Interview: Gareth Campesinos of Los Campesinos!
The current tour of Los Campesinos! closes with two sold-out shows at the Bowery Ballroom on Saturday, February 14 and Sunday, February 15--two nights in which they'll "play every song that we know."
In 2008, the seven member Welsh collective Los Campesinos! released not one but two rather complete compact discs: the 12-song song Hold On Now, Youngster . . . (officially considered an album) followed by the only slightly briefer 10-song We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed (designated, by the band at least, as an EP). But while both offerings are undeniably upbeat musically (check out Youngster's "You! Me! Dancing!"), singer/lyricist Gareth Campesino (yes, they're kind of like the Ramones when it comes to surnames) suggests that his lyrics have more recently veered towards the "more personal" and "honest." None more biting than the Doomed title track's dark couplet "We kid ourselves that there's future in the fucking/But there is no fucking future." Blame/credit Gareth's relatively recent obsession with the late (via suicide) B.S. Johnson--a British writer not particularly prone, either personally or professionally, to bullshit.
Two days after Barack Obama's inauguration, we spoke with Gareth Campesino as he awaited check-out from a Super 8 Motel (room 225) in Tallahassee. --Rob Trucks
Tell me something that you've never ever done before in your life.
Any sort of danger sport that could result in my death. I've never done, or indeed wanted to do, anything as exciting as skydiving or bungee jumping. And I don't ever imagine I would.
Tell me something you've done once and one time only.
I ate octopus once, and never endeavored to follow it up. And I know I never will. I'm a vegan, so that's off-limits now. But not a particularly enjoyable experience. Like rubber bands.
The name of a book you've read at least twice.
Would be Trawl by B. S. Johnson, my absolute favorite author.
You're a Brian Johnson fan.
Yeah, yeah. Are you yourself?