Saturday, September 25, 2010
THIS IS A STORY ABOUT TWO HOT BLONDES...CARMEN AND CAMILLE TELL CHAPTER-BY-CHAPTER THEIR JOURNEY WITH MTV'S TRL, THE HILLS, & THEIR TWIN-NESS
When people think of independent musicians, stereotypical images of dark bands playing a monotone collection of notes usually come to mind. But, if you're apart of a blonde twin duo and rock out to bubbly pop rhythms instead, you just might become the exception to this rule.
We have seen Carmen and Camille grow from cute - as youngsters with their own "rec-room band" (which have built a pathway for their performances on MTV'S Total Request Live) - to sexy, being featured in women's fashion magazine ELLE and men's premier technology publication Stuff Mag - "for different reasons."
Of course, it's also because majority of the songs on their first album "Two" were listened to on the mass-producing reality show "The Hills" (another MTV venture), and their most recent hit "Shine 4 U" just snagged the Chum Emerging Artist Initiative award, which has connected them to Canuck radio airplay and their video acquiring another type of airplay on MuchMusic.
With another possible album in the works - as well as a reality TV show - we can foreshadow that Carmen and Camille won't be leaving MTV anytime soon. Here's my as-adorable-as-hell Q&A with the ladies.
V.B. You guys are twins :) Any funny twin stories? Is there a good or bad twin? Do you guys ever switch places or share a special interest that only you two do together?
C&C We tried switching places a couple times in high school, but it always backfired. Camille ended up having to take a test for me, so finally, we had to admit to the teacher we had switched places. It just never ended up being that funny to trick people. We have had a couple of different boyfriends confuse us over the phone or even in person (laughs), but it's pretty rare. We look less alike than we used to. We definitely have a very strong bond though. I don't know if it's a "twin" thing or just the fact we have spent most of our lives together, but we know each other inside and out. We feel very lucky to have a partner in this crazy music business we are in.
V.B. You guys had a "rec-room band" as kids, which led onto MTV's Total Request Live? How exactly did that work?
C&C We were forming bands from a very young age with friends. We started The Clashers in elementary school with our best friend. We would get her little sister to tape interviews with us, and we would pretend she was interviewing us - like Oprah. As we got older, we kept doing music and, over the past several years, have been able to do some awesome things - like play on TRL.
V.B. You guys have musical influences that range from the likes of Pink Floyd to Led Zeppelin to Sheryl Crow to No Doubt. Would you say these influences are evident in your music, lyrics, or image?
C&C We grew up listening to rock bands like U2, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Led Zeppelin... Our first concert our parents took us to was Robert Plant actually, so we have always had a soft spot for a good guitar riff and rock'n'roll. I'm sure that's why it's important to us to have guitars in our music - we play them live. And Gwen Stefani has always been an inspiration, musically and image-wise. She's just so cool, and she's a great performer live.
V.B. You have two albums - Don't Play Me Out and Two. How do the two albums differ from eachother? Where did you intend to place the sense of growth as an artist in one or both albums?
C&C Two was our first album and was years in the making - in a sense - because it was songs from our entire lives up to that point. We made a conscious decision to try something a bit different after Two, which had been a very pop-rock album. With Don't Play Me Out, we wanted to have more of an indie sound. We worked with Howard Redekopp who has worked with bands - like Mother Mother and Tegan and Sara. We got to be very hands-on both albums actually, which was cool. The music we are writing now has a bit more dance elements to it, but it's still in the pop/rock vein. We like trying different things; we're Gemini's :)
V.B. Your most recent hit "Shine4U" is playing all over radio stations in Canada, with its music video playing all over MuchMusic. How was it making the video? How did you come up with the concept?
C&C The whole process of making "Shine 4U" was a highlight of this year for sure. We worked with Aaron A from The Field on the concept. We wanted it to be fun and shiny, because the song is fun and shiny and also has some live aspects to it. We are proud of that video; they did a great job. We shot it in Toronto, which we always love to visit. Shine 4U was produced and co-written with Ryan Stewart and had a crazy number of remixes - over 300 around the world.
V.B. You guys were/still are "independent music artists." What is your advice for independent artists wanting to become as successful as you are?
C&C Well, first of all, "believe in yourself." As cliche as it sounds, it's true. And having a team of people around you that are dedicated to the project is invaluable. We're lucky to have people behind the scenes that help in so many ways.
V.B. You have acquired great promotion in Elle, Stuff, and Toro. How did you find the exposure? What were the differences in being written in men's, technology, women's, or fashion publications?
C&C (Laughs) Good question. Well, men's magazines tend to focus on the fact that we are twins for some reason ;) But, we have had some fun interviews and photo shoots over the years. Toro was a fun day of interviews and photos; we did the shoot at a Ferrari and Masarati dealership. At the very end, Drake came in to the store. The angles are always different in each format, but hopefully, the common theme is raising awareness about 'Carmen and Camille' and letting people know more about us.
V.B. You guys have set stage in cities internationally across the Globe, including London, Vancouver, Boston, New York, Dubai, LA, Austin, and more. Would you say any or a few of these cities' lifestyles are so distinct from that of Toronto's? Anything specific or fascinating you have learnt or experienced while travelling across the world?
C&C Traveling is one of our favorite things; you really do hope to take something away from each place you go to. Europe has always been a highlight. I could see myself living in London; we love our tea and have some great friends over there. And the audiences were very supportive when we played over there. And getting to play for the troops in Dubai, Egypt, Greece... those are moments we will never forget. These people are far away from home, sometimes for a really long time, and you could see that you were bringing a bit of home to them. It was an honor. But one thing I have noticed is how much I appreciate Vancouver, the more time I spend away from it. It was a great place to grow up; I think my heart will always be in that city, no matter where I live or travel to.
V.B. You had your songs on The Hills. Did you meet any of the celebrities? You also have a television show in the works. Will it be anything like "The Hills" - with all that reality show drama?
C&C We have met some of the Hills cast over the years in LA. It's crazy that there is no more Hills anymore; we loved having our songs on the show. There are definitely some cool things ahead we will be doing with acting...
V.B. Do you have any particular goals (singing or non-singing) for the future?
C&C Well, first and foremost, we want to win a Grammy. That is a dream that we have written on post-it notes on our mirror for years. Positive projection! And it is a dream to do a full-on world tour. And it would be really cool to be on Broadway! And on a personal level, just to be good people that spread love and music and contribute in a positive way in this world.