Meet Mat, or as he’s better known, Camarano. The Perth-based artist has been making a name for himself with his charming indie-pop sound, drawing influence from bands like Bon Iver and The War On Drugs. Camarano is currently on tour with his new EP Shadow Calling and I had the privilege to chat with him before his Brisbane show, about the story behind this release and working with his bandmates.
So you’ve just released your EP Shadow Calling and for the people haven’t heard it already, what’s it about and what inspired you when writing it?
All these songs are about the same kind of theme, or themes I should say. There’s a thread that goes throughout the songs and the title track ‘Shadow Calling’ kind of started it and it snowballed from there. ‘Shadow Calling’, the song, is about putting your energies into parallel endeavours, things that are sort of related to what you really want to do, or what you’re meant to do, but that don’t really have any risk. If it doesn’t come off there’s no egg on your face; there’s no damage. So for me it was playing in other people’s bands and getting involved in recording projects to kind of avoid putting out my own music. The rest of the songs, they kind of relate to that central theme of understanding that and realising that’s got a lot of power once you can commit and once you can get over that tension.
They’re quite personal themes. Do you ever worry about being that vulnerable in front of an audience?
Oh big time. I find it particularly difficult when I’m in solo mode. When I’ve got a band it’s easy to kind of hide behind all the noise and to make a ruckus but when it’s just you and your guitar the lyrics are right at the forefront and your most vulnerable self is on show. It’s super challenging, it doesn’t come natural to me, but I feel like the art kind of speaks for itself. There are people that could relate to what I’m singing about and that’s more important.
You talked about having a band with you, how did you find that experience recording this new EP having those added members?
Yeah, it’s a different beast! Up until this point I had been more of a solo recording artist, you know? Writing the songs and then playing all the parts, producing it, but I was ready to get my friends involved this time around. It kind of goes along with this theme of the EP about just opening up in general and allowing people in. Not trying to shutter it off and protect it but to share the workload but also to share that energy and to amplify it. When there’s a group of people who are vibrating at the same kind of wavelength it can really propel a song.
So you’re over on the East Coast right now with Eden Mulholland, how’s that been?
It’s all good! Tonight’s the first show and to be honest I’m completely out of whack today. I got to Brisbane at five in the morning and I’ve just been hanging out at Macca’s because I can’t get into my hotel room for ages, so I didn’t quite nail the timing! And also I hired a car and I parked it in the city and three hours later I was charged like eighty bucks for parking so I was like “Oh that’s another mistake! I should not have hired a car in Brisbane!”. There’s nowhere to park here without getting absolutely owned by parking fees. So yeah, I ended up returning it so today’s just been logistics, but I’m super keen for tonight.
Do you have a particular song that’s your favourite that you’re keen to play tonight?
Yeah, actually there’s a song called ‘Heavy Recovery’ which I play. It’s a super intimate song and it works particularly well in the solo set up. I’m actually playing it this afternoon on ABC as well. That ones a heap of fun to play. Well, it’s not fun but it just has this extra element to it when I play it live.
Do you have a favourite venue or event that you have played?
Yeah! Back in Perth, I love Mojo’s and The Bird, The Aardvark’s cool too, and The Sewing Room’s where I’m doing my launch on the 31st. They’re all pretty sweet. Here in Brisbane, I like The Triffid. I played there a couple of years back with a band that I was playing keyboard for called The Money War and it was one of those special shows that have stuck in my mind.
I was looking at your Spotify and all the top locations people listen to you from are in the US. Do you have any plans to make that journey across to America, or is that something you’d possibly like to do in the future?
Yeah, I’ve noticed that too! It’s pretty strange. I would absolutely, if I was given an opportunity. Yeah, I’d absolutely explore it over in the States. I’m not sure why but it appears that this type of music is well received over there and I’m stoked about it but I’m confused! I don’t know how it’s happening!
So to finish off, I’m gonna ask the question every interviewer asks, is there anything exciting coming up on the horizon?
So I’m really focusing on these shows and also the big one is the launch back in my hometown in Perth, and then I’m going to start working on an album. Probably for release maybe late next year or the year after that. I’ve got a heap of songs just knocking on the door waiting to burst out!
Well, I’m looking forward to it! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat, it’s been a pleasure!
No worries! Any time.
Camarano currently in the middle of a national tour around your Australia. Check out his recording of ‘Shadow Calling’ and full tour dates below!
Camarano ‘Shadow Calling’ Tour
Friday, 17th May
Secret Warehouse Show, Perth
Saturday, 18th May
The Fire Station, Busselton
Wednesday, 22nd May
The Bearded Lady, Brisbane
Thursday, 23rd May
Friday, 24th May
Friday, 31st May
The Sewing Room, Perth