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Interpol is an American indie rock band formed in 1998 in New York City. The band's line-up is Paul Banks (vocals, guitar), Daniel Kessler (guitar, vocals), Carlos Dengler (bass guitar, keyboards) and Sam Fogarino (drums, percussion).

Interpol is one of the bands associated with the New York indie music scene, being one of several groups that emerged out of the post-punk revival of the 2000s. The band's sound is generally a mix of bass throb and rhythmic, harmonized guitar, with a snare heavy mix, drawing comparisons to post-punk bands such as Joy Division, The Strokes and The Chameleons. Aside from the lyrics, their songwriting method includes all of the band members, rather than relying on any given chief songwriter.

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 as well as #1 on Pitchfork Media's Top 50 Albums of 2002. 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.



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." Kessler met Carlos Dengler in a philosophy class at New York Universitymarker 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". 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. Furthermore, the band considered Las Armas and The French Letters as names before adopting Interpol.

In 2000, after releasing the Fukd I.D. #3 EP, Greg Drudy left the band. Kessler recruited Sam Fogarino, who worked at a local vintage clothing store and at the time considered retiring from music, to replace Drudy.

Signing to Matador Records

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 Bridgeportmarker, Connecticutmarker, the album's sound drew comparisons to post-punk groups of the early 1980s, particularly Joy Division. The record was a slow-building success, selling 300,000 copies by 2004. 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. 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. The album was eventually certified as going gold in the UK.

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

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, Fogarino stated "[the process is] moving right along where I think it should...we're all pretty much on fire about it". 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 Recordsmarker, 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.

On March 6, 2009, Interpol announced on their website that they are working on songs for a fourth album.

Solo Projects

On August 4, 2009, Interpol singer/guitarist Paul Banks released his solo first record titled Julian Plenti is... Skyscraper under the assumed name Julian Plenti. Although not a long departure from Interpol's sound, the album features a wider range of material, and establishes Banks as a viable singer/songwriter outside the context of Interpol. 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



Year Title Chart positions Album
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 US Mod. Rock UK
"Obstacle 1" - - 72 - Turn on the Bright Lights
2003 "Say Hello to the Angels"/"NYC" - - 65
"Obstacle 1" (re-mix) - - 41
2004 "Slow Hands" - 15 36 Antics
2005 "Evil" - 24 18
"C'mere" - - 19
"NARC" - - - radio-single only
2007 "The Heinrich Maneuver" 18 11 22 Our Love to Admire
"Mammoth" - - 44
"No I in Threesome" - - -

Compilation tracks

Band members

Current members

Former members


  1. Everly, David. "Our Love to Admire". Q, July, 2007.
  2. 2007 Impose Interview
  3. Raftery, Brian. "Night Falls on Manhattan". Spin. April 2005
  4. Interpol Official Site
  5. Interpol man to release solo album -

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