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February 2021

Getting to Know... ISLAND

London four-piece ISLAND introduce themselves.
Published: 9:33 am, January 27, 2017
Getting to Know... ISLAND
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]London four-piece ISLAND have had a meteoric rise: less than a year after dropping debut EP ‘Girl’, the band found themselves headlining the 800 capacity Scala in Kings Cross - and it doesn’t look like they’re slowing down in 2017. Vocalist Rollo Doherty breaks off from a writing session - “[it’s] all leading towards our first album, so really exciting” - to introduce his band.

Hey Rollo, what first got you into wanting to make music?

The earliest memory I have of writing music I must have been around 8, so a long while back, me and a couple of friends had joint guitar lessons with a teacher who based the lesson's structure around School of Rock - probably my highlight of the week at the time, one day we'd spend learning songs by AC/DC and the next (in "Rock Appreciation") we'd get to watch videos of all the big legends in concert and prance around practicing our power stances. I wrote a song a week which I'd play at the end of the class but they were never any good. Looking back I think I learned nothing about the guitar, but quite a lot about the power stance. Although I always kept writing music I always expected to be going into film career wise, but after playing with ISLAND everything kind of fell into place and I knew it was what I'd end up doing.

How did you meet the other guys in ISLAND?
We were in a couple of different bands but all good mates before we first played together, when we were around 18. When we did it was never intended to be a long-term thing, we got together to play a gig where we dressed as weirdly as we knew how to and jumped around playing an extended cover of Punjabi MC's 'Mundian Te Back Ke'. Although it was never supposed to be serious, we had a great time so we headed back into the studio and tried a bunch of songs out and it clicked.

How long did it take you to figure out what you wanted ISLAND to sound like?
I think it was pretty much there the first time we played togeather, well the second if you include the Punjabi MC gig. Since then we've been adjusting and slowly moulding the sound itself, but no we've never found ourselves looking for a certain sound, it's always been there, and has sort of evolved over time.

What are your favourite topics to write about?
Our first EP explores a lot of difficult emotions - loneliness was a common topic, a kind of reflection of the world around us. This EP, though, is more about hope, and looking forward rather than back, which I think reflects an important change in mentality I've had since then.

What can you tell us about your new EP?
The music reflects the optimism of the lyrics and there is a brighter element to the songs. If these songs are to soundtrack your day, first EP would be for your night.

What has been the highlight of your musical career so far?
We've played some amazing venues and I think our top ten moments would all be during live shows, there is no feeling that compares to the connection you can make on stage with an audience. Playing in Hyde Park on the Mumford & Sons bill is definitely up there and our show at Reeperbahn in Hamburg was a really special one. But top of the list has to be our headline show at Scala, selling out our favourite venue in London and seeing so many faces in the crowd who had come to see us was really really special.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="2/3
[vc_column_text]Do you have big plans for 2017?
Writing the album - that's gonna be the real focus of the year. In the meantime we've got our second EP still to be released, one song I'm personally very excited to release is called "All You Ever Needed Was Love" - a slow burner that really evolves through twists and turns before reaching quite an expansive climax, was a very exciting song to write and is one of the highlights live.

What do you do for fun?
I'm still into making and writing short films and videos, it's something that never seems to get boring. I shot a mockumentary a few years ago about an art student and it's one of the things I've made that I'm most proud of. Sadly it's been picking up dust for a few years as I've been so busy with the music, but I've recently decided it needs to see the light.

Anything else we should know?
Seems a good opportunity to let some people know some great bands they should be listening to right now. I'd recommend Syd Aurthur, Club Kuru, Her's, War On Drugs to name a few, and last but by no means least our good friends Palace's new album ‘So Long Forever’ - it's a stunner.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3
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How long have you been together: In this band three years, but we've been playing together for about five.

Where are you from: London

What musical pigeon-hole can we shoehorn you into: Alt-Rock

Which track of yours should we embed in the space below: 'Dreaming Of' 


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