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Sea Songs with Camilla Lombard

Welcome to Zeitgeist Radio. I'm your host, Morgan Roe, founder of the Zeitgeist Academy. Zeitgeist means spirit of the times, and it is the collection of cultural forces that all contribute to what it feels like to be alive and part of a dynamic culture. Every episode I speak with someone from a unique musical subculture.

We dig into their passion and explore how music is a powerful force that brings people together. Before we get into today's interview, make sure you head over to zeitgeistacademy. com and sign up for my newsletter. You'll get weekly mini lectures on cool musical facts, backgrounds on our amazing guests, and updates on what's going on with the Zeitgeist Academy.

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My guest today is Camilla Lombard. The executive fish wife. Yes. That is her real title. For Sea Forager seafood and member of the fish wives See shanty group

**Morgan:** Camilla, welcome to Zeitgeist Radio.

**Camilla:** Thanks so much. It's great to be here with you. What a

**Morgan:** treat. I think this topic might be one of my most requested topics. Wow. Really? Yes. I know. People are like, I want to hear about sea shanties. And I know we're going to get into that whole thing too. But before we start, can you tell people A little bit about who you are and what you do musically.

**Camilla:** Sure. My name is Camilla Lombard. Musically with sea shanties, I play accordion and sing along in a sea shanty group called the fish wives, which is the musical arm of. The seafood business that I run with my husband, Kirk Lombard it's called Sea Forager, and we both come from musical backgrounds many bands over many years, we started a business together and to make it more fun for ourselves and ultimately others, we started a sea shanty band.

So it's thematic, it's fun. It's also irreverent. And musically I'm also in another band called Finian's call here in Half Moon Bay, I play accordion and sing. And that's a lot of like Irish music. It's a lot of Dubliners and pogues and traditional Irish tunes. But you know, I've been in lots of different bands over the years.

I was in a glam rock band called cheetahs on the moon. I was in kind of a post punk project called female trouble. I was in an all girl honky tonk band called the horseshoes with a W. And the runaway truck tramps and like various pickup bands and, you know, various iterations throughout my life. I just love playing music.

You can find me around campfires and I mean, I, I went from being a piano player to an accordion player pretty much just because I wanted to move around and I didn't want to be stuck behind a piano, so I like to, I like to move around.

**Morgan:** So fun. I sense a theme in all of those of, yeah, like you said, irreverence.

And you like to have fun, don't you? Those all sounds so fun. So one of the things as we were kind of putting this together that you brought up is what is the difference? Let's just get this out of the way between a sea song and a sea shanty.

**Camilla:** Yeah, so my understanding is that sea shanties are fundamentally work songs and sea songs encompass a lot more.

So you know, I should say just right off the bat that there is a very you Great kind of orthodoxy around sea shanties, which is, you know, about the history and the culture and the, the many details of of the form. And I think it's really great, and there are people, certainly in the Bay Area, who celebrate that with regular sea shanty sing alongs aboard the Bell Clutha in San Francisco and the East Bay.

We went up to Oregon for a seafood conference. There's some diehard sea shanty singers up there and it's a real. Tradition and it's beautiful and sacred and we are not that so. It is with a, you know, deep respect that I, I bow to that. But the Fishwives Sea Shanty group is, has a much more punk rock ethos.

We literally come from various punk rock bands. My husband he's, He should be here, but he is the singer and his family were Broadway performers, vaudeville performers. So he is a belter and he sings this like glass shattering baritone. And so we're loud, we're bawdy. We move around the room. We're acoustic.

We're kind of like Irish mariachis. So when we come into the space, we work the room, we have fun with people. It's about the singalongs. It's about the party. It's about. The nautical vibe. We are fish people. So we have some authenticity there, but we're not, you know, Doing a, a, really Orthodox version of these songs.


