Joseph Campbell from High-Class Vermin and Strathclyde Band Society on the Glasgow Music Scene.



Kayla from Songplistic got together with Joseph Campbell, a young drummer involved in the Glasgow jam scene, rock band High-Class Vermin and the Strathclyde Band Society to talk about recording drums, what it is like to jump into jams and what he's up to now:


Kayla: Hi Joe, thanks for taking the time to talk to me, to start off can you tell me a little bit about your background in music.


Joseph: First and foremost I'm a drummer. I first got into music by listening to Rock and all the classic tunes that come with that. When I really started delving into music I began to develop an interest in Blues and Jazz, which really helped me to develop and expand my skills as a musician too.


Kayla: So, when did you feel that you really began to come into your own as a musician?


Joseph: Once I moved to Glasgow for university. I noticed that the live music scene here was much more vibrant than in my native Newcastle and I absolutely loved it. From then on I started to explore the local venues and jam nights, overcoming my nerves and trying to play in front of people as often as possible to develop my musicianship, it became infectious. I would frequently go to Swing and the Howling Wolf, bars in Glasgow with incredible jam nights. Now it comes much more naturally to me and I have much more confidence playing live. I also have developed valuable connections in the music scene because of it. I was still going to them right up until the pandemic hit and everything was shut down. It's an incredible way to cut your teeth and I would highly recommend anyone looking to develop as a musician go look for their closest jam night and go up and play a couple of songs, despite their nerves!


Kayla: That's great to hear Joe, love it. Did you do much jamming before you came into Glasgow?


Joseph: I did very little jamming before. In fact it was only ever between friends, but never in front of strangers. Playing in Glasgow was the first time I played in front of strangers and with people of different musical tastes and varying musical talent.


Kayla: So how did you develop your musical talents before coming to Glasgow?


Joseph: I actually learned through the Yamaha Music School using the Rock School exams, but they only taught you the basic Rock and Pop type songs - things that you'd find in the top 40 - or else pieces written for the purpose of sitting a grade. Jamming really helped me branch out from that and I grew a lot independently from the grades and the school to really find my own style.


Kayla: So were you in any bands or where did you play your music before you got involved in Glasgow?


Joseph: Yes, just the one... and since I was so young and inexperienced I really thought that it was the peak of my musical journey at the time. It was a really enjoyable experience to put together our own first band though, as the idea just came together on a night out. We named ourselves Havana Parade as they were the names of the two bars we were in between on a bar crawl.


Kayla: That's not a bad name at all actually! So back to Glasgow, tell us about your band High-Class Vermin.


Joseph: Yea sure, I'd say Vermin is Probably my biggest musical exploration. I was looking to get out of Newcastle and I was looking to explore musical options outside of University and get out of my comfort zone. Obviously as a musician it is important to really push yourself, so I went to Facebook to search for musicians and then I came across Ross (of Songplistic and High-Class Vermin) who had posted an advert online. It was nice to come across somebody who wanted to put music out there to develop themselves and their art. Joining Vermin was great for developing confidence, for myself and as a musician, just in general. We've had ups and downs and played plenty of gigs with an EP on the way, it's all been a wild ride.

Kayla: That's great to hear! can you talk about recording with High-Class Vermin a little bit. Recording your upcoming EP and any other things you guys have done?


Joseph: Well the first time I ever properly recorded was with Vermin. I had recorded things in the past, but they were through music schools and they weren't very well put together and didn't allow for much artistic freedom. With Vermin I knew that whatever I was playing was going to be very much my own. Our first time recording was at Carlton Studios, where we attempted to record a demo, but at that time we were a bit premature. We were quite hasty with it and I was suffering with a cold when I was recording my part. At the time I thought it went well, but then I listened back and it didn't come out quite as good as what I had heard in my head. The experience really allowed me to realize that you can be as good a musician as you want, but the procedure of recording involves a different skill set. I allowed that experience to teach me quite a few things, I carried it forward for the next rehearsal, the next recording session, which I think was at least three or four months after that. I was determined not to let it get the better of me and so this time when we were recording the EP at the University of the West of Scotland I really put my own spin on things while also making sure I didn't let anything trip me up like before.


Kayla: Recording can definitely be quite tricky! At Songplistic we set out to simplify that process with our tutorials, so I completely understand the struggle you went through. So before I let you go, can you tell me a little bit about your involvement with the Strathclyde Band Society?


Joseph: Band Society was something I joined when I first came to Glasgow and was trying to get out of my comfort zone, It was really great for socialising and meeting like-minded musicians. Music is like another language and Band Society really taught me how to communicate with other musicians. It was incredible how people who seemed like polar opposites could communicate through music at Band Society and become unlikely friends. The people really made it for me, I've made some really great friends through the society and was able to become president after a few years. Joining a band society is another way I'd encourage musicians to get out there and develop themselves, it has been so valuable to me and many of my musician friends!


Kayla: That's great Joe! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us!


Joseph is the drummer for Glasgow band High-Class Vermin and current President of the Strathclyde Band Society.


High-Class Vermin:

Facebook: High-Class Vermin

Instagram: @highclassvermin


Strathclyde Band Society:

Instagram: Bands at Strathclyde Society


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