Ahead of his first ever solo tour, I got to have a chat with Camm Hunter – 1/6th of Down With Webster – about his solo music and his upcoming solo shows! Check out the interview below!
Camm Hunter: Hey, what’s up?
Krystal Knopf: Not much, how are you?
CH: Good, actually my phone just came back to life so, that was good timing.
KK: Oh good, well as long as it’s working now we are good to go! So have you been working on your show?
CH: Yes I have been all week, you know rehearsing, getting it ready. Like obviously I did some stuff while I was on the road with Webster, certainly going over it in my head, but I haven’t had anytime to get in a rehearsal space until this week.
KK: Are you just as pumped for the tour as we are?
CH: Yes, very pumped, like – it’s crazy! I’ve never done it before – it’s exciting, it’s nerve racking.
KK: What are some of the things we can expect to see during the live show?
CH: What can you expect to see during the show? Well I have my good friend, this guy that’s a really sick drummer, who’s going to be playing with me on all the shows. He’s going to be doing all my live stuff with me from now ’til hopefully forever. He’s incredible, you should check him out his name is Emerson Tavares.
KK: How did you cross paths with him?
CH: A mutual friend actually. I find that Toronto is a fairly small place in terms of the musical community. You kind of end up crossing paths with every one at some point – but in our case it was a mutual friend.
KK: Cool! Well you’ve been writing music on your own now for a while – what made you decide to put the mixtape out when you did?
CH: Honestly, everything has just sort of happened as it’s happened. I didn’t really have a plan going into it, I just had a bunch of music that I was making on my time off from Down With Webster whenever we had time off you know? I’d be in the studio making this music and I kind of put it out as it happened. So you know what I mean, I put out the mixtape as soon as I was finished with all the songs. And even now I’m putting out songs as I finish them.
KK: How do you find the fan response has been – because of course your fan base kind of originated from Down With Webster, and now you’re doing your own stuff.
CH: Yeah all of my social networks and stuff were already built up from being in Down With Webster obviously.
And I think at this stage a lot of it has been the spill over from people who are just fans of Down With Webster and now are giving me a shot because of that. But I find also as I put out more and more music, more blogs are starting to pick it up and people that haven’t necessarily even heard of Down With Webster are starting to hit me up and saying that they are liking the music, so at the end of the day it’s super encouraging to just keep doing it.
KK: Yeah for sure! Do you have any favourite songs off the mixtape or any songs that mean more to you than others?
CH: Uhm, I know this is a typical answer, but I kind of like all of them! This music is really like my pet project – all the music I’ve been making has been for myself. So it’s like, I don’t really put anything out that I’d be like “I don’t like this” because in order for me to even do it or take it that far – it’s like.. “Okay I like this.” I can’t even say that the ones I shoot videos for are even necessarily my favourite, I like them as much as I like the other ones. It’s just that some of the songs I have better ideas for in my head – like I’ll really see something when I hear it, physically I can see it, you know what I mean?
CH: It’ll make me think of a video and I’m like ‘Oh that’s cool let’s just do that.’ So it’s whatever strikes me. So far up until this point it’s been super natural to just me doing whatever I feel like at the end of the day – which is what I like so much about doing this.
KK: So, how does the writing process differ from when you’re writing songs as a band to doing it by yourself? Do you find it easier because you have more freedom to do your own thing?
CH: Well it’s way easier because you don’t have to please anybody but yourself. You know what I mean, you’re not writing for other people or trying to factor in their tastes and musical styles and stuff. You can just totally do whatever you want and there’s no pressure that it has to be amazing or that it’s gotta be a hit. I have no label, I have no manager – literally nobody is telling me anything – which is very very nice.
KK: Right – and there’s less censoring.
CH: Yeah you can do whatever you want you know what I mean?
KK: Yeah and people are diggin’ it!
CH: It’s great like, that’s amazing. It’s very gratifying. But, I do love writing with Down With Webster – it’s just a different thing.
KK: Of course.
CH: I like the pressure of Down With Webster and playing on a higher level – it’s very fun. But it’s also fun to just get back to doing it for the fun of it completely.
KK: Yeah for sure. You guys do such big shows now in Canada with Down With Webster and now for the next week you get to strip it back down to a more intimate setting so that’ll be kind of cool.
CH: Yeah totally, it will be really cool. And it will be my first time playing these songs live which is nuts.
KK: Yes! And, going back to your songs, who would say has been your biggest musical influence when it comes to your style?
CH: I don’t know if there’s one in particular. I think I just grew up on a ton of hip hop – I was always one of those people who listened to like, literally everything when it came to hip hop. I was obsessed with it as a kid, and borderline still am. So, I couldn’t even tell you what’s rubbed off on me. Clearly a lot – because I wouldn’t be rapping if I hadn’t heard somebody rap in the first place.
KK: Yeah exactly.
CH: But I can’t – it’s all over the place.
KK: When can we expect more songs and the second mixtape?
CH: Well, the second mixtape I’ve been kind of putting out song by song. I’ve put out two songs already. I’m gonna put a third one out in a couple days. It’s just getting mixed right now. And then literally it’s gonna be a thing where as I finish them – because I don’t have the most time in the world, it’s not like I have time to lock myself in a studio and just you know, make a whole album and then I’m gonna be finished – for me it’s like okay I have 3 days off, okay I’m gonna go and record, see what I can get done. So, you know, I have a few more songs close to being done and over the summer I’m just gonna be dropping them one at a time and then when enough are out, I’ll just put them all together.
