Three guys. Four albums. One thousand shows.
Baltimore-based electronic punk band Future Islands will mark their 1,000th show July 26 by returning to their home state and performing at an all-day show on Carrboro Town Commons.
“It’s not a normal show,” said William Cashion, 31, the band’s bassist and guitarist. “We knew we wanted to play somewhere in the Triangle for our 1,000th show ... It will probably one of our biggest shows in North Carolina yet.”
The day’s lineup also includes Dan Deacon, Danny Brown, Ed Schrader's Music Beat, Valient Thorr and Lonnie Walker. The all-day affair will include food trucks and local vendors.
Cashion, along with his bandmates, vocalist Samuel T. Herring and Gerrit Welmers on keyboards, programming and guitar, are all originally from the eastern part of the state.
While studying at East Carolina University, Cashion – who is originally from Wendell – and Herring met and worked on a project that quickly turned into their first band, Art Lord and the Self-Portraits with Welmers. When that broke up, Future Islands was born in January 2006 out of the remnants. Another friend, Erick Murillo, joined them for a year on drums.
Cashion jokes that they took off “the old-fashioned way” – by appearing on the “Late Show with David Letterman in March, 2014. They returned on his request to play before his last show. In May, 2014, the group also performed on “Jimmy Kimmel Live”.
Now, the three are stationed and well-connected in the Baltimore scene, and have completed about eight international tours, but will return to their roots for the milestone performance, about three-quarters of the way through their current tour.
A pretty, vulnerable sound
They describe their dance music as “post-wave” or, as Cashion commonly phrases it, “like a punk band but instead of guitars, we have keyboards.”
Cashion said that they are fine-tuning the their sound – an energetic intensity, contrasting loud and quiet dynamics and melodies mixed with Herring’s husky growl.
Herring, 31, said that in writing their songs, he aims to be vulnerable, direct and honest.
“What’s most important to us, dear to us, is writing what we believe and we hope that other people will feel something from it,” he said. “You can’t write for a supposed audience because you’ll alienate people who don’t fit into this idea of who your audience is and other people won’t understand what you’re doing.”
But, arguably, some of the people who understand them most come from their hometowns.
“It’s always important to come to North Carolina,” Herring said. “It’s our home, it’s our roots. You can’t really change that about us. Sharing these kinds of moments with the family and friends is important for us.”
Go celebrate 1k shows:
▪ Sunday, July 26 at Carrboro Town Commons, Carrboro
▪ Doors open: 1:30 p.m., Show begins: 2:30 p.m.
▪ Tickets: FI1000.com