**Morgan:** yeah, yeah,

**Camilla:** yeah. Just want to get that out of the way. If you want the like details and the lore that's somebody else. And those people are not hard to find. And it's, it's a very cool historic exploration. I'll tell you what I can. Well,

**Morgan:** let's tell, tell me what you do though. Be so like that, I actually know some of those folks in Portland that get together and sing and, .

And , so, okay, question then since I'm a little more familiar with that style, a lot of the sea shanties and like when the, you know, the, it became a big thing in 2020, I think, like, it was just all over they're really story based, right? And they're telling stories of, of whether it's specific voyages or captains or people when you do your songs that are not like that, are they still story based or are they just different kinds of stories?

Like, how do you structure that? I

**Camilla:** mean, we do some straight up sea shanties for sure, but then we'll also add in some, some other songs like little Harry Belafonte would definitely be outside of the strict genre. But you know, like So there are the work songs and then there are songs about the sea.

There's some, some great like, strike the bell is a classic sea shanty about the work shift change. You got your four hours on your four hours off your eight bells is the shift change, right? Leave her Johnny. That is not a work song. That's a sort of a song about leaving the ship. It's a sort of a melancholy sad song and, and it can be used for lots of sad partings.

It's a great. Sad one. But then there's like Boys of Killebegs, which is like an Irish tune about the herring fishermen. And it's, it's sort of a tribute, but it's not necessarily something that, you know, sailors would be or, you know, merchant sailors would be singing as they're like pulling the line in.

So it's, it's a nice broad umbrella. So that's kind of the only rule for us is that it be a sea song, many of which are actual shanties, but not necessarily.

**Morgan:** Sure. Is there tra in the tradition, is it, is there anything about, like, a cappella versus instruments? Like, is there traditions around that? Cause I, when I think sea shanties, I mostly think a cappella, but it absolutely fits in.

Like when you said you play accordion in a sea shanty band, I'm like, of course you do. That fits so well. But, but then I started thinking, I'm like, actually, I don't, when I was reading up, a lot of it was just a cappella stuff. Yeah.

**Camilla:** Or like a concertina would be more traditional. Yeah. Those are, those are crazy.

Beautiful instruments, hard to play. There's they're set up more like a harmonica where it's a different note when you're, you know, pressing in then pulling out. Yeah, the, the instrumentation would be much more sparse, but the cool thing about sea shanties is that it was like the ultimate musical melting pot because you had different people working , stuck on a ship.

Well, you know, a fair amount of downtime. And when they're bored, they're all bringing their songs to the, , the moment. And those songs can come from, you know, the British Isles, certainly, but, you know, wherever the people. May have boarded, whether they were Shanghai'd or went willingly, they were coming from all over the world, certainly during like for the whaling ships.

That's a great example. You know, you've got people from the African diaspora. You've got people from the British Isles. You've got people from New Zealand, Australia, et cetera. And you know, when they're singing there in their free time, it's not necessarily like, let's do the work song. It can just be like songs from their childhood or songs from their, you know, culture with their, their, their songs.

So, and then it all gets mixed around in the pot. And you know, the, the best kind of instruments I think on a ship would be small ones. So like the tin whistle and

clapping hands, vocals. Yeah. But of course here we are Land landed people trying to do our tribute. And we, so our lineup in the Fishwives is accordion acoustic guitar, upright bass on a wheel. So we, we, he wheels around. I was

**Morgan:** going to ask, I saw photos. I'm like, how.

**Camilla:** Yeah, he's got a wheel on that bad boy.

And he's, he also comes from punk rock and rockabilly. So he's slapping the bass. It's really fun. It's very performative. And then of course my husband sings, but he also plays harmonica. He's a great harmonica player. So you know, that's our iteration.

**Morgan:** Yeah. Yeah. Tell me about some places you perform because again, I looked you guys up and, and there's all kinds of backgrounds.

