KAMP! recently completed a short tour revisiting their first EP, using it as a chance to look at how far they'd come in the last 8 years as they look to go down a more pop route with their upcoming third album. We met Tomek, Michał, Radek to talk about setting up a label, recording in their upcoming record in Sao Paulo, and going pop.

You've just been on a mini tour across Poland, which you named the tour after your first EP can you tell me why you did this?

Tomek: It wasn't our original intention to play the old songs and go back to this EP. The further we progressed with our new material we felt that we'd changed so much from our original Thales One EP; there's a massive contrast with our songs, our attitude and the way we do things now. We felt that the contrast was so big that before showing our new music, it could be a good idea to stop a bit and show the early days.

We know we wrote some really popular songs back then like 'Breaking A Ghost's Heart', which was the first single following the EP. It was really popular back then but it was never published on anything more than an MP3 file.

So this is the first time Thales one has been on a physical release?

Michał: Yeah, we are excited about releasing this CD because our friends have asked us to do it and it was something we'd skipped many times. We felt like now is the best time.

Radek: There are still people who want us to play these old songs because we haven't played them for three years. So playing them now they are very fresh.

Is it hard balancing fans wanting more of the same and you as a band wanting to go in a new direction?

T: We don't feel that much pressure with this. The important thing is we have enough guts to not be afraid of the sentiments of the older songs. We know more about production and about songwriting. It was fresh back then and rough in a good way and we finally have some common sense to say yeah, just release it without fear.

What advice would you give to KAMP! Of 2009?

T: I'm not sure we would change anything.

R: Yeah for the time we definitely needed to go through those steps. You can't say, 'hey let's make better songs'.

You've been working on a new album?

T: We are releasing a bunch of singles before the album, so the process keeps moving. We are ready with two singles and they will give us the direction of the whole album. We just released the first single 'Deny'.

M: And the album should be ready in autumn.

What has been inspiring you with the new singles?

M: This is the first time we've worked with a producer.

T: He's called Bartek Dziedzic He's worked with artists such as Artur Rojek and Brodka. He's one of the top Polish producers and a super cool guy. We always produced ourselves before.

M: Now Bartek is in the producing and composing process with us and he's concentrated on songs. This is new to us because we are more into electronic production and those details and right now he' showing us what pop means.

How did you guys end up recording at the Red Bull Studios in Sao Paulo?

T: We work a lot with Polish Red Bull. You might say they're some kind of patronage to Kamp! They've helped us a lot with our videos and have given us the opportunity to work in their studios around the world. So far we've worked in Red Bull Studios in Madrid where we recorded our 'New Leaf' single and some songs from our Baltimore EP.

This time Red Bull helped us to get to their studio in Brazil, which was amazing. It's always something special for a band to get out of their usual context and change the creative space. You get some extra creative fuel! Going to Brazil to think about your next artistic step whilst recording some sketches at the same time seems crazy! You couldn't ask for more. Especially for a European band - I mean from the colder part of Europe. Brazilian sun can easily open your vision of your own sound. We always thought of our sound as some kind of holiday music. There has always been some kind of vacation nostalgia in our songs, but remember it was written in grey, cold Poland. Starting your songs in Sao Paulo and bringing it back to winter in Warsaw, was a massive inspiration!

In the past you've said you write a lot of your music through jamming together but recently you've moved apart to different cities in Poland. How does this affect your writing?

R: We had a studio in Łódź in the middle of Poland we were there for five or six years. So we would meet and play for the whole day. That's why we were able to make these improvisations and build the songs together.

M: Right now each of us is in a different city and we meet in a producer's studio we do the whole thing together.

R: We do work in our bedroom studios everyday and send ideas online to each other.

T: For a music listener or a fan it's nothing big. But for a band that has been working on jam sessions from the very beginning. Getting separated from each other's ideas has been a revolution and we think it's been a very important factor to the changing sound of Kamp!

You also run the record label Brennnessel, Why did you go down the self-release route?

T: We need to go back to the first EP that we've been talking about. Back then you could release it on MySpace or put in on MediaFire and other file sharing services. The label situation back then in Poland wasn't the best. There were only mainstream labels or totally independent labels; nothing in-between. So we already knew that we didn't want to work with any Polish labels and we were too small to work with any international labels back then.

We thought about self-releasing it. It wasn't very complicated starting a digital label. It was as simple as making a web page and having a server to upload your files. Radek worked on the Internet design, I worked on the graphic design and that's how we moved. We just wanted to have a proper name but maybe we failed on this because most of the journalists can't pronounce it but let's say it's pretty original with the three 'n' letters and two 's' letters.

It was a pretty natural decision and we don't regret it. It started as a platform for Bandcamp to show some MP3s and album cover art. Right now it's selling CDs and touring bands.

You've signed two exciting bands in Niemoc and Suumoo, What do you look for when you sign these guys?

T: I guess right now we are looking for something pretty youthful, because...

M: We are old.

T: Yeah we're getting older and we think about what the teenagers are listening to. We don't always understand but we have to keep with the pace. What is funny is we are not the best guys to seek out music. Artists normally seek us out. We get some demos and we think this is cool, this is not cool. They actually found us and we were interested in Niemoc for a long time because we saw them live and they were pretty impressive. Suumoo wanted to sign with us as well and we're always interested in bands that play live because that's the best way to promote the music.

We are not the best guys in promotion so we always think about bands that already have their own vision and ideas and they're not asking us what they should do. Like should they play guitars or should they go electronic. We wanted to have bands that are really conscious and quite independent with their idea of music.

You've released a couple of things with labels Cascine and Discotexas, what did you learn from working with these different labels?

T: It was super fun to work with Discotexas and Cascine. The biggest difference is that we are quite flexible in a good way; maybe it's not the best way to release music so spontaneously. Our large advantage is that we are quite flexible. That's not a lesson but a realisation that makes me think it's good to be flexible.

M: I think that we learnt we don't need to be the label that is the last label in a band's history. We are the starting point for many artists, you don't have to be the best at promotional stuff because you are the starting label for them and we don't want to release whole albums mainly just EPs and singles. To give them a start and then we will see what happens.