Obstacle 1

Album: Turn On The Bright Lights (2002)
Charted: 41
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Themes in this song include regret ("Now that I'm poor and aging...") and how education will not get you everywhere (She can read, she can read, oh she's "bad"). In a radio interview, the band said they wrote the song after they saw a news report about the recent death of a model.
  • The word "obstacle" doesn't appear in this song or another track on the album, "Obstacle 2." Interpol don't think the titles of songs are important, so they put little thought into them. Lead singer and guitarist, Paul Banks, revealed to Pitchfork in 2003 why the songs are named that way. "I've just never really been all that interested in titles, so either I'm very inspired, or it's just, whatever, the working title," he said. "'Obstacle' 1 and 2 actually came from Daniel, he was working on those. I came up with those names, and they were just our working titles, and everyone was like, 'Those are great names.' We wrote 'Obstacle 2' first and 'Obstacle 1' second, and I do think it was relating to the fact that, for some reason we'd had a drought in our writing. We kind of had a down phase. We just hadn't written anything good in a couple of months, and all of a sudden we were pumping out songs. So it was sort of related to that."
  • The song is featured in the video game, Guitar Hero World Tour.

Comments: 3

  • Sky from Winnipeg, MbGuitar Hero World Tour, not Rock Band 2
  • Ryan from Anahola, HiIt was featured in Guitar Hero 4. PDA was in Rock Band 2.
  • Steve from Lincoln, United Kingdomno it was featured on guitar hero 4
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Stand By Me: The Perfect Song-Movie Combination

Stand By Me: The Perfect Song-Movie CombinationSong Writing

In 1986, a Stephen King novella was made into a movie, with a classic song serving as title, soundtrack and tone.

Charlie Daniels

Charlie DanielsSongwriter Interviews

Charlie discusses the songs that made him a Southern Rock icon, and settles the Devil vs. Johnny argument once and for all.

Ben Kowalewicz of Billy Talent

Ben Kowalewicz of Billy TalentSongwriter Interviews

The frontman for one of Canada's most well-known punk rock bands talks about his Eddie Vedder encounter, Billy Talent's new album, and the importance of rock and roll.

Christopher Cross

Christopher CrossSongwriter Interviews

The man who created Yacht Rock with "Sailing" wrote one of his biggest hits while on acid.

Gary Brooker of Procol Harum

Gary Brooker of Procol HarumSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer and pianist for Procol Harum, Gary talks about finding the musical ideas to match the words.

Jack Blades of Night Ranger and Damn Yankees

Jack Blades of Night Ranger and Damn YankeesSongwriter Interviews

Revisit the awesome glory of Night Ranger and Damn Yankees: cheesily-acted videos, catchy guitar licks, long hair, and lyrics that are just plain relatable.