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KAMERA is the latest AOR sensation, but after talking with the band I found out they are not a new band, because they have been playing ever since the early 1980s! Nevertheless, the Demo CD I recently reviewed was their first release. Musically KAMERA is playing pure 80s AOR, not unlike SURVIVOR, SHOOTING STAR and HIT THE GROUND RUNNIN'. Anyway, they're working on their very first full-length CD, which should be out very soon. The band told me it will blow away every fan of AOR/ Melodic Rock, so be aware of KAMERA in 2002. I did an interview with this great band from the Chicago area. Let's see what they have to say...

Please introduce your band, when did you form KAMERA and did any of you play in bands before KAMERA?

Kamera was originally formed back in 1984 with Greg Flores as the founding member. After several incarnations of the band, and a period of playing clubs, and recording, we decided to take a hiatus after the music scene in the USA switched primarily to grunge and rap. Reforming the group late in 2000, we found the musical goals of the drummer and bass player we had at that time weren’t in line with the goals and direction that founded Kamera. The remaining members of the band (Greg, Vince, and Scott) decided to continue pursuing the project by replacing both musicians. We contacted our current bass player, Marshall Barber, whom has played in previous projects, to join the band. At that time we were auditioning drummers when our current drummer, Johnny Santana, contacted us for an audition and completed the band. Our current line-up is Greg Flores; Lead Vocals/Lyricist, Vince Michaels; Guitarist/Keyboardist/Engineer, Scott Nobles; Keyboardist/Guitarist, Marshall Barber; Bassist/Guitarist, Johnny Santana; Drums/Percussion. We’ve all been involved in various bands over the past 20 years. Oddly enough, all of us have either met or played together prior to forming Kamera.

Can you tell us all about your recordings so far?

Over the years we have recorded several songs and captured ideas in small local studios. But our current project, which is our debut CD, is in its final stage and is due to be complete by the middle or end of January 2002 showing the diversity of our collective music styles and influences.

You worked with one of SURVIVOR’s engineers, how did you get in touch with him and how was working with him?

Greg flew up to Lake Geneva Wisconsin to scout out a studio by the name of “Royal Records”. When he arrived he met Jim Bartz whom was working under Frank Fillipette (Foreigner, Tall Stories, Adrian Belew, etc.) and he was recording Jim Peterick and Frankie Sullivan of Survivor for their album “Too Hot To Sleep”. Greg then made arrangements with Bartz to engineer a three-song demo CD for Kamera. Over a period of about four months after we began working with Bartz, the demo was completed and released. Bartz brought to Kamera the production and quality we wanted to hear, which paralleled our favorite bands. As you can tell from the song “Chasing Shadows”, which we included in the recent four-song demo we sent you, he nailed the sound big time! Working with Bartz was difficult at times, but only because this was our first time working with a producer. At times we had a hard time accepting his production directive as in the song “It’s Over”, another of the three-song demo he produced, which originally had a totally different ending. He suggested a change, which we implemented,
that included reverting back to the beginning of the song with a gong and then fading out. The final production of the song is stellar.

Did you know that your kind of music has a huge following here in Europe and there are quite a few labels specialized on AOR?

We’ve known that AOR was big in Europe for a while. Before the global Internet thing hit, we just read concert reviews and followed our favorite bands, which were always doing well in Europe and the UK.

I passed on some addresses of labels to you. Are you going to contact them, because I think they will love what you guys make?

Currently we’re pursuing all opportunities to be signed with indie or major labels in the USA and Europe.

If you can sign a label, would you be interested?

Getting signed by a good label who believes in us and loves our music as much as we do is our ultimate goal and the reason we reformed our band. But before signing with any label, as a band we must have a united agreement.

You’re working on your first full-length CD, can you tell us about the included songs?

The CD will contain 11 or 12 songs of very diverse music showing our AOR, melodic, and progressive styles. The quality and diversity of this CD will be no surprise for any of our current fans. But the new listener will be blown completely away, which is exactly what we’re aiming to do.

Are you popular in your area?

Now more then ever. Getting back out has been a huge breath of fresh air in both the Chicago and Indianapolis areas.

What are the plans for the next coming months?

Currently we’re finalizing our CD and pursuing production for our first promo video. Were also anticipating a touring schedule which will begin to come together and appear on our website, early in 2002.

Finally, do you have anything to add for our readers?

The interests we’ve recently received from the European community has been staggering and a vital shot to further intensify our commitment to succeed. With that commitment brings in a new year as “our year”. The year when the word “X-posure” takes on a whole new meaning, as that is the title of our debut CD. We also see ourselves playing in front of many new fans both at home in the USA as well as abroad. All we can say is GET READY!