Sam on the sweetness of simplicity in Ireland’s Hotpress magazine

Taken from a recent interview with Ireland’s Hotpress magazine (June 08 issue):

Speaking of payback, Our Love to Admire reached number one in two countries, Ireland and Mexico, both pagan cultures with a thin film of Catholicism grafted on top. What’s the Interpol connection?

“Well, I think…it’s kinda funny, that’s a little ironic considering that from certain perspectives, other countries overly intellectualise Interpol, and here you have ‘the simple people’ saying, ‘Well fuck that, this is reaching the heart, and we just accept it, without over-analysis, we’ll just physically show you how much we love this fuckin’ record.’ That’s what I find amazing and beautiful, so when you have the rest of the EU and parts of America really trying to figure out what this thing is, Mexico and Ireland are showing us what it is. I identify with that: ‘Let’s put the words away man, let’s just show each other what this is about.’
“You don’t have to go look for the definitive in music, you can feel it and relate it to your situation. Even if you don’t know what somebody is saying, the way they’re saying it will make you feel something that has nothing to do with the content. That’s a powerful song. And nine times out of ten what the singer is conveying is something deeply personal anyway, and you can just toss meaning aside and get to the raw emotion of it. That’s something beautiful. And Ireland and Mexico will forever be Interpol’s favourite places to go because of that simple experience; that simple exchange is more powerful than anything you can put into words. We go and play our songs and the audience responds. And massively so. What more could you want?” (Peter Murphy)

– I completely relate to what Sam is saying in this interview. What we feel, how we respond when we experience music (especially music like Interpol’s) is so amazingly beyond articulation, “what more could you want?” There is something of purity in the physical that can be lost when our analytical faculties are put into use. We run the risk of forgetting what it’s all about and of missing the subtle yet strong “raw emotion” by searching for meaning.

– Like an astronomer looking at the night sky, though, I feel a strong urge to call forth what little perspicacity I have and to examine the music that inspires so much pure physical response in me. My attempt at reconciliation to myself of this seeming paradox—that is, inarticulate feelings and responses being translated through theoretical terms—is that I try at all costs to use moments in the music that have affected me deeply as my analytical ‘springboard’. In all honesty, my desire to consistently tie my analyses to my physical and emotional responses has led to my loss of some street cred with more “serious” music theorists.

– My deepest hope is that, like with astronomy, if my readers learn about the intense magnetic activity of a sunspot, that this information will not detract from or be untrue to the staggering beauty of the sun. Similarly, I hope that by interpreting a key change as a song’s abrupt shift into a different musical realm does not detract from the amazing physical and pre-intellectual response we get by simply listening to it.

– The kind of response to music that Sam is describing above is so incredibly important to me, and has literally shaped the course of my life. My desire to articulate, at least partially, this response is simply an outpouring of my passion for the power of music in my life.

Well, thought this quote from Sam was interesting, so I wanted to respond—but next up will be synesthesia and chromaticism!

Until then,
Much love from,


~ by megwilhoite on July 6, 2008.

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