Formed in 1998 in New York City, Interpol took the indie rock world by storm with 2002's brilliant Turn on the Bright Lights, filled with droning guitars, stark vocals and a whole lot of infectious melancholy. 2004's Antics further developed their sound, a new-millennium extension of musical ideas from the '80s New Wave movement. Ableton took a minute to talk with Interpol's drummer, Sam Fogarino, who uses Live both with the band and for a variety of remix and solo projects.
Are you using Live onstage or in the studio?
I've used Live to remix and, of course, to construct loops, on my own and with Interpol. At the moment, I'm only using it in the studio. I've taken Live into Bennett Studios and used a Neve and an SSL in front of Live. I like how Live plays like an instrument, and not just like a DAW or sequencer. And Live 5 is still simple to use and highly effective.
Do you use Live for rhythmic samples alongside your drumming?
Yes, I do, but also for textured loops.
So you use it for samples of other parts of a song, not just drums?
Yes. I discovered an older rehearsal recording on a DAT tape and played it for the other guys in Interpol. Eventually, we ended up reworking one of the under-developed songs, but still kept a sample of the original DAT version that could not be reproduced again with just two hands.
How does a rock drummer like yourself come upon a program like Live?
Late nights on the road, after the party is over, there's one thing a rock drummer has, a laptop with a Wi-Fi connection. Really, I happened upon Live while surfing the Internet. I had been looking for the one program that would combine everything I needed and wanted in a sequencer or DAW, without the need for, but with the option to, ReWire. And Live is it.
Can you tell me a bit about the remix you were working on with [pioneering punk producer/Husker Du frontman] Bob Mould? How did it come about?
During the last leg of a US tour, after a show at the 9:30 Club supporting Interpol's first record [Turn On the Bright Lights], I was hanging out with Bob. He and friend Rich Morel DJ a night they host called Blow Off downstairs at the 9:30. Bob had been spinning bootleg remixes of his own and wanted to have a go with an Interpol song. I told him that I had the perfect song for him, but it had not yet been recorded. Well, over a year later, Interpol came up with the idea of each of us remixing four tracks off of the then new Antics. I chose the cut "Length of Love," and Bob was into the song and the concept of us remixing together. Lucky me!
Are there any specific songs that you can tell me about using Live on?
Mainly a track entitled "Direction" that is featured on the second volume of the Six Feet Under soundtrack. The breakdown in the middle section of the song is a guitar loop processed in Live.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, Sam.
Please keep progressing; I love where Live is going.