Interpol 2014 - PressThe buzz is everywhere. Not only on NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION. Yes, INTERPOL are about to return in early September. The occasion is called El Pintor and marks the group’s first album in four years. Recently we witnessed one of their current comeback shows which got us really excited about the new material while the old one still remains relevant and touching.

But besides all the hype some of you might not be aware of the group’s music yet. Yes, kind of unlikely but still possible. You may have heard of this strange hyped band from New York City before but never really connected with them so far. Well, it’s never too late to change. The now (three) gentlemen (Bassist Carlos Dengler left the band in 2010) founded the band in the late 1990s, obviously being influenced by the music of THE VELVET UNDERGROUND and JOY DIVISION. Pretty soon, the dark and cold post-punk of the four piece gathered a larger following. Partly also because it provided a stylish alternative draft to the garage- and indie-rock wave of the early 00s (THE STROKES; THE VINES etc.). Suits, ties and sharp haircuts – INTERPOL played with a different aesthetics. Daniel Kessler provided distinctive and harsh guitar riffs while frontman Paul Banks and his cryptic lyrics helped shaping the bands own mystery. Dark, intense, sometimes heavy while still somehow being fragile. And don’t forget the groove.

From 2002 to 2010 INTERPOL released four studio albums that helped building their own legacy and fan base. Although being open to new elements within their musical microcosm these guys more or less stuck to their formula, resulting in a very unique sound. El Pintor will be an important album for the Americans; not only because it’s the first one without Dengler. The band needs to prove if their new songs can stick up to the high expectations and their own discography.

For everybody who’s not into the sound of the band yet please enjoy our very own beginner’s guide to the music of INTERPOL. The following list contains the eleven finest musical moments of the group – at least according to us from NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION. Get ready to learn a lesson or two.


11. Pioneer To The Falls

It’s still unsure why Dengler left the group. Some say it could’ve been because of his musical ambitions and the lack of inclusion within the sound of INTERPOL. This mighty opener of 2007’s Our Love To Admire should be proof enough for the symphonic passion of the former bassist. Urgency can be felt within in every note. Dengler was also responsible for this orchestral version of the tune which should give a better idea of what he was aiming for.

10. NYC

New York cares. If you like it or not. This morbid anthem to the big apple helped shaping the image of the group as an outcome of a cold urban environment. Still, this musical love letter to the city makes us think they enjoy the environment despite its tough character.

09. Narc

One thing INTERPOL are always good at are chord changes at the right time within a song. Just take 2004’s Narc as an example. When the first verse ends, right before the singing starts (around 56 sec into the song) and we’re entering the chorus. These guitars. Pure pleasure. The rest as well.

08. The Lighthouse

Creating the sound of a restless sea just with a guitar? Sounds simple but it’s actually quite a challenge. As Banks sings an ode to the old lighthouse, Kessler creates the waves surrounding it in the most magnificent way.

07. The Specialist

If you love hunting a band’s discography for b-sides and bonus tracks INTERPOL won’t become your favourites simply because there’s not much extra material besides the albums. The Specialist marks the finest one of the extra tracks; a hypnotic piece that would have also fit on one of the albums.

06. Lights

Let’s face it, 2010’s self-titled album has been the group’s weakest one so far. But the outstanding exception on it comes in form of the epic Lights. A slowly growing monster with an impressive build-up.

05. Not Even Jail

It’s all about the intensity, especially this one. Drummer Sam Fogarino keeps the drive alive for the full duration of this pumping rock piece. No break; the beat goes and on and so do the guitars. Still THE highlight of every INTERPOL concert.

04. Leif Erikson

The ones of you with historical knowledge should be aware of the fact that Leif Erikson was the Viking who went to America way before Christopher Columbus. We’re still not sure why the band chose him as a metaphor for the closing track off their debut LP Turn On The Bright Lights. But does it actually matter?

03. Pace Is The Trick

This is really one of the hidden musical treasures from the four albums. It should have been an instant classic but we’re not even sure if the band ever played it live in the past. Especially Banks’ vocals in this one are tremendous.

02. Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down

If you ask INTERPOL fans for their favourite tracks we guarantee you that the one about deep diving Stella will be in the Top 3. At least. Special points for using the phrase ‘catatonic sex-toy’ within a song without sounding too bizarre.


01. Take You On a Cruise

And even more points go out to Banks for having Fred Astaire used as a metaphor for time. Okay, to be fair; the lyrics in Take You On a Cruise leave way too much space for interpretation. But the whole track is an irresistible ride into the heart and soul of the music of INTERPOL. A discreet start that ends with a grooving four-to-the-floor-beat. Priceless.