Brian Campeau - MusicNSW


1. What was the first band you saw live?
The first band I saw live was Tina Turner, but I don’t really think that counts because I was way too young to appreciate it. Although i did like the song “we don’t need another hero”. And the Neville Brothers supported, so maybe that was the first band i ever saw live…. but really, i’d say the first band that i saw live that MATTERED was Sloan, a band from Halifax in Canada.

2. What’d you learn from them?
I learnt from them that taking risks is a great thing and that neither an artist nor a band should be afraid to try something new. With regard to their music, sloan has never been very challenging (nice tunes, simple pop songs) but in performance, they would often switch instruments, and would all take turns singing lead vocals. It’s not often that a band will do this, let alone do it well. This inspired me to fiddle with more instruments, and it also taught me to accept taking a backseat with performance if it means making a song sound better. Too often artists are in need of the spotlight, and find sharing it impossible which can be detrimental to the music. tsk tsk.

3. Got any pre gig rituals?
A scotch (or 20 if I’m nervous)? I find humming helps a lot before playing. It calms me down, and its a really good warm up for the voice. Stretching is good too, but i don’t do that nearly enough. I also find that being alone for the 20 mins before the gig helps, as i’m not always very social. But given the amount of gigs with no backstage area, this rarely happens.

4. What do you think the most important issue affecting artists in NSW is today?
That’s hard to say. I sometimes think money is an issue, as with most gigs, if you advertise properly, you spend much more money than you recieve, which can be tough if you don’t have a second job. Even more so if you are travelling and paying for accomodation, food, petrol, etc…
Secondly, and this goes for the industry in general, it’s very difficult to know who is trustworthy. As opposed to, say, working for Coca-cola, anybody in the music industry can claim to be a manager, or a record label owner, or a booking agent, and there is no one to say otherwise. I’ve often seen ‘managers’ do absolutely nothing for the artists, and i’ve also seen booking agents worsen an artist’s situation. I’ve also seen some music venues take their artists for granted by underpaying them, being rude to them, blah blah blah. It seems to me quite reasonable that if you want to succeed in an industry, respect and hardwork are crucial factors. Some disagree, i guess.

5. if you weren’t a musician what do you reckon you’d be doing?
If i wasn’t a musician i’d very likely be doing a job that made me money! what a difference that would make! Or I’d be doing a PHD in philosophy and make no money whatsoever…. decisions decisions!

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