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Interview: Interpol (Part 1)

By ; December 4, 2012 at 5:49 AM 

BPM: While there are undoubtedly many memories and feelings entwined from playing the material for so long, when listening back to TOTBL do you have a personal favourite moment or are there any points that stand out as particularly inspired?

DK: No, for me it’s painful to listen to records again; well, not this one by any means, or any record really. But when making a record I go crazy over the little details – I think in life too – but certainly in the studio. I want to overturn every single rock so I can be at peace with the whole thing then leave it behind, a document of this time period that represents us, so I don’t necessarily feel the need to go back and listen. I’ll never disown anything either – if that’s what it’s meant to be, let’s move forward, y’know? It used to be that if the record was playing in a bar, I’d have to leave and walk around the block until the song finished because it would be too awkward. Now the only time I’d ever hear the record would be in that context and I’m a bit more objective, I feel good about everything. But I would never judge the past and wish we could redo parts, I’m much more interested in doing something new. I haven’t gone back and studied it but I’m happy that people are still interested in this album to the extent that we were getting all these emails wishing us a happy anniversary, and while I wasn’t consciously thinking about the fact people out there were aware of…that says something.

I absolutely still love writing songs and trying to come up with something new – that’s my fix I guess.

BPM: I was wondering if your personal approach to songwriting and composition has changed over the past 10 or 15 years, especially if shifts in technology has had any significant bearing? Or is it largely sticking with what you know?

DK: I think it’s a bit of both. For instance guitar-wise I’m pretty happy, I don’t think I want to buy any more. I’m fairly old school about that stuff. I’m not one of those people who wants to dive in and devour technology, nor do I feel the need to buy more and more guitars and pedals. I’m always looking for what feels like my comfort; it’s similar with my clothes, I’m not one to change my style often. That said, evolution is obviously very important and I have no desire to keep doing the same things we’ve done. I absolutely still love writing songs and trying to come up with something new – that’s my fix I guess. There’s no greater feeling than coming up with an exciting new progression, it’s like an explosion of serotonin and that continues to drive me. I’ve been taking piano lessons for a while and I’ve wrote a couple of songs on that for the first time, and I’m sure there’ll be a handful more. At the same we’re not pushing to do something different entirely but we’re very much open to it; for me it’s what feels natural. I think we’re just trying to write the best songs we can write and make a better record than the one that preceded it.

BPM: So with regards to the band today, is there a timeframe for reconvening and moving forward with a fifth record?

DK: Yeah, I’ve been writing a lot myself this past year and we got together about a month ago to work on some songs; it was really productive and we definitely established a foundation on a number of tunes that we felt pretty good about. Paul has just released a record and is touring on that, so we’ll continue working into 2013 and so forth. There’s no set date just yet, it’s early days with our songwriting and Paul is pretty busy right now, but hopefully in 2014 we’ll have something new. We’re all really excited.

BPM: Just to wrap up on a final question about Turn On The Bright Lights: how often does it cross your mind that you had a direct hand in crafting this seminal body of work with an influence that spans across the globe and is considered by many as a defining classic of its time? How do you process that, and what comfort does it give you?

DK: I never think about it! It’s about self-preservation truthfully, not a jerk thing. When I hear people say things like that it’s extremely complimentary and it’s crazy to think about it in context. I think it goes back to all those years that people didn’t pay attention to us; it created a foundation that blocks it from my periphery. When I get off the phone with you and go back into my world, it keeps me living my life in regular terms. So while it’s incredible that we’re having this conversation about something made so long ago – it’s insane! – out of self-preservation I don’t overly think about that. I never thought too much about anyone anticipating our second record at the time either. I’m doing this because I really love writing songs and hopefully if I like it and my bandmates like it and if we believe in what we’re doing, other people will too – those are the only things you can control and they make me feel grounded. It’s really great to hear that, or whenever a fan says something directly to us I take it really to heart, it means everything to me, but I don’t walk away with it heavy on my conscience, and for good reason. It’s not out of effort but more, as I said, self-preservation, y’know?

Check out Part Two of our interview with drummer Sam Fogarino tomorrow and our review of the reissued record later this week.

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