Meet The Islas

Norwich-based band, The Islas, are set to release their high-energy new single, ‘Close’ towards the end of this month. LDOI spoke to the band’s lead singer and songwriter, Nathan Baverstock, to find out a little bit more.

Discussing how the band first got into making music, Nathan said: “Each of us individually grew up surrounded by music, and it’s probably fair to say very different music as well. For me it was quite evident from a young age that I’d start getting creative. My Dad plays guitar and he would often work away for weeks on end so he’d draw chord shapes for me to learn, and then when he returned, expect me to have learned.”

The Islas are made up of Nathan on lead vocals and guitar, Ross Allen (lead guitar), Granger Wittering (bass guitar and backing vocals), and Ed Chalu (drums). After getting into writing at a young age, Nathan notes that he met fellow bandmate Ross at Access to Music in Norwich, where they were “surrounded by people the same as us, people who grew up with this desire to create.”

Noting that he takes inspiration from many areas of music, including Motown, the 80’s, and 70’s punk, Nathan is most influenced by Paul Weller, saying “I’ve always idolised [him]”. Other big influences include the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Foals, and Maccabees, with Nathan mentioning “we get a lot of comments about sounding like The Kooks, The Rifles and Two Door Cinema Club, which I’ll take!”

Photo credit: Richard Chalu

Speaking about the band’s creative process, he says: “Myself and Ross are the songwriters, so it’s either me writing a track with just vocals and guitar, or Ross will send me a snippet of something he’s working on with a melody I can sing too. Sometimes lyrically it comes first and other times it’s the chord progressions. We then show Ed and Granger and we lay the track down, listen to it for a week or two and then edit the structure between us as a four.”

Nathan discusses the importance of writing good lyrics for the band’s songs, saying: “I like to think of myself as a thoughtful lyricist like Paul Weller, Pau Heaton, Joe Strummer and many more. In recent times I’d say like Sam Fender and Declan McKenna.”

“There’s always thought and reason behind my lyrics and I like having a feeling or opinion, bottling it and then creating the whole track around it. I think that’s why our music is quite relatable, because there’s snippets of lyrics that people can think about in our tracks. It’s something I’ll always keep. I don’t want to be one of those bands that sing about girls all the time! Who needs that in this day and age?”, he continues.

After most plans for 2020 were largely set back, Nathan notes the group did find some positives from lockdown, as they found more time to write and create. Looking ahead to next year, he states that the band are looking to release an EP, following a string of singles across the past year. Speaking about the upcoming releases, Nathan says: “I cannot wait to get these tracks laid down, I have a really good feeling about them and the honest truth is I am very much my harshest critic! So if I think they’re ok, hopefully others will too!””

‘Closer’ is out on September 25th.

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