‘Antics’ is the best Interpol record

‘Antics’ is the best Interpol record

As Interpol gear up to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their seminal second album ‘Antics’, here’s a reminder of what former bassist Carlos D [Dengler] made of the record.

An interview from 2017 has resurfaced with the bassist appearing on the podcast Talk Music Talk with boice, where he spoke about his thoughts on ‘Antics’. ‘Antics’, Interpol’s sophomore record’, was originally released in 2004. You can listen to the excerpt from around 24 minutes and 30 seconds down below.

Speaking with host Boice-Tyrrell Allen, Dengler claimed that “I believe that Antics is actually the best Interpol record.” He added that he thought what people loved about their debut ‘Turn On The Bright Lights’ was how “raw and visceral” it was, continuing: “it’s your classic first album from a band, it’ll never be repeated again, you don’t know what the fuck you’re doing, you’re on a shoestring budget and you’re like, ‘ah this part needs to go down’ – it’s very punk in that sense.”

However, Dengler clarified he had “some issues with the way that album sounds,” including “a kind of pacing that it has that in my opinion is structurally problematic.” The bassist did concede that “there is an excitement, there’s a newness there,” saying he could “completely” understand why fans liked their debut.

Dengler went on to compare ‘Turn On The Bright Lights’ to ‘Antics’, describing ‘Bright Lights’ as “a greatest hits of the band’s demo years, that’s essentially what a first album should be,” giving ‘PDA’ as an example: “PDA was the first song that Daniel and I, when I first met him [at] our very first session together, wrote at Funkadelic Studios in 1997. And that was the third recording of PDA. That was an old song, and so were many others.”

‘Antics’, however, was produced much more differently, with Dengler elaborating: “We created that album in a year and there was a whole thought process behind it. The production behind that record I find it to be absolutley flawless, and I find the narrative aspect of antics to be absolutely compelling.

“So whenever I hear somebody say they’re a fan of ‘Antics’, I say ‘great’, because I have such respect for that record. It’s such a powerful, tight, short, to-the-point, classic post-punk record, or alt-rock or whatever you wanna call it.”

Dengler also briefly touched on their third record ‘Our Love To Admire’, calling it “an attempt to expand the horizons. In a way I considered it the preamble to the [self-titled] fourth record – we’re trying to become a bigger band now, so we don’t yet know exactly how to do that, but here it is. It’s a placeholder, the idea was that the fourth record would be the fruition of that effort.”

He went on to say he considered “‘Bright Lights’ to be a transitional record to ‘Antics’, and then I would consider ‘Our Love To Admire’ to be a transitional record to the fourth.”

Carlos D left the band in 2010, revealing in a 2015 interview that being bored watching Coldplay made him want to quit the band.

“I think the moment for me, and it’s funny to think that this is the occasion for it, but when Coldplay— our old manager was Coldplay’s manager— played Saturday Night Live, he offered us tickets,” he explained.

“And when I felt so much titillation and excitement over all the skits— Jon Hamm was the host— and looking at how they were being performed. And then when Coldplay came on, I felt bored, quite frankly. I knew then that there was something going on with me, some kind of identity shift, really. It really troubled me.”

He went on to cite his “substance and process addictions” as the cause for this, adding: “I didn’t want anyone in the music industry to see me fall that way. It was beyond anything, like, that I would want anyone to know about. It shook my very belief in the career I was even pursuing inside of music.”

He later revealed in the Talk Music Talk podcast in 2016 that he was “experiencing so much pain being in the band, being in the music industry,” adding: “I have to admit that I couldn’t help but to feel that the band was constraining a creative impulse. It wasn’t for lack of actually trying to make it work; it was still three tortuous years of trying to… I got sober and I said, ‘Okay, enough of this fucking rock star shit. Who am I really?’”

It’s a sentiment echoed by dummer Sam Fogarino, who later admitted that “Carlos really doesn’t like playing the bass guitar. How integral is the bass to Interpol? 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.”

Dengler would also later claim that being in the band felt like being “a survivor of PTSD”. He has since achieved an MFA in Acting in 2015, going on to perform a one-person theatrical show at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2016 and appearing in the 2020 short film A 1984 Period Piece in Present Day.

Meanwhile, NME caught up with frontman Daniel Kessler of Interpol last March to talk through the 20th anniversary of ‘Antics’, with Kessler reminiscing on the record’s reception: “Honestly, it was easy come, easy go. It was another era. I was happy that we had the last final taste of that era of the music industry, but it had all just evolved so rapidly from piracy to downloads to streaming. It was at break-neck speed, so when it happened I wasn’t that angry – but I was surprised.

“It’s not something you wish for, but there was also something amazing with what was happening. If you lived in a remote part of the world with a certain taste in music then suddenly you wouldn’t be punished for your geographical location. That excited me more than I was disappointed that the record leaked.”

He also addressed whether Carlos D would be returning to play Interpol’s 20th anniversary tour, replying: “There’s been no conversation about that.”

Interpol will play a stack of US and UK tour dates to celebrate ‘Antics’ – take a look at all the dates below. Get US tickets here and UK tickets here:

Interpol’s UK/US 2024 tour dates are:

19 – Stockholm, Sweden, Cirkus
20 – Copenhagen, National Radio Koncerthuset
29 – Amsterdam, Paradiso
30 – Amsterdam, Paradiso

1 – Wolverhampton, The Halls
2 – Manchester, O2 Apollo
4 – Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall
5 – Newcastle, O2 City Hall
7 – Bristol, Beacon
8 – London, Alexandra Palace
19 – The Salt Shed, Chicago, IL
20 – The Moody Amphitheater, Austin, TX
23 – Kia Forum, Los Angeles, CA

Originally published here.

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