Thirsty interviews Los Campesinos!

 - By Michael Lara

October 6, 2008

Stay Thirsty Media, Inc. - Current News


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“Eat-eat! Eat the menu! Taste-taste… Taste the cocktail.” Absolutely. No arm-twisting necessary either as this Sugarcubes’ savory shot, amongst countless others over 3 phenomenal albums, have given them a multi-faceted glue around the world, launching Bjork into the stratosphere in the process. Two decades later, England’s septet Los Campesinos! duly encapsulate similar fever for their flavor, bringing their catering truck near and far, promoting their primary Hold On Now, Youngster… menu.

In Japan for Summer Sonic ’08, Aleksandra Campesinos! (vocals, melody horn), Gareth Campesinos! (vocals, glockenspiel, guitar), Ellen Campesinos! (bass, vocals), Tom Campesinos! (guitar, vocals), Harriet Campesinos! (violin, keyboards, vocals), Neil Campesinos! (guitar, vocals) and Ollie Campesinos! (drums, vocals) give full fruition of the fun to be had outside in Chiba Marine Stadium in launching Saturday’s pleasing 8-course potluck.

Split up to handle a full press schedule, Ollie, Harriet and Aleksandra take a few minutes to elaborate on their unfurling kitchen of distinction:

Thirsty: Before I forget, Leslie Feist, someone you all know, got one of these (a tea towel featuring a map of Kamakura) and so do all of you. I’ll put you in charge of that (handing the 7 towels to Ollie).

Harriet: Ah, thank you so much.
Ollie: Thanks very much.
Aleksandra: Yeah, cheers.

Thirsty: Now I know you don’t have time this trip, but the reason I am giving this to you is that maybe you will when you come back next month in September and Kamakura is a fantastic and popular daytrip for Tokyoites. You can ask Ko and Naoko (from Hostess Entertainment) about it.

Harriet: We’d definitely need to do that (looking and nodding alongside Ollie and Aleksandra).

Thirsty: It’s only an hour from central Tokyo. But hey, how was earlier today?

Aleksandra: So amazing (eyes wide with a brimming smile).
Harriet: I don’t think we’ll ever get to play in a stadium again. It was a bit bizarre (grinning).
Aleksandra: The Japanese fans are… It’s so flattering to be able to play for them. The reaction is amazing.

Thirsty: When you played “You! Me! Dancing!” Uttering, “If there’s one thing that I can never confess...” Since we don’t have the whole band together, you can answer for the rest if you like, but what would you confess? You have two records out in one year. You got serious momentum.

Aleksandra: Hmmm… That’s very profound (eyes wide).
Ollie: You mean, individually, nothing to do with the band?

Thirsty: Well, whatever, you take it however you like. I’m playing this off your own material. So what do you have to confess? If you had to confess something right now, what would it be? It is a personal question. Absolutely.

Harriet: Well, I‘ll confess for someone else (all chuckling).
Aleksandra: Um, me and Tom had a shower together earlier. Quite like to tell him about that (playfully beaming).
Harriet: Yeah (smiling).
Ollie: Me and Gareth had a shower together Friday.
Harriet: Oh! Some juicy gossip (eyes alive)!
Ollie: That’s, that’s not an unusual thing really. Well, I’m not sure.
Harriet: Well (sheepishly said), I guess Los Campesinos! sometimes shower together.

Thirsty: Yeah.

Harriet: And uh, that’s a confession and a half.

Thirsty: So if you shower together, what soap and shampoo do you use (grinning)?

Ollie: (Almost immediately) I use Head & Shoulders and Radox. I was told by my girlfriend to use Radox, the moisturizing one, because I have very dry legs, but it don’t seem to have done anything so…
Harriet: Well…

Thirsty: Okay, moving on, you guys played with Broken Social Scene…

Ollie: Yeah.

Thirsty: And of course that’s a big deal, but you’re not talking with Leslie (Feist) at all or ever?

Ollie: Ah no.
Harriet: We’ve played for them twice, but she wasn’t there.
Aleksandra: We don’t know them very well.

Thirsty: So are you all honorary Canadians?

Harriet: Ha-ha! We wish. We’d like to be (big smile), but we’re not.
Aleksandra: Technically… Arts & Crafts try to pass us off as Canadian.
Ollie: Yeah.
Harriet: It’s a Canadian label and I think they get money from the government to support Canadian bands so uh…

Thirsty: Where did you play in Toronto? You play Lee’s Palace?

