2013 Artist Survey: San Fermin | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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2013 Artist Survey: San Fermin

Ellis Ludwig-Leone on Lou Reed, Obamacare, Spotify, His Favorite Word, and More

Feb 10, 2014 Web Exclusive
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For Under the Radar's 11th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to the important issues of the last year, as well as some quirkier subjects. Check out our next print issue and digital issue for surveys from My Morning Jacket, Foals, Amanda Palmer, Local Natives, Wild Nothing, These New Puritans, Lanterns on the Lake, Xiu Xiu, and Summer Camp.

Here are answers from Ellis Ludwig-Leone of San Fermin. San Fermin's self-titled debut album is out now on Downtown.

Top 10 Albums of 2013

1. Sam Amidon: Bright Sunny South
2. Son Lux: Lanterns
3. Rhye: Woman
4. CHVRCHES: The Bones of What You Believe
5. Villagers: {Awayland}
6. Nadia Sirota: Baroque
7. Timo Andres: Home Stretch
8. Kanye West: Yeezus
9. Arctic Monkeys: AM
10. James McVinnie: Cycles

What was the highlight of 2013, either for you personally or for the band?

Playing at Reykjavík's Iceland Airwaves was pretty phenomenal. Either that or our album release show at LPR, which was so gratifying because all of our friends and family were there.

What was the low point of 2013 for you?

When our trailer, with $25,000 worth of equipment inside, was stolen in Portland. Still recovering from that.

What are your hopes and plans for 2014?

A headline tour with Son Lux in the winter, then touring Europe in the spring, and then festivals this summer. In the meantime, we're recording another album and planning to do it all again.
 
What are your thoughts on the passing of Lou Reed? Did his music influence you at all and in what way?

Lou Reed was less influential on me personally than his wife, Laurie Anderson. But I love a few of his songs, in particular "Satellite of Love," and his passing has definitely affected our band a lot. I know that our drummer, Michael [Hanf], in particular had a deep relationship with his music. It's very sad to say goodbye.
 
What are your thoughts on the U.S. government shutdown and the debt ceiling debate?

I don't feel like I have something to say on this that is more enlightening than the many others who have commented on it, so I'll refrain from saying too much. But what I can say is that it's frustrating to have a Republican party that's so hell-bent on "winning" that they lose track of what government is supposed to do in the first place.

What are your thoughts on Obamacare, now that it's being implemented?

I'm enjoying it.

What is your opinion on the extensive government spying on the world's Internet/phone usage? Is Edward Snowden a patriot or traitor?

I think I've always kind of assumed that once you're on the Internet, everything is sort of fair game, and it doesn't surprise me or scare me too much to learn the extent of the government's knowledge. I always felt like I knew what I was getting into, putting myself out there.

What are your thoughts on music streaming services such as Spotify and Rdio? Are they good or bad for musicians?

I mean, it's crazy that you're not even really expected to make any money selling your music anymore. Spotify and Rdio definitely don't help much with the money thing, but at least they get your music out there to people who wouldn't otherwise hear it. At this point, I'm sort of over talking about it and would rather keep making music with the hope that good music will always be rewarded somehow, whether that be through crowd-funding or live shows or what have you.
 
Do bad reviews bother you and which negative review has affected you the most?

Criticism bothered me more earlier on, but once you've heard enough things from enough sources you start to tune it out. It's a cumulative thing; the more responses there are, the more they average out.
 
What moment in history do you most wish you could've witnessed in person?

Wasn't there a dinner in like 1922 where Stravinsky, Picasso, James Joyce and Marcel Proust were all there? That. But I'd like to see the menu first.
 
What is your favorite word and why?

"Smang." Smash it and bang.

www.sanferminband.com



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