Wednesday, February 10

Chairmen of the Bored: Los Campesinos!

. Wednesday, February 10

“There have definitely been times when I’ve dropped songs from the set list at gigs when I know ex-girlfriends are in the audience with their new boyfriends” says Gareth, lead singer and private diary projector of Los Campesinos. “I don’t really hold anything back when I’m writing though because I think once you start to edit your thoughts and feelings then you lose something.” Nobody could accuse Gareth or his band mates of holding back. Their new album ‘Romance Is Boring’ is the sound of the transformation between adolescence and adulthood, the pains it brings and the victories which emerge from within. Brutally open and pain painstakingly true it’s the lyrics and lengthy prose of the band that attract and divide in equal measure and the band are united in their belief that this is their most personal album to date. “I think it’s actually quite an indulgent album in many ways” says guitarist Tom, “I mean it’s fifteen tracks long and we don’t sort of reach out to people who don’t necessarily like the band. There are songs on there that have an instant appeal but overall I think it’s an album for ourselves and our fans.”

This is perhaps an understatement as ‘Romance Is Boring’ has already established itself as one of this fledglings years finest thus far and has seen the band gather more widespread critical praise. Prior to meeting Gigwise four of the band (Gareth, Tom, violin player Harriet and new keyboard player Kim) were playing a 6Music session for Lauren Laverne. “She was everything I hoped she would be” says die hard Kenickie fan Gareth “Thinner as well.” Nervous as to how good they sounded playing songs they don’t know inside out yet the foursome are clearly agree that ‘Romance Is Boring’ is their best work to date.

The album had a premature birth however when it was leaked online before Christmas, months before it’s scheduled release date. “We expected it to leak but not so soon” says Gareth. “We know how the internet works and knew the day would always come but had hoped it would be a couple of weeks before release - not a couple of months.” A web savvy band like no other the group immediately began to receive feedback on their hard work, both negative and positive. “The thing with the internet is it encourages such extreme opinions.” States Gareth “People on blogs and forums were saying things like ‘I’m four tracks in and it’s absolute rubbish’ but at the same time people were saying ‘I’m four tracks in and it’s the best thing ever’. Both opinions are equally as retarded aren’t they?” Harriet agrees saying, “Obviously we love that people want to hear our music but we want to present it in a proper way. With a leak all you get is a weak version of the final product and it can mean we struggle to go on tour. Luckily we have fans who will genuinely go out and buy the finished article when it does come out.”

‘Romance Is Boring’ represents something of a sea change for the band. Starting when they were just seventeen and attending Cardiff University the students have now become graduates, all apart from one. Original band member Aleks left the group after finishing recording the album to finish her medical degree. It hit the band hard but they feel in a better place for it. “I think what made it hard was that we always knew it was going to happen but just never spoke about it” says Gareth “It wasn’t until we sat down and basically faced up to what was going on that we realised what we were facing. After that it became a lot easier.” The group didn’t have to look far for a replacement either drafting in Gareth’s sister Kim who says that fitting in “Couldn’t be easier”.

Aside from adjusting to a Travelodge busting eight man line up Los Campesinos can’t wait to get out on the road again with UK, European and American tour dates all scheduled into their battered diaries. “We’re all very lucky that we get to travel the world, play with amazing bands and see so many places with this band” says Tom. Summing up the charm of Los Campesinos! He then says, “Even coming to London for the day feels like we’re on a school trip so all of this still blows our mind.”. Humble and unassuming Los Campesinos might not be your typical rock band but they might just be your most vital.

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