Ollie: Yeah, Lee’s Palace, Mod Club and…
Harriet: Horseshoe Tavern.

Thirsty: Oh, Horseshoe Tavern, oh that’s a great place. Nice and tiny and wow, you guys will be back in a month!

Harriet: Yeah, and hopefully we’ll have a bit more time to look around and stuff.

Thirsty: Can’t remember now, where you all at next time?

Ollie: We’re at Club Quattro.

Thirsty: Oh, that’s great. Has really good sound. It holds like 500 people and it’s right in the center of the city. You’re right in the thick of it.

Ollie: And like all gigs are over here are over at like 9 in the evening and that’s really strange how you then you go home for dinner (amazed).

Thirsty: Well, you got the whole night to do whatever.

Ollie: Yeah, true.

Thirsty: Well, of course now we got the Olympics going on here in Asia and today’s the first day in Beijing.

Ollie: Yeah.

Thirsty: If there were a relay that the seven of you would compete in, what would it be?

Aleksandra: You’re questions are like so out there (eyes wide).

Thirsty: What would be the Los Campesinos! relay?

Harriet: I thought the relay was running?

Thirsty: It can be anything.

Ollie: Do we have like a pentathlon?

Thirsty: If you like. You can decide whatever. For example, I used to be a beach lifeguard in California and we had this annual summer event called The Tour de Hueneme. And what happened is that one lifeguard from each agency would run down the length of the pier, dive off it, swim out to a basket that’s holding a 12-pack of beer for each agency. They’d then swim it in and 3 lifeguards waiting would commence to kill the 12-pack. Upon finishing, one would run to the parking lot to help push a car around a final obstacle course to the finish.

Harriet: Wow, amazing, could never think of something that exciting.
Aleksandra: That sounds pretty cool.

Thirsty: Okay, well, let me just make it easier. If you had to pick an Olympic event for each of you, what would it be and why?

Ollie: I think I’d probably pick sailing ‘cuz I just actually do sailing.

Thirsty: Okay, so you’d do sailing.

Ollie: Yeah.
Harriet: I’d do gymnastics because I’m Russian (Ollie laughing) and into stereotypes (big grin).

Thirsty: And…

Aleksandra: Well, um, I like drinking and smoking so there’s no way I could ever…
Ollie: I’m sure they’ll make that an Olympic sport someday.
Aleksandra: Okay, I’d do drinking and smoking (laughing).

Thirsty: And you can be the commentator as well.

Aleksandra: Ah thank you (beaming grin).
Harriet: Yeah, that’d be our relay.
Ollie: I think Gareth and Neil would probably do football (soccer). Gareth said he’d quite like to play football at the Olympics.
Harriet: Is wrestling an Olympics sport?

Thirsty: Yeah, yeah, yeah yeah…

Harriet: Gareth would want to be a wrestler then.
Aleksandra: What would Ellen want to be???
Ollie: Ellen…
Harriet: Oh, Tom would like badminton or table tennis.
Ollie: Ah, Ellen would do Tae Kwan Do or something.

Thirsty: Right on. Now, the Olympics of course are coming to London in 2012. If you could guys could play at any of the venues or for any sport, what would it be?

Harriet: Well, as a band?

Thirsty: Yeah. Live entertainment is a must.

Aleksandra: Ah, well I’d like us to play where they have, you know, musicals in the water…
Ollie: To synchronized swimming?
Aleksandra: Yeah.
Harriet: Aw, that’d be really fun.
Ollie: That’d be nice.
Aleksandra: To our swimmers…Dress up in 50’s style outfits.

Thirsty: Excellent, but hey, wait a second-Why don’t you guys talk to Arts & Crafts about doing a showcase in 2010 at the Vancouver Olympics?

Ollie: Because we’re not Canadian and they always have Canadian bands so…
Harriet: Yeah (with Aleksandra nodding).

Thirsty: Ah now, I’m sure Arts & Crafts would pull for you to make it happen…


Heading back to Japan in less than a month after Summer Sonic ’08, Tokyoites and Osakans shall be given another chance to eat their menu and this time for a full course Campesinos! feed with robust attention to their forthcoming We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed to be launched first in Japan, elsewhere in October and November in making the best of it.



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