Future Islands are amidst recording their next album, and are headlining the Zodiac tomorrow night. The bill tomorrow also includes Small Sur, Jared Paolini, and Lonnie Walker.
I recently got the chance to ask William some questions regarding his synth pop three-piece. He spilled the beans on how the process of the new record has been going, and other recent endeavors. Peep the Q&A below:
You guys recently finished up a tour in Europe, how'd it go?
It was a fun tour of the UK and Ireland. We did the whole thing with our good friends EAR PWR - it was their first time over there. There were some weird shows and some really awesome shows. My favorite places were Dublin, London & Brighton. Liverpool blew our mind. We played there on a Saturday and there were literally thousands of people in costumes all over the streets and bars. They shut down all the streets in the downtown and let the people run wild. Sarah (from EAR PWR) said someone almost puked on our car, but she screamed at them not to, and I saw this girl dressed up like Cleopatra who had apparently fallen somewhere and was totally covered in blood, it was insane. Also, me and Gerrit experienced a ghost that night in Liverpool, at the house we stayed at...
You say you are about halfway through putting together the next LP. How has the recording process been different than Wave Like Home?
When we did Wave Like Home, we were working with a really tight schedule. Sam lived in Asheville and could only be in Greenville to record for a week or so, and we had to work very fast. We recorded the whole album in 3 days, and we spent about a month mixing it. Working on the new album, since we all live here in Baltimore (including producer Chester Gwazda), we have been taking our time, trying to figure out exactly what we want the record to sound like. We've already worked on it for three weeks and we're only close to halfway done. This also has to do with our touring schedules. We seem to be gone every weekend and Chester is getting ready to go off on a month and a half tour with his band Nuclear Power Pants, so the time we have available to work on stuff is few and far between. Even though its been a slow process, I think we're all happy with the direction the recordings are taking.
Both A-sides of Feathers and Hallways and the new stuff I've heard live lately has all been pretty amazing. Have there been any new creative elements/factors involved in the song writing?
The biggest difference with the new material is we are writing without a drummer. This is the first time our songs have been based around programmed loops and beats since the days of Art Lord & the Self-Portraits (our first band). We do want to add a drummer, eventually, but I think it's really important for us to write and complete an album as a three-piece. In the recordings, our friends Andrew and Owen play violin and cello, which add a new dimension to our songs.
My buddy/local musician/nerd needs to know: is Future Islands a reference to the ABC television series Lost? (Seriously, his life depends on it and he's already been scheming elaborate conspiracies)
The name is meant to be vague. I'm not even sure if Lost was happening yet when we started the band. We were either gonna be called Already Islands or Future Shoes. Because, seriously, you don't know what future shoes look like, but you know you'd want a pair! (you know?). So after deciding Already Shoes was a bad name, we combined them to Future Islands. That's the boring truth, sorry!