Over the course of its existence, Interpol has been staking out a highly successful musical career via washes of dual lead guitars tremulously harmonizing in the ether, throbs of bass underlining sneer-heavy drums, and, of course, Paul Banks’s unforgettable voice. With a sound somewhere in between Ian Curtis and Michel Stipe, Banks’s pained, non-linear tales of doomed romance and subversive accounts of crime and violence are perfectly undercut by Interpol’s distinctive sound -- a sound that is evocative of wandering New York City’s abandoned alleyways well into midnight, with an imminent sense of foreboding and danger present.


Formed in 1997 by guitarist Dan Kessler and former drummer Greg Drudy (Sam Fogarino replaced Drudy in 2000), the band toyed with names Las Armas and the French Letters before settling on the name Interpol. Prior to releasing its stunning debut, Turn On the Bright Lights, in 2002, Interpol released a series of three EPs over the course of two years, respectively titled Fukd ID #3, Precipitate, and Interpol, on which the band previewed and perfected tracks like “NYC,” “PDA,” and "Roland.” But it was the slow-burning success of its debut that carved a space for Interpol in the annals of New York’s indie-rock scene, and eventually led to worldwide acclaim.


The band's 2004 follow-up, Antics, found the members again teaming with producer Peter Katis, aiming for a more polished version of their sound, and generating relative hits with tracks like “Slow Hands” and “Evil.” The album went on to reach gold status in the United States, a reputable feat for any indie artist, and launched a grueling 18-month tour that saw the band opening for heavyweight acts such as U2 and the Cure.


In September 2006, Matador announced that Interpol had abandoned headquarters and signed to a major label. This was confirmed with the advent of 2007’s Our Love to Admire, released on Capitol Records. While it scored Interpol’s highest charting on the U.S. Top 200 Albums Chart, peaking at No. 4, many fans grew dismayed that Interpol was recycling its sound too heavily and wasn’t displaying the necessary growth a band of its stature should be experiencing. Despite its initial success, Our Love to Admire failed to sustain the longevity of its predecessors, Turn On the Bright Lights and Antics.


Interpol announced that a fourth album was in the works in March 2009, with Banks pointing out that there is “some classical stuff going on.” No further information has been released to date. ~Bruce Scott

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