What is your name and role within AM RERUNS?
Andy Campbell – guitar player, frontperson, singer, writer. Mostly guitar player.
Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
We’re from Melbourne and based here. There are a lot of little music scenes here for different types of music, and to a degree they’re starting to converge which is really exciting. You can see diverse bills here the likes of which just wouldn’t have happened four to five years’ ago. I’m very proud to be from a city that so actively pushes for diversity and inclusion. And I genuinely think some of the best music in the world right now is being made here.
How did you first start playing music?
I saw this long odd shaped thing with strings on it, and thought, “I can do that.” It was really like that. I was mesmerised by guitars as a kid. When my older brother got one it was immediately the most important thing in the house to me. And then one day, I took it to school and that was it. It was mine and he never got it back!
How did AM RERUNS form?
Hmm… well, I just called up Dan our bass player and Pam (our first drummer) and we got together. None of us were sleeping on Venice beach, sorry to say! We knew each other from Box Rockets gigs at The Great Britain Hotel (RIP). Shauna and I started chatting on Instagram about WIRE. And then we hung out and I asked her to play some shows with us.
What’s been happening recently?
We’ll I’ve been listening obsessively to The Only Ones. I’ve been trying to find the clothes that Peter Perrett wore in 1979. I’ve been writing some new riffs. And in the past month our gigs have been the best we’ve played.
Your self-titled album with be released on the 9th of August, what influenced the sound and songwriting for this album?
A few things… The Replacements, a bit of Berlin by Lou Reed, and my favourite classic new-wave and rock’n’roll. So, The Everly Brothers, Johnny Marr, Magazine, Patti Smith Group, Iggy and The Stooges, Blondie, The Plimsouls. The words are about… adolescence, people I’ve lost in my life, and various ways of describing panic attacks and ways to disappear. Then again some of them are a big joke. “Looking For A Victim” is largely a list of absurd fears propagated by News Corp/the Department of Homes Affairs. “Formal Night” is an Everlys pastiche about going to the school formal on your own.
How did you go about writing the album?
I lived alone when I started writing the music. Flunking uni, watching B grade horror films on SBS On Demand and wearing my guitar 12 hours a day. This was probably my first decent ‘batch’ of songs, so to speak. I had to figure out how to write songs… there was a lot of trial and error. I wrote all the music first, and did the vocals and lyrics at the end. Most of it was written over an eight-month period. I learned not to get attached to any one riff or song. You’re always better off writing another one before you get too attached to your latest one. And with that detachment your work will be better. Once the band was formed we arranged all the music together, Dan wrote some outrageous bass lines and started singing harmony. Pam’s drum parts are very unique, maybe on the slicker side of post-punk. Her playing is not unlike Dennis Davis’ playing on Bowie’s LP “Low.” And that’s not excessive praise at all.
What programs/equipment did you use?
I used a Japanese Fender Jaguar for the whole record, plus my white Strat and a custom made T-Guitar. The Jaguar belonged to our recording engineer Robert Muinos and he’s sold it since. So it’s out there somewhere. I did the vocals in my partner’s house, and made a pop filter from black stockings, a coat hanger, a rubber band and a toilet roll. There’s a pic of it on Instagram.
Where and when did you record/produce/master?
We recorded the album in The Curtin Hotel in Carlton. I put some more guitars on in Robert’s home studio, and then Dan and I did most of the vocals in my partner’s house. Robert mixed the album and it was mastered by John Davis at Metropolis Studios London. The album is a mixture of super high-end and DIY technology.
Who did you work with during the creation of the album?
Robert Muinos, as stated; Rhea Caldwell from Baby Blue also does some backing vocals on a track, as does Siobhan McGinnity from MAGNETS. Carl Breitkreuz did the LP sleeve.
What did you find most challenging and rewarding during the production process?
The singing. And writing the lyrics. I enjoy singing and writing words, but this is the first band where I’ve taken those duties on. I did lots and lots and lots of vocal takes. I basically learned to sing as we recorded. That’s why it took a good 12 months to finish the album!
What do you have planned for the album?
It’ll be out on all the digital stores/streaming services on Friday 9 August. There’s a vinyl LP release planned which should be in stores in early September.
You’ll be playing shows in August and September across Australia to support the album, what do you have planned for these shows?
Let’s see… we are a loud rock’n’roll band. It will be our usual, x 10. There will be lot of attitude, style and volume, and 10 banging new-wave songs. Our supports are absolutely excellent, and you’ll be able to buy our vinyl LP!
How did you prepare for live shows?
I must have done 300, and to be honest I still don’t know. I do my hair, I dress sharp. In small pubs you don’t necessarily get “alone-time,” so I just try to go with the flow of whatever’s happening. Matching the vibe of your surrounds is important. At a festival I play my guitar for about 30 mins before a show. I usually play “Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others”, “Gimme Danger”, or the “The Last Time.” I think about what I love so much about rock’n’roll.
What do you like to do away from music?
Not a lot to be honest. But I read the classics – I’m reading Percy Byshe Shelley and Susan Sontag right now – and I write comment pieces and occasionally send them to magazines. I drink a lot of coffee and hang out with my partner and our cat.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
The Only Ones! “Even Serpents Shine.” Also “Moving Parts” by Pinch Points. The Best Of Smokey Robinson & The Miracles.
What’s planned for the remainder of 2019 going into 2020?
After our tour, there will be more shows to see out the year, and we’ll carrying on writing the second album. We’ve already got 5 songs. We’ll probably begin early next year with a new single.
Any secrets that you care to share?
Yes, and they’re secreted deep within the songs on “AM Reruns.”
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Donuts of all kinds. Hangouts are Rocksteady Records and Nighthawks.