Music and culture writer Elizabeth Nelson (Pitchfork, The Ringer) has also been making her own brand of rock n’ roll as The Paranoid Style for the last 10 years. She’s just announced her new album, The Interrogator, which will be out February 2 via Bar/None.
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with the sound of ZZ Top’s 1983 LP Eliminator, which was the outcome of Billy Gibbons’ incipient fascination with Depeche Mode and Orchestral Maneuvers In the Dark, and his desire to embroider the sound of those bands onto the Top’s inimitable Texas boogie,” says Elizabeth. “To me it sounds like heaven. When I realized the success of our previous records meant we were going to have a bigger budget for The Interrogator, I immediately huddled with my engineer and co-producer Jason Richmond and told him this was the sonic direction I thought we should go in. He happily agreed and it was all Fairlight synthesizers all the time from there.”
The first single from the album is “I Love the Sound of Structured Class,” a song whose title tips its hat to Nick Lowe and features now full-time bandmate Peter Holsapple of The dB’s on guitar. “All the tracks have the Eliminator DNA, but I have to say I think we really nailed it on this one,” says Elizabeth. “Special shout out to Peter Holsapple for a blistering solo that would make Gibbons himself wave his cowboy hat in Peter’s direction just to help him cool off.” She adds, “This is a song about the kind of deals that make the world go around, and the sorts of folks who make them. A lot of people think they know the face of good and evil, because they think it was shown to them on TV. Or maybe they think they learned about it in their church or community center. But these things don’t show themselves so easily as all that.”
1 The Interrogator
2 I Love the Sound of Structured Class
3 The Ballad of Pertinent Information (Turn It On)
4 Last Night in Chickentown
5 The Return of the Molly Maguires
6 Client States
7 Styles Make Fights
8 Are You Loathsome Tonight?
9 Bad Day for the Group Chat
10 That Drop Is Steep
11 The Formal
12 Print the Legend
13 The Findings