Interview with Nick from Islands, leading to an explanation of indie

If you have been following Indie Blender for a while now, you probably saw the article Dave wrote about the Montreal-based rock band Islands and their new album, Ski Mask, here.

Now, Islands are currently on tour across Canada and the Northern United States in support of Ski Mask. Before their show this past Saturday at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, I was able to send some questions over to Nick Thorburn, the lead singer.

What was the inspiration behind Ski Mask, in the instrumentation and the lyrical content?
I’ve become pretty insulated over the years and my inspiration has become pretty abstracted. There aren’t any explicit touchstones that I referred to for this record. I wish I had a simple answer! Why don’t you just say Cheap Trick- that will work in a pinch.

Did the production of this album differ from the previous records? How?
The production for Ski Mask was identical to A Sleep & A Forgetting, as they were actually recorded concurrently. They are entirely different beasts, but the same process: Evan and I were steering the sonic ship, which was the first time since Return to the Sea that we didn’t have an outside producer.

What is it like being in a band for almost an entire decade?
In a word? Lugubrious.

Which artists inspired you to get into the music industry?
In high school, it was Bauhaus, Jane’s addiction, the Flaming Lips, Velvet Underground, and ironically, Fugazi.

What does the future look like for you and the band?
I can’t see the future!

What is your definition of “Indie”, as a musical genre or scene?
I realize your blog is called Indie Blender so I apologize, but I loathe that definition and when people ask for the kind of music, I try to shy away from the “indie” nomenclature and go for the more general “rock and roll”. Indie is a fabricated term! It sounds juvenile and unambitious. I hate it. Death to indie! Come on guys: how about calling it Blender?

As a side note, the reason this blog is called The Indie Blender is we take the term “Indie” as a short form for independent, same as many indie artists do their music by themselves without any influence or help from other people.  Also, we respect this form of music production; therefore we listen to “Indie” music and artists and write reviews of the albums.

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