Interview: Church Camp

Hailing from Columbus, mathy punk trio Church Camp plays Joy Machines Bike Shop at 4:40 p.m. We talk to the band about their songwriting process and their live performance. View the entire Brite Winter schedule and lineup here.

Select interviews will be printed in the Premium Guide Book along with CD samplers of  Brite artists given as a reward to Kickstarter backers. // Interview by Nikki Delamotte

What’s been one of your most memorable gigs?

The Make Waves Fest in Central Ohio, it’s a little festival just getting off the ground and it’s done by folks who have some connection to the house show circuit, DIY, punk — or whatever you want to call it, alternative communities. The name of the festival works great for what they are doing because for two consecutive days, bands and artists share whatever venue is available at the time to use the creative outlet that makes them more alive, to make ripples or waves in a sense that help others be more alive in a critical, tangible way. The first year we played there, $500 went to a local safe haven for victims of human trafficking. This year, the festival raised support for a girls rock camp, as well as going deep into topics like prison abolition and justice for people of color and LGBT communities. And we got to be a part of that!

If you could play one place – your dream gig — where would it be?

My grandpa has this rather small but untouched patch of pretty accessible land on a mountainside in West Virginia, it’s sort of a dream to have a music festival there one day with all the bands and people we’ve made or will make connections with over the years. Something sort of intimate, not Woodstock 2025 or anything, and without having to cut a bunch of stuff down!

Can you tell us more about your songwriting process?

I am least gifted musician out of the band, Dave has been around singers his whole life and can play many instruments as well as sing. Esther’s parents have been in their own music ministry since before she was born, and Esther wrote her first song at two years of age, so it’s just who she is, to write music. For our band though, it’s pretty much been me coming up with a guitar line without really knowing what I’m doing honestly, and Esther and sometimes myself writing lyrics, and Esther and Dave pretty much do what they do and make parts for the rest of the song, based on the skeleton of a guitar part that I think I just use feeling to make. It’s hard for me to do it often, guessing takes a lot out of you. I take a lot of chords and tunings from songs that make me feel amazing.

Brite takes place every winter. What’s your favorite thing about winter? Any favorite outdoor winter activity?

The way that snow makes everything a lot brighter, the air is crisp and every time you breathe — it’s like having a piece of winter fresh gum except it’s the real winter fresh sensation. Having just the right amount of clothing so that you can crunch your feet through the snow without feeling too cold. A favorite activity would be hot boxing the back of a vehicle with it parked in a park parking lot with the windows facing the woods — with someone special of course — then maybe walking around outside a bit.

What’s your favorite thing about Cleveland?

The time working up there for two weeks with my friends dad’s business Organic Air. We went around the area doctoring trees that have been planted wrong or have been fed the wrong stuff. Needless to say, I like the trees around there. Lake Erie too. And I think it’s cheaper to get a day bus pass in Cleveland than it is in Columbus. I enjoy riding the bus around the city and just seeing what’s there, it’s a big place, feels like an official big city to me and seeing a show at Grog Shop by myself once was a great time.

Visit Church Camp at their official website, keep up with them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.