In Conversation With… ISLAND

Island are no strangers when it comes to touring and after recently finishing their first headline tour of America, the boys were soon to hit the road again. This time taking a trip around the UK, and for us this signified a visit to the rather impeccable live haunt of YES, in Manchester.

Friday night in a room with a vibrant bubblegum pink glow bouncing off wall to wall, and I couldn’t think of a better way to have spent it. The atmosphere was bubbling as the crowd waited for Island to approach the stage and as that time of the night arrived the boys took their places before kicking their set list off with a couple of new songs, including their captivating latest single ‘All in My Head,’ which appeared to get the audience enticed from the get go.

Alongside new music, the band of course played some of their much loved songs including ‘Ride’, ‘Try’, ‘Waves’ and ‘Stargazer’, to name just a few, in which the audience revelled in. Spirited pink lights strobed around the venue, with the occasional interruptions from blue, orange and yellow beams allowing the night to deliver a wondrously endearing (and slightly pink) theme throughout.

Ahead of the gig, I was lucky enough to catch up with three of the four guys to ask them a few questions.

You’ve recently been to the USA on your first American tour. How did you find that experience?

Jack: “And Canada for one night.”

James: “Yeah got to get that in.”

Jack: “Vancouver was the second biggest show of the tour on the first night and New York was the biggest.”

Rollo: “It was just amazing in general!”

Was there a specific date you enjoyed the most?

Rollo: “That’s the thing it was just all pretty dreamy but there were different highlights. We had a day at the beach in San Diego.”

Jack: “And a day off in a park full of cacti.”

James: “According to Rollo we were in the place with the largest totem poll in the world.”

Jack: “Which was pretty awesome.”

Rollo: “Yeah, um, I made that up.” [Laughs]

James: “Did you? I believed you. I thought that was legit. Good one!”

James: “It’s really hard to sum up a whole month. When you go away on holiday for a weekend or a week you can sum it up a lot easier but when it’s like a whole month and not just in one place, like you’re in the whole Country and it’s pretty big but it was great!”

So you’re doing a UK and European tour this month and then you’re back in America next month. Does the enjoyment of being on the road so often out way the homesickness, if you even get any?

Jack: “When it’s a month you do a bit.”

Rollo: “Yeah we hit a bit of a wall in the Midwest didn’t we? We’d been away for longer than we’d ever been away.”

Jack: “But this one’s just kind of a week of UK dates, then a week of EU dates and that’s nice just hopping around and especially doing some of our favourite cities as well and we know people in different places. We’ve never gone and done like a three or four month tour like loads of bands do when they do like world tours so I think that’d be a different wall we haven’t got close to yet.”

James: “I think the homesickness only really settles in when home is in sight. Like I reckon it could be three months and we wouldn’t be homesick for like two and a half months but then we’d be like okay I just want to get there now.”

Rollo: “At the end of a tour you do feel like you can get up and do it all straight again but as soon as you get home, and get in your bed, you’re like, ‘Don’t talk to me anymore!'” [Laughs]

You’re definitely a band that knows how to tour and play live. Can we expect any festivals this summer?

James: “You can! But we couldn’t tell you what they are.”

Jack: “We’ve got a couple of things in Europe lined up.”

James: “It’s all pipe line stuff.”

Rollo: “But there will be gigs!”

I imagine you may listen to a lot of music on the road whilst touring. Do you have a specific musician or song that you’re really into at the moment?

Jack [singing]: “Andy Shauf.”

Rollo: “Yeah we’ve been talking about Andy Shauf and we were actually talking about the time I played Mike (our sound manager) a song.”

Jack: “And his new thing, Foxwarren is proving to be the kind of soundtrack of this tour.”

Rollo: “You saying that reminded me, it was Mike’s first day in the van today and we put it on, and Mike was like, ‘Wow, this is such an Island tour song’ and I don’t think Mike has ever heard the song before.”

Your latest single ‘All in My Head’ came out last month. Can you share a bit of background information on it?

James: “I think it’s such a great song because we started writing it when Toby wasn’t there.” [Laughs]

Jack: “No, we wrote this without you I think.”

James: “Oh that’s what it was it’s because I wasn’t there.” [Laughs]

Jack: “Rollo wrote the whole thing.”

Rollo: “I wrote the whole f***ing thing.” [Laughs]

Jack: “It’s my most rhythm-y song. I play rhythm through the whole thing.”

Rollo: “Me and Jack are evolving into each other.”

Last but not least, is there anymore music coming out in the foreseeable future?

Jack: “Yes! We have an EP coming out soon. There’s going to be a couple of new tracks, including some new stuff and some really old stuff.”

James: “Oooo a little Easter egg.”

Rollo: “There’s one song on there that’s especially old.”

James: “We get maybe two people a year ask us about this tune.”

Rollo: “You could say it’s the start of our journey this one.”

James: “Yeah definitely and we hope it stands the test of time.”

ISLAND’s latest single ‘All in My Head’ is out now via Beatnik / Frenchkiss Records – available to Stream/Purchase here.

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