Interpol (band)

Interpol (band)
Background information
Origin New York City, New York
Genres Indie rock, post-punk revival
Years active 1997–present
Labels Matador, Capitol, Parlophone, Soft Limit, Cooperative Music, Arts & Crafts México
Paul Banks
Sam Fogarino
Daniel Kessler
Past members
Greg Drudy
Carlos Dengler

Interpol is an American indie rock and post-punk revival band from New York City.[1] Formed in 1997, the band's original line-up consisted of Paul Banks (vocals, guitar), Daniel Kessler (guitar, vocals), Carlos Dengler (bass guitar, keyboards) and Greg Drudy (drums, percussion). Drudy left the band in 2000 and was replaced by Sam Fogarino. In 2010, shortly after recording finished for the band's fourth album, Dengler left to pursue personal projects.

Interpol, having first performed at Luna Lounge along with other notable bands like The Strokes, Longwave, The National and stellastarr, is one of the bands associated with the New York City indie music scene, and was one of several groups that emerged out of the post-punk revival of the 2000s. The band's sound is generally a mix of staccato bass and rhythmic, harmonized guitar, with a snare heavy mix, drawing comparisons to post-punk bands such as Joy Division and The Chameleons.[2] Aside from the lyrics, their songwriting method includes all of the band members, rather than relying on any given chief songwriter.[3]

Interpol's debut album Turn on the Bright Lights (2002) was critically acclaimed, making it to tenth position on the NME's list of top albums in 2002[4] as well as #1 on Pitchfork Media's Top 50 Albums of 2002.[5] Subsequent records Antics (2004) and Our Love to Admire (2007) have confirmed the band's initial success and turned them into a commercial and critical success. The band released its fourth, self-titled album on September 7, 2010.



Formation (1997–2001)

Interpol was formed by Daniel Kessler and initial drummer Greg Drudy. Kessler had “been looking to put a band together for a while” when he met Drudy. Kessler "had a very hard time finding musicians to play with—musicians at all, really."[6] Kessler met Carlos Dengler in a philosophy class at New York University and asked him if he played an instrument. Later, Kessler ran into Paul Banks (whom he had first met in France) in New York's East Village, and the pair discussed collaborating together. Banks admitted that he and Dengler "butted heads" early on in the band's history, but told Spin that now the two are "really tight, in a spiritual way".[7] The band had trouble choosing a name at first. "I got to the point where I was like, 'Guys, we're getting decent crowds, but like... we don’t have a name so no one knows who to go see again,'" Kessler said.[6] Furthermore, the band considered Las Armas[6] and The French Letters as names before adopting Interpol.

In 2000, after releasing the Fukd ID #3 EP, Greg Drudy left the band to focus on Hot Cross and his label Level Plane Records. Kessler recruited Sam Fogarino, who worked at a local vintage clothing store and at the time considered retiring from music, to replace Drudy.[7] While a member of Interpol, Drudy was also a member of seminal first-wave screamo act Saetia.

Signing to Matador Records (2002–2005)

Paul Banks, lead singer of Interpol, playing at Roskilde Festival, Denmark 2005 at Arena Stage

After self-releasing several EPs between 1998 and 2001, the band signed to indie label Matador Records in early 2002. The first release, a self-titled EP containing re-recorded versions of "PDA" and "NYC" was released in June 2002. Turn On the Bright Lights was released on 2002. Recorded at Tarquin Studios in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the album's sound drew comparisons to post-punk groups of the early 1980s and late 1970s, particularly Joy Division and The Chameleons. The record was a slow-building success, selling 300,000 copies by 2004.[7] The band regrouped in late 2003 to begin sessions for the follow-up album, again decamping to Tarquin Studios to record. Interpol released its second album Antics in 2004. The album sold 350,000 copies in its first four months of release.[7] The record also saw Interpol earn their first UK Top 40 hits with "Slow Hands", "Evil" and "C'mere" charting at #36, #18 and #19 respectively.[8] The album eventually reached gold status in the UK, and later in the US.[9]

Interpol toured again after the release of the album, playing more dates than ever before and at bigger venues. The Antics tour stretched on for almost 18 months, including a number of shows playing as undercards for U2 and The Cure, and the band reported feelings of exhaustion to Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe at a concert in Sunderland. The band took only three months off after touring finished. Whilst on the road, the band had also released the one-off track "Direction", written for the official soundtrack to HBO's Six Feet Under, Six Feet Under, Vol. 2: Everything Ends.

Move to Capitol Records (2006–2008)

In late March 2006, drummer Sam Fogarino confirmed that the band were back in the studio working on new material. In an interview with Pitchfork Media, Fogarino stated "[the process is] moving right along where I think it should...we're all pretty much on fire about it".[10] Fogarino also dispelled rumors that the band had signed to major label Interscope, but also confirmed that they would be leaving Matador in search of a new label. An update to their website in June confirmed that the band had been working on the follow-up since the turn of the year, but did not confirm a name for the album or comment on the mounting speculation that they were imminently to sign to a major label. On August 14, it was widely reported that Interpol had signed for Capitol Records, a fact confirmed by Matador on September 1 in a press release on their website.

Our Love to Admire was released in July 2007. The album represents a departure for the band, being both the first record they have recorded in New York City (at The Magic Shop and Electric Lady Studios), and the first time they have included keyboards in the arrangements from the start of the songwriting process. The band intended to tour behind the album extensively, beginning with the summer festival circuit throughout the United States and Europe. In August, Interpol headlined one of the days of the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago.

