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Interpol Guitarist on Snowmageddon: ‘We Had It Very Good Compared to Most People’

By Marissa G. Muller

Interpol might have been in the worst situation among musicians as this year’s Snowmageddon hit the East Coast.

The band was trapped inside their tour bus for a whopping 50 hours on I-90, a few miles away from Buffalo. Now freed, guitarist Daniel Kessler gave a phone interview with Kevin & Bean, recalling their nightmarish snow experience.

“We had a situation but we had it very good compared to most people,” Kessler said, recalling how the band got trapped in traffic after leaving their Columbus, N.Y., show. “Everyone had a sense of optimism but by the next morning we just moved a very, very small amount and we were basically stuck on a road—I should say much better than other people.

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At first, the guitarist assumed the van was stopped for customs at the Canadian border.

“After we played a show Monday night in Columbus, we boarded the bus and were hopeful we’d cross the border at some point in the middle of the night,” Kessler said. “I kept thinking they let us through the border. Typically when you’re going into Canada, they ask you to descend from the bus and they check your papers and so forth. I kept feeling the bus stop intermittently and thought, ‘Oh, they’re letting us go through this time.’

“It wasn’t until early next morning that I realized, ‘No, we’re very much stuck in snow.’ I think I had a sense of optimism when our driver told me, ‘Just a few miles ahead of us is Buffalo and they don’t really have any snow yet.’ At that point, they had no snow at all. It came a little later.”

One of the reasons the band was in a better position than most trapped nearby was that their bus was fully loaded with supplies.

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“We live on the bus so we always have some supplies like water and coffee and things from our rider that we want,” Kessler recalled. “We had food. I ate a lot of peanut butter. [The bus] is kind of where we live so I can only imagine for those who weren’t expecting, it was really harrowing.”

Because they tour and spend long stretches of time together often, being trapped with six other people for two days wasn’t as uncomfortable as it could have been: “I think we did really well. Everyone kept a good sense of calm and camaraderie. We’re friends and we enjoy hanging out and made the most of it. Everyone had a bit of cabin fever… but we didn’t get sick of each other. We’ve been doing this for a while.”

Aside from drinking vodka and eating snacks, they “watched a lot of SportsCenter and film and news. We just hung out and talked.”

Frontman Paul Banks even used the experience as inspiration to write new songs “Paul worked on some new stuff on his own,” Kessler revealed.

“One of our drivers, Red, is still stuck in traffic and hasn’t been able to move since Monday. He’s fighting a good fight.”

 

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