Interview with 'Camp Edwards'

Updated: Oct 25, 2019

Camp Edwards was started by Beloit College alumn Jameson Ghalioungui. If you missed them performing at Music House, they will also be opening for Girlpool at Wilson Theater on Saturday 10/26/2019.


We never, for a second, thought that we would ever play a show in that moment. We were truly doing it for the sake of it.

from left to right: Jameson Ghalioungui (lead guitar), Johnny (bass and vocals), Marshall Ghalioungui (drums), Charlie Michka (guitar and vocals)

Interview Transcription:


Evan: You’re listening to WBCR 90.3 FM Beloit College Radio. This is Evan Shepard, interviewer and new music director for WBCR I’m here with Lu Going, promotions and social media manager and electronic music director for the station. Today we are talking to Camp Edwards a Chicago indie rock band of Beloit alumn Jameson Ghalioungui. Thanks so much for being with us today. Y’all are playing at Music House tonight, how y’all feeling about that?


Jameson: We are very excited.


Marshall: Extremely nervous


(laughter)


Evan: And you have a new album coming out soon, you wanna talk about that?


Jameson: Yeah, we’ve been in the studio for about six days total, I’ve been trying to write these songs for 2 years or so and we went in there, recorded it all in like two days basically. Marshall was real fast about the drums.


(laughter)


Marshall: We spent so much money too.


Charlie: I spent so much money!


Marshall: He was the one fronting the money. He’s got pizza money because he’s also a pizza man and a caterer.


(laughter)


Jameson: We spent about four 12 hour days kinda mixing the whole thing. It took forever. I’m pretty happy with the mixes but I’m thinking about maybe taking the best of, there are about eight songs, we might cut it to five or four. We’ll see.


Johnny: We’re not 100% there yet. We obviously can release it if we wanted to. But we think that there’s a lot of areas that could be done way better and we don’t want to release anything until we want it the way we want it.


Evan: And when were those songs written?


Jameson: It was over the course of two years while I was here. In order to get it out, it was half me doing poetry stuff and I’d also be writing guitar riffs and then somehow the two would merge together and that’s pretty much how all of them were conceived, most of them at least. I wanted to do it live but I didn’t wanna do it solo, so I had two other students, Christian Fares and Nick Bone, we had the original three-piece, that was OG Camp Edwards and we did maybe two shows.


Lu: Were those at Chaus?


Jameson: Yeah at Chaus.


Marshall: It’s really evolved over the time two


Charlie: Just this summer really it was just a grind. We were practicing like every day this summer.


Marshall: The first time we actually recorded Camp Edwards was at the Beloit Studio because it was part of your senior project.


Jameson: Yeah like six of the eight or so were for a capstone music thing, so we recorded at Maple Tree. It sounded really raw, we didn’t record to a tempo or anything.


Marshall: We had a lot to learn.


Jameson: It had to be done.


Marshall: We figured a lot out by kinda failing a little bit. And that was a really long day too. Because I didn’t know anyone it was just me and him, and being brothers like ten hours working on something. By the end, I was laying on the ground like “I don’t wanna do anymore!”


(laughter)


Evan: I can only imagine. That sounds like a good learning process.


Johnny: For me and Charlie too, at the very start of the summer Jameson pretty much came up to me and was like “hey, be the singer in my band” and I was like “yeah!” Then the next week, we were like “Charlie, be the second guitarist in my band.” and so, from the first two weeks of summer it’s been kinda snowballing, me and Charlie jumped on the snowball that was already created from Jameson pretty much, and we’re just rolling along as he pushes it.


Marshall: There was a lot of natural moments this summer when we were in the studio. That was the best because that’s when we were all at the same spot when we were playing every day, we were getting shows, we were recording. We were like oh this is our thing. They [Charlie and Jonny] go to ICU I go to Kenyan College, so we all kinda split up. So Jameson has definitely been pushing the snowball like Johnny said. Getting us gigs, like this is all his work.


Jameson: I write emails, I make all the posters. It’s a lot of work.


Lu: If you could compare your sound to another band, who would you compare it to? You can take time to think about it.


