- OrginGrand Rapids, MI
- GenresMetal · Rock
Jason Wood – Singer
Chris Hartley – Guitar
Jim Borchers – Guitar
Mike Smith – Bass
Troy Middlecamp – Drums
How does one paraphrase the goals, achievements, status, and longevity of a band of the likes of Grand Rapids, MI’s Kamilla? One does not.
In an age of flashiness taking priority over substance, contrived pop methodology, and the overall “to sum it up” attitude, Kamilla stays true to its roots as a melodic metal outfit.
Created in the fall of 2001 as the brainchild of guitarist Chris Hartley and drummer Troy Middlecamp, Kamilla quickly found itself in the upper echelon of talent in the Midwest music scene. With its lineup at the time (which included vocalist Jason Wood, now with Trustkill recording act It Dies Today), Kamilla found themselves winning the reverence and admiration of a legion of fans and musicians alike. 2002 yielded Kamilla some local bragging rights after winning the second annual (now in its 8th year) WKLQ 107.3 FM Heavyweight Championship as well as Aris’ 101.7 FM Hometown Rock search that very same year.
With so much attention focused on the group, Budweiser True Music offered Kamilla a regional sponsorship. This included a financial endorsement as well as radio ads, free equipment, regional shows, as well as the opportunity to open for Immortal recording artist KoRn at a sold out show at Grand Rapids’ Orbit Room.
2003 found Kamilla gearing up to record their first album. Recorded at the now retired Station C Studios with Al McAvoy, Kamilla’s self titled “red” album would take just over a year to complete. The band spent weekends away from the studio further building their live show by opening for countless national acts, including playing for over 10,000 people at 2003’s 101.7 FM FOX Fest. Kamilla was pleasantly surprised to see a Kamilla T-shirt on the cover of the November 2003 issue of Kerrang! Magazine.
2004 was rung in with a sold out show at home to celebrate the release of the red album. The eight song debut record sold hundreds of copies its first night, and had continued success throughout the year. 2004 also saw some lineup changes with the loss of a guitarist (Jim Borchers) and vocalist (Jason Wood). Kamilla was down, but not out… Johnny Whitney was quick to step in as the new frontman, and Kamilla recorded and released the 3 song EP “So Much For Fairweather,” in the summer of 2005 to a very anxious and lively fanbase.
2006 began on a very inspiring note… rather than participating in another competition for local glory, Kamilla teamed up with Roadrunner recording act Still Remains to put on a benefit show for an ailing friend with Leukemia at the Intersection in Grand Rapids. The show was the biggest benefit show that the club had ever seen, and over $9,000 was raised that night for their friend.
That same year, however, also saw the loss of their founding bassist due to carpal-tunnel issues. Luckily enough, Clint Devlin (formerly of LA-based Jagermeister band, I.R.A.T.E.) was home and eager to fill the position. As the year drew to a close, Kamilla released “River City Reveille,” a 6 song EP featuring the new lineup, and quickly followed it up with a two-week national tour to Los Angeles and back. The group rang in 2007 in California while on tour, and were welcomed home with radio interviews to home rock station 107.3FM WKLQ and many shows since then.