Carlos D: Coldplay made me want to leave Interpol

The former Interpol bassist battled many demons while in the band. But the moment he knew he had to leave was while watching Chris Martin perform on Saturday Night Live

There are countless reasons why people have turned their back on rock stardom: the drugs, the backstage rows, those dreaded “creative differences”. Now there’s a new one to add to the list: Coldplay. According to Interpol’s former bassist Carlos D, it was Chris Martin’s band of polite rockers that finally made him realise he could go on no longer.

In an interview for, the musician’s first since leaving the band in 2010, he recalls: “I think the moment for me, and it’s funny to think that this is the occasion for it, but when Coldplay – our old manager was Coldplay’s manager – played Saturday Night Live, he offered us tickets. And when I felt so much titillation and excitement over all the skits – Jon Hamm was the host – and looking at how they were being performed. And then when Coldplay came on, I felt bored, quite frankly. I knew then that there was something going on with me, some kind of identity shift, really. It really troubled me.”

Carlos D, who is now 41 and uses his full surname Dengler, has retained a relatively low profile since leaving Interpol. According to the interview he has been focusing on acting: taking improv classes, putting himself forward for auditions and landing a role in Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily. He has also ditched the glamorous goth look in favour of a scruffier, more “outdoorsy” image and lifestyle.

It should be noted that Coldplay were not the sole reason for Dengler’s problems in Interpol, more the final straw that broke the camel’s back. “I was not really mentally all that well while I was in Interpol,” he admits. “I had many substance and process addictions that I was coping with. And I was, you know, the classic VH1 Behind the Music story of upward rise and downward fall. The only difference was that – because I didn’t have such a good relationship with my bandmates – I wasn’t willing to be in the band with them while I experienced my crash.”

He adds: “I didn’t want anyone in the music industry to see me fall that way. It was beyond anything, like, that I would want anyone to know about. It shook my very belief in the career I was even pursuing inside of music.”

Dengler also revealed that the band had engaged in a “group counselling session”, during which he announced his intentions to quit. Since then he hasn’t spoken to singer Paul Banks or drummer Sam Fogarino, while his relationship with guitarist Daniel Kessler has also been put on the back burner.

Dengler now claims to have cut his ties with music for good: “I think as lamentable as some people feel my departure from the band is, it is the best-case scenario because I think everyone involved has been better off as a result of my departure.


Tim Jonze

The GuardianTramp

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