Soundtrack Of My Life: Interpol’s Sam Fogarino

Drummer for the NYC doom-rock survivors, found his calling at a KISS concert

The first song I remember hearing

Alice Cooper – ‘School’s Out’

“I was in kindergarten at the time, but the notion of school already felt very claustrophobic. I didn’t like the conformity of it all, so even at five or six years old, this song really connected with me. I didn’t really know why I liked it, but I knew that it felt euphoric and safe.”

The first gig I went to


Kiss at The Spectrum, Philadelphia in 1977

“It was very much an arena rock show. I remember my uncle, who was more like an older brother to me, let me sit on his shoulder for the first five songs. Then my sister took off and met a boy, and my uncle put me down so he could smoke some marijuana. It was a moment where I was like, ‘I don’t really understand what’s happening here, but I want a piece of this.’ Even though I didn’t play an instrument yet, I knew I wanted to be on that stage.”

The song that reminds me of home

Neil Young – ‘Down By The River’

“My mother would fucking scream her lungs out to the chorus of this song, no matter what she was doing. And being a young boy at the time, I was either in awe of her, or just like: ‘Please, please stop.'”

The song I can no longer listen to


Outkast – ‘Hey Ya!’

“I remember hearing this track when it came out and thinking: ‘Oh wow, all the boxes are checked, it’s pop genius.’ Any time it came on, it would just lift the room. Then at a certain point, it became like common language: you would hear it at any bar in the US or pub in the UK. But I think when a song becomes that big, it’s also the death of something good. So now if I hear it, I’m like, ‘God love you, but no.'”

The song that makes me cry

Sinead O’Connor – ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’

“I mean, who hasn’t felt that heavy weight of losing your lover? The video she made for this track, being so stark and in-your-face, it used to make me choke up. And if I was ever going through a break-up, I actually couldn’t deal with it. She didn’t write this song, but just thinking about the way she sings it gives me goosebumps. I also get goosebumps when I hear her track ‘I Want Your (Hands On Me)’ because it’s another really powerful expression of emotion.”

The song I wish I’d written

Tears For Fears – ‘Shout’

“I wish I’d written any song off [their 1985 album] ‘Songs From The Big Chair’. I was a teenager when it came out and it probably touched on some things that I didn’t quite understand yet. Maybe it sounds a little dated now, but I think it’s a good example of what was so good about the ’80s: they were making pop songs, but you could appreciate the artistry and the lyrics are just incredible. I also think that Roland Orzabal’s ability as a guitar player would rival a metal guy – like, he can rip.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds – ‘Lay Me Low’

“Lyrically, it’s kind of funny. It starts out with this character narrating their death and how it’s going to play out. They begin by saying that nobody will be there and the people they try to reach will never give an authentic statement concerning their past. But then it becomes, like, so grandiose with Nick Cave singing that “all man and beast will mourn” in that preacher-esque way of his. The takeaway, I think, is that even a piece of shit has a sense of value.”

The song I do at karaoke

Johnny Cash – ‘I’ve Been Everywhere’

“If I had the balls, I would get up and sing this song – I have the right pitch for it, and this Johnny Cash song in particular has a lightness and sense of humour to it. He’s an iconic badass, though these days he’d probably be hard cancelled because he did some pretty questionable things. But I do think on some level he represents what it means to be an American.”

The song that makes me want to dance

Stevie Wonder – ‘I Wish’

“It’s hyper-rhythmic but at the same time, he has so much emotion in his songs that it’s almost too real. That quality is so unique to Stevie Wonder, I think. Songs like ‘Superstition’ and ‘Living For The City’ are just so fucking genuine. I don’t think the lyric to ‘I Wish’ is a positive one, but the music is so compelling that it’s undeniable. If I could kick it like a Black person on [music TV show] Soul Train circa 1972, I would be like: ‘Dude, clear the dance floor!'”

Interpol have announced details of new UK headline shows for summer 2023. They will play Brighton, Leeds, Edinburgh, Bristol and Liverpool

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