Artist: The Campfire Flies
Members: Ed Seifert (Speed The Plough), John and Toni Baumgartner (Speed The Plough), Deena Shoshkes and Jon Fried (The Cucumbers), Matt Davis (The Thousand Pities)
Hometown: New Jersey
TrunkSpace: As you gear up to release “Sparks Like Little Stars” to the masses (available March 22), what kind of emotions are you juggling with?
Seifert: Well, excitement, primarily, of course, and gratitude. I’m so glad to be involved in a project with such talented, supportive and creative people. I THINK those are all the adjectives John told me to use.
TrunkSpace: This is the band’s first album. Do you feel any sort of creative pressure, particularly with a debut, knowing that for a lot of people this will be their first taste of who The Campfire Flies are creatively as a group?
Seifert: Not really. The fact that everyone contributes to the creative process meant that nobody had to overextend themselves. There’s no filler on the album, as far as we’re concerned.
And in the case of Deena and Jon with The Cucumbers, John and Toni with Speed the Plough, and Matt with The Thousand Pities, they’ve all got a base of fans who already know their work. I’m sure they’ll all be pleased with the results.
TrunkSpace: The band consists of six songwriters. How does having so many creative brains in the cooking process – particularly those used to working in a solo capacity – impact the dynamics in the kitchen itself? Did the process require massaging or did it gel right out of the gates?
Seifert: With two married couples in the group, most of the dynamics had already been established. And we all know the value of a cordial suggestion as opposed to a harsh criticism. We really didn’t have growing pains, since we were all friends and admirers of each other’s work even before we got together.
TrunkSpace: What do you get working in a band atmosphere that you have been unable to achieve as a solo artist/songwriting? Is there something inspiring about the process that sort of collectively fuels everyone’s creative fires?
Seifert: Quite a bit, speaking personally. As the only unmarried member, I’m the only one who doesn’t have another pair of critical ears at home. So I’m always sending demos around to friends, and most are too nice to say anything negative. It’s good to have some more detailed feedback.
TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with the album?
Seifert: At the risk of sounding trite, I love how this project bloomed into something that’s more than the sum of its parts. It’s a very special, unique sound.
TrunkSpace: You’re all multi-instrumentalists. How many instruments appear on the album itself, and is it easy to translate these songs to the stage?
Seifert: The songs all translate well to the stage. The basic tracks were recorded with four or five of us playing at once. And although we all played multiple instruments over the course of the album, none of the songs are overloaded. Generally if I’m playing mandolin on a track, I’m NOT playing guitar, and if Toni’s playing clarinet, she’s not playing flute, and so on. I think it’s at least nine different instruments, plus percussion.
TrunkSpace: Can you envision a day when music is not a part of your life?
Seifert: Not until the day I check out!
TrunkSpace: Mother Nature had a hand in the band coming together. A storm rolled through and trapped you all under one roof with instruments but no power. Had that night not occurred, do you think we’d be here today talking about The Campfire Flies?
Seifert: Yes, as I mentioned before, we were all big fans of each other’s work, and knew each other well.
TrunkSpace: Which would you personally prefer… writing one album that the whole world adores, or writing a career’s worth that only a select group of people treasure?
Seifert: I’ll take the latter. I’m more tortoise than hare, and although I always am trying to add hooks to my songs and think they’re accessible, I don’t think they sound like today’s top sellers, from what I’ve heard!
TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your musical journey looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Seifert: Why not, indeed? I’m a curious sort. I don’t know that I’d PAY for the privilege, but if I could take a look, I would. I hope I wouldn’t disappoint myself – or my cohorts!
“Space Like Little Stars” is available March 22 from OverPop Records.
Great interview. Can’t wait to hear the album.
Comments are closed.