LOOKING BACK AT UNSEEN PHOTOS OF INTERPOL LIVE IN CONCERT
Photos + Post + Words by Corgam
I saw a meme recently that said something along the lines of: “whenever someone says 20 years ago I think of the seventies, but it’s actually 1997”. Surely there is something obscene about time. It’s a sneaky mother fucker. It happens without your most utter consent. That’s exactly how I felt when I realized Turn On The Bright Lights, Interpol's classic debut album, was celebrating 15 years of existence. Young people today would categorize it as old, and I guess they’re right.
It’s been awhile since I listened to Interpol on a regular basis, surely a decade, since we’re on the topic of time passing rapidly, but I wanted to revisit Bright Lights as a kind of celebratory gesture. To listen back to it in a detailed way, just like someone would take their time looking at old photographs, those who take you to a very vivid memory. I wanted to identify the elements that made me fall in love with it, and I did, but the comments would be repetitive, as everything was said 15 years ago. Instead, it seemed appropriate to dig out old photos of the band that were never published, and though they were not taken during the Bright Lights era, they’re still a throwback.
The series below was taken at The Fox Theatre in Oakland, California on September 20, 2014 when the band was touring with El Pintor, their lastest release to date.
Interpol's sound has always been synesthetic, visually evocative, which is something they have been able to translate on to their live shows, by means of projecting haunting imagery and moody lighitng. Paul's photo with the huge eye in the background is one of my favorites of the show, it has a very creepy vibe, reminiscent of Big Brother and the whole idea of constantly being under surveillance, truly Orwellian.
"Paul's image with the huge eye in the background has a very creepy vibe, reminiscent of Big Brother and the whole idea of constantly being under surveillance"
The hands in the background are a projection of the cover of El Pintor, but it mostly makes me think of another classic song of theirs "Slow Hands".
"I remeber trying to get a clean shot of Sam in the drums, but Daniel kept coming into the foreground"
That was the first time I got see Interpol so close, and the nuances were truly significant. It almost seemed like news to me that Daniel was always in constant motion, (I had seen him on videos but thought it was somewhat magnified) but he actually bounces all over the place, barely ever standing still. I remeber trying to get a clean shot of Sam in the drums, but Daniel kept coming into the foreground. In the end it turned out to be a great composition, one of my all time favorite shots.
"The original composition has a certain air of tension and distress but eye haunting at the same time"
Coming back to the theme of projections, I considered cropping out that giant ball behind Sam, and keeping just him in the shot, but it became ordinary, I feel like the original composition has a certain air of tension and distress but eye haunting at the same time, it also pairs up nicely with the shot of Daniel with the triangular composition and color.
"Interpol has always carried a super serious image [...] but as soon as the show ended they revealed a different face, that with a warm smile and fully appreciative."
Interpol has always carried a super serious image, and even during the show I remember Paul barely addressing the audience, but as soon as the show ended, they revealed a different face, that with a warm smile and fully appreciative. The shot of Sam and Paul waving and smiling really made me feel like I had come full circle with the night's photographs.