In SPIN’s recent interview with Interpol on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of their vaunted debut, Turn On the Bright Lights, guitarist Daniel Kessler told us, “People don’t necessarily realize that the first album was the culmination of five years of work. We’d been playing around New York for a long time without getting anywhere. When we signed with Matador, we would’ve been thrilled with selling 10,000 copies. We just wanted someone to pay attention.”
A full decade later and we’re anticipating the classy commemorative reissue of that album — complete with a bonus disc of B-sides and demos, and a DVD of early aughts performances — due December 4, via Matador of course. That enduring indie label has now laced us with a free download of the first demo of “Roland” (right-click to grab it), which recasts the stormy song with angular guitars reminiscent of post-punk band Wire and rawer vocals courtesy of Paul Banks.
“Daniel used to have this very cool, calm confidence in the early days,” said Banks in a separate SPIN interview in light of his new solo album Banks. “Carlos and I were just fucking drunk and goofing around and trying to do our best. I don’t have any big romantic notions about the early days of Interpol.” That may be true, but there are a whole lot of millennials whose dorm room days were soundtracked by Turn On the Bright Lights.
Santa’s gonna have a lot of gloom to deliver this holiday season. Until then, here’s a super popular unofficial video for the album version of “Roland.” Compare and contrast.