Hear Interpol’s ‘Big Shot City,’ Remixed and Reworked by Jazz Drummer Makaya McCraven
Ahead of Interpol’s upcoming tour opening for Smashing Pumpkins, the band is teasing a series of collaborative remixes of songs from last year’s The Other Side of Make-Believe. The project, which they’ve dubbed “Interpolations,” will roll out over the coming months with reworkings of tunes by Daniel Avery, Makaya McCraven, Jeff Parker, Jesu, and Water From Your Eyes. First up is jazz drummer McCraven’s take on “Big Shot City.”
Where the original features an almost reggae-like guitar line, sighing bass, and frontman Paul Banks’ typically tense vocals, as he sings, “Big shot city losing vibration over me/Girl, you look gritty, I’ll cruise invitations overseas,” the remix opens slowly like someone dipping their toe in the ocean to test the water. It focuses more on Banks’ vocal performance, emphasizing the background vox, while the skanking guitars and percussion sit in the background. It finds a groove about a minute in and lasts 20 seconds longer than the original, too.
“We are proud to unveil the ‘Interpolations’ project, a collaborative series wherein five talented artists were invited to reimagine tracks from our latest album, The Other Side of Make-Believe — and the results are truly inspired,” a statement from Interpol reads. “From the Latin drum-and-bass rhythms applied to ‘Big Shot City’ by Makaya McCraven to the esoteric and propulsive soundscape created by Water From Your Eyes for ‘Something Changed,’ Interpolations is an exotic journey that reframes our songs and joins them to the vision of talented artists we admire.”
They go on to explain how each of the artists they worked with on remixes altered the songs. “Daniel Avery completely strips ‘Greenwich’ down to only a few of its parts — allowing Juliet Seger’s angelic backing vocal to float hypnotically over driving electronic currents,” they write. “And the reimaginings of ‘Passenger’ and ‘Toni’ by Jeff Parker and Jesu respectively round out this collection with flare, with recontextualized arrangements underlining and often deepening the emotion, drama, and excitement of the originals. We are so excited that such a great collection of artists were able to connect with our music, and we hope these songs connect with you.”
The band also released a video showing the making of The Other Side of Make-Believe, which filmmaker, photographer, and skateboarder Atiba Jefferson made in 2021. The clip shows the trio in the studio and in the woods as they work out the album’s songs.
Interpol will spend the spring and summer touring Mexico, the U.K., and Europe before returning to the U.S. for an appearance at the Outside Lands festival in August and opening up for Smashing Pumpkins through September.
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