Elizabeth Sankey (@sankles to Twitter and one half of boy-girl duo Summer Camp), in my opinion is the Tavi Gevinson of the music world- a.k.a pretty bloody cool. You see Summer Camp live and think ‘damn, why am I not the third member?’ (Elizabeth can pull off wedge creepers AND sing…) in the same way seeing 16 year old Tavi wearing a shoe on her head makes you wonder what went wrong in your teen years, and why it’s not acceptable in greater London. On top of that, her and partner Jeremy Warmsley make for one of the coolest, and arguably most talented couples in town (or in world- you decide). Based in London, the pair bought out debut album, Welcome to Condale last Autumn- and if your dream soundtrack consists of everything inspired by all the great teen movie pantheon (in summer, at high-school, in the 80’s, in an oversized embellished jumper etc etc), then- what can I say- you’ve come to the right place.
Hello guys! for those that haven’t heard of Summer Camp tell us a little about yourselves- how did you meet?
We met at one of Jeremy’s solo show years ago, but we didn’t start doing music till about three years ago. we started off just doing it for fun, but we put a song on MySpace and blogs found it.
How would you describe Summer Camp’s sound?
Pop music for people who are a bit weird – like us!
You’ve said before your sound is inspired by movies and John Hughes; which are your favourite films?
We always get asked this and it’s so hard to pick! ‘Sixteen Candles’ is my favourite but I love ‘Pretty In Pink’ for Duckie and home-made dresses. When I was a teenager I used to make loads of my own clothes. ‘Uncle Buck’ is also a classic!
Elizabeth, you used to be a writer, did you ever see yourself ending up in a band?
Never. I went to drama school and I’ve wanted to be an actress for as long as I could talk. I’ve always loved music and dated musicians and been around it, but I never saw myself having any musical ability. But now I love it more than acting. You do sort of fall for it, it’s wonderful. And obviously creatively you have much more control than in acting (unless you’re a script writer as well).
Which artists would you say inspire your music most? Is there anything in particular you like to write about?
To be honest we’re inspired by everyone. Whenever we hear an album or song we like we want to write one just like it. Which is a bad thing! We’re writing our second album now. We’ve finished a butt load of songs but stylistically they’re not that unified (pretentious), or rather, we think we can do better. We’re knuckling down for the winter. On our first album we wrote about characters but on this one we want to really push ourselves and open up more. It’s hard! But now is the time…
What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t making music?
Trying to act, writing.
What has been the most memorable gig you’ve been to?
So many! Every time I go to a show I get inspired – even if they’re bad! Our drummer and surrogate child William has a band called Brontide who are incredible live, I strongly recommend seeing them, and I’m not saying that just as a biased mother. We went to see ‘Shut Up And Play The Hits’, the LCD Soundsystem film, which I thought was incredible. It made me realise so much about music, and why it’s awesome.
So far, what has been the highlight of musical career?
We sold out the Scala this year, which isn’t huge but it meant so much to us. Both our families came and all the friends we’ve made doing the band were there.
I got a bit emotional. It’s a crazy and wonderful feeling to realise some people get what you’re trying to do and will actually part with their money to see you. I feel incredible grateful to anyone who’s ever supported us. I never want this to end.
What was the first LP/cassette/CD you ever bought?
Whigfield – Saturday Night. Strongly recommend.
Who would you recommend us all to listen to, what bands are you really into at the moment?
The new Grizzly Bear is fantastic, I love Ariel Pink, we both love Bombay, Alex Turner’s solo stuff, KANYE!!! Odd Future, Pharcyde, Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, blur.
Apart from having a blooming good set of pipes; your style is pretty nifty- how would you describe your dress sense?
Thanks! I have no idea. I just spend a lot of time looking for stuff online. I am a big ebay-er, both buying and selling (TIP: put “alexa chung” in the item title and always wear the clothes in the photos). I got this awesome Marks and Spencer quilted bomber jacket on ebay last year. It’s in perfect condition and from the 90’s I LOVE IT. I wear a lot of black but also love prints. ASOS do amazing dresses, I have this white Mexican-style one which is beautiful. I always look at ASOS. When I was younger I bought vintage all the time and I’m ok with a sewing machine so I’d alter a lot, which I still do, but it’s become so expensive to buy vintage. It does last forever though. At the moment on stage I like doing 90s with wedge creepers and high wasted maxi skirts and crop tops. Off stage I love my levis and vests and borrowing Jeremy’s shirts.
Who would you say inspires your style, or is your ‘fashion girl crush?’
Tumblr! It’s great! I love Cher Horowitz for her kilts and high-waisted mini skirts, I have a lot of those. I love 90’s Julia Roberts for her hair (when you have curly hair you get obsessed with other people with curly hair) um…the girls from ‘My So-Called Life’, Tavi, Viviennne Westood. My birthday is coming up and I’ve asked my mum for a Viviennne Westwood bag, I just don’t know whether to get red or black (first world problems)…advice welcome!
What’s your idea of the perfect Sunday?
Well we normally have one day off a week and we usually do it during the week so our favourite coffee shop and cinema are quieter (nerds). So Sunday we’re working, but it’s always a relaxed work day. I would probably bake and make a fit dinner. And we might go to our local cafe for Jeremy to get a fry up. I don’t “get” fry up and I don’t care who knows it. But I love a bacon butty.
Finally, what’s next for summer camp?
We are going on holiday today, then back for winter and writing. Cross your fingers for us!
My fingers are tightly crossed, miss you already!