Creature Camp is:
Cory Anchors – Lead singer, rhythm guitar, synth
Chris Hemphill – Synths, spoken word
LeAlan Carter – Lead guitar, backing vocals
Adam Huett – Bass, backing vocals
David Hildebrand – Drums
Mod Mobilian sat down with Native Mobilian Chris Hemphill in advance of Creature Camp’s performance at SouthSounds 2016.
Tell me about how this band was formed.
It started with [singer Corey Anchors] wanting to jam with a couple of buddies, and it evolved from playing covers of indie songs to finding inspiration for original music. I got in way later, when it was kinda a hybrid cover/indie act. Eventually we decided to throw away the covers, change our name (about 4 times before settling on Creature Camp), and do our own thing.
What is the best gig you guys have had and what made it the best gig?
We’ve played some pretty big shows at prominent venues like Saturn & Bottletree in B’ham, but my favorite was when we played by a pool at a house show to a wild crowd that was right in our faces. We only made it through two songs before the cops shut it down, but it was the best time I ever had.
You guys are in the process of recording your debut LP – How are you finding that process?
Invigorating. Working with Daniel Farris, who produced St. Vincent’s debut album and also works with a Birmingham favorite of ours, Wray. We’ve recorded half the album so far, and because we’ve opted for a live studio environment, it’s exciting to hear a recording with the full energy from one of our live shows.
That is exciting. So for the unitiated who may be reading this and hovering over the PLAY button of the embedded music, how would you describe the music?
Upbeat synth rock, multi-layered sounds with a tinge of melancholia. I hear something different from everyone who talks about it, comparing it to Depeche Mode, Silversun Pickups, and bands I’ve never heard of. We like it when people dance, and I’m willing to admit I love listening to it while running
Silversun Pickups meets Depeche Mode sounds like an unlikely pairing, but I don’t think that is too far off the mark, really. So who are the actual central influences of the band?
Varies from member to member. Cory, lead singer, is very influenced by Future Islands and The National, whereas other members are rooted in blues and soul. It all feeds into each other, and that’s why I think people have such different ideas on what the sound is.
You’re a Mobile kid, right? What are the places and activities you try to pull off when you’re back here?
Yup, from birth until 2008. I make it a point to eat as much seafood as possible because they don’t really know what they’re doing up north. Springhill Seafood & Liquor Store for shrimp by the pound, Wintzell’s, & the Bicycle Shop.
Righteous – gimme some notice before you head to Wintzell’s – I may join you!
Awesome! Their happy hour is god-like compared to anything up here in the north [Birmingham.] $7.50 for a dozen oysters is unheard of. Places up here are frequently $2/oyster.
That is madness.
Creature Camp is performing at the Blind Mule Friday (4/8) night for SouthSounds 2016