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Old 09-06-2005, 06:10 AM   #1
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A Look At: Interpol*

By Carrie Alison, Chief Editor

Another installment in our series of profiling the opening bands of U2’s Vertigo Tour.

"Post-punk" and "sounds like Joy Division" have been done, it's time for the public and press alike to find a new way to describe New York City quartet Interpol. How about "lucky" for beating the sophomore slump with its most recent album "Antics" or just plain "fascinating" for its ability to remain artistically true to itself while retaining some level of privacy given its rise in fame since releasing the widely-acclaimed debut album, "Turn on the Bright Lights" in 2002?

"Enigmatic" works, especially when describing Interpol's tight and utterly beguiling live show that U2 fans had the opportunity to witness when it opened on the Vertigo Tour in Glasgow in June. The band is given to little in the way of stage theatrics, instead favoring stunning red lights and letting the music speak for itself without the need for forced lead singer banter, unlike U2's garrulously chatty Bono.

But let's back up, we're getting way ahead of ourselves here.

The story of Interpol begins in what many on the outside looking in now (in the age of ubiquitous in-the-know bloggers) view as stereotypical "hipster" New York City life. The miniscule, dimly lit bars in the East Village and the Lower East Side that don't have readily noticeable names, but rather neon lights in the window advertising Stella Artois. It rests in snowy winter nights where all a musically inclined denizen can do is stare out the window, candle on the table to keep warm, and dream of orchestral melancholy that will win the masses over.

It lives in the filthy pavement, pockmarked with old chewing gum and littered with remnants of life. It breathes in the acrid subway stations, watching trains go by in a drug-addled haze of redemption and quizzical youth.

Formed in 1998, through a veritable kismet of chance meetings in France and at New York University, the well-educated, well-dressed foursome solidified in 2000 as Daniel Kessler (guitars and vocals), Carlos Dengler (bass and keyboard), Sam Fogarino (drummer) and Paul Banks (lead vocals), and was signed to Matador Records in 2002. The band's first full-length album, "Turn on the Bright Lights," debuted in August of that year.

Interpol toured the world relentlessly in the following year-and-a-half, building a rabid, cult-like following along the way. The bleakness, grime, sexual overtones and non-specific subject matter in Banks' lyrics further bolstered the band's inscrutable image and persona when paired with its remarkably accomplished live shows and black suit-and-red tie dapper-and-dour appearance.

After taking some much-needed time off, Interpol went back into the studio in March 2004 to begin work on its sophomore effort, "Antics." A few months later, Interpol jumped on The Cure's roving Lollapalooza-like touring festival, Curiosa, and played to larger (and like-minded) crowds, despite being dressed in its trademark suits in the hot summer sun. Released in September 2004 to much critical fanfare, "Antics" was heralded as the band's most accomplished work yet and a step forward stylistically, unlike what some critics said of other New York City royalty, The Strokes, whose sophomore release, "Room On Fire," puzzled even the band’s most ardent supporters with no discernable advancement.

Fresh off its opening gig on the Vertigo Tour and Coldplay's Twisted Logic tour in Europe, Interpol is still on the road in support of "Antics" through late September in North America, and can also be seen at the Oct. 1 Staten Island date of New York City’s inaugural Across the Narrows festival alongside another Vertigo Tour opener, the Killers.

For more information on Interpol, visit the band's official website.

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Old 09-13-2005, 08:42 PM   #2
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Old 09-14-2005, 11:26 PM   #3
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I just saw Interpol live on Monday in Salt lake, and though I did enjoy watching the guitarist play and bassit, I was really bored with the lead singer, and his voice is annoying.
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Old 09-30-2005, 10:00 PM   #4
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I just love this band
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