Carlos Dengler, the co-founding bassist and keyboardist of Interpol who is also known as Carlos D, discussed his new forays into acting and writing since leaving the New York City rock outfit in 2010 in a lengthy interview with Bedford + Bowery.
“I’m a 41-year-old man. I’m no spring chicken,” said Dengler, who recently graduated from New York University’s graduate acting program. “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.”
Dengler already has a few plays under his belt and is currently looking for an agent and more work as he continues to workshop a one-man show. The play, Homo Sapiens Interruptus, is an autobiographical piece à la the lengthy monologs of Spalding Gray and Mike Daisey that was inspired by Dengler’s fascination with technology, sex, evolution and paleoanthropology.
“I also experienced my own fall from grace via technology from the band because Interpol became pretty big around the advent of YouTube and the smart phone,” Dengler said. “So there was a certain kind of novelty to a band’s identity taking shape during this time when technology was also advancing. When we started, Facebook didn’t exist, but by the time the second record came out, Facebook was up and ready and going.”
Dengler also said he’s working on a book that would be something of a companion piece to the show, but not a “straight-up, tell-all memoir.” Still, he was happy to discuss his decision to leave Interpol, which he admitted was prompted by “substance and process addictions,” as well as cooling relationships with his bandmates. While Dengler said “there was a little crash” before the band’s 2007 LP Our Love to Admire, “the big crash” came after.
“One of the reasons why it was necessary for me to be out of the band to experience that crash was because I wasn’t, at the time, willing to let anybody know about it,” he said. “I didn’t want anyone in the music industry to see me fall that way. It was beyond anything, like, that I would want anyone to know about. It shook my very belief in the career I was even pursuing inside of music.”
Since leaving Interpol, Dengler said he’s only spoken with guitarist Daniel Kessler, but did not characterize the silence between him and the other members as bitter or set in stone.
“It’s a much more fluid situation than that,” he said. “The fact of the matter is that I have not spoken to them in quite some time. I haven’t spoken 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.”
Interpol have continued to record and tour since Dengler’s departure after the band recorded their 2010 self-titled effort. The group followed up that album with 2014’s El Pintor — one of Rolling Stone‘s 50 best albums of that year — and are set to embark on a European tour later this month.