Islands are touring in support of 2013's critically-acclaimed Ski Mask. The band's fifth album, it features their signature artful indie-pop, but with candid lyrics and an emotional punch. Frontman Nick Thorburn holds nothing back-- addressing anger, personal frustration, and the struggle to find an identity-- resulting in an album that's both beautiful and impactful.
In addition to fronting Islands, Thorburn is one-half of The Unicorns, recently reunited for five live dates with Arcade Fire. He's also played in the supergroup Mister Heavenly, alongside Man Man’s Honus Honus and Joe Plummer of The Shins/Modest Mouse, and recently toured as a solo act opening for Ted Leo & Aimee Mann's The Both.
We sat down with Nick Thorburn prior to the show Friday to discuss hanging with superstars and dream journals.
Give us some background on Islands…
Islands has released 5 albums in 8 years, had over 16 different musicians in the band and has played every style from ragtime to psych-jazz to dubstep to folk-calypso, sometimes all in the same song.
What have been some memorable moments on tour thus far?
3. Jamming with Daryl Hall until 6am at his house after our show in Philadelphia.
2. Arguing with Aziz Ansari about cellphone technology until 3am after our show in New York.
1. Bouncing on a trampoline until 1am with Mickey Dolenz (of The Monkees) after our show in Tampa.
Tell us about your writing process…
90% of the lyrical inspiration comes from our dream journals, and pretty much all the chords and melodies are written using a piece of analog software called Chord Randomizer.
The naming of your band…how did that go down?
It came to me in a dream/nightmare.
What is next for Islands?
Islands intends to write and record another album, tour the album and then do the whole thing all over again until we’re taking dirt naps with the fishes.