Future Islands: On The Verge | EW.com


Future Islands: On The Verge

The Baltimore dance-rock trio's gloriously unhinged late-night debut on 'Letterman' in March made them Internet-famous. What will they do for an encore?

That Letterman performance went pretty viral. Did that feel like a turning point?
William Cashion (Bassist and Guitarist) It’s been a real whirlwind, really surreal since that happened. The video went all over the Internet, and people’s parents and grandparents are checking it out.

Was it weird suddenly becoming a meme?
Sam Herring (Frontman) I’d say that it was slightly disconcerting. It’s funny and if it brings people joy, that’s cool. You [just] don’t want to be the butt of jokes when you’re trying to create something special.

How do you feel about the ”synth-pop” label?
Cashion We call it post-wave dance music. The roots are in post-punk and new wave, but it’s neither of those things. I don’t think any of us think of us as a synth-pop band.

Does having that kind of exposure make you self-conscious about your appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on May 5?
Herring It’s definitely on my mind. You don’t want the audience to go, “Oh, man, they were great last time. What happened?” The first time around, I was just hoping I didn’t fall or rip my pants on national TV.

Does the rest of the band still get surprised by what Sam does on stage?
Cashion We know there are certain parts of the songs where we have to duck back or make sure we don’t get punched.

Sam, your stage banter is excellent. Is that something you actively work at?
Herring It used to be even better. In our first band I played this faux Eastern European art star, so I got to speak in this great fake German accent and talk about myself lovingly. The guys are probably tired of my weird jokes. Sometimes the crowd laughs, and sometimes they don’t. Last night I thought I was dropping gems, but nobody was laughing. I was probably just drunk.