Ah, Future Islands. When I saw that this group of guys were slated to perform at FYF, I knew I HAD to get an interview. I’ve been a fan of Future Islands for quite some time, and their newest album, On The Water, was an album I had on repeat when friends and I would take drives to and around the West Side of Los Angeles. For those of you who don’t know, the West Side is all about beach vibes. I don’t know about you, but when I listen to Future Islands, I tend to get a slightly sunny, slightly beachy, and VERY current vibe from this trio. And Samuel Herring? His vocals are killer. A little rough, I couldn’t imagine a more interesting sound than this bands synth-pop stylings for his vocal style to be paired with.
As you all now know, I’m a big fan of letting music speak for itself. As much as I love describing sounds and thoughts and feelings, I feel like artists would rather let each person interpret their own. Take a listen to a Future Islands song, have a look at our interview, and create your own story.
Spencer Moya: We have Future Islands here right now! So, if you guys could have any tour what would your tour be? What would the line up be with you guys?
FUTURE ISLANDS: Like a dream tour?
S: Yeah, if your could tour with any artist in the world, past or present, who would it be?
FUTURE ISLANDS:It would be cool to be the opener on an OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) and The Cure tour, or maybe I could say OMD and Joy Division, even. Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, get on the bus with those guys, ride around. Johnny Cash. Probably opening for Slayer would be really nice (laughing.)
S: What is your biggest inspiration as far as music goes? And inspirations could be in the music realm as well as outside of the music realm…film, photographers, writers. What do you guys really connect with most?
FUTURE ISLANDS: I think it’s just kind of life, natural feeling, natural sound. You know, we make music with what we have, but considering we use electronics we try to make very natural, organic sounds. Our music is just really inspired and influenced by life. I know that’s a plain, bland answer but that’s pretty much the influence.
S: I think that’s a great answer – that’s what music should be. So, what’s day to day life like for you guys if you’re touring or in the studio?
FUTURE ISLANDS: On tour? Sitting in a van most of the day usually…and then waiting around.
S: What do you guys do to keep yourselves entertained while you’re driving in the van?
FUTURE ISLANDS: We listen to a lot of stand up comedy, this American Life. We’ll DJ for each other…to varying degrees of success (laughing).
S: So who’s your favorite comedian right now?
FUTURE ISLANDS: I really love Rodney Dangerfield, always love his standup, dude’s hilarious. I just got into Doug Stanhope and it’s like a dark pleasure. Because, I don’t know if you can tell people you like Doug Stanhope a lot because they might look at you differently if they actually know his work, but i think he’s kind of a genius. I’m a huge fan of Patton Oswalt, Louis CK (Louis CK is amazing), but Doug Stanhope is my new guy.
S: Cool…so, as far as songs go… what is your favorite song to play live?
FUTURE ISLANDS: I think I like Vireo’s Eye the best, Inch of Dust, On the Water (which we never play)….or a new song that doesn’t have a name. It doesn’t have a name yet, but we’re probably gonna play it today. I like playing new stuff; it’s a good rush, it’s new feelings, you know? Like I was saying before, we write from life so the new songs are what’s happening now. So, to play that song every night is really nice for me. We wrote that song about a month and a half ago. I really like playing that song right now in the set because it’s fresh and we’re still writing it.
S: What’s next for you guys? Where are you off to now?
FUTURE ISLANDS: Well we go back East to play a couple shows for the Thrill Jockey 20th Anniversary (our record label), then we’re to Australia at the end of the month. Then, we’re going to Hawaii and we’re gonna just CHILL. We’re playing one show in Hawaii and then we’re gonna stay there for like 5 days. It’s gonna be AWESOME.
S: That is awesome. Have you guys been to Hawaii before?
FUTURE ISLANDS: No
S: No? I’ve never been to Hawaii either.
FUTURE ISLANDS:We’ll tell you about it next time we do an interview!
S: Yeah, please do! Alright thank you so much guys.
FUTURE ISLANDS: Thank you!
What does the music of Future Islands mean to you? I want to hear all about it!
I’ll leave you with my favorite Future Islands lyrics. These come from the title song of their album, “On The Water”:
On a bed, made of feather
When our hands held the answers
To life and love and nothing
To life and love, and some things
[Photo Credit (gallery): Melody Darlene]