Last Wednesday I was lucky to catch this tweet from one of my favorite bands, Interpol. I’ve been a fan of them since about 2005, well after their second album Antics had been released so I missed out on the experience of them as they were making their rise on the indie landscape. The event screened mostly previously unreleased footage of the band’s early days including the first performance with the better known drummer Sam Fogarino. Afterwards there was a panel featuring Sam and Daniel Kessler (sans the self touring Paul Banks) along with the founder of Pitchfork and the co-owner of Other Music, where they talked extensively about the early days and all things relevant to the album they were celebrating including a little about life after Carlos Dengler.
There are a couple things about this event that stuck out for me. First, at some point during one of the audience Q&A bits, someone asked about the band’s influences. Daniel replied with a general comment about how can a band have a unanimous influence? That they don’t just sit around and listen to records together (Sam had declared his love of ear bud headphones earlier) trying to develop something from what they’ve heard as well as when people approach them to say they remind them of so and so (which is often Joy Division). It confirmed my own justification for not comparing one’s work to another for the sake of the group, well any artist for that matter, to identify as their own unique work. Funny thing though is this comparison to Joy Division or The Chameleons or whoever else, helped me to get familiar with those bands as well. Even as I thought each were their own entity, I have to thank those people for making unwarranted comparisons because I became fans of Joy Division and The Chameleons.
Second, I went to the event with my friend Mike who happens to have been my high school English teacher freshman year. While I was pretending to do homework, he was probably at the Mercury Lounge watching them play an early version of “Roland” or stuff from their self-released records before signing Matador. The reason we reconnected came from a November 2010 status update where Mike declared he was going to see Interpol at United Palace. I commented saying I was going, then at the show I was able to spot him looking for his seat. Then May 2011 rolls around and they’re performing at Terminal 5 and we’re together laughing at the guy behind us that loves every song and fucking up people’s crappy camera phone recordings. Naturally when I saw that tweet, I knew exactly who would be available to go.
So thanks Interpol for helping me develop my music taste as well as finding me a drinking buddy.