Singer/guitarist Paul Banks' angelic exterior belies his twisted lyrics and macabre vocals. Bassist Carlos D. carries much of the mood; while his forceful approach reflects early influences John Paul Jones (Zep) and Clifford Lee Burton (Metallica), other faves like John Taylor (Duran) and Simon Gallup (Cure) are more evident in his rubbery, melodic playing. Daniel Kessler's guitar cuts it straight down the middle with an incredibly atmospheric sound, owing as much to current electronic music as the pop bands of his youth. And though Interpol technically formed in 1998, it wasn't until Sam Fogarino replaced their original drummer in 2000 that they developed the focus and authority that characterizes their current sound.
Turn on the Bright Lights was created at Connecticut's Tarquin Studios in November 2001, recorded by Pete Katis and mixed by Gareth Jones (Clinic, Depeche Mode). Tarquin Studios occupies the top floor of a 150 year-old house which once served as a hospital for mentally impaired children, and where the Interpol boys felt strangely at home. Of the intense recording schedule, Dan remembers, "The 'Outside,' as we called it, took on mystic proportions by the end. We hadn't had any contact with anyone but ourselves for a few weeks, so when someone went out to the store or for a walk, it was like they were venturing out into the wild. It was authentic cabin fever."