Interpol had been around for a few years before making a breakthrough with the album Turn On The Bright Lights in 2002, which was bang in the middle of a period when a number of bands from New York City, such as The Strokes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs were coming to wider attention, and which coincided with an explosion in what was labelled a post-punk revival thanks to guitar bands again coming to the fore and taking their influences from the 70s and 80s, both in terms of sound and vision.

There was, however, something more to Interpol than most, possibly because they had a level of craft and musicianship that seemed to be a bit above the norm, something which became particularly apparent with their second album, Antics, which hit the shops in September 2004 and immediately became lauded as one of the essential records of the year. It certainly ticked all my boxes, and where the debut had been at times felt moody and slightly impenetrable, the new collection of songs seemed destined to get the festival audiences on board, thanks to irresistible, upbeat tunes over which ambiguous and multi-meaning lyrics were sung. It felt like the best elements of Joy Division/New Order, the Bunnymen and The Cure had been meshed into one band, although there were a number of critics, especially in America, who had a real go at the band for failing to develop their own style and for becoming a pastiche of a bygone age.

The album had been preceded by the single Slow Hands, which took Interpol into Top 40 of the UK singles charts for the first ever time. The album provided a few obvious candidates for a follow-up, but the record company held back for a period of time, deciding that the first week of January 2015 would be the best time for the release of the next 45. Maybe that fact that it would be accompanied by what I have long felt to be the most creepy and genuinely disturbing music video ever made was a factor……it certainly would have been a sobering and cheerless view in the run-up to Christmas:-

It’s certainly an unforgettable promo, even if it is one that I can only watch on an intermittent basis. It’s a terrific piece of music, driven along relentlessly by the basslines of Carlos D but to which all the other members of the band make the most marvellous of contributions. It was a song that deserved to be a huge chart hit, and while it would prove to be the biggest single success enjoyed by Interpol, it deserved a better fate than stalling at #18. Maybe the fact that so many folk already owned the song, via the purchase of the album over the previous four months, was more of a factor than anyone at the record company had realised.

The period following the release of Antics was when Interpol cashed in, taking its their own headlining tours across the world, appearing as special guests at outdoor gigs by some of the giants of the stadium-rock gigs (including U2 in Glasgow and Coldplay in London), as well as taking their place high on the bills of various summer festivals. Evil was the track that got folk dancing and singing along more than any other.

mp3 : Interpol – Evil

Here’s the rather excellent b-side of the CD single, one that was otherwise unavailable:-

mp3 : Interpol – Song Seven

Incidentally, if you want to waste a few minutes of your life, you could browse around the internet and read all the different interpretations of what Evil is meant to represent, despite its composer, the aforementioned Carlos D never ever uttering any words of explanation.




Interpol are a very successful band from New York City but there is a little-known Glasgow connection that helped set them on their way….

They formed in 1997 with an original line-up consisting of Paul Banks (vocals/guitar), Daniel Kessler (guitar/vocals), Carlos Dengler (bass guitar/keyboards) and Greg Drudy (drums/percussion). This version of the band only released one EP which was entitled FukdID#3. It was released in 2000 with just 1000 copies pressed on Chemikal Underground Records which had just a few years previously been set up in Glasgow by the members of The Delgados. If you want to get your hands on that rare piece of plastic, expect to pay at least £50….

Drudy left the band shortly after the Chem EP and was replaced by Sam Fogarino. This particular four-piece proved to be one of the outstanding new bands in the first decade of the new millennium with four critically acclaimed albums as well as countless sold-out shows on both sides of the Atlantic.

Carlos Denglar was regarded by many as being central to the band’s success in terms of his look, appearance and his bass playing, so it was a shock to when his departure was announced in 2010 shortly after the completion of work on the band’s fourth album. While the record itself was well received, the live shows the at promoted it came in for a bit of stick and it was no surprise that the remaining band members decided to call a time-out on Interpol and pursue a range of alternative and solo projects.

The two-year rest certainly worked a treat as the band got working together again in 2014 and released their first new album in more than four years to huge acclaim.

As with the other bands featuring this week, I don’t own everything by Interpol but what I do have I remain very appreciative of, including this #19 single from April 2005:-

mp3 : Interpol – C’mere
mp3 : Interpol – Public Pervert (Carlos D remix)
mp3 : Interpol – Fog vs Mould for The Length Of Love

The first of the b-sides is Dengler’s distinctive remix of a track from the LP Antics while the latter is a remix, again of a track from Antics, by Fogarino ably assisted by Bob Mould.




In the days before blog’n’roll I used to spend quite a few hours watching music videos on MTV2. Most of the time it was the same old, same old, hour after hour, but every now and again something would come on by a band or singer I was completely unfamiliar with.  Sometimes I would be able to hit the record button on the VHS machine and go back and listen to the song/watch the video again just to see if, on second or third listen it was worth pursuing. Sometimes there was no tape in the machine and I had to go with instinct.

The latter is what happened when I heard Interpol for the first time.  But it was relatively easy in this instance as I reckon my ears were picking up the Bastard Son of Ian Curtis on lead vocal.

I went out and bought their debut album the next day. I should have in fact bought their EP instead  as its reasonably rare and changes hands for not bad money while the album can be found relatively cheaply in some record shops (remember them?) every now and again.

Interpol seem to be one of those bands, like countrymen The Strokes, who got a lot of great things written and said about them initially, but when eventually they become commercially successful were dismissed by the critics as glory-hunters interested only in fame and fortune whose new songs aren’t as good as the old stuff.

There is a wee bit of truth in that sentiment in as much that after two cracking LPs in 2002 and 2004 to begin with, things went a bot downhill with 2007’s  Our Love To Admire and while 2010’s self-titled LP was a bit of an improvement it still didn’t quite capture the magic of the early material.

2014 is set to be an important year for the band.  Their first new material in four years is due for release, but crucially it will be the first without bassist/keyboardist Carlos Dengler who, depending on which version you believe, was sacked for persistent drugs misuse or left of his own accord to pursue his own musical direction.  The thing is, many think Dengler’s talents were the essential element of Interpol, so as I say 2014 is set to be crucial,

In the meantime, here’s a few things for your enjoyment:-

mp3 : Interpol – PDA
mp3 : Interpol – Obstacle 1
mp3 : Interpol – Evil
mp3 : Interpol – The Heinrich Maneuver
mp3 : Interpol – Lights