probably just as ignorant about new music as my mom,” says
Interpol bassist Carlos D. “Whenever we play with a new
band I am embarrassed, because I am ignorant about their
music. But it doesn’t make me lose sleep or anything.”
Things weren’t always this way for the former New York City
scenester. Once an electro DJ, obsessed with breaking new
acts and building up the scene, Carlos was focused on partying,
Depeche Mode, ladies, more partying and, yes, many more
ladies. Carlos built himself a reputation as both Interpol’s
most accessible member and one of New York’s most notorious
party boys. But with the release of Interpol’s first major-label
album, Our Love to Admire, Carlos no longer
plays the part of the gothed-out party kid, and neither
do his bandmates.
The way Carlos tells it, his biggest influences are no longer
British artists from the mid-’80s; he now claims his greatest
influences are German musicians from the early 1800’s—you
know, like Beethoven.
Instead of focusing on what is hot right now, Carlos has
returned to a previous obsession with classical music, and
it is an influence that can be heard heavily on tracks like
“Pioneer to the Falls,” where lines of swirling strings
cascade over the jagged landscape of Daniel Kessler’s and
Paul Banks’ guitar work.
Carlos has relinquished some of the territory that his booming
bass used to take up to allow for experimentation. “One
big thing that came out of this round of recording that
was refreshing for our future was a change in our songwriting
dynamic, an update that really had some repercussions,”
explains Carlos. “We used a sequencer right from the beginning,
and it gave me an extra kind of paintbrush to paint with.
I had been landlocked to bass guitar. I had to perform all
my musical contributions at the beginning of each songwriting
session, using this baritone instrument that doesn’t allow
any sort of different texture. With the computer, I got
an expanded pallette to work with.”
Carlos says it was not his band’s intention to go out and
completely change their previous dance-goth dynamic to something
more dark and classically inspired. “Very little we do,
we do consciously. When you start thinking too much into
something, it might have detrimental effects; it can take
out the sincerity of what you are doing. We pride ourselves
on letting things grow organically. I think we have to move
on and expand to see what true limitations we have as artists.”
For Interpol fans worried that they won’t recognize the
band and their new material, Carlos says he can put their
fears to rest. “We were concerned the new material wouldn’t
sound good next to the old material, but there is something
about us: When we are playing live we streamline everything.
All the songs sound like they are coming from same place.
Sure, there is some sort of jubilation over old classic
stuff, and that is perfectly natural. But the crowd is not
going, ‘Oh not that new thing!’ . . . and that is absolutely
Interpol will perform Monday (Sept. 10) at 8 PM at the Palace
Theatre (19 Clinton Ave., Albany). Tickets are $25 and $20.
For more info, call 465-3334.
my dear, I give a damn.
Capital Repertory Theatre’s artistic director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill
recently sat down at one of the Victory Café’s outdoor tables,
sipped her soup, and answered a few questions during the
lunch break from Friday’s Moonlight and Magnolias
rehearsal (performances begin this weekend).
What attracted her to Moonlight and Magnolias, a
play about the writing of the screenplay of Gone With
the Wind, which is playing in Equity theaters all over
the country this year?
a true story—great personalities and a story that just had
to be true, because it’s too crazy to be fiction,” she says.
“And it reminds me how we have to talk in the arts today.”
it’s the mass-produced mentality up against your common
sense, when everyone tells you it’ll be OK, and you know
it won’t be,” Mancinelli-Cahill explains, “you come against
that all the time in theater. That’s what Selznick was up
against, and I identify with him.”
To what does the title refer?
refers to] the ‘bodice ripper’ novels of the South,” Mancinelli-Cahill
says. “Screenwriter Ben Hecht is brought in by David O.
Selznick to rewrite the script of Gone With the Wind
in five days, shutting down the production, bringing director
Victor Fleming in from The Wizard of Oz to fix GWTW,
and Hecht refers to the novel as ‘moonlight and magnolias’—that
stereotypical Southern romance novel,” (affecting a very
buff voice) ‘where men were men and women were women.’ ”
that very romanticized type of novel that Hecht thinks GWTW
is,” Mancinelli-Cahill says, “but Selznick doesn’t.”
In the play, Selznick, Hecht and Fleming are locked in a
room for five days eating only what Selznick thought was
“brain food”: peanuts and bananas. Is the cast sick of peanuts
and bananas yet?
haven’t started eating the real bananas yet,” she says.
“Eating lots of real bananas poses a problem when there’s
only one bathroom. Making fake banana peels is an interesting
funny,” she explains, “three men in a room eating bananas
doesn’t sound like anything but a comedy, but it’s about
something. . . . It’s about our values. Hecht is the voice
of social responsibility. He says, ‘Look, you have a platform,
an opportunity here to write about real people and make
America look at its ugly mug in the mirror.’ ”
says no way. Can you have art for Art’s sake?”
question for Selznick and for me,” she says, “is can I put
people in the seats? What’s the balance between social responsibility
and just entertainment?”
She ponders her favorite scene in Gone With the Wind.
that first close up of Gable looking at Scarlett [Vivian
Leigh], it’s so dynamic and such a homage to what a movie
star used to be. No, wait. After all this,” she says, referring
to the rehearsal process, “it’s that last scene, because
they made it. They made it.”
and Magnolias opens tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 7) at 8
PM at Capital Repertory Theatre (111 N. Pearl St., Albany)
and continues through Sept. 30. Tickets range from $17 to
$44. For complete shows and times, and ticket info, call
the box office at 445-7469.