Happy Birthday to Interpol's Celebrity-Shunning Ex-Bassist, Carlos D.
Carlos D.'s sneery, hellion disdain.
It's a rare feat in music, especially with rock acts, when the bass player outshines the lead singer in recognition and popularity. Be it the stylized wardrobes, the Peter Hook-influenced bass playing, or the Crispin Gloveresque conflicting personality, Carlos Dengler embodied everything that was cool about Interpol and the postpunk revival of the early 2000s.
Wait a minute. The Queens-born German-Colombian sort of does resemble Crispin Glover -- under the right light -- but that might just be us and a little dash of "wishful thinking" sprinkled in for good measure. Regardless, Carlos D. was the face of Interpol during his ten-year-plus tenure on bass and keyboards. More so than pretty-boy lead singer Paul Banks.
More than just the typical bass player translating for the drummer (our beloved local, ex-Holy Terror Sam Fogarino) and sitting quietly in the background, Carlos D. was a brooding force for the band and an adequate figurehead bridging its onstage popularity with the rise of bands doing DJ sets at afterparties as his NYC DJ'ing background proved.
But it would not always be hunky-dory in the kingdom, and after a little more than a decade holding down rhythm for the band, Dengler parted ways with Interpol in 2010 after completing work on the band's fourth, eponymously titled album. After a brief stint back behind the decks, it seemed like Dengler had fallen from music altogether.
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Ex-bandmates noted his gradual dissatisfaction with touring and with the bass guitar itself, which was not exactly his prime instrument of choice. Oh well.
Switching from the gothic/leather numbers that became his signature ensembles to a more country/western look, Dengler now plies his trade in television and film and has been scoring, producing, and even acting in indie productions.
While Interpol's future is currently on hiatus after critically decreasing over the span of its catalog, it seems like Carlos D. will never ever be the face of the band again, if it ever picks up again. County Grind for one wishes Fogarino gets proactive and replaces Banks and Kessler with Rob Elba, William Trev, and Dan Hosker. Because while we might like Interpol a lot, we like the Holy Terrors a helluva lot more!
Here are a few Interpol tracks that we enjoy that have nice Dengler touches throughout.
Interpol - "Evil"
Interpol - "PDA"
Interpol - "Who Do You Think"
Interpol - "Success"
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