Lovers Lane
ATT Internet 75

Los Campesinos interview

| May 30, 2008

The Internet Startups
Of Los Campesinos


A funny thing happened to seven university students in Wales who were well on their way to graduation a year ago: Their fledgling side-project (Los Campesinos) dropped a debut single (“You! Me! Dancing!”) that not only became an overnight Internet sensation, but also the biggest next big thing to happen to U.K. pop music since (insert fave band name here) were the big next biggest thing.

One year later, the good news is six did graduate (the seventh taking hiatus from a longer-term med program); the better news is the debut single is now augmented by 11 other equally scintillating tracks in the band’s recently released Hold On Now, Youngster . . . (Arts & Crafts); and the best news is, according to a transatlantic phone call with guitarist/direction-former Tom Campesino (a la Ramones, Donnas, et al, each member of the band vowed to take the band name as their own if they ever played in America), their halcyon whirlwind of a year hasn’t gone to their heads.

“Everyday it never fails to be an interesting situation,” says Tom. “It’s a really nice feeling, never gets boring or feels sort of routine because it has happened so quickly and so surprisingly and no one ever really anticipated it in any way at all that it would end up like this. Little things keep happening and they keep kind of surpassing the last thing in terms of how surprising and exciting.”

Like? “Like having record-label interest and then getting signed and then getting brought off across North America and then playing Lollapalooza and a load of festivals in the U.K. Each thing just getting more and more strange, but . . . um,” Tom pauses, before continuing and ending with a slight laugh, “We’re completely aware of how sort of stupidly lucky we are to be in this position as well, so we never take it for granted, and it’s all still really good fun.”

Even the most casual listener cannot help but be impressed as to how integral “fun” is to all things Campesinos. It certainly helps explain how seven mostly self-taught and self-described music-fan elitists — wielding everything from glockenspiels to violins, in addition to standard-rock-band mufti — have transformed the potentially cacophonic into something close to pure-pop genius.

“I think the kind of music we’ve always tended to make has tended to be upbeat, and I think that’s just kind of, I guess, an expression of the fact that we enjoy being in a band really,” Tom concurs. “I mean it would be pretty unconvincing if we were making sort of dark moody music and it’s just an attempt at being honest, I suppose. A lot of Garth’s lyrics kind of conflict with that as well because some his lyrics are darker and, um, quite windy at times,” Tom says, chuckling. “But always with a sense of humor as well. But if it comes across as fun then that’s a really good thing from us ’cause we do enjoy being in a band. And so if it comes across that way then that’s great!”

David C. Eldridge

For the rest of the greatness, grab the June issue available free throughout Chicagoland.

Category: Features, Monthly

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.