Date: August 4th, 2012
Venue: Hevy Festival, Kent
Interviewer: Jack Bastard
Playing early in the morning didn’t deter Belgian post-hardcore act Campus from putting on an intense, energetic live show and revealing why they are gaining as much attention as they are in mainland Europe. We caught up with them after their set and got an insight as to what it is that makes Campus, what they thought of the set themselves and more:
DP!: So you just had an amazing set. How did you think that it went?
Martjin: It went fine, up until the third or fourth song and my first full English breakfast started working its way out. So, I had fun up until that. Afterwards when I threw up, I had an awesome day. A lot of people showed up already this morning so we were pretty happy.
DP!: So the British cuisine is not agreeing with you?
Martjin: It was my first full English breakfast ever. The rest of the guys stopped in the van and I stopped in the bed and breakfast down the road. I was polite and ate my complete breakfast and I met it again on stage a bit later.
DP!: You released ‘Empathy’ earlier on in the year. Are there any plans for a full-length?
Tuur: Absolutely. We are in writing mode as well in between all of the tours and shows we’re doing right now so it’s pretty busy. But good, because we’re getting good vibes so expect something huge. We’re totally putting our heart and souls into this album.
Martjin: We just started writing a couple of weeks ago with new songs. We don’t have a date set yet, but we think it will be around Spring next year.
DP!: You’ve been playing with some huge bands: While She Sleeps, Cancer Bats, etc. What’s been a highlight?
Martjin: There’s been a couple of highlights. Personally, I joined the band last November, I replaced their old singer and up until now, our tour a couple of weeks ago with Last Witness, Architects, While She Sleeps, Your Demise was amazing. Hit The Deck was an amazing day and really fun to do.
DP!: How do you feel the UK crowd compares the European?
Tuur: I think they take the music a little more seriously, they’re more listeners. They listen but they also go nuts as well. A lot of people at the back, you see they’re like “that’s a good riff”.
Martjin: Like we just played at 11:30 in the morning and I was surprised at how many people showed up for a small Belgian band. We’re not really huge, we’re just on the doorstep of getting there, so it’s kind of fun to see that many people at 11:30 and also the movement in the crowd also.
DP!: What songs do you find get the crowd going?
Tuur: We’re still kind of doing where we mix up sets. We mixed it up this time because we released the ‘Empathy’ EP in May, so we were like “ok we have to play all new songs and it’s fun to see the crowd react to those songs in a positive way. Most people don’t know our songs out here but ‘Tendency’ in Belgium is a classic. You say like “the next song is ‘Tendency’” and they’re like “yeah!”
Martjin: I used to watch their shows because I only joined in November, and every time ‘Tendency’ played I noticed they started doing a circle pit even before the song would start. It was going already in silence and then they’d play the song so ‘Tendency’ is a crowd mover.
DP!: Would you say you had a big Belgian following?
Martjin: Yeah, we’re doing alright, we’re modest. It’s different for me because, like I said, I joined the band in November.
DP!: How long has Campus been going?
Tuur: 6 years.
DP!: So you really are the new guy then.
Martjin: I really am the new guy. Actually, the guitarist is also a new guy. It’s kind of funny because I’ve known the guys for a long time. I’ve been in three other bands and the funny thing is my first band played their first show with you guys [gestures to bassist]. It’s really funny because we’ve known each other through it all.
DP!: You guys have got a diverse sound. You’ve got the melodic parts and the beatdowns. What kind of bands were you guys listening to as you were growing up?
Martjin: I used to listen to the Reflections Records bands like Given The Ghost, Modern Life Is War, that kind of stuff. Other stuff like Norma Jean, they’re here today. Every time it’s like bringing a knife to a gun fight because people go mental for them.
DP!: Have you played with Norma Jean before then?
Martjin: Yeah, they did! I played in another band at the same festival.
DP!: So you kind of played with them together then!
Martjin: Yeah. It was awesome.
DP!: So what are the plans for the rest of the year?
Tuur: Touring, playing…
Martjin: We’re doing two more shows in the UK next week. We’re playing Camden Barfly with The Elijah and Palm Reader. Then we’re doing Sheerness on Saturday and then we have a week or two off and then we have a show with Every Time I Die in Italy. Then it’s just more writing. I think we’re doing small tours and weekenders inbetween with some UK bands because we definitely want to come to the UK way more.
DP!: Well, we look forward to seeing you. Is there anything else that you’d like to say?
Martjin: Yeah. Just check out our EP, ‘Empathy’, and we recently released a new video, ‘Young Bastard’, so check it out.
You can also read our review of the band’s festival performance that day by clicking here.
Written by Jack Bastard
Interview by Jack Bastard