Interview // Los Campesinos! @ Leeds Festival 2012
Gareth, this year’s headliners of Reading and Leeds; The Cure, Kasabian and Foo Fighters… Shag, Marry, Kill?
I would say, I would marry The Cure, they’ve obviously shown longevity and been reliable.. I would avoid Foo fighters, I’ve never been into them or even music like that, their lyrics aren’t great… and then I suppose I would shag Kasabian. You’re left with Kasabian and they’re the glamour, they’re the most contemporary, the youngest band. So, surprisingly, I would have to say I would shag Kasabian. They’re also big football fans, which is always a good start.
So you played at Reading yesterday and Leeds today, where was better? Reading or Leeds?
I would always say Leeds! I think generally I much prefer the north to the south. I’m from the south west but I think when it comes to the north/south divide it always comes back to everywhere vs. the south east because I think the south east has a lot more in common with the north, a lot more working class backgrounds, so I always tend towards the north. That said, Reading yesterday was a bit better than today. I think we suffered slightly from being on on Sunday. Everyone’s a bit hungover and I think any last bit of energy they had they used on getting to the stage, whereas yesterday, it was sunnier, people weren’t quite as jaded on the second day of the festival. So generally speaking, Leeds is better, but on this weekend Reading just quite beat it.
Were you a little bit disappointed by the lack of bap-flashing that went on during your set today?
If I think about it then I suppose, yes, it is a little bit disappointing in any sense, but one of the times I’ve been here at Leeds, I saw Limp Bizkit , it must have been 2 years ago, and they actively encouraged any people in the audience to display their breasts. The guys on the cameras were immediately seeking them out, the music became sort of a side show to the girls exposing themselves and we can’t do that… I don’t think I could carry off that bravado. I wouldn’t know how to react to that and with a lot of our audience, there would be some sort of moral issue with them doing that at their age.
Sometimes your lyrics are a bit explicit, do you ever feel a bit awkward singing about some things when you have younger crowds?
A month ago we played at Deershed festival and it became quickly apparent that it was aimed at a younger audience and sort of families and children. So the whole audience was parents with young children on their shoulders and I found myself trying to censor the lyrics when relevant, and had we had known that that was who the festival was aimed at, we probably would have changed our setlist a little bit. Sometimes you feel a bit guilty when you see a young person in the crowd, but you can’t always censor it just because of one person.
It’s fair to say you’ve had a bit more success with Hello Sadness than you have with the other albums, has it always been a case of working hard and keep releasing things and see what happens?
Yeah, definitely. Part of the reason why the band has done as well as it has, is because we’ve always had really low expectations of the band. We started the band because it was fun and it was an exciting thing to do and I think more and more bands have formed because people just want to get famous and their management and record label have just pushed them. We’ve worked with the right people and they’ve supported us. Before we signed with Wichita we were offered more money with major labels but we know that they would have got rid of us after our first record because it didn’t have massive success, so the fact that we’ve never expected much from ourselves has helped.
Has using ‘You Me Dancing’ in the Budweiser album helped you as a band?
It’s helped us as a band because it’s given us a lot of money which has managed to keep things going. It’s given us money that we’ve put straight back into the band, we haven’t taken anything ourselves. To tour around the world as a 7-piece band is really expensive so all of the money we made has been used for transport and touring. With something like the Dandy Warhols with the Vodafone advert ‘Bohemian Like You’, that kind of backfired for them because everyone only associated them with that song and they couldn’t get out of that. But we’ve not really seen much of an uptake since the advert came out, which in a way, is good. I don’t know if it’s because there isn’t any vocals in the advert, which is a good thing because the lyrics in that song are terrible and my voice is horrific
Ever thought about hosting a Wichita lads night in with label-fellows Frankie & The Heartstrings, given your backgrounds in advertising?
We should do shouldn’t we! It would be perfect, dominoes and Budweiser. It’s amazing to think that 2 bands as small as us and Frankie and The Heartstrings can have this massive exposure. Nobody would expect that, I’m sure they’re as proud of that as we are of the Budweiser advert.
Who’s the best football manager player ever?
Ever? Every time a new game comes out, there is a new one. From my youth, probably…this is going to be a nightmare for you because you’re print media… his name is Kennedy Bakircioglu…Currently I’m in the year 2027 with Huddersfield and at the moment my best player is a player called Yaya Sanogo, that’s his real name, it’s not made up. The thing with FM is you can turn to it whenever. Since the age of 12, barely a day has gone by that I haven’t played.
Earlier, I tweeted asking my Twitter followers if they had any questions they wanted asking during this interview. I had a nice reply from Rob Campesinos! Who wants to know ‘why is Rob so cool’? and also to ask about his skincare regime…?
I’m not aware Rob has a skincare regime? He’s kind of got the rugged look going on so I don’t think he needs one. Why is Rob so cool… Rob would really like to be cool, he’d love to be a really cool dude, but he doesn’t realise he’s not really cut out for being cool. Perhaps that’s what makes him cool actually…