Carving out future plans

Queen’s band talks about being trapped in the bubble of their school

Carvings lead singer Mac Cameron says the student culture at Queen’s is more intereested in club music than rock and roll.
Carvings lead singer Mac Cameron says the student culture at Queen’s is more intereested in club music than rock and roll.

Queen’s is the small pond to rock band Carvings’ big dreams.

Carvings, who regularly open for bands playing the Mansion as a stop on their tours, have plans to relocate the band after graduation.

Three of the bandmates — Mac Cameron, Dan Hughes and Geoff Parent are all Queen’s students, while their bandmate Tom Hinchcliffe dropped out two years ago and their other bandmate Ben Webb lives in Kingston.

Over coffee, I had a chance to listen to Carvings lead singer Cameron’s perspectives on the two-sided experience that Queen’s has been for him and the rest of his bandmates.

Cameron, ArtSci 13’, speaks fondly of his time at Queen’s, mostly spent working on his music.

“The culture of focus on school, and then when you’re not doing that, [to] go out and party is great for some people, but we’ve never really felt like we fit in,” he said.

Cameron said he finds that when students are looking for a place to go on a Friday night, they go to clubs for electronic music, not rock and roll.

“Even the rock bands that are big aren’t even rock bands. Like, Mumford & Sons, for example, they are a folk band.”

The general population of Queen’s students isn’t always in the mood for a live rock gig, Cameron said.

“Other than our friends, nobody really cares to look further into what we’re doing,” he said.

Recently the band recorded an EP called These Days. According to Cameron, the EP is mostly about his mixed feelings towards his school.

“It’s a four-song collection, and goes through what it’s like to be here, and why I’m angry about being here, and why I regret coming here, and how it all came together. But also why I’m happy I came and the good things,” he said.

These Days, the first song and the title of the EP, seems to particularly capture these set of mixed emotions with a resemblance of the more angst-filled past work of the Killers.

Cameron mentioned an advantage to the band’s current setting of a university town.

“Playing in Kingston has been good for us in a sense. It introduced us to the reality that there isn’t always going to be people at shows — we understand that,” he said.

Looking to the future, the band has their sights set on big city fortune.

“As soon as we’re done school, we want to relocate to Toronto. Geoff, Dan and I are all from around there and Tom and Ben are both ready to move.”

Carvings plays the Artel tonight at 7:30 p.m. with Lifestory: Monologue and plays the Mansion on Dec. 6 at 9 p.m. with Monster Truck.

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