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Brian Campeau

Written by Thomas Mitchell on November 25, 2008

When people want to be different they think outside the box. Brian Campeau hauls ass out of the box and then beats on it with his guitar.

“It’s about being creative with what you’ve got. Thinking outside the box, and thinking how else can I approach this.”

He may sound reserved but this guitar wielding, ex-Canadian is known for his inventive approach to instruments. The unique style can be heard on the upcoming single ‘Then Came the Sun.’

“I’ve got the single launch, on the 30th November at the Fringe bar on Oxford St. I’ll be using a cellist and accordion player”

After launching the track Campeau will be camping at Peats Ridge with a host of other acts, playing tracks off his new album.

“When I come back from Peats Ridge, I’ll be working on the album trying to finish that off, cause it’s taking fucking forever.”

“I’m recording it by myself, like with all my recordings I try and give myself a concept, trying to work towards a direction. The concept for this album is that I’m only using one instrument per song, plus my vocals.”

Concept albums have backfired, think Michael Jackson’s “Ben”, but the ambitious Campeau is up for the challenge. Using coins, car keys and violence to make his mark.

“In one song I’m only using double bass, but I can use the instrument any way I want, so I can use it as a percussion instrument, just hit it. Throw coins against it, whatever.”

“It’s just a good challenge, I’m a guitar player by trade, but I just like the challenge of seeing the guitar as more then three chords and strumming, you can beat it, scratch it, hit it with a set of keys, do any type of shit to it, it’s all part of the instrument.”
“It comes out in an almost orchestral sound, like it sounds like this huge piece.”

Brian’s opinions are as eclectic as his music, seeing both the obvious flaws and beaming positives of his peers.

“I’m going to sound like an ass, but people like Kaki King and Tommy Emmanuel, yeah I think they’re great guitarists, their technique is awesome, years and years of work, but I don’t think they write a good song. They bore me to fucking shit, like they’re really boring.”

Whether or not they actually bore Campeau to the point of defecation is debatable, although I hear a suspicious plop on the other end of the phone, but his point is clear.

As was the case with Adam and Eve, boredom leads to exploration.

“Most of the reason why I do this shit is because I’m bored. I mean I don’t really want to just strum three chords, I’m not putting that down, but I’m writing stuff for myself and I’d rather do something else.”

“I like people who can do something so fucking weird but still write a great song. Tom Waits is a great influence as well.”

With a new record in the pipeline Brian is looking forward to working with accordion player Kent Eastwood, a possible relation to Clint, and cellist Lauren Yates, classically trained but willing to learn.

“Yeah Kent pretty much plays every accordion gig in Sydney, and Lauren is classically trained, with orchestras, so this is new for her, with a band.”

It seems Brian is taking people out of their own comfort zone now, passing on his adventurous side. But for now it’s back to the toilet and the Essential Tommy Emmanuel collection.

Check out Brian Campeau single launch 30th November at Fringe Bar and his performances at Peats Ridge.

Photo By Pepper Ingham

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