Musical Discoveries: So how did you come to the Balligomingo project, Camille?
Camille Miller: I met Garrett and Vic through the sugestion of a mutual friend named Jerry Wong. Actually Jerry Wong had helped me get get involved with two projects before I ever really had properly met him. I owe a lot to him! Garrett and Vic had been working with Kristy Thirsk on a few tunes and I think had plans for several different voices on the record.
At the time I had just joined a cover band called Ozone that was preparing to work overseas for an undetermined amount of time. To prepare for that, we gigged every weekend locally and did some short roadtrips through the west coast of Canada. In between working with Ozone, I would get together with Vic and Garrett. They would show me a song that they were working on, and then record the music bedtracks on to an 8-track recording machine. They then would send me off on my merry way to see what I would come up with.
I had previously not been into etherial vocal styles, mainly I think, because I am not very good at that style, but after working with Garrett and Vic, I had my ears opened to some spectacular voices. Some of them live in the same city as me--Sarah McLachlin, Kristy Thirsk, Beverly Staunton and Jody Quine. My most favorite voice that I was introduced to overall is Sheila Chandra. I had spent time in the Middle East and have became quite a fan of the music styles--especially the women singers of Arabic music--very, very cool!
And what about your musical and vocal training?
I've had no further training after high school choir.
How would you characterise the songs that you have done on the Balligomingo album?
The Balligomingo project has been cool to have been a part of because I got to just focus on the singing. I sang in a way that I only ever did when I was by myself. The style of music I do with my own band is a bit closer To Shelby Lynn or Crowded House than say, Delerium or Balligomingo. It seems in this style of music the voice is used as an instrument often being weaved into the song to create the whole overall sound, instead of sitting on top of the song, telling a story.
Did you share any of the writing duties?
I wrote the lyrics and the vocal melody for "Lost." Garrett had a very clear idea of the melody for the chorus--and so did I--but they were completely different. So both ideas were incorporated into the song. Which I think makes it such an interesting tune.
And how was the project put together?
I would often bring the recording machine on the road with me and after a gig at night sit up and experiment with vocal ideas. Lyrics sometimes would just naturally come through the sound of the vocal melody that was coming out of my mouth. Sometimes one word would then start the idea for the rest of the song. Garrett would pick me up a week or so later, we would immediately go and fill up with Starbucks coffee, go listen to the song with Vic Levac at his studio, and proceed to spend some very beautiful days indoors slaving over a hot computer.
When I was recording with Vic and Garrett, they would just get me in to the studio once they had finished recording the bedtracks. And then I would sing my parts that I had roughly recorded for the demo.
Actually I have to admit, I really didn't do much of the slaving. I was purely there at times for comic relief! Garrett gave four songs to me to work with. But only one made it onto the debut album. The others--maybe they can be used for something, maybe not. Bt the overall experience was very educating to me as a singer.
What artists do you find yourself attracted to?
I like to listen to Joan Jones, Freedie Johnston, Shelby Lynn, old Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, and Odds' Craig Northey songs.
What are your future plans as a soloist or with Balligomingo?
I would really love to do a tour with Balligomingo if they choose to do one! I am working on touring in the UK right now as well as looking into recording another CD.
Why do you think it's taken so long to go from the pre-production promo to the full-length album release?
For the past couple of years Garrett has been focusing on making the right connections, getting the right promotion team behind the project, people that will stick with him and deliver the money and time that is so badly needed when trying to et any project off the ground.
Do you think there's any power in the web?
I think the internet is absolutely wonderful for starting and merging relationships. I have already had fans of Balligomingo check out my site and even though the music is quite different there seems to be an overall appreciation of any one trying to get their art out to the public.
Interview, review and HTML © R. W. Elliot 2002