Sara Kauss, Getty Images for St Jude Country Music Marathon Sarah Darling might be…
- Posted on Feb 2nd 2010 8:10AM by Farah Ishaq
"I'm quite a perfectionist," the leader of the Cardiff-based band tells Spinner, "but it has surpassed my expectations, now that I'm holding it in my hands."
The band, who formed whilst studying at Cardiff University, will play their biggest London headline show yet at London's Koko on Feb. 25.
This is the second time you've worked with John Goodmanson [he produced the band's second effort, 'We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed' in 2008] have you built up a great rapport with him?
I couldn't imagine working with a producer other than John. He is like a father figure and puts us completely at ease. He knows musically where we are coming from and what we're aiming for and has worked with a lot of bands that we really admire. He grew up with people like Kurt Cobain, Kathleen Hannah and Calvin Johnson, so he's got an incredible amount of stories that we always happy to just sit around and listen to, drinking with him until the early hours of the morning.
Los Campesinos! have now recorded three albums in three years, that's quite impressive.
'Hold On Youngsters' was essentially every song we wrote while at university. Then 'We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed' was meant to be an EP and ended up being a lot longer. 'Romance Is Boring' is the first time we've set out to make a full length album. I guess three in three years is quite a lot. We're just really really aware that we are not going to be able to be a band forever, it takes a really special band to have a career like Super Furry Animals or Sonic Youth. Most bands aren't lucky enough to do that.
You've declared that Romance Is Boring is about 'death, decay and football' -- could you expand on the album's themes for us?
We formed when we were 19, 20, now we're 24, 25 -- I think we've all grown up an awful lot since leaving university. Now is the first time I feel entirely comfortable writing about exactly what I think about. So that is an equal mixture of love, death and football. I think a lot of people who inhabit the 'scene,' whatever scene we're a part of, are anti-football because of the over-macho undertones it might have. When you meet someone who likes the same music as you, AND likes football, that's the perfect match!
A lot of 'Romance Is Boring' is about being constantly away, and the strain that can have on relationships. It's a really weird paradox between playing on stage to hundreds or a thousand people and having those people react to what you do and then every night getting back on the bus and going to sleep in a bunk on your own, away from normal life. The whole album is basically a result of over thinking in deep moments of isolation. I don't really talk about things like that to my friends, putting it in a song is a less direct way of talking about it.
Did the whole band really get diagnosed with swine flu 20 minutes before a live show last October? [The band twittered their fans with the news before going on stage]
We did! Kim [Gareth's sister, and replacement seventh member] had it worst. It was her first tour with us as well. Poor thing. She was feeling incredibly ill. We didn't think it would be as dramatic as swine flu. The gig we were playing in Oxford had this underage rave going on in the same venue, so they had lots of paramedics there. One of them saw Kim and said 'Yeah, you've got swine flu' and then checked a few of us over, 'Yeah you've got swine flu as well, and you.' There were about 12 of us on the tour, so after three he just said 'Let's just assume you've all got swine flu as you've all been in the van together.' Kim had to have a bucket on stage next to her as she had literally been vomiting nonstop all day.
The album is available now on Arts&Crafts in the US and Wichita in the UK. Check out the video of album track 'The Sea is a Good place to Think of the Future' here.