After eight years work, Jamie Cameron (The Last Dinosaur) is releasing his incredible new album The Nothing. Full of diverse, beautiful and emotively charged songs, the album tracks the dark and difficult times in his life, all the while offering a powerful sense of hope.
Your music has been featured on playlists called things like ‘The Most Beautiful Songs In The World’, what do you think it is about your music that really resonates with people on a deep level?
There was a comment on the video for Gusts of Wind Blowing in Different Directions that said (paraphrased): “This brings me to a place where I’ve never been before, but at the same time I can feel really confident with it. Like I’ve seen it in a dream, or even more ridiculous, in another life”. Half of the songs on our albums don’t have lyrics and the beauty of instrumental music is that you’re able to evoke strong feelings without telling the listener how they should be feeling. I can’t fully fathom how proud it makes me feel that, at least with that one person, something I created managed to inspire such a strange but specific feeling inside of them.
How would you describe the theme and story of ‘The Nothing’?
This album is the sound of someone trapped inside their own head trying to make sense of a personal loss and struggling to accept their own mortality. I said to a friend that I liked to imagine it was “life affirming”, they said, to them, it was more “death affirming”. I think that sums up the album perfectly.
How has your music developed since ‘Hooray! for Happiness’?
I would say that the most obvious difference is that The Nothing is a much more concise record than Hooray! for Happiness. I consciously wanted to explore ideas over a shorter time span this time around, which in hindsight I feel was an incredibly useful exercise.
Your new album is based on difficult circumstances and events in your life, what would you say is the albums message?
Everything will be okay in the end.
After spending eight years making the album, what made you decide it was complete and ready to release?
I knew subconsciously for a long time that it wasn’t quite there but the album finally started to come together after pulling the tracks apart and putting them back together with the help of Nick Rayner, aka Farewell JR. I was definitely far too close to the album to the point that I had lost perspective and I needed to loosen the grip. The first time he sent me back a mix of The Sea I was blown away. What he’s able to achieve with space between instruments is incomprehensible. After that I knew we were on the home stretch.
The album is also very diverse, how do you approach writing different songs for the same album?
Since I started back when I was 15, the most exciting thing for me about writing songs has always been that you can approach them completely differently each time. My personal motto is “Never write the same song twice”.
You’re also a photographer, do you feel that your different creative endeavours ever overlap?
I definitely feel that everything I create is connected in some way or another – everything is autobiographical, a snapshot of a second or a thought. For a long time I didn’t really feel like I existed unless I was making something. I quite like that photography is the complete opposite of making music, for me. Constantly looking outside, instead of inside.
Who or what inspires you right now?
We’ve had some comparisons to Penguin Cafe Orchestra which has inspired me to explore their back catalogue. There is so much to fall in love with and I would highly recommend to anyone reading to put on Air from Concert Program and go from there. Also, a few notes from the first 30 seconds of that song has made the wonderful Travelers by Julian Lynch pop into my head, so please listen to that right afterwards because I feel like they’ll go together perfectly.
Can you tell us about Nick Draked?
It came to me one night. The equation for social media success. Take one part current pop culture icon, mix with one part pop culture icon from the past (make sure they’re still very much relevant), the comedy comes from the contrast of the two and then boom, internet famous. I’m still waiting for the last part to be honest.