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Hope For Agoldensummer is a family band out of Athens, Ga. For the past 10 years, they’ve traveled the countryside sharing their rustic, beautiful harmonies with the masses. For the past two years, they’ve been working on their newest album, Life Inside the Body, which was released on May 1. They’ve been touring since the beginning of April in support of the new album.
The last show of their tour will be this Saturday, May 19, at the Nelsonville Music Festival. ACRN had the privilege of talking with Claire Campbell from Hope For Agoldensummer about the tour thus far, what it’s like to work with your family, and, of course, the Nelsonville Music Festival.
ACRN: So how’s the tour coming along so far?
Claire Campbell: We get stuck in traffic every day and spend way too much money on gas and food and stay in places like the Red Roof Inn every night. I wish I could tell you something exciting that’s happened, but everything exciting that’s happened cannot go into print.
ACRN: Are there any complications that come out of being both a bandmate and a sister to Page?
CC: I mean no relationship is perfect, that’s for sure. We never get in screaming fights or anything. I mean, we did when we were kids, but I think now we’re more passive-aggressive. You know, we talk things out. Everything’s pretty diplomatic I would say, and I guess democratic in a way. The thing about being in a band is that everybody has to be happy. If people don’t get their way sometimes, they won’t wanna be around everyone else, ya know?
ACRN: How’s the promotion of the new album coming so far?
CC: Well it better be coming good because I’m paying $1000 a month! Joking. We hired a publicist for the first time. We’ve never done that before for an album. We just didn’t have the time. We both have full-time jobs elsewhere. Also, I guess I don’t love the business of music very much. I like some aspects of it, but a lot of it I don’t love. I don’t mind handing that kind of stuff off to someone else.
It all comes down to time and money. We do some promoting on our own when we do stuff for a website or a paper with someone that we have a personal relationship with already. For instance, we just got illustrated in the New Yorker, which is huge. Our parents saw it, and suddenly they think that this whole music thing that we’ve been doing is finally going to go somewhere! I’ve been at it since I was 18 and I’m 35 now. So it’s been a long time. Music isn’t how I make money; it’s how I spend money.
ACRN: How’d you find out about the Nelsonville Music Festival?
CC: Our agency is called Vulcan Army and we play shows with the people who do the booking there sometimes--they’re all musicians. It’s interesting because everybody that works for them are in a band called Winter Sounds, so they stay perpetually on tour. Since they’re booking agents, they just keep booking themselves and they never go home. They’re always booking us when they’re on tour. They’re always discovering new venues and new towns firsthand. Everyone on their roster [get to play] really great shows in really weird towns that we would never ever had played. I think half the people on their roster have played Nelsonville.
ACRN: So are you excited for the festival?
CC: I’m super excited about that festival. We don’t usually have time to camp out when we play those kind of festivals. You know how the festival atmosphere is; you get there and throw all your shit on stage, have a two-second lunch, play, and hope that people can actually hear what you sound like, and then throw your stuff off. I wish we had the luxury of hanging out, but we always have another town to play in. I think this is actually the first time we’ll be able to camp out because that show is the last show of our tour.
I also like that there’s not like 200 bands. As a musician, it’s kind of weird when there’s 3 other bands playing at the exact same time you are. It sort of throws you off. I wish I could say that I’m a good enough musician to tune that kind of stuff off, but I’m not. It definitely affects my performance if I can hear another band playing a song in another tempo in a different beat out of my left ear, and out of my left ear I hear my own song. It gets frustrating.
ACRN: Since you’re able to stay and hang out, which acts are you looking forward to see the most?
CC: Iron and Wine is ... awesome. I’m excited. That music is just gorgeous. Also, Andrew Bird is like, the best whistler on the planet. It’s so heavenly. It’s gorgeous. Shovels and Rope is currently one of my favorite bands and has been for a few years. They have the same booking agent as us. I don’t know if you’ve seen them, but it’s pretty mind blowing what they pull off with two people.
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