Future Islands on Their Childhoods, First Broken Hearts, The Band's Early Days, and Their Fans | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Future Islands on Their Childhoods, First Broken Hearts, The Band’s Early Days, and Their Fans

The Planner, the Treasurer, and the Mayor

Sep 24, 2014 Issue #50 - June/July 2014 - Future Islands Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern Bookmark and Share

Future Islands frontman Samuel T. Herring is in a good mood. He punctuates his sentences with laughter, and even across an occasionally static phone connection (Herring is driving a rented tour van from Florida to Maryland before the band embarks on the next leg of shows) you can almost hear his wide grin. He’s doing what he loves, and is sharing it with his two best friends, bassist William Cashion and keyboardist Gerrit Welmers.

“Gerrit is the treasurer,” Herring cackles. “William is all-purpose. He takes care of city planning. He keeps the records and everything. I’m the mayor who just waves! I’m the figurehead who doesn’t actually do anything while the guys do all the heavy lifting.”

Herring has plenty to joke about. The trio’s undeniable chemistry has carried them across four albums and a decade together, a feat in itself. And while they’d probably be loath to use the term “payoff,” their profile has arguably risen as of late. Singles has been out for a few weeks, its shamelessly romantic blend of 1980s synths and throaty, theatrical vocals meeting with almost universal acclaim. They’ve recently made their late-night television debut on Late Night with David Letterman. Their performance was so undeniably magnetic the clip became the second most viewed Late Night clip of all time on the show’s YouTube channel, and even had Coldplay’s Chris Martin tweeting about it.

Here the members of Future Islands discuss first broken hearts, Herring’s hip-hop beginnings, the college years, their first band Art Lord & the Self-Portraits, and how the fans keep them going. [Note: These are extra portions of our interviews with Herring, Cashion, and Welmers, quotes that didn’t make it into our main print cover story article on Future Islands.]

Samuel T. Herring: The Charismatic Mayor

Laura Studarus (Under the Radar): Where are you right now?

Samuel T. Herring: We needed a bigger van for this tour. The closest step-up van was in Orlando, Florida. So I flew into Orlando yesterday, partied real hard with some sweet people, and now I’m driving a van from Orlando to Baltimore.

I’m impressed. You’re a man of many talents.

[Laughs] Well I haven’t made it yet! I love driving. It’s something that you get really used to, being a musician on the road for so much. For years it was always my vans that we used. Even now when it’s not my van I’m designated to do the check-up to see if everything is cool. Because it was my responsibility for so long, I like it. It makes me feel like a man, you know! [Laughs]

When did you start getting into music as a kid?

I guess in a way singing was a part of my early childhood. But not something I expected to do. When I got older I was writing verse, mainly hip-hop verse and poetry. By the time I was 13 or 14. That was my first exposure to creating my own music, creating my own words. It was hip-hop. My early exposure to writing was falling in love with hip-hop and saying, “I want to write something like this!” Also learning to freestyle. I was writing and freestyling by the time I was 15. That’s still something that I do. I can still come off the top of my head pretty well. Not as well as I used to. When I was 19 I was at the peak as far as freestyle.

Was there someone in your life that was doing hip-hop?

My brother is the one that turned me on to it. When he was doing rock stuff I wanted to do this hip-hop thing because I wanted to make my own way. I wanted to do something different than my brother. He started doing that, but he also helped me to learn to write. He taught me how to freestyle. It’s simple: what he taught me was start and don’t stop. That’s what I tell everybody who wants to learn: start and just don’t let yourself stop. I think that’s why some of my performance movement may be stronger on stage.

I love that this is an aesthetic that you can directly chase from what you first loved as a kid.

