Hailing from Brighton, The Island Club are a band whose sound is filled with energy and dance melodies.
The band’s latest single ‘Paper Kiss’ was released in late May, and has already been a huge success at their live shows.
The Island Club agreed to talk to The Lightning Nation about their latest single, and their experiences of being in a band.
Let’s start at the beginning. Where did you guys all meet, and what inspired you to join together as a band and start creating music?
Julien and Mike started writing together when they met at Uni a couple of years ago. There was definitely something that clicked when they started jamming! Sam and David also went to the same Uni and came into the band a bit further down the line, we started trying some material out together and it felt really good, we definitely saw a direction for where this could go! Even more so when we got Barney in on synth. Barney and Julien grew up in music together and already had a good musical sense for each other so he became the synthy cherry on our musical cake.
At school did any of you study music, or take music lessons? Was it always a dream to play in a band?
I think we have all had ambition from an early age to follow music as a career. We’re all originally from different places around the UK (except Julien & Barney), so we’re very fortunate that we came together with a similar vision for how far we could take the band. We’ve all been different bands before and have all learnt a lot over the last few years. We feel really fortunate as all that experience lead us to where we are now! The dream is still very much alive!
Last year, your debut single ‘Let Go’ clocked up over one million streams on Spotify! How did you gain such a large following in the short space of a few months?
We still find it completely mad to think we’ve got over a million streams on Spotify! I think the following we built off the back of Let Go was really natural, we didn’t actively go out of our way and think, “Right, lets get over a million hits.” It just happened and we’ve ridden what has been an amazing wave over the last few months. We’re incredibly grateful for the amount of support we’ve had from our fans. In the grand scheme of things, we’re still a small band finding our way and I think with instances like the success of Let Go, it makes the idea of a career in a band feel so possible.
Your new single’s video is very intriguing! What’s the message behind it?
We wanted the music video to highlight the lyrics of the song. Paper Kiss focuses on the concept of money and the powerful effect it has on peoples lives. It’s interesting to see what some people are willing to give up in order to earn money.
Can you explain to us the significance of money falling from the rafters in the video? There must be a hidden message here too!
The money falling also references back the lyrics! The workers are completely uninterested in whats happening right in front of them as their main focus is earning money, so the money falling is almost like their pay day. Plus making it ‘rain’ in slow motion is always going to be a super cool shot.
Talking about the music scene, what’s it like in Brighton where you guys hail from?
They’re some incredible bands in Brighton! Groups like Yonaka, Atlas Wynd, Penelope Isles, Martha Gunn, are particular favourites of ours. I think when you see this amount of talent around you all the time, it really spurs you on to do something great with your music and we’re very fortunate to call these bands our friends as well. You can actually see Penelope Isles at our next club night at The Haunt in May. There’s definitely something in the water here because Brighton is filled with awesome bands.
The lyrics in your new single are evidently full of messages. Has writing always been something of interest to you? Whether it be musically, creatively or English at school.
Michael writes most of the lyrics and he’s pretty particular in getting to the final product. He studied English Literature at A Level and he’s always been interested in the use of metaphors. When writing lyrics, he enjoys thinking of the all the possibilities of talking about a topic without having to be blatantly obvious. We like the idea of the listener having their own interpretation of the lyrics as it allows that individual to create a personal story in their own head about the songs meaning, which is really cool. As a band we all knew from a young age that we wanted to follow the route of becoming creatives. Each member of the band is interested in different things which fuels a lot of creativity within the group. As a group we are always openly discussing our opinions on one another’s ideas, always encouraging each other to get better at what they do, it’s the perfect environment to be writing music in.
The Island Club has a melody fuelled, pop vibe. Which bands or artists would you say have influenced you the most as a band? Your sound is very unique, almost incomparable to any other bands around now.
Each member of the band has their own influences and it’s a pretty broad spread. Collectively there are artists which we all love such as Tame Impala, Peace, Borns, Mura Masa and Grimes. We never set out to write a song like these artists, it’s a very natural process. Julien, Michael and Barney usually begin writing an idea and then the rest of the band contributes ideas until we all feel good about the track. We’ve never been compared to the same band twice which we always take as a massive compliment. We’re writing what feels right to us and as we are learning more about songwriting and production, new elements of our sound are being discovered, which is really exciting!
In the lead up to the summer, the feel good vibe of ‘Paper Kiss’ is perfect. Can we expect any more music from you guys? More than just a single?
We’ve spent the last 4 months or so solidly writing new material as we didn’t really get the chance to do that last year, so we’ve got all these new songs which we are itching to get into the studio to record. We are hoping to get into the studio at some point over the summer to get another single recorded. We aren’t too sure of the next release date, Paper Kiss is really starting to build momentum as a track and we want it to have its moment in the sun! But expect new sounds at some point in the future!
Please, tell us about your “Island Club Presents” nights in your hometown. I see that your next one is planned for the 17th May. How did the idea for these come about?
Island Club Presents at its core is about great music and a great community of music lovers. As I mentioned above, they’re some wicked acts in Brighton and when we saw the opportunity to host some of those groups at our own club night, really it was a no-brainer. We’ve always cherished the community of people we’ve had come to our shows in Brighton and we thought it would just be an amazing thing to show our fans the best of what our city and the UK has to offer. The success of our first show really opened our eyes to how big it could be so we’re upping the show to The Haunt, one of our favourite venues, it’s going to be a really special night!
For people who may have never seen you before, how would you guys describe your performance style? Do you put on a spectacle?
We’re always aiming to make our shows as much of a sonic and visual spectacle as possible! We’re very much perfectionists so we’re always trying to push each show we do to the next level so we’re really excited about The Haunt. We love the set of songs we’ve put together and have really put a lot of time in to make our set something really special… I guess the best answer is: Come and see it for yourself on 17th May at The Haunt!
Can you give us information on any shows you have coming up, maybe a tour in support of the single?
For now, we’ve just got our show at The Haunt on 17th May, we’re really focussed on making this night something to remember. We’ve got a lot planned for the rest of the year but nothing we can announce or talk about just yet but we promise it’s worth the wait, all will be revealed!