Since the first time I saw Future Islands play nearly two years ago, I wanted to post about them. I have rarely in my life fallen so instantly in love with a band as I have with Future Islands, yet I let their initial performance that I saw pass me by, telling myself I’d get to them as soon as I had another free moment. I tried to start their post many times since then, yet, every time I sat down at my computer thinking I was finally taking care of long overdue business, I found myself lacking an urgent angle to focus on except for my own ever growing love for them as a band. I could have posted a new video of theirs as it appeared, but writing a short essay about a band based solely on that made me feel a bit too eager. Since the initial time I saw them play I’ve caught them at least five times, each time finding myself more and more impressed. Now, after two ridiculously long years of sticking it out in wait for the perfect timely reason to sing my praises, the guys in the band graciously decided do an interview for minorprogression. This is not only a huge honor for our blog, but it is also a rather big deal for me, since Future Islands are one of the most slept on bands making music in this country right now and as you are about to find out, they are also one of the best.
Future Islands are a three piece made up of keyboards, electric bass guitar and vocals. This is a deceptively simple set up. Watching these guys prepare for a set you would never imagine what you are in for. They all appear friendly and mild mannered, down to earth and approachable. You get the feeling they have all been friends for a while. When they start to play however, all bets are off. Their songs are immediate, catchy, and thoughtful. Each one instantly burrowing its way inside your head. Their music alone would be reason enough to check out this band, but their live performance is what sets them over the top. This is especially true in the stage persona of Future Island’s lead singer, Sam Herring. In all the shows that I’ve been to in my life (god I can hear myself as a grandfather already, “In my day Shonny, we lishend to shomethin called indie rock” someone just kill me now) I don’t think I’ve ever seen a lead singer as energizing, frightening or unique as Sam. While the band bangs out dancy and catchy synth and base lines, Sam drags you by the ears straight into the middle of their music. You have no choice but to watch him and to hear him out; a sort of emotional, cartoon, train wreck that you never really know whether to laugh at or cry.
This interview has finally given me the opportunity to ask the band members all of my questions concerning their history and performance style. Sam even answers my question about his stage persona which I feared was maybe something he wanted left a mystery. In the end it turns out that Future Islands are exactly the band that they seem to be before they start playing music; friendly, down to earth and it also turns out, extremely generous of their time and energy.