Oh, definitely. Ever since I was a kid I just think too much. You over-analyze throughout your life, and then you can look back and say, “Oh, that’s how it all worked out!” It will continue. In another five or 10 years there will be another thing that I can look at while I over-analyze my life at this very moment. [Laughs] It’s funny. I always say that I have a bad memory. Then my friends say, “No, you have a really ridiculous memory.” I’ll be like, “Oh yeah, that was November in 2008 that I took that fact from. In Virginia at a show. We made five dollars.” They’ll be like, “What the fuck are you talking about?” But you have a crazy memory when you remember that. William’s been good from the beginning about keeping our tour history for us and published onlineI can look back at that and be like, that’s exactly where I was.

So William is the band historian?

Gerrit is the treasurer. William is all-purpose. He takes care of city planning. He keeps the records and everything. I’m the mayor who just waves! [Laughs] I’m the figurehead who doesn’t actually do anything while the guys do all the heavy lifting.

What was the first album that you bought?

My brother Joel still makes fun of me to this day. I was about six or seven. There was a Kmart about a five-minute walk from our house. Me and Joel would go to the Kmart all the time. We’d stay home in the summer time and get into trouble, walk out to the shore, go the Kmart, eat burgers. I think I was about seven years old and I bought this compilation CD called Frat House Favorites. It basically like the Animal House soundtrack. But it wasn’t the first LP that I had. My first records were hand-me-downs that I dug out of my grandmother’s record collection. They were old Bill Cosby records, which I still have to this day. I probably got those when I was eight or nine, just being a sneaky, snoopy little kid going through my grandma’s stuff and finding records. But the first record that I ever bought, I was in the ninth grade and it was Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It was at this secondhand store. It was a buck. I used to drive Gerrit crazy. We’re best friends from high school. We used to come home from school and play GoldenEye, the James Bond video game. I would put on Bill Cosby records and Thriller, because they were the only records that I had. He got so tired of them. But I never did.

What were writing as a kid?

I was writing really morbid poetry. What 14-, 15-year-old kids who write poetry write. [Dramatic voice] This death mask upon my face! These limbs cannot… [Laughs] Just heavy, dark shit. That was probably more like 10th grade. I don’t know. When I started writing poetry, it was all because of a girl, of course. Really my first love, who I consider my first love. I was writing poetry for a girl who didn’t know I was writing poetry for her. Eventually I gave her one of the poems and she moved away. I gave her the poems because I knew she was moving away. And then, that summer, the morbid death poetry came into play.

Was that your first broken heart?

Oh, definitely. There were probably little faint interests. You know, I’ve always been an introverted kid, ever since I was little. I always thought about things and felt things. I grew up through writing, I found a power in words. Really, I think a big part of it too is when my brother moved away, I became kind of like an only child for the first time. My brother is a really vocal, funny guy. So he was always the entertainer. Between me and my brother I was kind of quiet, laughing on the sides, in on the joke and stuff. When he moved away, I was like, “I have to fill in this role.” That’s when I began. But like I said, a lot of things were happening at that time. Awakening, with realizing that there’s so much politics in the world. And they are terrible, and they crush people. You’re like, “We’re just kids, how are you crushing us like this?”

But yeah, it was an awakening. But that was the first time that I ever went mad over someone. And couldn’t stop thinking about someone and had to put it somewhere. So I started writing. I wrote some really beautiful things. I wrote some really beautiful things when she left too. It was one of those things, we were just kids, and she had to move away and that was that. Yeah, it’s kind of wild. But those feelings, I never really felt this giddy love, and I never really felt that hardship. It was really intense. It always is, but especially that first one. That first one will get you.

Did you and Gerrit make music together in high school?

I never thought that I would make music with Gerrit, first of all because I wanted to do hip-hop and that wasn’t really his thing. Also just because I thought Gerrit was too shy to even be on stage. Even at 14 years old I knew that I liked to perform. When I started that band with William, I still don’t know if Gerrit has ever said it, but I think that he was a little pissed that I didn’t invite him to be in [Art Lord & the Self Portraits]. I didn’t think that he would want to be in the band.

