European band takes tour to Texas
With the winding down of a month-long North American tour that gave them a single day off, Welsh band Los Campesinos! is ready to let Texans have it during their final four gigs in the state, including a stop tonight at Fitzgerald’s.
“The shows themselves have been wonderful. The intensity, the audiences and the performances have been great. We’ve had a wonderful time,” said the band’s lead vocalist and songwriter Gareth Campesino! — all the band members have taken that surname.
It’s been the most intense tour the band has undertaken, Campesino! said, and the band is excited about these last tour dates.
“We’re going to be able to put every last drop of energy into these,” said Campesino!. “We’re over the hump and feeling exhausted and we can just enjoy these last four (shows).”
Before heading south, the band made a pit stop at the studios of the Late Show with David Letterman — their first U.S. talk show appearance. By the end of their performance, however, Letterman called Campesino! a “little condescending” — a term some might take as a badge of honor — for explaining to Letterman that he meant soccer when he said football.
“I think you can probably tell from the looks on our faces how happy we were to be there, and then when Dave engaged me, I had no intention of being condescending — I was just trying to assimilate,” said Campesino! with a laugh.
Snide remarks and comebacks aside, the experience was one the band looks forward to having again.
“The buzz of being on live TV is incredible and also the potential to meet famous people as well,” said Campesino!. “We’re all big fans of celebrity and gossip.”
The band formed in 2006 while attending university in Wales and were influenced by The Smiths, Belle and Sebastian, Guided by Voices and Broken Social Scene.
In six years, Los Campesinos! have released three full-length albums, two EPs, one extended EP, about a dozen singles — two of which were non-album releases — and a zine called Heat Rash, which gives fans a whole slew of goodies. They have definitely been productive.
“It amazes me the number of bands who release a record and then don’t do (anything) for two and a half years,” said Campesino!. “I think being in a band, you don’t have many responsibilities — all you have to do is make music and tour.”
Their productivity also stems from their eagerness to perform new material during tours.
“Once we’ve done one tour with a new album, we want to have something else new to (tour with). We get a little restless.”
In the near future, Campesino! said a new issue of Heat Rash is in the works and he hopes to be back in the studio before the end of the year.
“We are constantly writing and trying to create new things,” said Campesino!.
“We’re pessimists, that’s why we want to be able to do as much as we can in whatever period of time we have.”
Los Campesinos! will hit the upstairs stage at 8 p.m. at Fitzgerald’s. Washington-based Parenthetical Girls will open.
For more information, visit www.stubwire.com.