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Interpol's Paul Banks Speaks,… But Not To Us



Interpol has just released a new album ‘El Pintor’, that I still have to listen to, but The Guardian has a interview of frontman Paul Banks, telling us that the men in sharp suits with the cold mysterious mood may have actually loosened up a bit.

First, Paul Banks has a Twitter account, which allows him to directly communicate with his fans, then there is this declaration coming from Banks:

‘Have you seen us play lately? I’m a little more chipper these days. Nowadays we try to write setlists for shows and there are too many songs to choose from, which is a nice problem to have.’ Banks is even described as looking almost happy… I saw them last weekend and they didn’t say much more than ‘Thank you’,… and I can’t even imagine Banks looking happy or smiling, but let’s not forget that this is the same guy who released a rap mixtape called Everybody On My Dick Like They Supposed To Be’ so times they are a changing…

On the other hand, these guys did not believe there was a 90s New York scene

‘Hey I wished it was different, too. I still wish I was more bro-y with those guys. But it wasn’t like: ‘Hey my buddies the Strokes are doing really great’, it was more like, ‘Wait a minute, who the fuck is making music this good? And they’re blowing up.’ The Strokes were apparently hanging out in exactly the same places I was but I didn’t know any of them until everybody in England was, like, up their ass. Had never heard of them doing a gig. Nick Zinner [from Yeah Yeah Yeahs] knew people in my band, and he was part of a scene. But if you think of a lot of internet companies rising up at the same time, they don’t think of themselves as all in it together. They think, ‘Oh my god, did you hear about those guys doing super-well? We’ve got to work on our craft.’

Funny because they were playing just before the Strokes at the FYF fest, so did they hang out together after the show, as we are two decades later? I wouldn’t be able to tell. In any case, they sure put a lot of work in this Alan-Moulder-produced new album, which people have described as a return into prime form. Banks describes the sound as not ‘conservative’, which ‘goes to town’: ‘Delay bounces that change, reverbs that swell in the background until the vocal bubbles up. Other mixers I’ve worked with want my voice to ride on top of the mix, but I always wanted more fur on it. But Moulder worked with My Bloody Valentine so I knew he could handle an aesthetic that’s within Interpol that I like. Sonic landscapes that allow dreaminess to be both immediate and distant.’

Bassist Carlos D is gone and Banks plays bass on the new record, but ironically Peter Hook of Joy Division (a band they owe a lot to) wanted to join them and they turned him down!

One last thing, Paul Banks is a surfer, he owns a beach house in Panama, but it’s not exactly what you think:

‘No, I’ll wait and ride two waves in a day because the 20 that passed me by were going to kill me. I pulled a dead guy out of the sea the other day. Yeah, an older guy. His son came and spoke to me afterwards. That sucked. People die all the time at that beach and it’s the only place I surf; it’s crazy dangerous out there.’

Wow, darkness never really leaves Interpol, even on a sunny beach.

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