After the first show I said, “Can my buddy Gerrit play with the band? He can play guitar.” He’s a really good musician. William was all about it. They had become friends. They didn’t know each other so well, but they had become friends. It was really funny: [Adam] Beeby hadn’t met Gerrit. He might have been in Gerrit’s company, but he didn’t really know Gerrit. He was like, “I don’t know this guy. He can try out if he wants to, but we’ll see.” I was like, “No no no! He’s a really good guy, he’s a really nice guy.” It was kind of funny, because I was selling Gerrit. Now Gerrit is, in my eyes, a genius programmer and has a great mind for music.

How ambitious was Art Lord?

It started out as a college project. We progressed pretty quickly past the early stuff. The early Art Lord stuff is very much to the concept of the band, which is the German Lord of Art returns after 20 years of hiding out of the spotlight and brought his self-portraits to life to play for him so he could sing his tales of woe about how hard it is to be famous.

It was supposed to be a performance project about how we treat our rock stars, our movie stars, celebrities, and art stars, and how we make icons out of these people who maybe aren’t the best kind of people. They may be great at what they do, but then we hear terrible stories about them. But we still are rooting for them. We want to know about their lives even though we hear terrible things. That’s something that we can still talk about today. Our culture, our celebrity media culture, and the building up and tearing down. That’s one of the things that I hear about the media. But that was the gist of it. To poke fun at this by creating this narcissistic figure and make a joke about it.

So we’re trying to build this character and poke fun at this thing. As we did it, becoming this character that’s supposed to be kind of an asshole, people loved it. They loved the character! They loved the Art Lord in a way the whole thing ends up becoming like that meta moment, where we created this thing to poke fun at the way people react to people who take themselves way too seriously, and then people fell in love with the character in the same way that people would in real life! It was hard to be so harsh at first. I would come in during the first couple shows and be like, [German accent] “What the fuck are you looking at? Oh yeah, you’re looking at me because I am beautiful!”

So you’ve always been a theatrical performer.

Yeah! Well, I mean, Art Lord allowed me theatrics. I was able to grow as a performer onstage through this character. When I was in art school I took a ceramics class. The first day of class the professor said, “Okay, we’re in ceramics. I’m going to try to push you to create narratives and apply that in your work. If you do a project, and it doesn’t make sense to use clay, this is a ceramics class, but we’re more about building narratives and speaking conceptually with your work. So if you have an idea and the medium of clay does not speak to the message that you’re trying to create, use something else.” That applies to so much. Know what you’re trying to say and what you’re trying to do, and apply the proper mode to what you want to create. Find that in there. It’s different things.

How I motivate an audience is always in the back of my mind. All audiences are different. You approach it in different ways and you don’t always hit it on the first, second, third song. Sometimes it takes half a show to feel like you’re in it. But as long as you can get into that audience at some point and feel like you really have them with you and with the band, that’s when you’re hitting and you feel like you’re accomplishing something that’s greater than music.

Would you want to put an album out that you couldn’t recreate live?

I would say that this album is the first one that every song could pretty much be played live. There’s tracks on all three of our previous albums that have been played once live, or twice live, or never live. “Tybee Island” from the last record is something that we’ve never created live on stage. But they should be different experiences. They should be two wholly different experiences, in my opinion. I don’t [like] to hear a band, love their record, see them live and then it just sounds like their record. I want something. You’ve got to have something. Whether it’s a ton of great energy, or great stage banter, or B-side tracks. Some kind of connection in the performance. I’ve seen bands play before that I loved, and then when I saw them live, they sounded exactly like their record, and they sat down and played their songs, and they killed it, and I never listened to them again. I was bored! I got disinterested. I think it’s really difficult.

Last time we talked, you told me about Becky, who called you “sweet southern boys.” Do you remember the first time a fan told you that you had a positive effect on their lives?

