Soon I'll be posting my interview with Ekhi Lopetegi of the Barcelona group Delorean, whose new album Subiza might be the year's most resplendent. Lopetegi had things to say about luminsecent atmosphere, building songs from vocal samples, the greatness of Prefab Sprout, the rewards and dangers of love, and the rude brilliance of New Order, as well as the looseness of Barcelona's community of musicians. But for the sake of timeliness, I'm posting his thoughts on Rafael Nadal, before Nadal faces his arch-nemesis and the only player to have beaten him at Roland Garros, Robin Soderling, in the Sunday final of the French Open.
Clay-court tennis brings out nationalistic partisanship. When I interviewed the Björn Borg-influenced Swedish-born electronic duo Tennishero, they made their antipathy for Nadal clear, and Soderling, an entirely different style of player from Borg's homeland, is now on the brink of wresting control of the clay courts away from Nadal and Spanish dominance. But Lopetegi's thoughts were a bit more reflective.
SFBG Are you rooting for Nadal to win the French? Do you like him?
EKHI LOPETEGI I was just doing an interview in which the guy asked if I wanted him to win. I definitely was pretty sad when Nadal got injured and struggled for a while and couldn't find his game. His playing -- I like the way he plays, it's pretty raw, strong and intense. He needs to master his energies better and he has been working on that.
Federer is very classy, like a ballet dancer. Nadal is like a working class player.
I like sports. It's not just about people competing, it's something else as well. We're big soccer fans, and Barcelona and Madrid represent two completely different styles and ideas of what soccer means.