Uuuh, I think I prefer Daniel with his jewfro, thank you very much.
yeah then this happened:
Daniel Kessler, Summer Kings magazine 2004
these photos are the only thing i need in life
Photography by Lincoln Jubb
MC: Do you all buy each other Christmas presents?
Sam: Yeah, we do. Sometimes they don’t get exchanged for months or it could be just really casual like unwrapped like, “Here, happy Christmas.” It’s never that typical, “Hey, guys, let’s do our exchange,” after sound check or whatever.
Do you ever go for novelty?
No, because it will just get left somewhere. We’re too scattered for, you know. Maybe not one on one but maybe for the whole camp. Although, I probably should start. Maybe it’s time.
Yeah, maybe you should turn that around. Another question is, if you were at this festival who would you like to stand next to living or dead beside the stage?
Joe strummer. Every few years I have pangs for Joe Strummer. Not even chat but just to stand there and maybe nod.
There’s a drink here called The Stummer.
As there should be.
I just had one. It was really good.
I have a cat named Topper after topper after Topper Headon.
Would you rather never taste food again or lose your ability to play music?
I would have to not taste anymore. I mean it’s pretty funny what’s been happening with food culture over the past decade. On one hand, I think it’s amazing that it’s easier to find something really well prepared and presented. But then, on the other hand, it turns your average person into a fucking food critic. And it’s like you’re defeating the whole purpose. It is, after all, it’s sustenance. While everyone deserves to have something really well prepared and really well done and flavorful and whatever… there’s nothing wrong with a hot dog every now and then or a tofu dog or something simple.
Mashed potatoes! Yeah, like for real. And you get to the point where even that comfort food becomes foodie-ized.
With truffle oil put in.
I mean, like come on. There’s a time and a place. What I really don’t like is that now everyone’s a fucking food critic. Like, please get away from my food. So, yeah. I would let taste go.
Do you think there’s any other more romantic ode to New York than your song NYC?
Well, the funny thing is that song is not really in praise of New York. It’s about how tough and dishonest it can be. There’s a lot of that romanticized, you know, Billy Joel and Frank Sinatra. I’ll tell you what, though, laying it out on the line, Jay-Z’s New York, that got me. It’s really honest, it’s not hiding behind any metaphor. It’s just the way it is, and I relate to that.
It’s such a great song. So here’s one about music. Cause there’s always going to be one of those. So, it has been a while between records. Did you know you were always going to make another record because we were a little worried for a while – on casual Friday we were a bit nervous – and we’re now excited.
You know, it depends. I mean, I don’t think I was worried that there wouldn’t be one. I think I was worried about how. You know, I knew that there would be one. Because, if there wasn’t going to be a record if Carlos quit, and it was just ready to fold, it would have folded. But to have, you know, a very pivotal member leave and then we didn’t really call it quits when he left. He finished the last self-titled record and we toured that record. There would have be opportunity to be like “Ok, this is is why bother?” But we didn’t do that. It’s like, what would be the point of not doing another. It was more of a fear of what the temperament was going to be like, what’s the climate?
Was it a bit summer, the climate?
Yeah, it was temperate.
Yeah, good. Slight breeze.
Yeah, slight breeze. Some clouds overhead.
Yeah, it passes because it informs the sun.
And the humidity.
Oh yeah, the humidity. I’m from Georgia.
Are you living in Georgia now?
Yeah, I’m living in Athens. Lots of trees. When I first bought my home, I started naming the trees and I counted and there were like, 25.
You had 25 friends.
25 trees. I forget their names. They don’t know mine.
Did that change the scenery for the new record or the way you approached the new record?
For me, it did. Because, you know, there’s the inspiration in that New York feel and then there’s, like, it can totally suck you dry. So, being a thousand miles to the south and flying up for two weeks at a time every month, it became exciting again. So, the heart rate being slowed down in Athens then coming up to the excitement in NY without the responsibility it made it easier to do the record.
Yeah, that’s exciting. I’m happy for you. I grew up in the countryside then I moved to London then I moved to Sydney. Such a great privilege to have that background and the contrast.
Well, I grew up in Philadelphia on the west side. Like almost the farthest western point of the city and my neighborhood was kind of on the periphery. Lots of trees and woods. So I had that growing up like sidewalks and at any point I could run off into the woods.
Do you bring your house keys with you on tour?
Yes, I do. I have my house keys. Not on my person. But I know where they’re at in the hotel room. Well, the thing that happened was I booked a car to take me from Athens to Atlanta for the flight and it never showed up. So in five minutes I had to just make a decision to drive my car to the airport.
And do you take your wallet on the stage with you?
No, I don’t like the sitting. And I have to make sure change and loose coins… Cause if I happed to tap my leg it hurts on the dense metal. So, that’s a pet peeve.
Yeah, ok. And, just to end, do you have any questions for me?
Uh, do you like motorcycles?
Yeah, I learned to ride a motorcycle before I learned to drive a car. Yeah, farm girl.
Interview by MC’s Sally Quade.
Happy Birthday Sam!
Check out Food is the New Rock Episode #105 w/
DANIEL KESSLER from INTERPOL
Zach & Chuck sat down with him at Bronson Island to ask him about his strategy for finding the best food when he’s on the road, his favorite places to eat around the world, and how much Brooklyn has changed over the years. Daniel also tells us about the restaurant he co-owns in Brooklyn (Bergen Hill) and L.A.’s Cafe Gratitude somehow makes it into the podcast conversation… AGAIN.
Lollapalooza, Chicago, 01.08.2014.
© David Sampson
☐ Daniel Kessler
☐ Paul Banks
☑ Sam Fogarino