Photo courtesy of Camille Bloom
Artists thrive when the life they live, outside of their work, provides the ultimate inspiration. Though Seattle-based singer-songwriter Camille Bloom has spent the better part of the last decade on the road following her musical muse, her varied experiences have provided ideal fodder for her confessional poppy folk tunes.
Over the years, the 36-year-old Bloom has toured nine countries and has garnered an adoring army of fans. She released her fourth studio album, Never Out of Time, last year and worked on the project with renownedSeattle producer Martin Feveyear, who has gained acclaim for his work with R.E.M., Kings of Leon, Mudhoney andQueens of the Stone Age.
Bloom has been traipsing the country in support of the partially fan-financed endeavor, which is an increasingly common occurrence among independent artists in a rapidly changing musical landscape. The album is an 11-track odyssey through Bloom’s multi-genre songwriting, swaying from heartfelt balladry to rocking acoustic pop along with a touch of hip-hop on the album’s final track, “Teeny Car.”
Bloom recently put aside a few minutes to field some questions about living her music. See Camille Bloom Thu, Sept. 27 at Uptown Billiards, 114 N. Leroux, at 7:30 p.m. The show is free. For more info, see www.camillebloom.com or call 773-0551.
Camille Bloom: My biggest inspirations growing up were probably my mom and dad, who both played music [and] sang throughout my childhood. I grew up on jazz, Beatles, ’80s rock, Michael Jackson and Billy Joel, so it’s funny that people almost always choose female artists when comparing me to others. The musicians I most look up to are self-made—artists that pounded the pavement for years earning one fan at a time.
I grew up writing a lot of poetry, but I wrote my first song when I was 19. It was pretty terrible actually, but it did reflect my feelings and help me process my heartbreak—so that was good. I will never play it for you though.
I spent most of my life as a year-round athlete, and found it to be so rewarding. I feel like I learned a lot of important life skills through playing sports: dedication, practice, tenacity, hard work, team work, being a good winner and loser. I have taken all of these skills and tried to apply them to my career. It’s amazing how many successful touring musicians were successful athletes, actually.
I love working with kids, and I plan to always make it a part of my life. I want to impart the knowledge that with hard work, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to regardless of how messed up your family life is, or if you come from a broken home. I also love to teach them that there are positive coping mechanisms they can turn to in times of trouble like writing, joining a team, etc.
It’s the truth that this latest album could not have happened without the help of my fans. The idea of crowd-funding has indelibly changed the music business. Essentially, our fans are the new record label, helping us to hire teams of radio promo, publicists, etc., which used to be available only to those signed to a label with a good-sized budget. I raised close to $14,500, and still spent 10K of my own money to complete the campaign. If anyone wants to contribute more, I have $2,300 left on my line of credit!
I have definitely evolved as a writer in the past 10 years. I spend less time focusing on writing about myself and have started to write songs from other peoples’ perspectives; songs about politics, addiction, etc. I do write songs in the same way: sitting down with my guitar and noodling until I find something I love. Or occasionally finding a line and letting that be the inspiration for my lyrical content. I think it gets easier to write, but harder to write in different styles. I don’t want all of my songs to sound alike so I have to push myself to create new sounds.