2012 Artist Survey: Hooray for Earth

Joseph Ciampini Reflects on the Last Year

Jan 11, 2013 Photography by Tommy Kearns Web Exclusive
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For Under the Radar's 10th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2012.

Pick up the print version of the Best of 2012 issue to read responses from the following artists: Alt-J, Fred Armisen, Bear in Heaven, Camera Obscura, Chad Valley, Charli XCX, Choir of Young Believers, Clinic, CSS, Dan Deacon, Desaparecidos, Django Django, Efterklang, Egyptian Hip Hop, El Perro Del Mar, Grimes, Halls, Richard Hawley, Hercules and Love Affair, Ladytron, Liars, Lord Huron, Lower Dens, Mount Eerie, My Morning Jacket, The Mynabirds, The New Pornographers, of Montreal, Peaking Lights, Porcelain Raft, Laetitia Sadier, and Tame Impala.

Then download the digital version of the Best of 2012 issue to read all those surveys, as well as bonus responses from the following artists: !!!, Clare and the Reasons, Codeine, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Esben and the Witch, The Fresh & Onlys, Get People, Islands, Kwes, Lost in the Trees, NZCA/LINES, OFF!, Plants and Animals, Still Corners, Violens, Xiu Xiu, Young Dreams, and Zambri.

We are also posting additional web-exclusive artist survey interviews to the website. Here are responses from Joseph Ciampini of Hooray for Earth.

Top Album of 2012

I bought one album that was released this year, and it was Zambri's House of Baasa, and it is really good. So that wins!

What was the highlight of 2012 for either you personally or for the band?
HFE got to record at the Maida Vale Studios in London. In line at the cafeteria, there's a picture of the Beatles waiting in line at the cafeteria. The gear has been struck and plugged in and sung and shouted into by lots of legendary people. It was a profoundly humbling experience.

What was the low point of 2012 for you?
My cat threw up on the floor and then tried to stop me from cleaning it up. B Zzzzsssssas   <---- That was him walking on the keyboard, no joke!

What are your hopes and plans for 2013?
We hope and plan to come to your town to play new songs and hopefully we brought it all and it all works.

To what extent did the poor world economy affect your ability to make a reasonable living as an artist in 2012? 
I haven't quit my day job yet, if that's what you mean.
 
What are your thoughts on the 2012 U.S. presidential election?
In general, go blue team! But I bet we'd all like to see more happen in D.C. instead of these endless elections that turn into 1.5 year nightmares. 

Steve Albini criticized Amanda Palmer for recruiting musicians to play in her backing band for free. Was he right to do this and was Palmer right to change her mind and pay her musicians?
I think they were both right in their respective decisions. I admire them both, and I and everyone I know has worked for free at some point, but once you get to a certain level of (well-deserved) success, I would hope a few bucks to your "volunteers" wouldn't be an issue. I don't know!

What pop culture phenomenon from 2012 would you most like to erase from your memory?
Rick Santorum?! Ha.  
 
Were you affected by Hurricane Sandy? Do you think that climate change was partly responsible for the hurricane?
My apartment lost power, but I was lucky to be out of the city. I'm not a scientist, but I think most people over the age of 25 can say that we've seen the weather patterns change in our lifetime. Whatever the causes, it's happening. 
 
Tell us about the most memorable fan encounter you had this year.
I played chess with a 20-something-year-old college student in Iowa(?) for a free record and he beat me. Then we went out to a scary bar and one of us almost got into a fight with some middle-aged wino adulterer guy. Weird stuff. Actually, I think that was last year.
 
What were some of the rejected names for your band?
Bug Arms. 
 
Tell us about your first kiss. 
Noooooooooooooo.
 
Would you survive a zombie apocalypse? Explain.

Given the right circumstances, I'd like to think I could, but then again, probably not.
 
Did you watch this year's Olympics? What was your favorite event and which event would you be best at?
I didn't watch, sorry. I feel like I'd be a natural at curling...

What artist or band deserves far more acclaim than what he/she/they are currently receiving?
Zambri again, but then lots of people love them.
 
What should musicians do, if anything, to support Pussy Riot?
As Americans, PR being locked up for so long over what occurred seems draconian, but it's a different culture. I don't know enough about it, honestly. If musicians feel the need to support them, I think a good first step would be saying so.
 
What most scares you about getting old? 
Becoming more forgetful than I already am.
 
Finish this sentence: 2012 will be known as the year that _________.
I didn't see that Batman movie.
 
What is the first thing you do when you get home from being on tour?
Sit down.
 
Which song, other than one of your own, most tends to get stuck in your head?
"Chalkhills and Children" by XTC.
 
What's the riskiest thing you've ever done?  
Jumped off a swing backwards. I hurt my leg pretty bad.
 
Who was the first person to break your heart?
My first "girlfriend" made her friend break up with me (in 7th grade)!  Rough stuff.

What's the biggest thing you got away with as a child?  
Being an idiot.
 
How should the U.S. proceed with the current Iran nuclear situation? 
While I think lots of people are rather alarmist about this issue. Given how little we know about Iran's nuclear capabilities, I still don't think another preemptive war can be the answer. Fool me once, shame on you, and all that.
 
With the looming crackdown on peer-to-peer trading and torrent sites, what effect do you think that will have on how people find your music? Will it hurt or help your ability to make a living?
Well, as always the fact that people seek out your music at all is forever a good thing. The real question is: if those sites suddenly vanish, will people start spending more money on music? Or will they find another way to not pay for it? I don't think you can police behavior like that these days, for good or ill.

In 2012, what was the best movie you saw, book you read, comic book you read, video game you played, and/or TV show you watched?
Movie: The Master. Book: Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut. Game: Rome: Total War. TV: The Walking Dead.

www.hoorayforearth.net



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