Christian music's newest heavy metal band, Islander, went through a Q&A yesterday to tell us a little bit about whats going on with the band, and how being on tour with Close Your Eyes is. Islander started back in 2006, but never officially coined the band's current name until 2011. Already being compared to some of Christian music's best rock/metal bands, Islander is said to be one of the most anticipated bands of 2013. Their latest EP, "Pains" is currently available through Victorymerch.com. The Q&A is below. Make sure to check out Islander on their facebook page for more information regarding tour dates and album info.
BREATHEcast Q&A with Islander
1. Tell me a little about the history of Islander. You guys are based out of South Carolina, was that where the band all came together?
Yeah. Most of us met around 2006 or 2007. We were in a band together at one point during that time but it wasn't Islander. Sometime in 2011, we decided to play music for fun and then it ended up getting way more serious than we had planned.
2. What do you think each of you bring to the table when it comes to Islander as a whole?
All 4 of us have distinct styles and influences that make us what we are. Andrew is a guitar riff mastermind and I'm obsessed with catchy music like Depeche Mode and Bjork. Doot keeps us pretty grounded as far as keeping it heavy, and Eric always has cool ideas to change up the riffs that Andrew writes. We have great chemistry together.
3. How does it feel to be compared to some of the top bands of the decade, Rage Against the Machine, Deftones, Glassjaw and more.
It's an honor as well as a lot to live up to. That's why we are just being us and not trying to be any of those bands. We all like those bands but we aren't obsessed with them the way some kids may think. But, are they an influence? Absolutely.
4. You recently released an EP titled, "Pains". Tell me about the album. Where did you get your inspiration from?
The idea of 'Pains.' came when we found a picture that my cousin had taken. We ended up using it for the cover art. There was a huge storm outside and the street is just completely destroyed, yet the lights in people's houses are on. It represents the idea of how important it is to keep living even though everything around us can get pretty crazy sometimes.
5. What would you say your band's sound is for those who have never heard of Islander before? What do you think people will enjoy most about your music? ( ie: lyrics, sound, vibe)
We usually tell people we are a heavy, catchy band. We love heavy music but like I said, I love a good catchy hook. Lyrically, I like it when art can be taken how the listener/viewer of the art takes it. I have my own meanings behind the things that I write, but art has the ability to hit you in your own heart without anyone having to tell you the actual meaning of it.
7. What is Islander's biggest inspiration lyrically?
Books. Life. Death. God. Wonder. Basically, anything that moves us.
8. Islander recently collaborated with Sonny of P.O.D and H.R. of Bad Brains. What were these experiences like? Did those guys bring anything new to the table for Islander? Did they give you any advice?
Those were dreams come true. P.O.D. is my favorite band, so to connect with Sonny on an artistic tip was amazing. He has given us so much love and advice - there really is no way to thank him enough. H.R. was awesome too! He actually recorded all of his vocals through a cell phone because there was a problem with his studio time. There really isn't anything more punk rock than that, I suppose. It was an honor working with both of those guys!
9. "Big Shot" was the theme song for TNA Wrestling's 'Bound for Glory'. How does that make you feel? Are you big professional wrestling fans?
Haha, oh man...that was another dream come true. I personally am a huge wrestling fan and Sting is my favorite wrestler. So yeah, I had a major nerd moment when I saw Sting in the commercial with a song we wrote playing in the background. I've been rocking my Sting shirt most of tour and we even played a show last night that had a wrestling ring right behind the stage. All the bands jumped in the ring and took a few bumps before the end of the night.
10. Islander recently signed with Victory Records. What attracted you to the label? How has it been working with them so far?
Victory Records is, first and foremost, a fan of Islander. That is the main thing that caught our attention. They are hardworking people and really care about their bands. We are honored to be working with them. There are no egos. We really listen to one another.
11. You are currently on tour with Close Your Eyes throughout the month of November. How has the tour been so far? What has the fan feedback been like for Islander? Has it been a learning experience at all? Lastly, are the two bands meshing well with one another?
It has been amazing getting to tour with Close Your Eyes, as well as Altars and City in The Sea. We have learned a lot from all of these bands about living on the road, and supporting one another. The shows have been great as well as the crowds. People are still coming out and supporting rock music in 2013 so that is a great thing to see happen.
12. Does Islander have any more tours in the line-up for the remainder of 2013 to promote "Pains"? What else are you working on as the year comes to a close?
We are heading out for 2 weeks in January before we go into the studio and may do some one-off shows before that. Right now, though, we are focusing on our new record. It's the first priority for us.
13. Come 2014, you will be releasing a new album with Victory Records. Have you started writing? What should we expect from the upcoming album? When do you think it will be released and what are your plans for it?
We have started writing. We are going to just be the best Islander we can be. We can't do anything but that. We are hoping for a spring/summer release and I am sure our year will be slammed with a crazy tour schedule.
14. What are Islander's goals for the upcoming year and years to come?
Take one day at a time. That's what it always will be.
15. Lastly, do you have anything to add about your latest album, current tour, or anything to say to fans?
I would like to say thanks to anyone that has been coming to the shows, buying a T-shirt, or our EP off of iTunes. We really can't do this without your support. So, thank you! Thank you very much.