Interpol finds hope in “The Other Side of Make Believe” | Local music | Detroit

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Atiba Jefferson

Interpol.

In recent music history, an American rock band stood out from the crowd, acting as one of the tastemakers and darlings of turn-of-the-century rock ‘n’ roll. Interpol’s blend of garage rock, punk, and elements of indie and country formulated a unique sound, helping to rekindle the passion for rock music among young people. The insanely cool band from Manhattan also helped usher in a new era not just in music but also in music journalism as one of the original bands of the blogging age, finding themselves at the top of the alternative food chain thanks to to internet buzz.

After a while of absence, the group is back with two new singles and an album, The flip side of pretendingscheduled for July 15. Interpol is calling at the Fillmore in Detroit on Saturday, May 7.

Drummer Sam Fogarino recounts Metro timetables that the file was created during the pandemic. While the band would normally hole up in a studio for months, this time they had to use a new method.

“We had to write from a distance,” says Fogarino. “We had to kind of change our process, which until now has depended on being a group together in one room and fleshing everything out from top to bottom.”

The band teamed up with iconic producers Flood (Mark Ellis) and Alan Moulder on this new release. “These men are very approachable,” says Fogarino. “It’s not like they’re floating five feet above the ground, you know? They were just very normal people who had a great sense of humor and had the right qualities to lead a project without encroaching on anyone’s ideas or sensibilities… There was no inspiration by bullying.

Fogarino describes the experience as “the beautiful side of the paternal form”.

According to Fogarino, the experience of working together transformed the sound of Interpol.

Interpol leader Paul Banks has never been one to talk poetically about happiness in his lyrics, but The flip side of pretending takes a new approach that feels like a natural progression for the band as they explore the world once again.

“I think at the heart of it all is hope,” Fogarino says of the band’s new music. “It may sound austere, but it’s about getting to the other side of something. … No one felt safe in the world. For that moment, I think the beautiful thing – and suddenly it’s really ugly and scary – it felt like everyone was pretty much in the same boat.

He adds, “You know, and it really makes you look like your existential self and where you’re going. You have hope, or you fail, you just sink into a deeper hole. And I think [the] The overriding premise of this record, lyrically, is just a lot of hope, and it doesn’t always sound happy. You know, we see positives, but that’s the way it is. And it’s kind of nice to hear that coming out of Paul.

The group’s maturation, as Fogarino describes it, comes from a natural place, as the men were working individually on their experiences during the height of the pandemic, and the sudden desire to write about hope was the logical response.

“The song ‘Fables’ is just the premise of, you know, everyone needs stability,” Fogarino says. “If we don’t have stability, we can’t do anything. … If there is no stability, what do we lean on? You can’t do anything. You can’t help anyone. You can’t help yourself. When it’s dark, it’s really dark.

About 20 years ago, Interpol was elevated to almost mythical status seemingly overnight, with major music publications praising the band in reviews. In 2002 Interpol released their critically acclaimed debut album Turn on the bright lightswhich received a rating of 9.5 from Fork. Interpol’s legacy is a product of the early days of digital media, when the group reigned as kings of independent radio and blogging. Its influence in the cultural zeitgeist is undeniable.

After a hiatus and the pandemic stopping the possibility of touring, Fogarino finds joy in returning to the stage.

“There is the layer of novelty,” he says. “It’s like, wow, I’ve been doing this for a lot of my life. And there’s this element that there’s these nerves that I don’t remember. It’s a nervous excitement, but it just wasn’t as intense. It’s funny, because I think at a certain point in the day, it comes to this time where, like, I just want to play the show now.

Fogarino adds: “You have to be on point. You can’t lose yourself completely. You have to find that balance between letting go and scrutinizing what you’re doing.

Beyond returning to the stage is the new sense of responsibility Fogarnio says he feels in keeping the fires lit for the youngsters. As Interpol reconnects with the world, many young people have yet to experience their first big show. Fogarino says he aims to give himself to the public as an artist and a human being.

“I would just like to tell all these young children, the hes, the shes and the in-betweens, that you are safe with me,” he says. “Forget all the fucking assholes in the world and all the bad things that are going on. If I could do anything to make you feel more secure and valid, that’s what I want to do, in any way possible. This 53-year-old guy happens to be sitting on a battery. So that’s my contribution.

While maintaining the group’s TikTok account, hitting the North American tour and preparing for the release of a new record, Fogarino is attentive and focused, appreciating the band’s history and looking forward to a bright future. “It’s good, because I always do it here, and it doesn’t seem less vital to me,” he says. “It’s just that its importance has changed, you know. I feel different as a person, but I’m still here, still registered.

Interpol performs with Tycho and Matthew Dear on Saturday, May 7 at The Fillmore; 2115 Woodward Avenue, Detroit; 313-961-5451; thefillmoredetroit.com. Doors at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $36.50.

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