Thursday, 2 June 2011

Interview: IS TROPICAL

IS TROPICAL are a trio from London who have been cited as one of the bands to look out for in 2011. After having toured successfully with bands such as Mystery Jets, The Big Pink and Klaxons, they were one of the many highlights of the Dot To Dot 2011 line-up. Hooting And Howling met with the band on the windy Monday evening of Dot To Dot Manchester and talked about their new single, their upcoming album and their time over the weekend...

How has your Dot To Dot experience been so far in Bristol and Nottingham?

Gary: It's been wicked. We haven't played yet today but yesterday at Nottingham was a really good show. The day before in Bristol as well, lots of people came to see us; it wasn't the greatest show but a lot of people seemed to like it.

Your new single 'The Greeks' is out today (30th May), can you tell us a bit about it?

Simon: The song's had a music video done by a collective from France called Megaforce; it's really good, they've made an amazing video and it's doing really well - it's got half a million views on YouTube at the moment which is a bit crazy. The song is about a younger brother trying to act like his older brother but he kind of gets it wrong.

The video for 'The Greeks' has been described as "funny and outrageous"; is this what you aimed for? Is there a story behind the video?

Dom: There's no story particularly, it's just an idea that we came up with and developed that we thought was going to be really good and we put it up on Thursday. I wouldn't say that we tried to be funny or outrageous or anything; it's not political. There are things in there that you could construe as political but they were only little kids so I don't think they knew what they were doing. It's just harmless fun.

Your album is coming out on 13th June, can you give us any hints about what to expect from it?

Gary: I'd say, primarily, it's kind of like a pop album - it's got quite standard, feelgood songs...
(At this point there was a lot of disagreement between the band as to whether it was a pop album or not)
No, okay, scrap is good and we're really proud of it and we spent a lot of time making sure it came across how we wanted it to come across and all the songs sound how we pictured in our heads. Again, we're not trying to make a statement and we're not trying to change the world or anything, it's about just making straight-up, good songs that people can appreciate.

How was the writing and recording process for the album? Was there any specific way you went about it?

Simon: Everything was written in different ways; one of us would come up with an idea or a riff or a lyric or a melody and we take it to the band and all work on it, and when we take it to the studio, the guy that working with us ended up producing it with us and they added some really good ideas to it. It's all kind of natural.

For anyone who hasn't seen you live before, can you tell us what to expect from one of your live shows?

Dom: Hoey's really good at strobe lights, we love strobe lights. We don't really like it when people can see us or when we can see each other because we see too much of each other, so we try and make it really dark and atmospheric...and loud. We like playing late at night because I think the songs come across differently live  - we get a little bit more into it and it gets a bit heavier so I think if someone has only heard the records then they should watch us live. 

Have you seen any exciting bands on the bill this weekend?

Gary: We've been hanging out with DOM. They're from Massachusetts and they're supercool guys, their songs are wicked as well. Cults, as well; we've played a few shows with those guys.
Dom: They're not disappointed that we don't make good music or that we're not good at our instruments - they don't mind because they're not those kind of people...
Gary: Get People, obviously, they're a great band, shame we're clashing with them tonight though. We met them from partying and realised that they made music as well.

Can you name any of your favourite new bands that are around at the moment?

Dom: It's hard to know what bands are new, but Teeth are relatively new...our second tour was with them. They make really abrasive dance punk sort of music. 

Gary: Publicly, Crystal Fighters could be considered quite new...

Dom: Yeah, their album has come out which is one of the ones we've had on rotation in the tour van...we really like Seams as well, and Beach Fossils. They've only had one album out but they're really cool.
Gary: We like a lot of American sounds, you'll figure it out.

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