Jameson: It’s a lot of different styles all meshed into one.


Charlie: I’ve noticed one of Jameson’s big influences in his songwriting is Snail Mail, at least the guitar parts. He likes to draw from Snail Mail. Which I didn’t realize until we went and saw Snail Mail over the summer. I was like “wow! Your music is influenced by Snail Mail!” But also, we always liked Modern Baseball throughout high school so that’s kinda where- Johnny and I will do a lot of back and forth harmonies on a lot of tracks, or both of us on a track singing different parts. That’s, at least for me, drawn from Modern Baseball because they do the whole two singers thing very well.


Marshall: Joyce Manor too. We like fast songs.


Jameson: For the energy.


Marshall: I would say Marietta too, in Johnny.


(other members proceed to mock Johnny’s high pitched voice- similar to the singer of Marietta)


Evan: Y’all are playing at the American Football house in Urbana, Illinois tomorrow night. How do you feel about that? How did that come about?


Charlie: That’s another Jameson story.


Jameson: So, I’m going to Urbana, Illinois for the second time just to visit the house. It’s like a monument, it’s just awesome. So I brought our CD, the finished master tracks or whatever. And I was originally going there to take a photo of LP I and LP II, LP I is just the house front, LP II is looking in the front door.

I was gonna knock on the door and ask to take a photo there, no one answered. Andy, my friend, was just like “put the CD here whatever, walk away.” And I’m like yeah, sure. So we just put it on the chair on their porch. And about 45 minutes later I get a message from one of the students living inside the house. American Football doesn’t live there anymore it’s just students that go to the U of I. And then she’s like “ya know, I’ve always wanted to do a house show here, but I don’t know any bands.” And I was just like “... I’m in a band”


(laughter)


Charlie: Another small world thing from that is that she was creeping on our bands Facebook page and she saw that one of the bands that we’re opening for at Moe’s Tavern in Chicago the following day on Saturday, Teen Divorce, she knew one of the members of Teen Divorce. So they’re opening for us at the American Football house. Our buddy who we went to high school with, Fredo Disco, we got him to be the closer set.


Johnny: I’m kinda stressed about this show just because I don’t want it to look like we’re trying to take American Footballs-


Jameson: Clout.


Johnny: I hope it doesn’t come across that way because I want it to be respectful. I don’t want to say we’re as good as American Football because we’re playing at this house, it’s totally out of respect. It’s a free show too. I didn’t want it to seem disrespectful, but at the same time, I was not going to pass up the opportunity to play at that house.


Evan: I feel like that’s something you’d put on your resume.


(laughter)


Evan: How do you all know each other?


Jameson: I mean, high school.


Charlie: Well they’ve [Jameson and Marshall] known each other for a while because… they’re brothers.


(laughter)


Charlie: I’ve actually known Johnny since kindergarten, right?


Johnny: Second grade.


Charlie: I think it was before second grade. When did I hurt my toe with the hatchet?


(Johnny and Charlie argue back and forth for a considerable amount of time. Charlie retells the story of when he hurt his toe with a hatchet.)


Charlie: But then I started hanging out with Marshall in, what, freshman year of high school? Because we played video games together.


Marshall: When I was in eighth grade maybe?


Charlie: So that’s the other thing. Jameson is a year older than me, just graduated college. Johnny and me are both seniors in college, and then Marshall’s a junior.


Charlie: But it was mainly through League of Legends, honestly.


Lu: (rolls eyes) oh my god.


Charlie: Can we cut that out?


Lu: No, I’m gonna leave it in. AND I’m gonna add that I rolled my eyes.


(laughter)


Charlie: So it started through League of Legends but then, like, Marshall always played the drums. I had never played guitar but I played piano and I was in band, so I played the trumpet. But then Jameson just had two extra guitars, and he was like “yeah you can have this guitar and amp” and I started teaching myself guitar. I’d be like “Marshall, let’s play Green Day” because it’s just power chords and stuff. So that’s how that started. It was probably-


Marshall: My junior year? Or late sophomore year.


Charlie: Yeah that’s when we really started jamming in general. Your poor dad, we would play at three in the morning.