[Slightly choked up] I don’t know if I could tell you the first one. It’s been for a long time. We’ve been doing this for a long time. It’s always had a profound effect on some people. Honestly, that’s why we continue to do it. We’ve always felt a certain something with the audience and with certain people who make us want to continue to write, and for me personally, continue to open up as much as I can. To continue to tell those hard stories because I’ve found that it does help people.

Has that emotional payoff protected you against burnout?

Getting it back from an audience and finding fans and seeing that you’ve become a part of people’s lives is definitely the reason I really can’t stop. That’s the big payoffhaving the audience. Creating fans. Just having people fucking give a shit about what you do. It makes you feel like you have purpose in this world. I think that’s what I strive for.

When you take all these highs and lows and everything in your life-is there a sense of catharsis?

I think real moment comes when it’s performed. There’s a bending of words that does effect some emotional evening-out. But really I feel like a song isn’t really done until it’s been played 20 or 30 or 40 times on stage. It completely changes. A song may change lyrically because the feeling of the song changes when we play it live. I feel like that’s when you really find the big moments in a song. That’s when you’re really pushing it and you’re exposing light to it for the first time. When we’re jamming and I’m sharing it with the guys, the guys don’t even really catch things.

A big part of my performance is physically telling stories because I know that people can’t always hear what I’m saying. They’re not going to catch every word. So I have to show them what I’m talking about or what I’m feeling, or the feeling of what I’m talking about. I show that with my body and my face and my movement. So really, to me that’s the cathartic moment, when you’re really hitting it. The sad part is over time art means something different. Or art is something that over time you don’t really think of the same way. Sometimes you have to flip the focus or completely change how you perform it. Maybe there’s something else in the song that you can highlight. Instead of putting the emphasis on one thing maybe put the emphasis on something else.

In a way it means that your music will never be finished. It’ll always have a living element to it.

Sometimes people change, the people that the songs are about. All of a sudden you’re in another situation and you’re like, “Wow, I did this before.” And you’re singing the song. For me, I used to perform on stage and put that hologram image in my eyes of one person in front of me. Then all of a sudden there’s this other person there that I’m going through this with. It becomes extreme all over again. A song that lost its real potency and just became a song or a set of moves all of a sudden is full of those feelings again for someone else. That’s a real, honest story. This happened in the last couple of years.

A song shouldn’t be done. It shouldn’t. It should always change. My voice is always going to change. I guess the music wouldn’t change too much. But things change over time. It’s interesting.

I look forward to hearing songs from Singles 10 years from now and seeing how they change.

I’ll be singing like this. [Growls] Seasons change. [Laughs]

I saw that you’re involved in a film called Tears of God. How did that happen?

I basically just met the writers of the film after a show. They were big fans and approached me and asked me if I was interested in doing the film. I liked the script and I liked the part. I said, “How long do you need me?” They said, “Three days,” and I said, “Cool, let’s do it.”

I’m excited about it. I gave them a pretty intense performance. So we’ll see how it all goes down in the end. I’m hoping that I stood up to the test of the other actors. I have never acted before for the camera. I was nervous and worried that I was going to screw it up. I remember the first scene I did, I finished and everyone was dead silent. I looked up and asked, “Was that good?” and there was this mass exhalation. “That was fucking crazy, dude!” Yeah! I did it! They seemed to be happy. I was playing this, you know, preacher in a post-apocalyptic world. Totally up my alley! I’m excited to see it.

Well, thanks for chatting. We’re really excited to have you guys on the cover.

That’s so great. [Laughs] You better make us look cool. We should sound really cool and stuff! [Laughs] Nah, I’m just fucking around.

William Cashion: The Dependable All-Purpose Man

It must be surreal as an adult to actually be playing and performing sessions at radio stations that you used to listen to.

William Cashion: Yeah. It’s been really awesome. We did an interview at WKNC maybe a year ago. 2012. We were digging through the back library of CDs and records that they have there. I found my high school band CD that I had sent when I was 16 or 17.

What was the name of your band?

Felix the Drum Machine.

Where you in a lot of bands as a teenager?

