Shoot The Shit…
Name: Cam Baines
The Shit: Following our Descendents feature interview on Episode 43 we have a new ‘Shoot the Shit’ with Cam Baines of Bodyjar. Some band reunions are just whack – but to see Bodyjar on stage again with a huge lineup including Frenzal Rhomb, The Bouncing Souls and The Descendents will no doubt be awesome. Have a read about how a couple of get-togethers last year has somehow steamrolled into playing one of the biggest tours of the year with their idols. Awkward silences talking to punk legends, their greatest tours, and new music in the form of Cola Wars – a cool little chat.
In August last year you announced a couple of reunion shows for the ‘No Touch Red’ re-release. That basically steamrolled into a full Australian tour and now you are playing Big Day Out and probably one of the biggest tours of the year with The Descendents. Did you every envisage being this busy with the band again back when you announced those first couple of ‘No Touch Red’ shows?
After the ‘last tour’ in 2008 we definitely thought that would be it for good! I guess we kept getting offers to play one-off shows but we just said “no”. Then after a couple of years we kinda thought would it be cool to go play the old songs and just have some fun. To be honest, I reckon we all missed it. So after the ‘No Touch Red’ shows we said yes to Big Day Out shows because it’s usually a sick show to play and Descendents are our favourite band ever so we couldn’t knock that back either. We feel lucky to be asked. The fact folks still remember us is rad.
How was getting out for a full tour again after a bit of a break? What did you notice had changed since you were doing the rounds regularly back in the day – besides everyone being older?
Well we split the tour into halves so we only ever had to do three shows in a row, then another two shows six months later. But it felt about the same I think, except more fun because I think we were able to enjoy the cool things about touring a bit more. Like having beers with folks you haven’t seen for ages, going out after shows and having more fun actually putting together and playing a solid set list. We had to put a full stop on the days of touring hard for ages and then recording because it had all become a bit dull. But now its seems like it would be fun again.
I read Stephen Egerton from The Descendents say he was looking forward to the tour because he was honestly a fan of all the bands including Bodyjar. I assume the feeling is mutual on your part? Bouncing Souls and Frenzal included?
Frenzal are cunts but at least there a good band. Bouncing Souls are great as well – I have two of their albums and I flogged them to death a few years ago just because I loved them so much. But The Descendents are the reason we are so excited about this tour. It’s not only the first real tour we’ve done since 2008, but it’s with the band that really changed my life. I think they had a really strong affect on me when I was in my teens and really got me into punk and hardcore. I wrote them letters when I was 15!
The tour has to be one of the best lineups of the year, maybe the last few years. What other tours can you remember playing that were this huge or are just favourites in general?
I remember we did a few big bills with The Living End back in the day. Like Blueline Medic, The Living End and us. Also the first time Blink 182 came out the bill was Mid Youth Crisis, Blink 182, Bodyjar and Pennywise…in that order!
Can you describe what it’s like when you see these guys from legendary bands again after such a long time? Are you still nervous and have those awkward silences?
Oh fuck yeah! I was saying last night to the guys that I’ll still be nervous talking to them because they are total punk rock legends! I mean even after recording albums with these guys and knowing that they are cool dudes, I’ll still probably get all awkward and weird but I’ll just have to get through it.
Milo asks if you want to play a song with them on stage last night of the tour. Which song do you go for and why?
Holy shit, don’t even go there! Coolidge for sure! Haha. I know all of them. I actually got to sing for ALL a couple times. Just a song or two. I was so stoked!
What about your own setlist. Not having to play ‘No Touch Red’ in full this time how does it come together? Anything you can remember accurately makes the list?
We’ve had a couple jams and we have the set list all written. We just go over the ones we really need to. It’s hell fun not having to play ‘No Touch Red’. We will just blast a few of the songs people hopefully know. We got a few new-but-kinda-old ones like ‘Underwater’, ‘Fall to the Ground’ and ‘Remote’. We have a few extras too in case people ask for something in particular.
Lets talk Cola Wars for a second – your ‘other’ band with Shane from Bodyjar. Your EP ‘The Heartless Hype’ is out around The Descendents tour. Any plans to tour on it?
Yeah it’s out on the 11th of February. We’re doing a Melbourne launch on the 15th but can’t tour until mid year caus Mikey’s having a kid with his lovely wife Jess. We’re into it though. The video came out great and the production is tight, we just need some people to hear it.
You actually put the word out (a little tounge in cheek I’m assuming) to fans to suggest a name for the EP. There were some good ones – but why did you land on your own ‘The Heartless Hype’? Any specific meaning behind it?
There wasn’t one serious suggestion from anyone they were all joke names! Still funny. ‘Dillusions of Grandad’ was a good one. ‘Heartless Hype’ comes from the lyrics in one of the songs – Deeper. It’s just a pessimistic view of our world where everything is heartless hype with no substance. Mainstream media and scripted realty shows really shit me. Don’t get me started.
How would you describe the sound of Cola Wars to your average Bodyjar fan?
I guess I have less to do with the songs and it’s more of a straight ahead rock band that has little moments of noise and weirdness rather than a punk band like Bodyjar. More melody and structure than Bodyjar. It’s fun to play and not have sing as much. I love the guys in the band. Mikey has a great voice and great attitude. Same with Mark the bass player – he’s awesome. I hope these guys get something out of it because they deserve it.