Friday, August 30, 2013
Noise & Pop: A Conversation With Cameron Keiber Of Eldridge Rodriguez
Cameron Keiber is perhaps best known as the co-frontman of Boston's indie stalwarts The Beatings or perhaps as a co-founder of Midriff Records the Boston/NYC based indie label he operates with his brother Clayton. However, over the past few years Cameron has been largely focused on writing and recording staggering noise pop under the moniker Eldridge Rodriguez.We recently got the chance to catch up with Cameron to discuss the recording of his next album, his label, a short lived project called No Love and playing this weekends AGP Presetned Summer Fades event.
Bryan Hamill : The last we spoke in this forum you had recently released You Are Released, how have the past couple of years since that release effected the music you are making these days?
Cameron Keiber: I think that with each album I work on I learn how to be a better writer and producer. I've learned how to not treat the work as too precious. It allows me to take more risks and be a better listener and in turn the writing has become stronger and more assured. I'm just trying new things with each album and I'm realizing that that new thing is often opening myself up more and more with each record. I think the first 2 full lengths and couple EP's where written as if I was an observer to the process or a passive participant, and I think that's a cop out. I'm trying to say what I mean as plainly as possible and stand behind it more now than I did before. It's really all you have. People don't expect you to be sincere in pop music. They expect you to be sentimental or saccharine or maudlin but not sincere and that excites me.
Bryan: What can you tell us about the recording of the in progress Eldridge Rodriguez album in terms of the line up and direction of the new tracks that you are currently working on?
Cameron: There has been a different line up for the band every few years and albums and I'm not sure why. But it's a trend and because of that we get new people involved which is great because you get to play to their strengths and skill set. The crew I have with me right now is wonderful. We are doing things closest to the way that I hear them in my head without compromising what the rest of the guys want to hear. Dennis (Grabowski ) and I have been playing together since college and through The Beatings so he knows how I write and I trust his instincts and that partnership is solid. Clayton (Keiber) has a very similar aesthetic as I do so we talk the same language with regard to noise and pop and tones and such and Dave(Grabowski) does stuff that blows my mind. He is a big electronic buff and he knows how to get those blips and buzzes that I wasn't able to get before he came on. It's a really great band.
Bryan: How does the Eldridge Rodriguez material differ from the material you've recorded with The Beatings or with No Love?
Cameron: No Love, a band I brought together over a year ago, fired me last week. I don't know why, you'd have to ask them.
The Beatings aren't as interested in trying new instrumentation, tech, etc. They are very comfortable and set in the way we record and write currently. For better or worse, I couldn't do what I'm doing now in Eldridge Rodriguez with The Beatings. It wouldn't get past the introductory stage. So I'm happy that I have an outlet to do this type of material with people who dig it, as it's become my primary venue.
Bryan: How has Midriff Records evolved since that label was started to help promote The Beatings recorded output?
Cameron: Clayton and I run the day to day instead of Mike and Tony. Aside from that, not a whole lot. The core principals of releasing sincere music regardless of genre and current trends remains. We've gotten a lot more bands on the roster and have a bigger footprint now, but the stuff that matters, the integrity and continuing to build everything from the ground up guided by a DIY ethos is intact. Everything is still totally hands on.
Bryan: You recently singed Guillermo Sexo and will release there new album, Dark Spring. Can you tell me how that partnership came about?
Cameron: We've known Reuben (Bettsak) from the scene for a couple of years now and they sent us the EP that they self released this past Spring and we flipped over Bring Down Your Arms and started talking with them about doing a full length.
Bryan: What can we expect from your set at this weekends AGP Presented Summer Fades show?
Cameron: Noise and pop... combined. We'll be doing a lot from the upcoming album. Hopefully people will dig it. If they don't, hopefully it doesn't ruin their night.
Bryan: You recently confirmed a show on September 8th at T.T. The Bears as part of their week long 40th Anniversary Celebration. What does it mean to you to be able to join the festivities?
It's really nice to be asked. The Beatings have a long history with the club and they've always been very good to Eldridge Rodriguez, as has Boston Emissions who are curating the night. I'd like to be all bravado and say that I expected to be asked, but the truth is I didn't. I totally expected that celebratory week to go off without a hitch without me. Now they have a hitch.
Eldridge Rodriguez plays The AGP's Summer Fades with Slowdim and The New Highway Hymnal at The New World Tavern in Plymouth on Sunday September 1st.
*Photo Credit: Johnny Anguish of Daykamp Music