Future Islands gear up for Splendour gig

Future Islands is an American synthpop band composed of Gerrit Welmers (keyboards and programming), William Cashion (bass, acoustic and electric guitars), and Samuel T. Herring (lyrics and vocals).
Future Islands is an American synthpop band composed of Gerrit Welmers (keyboards and programming), William Cashion (bass, acoustic and electric guitars), and Samuel T. Herring (lyrics and vocals). Tom Hines

THE Far Field is Baltimore band Future Island's new album, out Friday, April 7.

The album is the fifth release by the synthpop trio, after Singles in 2014.

2014 was also the last time the band played at Splendour in the Grass.

With Caves, the album's first single already out, and the Splendour line-up now confirmed, we spoke to vocalist Samuel T. Herring while at Los Angeles airport after a flight from Amsterdam.

Herring said The Far Field's songs are the result of 22 months on the road touring.

"There is definitely a running theme in this album and it is distance," he said.

"How distance is a unit of measurement of time and space, and how you can be distant from someone who is in front of you, or be very far away from someone and feel so close.

"Our songs play on an emotional sphere more than a political one, or any other sphere.Our music is much of the heart than of the mind.

"Not to say we are not intelligent human beings, but emotions are the most universal way to reach the biggest number of people possible.

Herring said 22 months on the road took a toll on his personal life.

"Prior to the beginning of writing, I was seeing somebody at the beginning of 2016, and that relationship was like a firework show that started with the finale and then everything fizzled out very quickly," he said.

"That gave way to a lot of music writing. You turn that kid of bad fortune into something.

"So much of our lives is on the road, you sacrifice a lot of those things that people take for granted."

On January 3, 2016, the trio arrived at a rented a beach house in North Carolina, in the middle of winter, and started writing this album.

"Just the three of us in a room and started creating sounds seeing what happens," said Herring.

"In this record, it was the first time that it was just the three of us.

"The beginning of every song was the three of us in a room, creating a sound.

"The guys would create some music and then I would bring some words on top of it.

Sam Herring explained that the band tried to do the same thing with this record they did with Singles, their previous album.

"With Singles, it was the first time we had the resources to go out for six or seven months and basically focus on writing an recording, instead of writing a record between tours on in any time off," he said.

"Before Singles we were on the roads for five years straight.

"When Singles came out we went on the road for 22 months straight.

"By the end of 2015 we were very tired and we also knew we needed to make a new record.

"We were still getting very good offers for shows but we knew if we kept playing shows we were never going to write this record.

  • Splendour in the Grass will be held at North Byron Parklands, Yelgun, on July 21 to 23. For details visit

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