Interview: Camp 8 unpacks his brilliant EP Everything

There is a distinct skill required in distilling beauty from heartache. Reuben Apirana, the man behind the Camp 8 moniker, may have mastered it on his EP Everything.

Produced by Hayden Calnin, the EP’s 22 minutes take you on a journey of heartbreak, loss and, ultimately acceptance. Apirana wears his heart on his sleeve as he paints vivid pictures of the fallout of a five year relationship.

The AU review had the opportunity to chat with Apirana and learn more about his latest release. Give the EP a spin and read on:

The EP details the tumultuous end to a relationship which you endured. Did writing and recording this EP provide a sense of closure to this relationship?

Yes. I think that it definitely helped me as I was kind of learning as I went and each song that I wrote became the next somewhat phase that I was going through. So it definitely sped up the healing process.

The songs are incredibly personal – was there any hesitation in writing down your deepest feelings and then releasing them for the world to hear?

Writing them down was no hesitation. Just because it was used as a way of healing. But the idea of releasing them for people to hear is definitely challenging. When I’m writing, I’m my most vulnerable and honest self.

You teamed up with producer Hayden Calnin on this release – you’ve worked together for a couple of years now so how did this collaboration start?

I had a connection with Will (Lanks) he listened to the demos and was super busy at the time, he put me in touch with Hayden as he felt like he would be suited to the songs. It was an awesome opportunity, Hayden and I clicked from the very beginning.

The EP’s production is quite understated; each song creates this haunting, slow-burning atmosphere – while you were in the studio, which other artists were you listening to to establish this kind of tone on the EP?

Hmmm. I was listening to a lot of Choker and actually a lot of RnB. Heaps of Frank Ocean. I became obsessed with him during that period. Lots of RnB and soulful stuff. Which kind of only is its most noticeable in “Hurt”. I feel like most of the influences for the other songs came from ones I have known well for a long time. Like Bon Iver and Sigur Ros.

You’ve re-recorded some previously released singles for this EP – was this done so that the production of the EP was more cohesive, or were there other reasons?

The EP ones are actually the original recorded versions. They’re on the EP because that’s the way I feel like Hayden and I intended for the story to unfold. So it was important for me to keep that intact as a full EP. We played with a lot of versions, “Hurt” had the most outfits possible for it, as in a lot of ways it was different to the other songs. I really love what Xavier did with “Hurt” and I wanted that song to have its own place to live.

Of course live music is at a standstill at the moment, but when music venues eventually reopen will you be intending to play some shows to promote the EP?

I think so. I would like to. I’m really excited to put together a live show for it. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. Hopefully that’ll be possible sooner rather than later.

You were recently part of the Isol-Aid! live-streamed festival – what was it like being part of a virtual festival?

It was surprisingly terrifying. But, at the same time it was great, and I was really grateful to be a part of it – and to have been considered. It felt super vulnerable being in a room by myself, knowing that people were watching. My family was literally watching it on their phones in the next room haha.

What’s been keeping you entertained during this COVID lockdown?

Lots of DIY around the house. We recently moved into a new house that was a fixer-upper so we’ve spent a lot of time putting work into the house – but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to watching copious amounts of shows too.

What does the future have in store for Camp 8?

Lots of things! I’m currently writing an album, which I’m really excited about, and I have a great team now coming up with new ideas, visuals and video plans etc which is really inspiring. And of course hopefully shows as well. I’m really pumped for the next thing. It feels nice to be moving on from this EP, taking the project into a more positive space.

Follow Camp 8 on Facebook, Instagram and Spotify.

Ed Hirst

I'm either listening to music, writing about music, or writing my own music! Keep up to date with my latest projects @edhirsty