Log for The Artist Shop IRC Chat with Andrew Latimer and Colin Bass of Camel on October 4, 1998


<WotanCCC> Todays Featured Artist conference is with Andrew Latimer and Colin Bass of Camel.  We will be talking about the past, present, and future of Camel productions.  Get your questions in early...

<WotanCCC> To send a question to our guest use the following format; Type /msg AskCamel Your Question Here.

<GaryArtistShop> Hi, folks. Just to let you know Andy and Colin are now back stage and we expect things to get started in about 10 minutes.

<Comingofage> Ready...

<WotanCCC> ******************************
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . Welcome to todays
<WotanCCC> . Artist Shop
<WotanCCC> . Featured Artist Conference
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . An afternoon with
<WotanCCC> . Andrew Latimer and Colin Bass
<WotanCCC> . of
<WotanCCC> . Camel
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . Presented by
<WotanCCC> . @Music and TalkCity
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> ******************************

<WotanCCC> Camel is a perfect example of what can happen when a group decides to free themselves from the shackles of the corporate world and go independent. Their first album under Camel Productions, Dust and Dreams, was a return to form that the corporate world wouldn't allow, but which the fans absolutely clamored for. The next studio album, Harbour of Tears, was one many fans rank among their best.  This new freedom also allowed Camel to examine their  archives and release their own series of 'official   bootlegs,' another item the fans crave.  Today we'll be discussing the past, present, and future of Camel productions.

<WotanCCC> Adnrew and Colin, thank you for joining us today.

<Comingofage> Thank you it;s a pleasure

<GaryArtistShop> Hi Andy & Colin.

<Comingofage> Hi Gary

<GaryArtistShop> I should just mention that Andy and Colin are joining us from the same computer.  Hence one nickname for the both of them.

<WotanCCC> Ok, lets start with an audience question...

<AskCamel> triskelian says: Thanks for the most emotion laden guitar work over the years. What would your favorite solos be Andy?

<WotanCCC> Good question...  We're currently speaking with Andrew Latimer and Colin Bass of Camel.

<Comingofage> AL: My favourite solo is Ice.. and a couple I'm doing on Colin's new album

<WotanCCC> Care to elaborate on your new album Colin?

<Comingofage> CB: Yes... it's in the finishing stages here.  Thanks to Andy's contribution and it's going to be called "An Outcast of the Islands"

<GaryArtistShop> When can we expect it to be released and on what label?   Colin's solo album that is

<Comingofage> CB Sometime next year, don't know just yet

<AskCamel> da_werker says: First off Andrew, let me say THANK YOU for the incredible tunes! What could I ask of the Master of Prog except when could we possibly be blessed with more?

<WotanCCC> You certainly have a way with words da_werker...

<Comingofage> AL.. we plan to record in January for possible spring release.   Not exactly sure about release date yet.

<AskCamel> ofirz says: What do you consider as Camel's best album? What is the album in which you feel you have brought out the best of yourself?

<Comingofage> CB & AL -- Hi Ofir..

<Comingofage> AL: I think.. Dust and Dreams for too many reasons to extrapalate..

<WotanCCC> ofirz has a monopoly on the questions today...must be a huge fan.

<Comingofage> AL: Dust and Dreams was our best overall effort.

<GaryArtistShop> Camel albums have generally been concept albums working a particular theme throughout. Do you have a concept in mind for the January recordings?

<Comingofage> AL Yes but can't divulge it at this stage. It's not fully developed..

<GaryArtistShop> Ah, keeping us on pins and needles ;-)

<AskCamel> eric531 says: My nine year-old son wants to know what inspired you to compose "Dust and Dreams" and how the ideas for the individual songs then came about

<Comingofage> AL Dust and Dreams was inspired by John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath..  The songs were inspired by the characters in the book.

<WotanCCC> What is it about concept works that interest you?

<Comingofage> AL It helps me to focus.. I like visuals to compose to.

<WotanCCC> Do you find it easier to write to a "story line"?

<Comingofage> Al Yes, definitely

<AskCamel> triskelian says: Any artists work that you have tried to emulate or that you admire?

<Comingofage> CB errr... there are lots of artists that I admire that I wouldn't necessarily want to emulate..

<Comingofage> AL I think you're influenced by everything you hear. To some degree..

<WotanCCC> Who are your favorite contemporary musicians?  Is there anyone out there doing work that really impress' you?

