"Have you ever been bankrupt?"
Thomas: Never really poor. But there was a time when we shared the same apartment, the four of us. And I remember we had to buy the cheapest pizzas for lunch or dinner everyday, and there was nothing on them. There was just bread, so you had to add stuff because there was nothing. So there was a year like that.
Branco: We were students, I remember one year I ate only baguette and butter
HQ version here
But on Bankrupt!, that sense of confusion is so pervasive it practically coheres into concept-album formalism. Even with Mars’ whimsical wordplay in full effect, the band’s fifth album scans very much as a post-success commentary, the sound of a band who, just two albums ago, was making dates for protest rallies, but now finds itself hobnobbing with the 1%. Lead single “Entertainment” shares its name with Gang of Four’s debut album and also a similar self-awareness of commodifying their art. In the wake of a deliriously ascendant, laser-beamed chorus that’ll give the band’s lighting guy a perfect excuse to shine the house high beams on some festival crowd, the music cuts out and Mars blithely admits, “I’d rather be alone.”