New York alt. rockers Interpol used a JBL VerTec system on their extensive world tour in the UK and Europe that supported their second acclaimed album, Antics.
UK audio rental house SSE supplied the system. The PA was specified by FOH engineer Harley Zinker, who has worked with the band for four years.
When Zinker first used a VerTec system in 2003, he was amazed at how the VerTec enclosure throws sound, particularly the mid highs. Since then, he’s used it several times. "As soon as I discovered that the VerTec boxes contained three high frequency drivers, it all started to make more sense" he says. He adds that the most important audio element for him in a given situation is consistency around the room: "VerTec delivers every time in every space" he says.
This was Interpol’s first proper production tour, and Zinker chose 24 VT 4889 elements for the PA. For the band’s two sold-out shows in London, the elements were flown 11 per side. For the smaller venues, they were ground stacked. Subs were Nexo CD18s–six per side in the larger rooms.
The system was driven by 6A Camco Vortex. BSS Omnidrive compacts with the V1T Thiele crossover preset provided system processing; SSE first pioneered this combination with VerTec during last year’s Metallica tour.
Zinker mixed with a Yamaha PM5D, and the monitor engineer was also using a PM5D for the stage mix. Interpol’s system tech is Tim Frayleigh of Firehouse in New York. SSE’s system tech was Dan Lewis, and the account handler was Rich Rowley.
Creatively, Zinker tried to make the live sound experience emulate the CD, with lots of energy and power plus clear vocals. "People will usually take the record as their blueprint, so it’s important that the mix reflects what they already know. VerTec really helps me achieve that consistency–it’s a great tool for any engineer."
SSE also provided a full monitor system. Interpol’s lighting designer is Lucas Cotterman, with lighting equipment supplied by a combination of Lite Alternative and Entec.
Interpol toured Europe in April and returned to the US in May for a series of radio festivals. They are opening for U2 and Coldplay throughout the summer as well as playing festivals and touring Japan and Australia.