Late-night session turns into Campaign of rock and hip-hopApril 19, 2012 - 7:00am
Campaign LK, a Limerick-based six piece, bring their amped up fusion of rock and hip hop to Monroe’s Live this Sunday, April 22.
The band began when vocalist and singer Brian Kelly recorded a track with rapper Weenz in the bedroom of Joe Coffee, a mutual friend.
“It was basically a night’s drinking that turned into a creative writing session!” recalls Brian. “And then we just kept making beats. Then, we had an opportunity to bring that to the stage, so we did.”
Pleased with their late-night collaboration, the pair needed a name for their project.
“I was in a new band, I was setting out a new musical thing,” says Brian. “Of course, we couldn’t just have it as Campaign -”
“There’s ten thousand other groups called Campaign!” laughs Weenz. “So we threw in the LK to differentiate ourselves on YouTube and Facebook and that, and it stuck.”
Not long after forming, Brian and Weenz went in search of a band after being offered a very high profile support slot.
“We supported Rubberbandits in Dolans about two years ago,” says Weenz. “It went so well that things started happening pretty fast.”
“We got asked to back them for the Horse Outside tour,” adds Brian. “So we jumped at it. We started playing some nice stages and we weren’t playing together long.”
As everyone (including Joe Duffy) knows, Horse Outside was a massive success. Being on that tour meant that the newly assembled Campaign LK were thrown in at the deep-end.
“We definitely were,” says Weenz. “We were playing Tripod and a packed out Button Factory, our second and third gigs.”
The combination of Weenz’s full-on vocal delivery combines and Brian’s melodic sensibility gives Campaign LK their sound.
“What happens is I write a riff or a few things that sound good, on the keys or guitar,” says Brian. “It’s nothing fancy; lately it’s recorded into somebody’s phone.”
“We’ll talk about a concept for the song, we’ll try and meet halfway,” adds Weenz. “If Brian is saying something in the hook then I’ll try ‘what does that mean to me’, then I’ll write along those lines.”
A song like Calms Your Soul has elements of hip-hop and hard-rock, but the Campaign LK frontmen are wary of pigeon-holing their music.
“A lot of the people that take the music and like it, they don’t take it as hip-hop-they call it whatever they want,” says Brian.
“We definitely don’t want to be confined to a genre,” says Weenz. “We listen to different types of music. It’s about music; it’s not about hip-hop or rock.”
Rapping may not be seen as something with an obvious connection to Ireland, but Weenz is very keen to differ.
“What we’re talking about is our lives in Ireland, and I rap in a Limerick accent,” he says. “So it’s very Irish. There’s a folk thing there where you’re telling stories, that’s a tradition in Ireland. That’s the way I see it – in some ways it’s more Irish than a lot of other acts out there that I can’t relate to.”
“That’s what folk is – it’s telling stories,” he adds. “It’s about real life with real people. We’re talking about things going on in the world right now, like people on nights out. We’re not talking about love and romance that much. We’re talking about the recession and things like that. That’s what The Pogues and The Dubliners were doing, they were telling stories.”
For more, read this week's Connacht Tribune.