An interview with INTERPOL

Gordon Downs

By Gordon Downs

Debuting at number four on the Billboard Album Chart, Interpol’s major label debut Our Love To Admire is filled with more of the same droning vocals and epic guitar work that has made them a celebrated name at Hot Topics across our great country. Much like the band’s first two albums, it continues right where the band left off; it's as much an extension of Antics as that album was an extension of their debut, Turn On The Bright Lights. With a summer tour that extends well into the fall semester, Interpol’s next few months will be filled with festival dates, television appearances, and the touring musicians’ favorite activity: interviews! I managed to get guitarist Daniel Kessler on the phone for a few minutes before the bands’ recent gig in Atlantic City at the famous Borgata Hotel Casino… and Spa!

So how many interviews have you done today?

Daniel Kessler: I’ve done zero.

Well right on, are you guys still in New York or have you already left the gig tonight in Atlantic City?

No, no. I’m in Atlantic City, the famous Atlantic City.

Will you be spending the night there, or is it back on the road directly after the show?

We’re not really “staying,” we’ll be driving down to Norfolk, Virginia [after the show.] But we are playing and staying at the Borgata.

How long did Interpol have to cruise around in a van? I mean the band has probably been touring around in a big bus for awhile now?

Well, there’s only one size bus, but we are on a bus, yeah. We’ve been on buses forever though. We did a couple of tours in a van around the US, and around Europe for sure too. Touring life with the band had essentially nothing to do with being on Matador. We did about two US tours, but that’s a separate business almost. We never really took the tour from Matador, so it really had nothing to do with them. Our touring life is more self-sufficient, it had more to do with that. So as far as what we wanted to spend on what kind of vehicle we had to transport us; we were paying for that. It had nothing to do with Matador or any record label for us. More bands make their living off of touring.

So in your opinion has there been a noticeable difference between working with Matador and Capitol Records?

Well, we wouldn’t have made this decision like, if we felt it was going to effect the way we do things or our control of things. So from that perspective nothing has changed, that’s kind of what we expected, it wasn’t a surprise. How we operate wasn’t effected. And true to form, you can’t really compare the two: you know Matador is Matador, and Capitol is Capitol, and that’s that. Matador is a great record label. I don’t know, from our perspective… no one’s kind of come to us with silly ideas or things that don’t make sense for Interpol. Capitol gets Interpol on a Matador perspective. We’ve kind of had our own insulated following and so forth. We wanted somebody that wanted to work with us not because of what we may be, but because of who we are. The four of us.

What’s the next big festival gig for Interpol?

The next one we’re doing is Lollapalooza.

Interpol has performed at a lot of festivals over the years, in your opinion as a performer and fan, which music festival is the most unique?

It’s kind of hard to say from the perspective of the artists. Sometimes artists get kind of weary playing festivals here; especially in the European run, when you’re just going from one festival camp site to another. You get kind of bored; things like better accommodations, dressing rooms and the catering… little things like that. But who knows, from the fan's perspective of seeing the best festival. I can’t really say that honestly. There are some with really unique locations. We played one in the southern part of Norway that was kind of like, unique and beautiful. But then there’s some great festivals, like the Belgium festivals that really know how to just put on a music festival. I don’t really have one; like everyone loves Glastonbury, but it might be different from the fans perspective. It’s all very subjective. I do love Coachella. Coachella was great.

Many Interpol fans see Carlos as the sex symbol, Paul as the singer/songwriter and they view you as the musician of the group. Does that bother you guys or is the teenage fan chatter at all flattering? They are a very die hard group.

It’s very flattering. I think the nice thing about our band is that every band member is as equal or important as the other band member. Any individual from within the band can represent the band in interviews. We all feel that our egos are aside as far as that. We know what makes up our band, it’s the four of us; it’s our chemistry. And that’s just the way it’s been since the beginning so we don’t really know any other way. It kind of goes along with the same mentality [that] no song is more important than the other. Every single song deserves the attention it needs and it doesn’t matter if it’s a single or not a single. We don’t think in those terms, we’re in sort of a communist mind frame.

On the subject of “since the beginning,” is it true that Greg Drudy from Hot Cross was the original drummer for Interpol?

From what? Yes, yeah. That was our original drummer.

Did you hear Hot Cross recently broke up? They announced it via a sad MySpace bulletin or party e-vite type thing.

I did not. Really?

Yeah, I was going to see if you had any thoughts on that but you probably don’t since you didn’t even know they broke up?