<Comingofage> CB I like Scottish band The Blue Nile whom I think are doing really original things.

<Comingofage> AL Me too

<Comingofage> CB And who else... err.

<WotanCCC> Seems like I've been hearing a lot about them lately.

<Comingofage> CB There is so much good music around that it's difficult to pick out one or two artists.

<AskCamel> ofirz says: Is there any book planned about Camel?

<Comingofage> AL No, no book planned at the moment.

<GaryArtistShop> The music of Camel tends to be somewhat cinematic in scope - Dust and Dreams is an excellent example and many people have remarked about how well Harbour of Tears seems to fit in with the film Titanic. So, it sort of begs the question as to whether film scoring has any interest for you. Any plans/aspirations in that direction?

<WotanCCC> Great question Gary.

<Comingofage> Al Absolutely... Any offers are welcome!

<GaryArtistShop> Well, any film directors in the audience? LOL!  I could have sworn Martin Scorcese said he was going to be here today, darn it!

<Comingofage> AL I like the music of Titanic but I didn't think it had much to do with the film.

<GaryArtistShop> True, I thought it was too easy listening.  The soundtrack sold so well, but I thought there was much better music that could have fit and more deserving of the sales.

<AskCamel> ofirz says: "I understand that a lot of thought was put into a concept album about Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha prior to Snow Goose. And after all these years and the difficult and varied paths that you (Andy/Susan/Camel) have followed, Siddhartha seems like it would be a fitting concept for what not just you have experienced, but also the paths that Peter and Andy W. have traveled.

<Comingofage> AL Interesting as I've just bought Siddhartha again to re-read it but haven't yet done so..

<Comingofage> AL & CB I can't remember if it has any meaning on a personal level

<Comingofage> CB As regards the Camel history, that is.

<AskCamel> triskelian says: I called London years ago to get the cover work of NUDE. Is it available anywhere?

<Comingofage> AL  Not to my knowledge.

<AskCamel> da_werker says: Andrew, Can we expect to hear any more flute work in the future?

<Comingofage> AL Most definitely...  There's a bit more flute on the upcoming stuff.

<AskCamel> audioot says: Can we expect any surprise (guest) artists on the future album, or is it too early to tell?

<Comingofage> CB It's too early to tell... We're looking at cultivating the energy between the nucleus of the 3... That being Dave Stewart, myself and his Nibs.

<WotanCCC> Are there any touring plans for Camel in the future?

<Comingofage> AL Well, first comes the album and that takes up an awful lot of energy...

<Comingofage> CB Before you can even think about how you are going to present it on the stage.

<Comingofage> AL I love touring and look forward to doing it as soon as it's possible. If it were up to me I'd be out there 6 months of the year..

<AskCamel> ofirz says: Why were the 1997 tour encores "Lady Fantasy" and "Never Let Go" not featured on the live CD? I thought both were given an excellent live rendition by the band on the tour.

<Comingofage> AL Because of technical problems with the recording equipment... Half the drum kit was missing...

<WotanCCC> Ahhhh, technology.

<Comingofage> AL There were glitches and 'pops' on the tape that was recorded. They certainly weren't left off intentionally.

<AskCamel> jemcamelesk says: There was talk after the UK tour last year that you had been approached by a promoter who was interested in staging perhaps as many as ten gigs in the UK next time around. Has anything come of this?

<Comingofage> AL No. Everyone had committments after the tour so we couldn't capitalize on the offer. We were all really disappointed as it was a great tour and the momentum was exciting.  If we do manage another tour, we are looking forward to doing more concerts, especially in the UK.

<AskCamel> da_werker says: I have to tell you that I have a new baby and D&D makes me think of her with great emotion and I wonder if somehow you felt the same way when writing it.

<Comingofage> AL Yes, in a way.  There was a baby in the book that a character named Rose had and it was a very emotional part of the book..

<Comingofage> AL & CB And congratulations, by the way!

<WotanCCC> For more information on Dust and Dreams and other Camel Recordings, please visit the Artist Shop web site at:   http://www.artist-shop.com

<AskCamel> arsnova says: Favorite Synthisizer?

<Comingofage> AL Hmmm....  I like my JD 990 still although it's rather out of date..  um.. I like Roland products overall.  I also like the sampler that I have by EMU.

<Comingofage> CB I love my Roland string emsemble.

<WotanCCC> Roland has a great set of sounds.

<Comingofage> CB Yes, Roland string sounds are recognised as the best.

