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Camp Cope’s Georgia Maq on the raw state of their second record

“It’s cathartic to release something like this because I write from a very honest place and it’s always been that way. I’m a very frank person and that comes off in my songwriting, I don’t dress things up in metaphors, I tell it how it is.”

Laying everything bare, Georgia Maq offers a new kind of frankness on Camp Cope’s sophomore album, How To Socialise & Make Friends. It’s the same hard-hitting sound that has seen the trio so passionately received locally and abroad, but the singer-songwriter says it’s definitely an evolution from their first record.
 
Piercingly raw, personal and powerful, How To Socialise & Make Friends is sonically stripped back, lyrically forthright and overall an absolute wonder. Looking at aspects of Maq’s lived experience – both personally and professionally – it’s also a call to arms for us all to demand change.
 
“I feel like the second album is just an evolved version of the first, but their essence is very similar,” Maq says.
 
“It’s definitely more stripped back, I think it sounds like if you were to watch us play live. We kept a lot of the mistakes in because we’re not trying to make a studio album that is ‘perfect,’ we wanted to make something raw and real.”
 
From backyard beginnings in 2015, to being one of the loudest voices across Australia’s music scene, Camp Cope continues to prove that they’re an unstoppable, unapologetic force. Incredibly humble, Maq is almost uncertain of her abilities as a songwriter, but she’s more than sure that the dynamic of the band has strengthened ten-fold in the time they’ve been together.
 
“I try not to push [songwriting] too much because I don’t want to sound contrived, I really want it to come to me, so sometimes it feels like I have constant writer’s block,” she says.
 
“But I feel like the band has become more collaborative, it’s easier to write with each other because we’ve become more comfortable, we’re like sisters, we’ve evolved into this really tight unit.”
 
Aside from their music, the trio are well known for their formidable advocacy for gender equality in the music industry. Spearheads of the campaign, Maq explains that the band have all experienced enough time in the arena to know, and be sick of, its ‘boys club’ nature. Committed to demanding a change with the platform that they have, she says it all came to a head when they released their ‘It Takes One’ video in 2016.
 
Following it up last year in song form, the band took the first cut from their second album and released ‘The Opener.’ A true anthem, it’s become one of the most talked about tracks of the last few months for the way it blasts music industry higher-up’s lack of effort towards championing gender equality. If the trio hadn’t made their anger clear before, then ‘The Opener’ set the bar for how passionately they feel. The rest of their new record takes the discussion even further, with How To Socialise & Make Friends beckoning listeners to question the music industry and demand change.
 
“The one song on the album that I have a very big, dark, emotional attachment to is ‘The Face of God’, because it’s a song about sexual assault by someone in the music industry,” Maq reveals.
 
“I actually wrote it before #MeToo happened, when there was all these men being outed and so when it happened, instead of a sense of fear about releasing the song, I had a sense of power, because this song is powerful and I felt like everything was going to be fine if I released it.
 
“It’s cathartic to release something like this because I write from a very honest place and it’s always been that way. I’m a very frank person and that comes off in my songwriting, I don’t dress things up in metaphors, I tell it how it is.”
 
While their raw and revealing record is sure to keep the conversation going, Maq says there’s something every music-loving punter can do to drive change as individuals. Although she says things are quickly changing, it all starts at a grassroots level and it’s up to everyone to keep up the momentum.
 
“At shows it’s about respecting people’s space, don’t have fun at the expense of another person,” she says.
 
“And for younger people getting into music, especially people that aren’t men, know that you’re important, by default of not being a man in music. You’re important in that way and you should stand your ground and not let anyone make you feel small or try to hold you back.”

Camp Cope’s second album How To Socialise & Make Friends is available now via Poison City Records. They’ll perform at Fang It! live for International Women's Day at PBS 106.7FM’s headquarters, Resist the Stolenwealth Games at Rubix Warehouse on Friday March 9, and at The Thornbury Theatre, with Chastity Belt, on Thursday March 15 and Friday March 16.