Nu-metal rockers, Islander, have a bountiful background within the music industry that brought the guys together for a power-packed punch of metal that keeps the energy alive with chugging riffs, growling voices and a giant clenched fist ready to punch. Hitting hard with a very honest and raw approach over their second studio album, ‘Power Under Control’, Islander are a dynamic bunch of rockers out to break the spell of the typical. I caught up with lead singer, Mikey Carvajal, to discuss what’s in store for 2017, their extensive backgrounds in music, bringing Islander to life, tattoos and more.
Congrats on the release of your second studio album, ‘Power Under Control’. Tell us about the creative and recording process behind this release.
Thank you. ‘Power Under Control’ is a concept album following a character from dark to light. We wrote the songs in order so that it would flow almost like chapters of a book. So each song is a response to the one prior to it. Including the first track being the response to the last track on our first album. The songs do however stand on their own apart from the album.
As each member of the band has quite an extensive background playing in an assortment of bands, tell us the story on how you guys came together to bring Islander to life.
I was touring with different members in Islander and had met JR when we were on the Mayhem Festival. He was Head from Korn’s guitar tech, Arin was playing in Avenged Sevenfold and Zeke was playing in a punk band we had met on the road. It just ended up working out. We take it day by day.
Photo Credit: Austin Scherzberg
Do you guys head into the studio with an intention pertaining to songwriting? Or it it more of a fluid process that comes to life amongst the atmosphere?
We always let what happens naturally stand as what happens. If it’s not organic we throw it out. People can tell when music is forced usually.
Any upcoming tour/festival appearances that you can fill us in about?
We are hitting the road with I Prevail and after that have a one off with Blink-182 and A Day To Remember. We are looking forward to all the opportunities we are looking at this year.
Photo Credit: @vancartv
Although a broad question, what is your perception of the current state of Rock and Roll?
I believe that kids are starting to want that raw passion back. Most bands aren’t writing their own songs or even playing them live without the help of tons of backing tracks. Kids are seeing through that a bit and wanting something real because the situations they deal with on a daily basis are real. So why shouldn’t the music be too?
Where do you go when you want to be authentically immersed in culture for inspiration? There was a time in which the internet did not serve as a cultural aggregator…..
My family being from the Dominican Republic and me growing up in South Carolina has given me a great sense of different cultures. Other than that, Epcot at Walt Disney World is a good place to start.
If you could sit under the table and listen to any two musicians have a conversation, who would you choose and why?
Probably Johnny Cash, and David Bowie. I feel like they both had amazing music and were doing something inspiring. If I could sit under a table while they ate and talked about life, love, and rock and roll I would have a better understanding of what instruments were invented for.
Photo Credit: Tia Photography
What do fans of Islander have to look forward to in 2017?
Stage dives and high fives.
What advice do you have for kids just picking up an instrument with aspirations of becoming a musician?
Be raw. Be real. And if you start bleeding you’re doing something right.
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?!
Hold on tight.