Bassist Carlos Dengler leaves Interpol

interpolImage Credit: Jelle WagenaarJust last week, Interpol posted a brand-new song and announced its next album. Today the NYC gloom-rockers have a less fun surprise for fans: Founding bassist Carlos Dengler (pictured, second from right) is leaving the band. “[Our fourth album is] a heavy record,” band members said in a statement on their official website. “But we’re feeling limber; and we’re going to carry it all around the world for you…Sadly, Carlos will not be joining us.” The statement describes the split as “amicable.”

In addition to holding down the low end on all those Interpol jams, Dengler also became a neo-goth style icon in his own right. (Possibly apocryphal Carlos D comment from 2003: “When I see a badly-dressed guy, it makes me sick.”) Let’s take a moment to remember the weighty basslines, the lopsided hair, and the sharp outfits Dengler brought to Interpol.

Will you miss Carlos Dengler’s presence in the band? Share your favorite Dengler memories in the comments below.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Comments (31 total) Add your comment
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  • Ed

    I love Interpol, but I don’t think I’ll miss Carlos D. very much. In interviews, he seemed a bit pretentious. Besides, in the band, he wasn’t that much of a driving force creatively, so I think Interpol’s sound and style will not be affected.

    • Lx

      Carlos D’s influence will SURELY be missed. His style, both in attitude and playing was quite unique. He gave Interpol that certain, visual vampy darkness, looming behind banks’ boyish looks, lending a VERY Goth legitimacy to the band. His basslines were VERY creative. Knowing what and when NOT to play is very important in conveying a sonic mood.

  • Emilee

    I’m sad to hear Carlos is leaving. I always enjoyed watching him play at their live shows.

  • Joe

    The exquisite basslines in “Evil,” “Specialist,” and “Obstacle 1″ drew my undivided attention to the band known as Interpol. His impeccable keyboard fills in “Roland” and “Rest My Chemistry” retained that attention. One of the most well-respected bassists of modern indie rock will be greatly missed in one of the most successful New York rock bands.

    • Eli

      Carlos actually admitted that he didn’t write the bass intro of Evil, despite being complimented on it often

  • Mike

    Honestly, who here has heard of Interpol? That’s what I thought. Some noname leaves a noname band and we’re supposed to care?

    • Michael

      Interpol is a very popular, well known band. You obviously have horrible taste in music.

    • Ramo

      Um, how about anyone with any rudimentary knowledge of popular indie music of the last 10 years? I’m not a huge fan of theirs, but your comment makes you look foolish. Why bother commenting?

    • Joel

      Mike…..come on man…just because you have no knowledge of indie music doesn’t mean that everyone is as unaware as you are. Interpol are quite popular bro. Don’t be a jerk.

    • Sammy

      I’m with Mike. Granted I’m an Indie music noobie though (only know a few popular ones like the Shins, Griffin House, etc.) At first I thought “Why did a bassist leave the international police force? And why was he there in the first place?”

      • Joe

        Interpol were/are a very important part of musics modern history. If you don’t like them, its ok. If you don’t know them, you simply don’t know much about music and should not be commenting on posts that you have know idea about what your talking about. Its like if I replied to a post regarding rocket science.

    • pop

      do not feed the troll

    • Eli

      Mike sits alone in his room wearing a bra and singing Miley Cyrus songs into his hair brush

  • evillager

    too bad for Interpol. And, too bad that Paul & Dan pretty much stripped Carlos of his royalties anyway, so I guess there was really no point in him sticking around.

    • FoggyNotion

      @evillager: How the hell would you know that Paul and Daniel “stripped Carlos of his royalties”? That kind of thing is not exactly open to the public’s knowledge? Do you have any proof?

      • Brook_Lynne

        Yes, Sam – there’s plenty of proof. How long before the turn on you?

  • 5d

    INTERPOL is one of the best bands ever existed. Why do we care if some “no names” r posting a “no name” comments

  • erica

    They’re probably my favorite band, and I honestly hope this isn’t their last record. And if they do replace him for another album in the future, I hope the new bassist is just as good.

  • Peter

    “Besides, in the band, he wasn’t that much of a driving force creatively, so I think Interpol’s sound and style will not be affected.”

