H & Claire aside, there have been some brilliant male-female partnerships in the history of pop music; Stewart/Lennox, Gregory/Goldfrapp to name but a few. That’s not to say there’s not room for some more. I am a Camera have thrown their hat into the ring as a worthy baton-carriers of the damnably good duos tradition with three immensely impressive singles so far. If you haven’t heard of them before, you’ll soon wish you had…
You were formed in Manchester which obviously has a rather weighty musical heritage of its own. Did any of what inspired that inspire you, or was it more about the meeting of minds in the right place?
Frankie: I’m from Manchester, I love Manchester so I’m definitely inspired & influenced by the place. I spent years out most nights in different clubs listening to Manchester music, & these nights also introduced me to electronic music. We share a love of bands like New Order and The Smiths, we discussed this when we met but I think our meeting would have sparked the idea of I Am A Camera wherever in the world it might have been.
Ian: Actually we formed in both Manchester and London – Frankie was in Manchester, I was in London and we gradually merged. It was meant to happen – and did.
There are a couple of reasons why you would choose “I am Camera” as a band name – there’s the song by the Buggles or a ’50s Broadway play inspired by Isherwood’s brilliant “Goodbye to Berlin”. Or you might just really like photography…..any of the above?
Frankie: Well, we do really like photography but the idea came from Christopher Isherwood’s ‘Goodbye to Berlin’. The quote “I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking.” is so relevant now when we literally can’t do anything without it being captured somehow, and ending up on Facebook the day after. We live in a CCTV nation.
Ian: I’m a big fan of Trevor Horn and I love the track but it was really down to the Christoper Isherwood stories.
Your last single was called ‘Commuter Love’. What would be your suggested action to someone if they really fancy someone they see on the way to work?
Frankie: I would say take a photo and get it posted on Tube Crush.
Ian: Flip your hair, flirt outrageously and if that doesn’t work maybe do a lil’ sexy dance. If you don’t do it, you’ll only hate yourself after the opportunity has passed.
Meanwhile, your new single is called ‘Factory Boys’. Do you think we’re due another Warhol or was he a one-of-a-kind speck in time?
Frankie: Warhol was one of a kind. I don’t think there could be another. He challenged the world to see art differently, and I think he succeeded. It wasn’t just his art, he made incredible films & music and was part of one of the most exciting times in history – New York in the 70’s, The Factory, Studio 54. I don’t think any of that could be recreated. I wish it could. Send me back there!
Ian: There will only ever be one Andy Warhol, he was an utter genius but I think there’s always room for someone new and exciting.
How did you feel about performing at Lovebox? Did you try and hang out with the indomitable Grace Jones?
Frankie: Of course we tried, who wouldn’t want to hang out with Grace Jones?
Ian: Being on the same stage as Grace, Lana Del Rey and Chic was incredible, we were so excited about it. Attempting to hang out with Grace was top of our list. I wonder what she smells like? Lavender and stardust?
Do either of you have any major phobias?
Ian: Snakes terrify me! I can’t even look at a television screen if they’re on it. Obviously Snakes on a Plane is not one of my favourite films…
Asides from the next single (which is TERRIFIC) what does the plan for the rest of the year look like?
Frankie: The rest of the year will be busy for us. We’ll be finishing the album, releasing more singles, making our videos, and aiming to play live a lot more too
Ian: The rest of the year will be gigs and finishing our album. We’re locked away in deepest, darkest North London cooking up a storm in the studio as we speak. We can’t wait for folks to hear it!
And if if it all goes utterly tits up, is there a back-up plan?
Frankie: Absolutely not!
Ian: There is nothing else.
‘Factory Boys’, the new single by I am a Camera is out now. The single ‘Commuter Love’ is also available to download. Visit their Facebook page or follow them on The Twitter for further information.