Obstacle 2

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


  • "Obstacle 2" was written before "Obstacle 1" for Interpol's debut album, Turn on the Bright Lights. The only correlation between the two songs is that they both ended a phase of writer's block the band had been experiencing for a few months. The song itself finds lead singer Paul Banks expressing his appreciation for a girl and letting her know that he's willing to change for her.
  • Interpol isn't all that concerned with titles, and they often have little to do with the actual song. The word "Obstacle" doesn't appear in this song; it was a working title lead singer Paul Banks came up with when guitarist Daniel Kessler was working on the song. The band thought it was a great title, so they used it.
  • The line: "I feel like love is in the kitchen with a culinary eye, I think he's making something special and I'm smart enough to try" Could be a reference to the beginning line of Twelfth Night by Shakespeare, which goes: "If music be the food of love, play on." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alan - Harpenden
  • Paul Banks says that after Turn on the Bright Lights was released, he didn't listen to the album for a year. The songs on the album were written before September 11, 2001, but they didn't start recording until October. For the band, which is from New York City, this completely changed the tone of the project and made them re-evaluate some of the songs. With the album linked to that time period, Banks had a hard time revisiting it.
  • I'm gonna pull you in close
    I'm gonna wrap you up tight
    I'm gonna play with the braids that you came here with tonight

    Peter Katis' production for this song was not to Interpol bassist Carlos Dengler's tastes. Paul Banks recalled to Q magazine in a 2017 interview:

    "One thing that pissed the band off was when we did the Obstacle 2, the 'I'm going to pull you in close' line. I did something that's totally unconventional. We recorded my vocal with distortion on. Whereas, like, every other producer for every other song ever, it's like, 'Just sing it clean, so we can have options, and then I'll put distortion on. I said, 'No. No one should ever hear it that way. Print the distortion on my vocal and this is the vocal take.

    Later when they heard the vocal, Carlos said, 'Can you turn the distortion down?' And Peter told them, 'Nah, there is no turning the distortion down. That's the vocal.' Carlos was pissed off."

Comments: 3

  • Brett from Indianapolis, Indddddddd
  • Laila from Fortaleza, Brazilnice songfact and i too prefer NYC!
  • Nick from Harpendonia, EnglandIndeedy it is a good song but I prefer NYC
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Macabre Mother Goose: The Dark Side of Children's Songs

Macabre Mother Goose: The Dark Side of Children's SongsSong Writing

"London Bridge," "Ring Around the Rosie" and "It's Raining, It's Pouring" are just a few examples of shockingly morbid children's songs.

Alice Cooper

Alice CooperFact or Fiction

How well do you know this shock-rock harbinger who's been publicly executed hundreds of times?

Marc Campbell - "88 Lines About 44 Women"

Marc Campbell - "88 Lines About 44 Women"They're Playing My Song

The Nails lead singer Marc Campbell talks about those 44 women he sings about over a stock Casio keyboard track. He's married to one of them now - you might be surprised which.


RamonesFact or Fiction

A band so baffling, even their names were contrived. Check your score in the Ramones version of Fact or Fiction.

Boy Bands

Boy BandsFact or Fiction

From NKOTB to 1D, how well do you know your boy bands?

Lou Gramm - "Waiting For A Girl Like You"

Lou Gramm - "Waiting For A Girl Like You"They're Playing My Song

Gramm co-wrote this gorgeous ballad and delivered an inspired vocal, but the song was the beginning of the end of his time with Foreigner.