    You have got to be kidding me?

    When CARLOS started listening exclusively to classical music, Interpol had huge orchestral influences in their songs (and we got a mediocre record to show for it in OLTA).

    Everybody in the band said that OLTA contained these elements because Carlos composed them.

    They always said they would breakup if one left…

    I am guessing they need the band to sustain there existence, which isn’t the right reasons to be in a band or make money.

  • Tortellini Pie

    Carlos leaving Interpol is a huge loss. He has been a driving force in their identity and creativity. Having followed this band for many years now, he will be sadly missed by all of us who followed them from their small gigs, to opening for the Cure, to having bands open for them. Carlos was definitely a creative force…he plays all the keyboard parts on the album, he names the songs, and I’m pretty sure I remember reading back in the day that he wasn’t even a bassist per say but they needed a bassist so he took on that role. At every concert I’ve been too, you see how the fans rush the stage to stand in front of their favourite member…left stage for Dan, centre for Paul, and right for Carlos…it just goes with out saying that everybody there loves Sam, irregardless of where you stand…I’m definitely very sad to see Carlos leave, I don’t think it will ever be the same without him, who’s going to do the nasily vocals in Song 7 (if they ever play it again), and who will ever rock a pair of gun holsters (although I might be tempted to buy a pair to throw at the new bassist for jokes), and who is going to write all the keyboard sections for the albums (remember how Leif Erikson was named so because Paul said Carlos’ keyboarding sound like it should be the soundtrack for a viking ship at sea)…oh man I have to stop now, the feeling is getting worse. I hope as a final goodbye to Interpol this fourth album is awesome…Carlos, you will be greatly missed by everyone who truly loved Interpol.

    • michele

      i couldn’t have put it better myself. i’m just devastated.

    • Hillary

      very well said…

  • PartyD

    I remember kicking Carlos D out of my house party back in 2002. The band was playing in Chicago, and they ended up at my crib super late. They were cutting people off in the bathroom line, so they could do drugs. I chased Carlos, some blonde chick, and one of the other guys in Interpol down my front steps with a beer can raised above my head, ready to throw it at them. Two weeks later, I saw their video on MTV, and the rest is history. Haha. Looks like they had the last laugh. I ended up running into them a few years later at one of my shows, and they were super cool. First impressions are sometimes inaccurate.

    Besides that, I don’t even know what their music sounds like after that first album. It all sounds like a bunch of atonal crap.


    I’ll miss Dengler for sure— his low-hanging bass he so eloquently hammered on at shows, his quiet yet eccentric demeanor and the fact that he’s another badass Colombian in a long line of ‘em. When Interpol showed up in San Diego at the 94.9 event back in summer 2007 I was stoked, and, really it was Dengler all along who provided a lot of the band’s backbone. Again, good luck and godspeed Dengler.

  • Hillary

    As I’m writing this, I’m listening to their new song “Lights”. At least, Carlos stayed for their upcoming album. That dude was my inspiration. I cried when I read that he left. Oh man, it’s almost like he died. Interpol won’t be the same. It wouldn’t be the same if any other member of Interpol left either.

  • Rudy

    Mike must be in a coma or does not listen to anything else but Guns and Roses. I am 47y/o and have been listening to Interpol since there start. Saw them twice and have tickets for their new tour.

  • Tabitha

    From the sound of the new album (which sounds completely different and nothing like Interpol) Carlos Dengler made this band.

  • emstrange

    The question shouldn’t be will we miss Carlos but rather how can we possibly not. INTERPOL quite possibly is one of the most highly structured bands out there, I have always admired how “perfect” each song sounds. Each member plays such an important part part to this well oiled machine. I loved Carlos and his image and from my few encounters with him he was such a nice guy. He and Sam came out to the back entrance of the Jimmy Kimmel show back in 05 to sign authographs and take pics with fans. When he was spinning at the Beauty Shop in Hollywood he happily took a picture with me. After the concert at The Wiltern he strolled the streets of LA and waved at the fans. I will miss him dearly but it wouldn’t surprise me if he rejoined the band sometime in the future
    From what I can sense it seems that Paul misses him too.

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