Marshall: And the thing was, we expected absolutely nothing out of it. We never, for a second, thought that we would ever play a show in that moment. We were truly doing it for the sake of it. Because of that, we ended up doing it so much.


Johnny: It was never structured until Jameson- Jameson was the catalyst and also the last friendship I made out of our group. I knew Jameson last, he was just a year older than us, he was Marshall’s older brother. But he didn’t play video games.


(laughter)


Johnny: Jameson used to just send me songs, like a guitar part, and I would drive somewhere in my car and bring my laptop and a snowball microphone and just yell in my car and send it to him and be like “hey, how does that sound?”


Camp Edwards performing at Music House

Jameson: I had a huge production background, and I loved making electronic music, but at a certain point in my senior year I was like “making guitar music is cool too.” I used the production [background] to my advantage, I made these electronic guitar songs. There’s a whole EP of that, and Johnny’s on it too. All my friends are on it, Fredo Disco is on it.


Lu: So how does it feel to be back on campus?



Jameson: It feels really good. Honestly, I miss it a lot. And also Music House, I’ve always seen shows there, but I’ve never actually played there, so this is my first time playing there.


Charlie: Hey it’s my first time too!


(laughter)


Evan: Where did the name Camp Edwards come from?


Jameson: So, Camp Edwards is a YMCA camp in East Troy, Wisconsin. In 6th grade, you have a class trip, you spend about a weekend there.


Charlie: Look at nature! Walk around the forest!


Johnny: [to Jameson] Why did you pick that name?


Jameson: I think it sounds cool.


(laughter)


Jameson: We don’t want an association with the camp.


Charlie: We’re not connected to the place at all. I don’t even remember it very much.


Johnny: Camp Edwards sucked.


Jameson: I hate Camp Edwards


(laughter)


Johnny: That was all Jameson’s choosing. It has a homey, kinda ‘go away to camp’ kind of vibe. It goes with our music pretty well.


Charlie: It spawned like a ‘meme-name-’ Camped Wards.


(laughter)


Evan: What was your first show together like?


Jameson: We played this house show. The venue is called “CtHouse Chicago.” We assumed it was in Chicago but it wasn’t. It was in this suburb called Elmwood Park. -- We were asked the day of, this band dropped, “do you want to come play?” and we were like, “yeah, sure.” So we loaded up our shit, got there… we were going to play first or second but we ended up going last because CtHouse was like “yeah we don’t want these 15 kids to leave, you should play last.” We were like “yeah, sure.” All our friends were there, everybody started moshing when we needed them.


Johnny: We stacked the deck, we stacked for sure.We brought all of our peeps and it was honestly from all the support that they gave us, that show was really fun because of that.


Jameson: It was really fun.


Marshall: That was a big part of the “Camp Edwards experience,” all of the associated figures. We had our friend Dom make custom t-shirts and hats for the show. It was so cute.


Johnny: It was so cute.


Jameson: Limited run of 2


Jameson: Very rare.


(laughter)


Marshall: He made a hat that said, “My favorite bands are Remo Drive and Camp Edwards


Charlie: He made a t-shirt that just said “Camp Edward,” and then a slice of pizza and ”Camp Edwards World Tour,” or something.


Jameson: Chicago was the only date, and it was written in Sharpie.


(laughter)


Johnny: It’s felt-tip marker that won't go away.


Jameson: But other than that, you can listen to our stuff on Spotify. We recently got on there. That is very exciting. It's on all streaming platforms.


Charlie: “Waiting,” and “Another Round.”


Evan: When can we expect to hear some more?


Jameson: Sometime next year.


Charlie: 2020.


Jameson: I want to record [an album] in Maple Tree, that’s my goal. I wanna come here and do it myself. I don’t wanna pay $2,000, I wanna just do it myself.


Evan: Will you come back and do a release party here?


Jameson: Absolutely.


Evan: You’re listening to WBCR Beloit College Radio, we’ve been chatting to Camp Edwards who is playing a show tonight [10/17/2019] at Music House, thanks for coming!




Watch: Camp Edwards performing "Beloit" at the American Football house


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