Interpol and departure of Carlos Dengler (2009–present)

On March 6, 2009, Interpol announced on their website that they were working on songs for a fourth album.[11] The LP was recorded in Electric Lady Studios during spring of 2009.[12] In a recent interview, drummer Sam Fogarino, referred to the album as having gone back to the original sound of Turn On the Bright Lights.[13] It was later claimed by Paul Banks that it will not sound anything like their debut album and that there is some very "classical stuff going on" with it.[14] No news about the album surfaced until late April when the band sent an email directing users to a free download of "Lights," the first officially released song.

Interpol, playing at Rams Head Live!, Baltimore July 25, 2010

Interpol's fourth album is self-titled and was officially released on September 7, 2010.[15] It was bassist Carlos Dengler's last effort with Interpol. In an announcement on their website on May 9, 2010, it was revealed that he had left the band sometime after the album's completion. When the remaining members tour in support, he will be replaced by multiple players.[16] In early June 2010, the musicians who will play with Interpol on live dates were announced to be David Pajo (formerly of Slint and many other bands) on bass and Brandon Curtis of The Secret Machines on keyboards and vocals.[16] The album was released on Matador Records in the US, and on Cooperative Music for Europe, Australia and Japan.[17] On February 2011, David Pajo announced that he was no longer touring with Interpol, in order to dedicate more time to his family. Brad Truax (formerly of Animal Collective and many other bands) is currently the new touring bassist.[16]

The band was announced as openers for the third and fourth leg of U2's 360° Tour,[18] and subsequently the band announced eighteen US shows to take place over the third leg of U2's 360° Tour, but only three of them went ahead after Bono's back injury cancelled U2's entire third leg. The band however toured the UK and Ireland in November and December 2010.

On June 22, 2010, a promotional video for "Lights," directed by Charlie White and featuring Lola Blanc, was made available for free download on Interpol's official website. The band also announced tour dates through December 2010.[11] Interpol did open for U2's rescheduled tour date at Soldier Field in Chicago on 7/5/11 and will be opening with the 360° Tour for their remaining dates this summer; this included opening for U2 in Toronto on July 11, 2011.

Side projects

In early 2007, Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino joined with former Swervedriver frontman Adam Franklin to form a side-project band called The Setting Suns. Since then, the duo have changed their name to Magnetic Morning and released a six-track EP on iTunes.

On August 4, 2009, singer/guitarist Paul Banks released his solo first record titled Julian Plenti is... Skyscraper under the assumed name Julian Plenti.[19] Although not a long departure from Interpol's sound, the album features a wider range of material, and "establishes Banks' viability as a musician outside of the context of Interpol".[20] The album was recorded at the Seaside Lounge in Brooklyn and at Electric Lady Studios in Manhattan. It was mixed by Peter Katis at Tarquin Studios in Connecticut. The album was released on Matador Records.


Studio albums

Band members

Current members

Current live members

  • Brandon Curtis – keyboards, vocals (2010–present)
  • Brad Truax - bass guitar, vocals (2011–present)

Former members

  • Greg Drudy – drums, percussion (1997–2000)
  • Carlos Dengler – bass guitar, keyboards (1997–2010)

Former live members

  • Eric Altesleben – keyboards, vocals (2002–2003)
  • Frederic Blasco – keyboards, vocals (2004–2005)
  • David "Farmer Dave" Scher – keyboards, vocals (2007–2008)
  • David Pajo – bass guitar, vocals (2010–2011)


  1. ^ Mathieson, Craig (2008-02-22). "Interpol's apart". The Age. Retrieved 2009-12-13. 
  2. ^ Everly, David. "Our Love to Admire". Q, July, 2007.
  3. ^ Downs, Gordon. "2007 Impose interview". Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  4. ^ "NME Albums Of The Year 2002". NME. 
  5. ^ "Top 50 Albums of 2002". Pitchfork Media. 2003-01-01. 
  6. ^ a b c "Interview: Interpol". Pitchfork Media. 2003-02-01. Archived from the original on 2008-03-09. Retrieved 2009-02-07. 
  7. ^ a b c d Raftery, Brian. "Night Falls on Manhattan". Spin. April 2005
  8. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 270. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  9. ^ "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  10. ^ Matthew Solarski (2006-03-30). "Interpol Drummer Talks Photos, Stipe, Interscope". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 2008-03-07. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  11. ^ a b Official website
  12. ^ "New Interpol Album Coming Next Year". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  13. ^ By Rock on December 5, 2010. "Sam Fogarino Talks New Interpol Album, Courtney Love :: Music :: News :: Paste". Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  14. ^ On Air Now: 19:00 - 21:00 (2009-12-17). "6Music News - Interpol go orchestral". BBC. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  15. ^ br!++@ny (2010-06-04). "Interpol finds new bassist, titles new album « Consequence of Sound". Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  16. ^ a b c "INTERPOL". 2010-05-09. Retrieved 2010-05-09. 
  17. ^ "INTERPOL signe chez Cooperative Music". Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  18. ^ "Interpol to Tour With U2". Pitchfork. 2010-02-22. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  19. ^ "Interpol man to release solo album –". 2009-05-05. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  20. ^ Matt LeMay (2009-07-31). "Julian Plenti Is... Skyscraper". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 

External links

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