It’s only been twenty years since the dark New York rockers of Interpol released their first album, Turn on the bright lights. A year earlier, The Strokes did the same with the now classic Is this it. Two sonic shocks that place the city, barely recovered from the September 11 attacks, at the center of a global rock revival. Young “The” bands are popping up everywhere (The White Stripes, The Vines, The Von Bondies…), guitars are back in fashion and synthesizers and drum machines are hated – at least for a few years.
However, the figureheads of this scene, The Strokes and Interpol, differ considerably: the former imbue themselves with the literate rock of their parents – The Velvet Underground and Television -, with the embodied coolness of their Converse sneakers; darker, like the simple and elegant black suits of its members, Interpol forges its identity far from Manhattan, through the purifying post-punk of Mancunians Joy Division and The Chameleons.
So twenty years later, the rock revival is over, but Interpol is still here, playing concerts all over the world and continuing to record consistent albums, including the latest, The other side of make-believe. At the beginning of June, singer, guitarist and lyricist Paul Banks greets us in French via the screen of the Zoom application inserted. Dressed in a blue hooded sweatshirt, which contrasts with his black stage outfit, the musician apologizes for just coming out of a shower, with the look of someone trying to fight his shyness. He returns from a jog in the streets of Barcelona, where Interpol started its European tour at the Primavera Sound festival.
“Exploring Different Styles”
The wearing time of this The trio’s seventh opus, led by Banks and his loyal partners, guitarist Daniel Kessler and drummer Samuel Fogarino, obviously did not escape the effects of the health crisis. At the beginning of 2020, the New Yorkers are barely done with the tour with their previous album loot (2018), when the pandemic breaks out. “All in all, we were very luckynotes the singer. For example, The Strokes couldn’t tour to promote their latest album.”, The new abnormal. Released from any obligation, the group took the opportunity to write new songs.
Paul Banks: [Avec la crise sanitaire]working alone in my corner allowed me to experiment more »
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