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tunesday – a chinwag with georgia maq of camp cope
snap by Nick Mckk

tunesday – a chinwag with georgia maq of camp cope

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“I’ve seen myself climb out of a dark place and into the hurricane of life.”

Running with the Hurricane, the awaited new album from Melbourne trio Camp Cope (aka Georgia Maq, Kelly-Dawn Hellmrich and Sarah Thompson), drops on March 25. It’s been four years since the release of the band’s raw and rage-y previous album, How To Socialise & Make Friends (which, in terms of historical events, feels like an eternity), but trust us when we say – it’s worth the wait. Ahead of the release, (as well as a slot at music festival Meadow this weekend and Camp Cope’s own tour in May) vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Georgia tells us about how the band has changed in recent years, working with friends and the story behind Running with the Hurricane.

In a nutshell, what’s the new album about? At its core, it's about experiences that I have had over the last five years. It’s about going through the fire with the people closest to you and coming out the other side and realising everything is OK.

At what point in the process of making the album did you decide to name it (and the title track) after your dad’s song, “Running with the Hurricane”, and what led to that decision? I have wanted to use that title for years and years and years, so in a sense I worked backwards from that. None of the songs I wrote ever really fit what that title meant to me, and I couldn’t work it as a lyric into a song, until I wrote this one. “Running with the Hurricane” is about pushing through adversity and life’s many challenges, and being at peace with the chaos and complexity of it all – acknowledging that it’s there but not being bothered by it. My mum has said that I need to learn to ride the waves and I take that with me now. In my head, I’ve seen myself climb out of a dark place and into the hurricane of life. I like to think about what someone said to me about how when you’re at rock bottom, the only way out is up.

Where did you write the album? Mainly in my house, completely alone. I come up with lyrics while doing chores or walking or working. I came up with the lyric from “Jealous”, “I’ve been dragging this chain around”, while watching a dog at the park running around with its leash still attached.

What was going through your mind at the time? A tiny monkey crashing cymbals.

How did Courtney Barnett and Shauna Boyle end up working on parts of the record? They’re both our friends and it all came about quite unplanned. I wanted a trumpet in a certain part of a song and Shauna is the best trumpet player we know. Courtney reached out to us and offered her guitar playing services to us as a friend. I knew there were parts in certain songs where I wanted a heavier guitar and she was perfect for that. 

You’ve gone from not being able to play live music for two years to recently playing live on US television. What was that experience like? It feels quite surreal because we haven’t been out of the country in years, so I didn’t really feel like it was happening. Very grateful that CBS wanted to share its platform with us and our friends, though.

What’s your favourite track to play from the album? We haven’t been able to play because of the pandemic, so we’ve only played a few songs from the album. I love playing “Blue” – it’s cute and fun to play live, and easy. 

Which upcoming gigs are you most keen to play? Our album launch shows up and down the east coast of Australia in May. I have a few ideas for how I want these shows to be different from the last time we played. I feel a lot more confident in myself and I think that’s going to make a huge difference. 

How has the band grown since How To Socialise & Make Friends? We’ve definitely all changed and become more confident since the second album came out. I feel like we’re all a bit more comfortable with who we are as people and as a band. We’re a lot more relaxed and fun because the pressure is off.

While you wait for Friday to roll around, tune into the band’s new song, “Jealous”, below.