Just about to head out on a small UK tour in the new year, Cat On The Wall caught up with Is Tropical via e mail. Certainly a band to watch out for in 2010!
Is Tropical: It formed at the start of 2009 and began to gig in March/April. Around this time London was pretty much the least tropical you could imagine, and the homes in which we lived were even worse. So it’s really just a form of escapism.
COTW: How did Al O’Connell get involved with the production of your first single? What are your opinions on studio recordings with a producer as opposed to D.I.Y recordings?
IT: Al has a great style and he was a great introduction into the studio recording process. You can never have enough time to really immerse yourself in a studio environment, but Al is good at working with people with short attention spans so it was a good fit. The difference in recording at home is that it’s easier to develop a song at home, you can be more passive with the process – experiment without distractions and accept mistakes and spontaneous changes. Sometimes recording parts in too loud or making stupid errors in sound production can lead to surprising results, and things like that have become part of our sound. D.I.Y will always be friendly territory.
COTW: You’re about to head out on a UK tour with Egyptian Hip Hop. Are you looking forward to it? Do you enjoy performing live, any memorable experiences so far?
IT: It’s always good to be able to play to varied crowds and to people outside of London. It’s going to be especially fun to play with the boys from EHH. We share a common passion in our reduced living standards. We’ve found that live and recording are two very different sports. Nothing beats playing the music you’ve been working on quite personally for some time really loud.
COTW: What is the idea or concept behind the use of masks? Anything specific?
IT: Lots of people wear everyday masks. Black sun shades are real common. our masks are just a little different. You can get involved in what your doing while wearing a mask, block out what’s going on around you. When music is faceless it’s almost easier as a viewer to focus on the songs as opposed to someones pouting face.
COTW: What are you listening to right now?
IT: Julian Casablancas, Crystal Fighters, Age of Consent, Women, Yeasayer. There’s loads of great music around at the minute.
COTW: Finally, what are your plans for the near future?
IT: We release our first single ‘When o’ when / Seasick Mutiny’ on January 18th through a new label ‘Hit Club’. We have a couple of tours lined up with some wick bands, and a few European dates. Constantly writing new material, and working on a follow up single. It’s all looking pretty busy for 2010.
UK Tour Dates:
Egyptian Hip Hop (*) & Is Tropical (~).
Thurs 28th Jan – Start The Bus, Bristol * ~
Fri 29th Jan – Bungalow & Bears Sheffield ~
Fri 29th Jan – Soundcontrol, Manchester *
Sat 30th Jan – Stealth Vs Rescued, Nottingham * ~
Thurs 4th Feb – Stag’s Head, London *
Fri 5th Feb – Kraak Gallery, Manchester * ~
Sat 6th Feb – A Nation Of Shopkeepers, Leeds * ~
Sun 7th Feb – Captains Rest, Glasgow * ~
Mon 8th Feb – Mojo, Liverpool ~
Fri 19th Feb – Bungalow & Bears, Sheffield *
Sat 20th Feb – Evol @ Korova, Liverpool *
Interview by Jo Whitby