You're on boats, you're in front of people like where, where do you guys

**Camilla:** perform? We joke about that. This band gets the weirdest gigs. I mean, we play like, you know, of course, aquariums and sort of. Ocean themed festivals. We played the Herring Festival for many years. The Bay Parade, which is like boats and kayaks and swimmers and stand up paddle boards.

And we'll be on a boat, you know, serenading them. But we also played like a glacier in Alaska. That was probably my favorite. How

**Morgan:** did that come about? Tell me about that. We went

**Camilla:** to Alaska for a sustainable seafood conference, the local catch conference, which was awesome. And then we said, well, would you like some entertainment during the performance?

And they're like, sure. So we, we got our band to come along. And then our band the, one of the wives of the fish wives said, we have to go to this glacier. It's amazing. The Matanuska glacier. And so we had our instruments in the van. We did this amazing glacier tour. And then I was like, come on, we got to serenade the glacier.

Even though the perfect sound of the glacier. Is truly silence. I was like, we got to do this. So what's in a lifetime moment. So we pulled our instruments out after the tour and we played a song and the acoustics were insane, right? Cause it's water. The acoustics were amazing. And the, the mood inside the glacier where we're just standing outside, like looking up at this glacier.

Sent you a photo. And then of course, some other people on the next tour start. crowding around and, and then we play some more jaunty tunes and it ended up being like a fun little like spontaneous party. So that was amazing. And then that night on our way to the gig, we're like, let's stop in the, in the dive bar.

So and so knows somebody who knows somebody at the bar. So we go into this like hard Alaskan bar. We look at each other. We're like, These people don't want sea shanties, you know, they, they want to be left alone, but we like a good challenge. And so we drank some whiskey and we commenced to playing and we had the room and it was, it was really, really fun.

And everybody smiled and clapped along. And the great thing about sea shanties, of course, I should say is the call and response nature. Makes it great for sing alongs so we can get people in and we can get them participating. So it's not just this kind of voyeuristic experience. They, they are part of the party.

It's a living organism. Yes. It's really

**Morgan:** fun.

**Camilla:** Yes. We, we also did a gig where we literally jumped out of a, of a dumpster. Our friend, our friend in San Francisco, Chicken John was doing this elaborate tour of like surprise things. And so we, he had this like group 10 people and they would walk from place to place.

And then he's standing outside of the dumpster and he's like, you guys need to jump out of the dumpster and start singing. So we did. And we joke that it's, it's all up from there, but yeah, no beaches, wooden boat yards. There's a great wooden boat building place in Sausalito where we've done a couple of parties, a 90th birthday party for an old sailor, we did a wedding.

We've played underground bars in North beach, San Francisco. We played our kids preschools bookstores, knife shops. We played for river otters. It's like on and on. Yeah.

**Morgan:** That's amazing. So you, you perform a lot.

**Camilla:** Yeah. And it's weird. Cause we put zero effort into it. Like we've been playing mostly the same songs for like 10 years, but it's just fun.

It's got its own momentum. We're going to be playing for a bunch of ocean scientists in some like techie conference in a couple of weeks. I will look into that more, but you know, like anything slightly nautical. It's definitely a good time.

**Morgan:** Yeah. And even not nautical, like in a dumpster, it's still a good time because it's yeah, unexpected.

I love the surprise bit like that. I would be surprised. You would be surprised. If a T Shanty band jumps out of a dumpster. And so. And

**Camilla:** the accordion player was like eight months pregnant. Yeah. That's the thing. Oh, how do

**Morgan:** you even? How

**Camilla:** does? Oh yeah. It's like over to the side, you know, make

**Morgan:** it work. Oh, wow.

So musically, like you said, so did you start with piano? Yeah, as a kid, as a kid. Yeah. Did you study music in school?

**Camilla:** No, no I didn't. I, I left to music kind of to, to do college and then law school was like nothing. And then as soon as I got out of law school. And knew that I didn't want to practice law.

