Interpol cut ties with bassist; release new album

Photo courtesy of Pieter van Hattem

New York City’s favorite gloom-rockers are back…well…most of them.

Indie-veterans Interpol (see photo) are set to return to stages across the country this fall as they tour behind the release of their self-titled fourth album, and first record without founding bassist Carlos Dengler (pictured, third from left).

As first announced on the band’s website earlier this year, Dengler left the group amicably after expressing his desire to “pursue a different path.” Drummer Sam Fogarino explained the split to the Toronto Eye Weekly’s Rob Duffy:

“Carlos really doesn’t like playing the bass guitar. How integral is the bass to Interpol music? I mean, it’s huge. It’s a total harmonic component. It’s hook-laden. But he really, really didn’t like the bass. It’s not his instrument of choice, and it definitely wasn’t his first instrument.”

While Dengler was present for the recording of the new album, he will not tour behind the effort. Instead, he will be replaced by current Secret Machines member Brandon Curtis (keyboards and vocals), and former Slint guitarist Dave Pajo (bass).

Fogarino continued:

“To go through such a change, but to gain these two incredible musicians to help you out onstage, that really softens the blow. It not only brings a level of comfort, it’s a challenge now. Because those guys are fucking good. I think we’ve gained a few steps. We’re a better live band.”

Of course, departing member aside, the focus is still on the music. And Interpol are back to what they do best on their latest release. What this means is an assortment of melancholy post-punk stylings featuring the throb of Dengler’s aforementioned bass, and guitar sounds that resemble distant chimes instead of true riff originators.

See the video for “Lights” here:

Lead single, “Barricade” builds off a propulsive opening drum beat before sprinting to full gallop over singer Paul Banks’ urgent braying. Elsewhere, closing track “The Undoing” creates an almost gothic feel with its classical organ sounds that slowly fade under a hissing snare and strident horns.

Lyrically, there are no happy platitudes here. Banks and company are at their strongest when they’re brooding not bragging. But for a band that has seen its fair share of hardships, words come secondary to its true mission. They’re still here damn it, and for the time being that’s more than enough.

For more information on Interpol and future tour dates please visit www.interpolnyc.com.

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