In 2010, after the release of its self-titled fourth album, New York art-rock quartet Interpol learned that bassist Carlos Dengler was quitting. “It was a difficult decision for him, but Carlos wanted to change his life and do other things. It’s not like he wanted to join another rock and roll band,” says guitarist Daniel Kessler, who, with frontman Paul Banks (who picked up bass in the studio) – soldiered on to record this year’s inspired followup “El Pintor.” Exotic new numbers like “My Desire,” “My Blue Supreme” and “All the Rage Back Home” hearken back to Interpol’s goundbreaking 2000 debut “Turn on the Bright Lights.”
“El Pintor”? That’s just Interpol spelled sideways!
You know, titles are funny things, in general. They’re ideally representative of every single moment of the record, or sometimes they can take left-field liberties. And I like taking left-field liberties. I like ones that somehow come out of the blue and then kind of make sense. So Paul suggested “El Pintor,” and I liked the visual imagery that popped into my mind. Sometimes it’s good to like things that can cheer up the commonplace.
Have you really launched your own seafood restaurant in Brooklyn, Bergen Hill?
Me and my partner put that place together, we conceptualized it from the start. I had a lifelong ambition to get into restaurants, and I’ve been a silent partner in some bars and restaurants in the city. But I’ve become quite passionate about food in the last five or six years. So we only have a handful of cooked dishes – most of them are raw. And we have some pretty damn good octopus, not rubbery at all. And they make it right in front of you.
Can you yourself cook?
A chef friend has hooked me up with some lessons. And that was what I did when we finished “El Pintor” – the next day, I had to schedule two six-hour cooking sessions in succession. And back in the day, when you’d finish a record, I’d be like, “You’ll see me in three days when I exit that bar!” But now, it’s definitely a different story.
Did any foods, flavors inspire the album?
Well, the closest thing I can say is that we recorded most of the record at a studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and I was able to bicycle there, which was great. But sometimes, I was able to bicycle to the restaurant afterwards and have a meal at Bergen Hill. It was a little joy that meant a lot to me, just to have that reward at the end of the night.
IF YOU GO
Live 105’s Not So Silent Night
Where: Oracle Arena, 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland
When: 5:30 p.m. Dec. 12, 6 p.m. Dec. 13
Tickets: $39.50 to $125
Contact: (510) 569-2121, www.livenation.com
Dec. 12: Linkin Park, Fall Out Boy, Rise Against, Young the Giant, Future Islands, Walk The Moon
Dec. 13: Imagine Dragons, Alt-J, Interpol, Cage the Elephant, Spoon, Vance Joy