Corona has influenced us all - in the most diverse ways: The virus has turned us into angry citizens, conspiracy theorists, but also hermits and couch potatoes, people with fears about the future and existence or - ideally - a reinvigorated sense of family. In the case of the American band Interpol, meanwhile, it has provided a new sound, a new aspiration and a surprising album: "The Other Side Of Make-Believe". It's a work that, according to singer Paul Banks, sounds completely different from anything his band had produced in the previous 25 years: "Because of the pandemic, we couldn't write together for the first time, which was an interesting experience and had an effect on my singing in particular. I finally didn't have to fight the volume in the rehearsal room anymore, but could also act very quietly sometimes. That, in turn, made me take a much more melodic approach."
Small with big effect
What the elegantly dressed singer and guitarist is describing here is a small thing with a big effect: On their now seventh long player, Interpol do without their trademark, which made them one of the most important indie rock groups in the early 2000s alongside The Strokes, The White Stripes, The Vines and The National: impenetrable walls of sound made of morbid rock noir. Instead, Banks, guitarist and keyboardist Daniel Kessler, and drummer Sam Fogarino present themselves as unusually introverted, confident, and minimalist. Their motto is "less is more." The sound no longer has to fill the tracks to the brim, they also simply let the space work - an approach loosely based on the Red Hot Chili Peppers and their eccentric string artist, whom Banks describes as an important influence: "I can't compare myself to John Frusciante, but my guitar playing has also become extremely simple, while at the same time I try to express as many emotions as possible. In that sense, we didn't add anything to this album that wasn't absolutely necessary, so we have more room. The whole thing shows where we are today: We want to do as much as possible with as little as possible."