Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook
WHO are they?
Oxford-formed, London-based four-piece ISLAND are Rollo Doherty (vocals, guitar), James Wolfe (bass guitar), Jack Raeder (guitar) and Toby Richards (drums). “We’d known each other for a while before we all played together for the first time. At that point we were all focused on other projects, so the band was more of an outlet to just mess around.”
“Our first ever live show got kicked off with a cover of Mundian To Bach Ke by Punjabi MC, it was all very weird – there was a ukulele being passed around on stage which no one knew how to play, and none of us knew the words either.”
WHAT is the inspiration behind their songs?
“Our songs range quite a lot in meaning, while some are very literal and some entirely abstract, there are a few recurring themes that fascinate us: loneliness and emptiness for example – which are things that ironically seem to be so common in our world today, a world with so many things that connect us.”
“Where Spotless Mind asks: would we feel as lonely without finding love in the first place?, Stargazer looks at loneliness in a greater sphere: are we all lonely? And do the stars whose faces cover global media make us all feel irrelevant? Having said this, none of the songs have one single translation and they are designed to draw out further meanings within different contexts. Spotless Mind for example is not only about love, it applies to friends and even enemies.”
WHERE did they grow up?
“Although we all now live in London, where you can’t help but be inspired by the energetic music scene, we all grew up in very different areas. They all shaped us all differently which is definitely important. We each bring very different aspects to the band and individually have different influences and inspirations. Rollo’s dad is a Pink Floyd man, Wolfe’s is a Van Morisson man, so inevitably growing up we were being influenced by different artists before we were even old enough to leave the house. If you ask each of us what kind of music we listen to, no two answers would be the same.”
WHY are they called ISLAND?
“We took a while thinking of a name and after getting bogged down searching for something with an inherent relevance to us, we decided we wanted to go for something completely open to interpretation, that wouldn’t have an underlying hint of a sound or a style. We didn’t want our name to affect the way we’re perceived, and we love the simplicity of ISLAND.”
WHEN can I see them live?
Catch the band live at one of their upcoming dates:
19th May – Reading – Official Great Escape Warm Up
20th May – The Alternative Great Escape
21st May – The Great Escape Festival
3rd July – Smoked & Uncut (Pig on the Beach)
15th July – Pete The Monkey – France 17th July – CITADEL Festival