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Interpol Unveil New Album 'Marauder' + Interview

Interpol Unveil New Album 'Marauder' + Interview

Jerri-Rae Leef / Friday 24th August, 2018 8:55AM

In a cutthroat music industry, rock bands seldom manage to make it past a one hit wonder, let alone a sixth studio album. Interpol are the exception, the New York City rockers are still firing strong with their first long player in four years Marauder. Teaming up with Mercury Rev and Flaming lips producer, Dave Friddmann, Marauder was recorded entirely on tape, bringing a new life to the bands polished history. Exploring the contrast between a looser approach and tighter delivery, Jerri-Rae Leef had a chat with the band's lead guitarist Daniel Kessler to discuss nerves, the conception of an album, and their recent press conference stunt in Mexico City. Listen to a stream of Marauder here, and read their conversation below...

Congrats on the release of the new album, Marauder. I’ve had a listen and I’m digging it! What’s going through your head on release day? Do you ever get nervous at how it’s going to be received?

Not really nervous no, it’s more about the next stage in the process. You spend all that time writing and recording in the studio, then finally you get it out there, and people start hearing it. Once it’s released it’s really just about moving onto the next phase of press and interviews, touring, you know. So no, it’s not nerve-racking at all, you can just enjoy the process.

Can you speak a little but about the conception of this record? Did you have a distinct direction in mind or was it more fluid and free-flowing process?

Well we didn’t go in saying “this is the kind of album we want record”, it’s more like you start out writing some songs, you know we’d just been on tour and obviously there’s not time to write on tour, so I got back and just started spending time on writing. Then I bring the songs to Paul and Sam and they hear a bass line, or some drums or whatever, and the songs just develop out of that. It’s not really a conscious effort to go in a particular direction.

Yeah, so it’s more of natural progression. Recently I’ve read a few interviews and reviews on Marauder and a common theme seems to be emerging, that this album's approach is a lot “looser”, “honest” or maybe more “visceral” for you guys. Would you agree with that? And do you think it was a conscious effort?

It wasn’t a conscious effort, no. Once we had the songs together we went into the studio with Dave Fiddmann, the producer, and you know, he wanted to do the album on tape, we hadn’t done that before. So instead of having a whole lot of guitar takes and picking the best one, or fixing up bits here and there to get a perfect recording, we were getting in the studio and recording as a band, without being able to perfect everything. And there’s not a lot of room to edit in that way, you know if you want to edit the guitar in this spot, the drums are going to be affected, so it was really a lot more lively and raw, which I think is where the “looseness” comes from. I think we are pretty tight at the moment, so it worked well for us. It’s definitely got more of that live band playing feel, which I think is what the ‘looseness’ refers to.

One my favourite songs is ‘The Rover’ and the music video is fantastic. Ebon [Moss-Bachrach] is a great actor and has such an intense presence. What was the inspiration behind the video, and how did Ebon get involved?

Ebon is a friend of mine, we’ve been friends for a while. I was at the studio with Paul and Sam and we were taking a break and chatting about what we wanted to do for the video and the concept around a cult-like leader came up. We were thinking who might be right for it and Ebon came to mind, and he was into it too, so it just went from there. Gerardo Naranjo, who is just an amazing director, created the music video and he’s just, really, really, talented. We were originally thinking of filming in California, but Mexico City is just one of my favourite places, I go back there all time and we thought it’d be a great location for what we wanted to do. And it seemed to work.

And the press conference stunt! That was great! What was the thinking behind that?

Yeah well that was another level altogether. I don’t like talking a lot, I mean I don’t like the sound of my own voice out loud or recorded, so dealing with questions from the press is kind of nerve racking enough, let alone knowing we were going to have Ebon come out and be some weird guy that walks up and puts his head to Paul’s and goes into some weird spiritual thing, then walks away. You know it was pretty strange, but the good thing was that as weird as it was, straight afterwards we went straight back to the press conference and resumed as normal, so yeah it worked out in the end.

Okay last question. You’ve outlasted a lot of your peers in a pretty cutthroat industry, how do you think you’ve managed to do that and stay strong as a band?

Well I don’t really know to be honest. I think, for me, the first five years were the hardest. I knew I really wanted to put a band together with good musicians and kind of had an idea about what I wanted to create, but the first years were spent rehearsing and playing with no label, no management, and no jobs you know. I don’t know what the ‘secret’ is, we just still work really well together, and we’re quite tight musically, but definitely the first five years were the most difficult.

'Marauder' is out now via on Matador Records.

Jerri-Rae Leef is a now Auckland-based music enthusiast fresh from the city of Sydney. She handles the International side of Music Copyright and Royalties at APRA NZ.


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