Cameras have been giving Australians their daily dose of exquisite moodiness for over three years, so it's about time something good happened to them. The Sydney band are hitting the trifecta this month; they just got back from a killer stint in the US, they're about to embark on a headline national tour, and their debut album has been released on both sides of the equator. Not bad for a group of friendly mopes. We sat down with Camera's frontpeople Fraser Harvey (the one with the fringe) and Eleanor Dunlop (also fringed, but female) to find out all about the ins and outs of playing a show without sleep, and meeting Adrien Brody by accident.
When asked for highlights of their recent international trip, Dunlop tries not make anybody jealous - and fails spectacularly: "I saw Karen O's Psycho Opera - man that was amazing! Oh also, seeing Tina Fey filming 30 Rock outside The Rock was pretty up there." Harvey had his own brush with fame. "I met Adrian Brody at a party, didn't recognise him at the time or for a good 20 minutes after, then told someone whom I think may have been his manager that he was a little rude," he says - and Eleanor had a similar experience, only with Julian Casablancas: "I only noticed him 'cause he was looking at me across the room and then it clicked who it was. I consequently lost my brain."
But although you may not believe it, Cameras were actually working for their bread in the states - so much so that they bounced straight off a delayed flight and into their first show without even having the chance to shower. "36 hours of no sleep and then playing a show was definitely an experience. The tiredness added to the whole surrealism of being in this completely foreign land, playing to way more people than in your home town," says Dunlop. "The show was packed out!" adds Harvey. "There were people standing on tables with hands in the air and everything. This was foreign to us, but we liked it."
Before they even left for the States, Cameras had opened for none other than Roxy Music on a run of stadium shows across the country. So does this mean club dates aren't nearly as scary any more? "Playing massive venues like arenas is easier - I think it's more intimidating when you play small venues and the people are right there in front of you," explains Harvey. "I've learned to cope a lot better with stage fright now though in general. I occasionally used to vomit before shows, but now I have ways and routines that keep it all in check."
Cameras' debut record In Your Room was produced and mixed by the band's live guitarist Mike Morgan, and was recorded in Sydney over only two weeks. "He's a fucking dude," says Fraser congenially. "We have very strong ideas of how we want things to sound and where the song needs to go, and Mike only seems to make what we want to do better." For a band that loves each other almost as much as they love fighting with each other, it's surprising to hear Eleanor say "it was actually a pretty tame session." Harvey agrees: "I think the studio is probably the one place we are most relaxed and at ease. We're all on too much of a high when we're recording to kill each other. We want to save that for our live show anyway, so people can appreciate a good shivving to the kidney when they see us play."
BY JONO SEIDLER
In Your Room is out now through Speak N Spell/Interia Records. Cameras play Revolver Upstairs on Friday December 2 and The Bended Elbow in Geelong on Saturday December 3. Tickets available via Moshtix.