<GaryArtistShop> Can you discuss with us what was behind your decisions to relocate Camel to America and start Camel Productions? And have these actions given the desired results?

<Comingofage> AL I think the musical climate in England.  AL wasn't conducive to Camel and I needed a new challenge which I certainly got.  As for the results, I'd say yes and I think that it's much easier to operate in America in general.

<Comingofage> CB Things are more like they are than what they should be..

<GaryArtistShop> And what should they be?   ;-)

<Comingofage> CB... Well, better.

<GaryArtistShop> So, Camel Productions has worked out better than you'd hoped?

<Comingofage> Al yes..

<GaryArtistShop> I'm sure that's encouraging news to independent artists everywhere.

<Comingofage> AL I love being independent and having a direct link to the fans. And also being able to do this.  I'd never have achieved this with Decca!

<Comingofage> SH I don't think we ever had an idea about how Camel Productions was going to turn out.

<WotanCCC> The internet gives an artist a unique opportunity to "meet" some of thier most ardent fans.

<Comingofage> SH It all just happened and the energy flow sort of took us along so in a sense.. it worked out well beyond our dreams.

<GaryArtistShop> SH, by the way, is Susan Hoover, long time Camel lyricist.   She's handling typing chores, so a great big thanks to her.  I was hoping she'd give us some of her own input ;-)  So, if anyone wants to direct a question at Susan (heh, heh)

<Comingofage> SH Well, I much prefer the background..

<AskCamel> oq says: Thank you for being such personal artists; philanthropy is so important in our increasingly confusing world. Of the myriad questions that occur to me, two stand out: How is the health of everyone in the band (We need you!), and is a new project progressing (I'm in late so you may have had this one)

<Comingofage> AL Thank you for your concern. Yes, we are all healthy -- CB tip top condition...

<Comingofage> AL and the project is progressing although at the moment we're focused on Colin's solo project which has been a lot of fun.

<Comingofage> CB I need a new pair of glassess...

<AskCamel> audioot says: Any new issue of the newsletter (Nature of the Beast?) upcoming?

<Comingofage> SH Yes, out in early November...  We only release one each year due to the expense and we try to get it out at the end of each year.

<Comingofage> AL We will have our own web site soon so you'll be able to get information direct from modern technology.

<AskCamel> da_werker says: I can't imagine my life without Camel Music... What do YOU do for inspiration? What do you listen to when cruising down the road???

<Comingofage> AL George Bensen....Blue Nile, Jan Akkerman... Dadannon.  I've also been enjoying Noa from Israel.

<Comingofage> CB Madam Butterfly..  Jose Carreras..

<WotanCCC> You're an opera fan CB?

<Comingofage> CB and my wife is a big Rolling Stones fan!

<WotanCCC> No Wagner?

<WotanCCC> B-{)}

<Comingofage> CB No Wagner.. Thank you. We're British!

<GaryArtistShop> Of course Wotan would ask about Wagner ;-)  Just because he wrote four operas about you LOL!!!

<WotanCCC> Gotta ask. Ooops. Sorry. I owe the guy.

<AskCamel> wotanccc says: triskelian asked Notice that Peter Gabriel is also a big fan of Blue Nile (and I am also a huge fan of his) have your paths ever crossed?

<Comingofage> CB Who's path?

<WotanCCC> Gabriels...

<Comingofage> AL Yes.

<WotanCCC> Actually that was an audience question that got lost in the shuffle.   Have you worked together?

<Comingofage> AL While recording in Island Studios (1970's-ish..) When the Lamb came out..

<WotanCCC> Wow. Interesting time for Peter.

<Comingofage> AL and I was directed to use the Ladies toilet instead of the Men's and whilst...er... in there, I heard..  Gabriel singing "I wandered Lonely as a Cloud"..  Apparently, he like the sound of his voice in the Men's toilet!   AL We didn't actually meet though..

<WotanCCC> Genesis recording secrets revealed here.

<Comingofage> CB But I guess that qualifies as "crossing paths"..

<WotanCCC> secrets even

<AskCamel> ofirz says: When is the web site due? What does Camel plan and expect from the web site? How does Camel Productions evaluate the gain from it's web-oriented fans?

<WotanCCC> Good questions.

<Comingofage> AL Well it's in the works and these things always seem to take more time than you expect..  We expect only to be more up with the times..  AL I don't really evaluate the "gain" it's just important to explore all means of communication.

