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Artist Spotlight - Late Cambrian

(Photo Credit: Conrad Bischoff)

1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?

John: I fell in love with guitar in High School. I would play guitar in my room for like 6 hours a day for the first two years of learning. I kind of got obsessed with it, but it was a really good thing for my mental health during that time. Late Cambrian was formed in 2011 out of the ashes of my previous music project. I had a whole bunch of songs that I wanted to record and was in the studio making them around the time Olive joined the project. We’ve been musical collaborators and romantic best friends ever since.

2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?

John: Music shows up in my brain in a lot of ways. Sometimes I’ll hear a melody in my head while I’m walking around Brooklyn, and I’ll hum it into my phone’s voice memo for looking at later. Sometimes I’ll pick up the guitar with the intention of writing something and see what happens. Our new record Future Snacks kind of poured out of me during the Covid-19 lockdown. There was a point during the writing process where I was completing and sending a new song to our label every Friday. The muse was speaking a lot and I was home and prepared to make the songs real.

3. What artists have inspired you in your career?

John: I have two sides to my music personality. On one hand, I have always been attracted to more maximalist, experimental songwriting. Bands like Mr. Bungle, King Crimson, Tame Impala, St. Vincent… boundary pushing artists that don’t settle for the easy hook. Love that stuff, it makes me feel like I’m learning every time I listen. The other side of my music love is all in on cool melodies and forward looking sonic textures. I’ve always loved The Strokes, Phoenix, Weezer (up to around the 4th record Maladroit), Radiohead & other bands that brought the melody but also the cool alternative aesthetic.

4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?

John: I’m honestly not much of a gear head these days. I play a Fender Jazzmaster that I traded my Mexican Strat for. It’s a challenging guitar to play compared to my Stratocaster, but it’s got a sound that’s less glassy than a Strat and it sounds great on the new record. I have a Fender Acoustic that I send through a Fender Deluxe on the record that gives the acoustic a boosted gain sound that I really really dig. As for guitar pedals, I was a real pedal-head for a while. I had two pedalboards filled with cool interesting pedals by ZVex, Way Huge, Catalinbread and more… but during the covid lockdown I ended selling most of them. I’ll definitely be building my pedal collection again soon.

5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?

John: The vibe of a Late Cambrian show is like a timeless festival of friends and lovers! Somehow we have a pretty good memory of who came to which shows over the years…a lot of singing along, laughing and celebrating. One time we were playing on top of shipping containers in Greenpoint by the water, and our friends happened to be rowing by in a boat and caught the performance…In regards to the venues we perform at: Different set ups inform how we play, interact with one another and have fun with the audience… When friends and fans dress up to express themselves it really turns into a fun fashion dance party!

6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?

John: I think Future Snacks is Late Cambrian’s best record. I am so so proud of how it all came together!

7. Do you have any upcoming projects you would like fans to know about?

John: Late Cambrian is releasing singles, “The Last Wave” (July 28), “It’s Always Something” (August 25th) and “Sydney Sweeney” (September 8th)… It’s all leading up to the full record, Future Snacks, out September 23rd, 2022! We have an album release party on October 1 at Industry City in Brooklyn with Matilda Marigolds and Sliced Bread! Three music videos for the three singles are being filmed and edited as we speak!

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