Bring Cam Back

  • I think it’s time to consider bringing Cam back, the band has lost its mojo ever since they made that change and they’ve played enough shows now that it’s clear as day Nick is not the answer.

    IMO ‘18 winter tour was off the charts, the band was hitting on all cylinders……I shake my head every time I listen to DC or Winter Park or Jackson…………huge mistake to make that change after such a great run of shows.

    Attendance at the GAMH last night was lackluster, bums me out

  • This is ridiculous... Cam was pretty good, great at times even, but there is no contest. I think Nick's playing is light-years better across the board, but let's set personal preference aside. Nick listens to and plays with the band on a collaborative level that Cam simply does not. Let me give a few examples:

    • 2013-08-24 Backdoor Funk. At 12:07 Red starts a phrase of 16th notes that ends at 12:27. Nick switches from his 8th note-based hi-hat beat to a 16th-note ride beat at the end of the phrase to match Red. Audio

    • 2014-03-01 America. The band is coasting along in the regular 4/4 America jam until at about 8:30 Brian starts soloing in triplets. Fast-forward to about 9:35, Jordan and Red have joined in on the triplet phrasing and Nick doubles down, switching his beat and changing the time signature to 3/4. Audio

    Since you're claiming the band lost its mojo after Cam's departure, here's an example from this summer. This one is a 2 in 1!

    • 2019-05-22 Lonely.
      Nick is playing a disco beat when at 16:20 Brian starts playing some funky dramatically-syncopated notes. Jordan switches up his bass-line to match the feel. At 16:34 Nick switches up the kick drum rhythm and hits the groove that Brian and Jordan were implying on the nose.
      Fast forward to 20:35, Nick is back playing a disco beat until Brian starts aggressively strumming a syncopated rhythm. It does not take more than a few phrases of this for Nick to lock on and start smashing his crash symbol in unison with Brian's strums.

    Nick LISTENS to his bandmates and isn't afraid to play reserved to propel the jam in an interesting direction. Cam is skilled, but the communication wasn't there. I can pick out plenty of great sounding snippets of Cam's playing during his time with Spafford, but the vast majority will only be good because Cam is a good drummer, and not because of his ability to listen to and play with the members of Spafford.

  • Could not disagree more.

  • It's a funny thing and there's a lot of passion on this subject. I can tell you for sure that Cam is not going to return. The band is very happy to have Nick back and they feel good about the direction that they're moving. I've seen a large outpouring of love for BOTH drummers from this community and I think that says a lot about the Nerds. There are also groups of people who feel Cam was the better choice and those who feel Nick is. This isn't an objective thing. It really depends on what you're listening for.

    I'm glad the band has weathered the changes in lineup and continues to go out and rage night after night.

  • I remember both of us being excited when the announcement was posted on Instagram while we were waiting before the Nashville Ghost Light show. I think we may have been in the minority being excited to welcome Nick back. @evan What shows are you doing this Winter tour?

  • @learningtofly Seems like a good chunk of people do prefer Cam. Nothing wrong with that, I just hate to see negativity toward members of the band because of it. Birmingham, Knox, and 2x Atlanta are what I have set in stone.

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    @evan Cam's entrance to the band came during a very momentous period, also when the band picked up a decent chunk of fans nationally. IMO the momentum is slowly waning. Evan is spot on about Nick's playing. However as a whole, the band could learn something from Cam which is to play your ass off every night. They need to pick it up energy wise as a unit.

  • As my good friend TheBrainTQ put it “ It has been a very long time since a band caught my interests and attention in the way that Spafford has over the past two years“ ie Cam years. I couldn’t have said it any better and this isn’t my feeling now, unfortunately.

    Whatever band dynamic was in play shouldn’t have been been decided so hastily

    Everyone should take some time to listen back to winter tour ‘18 and compare and contrast with the recent batch of shows………the step down will be clear as day.

  • Also, I’m not saying nick is bag of sh*t, he’s just not as polished or tight as Cam.

  • I find it interesting you claim that “Nick is not the answer”.

    The answer to what? If the question is, “which drummer do you prefer playing with Spafford?”, then you’re most certainly entitled to your opinion; but you’re talking as if Nick wasn’t an integral part of the band from the beginning for 8 years beforehand. Without him there is no electro funk therapy.

    ‘18 Winter tour saw them playing at a high level, but I wouldn’t say definitively more so than any other tour. They were extremely consistent every night and had some outstanding moments and shows, but I can list plenty of shows or jams from Sail Inn, Jack’s, or Last Exit - from when they couldn’t nt afford to tour, that are just as good as, if not better than Winter ‘18.

    I’m glad you cut your teeth listening to the band with Cam behind the kit and I wholeheartedly welcome you aboard, but the question is and always will be, “Who is Spafford”?

    And to that I’d tell you that Nick IS Spafford. Just like Brian is. Just like Red is. Just like Jordan is. Cam just played in the band.

    For the record - I am greatly appreciative and amazed by the job Cam did filling in on short notice - he seized the opportunity and did a great job. I’m glad he approached it with his own style instead of trying to be Nick. I wish Cam the best of luck in the future and am disappointed it didn’t work out, but having Nick back feels right. He’s back home.

  • Attendance at GAMH for NYE run was no less or more really than the last time they were there. Maybe less attendance on NYE proper but they're not a hometown band in SF and there was 50,000 other things to do in the city. To suggest it was because Cam wasn't there is ridiculous honestly. I love Cam's drumming and look forward to seeing him with another group in the future. There are things he brought to the table that Nick dosen't because of their different styles. But after seeing several shows with Nick back I can see the elements he brings that make them a more mature, patient jamband.

  • I wouldn’t take attendance at this GAMH to mean anything. As mentioned a billion other demands during the holiday season. I made it to 12/30 but couldn’t do NYE due to family demands. I had friends who love Spafford who were at Phish, others traveling for the holidays....

    This thread is ridiculous. There’s no going back. Cam was great but Nick provides a lot more space in the music and clearly has the confidence of the rest of the band. Your choice whether you want to stick around but the band is certainly playing really well.

  • M

    It seems to me from the way things went down that the intent was always to bring Nick back. Cam was an amazing drummer but he was never their drummer. I think he had more chops, but he took fewer risks.

    No reason to really worry about it either way. The band looks healthy and happy, they're touring a ton, and seems to me like they're crushing it. Tucson and Flag were both stellar shows.

  • When they made the switch back at first I scratched my head. I felt bad for Cam and still do. They're playing with Cam seemed a bit more up tempo and I really got into that. I saw all my first shows with cam, and it was sad to see him go.
    HOWEVER, once Nick stepped in, I listened to everything I could, current and from his first tenure. He was rusty at first after getting back behind the kit, IMHO and all that, but the deeper I dug the more I appreciated how nuanced and beautiful a player he is. After I got a chance to see him live for the first time in Asbury Park this summer I was floored. I have since become a huge fan of his. He is intricate, collaborative and takes lots of risks that pay off big time. So, the move was sad but I get it now.
    Finally, I miss Cam but get why they went back to their original drummer. I think they could have handled it better, and hope he knew it was just a temporary gig, but that isn't for me to say.
    Thank you to this community for all the great music, shows and talk. I love the above discussion, the examples of his playing, etc.

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