Lazy-i Interview: Interpol’s Sam Fogarino tames some tigers; Bright Eyes slated for Westfair 6/4…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:55 pm February 8, 2011
Interpol's Sam Fogarino

Interpol's Sam Fogarino

by Tim McMahan,

Here’s some extra credit that didn’t make it into last week’s Interpol feature.

So where exactly was Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino when I spoke to him a few weeks ago over the phone?

“I’m in my studio in Athens, Georgia. I’ve been working with a band called Twin Tigers that hails from Athens as well. We took them on tour with us this past summer, and I’ve been helping them track and mix their new EP.”

Twin Tigers started in 2007 when Matthew Rain and Aimee Morris were working at Grit, Michael Stipe’s restaurant in Athens. Athens must be a small, small town because everyone there seems to have run into Stipe at some point in their lives (Six Degrees of Michael Stipe?). Anyway, the band has released its previous material on Old Flame Records; and I remember seeing them at SXSW last year at the temporary tent club known as Emo’s Annex (across from Emo’s, of course). The four-piece all wore white T shirts and sounded like soaring indie rock, with an undercurrent of shoegaze and an extra helping of Jesus and Mary Chain.

“Twin Tigers were friends first,” Fogarino said of their relationship. “My wife discovered them on Myspace and turned me onto them.” It was only a matter of time before Fogarino ran into the band. “Athens is the size of a dime. I met them just before we decided to take them on the road (with Interpol). Matthew (Rain) approached me outside of a record store. He had a copy of The Cars’ Candy-O under his arm that he was buying for a friend.”

After the tour, Twin Tigers were invited into Fogarino’s private studio that he shares with a business partner. “The challenge is to capture their live essence on recording when there’s really nothing live about about the recording process,” Fogarino said. “I thought I could tap into that energy and abandon, and bring a sense of empathy to the process.”

Plus he wanted to help out the starving artists. “They’re a young band and they don’t have a budget to record,” Fogarino said. “They’re friends and we have respect on a musical level. So the proverbial clock isn’t ticking during these sessions; they don’t have to worry because they only have an hour left.”

But that said, Fogarino doesn’t want to turn the sessions into a “My Bloody Valentine-type thing. It’s a four-song EP. We’ll get back from touring at the same time and spend a week together and get it done.”

So how does working on a project like Twin Tigers translate to Interpol? Fogarino, who has also played with Swervedriver frontman Adam Franklin in the band Magnetic Morning, said it’s impossible to not bring something back to the table. “There’s always a new recording technique or just an observation on how something is done,” he said. “It kind of makes going back home, let’s say, a lot more refreshing. You got a chance to stray for a little while and then return when you’re comfortable.”

With Twin Tigers “they don’t feel that I’m being this bigshot that’s telling them how it is,” Fogarino said, adding that his role as a sort of mentor involves passing along anecdotes about his early days with Interpol. “Interpol has a great sense of integrity in terms of how we handled our success, so to speak” he said. “But every now and again you find yourself bitching about superficial shit and I think back to Twin Tigers, working in a vegetarian restaurant and having to find someone to cover their shift. It provides an interesting sense of reality.”

I don’t need to tell you that Interpol’s show tomorrow night at The Slowdown has been sold out for weeks. It’s worth it to try to scrounge up some tickets if you have a chance. They’ll be bringing their arena show to one of the smallest venues they’ll be playing on this tour, and it’s bound to be spectacular.

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Bright Eyes announced that it’s playing at WestFair Amphitheater in Council Bluffs June 4 with Jenny and Johnny. The $25 tickets go on sale this Saturday. I thought for sure Bright Eyes was going to be the MAHA Music Festival headliner, but not anymore… Now what, MAHA?

Speaking of Bright Eyes, the new issue of Rolling Stone arrived at my doorstep today, and The People’s Key is the featured CD review. The 3-1/2 star review by Jon Dolan concludes with: “He manages to be everything at once: folkie and punk, old soul and eternal boy, high-plains drifter and hipster heartthrob. He’s busy being born again every time he strums a chord.” Read the whole thing online here.

So far the album has received a rating of “90” from review-site aggregator Album of the Year (here).

My review of The People’s Key goes online tomorrow.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.