I had a couple of bands. I started playing guitar when I was around 13. There was a record store in Raleigh [North Carolina] called The Record Exchange. They had in-stores and they would let us play shows there once a month. So I would always call up and say, “Hey, can my band play?” We would get up there and be really weird. We had a full band for a while. We played parties. There was a venue in Raleigh called Kings. There were high school band showcases and stuff like that we would play. They would give us kids a shot at opening for whoever was on tour. It was really cool. The promoter for that venue Kings, one of the owners, I’ve known him since I was in high school. He booked Art Lord when Art Lord started. Now he books Future Islands at the new Kings, 15 years later. It’s crazy.

Did you have a Plan B?

Oh yeah. My parents urged me to get my degree. I studied painting and drawing. Even though there were times when I wanted to drop out and do music, they were really pushing me. You really need to get your degree so you can have it to fall back on. So in 2006 I got my degree in painting and drawing. Pretty much as soon as I graduated I devoted all my energy to the band.

How did you hook up with Sam and Gerrit?

At the college that we went to, East Carolina University, they make everyone go through the foundations program. After you pass that program you have to submit a portfolio to your concentration. They start everyone at the base level. So a lot of the freshmen had the same classes. My very first was this drawing class. Sam was in that class. Later that day, I had these sunglasses I used to wear. They were the Back to the Future shades. Neon yellow and neon orange and kind of an odd shape. I used to wear them all the time. I was walking across campus and Sam showed up and said, “Hey man, cool shades.” He had really thick sideburns. They framed his face. It was almost a full beard. There was a little bit under the chin. “Cool sideburns man!” We found out that we were going to the same class. Pretty much immediately we started talking about music and ideas.

How did the Art Lords start for you? It’s such a high-concept band.

We were working on this Design 1 [course] project. It was the end of the first semester. I had already finished my project. We had an art history thing the next day also. I went over to Sam’s house, to study art history together. He was still working on his design piece. I was hanging out. We were going through different old classic art pieces. I kept saying stuff like, “I don’t really like this piece. I don’t care!” Sam was like, “We need to learn this!” My friend Kristen had come to pick me up, and she was, like, saying how I was being an art lord. Sam’s roommate Ryan was laughing his ass off. I brought up the idea of having a project called Art Lord & the Self-Portraits.

When did the transition from Art Lord to Future Islands happen?

Me and Gerrit had been talking for a while about how we wanted to get rid of the gimmick. We wanted to be taken seriously. Our songs had outgrown the gimmick that the band was made on. The songs were starting to deal with bigger, personal, universal themes. We wanted to be taken seriously. In North Carolina, we were seen as this weird gimmick party band. The jokesters. We had already been talking about wanting to change that. Beeby left town-he quit the band. We broke up the band at that point. That was in September of 2005.

I’m really impressed with your memory and ability to pull out all these places and dates. Sam told me is that you’re the official historian.

I just think that it’s important to document stuff. I remember bands that I followed in high school, you’re curious. Like The Cure. What did The Cure do for this album? I would go to that year when the album came out and see where they played. It was really cool to see the complete tour history. I used to trade Smashing Pumpkins cassette bootlegs in sixth and seventh grade. It was interesting to see where the bands went and see what they did. I always made a point to try to save a complete list of all the shows that we’ve played, whether it be an in-store or a radio station or club. The radio station stuff I don’t keep up with as much as I used to. I think it’s cool, if you go to our website you can see every show that Future Islands ever played. If you go to the Art Lord website on the Future Islands page you can see every show we played as Art Lord.

Sam said that he was that he was upset that the first [Future Islands] album didn’t really get the attention that he felt it deserved. Being the guy who was really into having a music career, did you feel the same way?

