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Send in the Frown
Striking out alone for the second time, Paul Banks talks about dealing with fame, Interpol’s recent rough patch and being blindsided by The Strokes...
The Hot Press Newsdesk, 01 Nov 2012
For much of Interpol’s history, Banks appeared intensely uncomfortable centre stage. Whatever about fame in the abstract, he certainly didn’t seem to relish being the focus of attention. The idea that he would be itching for a solo career doesn’t sit with the caricature of him as this retiring aesthete, albeit a retiring aesthete who used to step out with a supermodel.
“I wouldn’t say I'm any more comfortable in the spotlight today, the fact that it might not sit with the group’s aesthetic. That isn’t to say Interpol is restrictive. It's just its own thing. We all represent the band equally.:
It annoys him that people have this idea of Interpol as the stoic monks of alternative rock – that it took 2006’s ‘No I In Threesome’ for people to realise that, actually, there was a lot of humour in what they did. You only had to scratch the surface a little.
“It’s on the first record and people don’t get it,” he says. “It’s been there all the time. Fans kind of understand. Generally, however, it is overlooked that I have said countless things in the history of the band that are tongue-in-cheek.”
Was he joking when he told reporters the success of The Strokes lit a firecracker under Interpol and encouraged them to move their career up a gear?
“There was a sense of ‘fuck it, where did they come from?’ We had the songs written, everything was ready to go. And then, they exploded. Our response was, ‘How the fuck did that happen?’”
Banks is out now on Matador Records