Music: Interpol

L to R: Sam Fogarino, Daniel Kessler, Paul Banks

Interpol is an American indie rock band formed in 1997. They came to prominence in 2002 with their debut album Turn On The Bright Lights, and have released three more albums since then, each to critical acclaim. The band consists of Paul Banks on vocals and guitar, Daniel Kessler on guitar and back up vocals, and Sam Fogarino on drums. Bassist Carlos Dengler left the band in 2010 to pursue personal projects, and has not yet been officially replaced. For the duration of their 2010 tour to support their fourth album (self-titled Interpol), the remaining trio have been joined by Dave Pajo on bass and Brandon Curtis as keyboardist and backup vocalist.

The band was named not after the international police, but after Paul Banks' nickname when he went to school in Spain. His friends would refer to him as "Pol, Pol, Interpol" (Pol being Spanish for Paul). Of course, while "Interpol" does seem like a decent band name, it didn't make searching for them online very easy during their early years.

Each member of the band is noted for a particular trait: Banks for his nasal baritone, Kessler for his guitar flourishes and inability to remain still while playing, Dengler for his fashion choices and habit of wearing his bass guitar very low, and Fogarino for his energetic drumming style. Early on, their sound was frequently likened to Joy Division, a comparison the band is less than enthusiastic about. Nowadays they're better described as a gothic REM.

Studio albums:
  • Turn On The Bright Lights (2002)
  • Antics (2004)
  • Our Love to Admire (2007)
  • Interpol (2010)
  • El Pintor (2014)

In 2009 lead singer Banks released a solo album under the pseudonym Julian Plenti.

Not to be confused with Interpol Special Agent.


  • Album Title Drop - "It's up to me now, turn on the bright lights". in "NYC".
  • Animated Music Video - "PDA" to an extent.
  • Artist Disillusionment - Cited as one of the reasons for Carlos' departure. He even said in a 2007 interview that he changed his style so drastically in order to avoid being recongised in public so much.
  • Colbert Bump - Came to the attention of a wider audience when songs such as "Evil" were used in Grey's Anatomy.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything? - "Stella Was a Diver And She Was Always Down". The song's subtle references to oral sex become much, much less subtle once Banks starts singing "Oh yeah.... so good.... right on" for a whole minute.
  • Even the Guys Want Him - Pretty much everything about Carlos Dengler inspires this.
  • Fading into the Next Song - Happens for the first time towards the end of their fourth album, with "All Of The Ways" and "The Undoing".
    • An unusual variant in Our Love to Admire. "The Heinrich Maneuver" makes use of Stop and Go, so when it abruptly ends and "Mammoth" begins at the same tempo, it's not immediately obvious that the former song has ended.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out - In the middle of "The Heinrich Maneuver".
  • Gratuitous Spanish - In "The Undoing". Partially justified by Banks' fluency in the language as a result of living in Spain while growing up.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics - So very much. This isn't helped by the complete lack of official lyrics on either the band's website or in the album sleeves.
  • The Invisible Band - "Evil" features a creepy puppet singing in Banks' voice and the video for "The Heinrich Maneuver" features random characters acting out a scene.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art - The band are quite fond of this. ''Antics'' probably takes the cake.
  • Large Ham - Vocalist Paul Banks can get pretty dramatic in his delivery and likes to combine this with a Perishing Alt Rock Voice.
  • Looped Lyrics - "Untitled"'s lyrics consist of "Surprise, sometimes, I'll come around, when you're down" repeated several times.
  • Mondegreen - The band's songs are prone to this due to Banks' singing style and the aforementioned lack of official lyrics. Particularly bad in Turn On The Bright Lights, where Banks would sing a verse and his voice would simultaneously be singing something else as backup."
  • Music Video Overshadowing - "Evil": A song about a man tempting a woman to commit adultery with him. The video is about a puppet who is rushed to surgery after being involved in a car accident.
  • Nipple and Dimed - Whether deliberate or not, women who feature in the band's videos are generally wearing something light or transparent enough for this trope to take effect. See the videos for "PDA" and "The Heinrich Maneuver" for example.
  • Non-Appearing Title - Trope Codifier
  • The One That Got Away - Both "C'mere" and "The Heinrich Maneuver touch on this.
  • The Oner - The video for "The Heinrich Maneuver" is an odd example of this.
  • Performance Video - "Mammoth"
  • Putting on the Reich - Carlos' fashion style pre-Our Love to Admire is commonly referred to as "Nazi chic". Particularly evident in this video.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • "No way, no fucking way" in the otherwise calm "Try It On".
    • "It's that time, fuck the surface to meet your specialist."
    • "Mammoth" contains two, one in each verse.
    • A Precision F Strike is usually added to "Leif Erikson" during live performances: "But if your life is such a big fucking joke, why should I care?"
  • Self-Backing Vocalist - Banks does this a lot on the album tracks, with the exception of a few songs on which Kessler's vocals feature.
  • Self-Titled Album - Their fourth, and the last album to feature all four of them together.
  • Sharp Dressed Men
  • Single Stanza Song - "Untitled".
  • Stop and Go - "PDA", "Evil", "The Heinrich Maneuver".
  • The Stoic - From a review of their latest tour: "The NYC post-punkers are so stoic, when frontman Paul Banks clears his throat between songs, it could be considered stage banter".
  • Three-Way Sex - The song "No I in Threesome" is about a couple considering this.
  • Word Salad Lyrics - The band own this trope. "Obstacle 1" is probably the best example.
  • X Meets Y - Joy Division meets REM.