At the time, our album got released by the London label. We were getting press all over the U.K. and all over Europe. We had our first U.K./European tour. We had a pretty big crowd at our German shows. Our Berlin show was just insane. We played four encores that first show. The promoter came out and the crowd was chanting, “We want more! We want more!” Things were happening. It wasn’t like we put it out and nothing was happening. We put it out and we toured the U.S. twice in two and a half months. We did Europe. In hindsight it got nearly as much press. Every album since then has gotten a little more press. But I think it was a great turning point. I think it made enough of a splash when it came out. We all wanted the Pitchfork review. And they never reviewed it. And then they finally referred to our first album in one of the reviews for our later albums, and called it “Not noteworthy.” They totally dismissed it. That’s fine. They can say whatever. We didn’t have good distribution in the States. If anyone wanted to get that album it would be really expensive. You have to pay expensive U.K. import prices to get it.

Did you have a landmark moment where you were like, “We’ve leveled up.”

Little things just happen. Like getting a cool license. My parents got really excited that we had music in this movie called The Company Men. They bought the movie. Whenever they have people over to their house they always show them the movie. “That’s William playing the bass in that song!” Now, being signed to 4AD, that’s a label that I grew up with. Some of the first bands that I fell in love with were 4AD bands. It feels so surreal and awesome and crazy to be on 4AD. That’s another little thing. We’ve been doing it for so long, I don’t think that I could just pick one thing. There have been so many moments and little things that have helped push us along or make us feel that we’re doing the right thing or doing something special.

Has your working style of jamming together changed throughout the years? Or is this how you’ve written everything?

It’s the same. We sort of just go with it. Sam’s background in freestyling is a huge influence on the way that he writes. If he’s feeling what we’re playing, he’ll just jump in and start singing. He’ll just jump in and go for it and try different things with different vocal melodies and write while we’re jamming. Usually, these days, and how it’s been for a long time, he’ll record what we’re doing, take it home, work on the lyrics a little bit more, and we’ll get back together. We’ll play it and work out any of the kinks. It’s basically the same vibe.

Does Sam surprise you? Or do you usually have an idea of where he might take a song?

We’ve been working together for so long, we can feel where each of us will go. I don’t think it’s totally shocking. For the build up for “Fall From Grace,” we were like, “Let me turn the bass really loud for that part.” We’ll do the same thing for each other. If I’m being more reserved with my bass line, sometimes he’ll be like, “Take it for a walk.” He’ll encourage me to move it a certain way. Similarly we’ll ask Gerrit to go in and try a new part. Because we’ve been doing it for so long and working together for so long, we have a respect for each other. We don’t get pissed off with those suggestions or requests.

Gerrit Welmers: The Logical Treasurer

When did you first start getting involved in music?

Gerrit Welmers: Growing up, I listened to a lot of music. My dad played acoustic guitar in college. He played records all the time and always listened to music. I got into music when I was pretty young, listening to the oldies station all the time. I went to see The Four Tops and The Temptations play when I was in elementary school and fell in love with it, buying greatest hits tapes of classic soul bands. It slowly morphed into high school, when in high school I bought my first guitar. My dad had let me use his acoustic guitar to learn and feel it out a little bit. I saved up and got a practice amp/guitar combo for $100.

About how old were you at the time?

I was about 14.

As a teenager who loved to play the guitar, was this something that you were hoping to develop into a career or playing live? Or was this your own thing that you just did for the love of it?

I always daydreamed of being [heavy metal guitarist and Quiet Riot member] Randy Rhoads on stage, playing the most amazing solo to thousands of people. But it’s never something that I thought would happen. I never played in bands in high school. I played in my room by myself.

Sam told me he was developing his freestyle skills while you were developing your guitar skills. Coming from such a different musical background, what was your opinion on what he was doing?

It was different. I was into some hip-hop. I was a skater. Watching skate videos was how I learned about so much of my music as a teenager. It really got me into a lot of punk and metal, and also turned me on to some hip-hop. I remember hearing Dr. Octagon for the first time and thinking it was really good. It was so much different than the stuff that you hear on the radio. Sort of a different side of hip-hop.

