From left, Sam Fogarino, Daniel Kessler and Paul Banks are Interpol. (Courtesy Jamie-James Medina)

From left, Sam Fogarino, Daniel Kessler and Paul Banks are Interpol. (Courtesy Jamie-James Medina)

Interpol comes out swinging with ‘Marauder’

Drummer Sam Fogarino isn’t exactly sure how his post-punk trio Interpol just made one of the best albums of its career. The sonically adventurous sixth recording “Marauder” opens with the galloping “If You Really Love Nothing,” moves to the stomping “The Rover,” then closes with the dark “It Probably Matters.” Throughout, it features airtight interplay between Fogarino, vocalist-bassist Paul Banks and guitarist Daniel Kessler, whose work is full of reckless abandon, yet remains unerringly precise. It helped that the band set its new songs aside to cool for three months while it toured for the 15th anniversary of its classic 2002 debut “Turn on the Bright Lights”; playing the shows reminded members of their strengths. Also, it didn’t hurt to have an outside producer, Dave Fridmann, to subtly tweak the tracks. Either way, “Marauder” is a home run.

You had to feel something magic happening with this album, right?

Yeah. And it’s a strange thing. With our last album, and Carlos (Dengler, bassist) quitting, it felt like a threshold had been crossed, and it felt good enough to go, “OK, this is staying on track.” And we actually managed to raise the bar for ourselves at the same time. And this time, we had Dave Fridmann producing, and he made a plan off of the music that he heard. He wanted something economic and sparse, and when we decided to work with him, we’d been recording demos of all of our rehearsals and writing sessions. Not that there was some great fidelity there, but he heard something and said, “You know, there are songs here. And there’s an energy that I’m going to capitalize on.” So it was about sticking to those simple elements that you have control over, that are not post-production — what went onto the tape machine is what you hear, with only a few little embellishments.

You rarely hear a propulsive rhythm like “If You Really Love Nothing,” outside of The Smiths.

Yeah. I’ve been playing rock music since I was a pre-pubescent — I was 12 when I started playing in bands. And it’s all been straight, straight, white performances and beats. So I was like, “What would happen if I just took this left turn and injected this kind of swinging thing into what Interpol does? I think it could be a really beautiful accident.” So it was like, why not? It’s so easy to just play it straight. Or you could rise to the occasion, inject some soul and not be as purely post-punk about it. Daniel and I always agree on old Stax and Motown, and we have that in the back of our heads all the time. So it was pretty easy when I injected that soulful thing over what he was doing. The opportunity just presented itself.

Did you ever consider stopping once Carlos left?

Never. It was like, “OK, well, he quit. What do we do? What are we doing next?” Then Paul said, “Well, I could play some bass…” So there was never the thought of not continuing as Interpol. It was like, “There’s three of us. We got this.”

IF YOU GO
Interpol
Where: Greek Theatre, 2001 Gayley Road, Berkeley
When: 7 p.m. Oct. 6
Tickets: $49.50
Contact: www.ticketmaster.com

Daniel KesslerDave FridmannInterpolMarauderPaul BanksPop MusicSam Fogarino

Just Posted

California Highway Patrol officers watch as Caltrans workers remove barricades from homeless camp sites as residents are forced to relocate from a parking lot underneath Interstate 80 on Monday, May 17, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
San Francisco’s broken promise to resolve homeless encampments

‘There is an idea that The City is leading with services, and they are not’

The Department of Building Inspection, at 49 South Van Ness Ave., has been mired in scandal since since its creation by voter referendum under Proposition G in 1994. (Courtesy SF.gov)
The Department of Building Inspection, at 49 South Van Ness Ave., has been mired in scandal since its creation by voter referendum under Proposition G in 1994. (Courtesy SF.gov)
Whistleblowing hasn’t worked at San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspection

DBI inspectors say their boss kept them off connected builders’ projects

FILE — Mort Sahl on Nov. 10, 1967. Sahl, who confronted Eisenhower-era cultural complacency with acid stage monologues, delivering biting social commentary in the guise of a stand-up comedian and thus changing the nature of both stand-up comedy and social commentary, died on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, at his home in Mill Valley, Calif., near San Francisco. He was 94. (Don Hogan Charles/The New York Times)
Legendary local comedian dies at 94

By Bruce Weber NYTimes News Service Mort Sahl, who confronted Eisenhower-era cultural… Continue reading

Sharon Van Etten (left) reached out to Angel Olsen about working on a song and they ended up releasing “Like I Used To,” which may be performed at Outside Lands. (Photo by Dana Trippe)
Performers’ emotions are high as Outside Lands returns to San Francisco

Festival features Sharon Van Etten and Boy Scouts alongside The Strokes, Lizzo and Tame Impala

Most Read