture from Habitat at the time for the living room, so I put them together to get the name.
A&A – Your latest single ‘Hypersomnia’ came out in July. How have you found the reaction?
CH – Yeah, it’s been pretty positive – I feel like people are liking the change in sound. We wanted to move away from the more indie sound that we had in our debut single, Don’t Mind It, and find a balance between that and our second single, How I Knew You. The sound is constantly evolving and I couldn’t tell you where it is going next. Just last night (14th October) we were lucky enough to have Hypersomnia played on BBC Radio Scotland, something that we never though would be possible. Our lead guitarist Oskar actually plugged the band when he was waiting the presenter, Vic Galloway – which is actually how we ended up getting played!
A&A – Who are your influences?
CH – This is a difficult one, I feel like we have sub-conscious influences that we are not quite aware of. Right now we find ourselves listening to a lot of alternative rock, indie and shoe gaze bands like The Pale White, DIIV, The Ninth Wave. But I wouldn’t be surprised if our sound took a turn in the future! I’m not saying that we will be making a huge change in another direction, but I feel like it is important to not limit yourself and become too monotonous, of course you don’t want to go too wild and diverse but I am a strong believer in this notion.
A&A – You played at Tenement Trail in Glasgow at the weekend? How was it?
CH – It was one of the best days, I myself was a little bit nervous that we wouldn’t have much of a turn out for our set at Van Winkle, though the place was pretty packed. Glasgow has such a vibrant music scene and I am so glad that I myself have moved to the city and able to experience this.
A&A – Speaking of live gigs, you have a headline show in The Mash House on Friday (18th Oct) and you return there on 16th November to support Indigo Velvet. What can people expect from your live show?
CH – Hmm… some minimal awkward stage patter from myself. I would say we do not hold back as much as we do in our studio recordings, expect it to be a lot more gritty and less polished. Recently our sound on our newer material is moving to a more post punk influence I would say, but I guess you will just have to come and see us play at our next show if you want to see what we are really like 😉
A&A – You have gathered some good streaming figures on Spotify. What’s the secret?
CH – Not too sure really, I guess just make the sort of music that you want to make and that you enjoy and to not obsess over engagement. Of course everyone wants to maximise this, though I feel like it’s important to not stress about the streams and listeners too much as you can get caught in a viscous cycle of comparison – and that is not going to do you any good. I know this because I still do this to date and it’s something that I need to stop. We supported SPINN earlier on in the year and I remember one of their tweets that said that ‘comparison is killer’, I try to remind myself of this on a regular basis. That said we all want to ‘make it’ and to get more steams it comes down to a consistent release of singles – feel like this is the way that the music industry is going these days (at least for emerging artists). Releasing an album especially at such an early stage in the career seems like a bad move as it wastes so much content that could be spread over the likes of a whole year or even two or three. So consistency and engaging with fans on socials to make them want to support your releases.
A&A – We are big fans of discovering new music here at A&A. Who are you listening to at the minute?
CH – Some personal favourites of ours at the moment are… Squid, Drenge, DIIV, FEET, The Ninth Wave, Idles, The Growlers!
A&A – What are the plans for the rest of 2019 and 2020?
CH – Looking to release a new single in November / December – we have a few tracks down the pipeline though we will be back in the studio with Mark Morrow in Edinburgh and the guys at Green Door in Glasgow. But who knows what else lies ahead, that’s the exciting part!
A&A – If you could describe Cameo Habitat with one song (not one of your own) what would it be?
CH – Easy. Da Ya Think I’m Sexy – Rod Stewart.