Ian Cameron, one half of beloved Whistler duo Ruckus Deluxe, attended the 55th Grammy award ceremony in L.A. last Sunday where an album he worked on was nominated in the Best Pop Instrumental category. Cameron contributed fiddle to Rumbadoodle, a "gypsy flamenco mash-up" album by Singapore songwriter and producer Arun Shenoy. The pair spent two years sending music to each other over the Internet and completed the album without ever having met.
Although the record lost to American trumpeter Chris Botti's Impressions, Cameron says he's glad he attended music's biggest night and finally got a chance to meet Shenoy.
Pique caught up with the Vancouver musician over email just before he headed to LAX for his flight back home to ask about the star-studded ceremony.
Pique: First of all, what was it like to meet Arun for the first time?
Ian Cameron: I landed in L.A. late the night before, so didn't meet Arun until 11:30 a.m. the day of the show. He and his wife are really sweet people and I felt as if we were old friends even though we hadn't even spoken prior to that. That attests to the power of music to unify people. I felt bad for Arun that the album didn't pick up a win because he worked the hardest of all, but even getting the nomination validates the effort. We're all in this for the duration anyhow.
Pique: What was the experience like overall? How were your seats?
Cameron: I was on the aisle for the pre-telecast segment where they award the instrumental categories and it was at the Nokia Theatre beside the Staples Center where they shoot the televised part. They stream the pre-telecast and my brother shot me a text when I was at the after party to tell me he saw me a couple of times. At least that was proof that I wasn't making the whole thing up. That part of the proceedings drags on for hours and the Pop Instrumental category was second to the last. (Wish I had known that in advance.)
Pique: What was your favourite performance? Any surprises?
Cameron: The main show was a massive production and the true stars were the crew and techs that were racing around setting up and striking the gear and sets. Dierks Bentley could have used some Autotune, the Black Keys and Dr John/ Preservation (Hall Jazz Band) were a cool combination and Jack White kept the spirit of electric guitar rock alive by throwing the thing across the stage at the end of the tune. That would have freaked the producers since the techs couldn't run up and switch off the amp feedback until the screen fell. Liked the nod to the Beasties (Beastie Boys) in the last number too.
Pique: You initially mentioned you weren't going to go. How do you feel about your choice now?
Cameron: Glad I was able to make it down. Big thanks to my bandmate Chad (Oliver, in Ruckus Deluxe) and the Dubh Linn Gate (where they perform) for their support! Met some great industry contacts and a whole lot of posers. It was fun to see the circus firsthand. Left the after party an hour early since I was booked for a video shoot at 9 a.m. in Steven Slate's studio in the Hollywood Hills. That's for an instrumental single called "Genesis" that I co-wrote and played violin on as well. The producer is a member of the academy and is already working to get it nominated for next year.