Interpol teamed up with Daniel Avery to create a stripped down version of “Greenwich” for the final part of their “Interpolation” project. Check it out below, along with our interview on the collaboration.
Last April, Interpol announced “Interpolations”, a series of collaborations in which five different artists cover selected tracks from the band’s 2022 LP, “The Other Side Of Make Believe”.
On a monthly basis, the first song shared was Makaya McCraven’s reimagined version of ‘Big Shot City’, followed by Jeff Parker’s version of ‘Passenger’, Jesus’ version of ‘Toni’ and Water From Your Eyes from ‘Something’s Changed’ .
Today the band released the final track that concludes ‘Interpolations’ in full, in collaboration with DJ and producer Daniel Avery.
“It’s no exaggeration to say that Interpol’s music helped shape my life as a young man, so I’m very proud of this remix for ‘Greenwich,'” Avery said in a statement. “At first I was hesitant to give it up, but I think I’ve landed on my own version of the alluring shades of the band I’ve always meant so much to.”
NME caught up with producer and Interpol guitarist Daniel Kessler to chat about the making of the project, the process of reworking Avery, and what the two musicians are up to now.
NME. Hello. Where did the idea for “Interpolations” come from?
Kessler: “It was a conversation with our record label, Matador, about things we could do that we haven’t really done much. [‘Interpolations’] came up in the conversation and then, like Daniel [Avery] You remember, I’ve been chasing him for almost two decades to do a mix of one of our tracks, so I was excited when Daniel did ‘Greenwich’.”
What was the process like to select the five artists who ended up working on this project?
Kessler: “We wanted to have a range of artists and include people we love. Water From Your Eyes are our label mates. They’re also a band we’ve visited a few times already and are very successful we are good friends with them.”
“We love their music and they do their own thing. It shows in their mix, which is a unique interpretation of the song. Also Jeff Parker, who I’ve been a fan of forever. We tried to find something eclectic and I love how it turned out.”
Did each artist choose the song they wanted to work on, or did you as a band assign a song to each artist?
Kessler: “Each artist chose the song they wanted to work on. We wanted to give them options and let them choose what the person who was reinterpreting liked best. They might hear one and to say, ‘I have an idea,’ or ‘There’s something I want. It affects me emotionally and I want to draw attention to it and maybe it’s not that obvious.'”
“It’s nice when you can give that opportunity versus being like, ‘We need a mix of this song, because it’s going to be the last single.’ It’s okay to keep an artistic adventure and that’s what it was.”
Avery, why was Interpol so important to you?
Avery: “I discovered Interpol at a very formative time in my life. Not only was that time developing my taste in music and my record collection, but I was also going out at night and discovered one club in particular that opened my eyes to what was possible in that world.
“There was a lot of interesting electronic music being played at that club, but also a lot of exciting guitar music that was coming out, and Interpol was right at the forefront. I ended up getting a job as a DJ at that club and that’s where all of it. Interpol was the soundtrack to that turning point in my life, so it’s a special group for me.”
Kessler, what was it about Avery that made him a perfect fit for the project?
Kessler: “We had both just played a festival in 2014. A mutual friend called Dave introduced us and we ended up going out that night and it was really good. I think it was after that night when I’m back to delving into the Catalog [de Avery]. I think ‘Drone Logic’ had just come out and it was my soundtrack.”
“We were releasing ‘El Pintor,’ and that record was on repeat all the time wherever we traveled. After that, I was like, ‘I’d love for Daniel to mix one of our song,’ and then he came to find his moment that worked for Daniel. It was incredible that this was the occasion.”
Avery, how did you go about revamping a song from a group that played an important role in your life while still respecting the song’s origins?
Avery: “Honestly, I was worried enough that I was afraid to play a band that meant something to me. But, this project worked, and in terms of timing, it worked perfectly, and I thought, ‘Let’s do it try it.'” “.
“It’s hard to know exactly what to choose when there are so many options, but ‘Greenwich’ had something. I heard something in it that made me think maybe I could take my own lens and refined it using my instruments. I didn’t want to make an overdone version, but I also didn’t want to make a club song that didn’t sound like the original.”
“What came out was something that was in the middle of those things, really. I was very interested in the vocal layers of the song. There’s a woman’s voice on the track that I really wanted to use, I thought that he out another song. aspect of the track itself. That’s my interpretation of the band. It was hard to decide what to do, but I’m very happy with the result.”
Kessler: “I think it’s great. It’s a pleasure to hear such a different version of this piece of music and also to take elements that are not completely on the surface and are very obvious, but take something and make it a motif like Daniel did in this mix from ‘Greenwich,’ it’s like a very different approach to the whole songwriting.”
Avery: “One of the things I’ve always liked about the group Interpol is that everything they do has a broken beauty. It’s equal parts sad and uplifting. And in the same way, I wanted to do something serious , but there’s a lot of light somewhere. That’s what I mean when I say it’s my interpretation of the band.”
Avery, your last record was a B-sides compilation called “More Truth”, is there anything you’re working on coming out soon?
Avery: I am working on many new things. Regarding the release. It is still to be decided. There’s a lot going on, so there will be more news soon.
Interpol played “Antics” in full in Paris in July and recently played “Turn On The Bright Lights” in full a few days ago in the Outlands. What was it like playing these albums again?
Kessler: “Yeah, it’s great. It’s a challenge. We’re touring in the festival season, where there’s no sound check and a lot of performance time. You want to get the records right. Also, you do the these records and you put them in listening order. . The order of play is very different”.
“It’s something you have to prepare for. You have to relearn how to play songs you haven’t played in a while. You don’t just want to do 50 per cent cover, you want to do it as well as people want .to hear it I think that puts you in a nervous state where you want to do justice, but you’re also in the moment. It’s exhilarating. It’s also nice that people are interested in something you’ve created so long ago. It’s such an honor and appreciative that people do it. It was great playing and revisiting those albums.”
Interpol is currently touring North America with The Smashing Pumpkins until September 9th. Visit this link to find remaining tickets.
They also recently announced a handful of headlining performances starting with a concert at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California in October, and two headlining shows at New York’s Beacon Theater in December. Tickets will go on sale on Friday, August 18. Visit this link to buy them.