Paul Banks (born May 3, 1978 in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, England) is the lead singer, lyricist and guitarist of the New York City based band Interpol. Banks joined the band in 1998 when he ran into Daniel Kessler, who he had met on a study abroad program in Paris.
Banks's voice has been compared many times to that of Ian Curtis, lead singer of the band Joy Division despite Banks' protests that the comparison merely forces influences onto the band in an effort to describe their music style. Banks has famously said that he did not know who Joy Division was before he heard all of the comparisons to the band.
Paul's family left England when he was three years old, moving to Michigan, and then to Spain. After being caught with drugs, he was asked to leave his school in Spain and finished secondary school in Mexico. There he attended the American School Foundation, where he was everything from a moderator in the Model UN to the lead in the school play, South Pacific. Paul left for New York City after graduating to attend college.
He attended New York University where he studied English and Comparative Literature, and after graduating worked at magazines such as Gotham and Interview. Banks later took a job in data entry, and then in a cafe, in order to devote more of his time to music.
He currently resides in New York City.