No, no, no. I haven’t even heard them actually.

So did Interpol and Greg split on bad terms as well?

No. The relationship ended and we went our separate ways.

Do you guys always dress with a high sense of fashion? When you’re relaxing at home or just running errands around the city, are you guys always dressed to the nines?

It’s not really a high sense of fashion. A) It’s very individualistic. B) It’s just like the way I dress, I don’t really think about it too much. I’d feel weird if I wasn’t wearing the clothes that make me feel comfortable. It doesn’t take me any more time to get dressed than another person. I hate shopping, and when I do I’m very particular and I know what I like. I have what I like. I like to dress this way and I dress this way every single day, I’m dressed this way right now. In New York I do dress this way. On vacation when I’m at the beach… no. I love going to the beach, and I wear shorts at the beach.

I was about to ask does Interpol ever wear shorts? Like do you guys ever get together during the day and get a pick up game of basketball going?

Uhh no, we don’t do pick up games of basketball, though I do like playing basketball. I don’t really wear short shorts, like per nature. But I do when I go to the beach.

Does Interpol have a message for the children?

You know actually, I don’t think Interpol does have a specific message for the children.

INTERPOL ~ STAY BLACK! 2007 Summer/Fall Tour Dates:

JULY

30 MILWAUKEE WI RAVE

31 INDIANAPOLIS IN EGYPTIAN

AUGUST

01 ST. LOUIS MO PAGEANT

03 COVINGTON KY MADISON THEATRE

04 LOLLAPALOOZA CHICAGO IL GRANT PARK

05 V FESTIVAL BALTIMORE MD PIMLICO RACE COURSE

11 JAP SUMMERSONIC FESTIVAL

12 JAP SUMMERSONIC FESTIVAL

16 AUSTRIA FREQUENCY FESTIVAL

17 GERMANY HIGHFIELD FESTIVAL

18 NETHERLANDS LOWLAND FESTIVAL

20 UKBIRMINGHAM ACADEMY

21 UK NEWCASTLE ACADEMY

22 UK EDINBURGH CORN EXCHANGE

24 UK READING FESTIVAL

25 UK LEEDS FESTIVAL

SEPTEMBER

08 TORONTO ON CAN V FESTIVAL

09 MONTREAL QC OSHEAGA FESTIVAL

10 ALBANY NY PALACE THEATRE

12 BOSTON MA AGGANIS ARENA

14 NEW YORK NY MADISON SQUARE GARDEN

15 PHILADELPHIA PA TOWER THEATRE

16 RALEIGH NC DISCO RODEO

18 ORLANDO FL HARD ROCK LIVE

19 MIAMI FL BANK UNITED

21 ATLANTA GA TABERNACLE

22 NASHVILLE TN RYMAN

23 NEW ORLEANS LA SUGAR MILL

25 HOUSTON TX VERIZON WIRELESS THEATRE

26 AUSTIN TX STUBBS

27 DALLAS TX PALLADIUM

OCTOBER

10 KANSAS CITY KS UPTOWN

11 CHICAGO IL ARAGON

12 MINNEAPOLIS MN STATE THEATRE

14 DENVER CO FILLMORE

15 SALT LAKE CITY UT MCKAY CENTER

16 BOISE ID BIG EASY

18 SEATTLE WA WAMU

19 PORTLAND OR MEMORIAL COLISEUM

20 SAN FRANCISCO CA BILL GRAHAM CIVIC AUDITORIUM

23 THE FORUM LOS ANGELES CA

NOVEMBER

07 PORT LISBON COLISEUM

08 SPAIN MADRID LA RIVIERA

09 SPAIN BARCELONA RAZZMATTAZ

11 FRA LYON TRANSBORDEUR

12 ITA FLORENCE SACHHALL

13 ITA MILAN ALCATRAZ

15 SWITZ ZURICH VOLKSHAUS

16 GER MUNICH TONHALLE

17 GER BERLIN COLUMBIAHALLE

19 GER COLOGNE PALLADIUM

20 HOL TILBURG O13

21 FRA PARIS ZENITH

23 BEL BRUSSELS FOREST NATIONAL

24 GER HAMBURG DOCKS

25 GER HAMBURG DOCKS

26 FRA LILLE AERONEF

28 UK/ BLACKPOOL EMPRESS BALLROOM

29 UK/ LONDON ALEXANDRA PALACE

30 UK/ LONDON ALEXANDRA PALACE

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