Bristol’s Elder Island are no strangers to exceptional achievements. Whether it be the sixty international shows they’ve played across the US and Europe, amassing over 180 million streams on their debut album, or gracing the stage at festivals including Latitude, All Points East and Bluedot, the trio never fail to impress.
Following the release of their first works since their 2019 debut album, Feral, and B-side Absolute, we quizzed the band on their musical background, current influences and the things they’ve learned about themselves through their music.
Tell us a bit about Elder Island and how long you’ve been making music for?
Elder Island consists of Dave, Katy and Luke. We are three creatives that hail from Bristol. We’ve been enjoying experimenting with and making music together for around 10 years but decided to form Elder Island in 2014 to concentrate our efforts and see what might happen.
At what point in your lives did you decide to make a career out of your music, and what influenced that decision?
It happened gradually but we all took the serious leap last year (September 2019) by quitting our jobs before our US/UK & EU tour.
Talk us through ‘Feral’ and ‘Absolute’, where did those tracks come from?
These tracks came from some initial recording sessions at the beginning of the year. They both stood out to us but in completely different ways. “Feral” was a song that we knew had potential from the dawn of its creation. From there we had clear ideas on how to produce and further the track. On the other hand “Absolute” had a distinctive laid back sound that we enjoyed but with drive so we knew it had something special. However, it took us a little longer to finish, experimenting and making many tweaks along the way until we reached the final piece.
What is something you’ve learned about yourself through making music?
Patience, criticism and critique. Be prepared to build something as a core structure, then be willing to replace the building blocks of what you’ve written until they fit to perfection. Or as close to perfection as possible.
What is something you wish you’d known when you first got into the music industry?
The industry is not always working for you. This means it's your prerogative to keep you as a band running independently. Having a good business structure is important. Sometimes more important than making the music itself. Sure it sounds boring and unglamorous but it can really make a difference to the future and longevity of the band.
Who are some of your favourite upcoming artists from Bristol these days?
Well there are so many to choose from in many varying genres! To name but a few, how about; Kinlaw & Franco Franco, Giant Swan, Scalping, Heka, Waldo's Gift, China Bowls, Harvey Causon.
What would your dream tour & rider look like?
A world tour with a private jet and a luxury tour bus that has nice showers, beds and toilets. Then get the crisps, crisps and more crisps on the rider…oh and a selection of fruit & tequila just be safe.
If your music was to soundtrack any film or TV show, which would you choose?
Any film or tv show, that is a toughy…If it was a film I would like it to be any Stephen Sodeberg movie or TV. I think our songs could work well on the Netflix show “Maniac” directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga.
What’s the bucket list goal for you as a band?
To write a song that stands the test of time.