Mikey Carvajal of Islander: The Ins and Outs of Love and Pain

It’s been a treacherous three days for this blog as I have no clue what charges came up, but after many heartaches and headaches we’re back up and running and that’s exciting because I’ve had this interview with Mikey Carvajal of Islander itching to get out. It was going to be depressing if this one had to sit in the waiting room much longer because these are the kinds of interviews you’re really excited to read over – in the end Mikey was game to gab about anything tossed his way, from burgers to love…Yup, we covered it all.

In case you’re wondering, Islander is a rock band who sits on the heavier end of the spectrum. With Victory Records on their side and upcoming summer plans on Mayhem Fest, you better get acquainted with them now if you haven’t already because they don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon.

Kendra: You guys all fell in love with being in a band – does it feel the same as when one falls in love with a person?

Mikey Carvajal: There are different types of love. For me personally, no. I love being in a band the way that I love watching Wrestlemania, or playing Nintendo; except maybe a little more than that. I have a passion for it. I love my wife enough to give up my life for her. I do love music though.

Kendra: I think bands like you guys thrive onstage, so how much time and energy do you all put into practicing in your off time?

Mikey: When we are home from tour we try to get in two practices a week. We do practice a set, but we don’t have planned out moves, or anything. We just go by feeling and know each other well enough on stage to feel what the other person is doing. Sometimes I will see the dudes rocking out live and it pumps me up so sometimes I just try to keep up with them haha. Everyone in the band has tons of energy.

Kendra: Back in January you headed out west to California to record your upcoming full length. Did being in the Golden State put any influence on the new music it may not have had if it were recorded elsewhere?

Mikey: It did. Our producer showed us the spots to eat, and we got to spend a good bit of time at the beach and stuff like that. One night I was with Fieldy from Korn and he told me that he usually gets the most work done while being in the studio, while not being physically at the studio. And I found that true for myself as well. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the studio and the pressure starts mounting to get things done, but when you’re walking around a pet store, or staring at a sunset, or being in the same building where The Karate Kid was filmed, it’s hard not to be inspired. I think people will pick up on a California vibe to the album for sure.

Kendra: How is the new album going to differ from Pains?

Mikey: Pains was an EP that we recorded really fast right before we got signed. It really helped us to get noticed, but the new album I feel like we are actually getting to introduce people to a little more about who we are, and what we do. The new record has so many spices in it that it really walks the worlds a bit more than Pains did.

Kendra: I don’t eat burgers, so I’m basically the worst Californian ever and have never had In-N-Out. I saw you were excited to get down on some though, but did it live up to the hype?

Mikey: It totally lived up to the hype. The burgers are great, the little peppers that you can get on the side are great, and the milkshakes are great. I really have nothing bad to say about In-N-Out. I would love to get some of those on the East Coast someday. Oh, and animal style is the way to go.

Kendra: Okay, how freaking stoked are you for Mayhem Fest because I’m excited for you – Korn. That’s all I have to say. What do you have planned for those shows?

Mikey: Haha, we are really excited about it too!! We can’t wait to see all of the bands play and link up with them every day. We have been working on a set for Mayhem and are still working that out right now. We are first and foremost a heavy rock band, but the new album has so many flavors we want to share with people it’s hard to pick what songs to play. Thankfully we love all of our songs, so in the end I guess it really doesn’t matter which are picked. I’m really excited about Body Count, Korn, to be with our Victory mates, and really everyone. We can’t wait.

Kendra: Is it too soon to say what the rest of 2014 has planned for you guys after Mayhem?

Mikey: We always try to take things one day at a time, but it is looking like we may end up in Europe towards the end of the year possibly. We shall see. Things are too far way to know right now but since our album is coming out this summer I am sure we will stay very busy with that. 

Kendra: Wetalked a lot about California but let’s take it home for you guys. If you had to make a mixtape that best represents South Carolina, what five songs would have to be on it?

Mikey: Not sure about all of South Carolina. But for our hometown, Greenville, I would have to say this would be mine in no specific order.
Throw Out the Obvious – “Leave Your Broken Heart In the Car (We’re Here to Dance)”
The Savvys – “Good As Gold”
Farewell For Tonight – “Higher Math”
Curse the Black Sea – “Summer Fun (and the deadly cool)”
Shutter – “Murder On the Rocks”


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