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"That’s been our goal from the beginning, to develop that momentum at retail, to get the radio and video play, press and national sales programs hitting at the same time."
——Patrick Amory, Matador GM

INTERPOL: ALL "HANDS" ON DECK

New Matador Album, Antics, Streets Tomorrow, Big First Week Expected
New York City buzz band Interpol is no longer a secret.

Turn on the Bright Lights, their 2002 debut for leading indie label Matador Records, has sold more than 300k OTC in the U.S. without ever moving more than 6,400 in a single week, while three singles, “PDA,” “Obstacles 1” and “NYC,” scored mostly major-market airplay.

The label is looking for the band’s sophomore album, Antics, which hits retail tomorrow (9/28), to do even better, shipping almost 200k and eyeing a Top 10 chart debut.

Matador GM Patrick Amory says the band and label have to walk a tightrope: “One of the big challenges is to make a major impact at street date, but not to alienate the fans who feel ownership of the group. With all the radio play and the vibe at retail and press, I’m looking forward to a great first week.”


“Slow Hands,” the first single, went out to radio six weeks before the album street date, and have scored adds at most major stations, including KROQ, WXRK, Live 105, WHFS, Y100 and 99X. The video, directed by Daniel Levi, the man behind the striking TV spots for sports drink PowerAde, is “Buzzworthy” at MTV and added at MTV2.


Other marketing/promotion initiatives include:


—In-stores at Virgin Sunset L.A. (9/27), Lou’s Records San Diego (9/28) and Virgin Megastore in S.F. (9/28)

—Performances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (10/1), Late Night with Conan O’Brien (10/8) and Jimmy Kimmel Live (10/26)

—Commissioned treatments for short films inspired by band online, with 10 winners chosen by group given $1,000 and pre-release music to create them.

—Guerilla street campaign includes posters designed by L.A. graffiti artist Shepard Fairey, creator of the Andre the Giant “Obey Giant” stickers.

—Free ringtones of “Slow Hands” offered online.

—Headlining tour begins Oct. 11 in Boston, through Nov. 12 in N.Y., followed by European tour.

—Album previewed on MTV.com’s “The Leak.”


Amory adds that, while the band and label discussed taking on a major label partner for this final album in the group’s two-record deal with Matador, they ultimately decided the indie route was the way to go.


“We would like to prove that we can do this better than a major,” he explains. “Interpol isn’t necessarily the most commercial band, but people passionately believe in them. They’re not about going into the studio and crafting a hit song. It’s the kind of thing an indie label like us can do extremely well. Can we also play the radio and TV game? We’re about to find out.


“Our challenge is to have the kind of first week that will encourage the racks to come in with a really big second-week order. That’s been our goal from the beginning, to develop that momentum at retail, to get the radio and video play, press and national sales programs hitting at the same time. We want to reach the happy medium between hitting it out of the park and grinding it. I’ll be happy to hit a triple.”

 

 

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