Sunday, February 18, 2024

How Cameron Hons Has Kept Original Music Alive For The Past 20 Years



Cameron Hons may not be a household name by any means, but this Underground Alternative Comedy Rock musician from Sydney, Australia has been continuing to enjoy making new and original music for the past 20 years. The guy who is behind such songs as "Caught In The Act", "Going Backwards", 'That Sounds Very Elitist", "Texting You At Midnight", "That's Not Rock & Roll" and more As he currently celebrates his 20th anniversary of original music, it surely has been a busy time for the year for him already. At the start, he released a "career" spanning Greatest Hits compilation album - "Greatest Hits - 20th Anniversary Edition" along with a brand new Pirate Party The Band album "Useless Island" - the group's first new album within a year, as well as the brand new Azure Star album that surprisingly came out of nowhere, "Feel The Sun".  He also recently sold out his Digipak compilation album "Triple Trouble" that only had 100 physical copies, but is still available digitally. The album included original tracks he's recorded with Peter Northcote & Harris Stamos over the years on the one collection.

Though Cameron does not read music, he has enjoyed being self taught and playing by ear for this entire time. "A lot of people made fun of me for not knowing how to read music." Said Cameron. "According to some idiots, they think when you go into music, you have to have a background of music theory or you suck, but that's not true. Just recently I found out Elvis Presley was another self taught by ear player. A lot of my favourite bands don't really rely on music theory and just play music to have fun and record. That's what I do."

Inspired by the likes of bands such as Deep Purple, AC/DC, Megadeth, Status Quo, Queen, and Shakin' Stevens to name a few, Cameron started making music back in 2004 with his first band, The Country Folk People with friend Stefan Goslinga. They cut a couple of albums from 2004 - 2006. With tracks like "I Got Hit By A Car And I Died", "Annoying Sticks", "Bush Tucker Mother Fucker" and "Farm Yard Fucks", these kinds of songs would pave way for what Cameron's music would evolve into through the years to come.

Although he's only made 1 professional studio EP, 2017's "A Whole Lotta Nothing - Best Hits Re-Recorded", Cameron continues to have the enjoyment of making music from his own home instead of always having to hire out studios. "We cut a track for the first Deep Purple Tribute Album back in May 2020 when Covid hit and cancelled a plan to record another Studio EP with the same friend who did "Whole Lotta Nothing" and we were looking forward to it. But when COVID came I just said 'why not come over and record at my place instead." So he did. "The thing we recorded was the drums for the "Never Before" cover. We did 3 takes and chose the best one. I remember the headphone pieces I was using only had 1 side working so I was playing along to the track in mono, but somehow nailed it and at the end of the session he said 'This room has great reverb. The drums sound amazing' and I had to agree. I've been recording music in my own home since 2004." 

While he enjoys the creative process of recording, he does have a fair share of critics. "I get insults from a lot of people, sometimes they make fun of me for not knowing how to read music, to not having what they think is the correct technical set up for music recording, to people who refuse to even bother to listen to any of my new material and think I am terrible based on some old songs I have done which were actually supposed to be funny. There's nothing worse than people coming in and telling you what to do with your own creative process. It used to annoy me but overtime I learned to overcome, laugh off and just ignore them. If I go out of my way to get a bunch of expensive gear and remodel my room into a full on studio with expensive equipment I would not enjoy that at all. The recording gear that I have is for a reason, to make things simple and enjoyable, plug in play & record without all the hassle."


Cameron recording music in 2006.

The recording gear Cameron currently uses is nothing more than a Zoom H6 Recorder & a couple of Sure Beta 57 A Microphones. When recording songs especially rock tracks, he prefers using amps over a digital set up and "doesn't really do much" to the songs afterwards when they're recorded to capture the essence of what they originally were. There is no overproduction but he does do some occasional mixing. "I use Gullfoss, a few EQs, and maybe a few things on RX10 but that's about it. I'm not a perfectionist and I don't waste hours trying to get the mix sounding perfect over and over again. If it sounds good enough to me I'll keep it."

Cameron gets frustrated about the difficulty to get people to listen to music online. "Uploading your music to the internet does have its downsides." Says Cameron, "People online don't have the right attention span, and social media sites like Facebook simply refuse to promote your work. Due to their recent policy change musicians are not allowed to upload music of theirs in videos anymore. X (Twitter) does have a dedicated Bandcamp player which is good. But other than that there isn't really anything. I tried uploading my music to Spotify etc a while back but didn't think it was worth continuing the subscriptions. Mostly I enjoy putting my music up online for archival purposes." 

Cameron recording music in 2023

At the end of the day, Cameron never bothers to waste time by trying to come up with a smash hit song. "I just enjoy recording whatever I think is a good idea. The "Greatest Hits" album I put out a month or so ago features some songs from mine that I think are the best. I don't care to take notice of any of my streaming stats or whatever. I still enjoy making stuff on physical CD. People like the physical product. Digital stuff means nothing to me." 

What's next for Cameron for the rest of 2024? "I have slowly started to get a few tracks  together for my next album, I have about 10 new songs. I've had a difficult start to the year but it's only a matter of time before I start to record these new songs." Cameron's most recent album of original material was 'YOU CALL THAT MUSIC!' which was released back in November 2023. You can check it out here

For all other interesting releases, check out Cameron on various Bandcamp pages:


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