Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with Carlos from unsigned Guildford based band Neon Islands to find out more…
Who is in the band, how did you meet, where are you from and how did you come up with the band name?
We are Carlos, Jamie, Sam and Nico. We are all based in Guildford - we met at uni. However, we are all from different countries (Spain, Malta, UK and Argentina), which we think makes our sound really special and different. The name of the band represents a safety resort for us. Neon Islands is wherever we feel comfortable, wherever we can be ourselves. And that's where we want to take people to.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
The most interesting fact about our influences is that we all grew up listening to different genres but we have a very strong common ground of bands we are obsessed with like Foals, Interpol, The Strokes and Tame Impala.
How would you describe your sound?
I don't think I'm good enough with words to describe our sound. We are eclectic and I think we are genuinely different to what all the other indie bands are making. After our release show last night someone told me something like that after we played and I think it's the best way to explain it. We mix together many different sounds from our indie rock backgrounds, but we have found a new fresh, electric and serious tone that really represents us.
What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
Our last release is LUCK. We recorded it at Metropolis Studios last year with Liam Nolan, who was the sound engineer for Adele's album and won a Grammy for it, so it was pretty mad working with him. ´LUCK´ is “a roller-coaster of a song”, a journey that takes the audience through a series of images inspired by the desire of being left alone when the routine and the prevailing moral crisis in current society make people want to run away. ´LUCK´ takes such different concepts like love, hate, surrealism, escapism and self-imposed happiness to blend them together into this explosive and fleeting song full of hooks, popping bass lines and synth infused choruses.
What’s your local music scene like?
We are very attached to our local music scene. Most of us have worked at our local independent venue, we are friends with all the other bands - Guildford local scene is such a big and fantastic family. I can't stress enough how important it is to support the local scene. I really can't stand people who say they like music and they do nothing to support people who are starting. It just does not make sense. The amount of work and effort and time independent local bands put in is just unbelievable. If only people know about 10% of what we have to do to get our music out there.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
We are releasing one single every six weeks from now on and we are truly excited to share so many stories we have been writing about for a year. We are also booking our next live dates which will be announced soon.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
I would just love to be Yannis from Foals for one day. I think about him all the time.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
There's always plenty and that's what makes gigs so cool - nothing ever goes as you plan it 100%. But that's the beauty of it. Last night I was crowdsurfing at The Boileroom and someone reached his hand from really far away to intentionally touch my ass. That was pretty random because I saw it all and didn't quite understand it!
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about your band?
People need to come to a show to understand what we are about. We are a live band. If they want to come to the Neon Islands with us, they have to come to a show :)