In a revealing and lengthy new interview with Bedford + Bowery, the former bassist details what life has been like post-Interpol, and it looks nothing like his fans might’ve expected. Not only has he distanced himself from his former band members, but he’s also ditched the music scene as a whole in favor of a career in acting and various scholarly pursuits, including an upcoming book and a one-man show featuring music from Smashing Pumpkins.
Below, read a few excerpts. Head here for the full interview.
On his classes and recently graduating:
I’m auditioning and looking for an agent. Really, I just graduated. Also, it’s not fair for me to even say, “This is what I’m doing.” I spent three years in acting boot camp [at NYU’s graduate acting program] and I’m a 41-year-old man. I’m no spring chicken. So I’m looking at some of my younger classmates and how they’re coming out of the gate with fire under their asses and they’re doing a lot of stuff. I’m like, “Wow, that’s pretty fucking impressive.” I just don’t have that ability right now. I’m still putting all of the pieces together.
For three years, it was Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. till 11 p.m. And Saturdays it was 12 to 6. It was like prison, an all-consuming three-year adventure with 14 other people. It was monastic. I really could not engage in anything that I wanted to do recreationally or relationship-wise. I was just completely removed from whatever else I was doing and I was just in this spaceship, pretty much like with the band, except this one had a very firm expiration date, Spring of 2015.
On wanting to his acting career to be completely separate from his music past:
I mean, that’s one of the reasons why I don’t hang out in clubs or go to bars or really participate in anything that I used to do when I was in Interpol, is that I truly want to start over. And I don’t want any kind of head start. I do and I don’t obviously, because I complain a lot about having to start over, because I’m 41.
But in terms of my own interest in theater, I consider it to be a necessary part of my process. I don’t want to ever get a gig because the director’s like a fan of Interpol or something like that. I would construe that as a fundamentally corrupting ingredient in the mix. I might be naive or idealistic in wanting this, but it’s an ideal. I want to do this for the art, for the art.
On his relationship (or lack thereof) with Interpol’s members:
I don’t like phrase “we don’t talk.” That’s sort of like someone hammering a plaque into a rock and engraving it: “Thus they do not speak, in perpetuity.” And it’s a much more fluid situation than that. The fact of the matter is that I have not spoken to them in quite some time.
I haven’t spoke to Sam [Fogarino] or Paul [Banks] since I left the band, since I actually left our group counseling session together, which is where I announced that I was leaving. That was the last time that I saw them in the flesh. I saw Daniel [Kessler] a couple times after that— we actually met up— and then as things got more serious with my training, I just wasn’t ready to continue the friendship.
On the one-man show he’s working on:
I realized recently that my piece is really ’90s, without me even trying to do it. And then I thought to myself, all the stuff I struggled with, that all happened in the ’90s. So there ’s a Smashing Pumpkins track in there, Nine Inch Nails, and “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”
On his forthcoming book:
I do. It’s in the very early stages. I anticipate that it’s going to be a sort of companion piece to the show, so it’s going to be much larger, it’s going to go much deeper. I don’t want to make it a straight-up, tell-all memoir, I wanted it to be more of an essay and more literary.