PAUL BANKS OF INTERPOL: SINGING LOUD AND GETTING THINGS DONE

Updated: May 28



When I was a much younger man I spent most of my days in New York City going to see bands. At the time Brooklyn wasn't really the place to be. It was the lower east side. Clubs like CBGB's were drying up a bit because of all the violence from skin heads, but a thriving DIY scene had started to emerge. Clubs like ABC No Rio had a constant flow of underground bands coming through. The wetlands and Cony Island high were bringing in sometimes 3 or 4 of my favorite hardcore bands at a time. The rooms were probably no more than 300 capacity but those shows seemed like a sea of horrifying punks devouring each other like a scene from 300. It was terrifying and exhilarating all at once.

My girlfriend, however, lived in the upper West Side. That's where Rich kids lived. Her and her friends would talk about these other NY bands that were emerging from the post punk error of the 70's and 80's. I would hear them say "those dudes in the Strokes, why do they dress so homeless now. I don't get it. That guy took me to Tavern on the Green when I was 13!" I had no idea what they were talking about and I had no interest. If it wasn't extremely violent, fusion jazz, or Aphex Twin I didn't care. But as time went on I started getting into more underground indie music inspired by some of the bands that got me into the punk genre to begin with. Bands like Joy Division, Depeche Mode, Bauhaus, and Sioxsie and the Banshees were having a huge influence on a new generation. People were calling it the "Post Punk" revival. There were a number bands that were doing interesting thing like Liars and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Lots of "The" bands (maybe that's why we put a "The" before "Dillinger Escape plan"). The band that perhaps saw the most success was a band called Interpol.

Flash forward many years. Dillinger were playing early summer festivals in Europe and oddly enough we were playing with Interpol in Germany. I sat down on a bench back stage next to what looked like some kind of guitar tech or something wearing a baseball hat and an old sweatshirt. He seemed very quiet but somehow we started chatting about music. He had a deep understanding of all kinds of genres and he really enjoyed talking about collaborations between musicians of different worlds. This guy was awesome. Eventually we decided to exchange names and then I realized he was the lead singer of Interpol. I said "hey where is your suit and tie?" he smirked and said something about how he doesn't walk around like that all the time. After hearing more about his solo work and getting to know him a bit more I knew I had to interview him for PARTY SMASHER INC.

This video is the conversation that immediately followed.

© Party Smasher Inc. 2019

PARTY SMASHER INC.

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