I I started doing music as an adult and I, that's when I really got into being in bands. And, you know, I also learned the banjo and the ukulele and all those things, but that was not a, no, no formal education.

**Morgan:** Yeah. . Let's go back a little bit to the history if we, if you don't mind going all the way back.

How much do you know about like, like the beginnings? Do you know, like the, what's the lore as far as like is it Irish focused? Is it British focused? Like I know at one point they were all together. It

**Camilla:** sure seems to be. Yeah, it seems to be. Yeah, I mean, I love Irish music. A lot of it. is definitely Irish, but also Scottish, like British Isles generally, I would say.

I'd like to think that there's like the equivalent sea shanty in all nautical cultures. Like, I'm sure there's some mean Portuguese sea shanties and, you know, like the whole, I mean, look at Like, Africa, there's so much coastline there. There must be, but is it necessarily the, but it's, there's something magic and unique about the ships that are going out.

So you are looking at sort of the longer voyages, colonialism, whaling who is doing these epic routes. And, you know, there's nothing like the British Navy in terms of, you know, making tracks.

**Morgan:** What are your, some of your favorite stories told through song? Yeah. Your favorite shanties?

**Camilla:** Well, one that's close to my heart, of course, is Cockles and Mussels, Alive Alive O, because there's lots of songs about fishermen, about ships, and that, but this is a song about a fishmonger, and it's a lady fishmonger, and it's, it's...

A great, fun, slightly tragic song about a, a fishmonger, Molly Malone, who was, you know, peddling her seafood by day. And you know, it's hard for a fishmonger to make a living. So at night she was peddling her other wares and, so yeah, it's everybody knows that song. It's almost like a nursery song. If you, if you start singing cockles and muscles alive, alive, oh, alive, alive, oh, alive, oh, they might not really think about what it's about.

Right. Oh, he comes down with the fever and she dies. Like

you know, gleefully sung by contemporary fishmongers. That would be me and my husband. And it's It's a real good sing along.

**Morgan:** Yeah, I do know that. Yeah. I do know that one. I feel like a lot of those are not entirely happy endings. Yeah. Well,

**Camilla:** seeing what, you know, right. And then of course, all for me, Grog is a classic.

It's an ode to booze saying at any party. And it's funny about his body lyrics about, you know, just being a hot mess. Really? Well, there's also high Barbary is close to our hearts being as we are near the Barbary coast. So that's kind of like a pirate confrontation song. Also, the name of the San Francisco red light district back in the 18 hundreds.

What else? There's there's wild Rover, you know, not a sea song, but a good song about so we, yeah, we do fold in some more just like. Classic Irish tunes, but

**Morgan:** yeah, so talk about, cause I just think, like describe a performance, like when you're on whatever strange place you're performing in at the time how do you, what, what does that performance look like?

**Camilla:** It tends, people tend to like what, what really works is the surprise entrance. So people are kind of milling about wondering if this is worth being here doing their thing at the whatever, whatever events. And then, you know, bam, and we come like truly like, like roving mariachis. And we, we move from table to table.

We work the whole room and we engage people and it's fun. And It's my husband will often end up like on his back on the floor, everybody, you know, or on the back of the bass player hitting the high note. So it's, it's fun and it's interactive and because we're acoustic and we're not plugged in on a stage standing still we can, we can just have a lot more fun.

It's kind of about breaking the barrier between the audience and the performer.

**Morgan:** So, yeah. Yeah, I looked up some videos of you guys performing and it looks very fun. It looks very interactive. Oh, thanks. Yeah. That's awesome.

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**Morgan:** how did you get into this? Cause some of the other bands that you mentioned are very, very different.

Like punk, very different.

**Camilla:** Yeah.

How did I get into it? Well, the starting a seafood business, it became a natural fit. But I think going back further my husband Kirk was in a, a funny band might be too big of a word, a group that formed for like three performances called the armchair geographers.

