Vocalist Camille Bloom is a one-woman show. In between working on her new album, Never Out of Time, which drops in November, and prepping for her fall tour (which is her favorite season), the artist has found time to run a rock camp every summer and promote her work.
Though Bloom refuses to adhere to popular ideas of music by genre-hopping and remaining predominately (save for one unfortunate eyelash incident) low-maintenance–especially for a star on the rise–her unique blend of folk/acoustic rock is gaining her international attention.
OC Weekly: How long did it take you to make Never Out of Time?
Camille Bloom: Well, it took me about a year. I wrote the first five songs in February 2010 and wrote the second half of the album in the next six months or so, and then scheduled the studio recording.
You mentioned that your music has become more about writing from a universal perspective. Does that have anything to do with the massive amount of support you received [$14,000 to $15,000] from your fans for this past album?
I think there comes a point in your life where you realize that you're very small and minute and don't really matter. [Laughs] Or, well, when you're young, you write all about yourself and your experiences — you're very self-important — and as you get older, you start opening your eyes. I think this whole album in general is about that eye-opening and seeing outside yourself. I did have wonderful fan donations that helped to make this album a possibility, but I didn't write these songs for the fans, if that makes sense.
What's your performance in Laguna Beach going to be like? Will it be acoustic?
Yeah, it'll be acoustic. It's a primarily acoustic tour. LA will be acoustic as well.
I know you've mentioned before that you like to feel like you're on a date with the audience . . .
Yeah, both LA and Laguna will be seated shows. I try to find listening venues that are intimate — I love to interact with the audience and tell funny stories and crazy things that have happened on tour or preparing for tour. For example, I just went and got my eyelashes tinted for the first time and had a four-day allergic reaction. [Laughs] So I'll talk about that and the ridiculousness because I am one of the most low-maintenance people I know.
You know, it's interesting that you bring up the eyelashes thing because I read somewhere that you didn't want to play a women's music festival. Do you feel a lot of female artists today are put under pressure to appear a certain way?
I'm glad you mention that because when I saw the quote, it was a little out of context — what I was saying was that I just wanna play music festivals. I don't need it to be a women's music festival. I'm bummed that our society is set up such that we have to have women's music festivals to hear women's music because we are discriminated against in a way. Unless we want to look like a Britney Spears or Lady Gaga, it's hard to be taken seriously because there are 1 million people touring with a guitar and a pretty voice. I love playing any festival; I just want it to be about the music and not the gender.
So are you not a big fan of Lady Gaga and other artists who spend so much time on their outward appearance?
I wouldn't say I'm not a fan; I love pop music. I think that Lady Gaga has a lot of positive messages and that she really has this great niche/following. There's nothing wrong with pop music. I'm just a little bummed that, if someone's going to shop your record, they want to know that you're 25 and under. If you want to try out for American Idol, you have to be 30 or under.
What's the next step for you after your tour?
You know, I've had my biggest dry spell of writing, so I'm like, “Oh my god, what if I never write another song?”
That won't happen!
I have these sort of funny thoughts, you know? I guess, I'm gonna finish touring Europe, and then next summer, finish my festival craziness and running that camp. Then, I think I'm bound to tour again. I suppose I'm going to continue touring.
Since you were a high-school teacher prior to pursuing a music career and now run a rock camp for kids every summer, could you tell me how you'd go about teaching someone with little to no musical experience how to write a song? Is the process very different than the process of writing a poem or a story?
Yeah, I'd let you know that the first thing you should do is just purge everything out on the paper, and it doesn't matter how it comes out — in prose, in a story or a poem. Nothing's wrong; just write what you want to express, and you can always go back to tweak it here and there. I write in verse, but I used to journal, and sometimes those journals would turn into a song. What's the message? Get that message out there. It's all relative, as long as you love it, and you're proud of it.
Camille Bloom performs at the Marine Room, 214 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach. Tomorrow, 8 p.m.