KK: Right. So you’re pretty busy right now – you’ve got Down With Webster and your own stuff – do you have any time for yourself?
CH: Well that is my time to myself. This project is what I do on my spare time. It’s what I love doing, it’s why I got into Down With Webster. I found myself sitting around when we didn’t have anything to do and being like ‘Okay I wanna do more of this – I wanna do my own stuff.’ But in all fairness, I do end up watching a lot of movies and shit like that because I’m usually in like a studio or my apartment working on music so I’d say movies are my big thing apart from music.
KK: Given the opportunity who do you want to collaborate with in the future?
CH: Wow – I don’t even know! Collaborations are always tough because I feel like the ones that you would want wouldn’t necessarily be the best fit. I find it has to come sort of organically. I’ve met a lot of people and there’s a lot of people that I’m thinking of featuring with, but it’s really going to depend on like ‘Okay what do we actually get out of this? Is the song good?’ So, I’m really open minded, I’ve written with tons of people and my whole thing is just like, what comes out of it?
KK: Right. Okay so, once Just Tour is done what is next for you? I know you’ve got a lot of Down With Webster stuff coming up – but what’s next for you as a solo artist?
CH: Uhm, for me it’s gonna be shooting a couple more videos and putting them out, obviously releasing the songs over the course of the summer, and then in the Fall I’m gonna look at possibly doing some shows across Canada hopefully. Like branch out a bit or maybe go down to the States and do some New York or Boston shows or whatever -like, the east coast states and try to pull hits in more places because for me, this is kind of like a test run. It’s like, okay, how does this feel, I’ve never done this, I wanna try it in places I’m familiar with. Also, there’s talks of me making an actual album.
KK: Oh really?!
CH: So that’ll be the thing that I’ll probably go in on after this mixtape is done.
KK: Awesome. So do you think you will eventually start selling albums as oppose to just putting mixtapes online for free?
CH: I think eventually I will probably do both. I think it’s always good to be able to put out whatever you want, whenever you want. I find these days people want music all the time. The kind of model of like okay I’d make an album every two years, most people can’t really do that. So, I’d still like to put out stuff, but I definitely want to try putting out an actual album that gets funded. Because up until this point I’ve been doing this stuff on my own. Me and Marty have literally been doing this stuff completely on our own – no budget, no big studios – and in order to make an actual album where there’s a budget and a studio, and there’s higher production value, it means that ultimately you have to sell it right? So, that’ll probably happen.
KK: Absolutely. And you’re getting a lot of support from the band with Marty helping you out and Diggy going on tour with you.
CH: Yeah of course – the band are my friends. Those are the guys that I hang out with so, they are very much supportive of it and have been great. Because ultimately, there’s no animosity, it’s not like I’m planning on leaving the band. I’m still completely in it as much as I ever have been. It’s just something I get to do.
KK: Sweet! Well I have one more question for you.. it’s kind of BestFan’s signature question – what are YOU a BestFan of? Give me like, 5 things you are a BestFan of whether it’s a band, an artist, a movie, shows… anything!
CH: Okay, BestFan of.. Okay, oh man, I have to think about that! Things that I really love – I could give you like broad categories but, that’s not what people want to hear! I am a BestFan of… first and foremost Pizza! I love pizza!
KK: Me too!
CH: I eat pizza all the time.
KK: I am with you on that one!
CH: I am a BestFan of, right now I’m thinking of it because it’s on in the background, Wes Anderson. Like, Royal Tenenbaums and all of those movies that he makes.. Rushmore and all of those movies – big fan of him. I like Quentin Tarantino – I like all his movies he’s awesome. I am a BestFan of Wu-Tang Clan, they’re huge, they’re one of my favourite rap groups ever, so big fan of them. BestFan of Rage Against the Machine – love them. And I am also a BestFan of skateboarding! I really love skateboarding, I do it as much as I can to the extent of where I don’t kill myself.
KK: Haha yeah, try not to break any more bones…
CH: PS. turns out it’s not broken!
KK: Oh it’s NOT broken!?
CH: Hey! Listen to this. I went to the hospital, they told me that “Yeah it’s broken, it’s for sure broken.” They took X-rays, I was there for four hours, they put a cast down to my elbow, and told me that it was going to be on for four to six weeks! So here’s your temporary one, and we’re going to bring you in in a couple days to put the permanent one on. And I was like alright –
KK: Just in time for tour!
CH: Right! Perfect. So, I went in this morning, and a different doctor looked at the X-rays and was like, ‘That’s not broken. It’s just a soft tissue injury – don’t worry there’s no cast.’
KK: No cast!?
CH: No cast, no nothing – apparently I’m fine!
KK: Well that’s good!
CH: So – thanks for misdiagnosing me doctors.
KK: Haha well thank you so much for chatting with me!
CH: No problem, anytime!
The most recent song Camm has put out is called “Oh Lord.” If you haven’t heard it yet – listen to it below! He will also be playing a few solo shows in the next few weeks, so check him out!
6/25 –Toronto @ Adelaide Hall
6/26 – London @ Rum Runners
6/28 – St. Catharine’s @ SCENE Music Festival
7/15 – Montreal @ La Sala Rossa