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Progressive Rock Interviews

Hate Camels

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Geoff Cleveland of the Hate Camels from 2008
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 3 at

Where are you from and how has that affected your music?
Denver. Constant lulls in significant activity give me free time to compose.
MSJ: What was your first instrument and how long have you been playing?
I've been playing piano since at least the age of three.
MSJ: Who is in your ultimate supergroup?
Dave Devine, Paul McDaniel, and Mike Whited Jr. and myself.  Hate Camels is my ultimate supergroup, corny though that may sound.
MSJ: What's the greatest thing that's ever been said about your music?
I don't remember his exact words, but Bill Hicks' logtime friend Kevin Booth told me that the Bill Hicks musical tribute captured Bill's personality.  Also, I'm quite proud of the quote from Hot Indie News: "Many of the tracks  make me physically ill."
MSJ: Who would you consider to be your musical influences?
Earliest: Carl Stalling, The Beatles. Most recent: Meshuggah, Mastodon. Most consistent: Frank Zappa, Jaki Byard.
MSJ: What's the last album you bought that you're enjoying?
tie: Meshuggah Obzen and Flight of the Conchords (self-titled)
MSJ: Have you seen any great live shows lately?
It's been awhile, but Mars Volta is coming soon.
MSJ: What is your guilty pleasure band?
I don't believe guilt and pleasure should ever be combined, but I'll go with Metallica.
MSJ: What was the first album you ever bought?
I think it was Firesign Theatre's Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers
MSJ: What was the first concert you ever attended?
Yes...a long time ago.
MSJ: If you could create your own fantasy music festival, who would the top 6 headliners be?
Fantomas, Meshuggah, Mastodon, The Mars Volta, The Wayne Shorter Quartet and, since it's my fantasy, Hate Camels.
MSJ: What is your favorite movie?
That's impossible to narrow down, but I'll say "Fear of a Black Hat"
MSJ: If you were a superhero what famous musician would be your arch-nemesis and why?
Diana Krall. To me she is the embodiment of mediocrity and non-creativity in jazz. Plus, she's rich and famous because of it.
MSJ: Have you ever illegally downloaded music?
No. I've also never legally downloaded music.
MSJ: Do you read any online music magazines, if so, which ones?
I have to admit I only read the online reviews of the Hate Camels CD.
MSJ: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
Out of a career full of continuous Spinal Tap moments, the top one was when a bandmember called on the day of a decent-paying, set-in-stone gig to say he couldn't play it because he had to work at a convenience store.
MSJ: The major labels have said that downloading of music is at the heart of  the problems they are having with lower sales - do you think downloading is a help or a hindrance?
That is prepostorous. Illegal downloading led to legal downloading, which has allowed labels to once again profit from selling the same music in a new format. The music industry has made billions of dollars from downloading.
MSJ: How do you feel about fans recording and trading shows?
No problem. Any true fan will buy the official live audio or video product, as long as it is higher quality than the bootleg.
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