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"The music that they’re making is incredibly fresh and youthful-sounding, and very different from anything else out there. The low price point gave us some real grass-roots momentum, and now radio is starting to pick up on it."
——Matador's Patrick Amory
FANS TURN ON TO INTERPOL
New York Indie Buzz Band Makes Good
If you’ve been waiting for the indie-rock revival to kick in, we’ve got good news for you—the wait is finally over. Meet Interpol.

Formed in 1998 in New York, Interpol quickly established itself as a buzz act on the local club circuit as well as in the U.K. and Europe, then signed to Gerard Cosloy and Chris Lombardi’s indie stalwart Matador. The long-hip label, once home to alternagods Pavement and Liz Phair when it was distributed by Capitol, currently goes through ADA.

The group’s debut album, Turn On the Bright Lights, released last August, is rapidly closing in on 100k in sales, moving a brisk 4,000-6,500 units per week—and airplay is just now beginning to kick in.

The quartet—composed of vocalist/guitarist Paul Banks, guitarist Daniel Kessler, drummer Sam Fogarino and bassist Carlos De—has been compared to a who’s-who of critics’ darlings, including the Velvet Underground, Joy Division, R.E.M. and U2. Interpol made its recorded debut with a late-2000 EP on the Scottish label Chemikal Underground, then created a buzz with shows in Glasgow, Manchester and London, capping off the U.K. visit with a session for famed DJ John Peel before heading out for a swing through France.

Last spring, Matador re­leased a special $3.98 EP featuring two of the strongest songs from the album, “PDA” (the current single) and “NYC,” to set up the full-length, and the project has been gathering steam ever since. According to label GM Patrick Amory: “We blew through 10,000 of the EPs, then came with the album, which we priced at $9.98, something we’ve been wanting to experiment with for some time.” Since the first of the year, the album has gone back to full price, at $16.98.

“ADA has been doing a terrific job,” says Amory. “But it’s all about the band. They’ve been touring nonstop since the album came out. The music that they’re making is incredibly fresh and youthful-sounding, and very different from anything else out there. The low price point gave us some real grass-roots momentum, and now radio is starting to pick up on it.”

“PDA” is now grabbing airplay at such PoMo mainstays as KROQ, WZZN, WBCN, KNDD and KTBZ, with the Christopher Mills-directed video in “Crankin’ Rotation” at MTV2.  The band also has a new video in the can for “NYC” directed by Doug Aitken (Fat Boy Slim, Musique, Iggy Pop), and a live version of the song is currently being featured on Ses­[email protected].

Other activities surrounding the group include:

  • Performed on Letterman two weeks ago (1/9) and appeared last Tuesday (1/21) on Carson Daly.
  • Hosted MTV2’s 120 Minutes last November.
  • Going out on the U.K. NME Awards Tour 2003 from 1/23-2/9, followed by U.S. tour starting 2/13 in Seattle and ending 3/6 in Boston. A tour of France takes the band through the rest of March and April.
  • Rave reviews in Rolling Stone, Spin, Entertainment Weekly, Details, with N.Y. Times upcoming.
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