Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Los Campesinos! Interviewed!

Los Campesinos! is a 7-member indie rock collective out of Cardiff University in Wales. Known for its punk style, the group gained recognition with early Myspace demos and its music has spread like wildfire, making this band one of the most exciting young acts on the music scene to come to Princeton. Intersections catches up with drummer, Ollie Briggs on their journey as a band and their new album,” Romance is Boring.” Los Campesinos! will be performing at Terrace Club this Friday -- if the damn Icelandic ash doesn't stop 'em.

Q: How did you get involved with Los Campesinos!?

A: Me and Neil were chatting about music and he said he wanted to start a band. We asked Ellen if she wanted to come along. So the three of us started jamming in my bedroom and it went from there.

Q: Can you describe your music in a few words?

A: Pop music with a punkish element.

Q: If you could bring 4 musicians, dead or alive, to a dinner party, who would they be?

A: It would be a dinner party for drummers. I would have Chick Webb, Buddy Rich, Greg Saunier and Jim Eno.

Q: What's the common denominator between all the band members that brings you together as a group?

A: I suppose our love for music and wanting to create something that is exciting compared to a lot of stuff that is about at the moment.

Q: Where does the name "Los Campesinos!" come from?

A: It basically means the peasants or farmers. None of us are and it had no political meaning. Neil did Spanish at school and suggested it.

Q: You guys formed while at Cardiff University, what role did music play in your college experience during that time? Are you still pursuing your former academic interests?

A: None of us originally did music. Kim, who has recently joined the band, did music. We have all finished now. None of us were deeply involved in any of the musical groups at uni. We just went to the same gigs and club nights and formed our friendships there.

Q: Your newest album is called "Romance is Boring." What's the inspiration behind the album? Where does the title come from?

A: The title comes from a blog that Gareth does occasionaly. It was a title for one of the songs and we decided that it was catchy enough to be the album title. The album's influences from a lyrical perspective are things such as missed love, death and wanting to be a pro soccer player.

Q: What is the songwriting process like for the band?

A: Tom and Gareth are the core writers. Harriet comes up with a lot of lines for violin. Once we have the foundations of the song then we can throw in different ideas.

Q: What do you try to get out of a live performance versus in the studio?

A: Live you can feed off the energy of the crowd. In the studio you can experiment a lot more, trying out weird arrangements and different instruments.

Q: What are a few of the bands on your recent playlist?

A: I'm really liking the new Spoon record. The new Titus Andronicus is amazing, my record of the year!

Q: What's the most memorable or craziest moment that the band has ever experienced together?

A: We had a window fall out of the bus in the middle of the Californian desert whilst driving to Seattle! There have been a lot of drunken antics.

Q: What are you looking forward to in your show at Terrace? Do you have any exciting plans for the future?

A: Just having the opportunity to play in a different country. I just really enjoy playing live. We have something exciting coming up but I can't divulge much more, sorry!

Interview conducted, condensed, and edited by Lisa Han ‘13

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