And they wrote these very funny songs and they were kind of, Kind of mocking like the professorial pipe smoking tan corduroy jacket with the elbow patches. And they each had different characters and they would get on stage and, and like it was very funny, very tongue in cheek. And they, they recorded shanties.

And so my husband had them in his head. They were fun. Obviously they need an accordion. So yeah, that, that just kind of came. And yeah, when we're trying to think of like, when were the first couple of shows, when we started the seafood business, we knew that one of the things we wanted to offer was community and fun.

So that sustainability, which, you know, is trying to correct a major and a tragic wrong. Actually feels good. So, like, you're getting the benefit of sustainable, fresh seafood. And you are meeting the fishermen. So we would have events in local bars where we'd have the fishermen there. We would have our little sea shanty band.

And it was a fun way for people to feel connected to the sea, to the scene. To the fishmonger, and then we can sit and talk and, you know, chat and connect. So it really is kind of a vehicle for leveraging fun. Yeah,

**Morgan:** that's interesting. So you're connecting. So, okay. Let's take a step back real quick and just talk about your business.

And because it sounds like they're, they're kind of integrally tied together. So what is Seaforage or Seafood?

**Camilla:** Yeah, so we are a subscription service and we partner with local small scale hook and line fishermen, and we create seafood packages that we distribute throughout the San Francisco Bay area.

So it's a community supported fishery, similar to a CSA, where you partner with a farm and you get your produce box. Of your fruit and your veg and you learn to eat seasonally. It's like that. But with seafood, a lot of people don't know that seafood is seasonal. And that we have incredible local bounty and no slight to frozen seafood.

We just got into it as a fresh seafood business, which. You know, might be a little more headache, but it's a, it's an incredible product. So we're, we're rushing around creating sustainable seafood packages. So the customer, the, the members sign up for a minimum of four deliveries. So they can get a sampling of the season and they get information about the fish, who caught it, the name of the vessel, the captain, the gear type, why the gear type matters, where it was caught prep tips, recipes.

And then just like Information about the fishery, the health of the fishery. So it's a, it's a great kind of. I into an industry that is incredibly fraught and the big problem with seafood is transparency. So we're essentially offering transparency. You know, everything about where your fish came from it, it, it, we're shortening the chain between the fishermen and the home chef.

Sea forager just turned 10. And the other thing that we do is Kirk leads coastal fishing and foraging walking tours. So like ultimately the most sustainable seafood is the kind you catch yourself.

So he will teach you how to do that. And if you're working all week and you don't have time to go out and catch your supper, you can sign up for sea forager and enjoy it because. Basically the responsibility of the home cook to ask the right questions and get the right answer. It's so great that they essentially outsource to us.

I mean, I will go to a restaurant or a fish market and say, Oh yeah, what is the fish to the day? I'm just curious. You know, and, and they're like, it's cod,

**Morgan:** which is a total nonsense

**Camilla:** answer. There's like, it's probably not cod. If it is like, you know, like it's, there's, there's cods that are called cods and they're not cods and there's cods that are not, you know, it's like, there's so much Bullshit in the industry.

And there's so many, your fish goes through so many hands that to shorten the chain is, is really quite a profound thing. And yeah, so we, we also, like I said, try to make it fun. So

**Morgan:** I was going to say that sounds so important, so needed, so serious. And then here's this. Raunchy fishwives band on top

**Camilla:** of that.

You know, that's like, I think that's, that's what we need. Like,


**Morgan:** got to be right there. Did you need it personally? And that's why you did it? It's like, I need this cause this is so depressing or like so much, it's just so much like there. And then, and then here it is, yeah, it's like

**Camilla:** those, those like protests with the really cool puppets.

I always appreciate that. Like, why not have some puppets? I think, I think the good, the good team is the team with the really good puppets, you know, like. Put some art, put some culture, put some magic, put some fun, some joy. Yes. In your movement. Yes,

**Morgan:** absolutely. And it's so, I mean, that's, it's so perfect.

Cause it's, it's topical. Like it's, you're, you're right on. I love that branding. Honestly, if nothing else. Yeah. And why the fish wives when. Is, do you call your husband your fishwife?

