If you’re coming from a town called Thunder Bay, you better know how to bring a storm, and Altamadum most certainly does! What once started as a high school jam band grew into a multifaceted, high energy band of brothers. Guitarist Cam stopped by to tell us about their 15 year journey and upcoming album!
D&D: Introduce yourself, role in the band, and tell me your favorite horror icon!
Cam: My name is Cam Thomas, I’m the lead guitar player and co-founder of Altamadum. My favorite horror icon currently would have to be Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm St. I’ve been watching a lot of old school horror movies lately.
D&D: It’s very seldom I meet a band that’s been together 15 years and still has their original lineup. What’d you think the secret is to not only keeping a healthy relationship with your band mates, but also maintaining the same level of passion and investment you began with?
Cam: Brendan and I met in highschool, and have been playing music together since grade 9. We bonded over our passion of hard rock, especially English rock. We had a very unique chemistry from the moment that we played those first notes together. James joined in grade 10 and Sam shortly thereafter. The music is the thing that keeps us together, as well as our studio in Thunder Bay, ON, CA (ThunderSound Studio). We have our producer Russ Elder and studio to thank for keeping us consistently together, particularly through the COVID pandemic.
Having the ability to go to the studio and work on new ideas has been huge for our continued growth. Only a few of us need to be at the studio any given night for it to be productive. We capture all of our ideas to send to the other members who cannot attend. This has allowed us to move forward quickly with our writing process and continue to be prolific in our ability to pump out new music. Our relationship is like a family. We’re like brothers with a very interesting family dynamic. We all have very different personalities, which makes for a lot of laughs, but also makes for a very dynamic sound in our music. There are four musicians in our group, along with our producer, Russ Elder, and Richard Lawrence, who is responsible for our website.
D&D: Your band is very much so built around your local community—What’s the most cherished memory you have because of that?
Cam: In our teen years and early 20’s, we were very prominent in the local music scene in Thunder Bay. Our most cherished memories in the early days are probably the abundance of shows that we played, crafting our sound, and establishing our stage presence. We started as a live act and that’s where our roots are. We have our producer, Russ, to thank for this as well. Being in the studio has helped and continues to help us have a better handle on what we sound like when we play live.
D&D: Alright, while we’re on memories, good, bad, or ugly, what’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you at a show?
Cam: We have so many strange stories as a band, but one of the funniest live memories that I have was when we opened for a very well known Canadian band at the CLE Coliseum. So many strange things happened that night. Among them would be a guitar flying through the air and landing on the headlining band’s equipment, a weird lineup of artists that wouldn’t normally mix, and our band cornering the promoter to get paid the promised amount for the show. All six of us backed the promoter in the corner of this large venue. He looked scared and ended up paying us a fraction of what he had promised us. This meant that the headinging act and all of the other bands didn't get paid, but that wasn’t our issue. We had a lot of moments like that with this certain promoter (that shall remain nameless). The life of a rock band haha!
D&D: I’ll be honest, if I had just heard your music without seeing any photos of your band, I would’ve thought you guys looked like Ratt or Dokken on sound alone. There’s obviously some 80s influence in your music, but tell me what or who has been your most unconventional inspiration?
Cam: We love all of the artists that you mentioned, and the 80’s were definitely responsible for carving out our sound in the early days. I, personally, am inspired by every style of music, as well as the people I am surrounded by. Lately, I have been listening to a lot of English darkwave music, such as The Smiths and Joy Division, to name a few (I’m actually listening to The Smith during this interview lol). Unconventional might be jazz and blues. I love these two styles of music.
It depends on my mood and what I’m doing at the time. I was also on a big Crosby Stills and Nash kick recently. I listen to everything from EDM to metalcore to newwave to 60’s soft/pop rock. I can hear subtle hints of all of these styles in our music when I look for them, which I find really interesting. It’s not intentional while we write, but something I pick out afterwards. We all have very different influences in the band which makes for a unique sound, but one that’s very authentic, organic, and unapologetic.
D&D: What was the last album you added to your music library?
Cam: Thornhill’s new album Heroine. It’s a good workout album.
D&D: Speaking of albums, you’re on trajectory to have a new one out later this year! What song are you most excited for people to hear?
Cam: Our album In My Blood is set for release this fall. We have already released 2 songs from our upcoming album, “Run From You”, and the title track, “In My Blood”. Of the unreleased songs, I’m most excited for people to hear “Upon Yourself” (next single) or “Blind Through Time”. Both have a very uptempo, electronic, dancy feel with interesting guitar lines that I’m very proud of.
D&D: What song would you pin as the black sheep of the record?
Cam: I would say “All I’d Do” might be the black sheep of the record. It’s an interesting album because the whole album is very uptempo and catchy, but this track has some slower ballad elements to it. Having said that, I’m also very excited for people to hear this track because it’s one of my personal favorites.
D&D: Finally, if you could pick any one verse you’ve written to summarize the feel of your band and your music, what would it be?
Cam: Great question. The verse I would choose would be “It’s like I’m fighting, I’m coming out, I’m crawling from underground, Thunder Bay is my hometown” from our song “Weather the Storm”. I would choose this verse for a few reasons, the obvious being our city is mentioned in it, but more importantly the adversity we have overcome to arrive where we are now. We’re very proud of everything that we have accomplished as a group.
D&D: Here’s your place to plug whatever you’ve gotta plug and leave any last words with our readers and your supporters!
Cam: Please check out our music on all streaming platforms and check out our Instagram and website. Be on the lookout for our new single dropping shortly and our album In My Blood on all platforms late summer or early fall.