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Our Band to Admire

Interpol gets darker but shines brighter with its stunning third album

I read you're over being the so-called party boy. What happened?

After a while, these pointless, meaningless conversations with people you're not going to see or care about ever again, like, after a week, becomes kind of old. And the inability to really connect with people because you're too busy getting wasted all the time kind of gets old and lame too. It just gets really boring, you know. I've shifted all of my ­priorities.

Are you still spinning at all?

No. You know, DJing to me was really an expression of, um, valiant debauchery, if you will. Once the debaucherous part got taken out of the equation, the DJing stopped having a real oomph for me.

Is Interpol's new, uh, look a reflection of that?

Yeah. I got bored. I mean, you just can't be in the same place forever; otherwise you lose credibility as a person.

I see you're slated to play Madison Square Garden. How's that feel?

I'm trying not to think about it too much. I've got a lot on my plate. I don't like to think about any particular show as being more important than another, because it just kind of throws way too many factors into it for me, you know? I just want to keep it 'a show is a show is a show.' I don't care if it's in front of 20,000 people or it's in front of five — it's a show. I try to treat each one exactly the same way. And that works out really well.

If you could live anywhere other than New York, where would you live?

Um, probably somewhere up north in Canada, like Nova Scotia or something.

Like in Halifax?

No. Like off in a rural area. I'd probably look for the exact opposite, a place where there are good people.

You told the BBC Our Love "had the feel of late-19th-century German symphonic music." Are you a Wagner fan?

I'm not so much of a Wagner fan as I am really a late-19th-century romantic. I'm really into my Sibelius and Tchaikovsky, Liszt and Dvorák. But I'm much more into the sort of modern aesthetic — that's a real big thing for me right now.

Do you have time to keep up with new bands and, if so, who do you dig lately?

I do have the time to keep up with new bands. I've chosen not to because I'm focused a lot on classical music and film scores. The aesthetic of a symphony orchestra — that sound — is what my ears will only tolerate listening to right now. For some reason it just sort of happened, so I'm always very embarrassed when people ask me about new bands and stuff, because I'm completely out of the loop when it comes to that.

When you say film scores, do you mean just listening or composing as well?

I'm dabbling with some scoring; nothing has really come out of it just yet, but primarily listening.

Like who? Morricone and those cats?

No, nothing that classic. Like, for instance the score to Batman Begins, which is Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard — big Hollywood scores. What's really interesting to me is that art form is not really a very popular art form.

Any others you care to cite?

There's a wonderful composer named Alexandre Desplat, who's been very big in the French film circuit but recently has gained some notoriety internationally with The Queen, The Painted Veil, Syriana. I think he's working with Ang Lee right now on his latest film.

You see yourself doing likewise ­someday?

Someday.

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