On the cusp of their biggest headline show to date at The Haunt, May 17, we chat with The Island Club about their time as a band so far and what exciting things they’ve got coming up in the future…
Who are The Island Club and where did you meet? How long have you been going for?
The Island Club are: Michael Askew (rhythm guitar and vocals), Julien Forsythe-Lewis (Lead guitar), Barney Cox (Synthesiser), David Blowers (Bass) and Sam Cantlon (Drums). So Michael and Julien met in their first year of Uni and started jamming and writing together, they really felt they clicked as a team and the whole process started from there.
The music initially was very different to what we’re writing and performing now, Sam and David got involved a little later down the line and Barney, who’s an old school friend of Julien’s from a few years ago was brought in to the mix and we really started developing the sound to what it is now! I guess it’s been two years for us now… It’s flown by!
What would you say is your musical family tree? Where do you get your inspiration from?
Collectively we’re all massively in to acts like Tame Impala, Grimes and Peace. The wider spread actually sees us delve in to a lot of different genres, there’s a lot of electronic music we listen to, even soundscape-y sort of stuff. We’ve always been really open to pretty much anything – if it inspires us, regardless of genre it’ll definitely have influence over our writing style. Weirdly when we have people talk to us about our music, they always reference bands which none of us really listen to; so bands like The 1975, Two Door Cinema Club, Last Dinosaurs are all great bands but we’ve never listened to a lot of that stuff ourselves, or at least not enough to say that they are a direct influence for us. We take it as a compliment because for us it feels like what we’re doing is something original and exciting for people.
For those yet to hear you, how would you go about describing yourselves?
In short I would say we’re about big synths, ripping guitars and dreamy soundscapes. Really the best answer I can give is “…listen for yourself and find out what it is to you!”, because we get some many different comparisons to other bands and people always find something or several things they really like about us and connect with it in their own way. Musically we really hope it’s a journey for people, we have a lot of influences from pop music which we definitely think comes across in the verse and choruses of our music but then we have pretty tripped out sections in there as well, the goal is to move someone really. There’s a lot going on and hopefully something for everyone!
You’ve just put out the video for “Paper Kiss”… what’s the song about?
Paper Kiss focuses on the concept of money and the powerful effect it has on peoples lives. It’s interesting to see what some people are willing to give up in order to earn money!
I was walking by Churchill Square the other day and saw you guys doing a street set! How did that come about? Was it just turn up and play? Did you get any hassle and are you planning to do any more?
Yeah that was really fun! So we had the idea a couple of weeks prior to actually doing it.. You always see a lot of solo/acoustic stuff happening round Brighton but personally we’d never seen like a full band setup before and thought it’d be a really cool way to get the word out about our show at The Haunt! We had no idea that it was the day Brighton found out they’d get promoted to the premiere league so we had a load of football lads at the pub nearby which was hilarious. At one point we did have the police turn up to shut us down but after a couple of conversations the Policeman actually allowed us to restart and introduced us back in to our second set haha! It probably didn’t help that he had a load football lads chanting at him to leave and let us carry on either. We’re definitely gonna do more of it, it seemed people really enjoyed it and we certainly had a really fun time so we’d love to do it again!
What’s coming up this Summer for you guys?
We’ve got one more date booked in for a festival in Cambridge but really our plan is to write, record and plan for the next Island Club Presents show. Really our club night has become our baby and we’re trying to find ways to make this a really fun, inclusive night for music lovers so that’s gonna be a big focus for us! We’ve got loads planned for our show at The Haunt and we’re just finding more ways to make the next one even better. We’re so lucky that we’ve had some absolutely amazing bands get in contact with us about playing these nights we’re setting up so we’re definitely excited to host some great bands at our future events!
Any plans for future releases? Whether that be more singles or an EP?
We’ll definitely be releasing more music, I can’t say when and can’t begin to hint at whether it’ll be more singles or an EP, but there is definitely more coming. We’ve got a lot of music we really love and definitely want it out in the world, I guess we’re just trying to figure out the right time to do it! We’re fairly heavy in to promoting “Paper Kiss” at the moment and we’ve always really wanted to give each track we release it’s moment in the sun and really see how far it can go. Hence why we’ve only got a couple of tracks out so far! We can guarantee you that more music will come out this year and we’re really excited about it so it’s definitely worth the wait!
What are you listening to at the minute and what’s so good about it?
We’re into a lot of Brighton bands at the moment. Yonaka are big favourites of ours, MarthaGunn are smashing it and Atlas Wynd are awesome… There are so many amazing bands about at the moment, we’re very spoilt for choice. I think what’s so good about these acts is that they’ve really found their sonic style and are doing it so well. They’ve really got identities and it’s stuff that we can really relate with. And all of these act’s live shows are absolutely mega, I can’t say better things about these acts. It’s a really special time in Brighton for new music!
What can people expect at your show at The Haunt this month?
I think collectively as a group we’ve always wanted to be as ambitious as possible with everything we do, so we’ve just pushed everything up a level and are going full out! For us doing a headline show at The Haunt has always been a dream, we’ve always wanted to have the opportunity to play our own show there so it’s going to be a really epic moment for us. More importantly, the acts we’ve got on for the night are amazing! Island Club Presents is all about hosting the best new music and creating a really great atmosphere for gig-goers and just being within that community. Penelope Isles and Tilda Allie are brilliant acts so we can’t stress enough that this will be a show not to miss!
Check out The Island Club: www.facebook.com/theislandclubuk
Buy tickets to their show at The Haunt on Wednesday, May 17: Click here