Interpol Biography

Although the New York City, USA-based quartet Interpol shares some of the same garage rock elements as the Strokes and the White Stripes, the band’s affection for the disparate sounds of late 70s UK post-punk outfit Joy Division gave them a different edge to the aforementioned acts.

Formed during 1998, the band’s original line-up featured New York University students Paul Banks (3 May 1978, Clacton-On-Sea, Essex, England; vocals/guitar), Daniel Kessler (b. 25 September 1974, London, England; guitar/vocals), Carlos Dengler (b. 23 April 1974, USA; bass) and Greg Drudy (drums). The quartet spent the next two years finding their footing musically and jamming in run-down rehearsal rooms, before Drudy was replaced by Sam Fogarino (b. Samuel Fogarino, 9 August 1968, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA), who the others knew from a record store they frequented. Interpol almost immediately began playing local live shows, and landed opening gigs for national acts such as And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Arab Strap, and the Delgados. The same year as Fogarino’s entrance, Interpol was featured on the third part of Chemikal Underground’s ongoing Fukd I.D. EP series, which received attention on the UK underground music scene.

Interpol played a series of shows in England during the spring of 2001, as well as a studio session for legendary UK disc jockey John Peel. The quartet’s inaugural overseas visit was so successful that they were invited back during the summer to play festival gigs in France, despite not having an album in the stores. That all soon changed, as Interpol was signed by Matador Records, who released the band’s self-titled EP in early 2002. Debut album Turn On The Bright Lights followed later in the year and received great reviews from critics on both sides of the Atlantic, with the quartet’s ability to fashion something new from a disparate range of post-punk music styles earning particular praise.

Interpol built on the success of their debut with a series of well-received tours, during which they began to premiere a batch of new songs. They returned to Tarquin Studios in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to record their second album. Antics was released in September 2004 and earned the band a Top 20 placing in the US charts. The following year they released a remix mini-album and contributed a new song, ‘Direction’, to the soundtrack of the television programme Six Feet Under.

After signing a major label deal with the EMI group, the band completed work on their third album, Our Love To Admire. The album was a major transatlantic hit, earning a US Top 10 placing, but the biggest impact of the polished production by Muse collaborator Rich Costey was to strip the band of the interesting kinks and swerves that had made their earlier albums so enjoyable.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.