Dead Soul

Interpol vs. Joy Division: What does Ian Curtis think? No, really.

Cool. So that's what all the musicians are doing in the afterlife. It's like one long jam session. Fuck yeah!

Young continues: "He sees all the--and I'll just use his expression--'shit' around us, but he says, 'Just keep doing what you're doing.' [That's twice.] Then he says, 'You're tapping into the same source that we did and you're only getting a fraction of the source, like we did.'"

Wait a second. People pay money for this kind of shit? Why not just take that $200 and go to Burning Man? And something tells me that this guy is trying too hard to come down to my level, to talk "music" with me. I'd imagine that when Ms. Jane Doe Housewife sits down to contact her deceased uncle, the word "shit" never comes up.

"Hmm, maybe we should kick out Carlos? After all, he has the worst hair. And he prefers to have his last name written as 'De.' instead of Dengler. Seriously, what up?"
Michael Edwards
"Hmm, maybe we should kick out Carlos? After all, he has the worst hair. And he prefers to have his last name written as 'De.' instead of Dengler. Seriously, what up?"

"'It's not my music,'" continues Young, still reciting Curtis' words verbatim from his notes. "'Keep doing what you're doing. It's the music. It belongs to all of us. You can be better than me if you keep up what you're doing and stop listening to the critics. Listen to your soul, man. Play.'"

Young pauses and lets out a little chuckle, as if he's just surprised himself.

"And that's just what he said," says the psychic, as I'm trying to imagine Ian Curtis--intelligent, pugnacious, a resident of working-class Manchester in the '70s--saying something like "Listen to your soul, man." But apparently that's what happens on the other side. Even if you're Ian Curtis, you're still forced to speak fortune-cookie.

Our session's just about up, but Young says I may ask one more question, provided it's a quick one. I tell him there is one thing.

"We're thinking of kicking out Carlos, the bass player," I say. "He's kind of a dick."

Short on time, Young resorts to tarot cards because getting Curtis' attention again would take too long. After much deliberation, he interprets the various cards I've turned over and delivers a verdict.

"I don't think you should rush to get rid of him right away," he says. "You may have to deal with and suffer through his difficulty a little bit, but ultimately you'll be able to pick the fruit off that tree."

But gee, doc, on the other hand, aren't there plenty of fish in the sea? Or maybe you're right, maybe the grass is always greener on the other side, after all, all's well that ends well, right? About the only thing that rings true is, a penny saved is a penny earned.

Young's last little aphorism, whether he meant it to or not, did have some application to the band as a whole. Self-respecting indie rockers will instantly note that they come off like a bunch of smug, fancy-suit-wearing, overstylized twats (does anyone remember the Britpop band Menswear? Didn't think so). But if you put up with their conceited shtick, you'll discover that, for better or worse, Interpol can write the fuck out of a post-punk pop song. Even Ian Curtis thinks so.

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