**Camilla:** No, but perhaps I should. We're all fishwives, but I am the fishwife. My title is Executive Fishwife. That's my personal moniker.

But as a, as a band name, it's just kind of like a, huh? I don't know. Right. Right. It's like

**Morgan:** four guys and you.

**Camilla:** It doesn't really make so much sense. Like you might expect like a, you know, a lot of women in the band, but there's just me and a bunch of dudes. But we have fun. It's maybe it's just a little nod to the surreal and that's like a, a welcome to the, the surrealism of what we do.


**Morgan:** So you mentioned you've been performing for 10 years. Do you guys write your own songs or do you?

**Camilla:** You know, we're trying to stick to the traditional stuff of the guitar player and my husband are in another band called the dictics named after the world's smallest antelope and they are like kind of a art rock project and they write all original material incidentally about species that are Have gone extinct or are on their way to being extinct.

So like, if you like animal music, check them out. The Dick Dicks, D I K D I K S. But in the Fishwives, no, we have a couple original instrumentals, but not sung songs. And why is that? I don't know. I think, cause we don't really put a whole lot of effort into this project. It's just like this natural delight.

And it's funny that the band that is like. The least demanding gets the most gigs. Like you tell me why we're all in other bands, like working really hard to get the skills. And this one, people just keep calling us.

**Morgan:** Well, it's so different. That's yeah. Did you know, see shanties going into this band or did you have to learn all?

The songs that you do from scratch.

**Camilla:** Some of them are just kind of like you, you kind of know them as part of, I don't know, it's in your DNA. It's in the sort of cultural soup that you don't consciously know. I, I certainly learned more. Yeah, but some are like, Oh yeah, I mean, obviously there's, what do we do with a drunken sailor?

Which we try not to do, but

**Morgan:** I imagine every time you got your biggest request,

**Camilla:** that's kind of like the free bird up there, you know? Okay. But then there's some, some fun ones. Yeah, no, yes, I have learned more. But I also, like I said, I, I genuinely love Irish music and play a lot of it in my other band.

Scottish music too. It's, it's, yeah, it's good. It's good. Good fun stuff.

**Morgan:** Yeah. So I know they cover, shanties generally cover a bunch of different, like, it's a wide range, right? You've got your sad songs, your, your I miss home songs, you've got your work songs. Is there like genre that you're particularly drawn towards.

So many drinkings, yes. I can't forget that. Is there a topic that you're particularly drawn towards or that you, you really like love to perform? What's your favorite song to perform?

**Camilla:** Oh, probably it is the drinking songs. I mean, All For Me, Grog is just fun. It's silly. It's body. It's a singalong. Yeah. So I would say that, but there's another great, really, really sad song called the Fisherman's song.

The first recording I don't know if it was written by them or I just know that I'm silly wizard, a Scottish sort of trad band. And it's about. A woman who goes down to the sea and she, she curses the sea because it took her man, and it made her children fatherless and, and it's sort of a, an ode to all the women, historically in the, in the fishing community who do lose their husbands and who are raising children without fathers and it's fucking sad and it's musically it's really just.

They it's beautiful. They nailed it. And it's haunting and, ethereal and it's, that's a great song. But you know, if you're, if you're moving through the room, get up, jacked on is a great song.

**Morgan:** What's that one about?

**Camilla:** It's about a sailor who drinks too much and goes to like makes his money and buys some girl a gown.

And you know, he's making his way through his travels and. And that's the one where Kirk often ends up on the ground with, with his arms and legs in the air and we're dancing around him and

**Morgan:** it's, it's

a lot of fun. You're like, get up. Yeah. Okay. Have there been incidents with the upright base on a wheel?

