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Interpol have rejected the road of excess for the palace of wisdom, despite having shared a studio with Axl Rose.
The Hot Press Newsdesk, 31 Jul 2007
In the evening gloom, Carlos Dengler looks like he’s just slithered out of an Edward Gorey engraving. Wearing a flapping grey trenchcoat and 19th-century moustache, Dengler, Interpol bassist and prominent alt.nation clotheshorse, is doing a good job of making everyone else in the Oxegen VIP area feel vaguely shabby.
Backstage at the Kildare mud-fest, Dengler is Interpol’s most forthrightly dapper member. But that isn’t to say the rest of the New York goth-pop foursome don’t cut a dash: singer Paul Banks glowers beneath a black beanie cap; guitarist Daniel Kessler sports a Gatsby-ish tie and waistcoat combo; drummer Sam Fogarino, in vintage felt hat, suggests an extra from that period gangster flick Tim Burton never got around to shooting.
“Presentation is important to what we do,” Fogarino will explain in a pokey conference room a little later. Not, he says, that Interpol are entirely comfortable with their fashionista rep. “When the fashion aspect gets brought to the forefront – that’s when we get uneasy. It’s not for us to say we look stylish. That’s a question of taste. Some people probably think we look ridiculous.”
Released last month, Interpol’s third album (and major label debut), the imperious, propulsive Our Love To Admire, seems destined to catapult the group out of the ghetto of cult adoration and into the bosom of the mainstream. Already a number one in Ireland and across the Continent, the record recently crashed the US album charts at number four. Your favourite underground gloomsters might be on the verge of REM-shaped hugeness.
“When we began recording Our Love... we didn’t have a record deal,” says Fogarino. “We were going to start recording no matter what. We did the same with Turn On The Bright Lights [Interpol’s 2002 debut] – it was already finished when we did the deal with Matador. So, although this is our first record for a major, we didn’t write it with that in mind. It was going to be the record it was, regardless of the circumstances, whether we were on an indie or a major. It’s about growing as a band, not about selling more records.”