I remember in the early days Sam would freestyle over Aphex Twin’s [Selected Ambient Works Volume II]. It was a really strange thing to freestyle over, but it was really fun. It sort of morphed into more of a thing. Kids would come over after high school every day and freestyle. One kid would start beatboxing. It was never really my most favorite thing. But I always found it pretty interesting that people could actually do that.

So your musical tastes started growing together at a certain point.

Yeah, I think in some ways it definitely did. We were both into a lot of similar things. I drove us to school almost every morning. I would blast Slayer and he would be into that. And then he would find some new hip-hop thing and we would blast that. We weren’t totally into it, but we grew to enjoy it.

What brought you to East Carolina University?

It was the one school that accepted us. That’s one positive thing. Sam was applying to different art schools. I applied to a few different universities. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Didn’t really have any career goal in mind. So yeah, it was a university that was nearby. We got accepted and he decided to go. I figured my best friend was going, so I should go there as well. We had a few other friends that went there. So it made sense at the time.

I originally went to East CU and joined the biology program. At the time I was really into amphibians, of all things. It’s this weird obsession. I had crazy terrariums growing up with tons of frogs and stuff. So I decided to go into the biology department and see what happened.

Can you identify frogs?

I’m still pretty good with it.

What was the first Art Lord practice like?

I had never played music with anyone. I had always played alone. So I came over and I brought my guitar. They were just jamming around and playing stuff. But it didn’t really work out very well. But there were a lot of extra keyboards lying around, so I started playing on one.

Did you find that your ability to pick things out on the guitar translated to the keyboard?

I think it translated pretty easily. It’s still the same layout, just in front of you. I treated the keyboard the way I treated the guitar, in that I never really learned correctly. I just learned my own way of doing. I learned root notes and can play several chords. But I started learning patterns and what works and what doesn’t. I think it definitely translated from the guitar.

Do you have any memory, with either Future Islands or Art Lord, of a show where something particularly crazy happened?

There have been so many. Playing in Greenville [North Carolina] back in the day, there was a house that had shows. It was a duplex. Two living rooms. They’d set up one band in the living room and they’d play, and then the other band would set up in the other room and they’d play throughout the night

The crowd went crazy. They were jumping up and down. All of a sudden the floor turned into a trampoline. People were bouncing and bouncing. And the amps started going back and forth. It was slightly terrifying. We later learned that four out of the six floor joints had snapped. The floor was actually a trampoline.

Having achieved a certain level of popularity at that point and having put out a few great albums, was there ever the fear that maybe this was the pinnacle? Maybe no one would be interested?

I think there’s that fear. I think there was a little bit of fear with this record too. The songs are different. There’s maturity to it. It’s definitely a progression. I think for “Seasons (Waiting on You),” people were saying that they just weren’t into it, but after listening to it a number of times, they realized that we were still the same band. It takes a little bit of time to get used to the new sound. It’s not even that much of a new sound. Part of it is the recording process. That aspect sounds a lot different.

Is there a sense of catharsis to making music for you?

Most definitely. It is my release. I am a pretty quiet person. Only child. I tended to spend a lot of time alone. It’s definitely my biggest release.

[Note: These are extra portions of our interviews with Herring, Cashion, and Welmers, quotes that didn’t make it into our main print cover story article on Future Islands.]

[Note: This article first appeared in Under the Radar’s June/July digital issue (Issue 50).]


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mia Parking
September 24th 2014

The name of the writer is Mei Salls. Dispatching is things i do and
i am doing beneficial financially. South Carolina is our birth place
but I’m going to have to safely move in per annum or two.

He is really fond of drawing and when he would never stop doing work.
She’s been working in her website begin doing time finally.
Check against each other here: Mia Airport Parking

Nolan Winkler
September 30th 2014

This is a fabulous interview. Great to read each of the band members’ thoughts. Thanks so much. Love this band…all of them. Beautiful music. You had me at the start!