**Camilla:** Incidents? There was the trip to Alaska where he left his wheel in the car and he went first. And so he texted us from Alaska. He was like, dude, can you get my wheel from the front seat of the car in the airport parking lot?

That would be the incident. And yes, yes,

**Morgan:** we did. Yes. Cause you're not going to haul a base up a glacier.

**Camilla:** Yeah, no, that, that thing is great. He

**Morgan:** knows what he's doing as far as I just, I just picture that leading to, you know, he runs into something or he goes down a stair or something. Yeah,

**Camilla:** I know. He's just, he's a skilled maneuver or his name is Nick Mitchell.

I should say the guitar player is Carrie Kirk. My husband is Kirk Lombard and, and I'm Camilla Lombard and we are the fishwives and I wish we could all play for you right now, but alas

**Morgan:** well, we'll put, I'll put links to some of your videos that you sent me as well as, , the sea forager in the show notes.

So people can definitely please go check them out. Yeah. So any gigs coming up?

**Camilla:** Yeah, there's a private event for the ocean scientists. At some tech company in San Francisco in a couple weeks, and that's all we have on the books for now. We just celebrated sea foragers 10th anniversary.

Congratulations. Great party. Thank you. Adam. 1 of our pickup locations and neighborhood partners called table wine and Pacifica and that was fun. They did champagne tastings. We were opening oysters and we, we had a lot of fun with the fish wives moving around in that wine bar.

**Morgan:** Yeah. It sounds very fun.

What went through your head when in 2020, all of a sudden sea shanties were like hitting the top 10 charts? Like, that was kind of weird, right? I thought it was a weird.

**Camilla:** Finally, they're catching on. Sea shanties are the new pop music.

**Morgan:** The new talk about a resurgence. I thought the QR code had a resurgence.

**Camilla:** . I loved how everybody came out from different milieus to participate in a catchy tune. Yeah. Yeah.

Good music is good music. It doesn't matter what category it's in

**Morgan:** one of my favorite covers of that where people people would take that of course and turn it right switch the words all around to the same melody and then there was a really funny one about the the game stock, the game stonks, you know, the

**Camilla:** whole I don't know that one.

**Morgan:** Yeah soon may the, the tendy man come like the tendy man, meaning the, the, the guy in his basement eating chicken tenders and you know, his mom's basement bidding on the GameStop stocks, trying to drive the price up and screw the man. And it was a very very fun cover. That's a

**Camilla:** democratic thing, isn't it?

Everybody can have

**Morgan:** a shot. Yeah. Yeah. Well, what do you wish some people knew? Like. I think where you are in the Bay Area, there's probably more exposure to sea shanties. Growing up in Montana, there were no sea shanties out there. It was not a culture out there. There's no ocean. It's about as far from the ocean as you can get, right?

So What are some things that you wish people knew or like, like if someone is like learning or they walk into a bar and There's a pub sing happening and they're singing some sea shanties Like what do you wish people knew about that or like what would you tell someone who doesn't know anything?

Like I did several years ago. I knew nothing about any of it. What would you say to that person?

**Camilla:** Oh Enjoy it you know, it's when you paint that picture of like walking into a space where people are singing sea shanties, you know, honestly, so many of those scenes are really quite serious and somber.

And so like, like some serious, somber Irish sessions, like you don't actually want to sit down and start playing along or singing along. That's good advice. Have a respectful be a respectful audience member. That is not the case with the Fish Waves, where in our case, you know, let's have a drink and sing along.

The more participation, the merrier, but yeah, I guess read the room. No, that's

**Morgan:** actually, that's really good advice because I think also It depends on where you're coming from, obviously, but yeah, it can be very like, Oh, they're singing like this is fun. Let's go. So to know that not everybody is like that and there are some more serious scenes out there, that's actually really good advice.

