Greg Camp on Going Indie

IT’S NOT EASY TO WALK AWAY FROM THE BAND THAT BROUGHT you fame and album sales of well over six million, but that’s exactly what Greg Camp did last year when he left Smash Mouth. “I don’t want to play for people in lounge chairs, eating cotton candy, waiting for the fireworks to start,” says Camp, who has had his fill of the county fair circuit to which so many former chart-topping acts find themselves relegated. “I’d much rather be playing a dingy club, as long as there are people there who really love music.”
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Camp has just released Defektor [Bar/None], a solo album rife with the trademark surf-adelic guitar hooks and neo-vintage sonic treatments he employed to help his former band go multiplatinum, and is enjoying a fresh start. “You no longer need a big label deal to make a go of it,” says the Santa Cruz, California, guitarist/producer. “Get your MySpace, Facebook, Snowcap, and Flickr pages intertwined nicely, get your music out there, shoot a low-budget video that’s creative enough to draw people in, and then get in a van and go out there and play. Just make sure you have some good merch, because that’s how you’ll make money. Indie rock has become an all-encompassing genre now, which is great. Ever since Beck proved that you can play folk guitar over a hip-hop beat with some weird synth freaking out in the background, there’s no format. You don’t have to be pigeonholed.”