<GaryArtistShop> I understand that Colin has a musical split personality - his alter ego being Sabah Habas Mustapha, one of the reportedly younger brothers of the infamous group 3 Mustaphas 3. What is it that brought out this musical alter ego and what has he been up to lately?

<Comingofage> CB It just.. the alter ego came from the group 3 Mustapha 3.    All members named themselves after various Arabic scales with the name Mustapha attached..  and it was an idea to create a focus for a group of Englishmen to play songs from all over the world in various languages by pretending to be a family orchestra from a mysterious unlocatable bacground.  Last year Sabah made a second album in Indonesia called "Jalan Kopo" available in the USA on Ominium Records.

<GaryArtistShop> Yes, we happen to have Omnium in The Artist Shop with a soundbite up for that!

<Comingofage> SH Sorry, That's OMNIUM Records.

<WotanCCC> For more information on Dust and Dreams and other Camel Recordings, please visit the Artist Shop web site at:   http://www.artist-shop.com

<AskCamel> ofirz says: The most 'Debateable' album among the Camelogue readers is probably "Breathless". Some people think it's your number one, some dislike it. What are your thoughts about it?

<Comingofage> AL Very difficult album to do... because Peter and I were no longer working in harmony.  So when I listen to it, I hear it's weaknesses.. but funnily enough it was hugely succesful in Japan..  But I rarely listen to it. Indeed I rarely listen to any Camel recordings.

<WotanCCC> Its hard to listen to your own work?  Too critical of it?

<Comingofage> CB By the time you make them, you've already listened to them a million times

<WotanCCC> OIC.

<Comingofage> AL I am, too critical, but I think that pushes me on to greater heights.

<Comingofage> CB I like Harbour of Tears myself and I can listen to that still, with enjoyment.

<AskCamel> triskelian says: Anybody you would like to work with but haven't? Anyone you'd like to work with again?

<Comingofage> AL Rhett Davies is somebody I would love to record with. Rhet co-produced Moonmadness, and Rain Dances. But he's retired and into golfing. I think he runs a golfing club..

<Comingofage> AL I wouldn't mind working with the Rolling Stones!

<Comingofage> CB Ha, hahahahahah..

<Comingofage> AL Perhaps you could shut Ron Wood's fingers in some door...

<WotanCCC> LOL  Better make it Ron, Keith wouldn't notice...

<GaryArtistShop> ROTFL

<WotanCCC> B-{)}

<Comingofage> CB, AL & SH LOL!!!!

<AskCamel> da_werker says: I have a cassette of The Single Factor , It does not contain lullabye. Why do you suppose that happened? When I finally got the CD I was pleasantly surprised!

<Comingofage> SH We're all suprised by this..

<Comingofage> AL Some idiot at Decca obviously stopped the tape before it got to the end!

<WotanCCC> Didn't they add extra tracks in the early days of CD's, just like they did in the early days of cassettes?

<WotanCCC> Oh, so you think this was a goof?

<Comingofage> AL They did on a couple of things..   I think they did on Rain Dances... I think they put an extra mix of Highways of the Sun which was meant to be a single for America but it's very difficult to tell the difference between the two. LOL

<WotanCCC> You'd think that adding or subtracting tracks on a concept work would be a bit problematic.

<Comingofage> AL & CB Yes but Gary says "not for an idiot"!

<WotanCCC> LOL

<GaryArtistShop> Hee, hee

<Comingofage> AL Yes, it was a goof. Absolutely. We have no control over what they do. They make a lot of errors.

<Comingofage> SH They also screwed up Breathless on CD. It slows down from time to time in about 4 spots.

<GaryArtistShop> Obviously Andy and Colin will be the core musicians involved in the next album with lyrical input from Susan. Can you tell us which other musicians might be involved in the next album?

<Comingofage> AL Dave Stewart, of course, and the keyboard player....

<Comingofage> CB well, we're looking at the short lists...

<Comingofage> AL can't say more.

<Comingofage> SH There may be a little surprise.

<GaryArtistShop> Well, you could get the keyboardist, Dave Stewart LOL

<Comingofage> CB We could get the rhythm guitar from the Eurythmics!

<GaryArtistShop> Haaa, Haaa!

<AskCamel> da_werker says: Susan, Where do you get your inspiration? Do you and Andrew ever put anything on Score paper?

