It often seems like we're trying to find new ways to describe Future Island's infectious music—essentially, three-piece, bass-and-beat driven emo-soul from dudes that (partially) grew up in Raleigh, moved to Greenville, N.C., and then Baltimore, Md.—on a weekly basis. And it's sort of true: The trio tours as hard as frontman Sam Herring sings, and they don't miss a chance to play in the Triangle. Last week, the band played a packed headlining set at Berkeley Cafe; tonight, they'll play Pizza Fest at The Cave. More on that event in this week's paper. We spoke with Future Islands' smoking bassist (like, literally: dude smokes while he plays) William Cashion last week about the band's new deal with Thrill Jockey Records, one of the finest labels in the land.
INDEPENDENT WEEKLY: Have Future Islands actively been seeking a new label for new material?
We have been hoping for proper label representation in the U.S. for a while now, and as soon as we had a small batch of songs from the new album recorded, we sent them off to some labels to see if anyone was interested.
Did Thrill Jockey approach you, or vice versa?
We're really big fans of Thrill Jockey and, with the help of our friend Bruce [Willen, from Double Dagger], sent the demo to them.
You're touring with Thank You now, another TJ band. Did your friendship with them influence your decision?
Definitely our friendship with Thank You, Double Dagger and Javelin had a positive influence on our decision.
How's the new material going? Have any of the songs headed for the new LP appeared elsewhere, or are they all fresh to the LP? And have you toured with any of them?
We have about 10 songs recorded so far, but we're not going to use all of them. We go back in the studio after this tour to record four more and work on overdubs on the older stuff. We've been playing the new material for a while. None of the songs on the record have been released before—all fresh. Most of what we're playing on this tour is all material from the new album.
Name Future Islands' top three Thrill Jockey LPs and/or artists?
Sorry, we gotta give you four:
Double Dagger, More
Thank You , Terrible Two
Javelin, Javelin 12"