Interview: CAMU Releases New Single/Video "Empire State of Sound"

Laura Dix: Sooner or later you have to just trust your gut in life. Who were you 8 years ago with the band Naked?

CAMU: I had the same dreams back then as I have today, they haven't changed since I was 4 years old. I have acquired more tools than 8 years ago. Back then I definitely got too close to the whole band thing and lost sight of the positive side of making music as the frustration kept building up. I did want frustrated musicians in their 20's do, I partied & played without direction. 

The band was, unfortunately, taking one step forward while taking two steps back. I haven't lost my love for achieving the impossible, rather I have proven to myself that anything is possible, which is contributed to `finding my love for music again. Looking back to the last summer of NAKED I did know it was the bands end even tho I gave it my all, it was very sad to give in to the thought that a 12-year run was coming to an end. It was exciting to start a new chapter in life but at the end of the day had we achieved more success due to fewer curve balls I don't think we would have ever disbanded. I am very happy with who I am today compared to who I was 8 years ago. 

I wouldn't change a thing. The next song in the trilogy called "The One You Leave Behind" actually covers this very subject. 

LD: What would you say built and shaped you over the past 8 years of life experience to bring you to this moment?

CAMU: Living in the US has had a big impact on me and my life, it's such a different culture compared to Finland, anything is possible. 

Meeting my amazing wife has had a big impact on me, we own a business we have created from scratch and we have two beautiful hilarious children. I have been able to sustain myself by pushing forward and working hard, something that is very prominent in the American culture. The last 8 years have formed me into a better version of myself, one that is way more rock and roll in many ways than the old eyeliner wearing me.

LD: Life can throw major curve balls- do you feel that this is the time and place where those balls can be hit out of the park?

CAMU: Yes, altho I'm not going to try to hit all curve balls, I let some roll right past me. I pick my battles and focus on projects that have a positive impact on my life and the people around me. Time, love, achievements, health & happiness is everything.

LD: "Empire State of Sound" really gets in there and shows the glory of NYC. Is this video from your hood back when you lived there?

CAMU: Yes. I lived in the East Village, loved it, filmed most of the video down there because the song is about the vibe and my personal experience while living there.  I visit every year to go see friends I made for life. I'm sure we'll move back to NYC when the kids are a little bigger. I have an on-off relationship with NYC.

LD: Hawaii at the moment is home? What has living on the island and that lifestyle taught you? How has the time there influenced your music, your writing, your outlook?

CAMU: We currently live on the Big Island of Hawaii. Life on the island has taught me to be more resourceful, Today I am more aware of what quality over quantity actually entails. 

When it comes to my writing I try not to waste time on something that isn't good, I just leave the song alone if it's not happening. Island living hasn't inspired me to write rock music too much, instead, I have written more across the board. I also work on music when I feel inspired to so, no point in forcing the music.

LD: Originally from Helsinki correct? Have you ever thought of moving back 'home' and is there still family you go back to visit?

CAMU: All of my family lives in Finland but today I have a family of my own as well. We were just in Finland last summer, it was great. A lot has changed. I hope we get to live in Finland at some point in time even if it's for a short period, that would be a great experience.

LD: Who is musical in the family aside from you and your brother? Any sibling rivalry between you two when working?

My kids love to bang on the drums and anything else, all day & every day, they love music. Our father and other brothers are actors but not any other musicians really. My brother and I get along excellent.

LD: If you were to tell your younger self of 8 years ago some piece of sound advice, what would it be? 

CAMU: See the difference between good & bad people faster. 

LD: Could you say music for you now is fun?

CAMU: Yes, for the most part, I love writing and recording when it's all coming together.  I could do with less time by the computer and more playing live, but that will, of course, happen next summer when we tour.

We used to play so much back in the day that we almost failed to realize toward the end how special it was. It's the best.

LD: Where are we going to find your music next and will your old bandmates from Naked be joining?

CAMU: Part 2 of the trilogy will be released in November, it's a song called "The One You Leave Behind" The video was shot in Finland and Hawaii.

The guys from NAKED are all featured on the track which is super cool. Then Part 3 comes out early next year. We will tour next summer as CAMU.