not a member? click here to sign up
More Dour To Their Elbows
First formed in New York City in 1997, though not releasing their debut album Turn On The Bright Lights until 2002, Interpol have slowly and steadily built up a vast international audience for their dark, downbeat and gothic guitar-driven indie rock, garnering no shortage of critical acclaim along the way.
Olaf Tyaransen, 11 Oct 2010
e presumably doesn’t mean to offend, but Daniel Kessler assures me that he won’t ever be reading this Hot Press interview. Speaking down the line from his Sicilian hotel room, the Interpol guitarist explains that he’s spent much of his band’s increasingly successful career studiously avoiding what’s been written or said about them.
“I haven’t actually read an interview in about seven years, almost since the beginning,” the 35-year-old musician admits. “I haven’t read reviews either since around that time. The only live film footage I’ve ever seen of us has really been the first thing we ever did, which was around 2002 or something.”
He puts this policy of avoidance more down to “survival” rather than a complete lack of rock star narcissism.
“I try not to look or analyse or see what we have done, and just keep going forward,” he explains. “I realised years ago that once it’s out of your hands, it’s out of your hands. And so I think that has served me well because, it’s either you try and control everything – and you are going to fail because you can’t control everything – or you let go of things.
“Like we’re doing this interview now, but then afterwards it’s in your hands, it’s not in my hands. What’s in my hands is my answers and our conversation somewhat, but after that it’s up to you and the people you work with to decide how the interview is going to be. That’s out of my control. I can only decide that I’ll do this interview, so I think that’s kind of served me well and I kind of like it. It lets you keep going forward and not paying too much mind to what you’ve just done.
“I’m not saying that this is necessarily an honest way for me to go by, but it’s like a self-preservation one. I don’t want the influence to be because, ‘Oh man, the review wasn’t good’, or any of that stuff to get into my subconscious at all. I want to be like, ‘this is what’s doing it for me’.”
If Kessler ever does decide to take a trawl through a box of Interpol’s old press cuttings, he’ll be pleasantly surprised. Or maybe not. Presumably both his bank balance and his bandmates, Paul Banks (vocals), Sam Fogarino (drums) and recently departed bassist Carlos Dengler (of which more shortly), have provided some reassurance over the years that Interpol definitely aren’t considered a crock of shit.