<Comingofage> SH I get inspiration from a lot of Andrew's music.. and from things I see on telly, or hear on the radio, stories and the like.. human interest kind of things. And from books.  But we've never put anything on score paper. I wouldn't have a clue where to start!

<GaryArtistShop> OK folks. It looks like we're going to do a trivia question and a giveaway.... The guys from Camel will ask a question and the first to answer it correctly will win an autographed copy of their latest CD, Coming of Age!

<WotanCCC> Cool.

<GaryArtistShop> Before they ask the question, Wotan will give you instructions on how to respond. Go ahead Wotan.

<WotanCCC> To send a answer to our guest use the following format; Type /msg AskCamel Your Answer Here.   The first correct answer in, will win the CD.

<GaryArtistShop> Ok, before they ask the question, the band tells me there's a slight change in the prize.  The winner will actually get their choice of one Camel productions CD....

<WotanCCC> Oooooo, nice....

<GaryArtistShop> Of which Coming of Age is one.

<GaryArtistShop> OK! Enough delaying tactics on my part. Shoot with the trivia question, guys.

<Comingofage> What was the first year Camel toured America...

<WotanCCC> Good luck everyone.

<WotanCCC> No correct answer yet...

<GaryArtistShop> Send your answers now!

<WotanCCC> Ok, we have a winner....

<GaryArtistShop> Who is it?

<WotanCCC> KAHMIK is the winner.  It was his first answer too.

<Comingofage> CB & AL Congratulatons KAHMIK!

<GaryArtistShop> Congrats!

<WotanCCC> Thanks Guys... And the correct answer was 1974.

<WotanCCC> Is there anything else you would like to mention before we conclude tonight?

<Comingofage> AL & CB Thanks to everyone for coming. It's been an interesting experience. Fun, too. Mind how you go.

<GaryArtistShop> This has been a great session. But it occurs to me that we haven't talked about your latest CD, Coming of Age (also available as a video). Care to tell us anything about the experience of making the album and video?

<Comingofage> AL The video was a complete nightmare!  Due to technical problems at Disney on the audio front and also poor lighting on the night.  We couldn't use the footage from the Coach House due to audio problems but the actual recording of the video was great.  Dave Minasian was the producer and he was absolutely fabulous to work with.

<Comingofage> CB we had a lot of fun mixing the audio

<Comingofage> AL we always have a lot of fun when we get together..but it's never for long enough.  If we can do another tour, we'll do another video.

<Comingofage> CB we've learned a lot from our last experience and the next one will be even better!

<GaryArtistShop> Any hopes of touring next year for the forthcoming album?

<Comingofage> CB well, as we said earlier it's impossible to think about presenting the album on stage before the album is finished.

<WotanCCC> Looks like our time is up... I'd like to thank everyone for joining us tonight.  Andrew and Colin, we appreciate your taking the time to  come and chat with us today, and hope you'll come back to Talk City again soon!

<Comingofage> AL & CB A real pleasure. Thank you and let's do it again!

<WotanCCC> To purchase Camel's "Dust and Dreams'", or for information on other Artist offerings, please visit The Artist Shop Online at:    http://www.artist-shop.com

<WotanCCC> Finally, thanks to the Artist Shop for working with us on this conference. We especially appreciate the efforts of Gary Davis in giving us the opportunity to speak with Andrew and Colin.

<Comingofage> SH Andy and Colin have left the building...

<GaryArtistShop> Have they found Elvis?

<WotanCCC> Thanks for a great conference guys.  And thank you Susan.

<AskCamel> da_werker says: Gotta Go guys... Thanks again and I'll be writing to you soon!!! (Ordering stuff Too)

<GaryArtistShop> Thanks to all of you, and to our audience of devoted Camel fans, too!

<Comingofage> SH Thanks. This has been a real giggle. You've done a terriffic job organising things.

<WotanCCC> Another satisfied customer.

<WotanCCC> Next on our Featured Artist Series:
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . Sunday, Oct. 11th at 2:00 pm pt / 5:00 pm et
<WotanCCC> . Mickey Hart of The Greatful Dead/Planet Drum
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . Thursday, Oct. 15th at 6:00 pm pt / 9:00 pm et
<WotanCCC> . Rhino Records "Nuggets" release party.
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . Thursday, Oct. 22 at 6:00 pm pt / 9:00 pm et
<WotanCCC> . The Candyskins
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . Stay tuned for more fine
<WotanCCC> . Artist Shop / @Music productions
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> ===========================================

Session Close: Sun Oct 04 1998


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