I was recently able to sit down and have a great conversation with the frontwoman of the Texas Progressive Metal band, Oceans of Slumber. I talked with Cammie about music, life, the pandemic, and some of the movements we are facing today. We talked quite a bit and learned some plans that they may just have up their sleeves in the future for their fans. Now here is some of the questions that were asked and the answers that she gave me.
How was the writing process handled for the new album in the middle of a global pandemic and was it harder to get everything complete with the restrictions on everyone at this time?
Cammie told me that they were already done with this new album before the pandemic hit and had been sitting on it for a little chunk of time now. So, they were all together sort of when they were writing all the music and lyrics for the new album. She also told me that basically all the guys in the band write the music and she really does not have much to do with the writing of the music. She said that she usually gets to hear what they come up with and her and Dobber talk about it and he helps with the writing process and getting things tweaked when needed. Once she gets the music she said goes into her little dark room and starts writing the lyrics to the music that they have come up with.
How are you and the band coping with not being able to tour right now and are you guys planning any kind of live streams or drive in shows to support the new album?
Obviously, they are all bummed about not being able to tour and have tried scheduling shows and they just got postponed. They are trying to get something lined up and they have been discussing touring just not sure when they will be able to because everything is getting cancelled right now. Cammie did say they have been discussing a possible live stream with some questions and answers with a more intimate feeling for the fans in support of the new album that drops on September 4,2020 via Century Media Records.
What are some of the lyrical themes that you were wanting to make sure that you included on the album and what are you wanting your fans to take away from this album?
Cammie told me that she has always been an emotional writer and recently she has been watching a lot of history shows and documentaries centered around the development of societies and movements. She has been seeing the micro and macro stand points of these developments’ kind of like you can see in sociology. She was wanted to talk about how depression moves through a person in and out and can do the same thing in a society and that we are seeing some of these unfold in front our own eyes. She was also wanting to shed light about how everything in history affects everyone and some of the stuff we are seeing now that has happened throughout history is hard to digest and take it all in.
Can you share some insight to the writing of the songs “A Return to the Earth Below” and “The Adorned Fathomless Creation”?
A return to the Earth below is a look at the experience a person suffering from depression can affect you. It always seems that it can creep up on you without you even knowing it and it can creep up very slowly or it can hit you suddenly very fast. It seems that we can be doing fantastic and having a great time and we are up there flying high thinking that we are doing great with no cares in the world. Then the bell jar drops on you and you are just caught in there inside your depression feeling stuck like you were slammed back down to the Earth below you and you just try and handle it the best that you can. It seems like it is just a vicious cycle that continues to keep going until we get to the root of the problem and then that cycle can be broken.
The Adorned Fathomless Creation is about the dramatic effect of an entity that sweeps through society like the struggles that we are seeing in America right now. It is about how history repeats itself through some of these psychological patterns that we are seeing now. For example, how some people grow up that have seen large amounts of violence or had violence done to them they are sometimes violent towards others and do not see anything wrong with it. The way that the oppressed usually becomes the oppressor in many situations and it is a vicious machine that just keeps going.
Being that you are the main lyricist did the stories that we are all seeing and hearing unfold before us right now in our lives have any effect on your songs and have you had any personal experiences with these subjects that people are facing today?
Cammie said that she was raised to always be aware that she was black and that some people were not going to like her because of the color of her skin. Because of this she is always aware that someone may not like her just based on her skin tone and that she must always be aware of her surrounding so that she does not get herself in a bad situation. She said she would get messed with in school for being different and called names or not included just because she was a black girl. She said that this sense of anxiousness that she always has is a big driving force to her songs and the messages that she puts into them. She is always having to think about if a threat is real or if it is just a made-up threat in her head and she is always having to be aware of who is in the room with her. Cammie also told me that sometimes people think that just because she is black she is a radical staunch supporter of the movements going across the nation right now without even speaking to her to get to know the person that she is.
Are there any songs that are included in the new album that were more difficult for you to write or perform?
Cammie told me that To the Sea was probably the most heart-breaking song to write and record and that she got emotional when they were recording it. She also told me that I Mourn These Yellow Leaves was another one that was emotionally charged and heartbreaking to write and record for the new album. Cammie said that she is really looking forward to performing The Adorned Fathomless Creation live. I told her that is one song that I would love to see performed live as well.
Besides touring what is the one thing that you look forward to being able to do again once the pandemic is over and we are able to resume normal lives again and do you feel they will go back to how they were?
She said she really is not sure if it will ever go back to normal even though Dobber and the other guys all say that it will get back to normal again. As far as getting back to normal she stated that she really is not sure what that will look like simply because one of the things that is happening to music business right now during the pandemic could change many things about live shows in the future. For example, there are many bars, clubs, and other venues that usually host live music that is going under and closing right now, and they may never open again. She told me there is so much more that goes on in a live show and what it takes to put on a concert. There is a lot of people out of work right now like the sound guys, stagehands, tour manager, and everyone else behind the scenes that is out of work right now. Who knows how those guys are doing because it is not really a normal thing that people think about to call and check on those guys and see if they are okay? We really should do that because there are so many people hurting right now. There may be many times we go to a certain part of town and see our favorite place to go catch a live show at and see that it is no longer in business because of the pandemic. So, it seems that some things will go back to normal, however there is also some big uncertainties to go along with it.
Do you feel like you are in more of a spotlight now being a Black Female in a metal band with the current events that we are having in the world right now and do you think that being in a metal band has given you a great platform to get your message out about how you feel about it?
She said that she absolutely did not expect to get the spotlight that she has received because of this. Cammie said that as soon they started to spotlight and feature black artists and musicians she said she would have never imagined the amount of post that would mention her and the amount of content that she was tagged in to showcase her and her talent to gain even more support. She said that she has always been mindful of what she says and what she does to use her platform and always wants it to help and keep using it to the best of her ability. She said that she has always involved her messages that she wants to get out to be in her music. She said until all of this she really did not realize the amount or scope of the reach that her and band really had, and she has really enjoyed the spotlight that they have been given. She also added that she loves a lot of the art that she has been seeing coming out these events.
How have you and the other band members been keeping busy when you were not writing and recording this album?
Cammie told me that since the album was already completed, they were not having to do anything with this record. She did say that they worked on several of the music videos for some of the singles that have come out and are going to come out before the whole album is released. Cammie also told me that they have been writing new material for another possible album whenever life can go back to normal. She also told me that they have just been doing what bored stuck at home musicians do they make music, so they have been working on new material for us.
I really enjoyed getting the opportunity to slow down for a minute and have a conversation with the incredibly talented Cammie Gilbert. As soon as I got on the phone with her, I could tell this was be going to be a great interview and a great conversation. She has such a calming sense to her when you are talking to her and she seems like such a great person. I am excited to see the new album coming out and will certainly be buying a copy of it as soon as it is available. I also really look forward to seeing what else they come out with in the future and mostly look forward to getting a chance to see them perform live again one day!