Interview // Summer Camp

Photo by Lucy Johnson
Photo by Lucy Johnson

Photo: Lucy Johnson

“Don’t eat me, I’m just a li’l burger!” Elizabeth Sankey squeals, her impression of an anthropomorphic sandwich as unexpected as the preceding revelation that Summer Camp’s third full-length will be “a concept album through the history of American fast food”. In context, this isn’t quite so batshit. “Every band I love has made a bad album,” Jeremy Warmsley clarifies. “I think maybe we should make one on purpose, just to get it out of the way.”

The topic of burgers in our short chat is curiously, delightfully dominant.

“A bunch of people who met through our shows have got this club where they go and check out different burger places – that’s so cool,” Warmsley says, his joy of witnessing friendships formed by mutual fandom for their music so palpable. A desire to please seems essential to Summer Camp’s existence, extending even to the lowest of the low: journalists.

“I’m continually amazed and flattered when people take the time to write anything about us,” Elizabeth says. “I don’t want to encourage anyone to write a negative review for the sake of it, but I love a really well written and thoughtful bad review, it’s so helpful – although horrible to get.” Given the calibre of the eponymous follow-up to 2011’s Welcome To Condale, it doesn’t seem too likely the duo will have to deal with such negativity this time around. Conceived during last year’s festival season, the 11 tracks that made it to release were whittled down from an initial 50; a combination of home recordings and studio time at the hands of desk-man extraordinaire Stephen Street.

“He’s made records that I have literally listened to hundreds of times, so for us it was amazing. We felt really starstruck, the first time I was recording a bit of guitar for the record I was so nervous, my hands were sweaty.” Between working with Street and tightening up the songwriting process, Warmsley explains how Summer Camp has comfortably dodged the dreaded ‘sophomore slump’.

“More than ever we’ve revisited and edited and hopefully that’s part of why in my mind it’s a stronger album than Condale.”

Sankey chips in: “It was something that I was loathe to do – I don’t do drafts, I don’t go back over things, so it was actually quite hard for me to think ‘okay I need to look at these lyrics again’.” Reluctantly, she admits it was worth it. Meanwhile Jeremy, eschewing any false modesty, confesses it’s “eternally depressing that I’m never going to get to see us play live”.

As Elizabeth gently mocks him for this display, the couple’s true dynamic appears. Every bit as charming and witty as their music, all you need to understand the beauty of Summer Camp is a few minutes in the company of Elizabeth Sankey and Jeremy Warmsley.

Jack Urwin

Buy: Summer Camp – Summer Camp

Live: Heaven – November 17th