CAMP STAG are a band that combine sweeping melodic intricacies with a cinematic vision, resonating in a powerfully enigmatic and heart-wrenching glory of which the likes of The National and Athlete could only achieve. 2014 saw the band’s most recent EP ‘Leviathan’ take them to newer heights, they have since been busy gigging around the UK supporting Little Comets and Dutch Uncles in recent months.
We caught up with CAMP STAG guitarist, Richard Dooley, to talk about his musical upbringing and the songs that have soundtracked his life.
Who was the first person to inspire you to pick up an instrument and play?
Rich: “When I was 10 years old I wanted to be James Dean Bradfield or Slash. A few years later I discovered Johnny Marr and Jonny Greenwood, and everything changed.”
What was the first instrument you learned to play?
“The upturned saucepans and spoons.”
When did you realise that music was your passion and you had to pursue it?
“I never really had any kind of epiphany like that, I’ve always just played. I think people who need to create music just naturally drift together.”
Where did you play your first gig?
“It was with my first high school band, playing to a bunch of toddlers in the assembly hall at St Chad’s primary school in Newcastle, where our drummer’s mum was head teacher. I might book us a tour of primary schools, come to think of it. They were the most receptive crowd I’ve ever played to.”
What has been the definitive record that has made the most impact on your life?
“‘Generation Terrorists’ by the Manics. The first record I bought and the reason I picked up a guitar.”
What’s your earliest musical memory?
“My mum took the whole family to see Louise at the Royal in Hanley when I was a kid. Cleopatra supported and my brother and I met their mum by the merch stall.”
Who is your favourite songwriter?
“Paul McCartney. Everything he touches turns to melody.”
A song lyric that means a lot to me is…
“I really love the lyrics to ‘Do You Realize??’ by the Flaming Lips. I saw them play under the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank a few years ago, and Wayne Coyne introduced the song by reminding us that “sometimes it’s good to feel small”. He’s right.”
A song that describes my current mood/frame of mind at this time is…