Spy vs. Spy
Buried deep within the headquarters of Interpol — the global police organization based in France — our Pitch spies found an extensive dossier on New York City’s most notorious scenemakers, Interpol. This highly classified folder falls under the rubric of the agency’s commitment to preventing, detecting and suppressing crime. More specifically, the files contained within detail the red flags that drew the attention of Interpol’s minions: shameless theft of postpunk riffs, crimes against lyrical linearity and extreme cases of hipster detachment.
Exhibit A: Sheet detailing Interpol’s vital statistics.
Group members: Boyish-to-the-point-of-needing-Oxy 10 vocalist Paul Banks. Bassist Carlos D———, whose last name remains blacked out in all correspondence. Guitarist Daniel Kessler, who appears to be the long-lost brother of actor Breckin Meyer, the stoner dude from Clueless. Identification of the drummer is proving elusive; subject frequently appears shoved to the side in photographs to create the illusion that Banks and Kessler are taller than they really are and to hide the fact that his hipster sell-by date came and went a decade ago.
History: Formed by Banks, D and Kessler at New York University in the late 1990s. Drummer joined in 2000, after which the group released a highly collectible EP on Chemikal Underground, signed to Matador Records and released Turn on the Bright Lights in 2002 and Antics last year.
Influences: Darkness. Wearing sunglasses at night and indoors. Asymmetrical haircuts. White-label dance remixes from the 1980s. Black clothing. Factory Records. Postpunk luminaries. Chain-smoking. Designer suits. D’s style especially seems indebted to vampires, Nick Cave and Crispin Glover.
Exhibit B: Suspicious behavior.
Band first came to the attention of the agency after a multitude of famous bands — Echo and the Bunnymen, the Church, the Cure, Chameleons UK — complained to agents about the similarities between their groups and songs on Lights. Deceased Joy Division vocalist Ian Curtis even came to one agent via Ouija board to express displeasure at the mimicry.
D in particular aroused suspicion for the short-lived — and subsequently deleted — blog, carlosdhasherpes.blogspot.com. Site appeared to be a bitter piece of revenge enacted by an angry boyfriend with a cheating girlfriend.
Various photos of D as a teenage metalhead wearing colors other than black that surfaced on the Internet also drew attention. Though subject has talked freely about his quasi-hesher past in print, he is still difficult to approach about this in person. He’s always found in public with a fleet of women crowded around him — particularly of the goth persuasion — and thinking of ways to mix rare Birthday Party 12-inches into his DJ sets.
Exhibit C: Analysis of threat.
Although Antics was in most respects a far superior record, the hipster frenzy that surrounded the group after Lights appears to have died out. Credit this to the band’s soporific live show, which lulls even the most stoic scenester into slumber, and the abundance of poseurs and copycats who have sprung up in the band’s wake. Lyrical objectification such as I watched the pole dance of the stars has further exposed the group as those guys from Creative Writing 101 who penned obscure, pretentious non sequiturs and still called themselves deep.