Hugh and Mary Jo Cashion are going to stay up a little late Monday night.
The Wendell couple have good reason, too. Their son, William Cashion and his Baltimore, Md.-based band Future Islands will be the musical guest on Late Night with David Letterman.
William Cashion says the gig on late-night television’s most popular show is a big opportunity for his Indie-pop band, which formed when the three members were students at East Carolina University. Cashion is trying to keep the appearance in perspective.
“It will be our first time on television,” Cashion said. “I try not to think too much about it, but it’s hard not to.”
Cashion, 30, and his band mates now spend most of their time touring. Future Islands has performed all over the United States and in Europe and Australia since it first formed as Art Lord and the Self-Portraits in 2003 in Greenville where Cashion was a classmate of lead singer Samuel Herring and keyboardist Gerritt Welmers. Michael Lowry will join the band on drums for the Letterman appearance.
The invitation to appear on Letterman came about three weeks ago and, Cashion says, two of the people most excited by the news were his two older sisters, Kenne Miller and Nancy McCann.
“Nancy and I are kind of bouncing off the walls excited, but he doesn’t seem overly excited. He’s been doing this for a while. I know music is his passion,” Miller said.
Miller lives in New York. McCann lives in Wilmington. McCann says she purchased her plane tickets for New York City within a couple hours of learning that her brother would be playing on the show. Miller also plans to be in the audience when her brother’s band performs.
William Cashion is glad his sisters are excited about the show. He says they were responsible for nourishing his appreciation of music when they were children.
Learning starts at home
“Nancy would go to a lot of raves when she was in college and she would tell me all about them and they sounded like so much fun,” Cashion said. “I snuck in Kenne’s room one time and stole her Ace of Base CD and listened to it over and over.”
Mary Jo Cashion says her son’s zeal for the guitar was evident early. “He started taking guitar lessons under Alton Watkins when he was 13,” Mary Jo Cashion said.
Within a couple years, said McCann, the guitar instructor told William’s parents the boy had gotten good enough that he couldn’t teach him anything else.
McCann says the chance to perform on Letterman is a highlight for the band and it’s a long way from the group’s small-town beginnings.
“I have fond memories from when he was just getting started. I would give them money to help them buy CDs to sell at their shows. I feel like I helped get this off the ground,” McCann said.
The band’s appearance on Letterman also fulfills a prediction Cashion’s sisters made years ago.
“Nancy told me when we got started that we would be on Letterman one day,” Cashion said. Tomorrow’s that day.
And, while Cashion’s sisters will be in the audience, Mom and Dad are planning a quieter affair.
“Hugh and I will have a few friends in and watch from home,” Mary Jo Cashion said.