**Camilla:** Like I love old time banjo. I also play old time banjo, but I also bring more of a punk rock ethos to that. And a lot of old time banjo sessions are incredibly serious and there are. A lot of rules. And if you're not playing by the rules, they don't want you there. God forbid you bring an accordion to an all time session, but anyway, I have a lot of musical friends who like to break a lot of musical rules.

So we have our own fun. It's okay.

**Morgan:** Yeah. You seem like you have. A lot of fun.

So, my last question. I ask everybody this do you know what Zeitgeist means? Yes. It's

**Camilla:** a very popular biker bar in San Francisco. Oh, wow. I got to go there. I actually, I do do it at the meeting.

It's a fantastic bar. I highly recommend it. Also a little serious. No yes, Zeitgeist, spirit of the time, right?

**Morgan:** Yes, exactly. So, there's this moment I call a Zeitgeist moment, specifically with music, where, cause like, the Zeitgeist is like everything that's happening around you, you know, you kind of, you feel it, it's a feeling.

And when you're, when you're playing music or you're involved with music in some way Some every once in a while, you have that moment and you just plug into the, like, there's this whole feeling that is generated, whether it's of the times broadly or the moment that you're in, like the, the scene you're in right now.

What was just kind of that moment where everything clicks and you feel part of something bigger than yourself. What was a Zeitgeist moment for you either recently or a particularly memorable one where you felt that way?

**Camilla:** Yeah, I think the serenading the glacier was a big one. That, that was true magic.

And, you know, I think, you know, playing outdoors is really conducive to that, but also in a place where people are relaxed enough to receive and become a part of. The musical experience. So it can also be in a sweaty, dark, crowded bar where people feel like they can surrender to the moment and, and, and be swept up in that.

So that, that also, you know, as great as the glacier was, I think it can happen anywhere, but people need to feel relaxed. So, when we played at the, we've played kind of like stuffy conferences and that's really not conducive. But we play, we also do a lot of yacht clubs, so we can, you know, blow through a yacht club and, yeah, but really anywhere where people can be relaxed and and receive what we're, what we're offering. But yeah, I know, I know exactly what you mean. It's, it's a, it's a heightened state. Yes.

**Morgan:** Yeah. And I know where I feel it and I'm always so interested, like, where do other people feel that? Because it's different for everybody.

Yeah. And they connect with that.

**Camilla:** Music, I mean, in, in any kind of band that moment is so interesting, like, and there's so many different factors. I played an Irish wake last weekend and, you know, it was about the memorial. And so the band was playing and I think it was, Good ambiance. My, it's not my favorite thing to be background music.

And so it was kind of unsatisfying, even though it was like significant and nice. But then at the end, we sat down with the widow around the bonfire outside overlooking. The harbor, and we just did an acoustic set of just, you know, nobody plugged in. It was just a few folks around the fire, and that's where the magic happened.

You know, that's where this, like, otherworldly feeling of transportation and the sort of elevated companionship. And like where people could really hear the music and surrender to the sound. And also maybe they were a few drinks deeper than when we first got to them. The grog had been flowing. But it was sort of a funny thing.

Like, well, wow, we could have skipped that whole, like, you know, hour and a half of setting up the PA and just had everybody gather around the bonfire. But yeah, yeah. You never know when it happens, but it's a beautiful thing.

**Morgan:** Awesome. Well, Camilla, thank you so much for being on my podcast. Oh, thank you

**Camilla:** for having me.

What a treat.

Thanks for tuning in to this episode of Zeitgeist Radio. To up-level your musical journey and become a music student for life. Join the Zeitgeist Academy by signing up for my biweekly newsletter. You'll get exclusive content, blog posts, and behind the scenes insights. I love putting it together and you'll love reading it.

Head over to zeitgeist That's Z E I T G E I S t Music for this episode was created by Ian Boswell. Please hit that subscribe button and tell all your friends you found a cool new podcast. See you next time.

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