ANCHR Magazine

Holding you down with the best new music

A Chat With: Campdogzz

The Chicago band chat with us prior to their TNK Fest performance.

Chicago is home to some of the greatest bands and musicians around at the moment.  One of our favorite Chicago bands, Campdogzz, will be playing at Schubas Tavern tomorrow as part of Tomorrow Never Knows Festival.  Before their performance as part of the annual multi-venue, 5-day fest, we chatted with Jess Price and Mike Russell of Campdogzz about their start as a band, appearing in a Netflix show, their Chicago favorites, and goals for 2017.  

ANCHR Magazine: How did you all meet and start making music together, and what’s the story behind your name?

Jess Price: Mikey was in a band called Suns out of Chicago. For a couple years, I traveled with them, working on a documentary more or less about independent American touring bands (still working on it).  We became friends in that time and eventually I started showing him demos. He grabbed onto it and helped me get them recorded. From there we decided to make a record together. Mikey chose the name. It made sense with our demeanor and lifestyle at the time...couple of dirtbags hanging around the fire. 

AM: Who are some of your musical influences, either in terms of your sound/songwriting or who inspired you to start making music?

Campdogzz: Jason Molina is a huge one. Really we could scrap that whole answer above and just insert his name in there. He is the reason we started this band.  Early influences were gospel, folk, a lot from the church. Later, [we were] heavily inspired by soundscapes in film.

 Photo by  Randy P Martin

Photo by Randy P Martin

AMHow did the opportunity to appear on Netflix’s Easy come up, and how was the experience? 

Campdogzz: After a long tour (our first), we dreaded getting out of the bus, so we decided to go see some parks in SW and travel around for a while with a couple friends. We got an email about the opportunity. A friend had previously shared our record with the person responsible for sourcing the music in Easy.  We flew back for the filming at Sub T in November.  It was great.  The set was relaxed.  It was fun for us to watch them work.  Seemed like a bunch of old friends getting together. Shooting was pretty seamless and fast.  We are very grateful to have been included. 

"The Well" appeared on Season 1, Episode 2 of the Netflix series Easy

AM: What are your favorite Chicago venues?

Campdogzz: Hideout, [Empty] Bottle, Burlington, Whistler, Constellation, Elastic name a few. We are fortunate for great venues here, if nothing else.

We’ve spent a lot of time with these songs and a lot of time with ourselves last year. A lot of personal and collective growth. It will be very fulfilling to actualize them.

AM: Who are some of your favorite fellow Chicago bands and musicians at the moment?

Mike Russell: RIBBONHEAD, Bow&Spear, Melkbelly, Tinkerbelles, Negative Scanner, Paper Mice

Jess Price: Wet Mouth, Gia Margaret, Hydrofoil, Meat Wave, Joan of Arc, Spencer Tweedy (I keep trying to adopt him--he won't respond)

AM: What have you been listening to lately, and what album releases are you looking forward to in 2017?

Mike Russell: The Upsetters Super Ape, Arthur Russell Love is Overtaking Me

Jess PriceA lot of the above, Frank Oceans Blonde, Broadcast, Daniel Bachman, Luzmila Carpio, Talk West. 2017 Releases...Joan of Arc's He's Got The Whole This Land is Your Land in His Hands

Campdogzz at Sofar Sounds Chicago 

AM: What are your goals for 2017? Any plans for touring or new music? 

Campdogzz: Our biggest goal is finishing our second record.  We've spent a lot of time with these songs and a lot of time with ourselves last year. A lot of personal and collective growth. It will be very fulfilling to actualize them. We will no doubt be out and about when we have something new to share. As soon as the weather turns, we'll go get our bus and get to work!

Individual tickets for Campdogzz's show with Hoops, Sam Evian, and Big Thief have now sold out, but you can still get your 5 day TNK Fest Pass here.

Stay tuned for our next Chicago band feature on Lucille Furs, coming next week!