About Future Islands
Future Islands is an American synth-pop band based in Baltimore, Maryland, comprising Gerrit Welmers , William Cashion , Samuel T. Herring , and Michael Lowry . The band was formed in January 2006 by Welmers, Cashion and Herring—the remaining members of the performance art college band Art Lord & the Self-Portraits—and drummer Erick Murillo.
Future Islands came to prominence in 2014 with their fourth album Singles released by 4AD. Its lead single "Seasons " was considered the best song of 2014 by Pitchfork, and NME and its performance at the Late Show with David Letterman in March 2014, became the most-viewed video on the show's YouTube page.
Sam Herring and Gerrit Welmers grew up in Morehead City, North Carolina, two streets away from each other, and attended the same middle school in Newport, North Carolina. They became friends around 1998, when they were in 8th grade. Herring had started making hip-hop music when he was 13 or 14, while Gerrit was a skater with interests in metal and punk music who bought his first guitar at age 14. Having different musical backgrounds, they did not consider making music together during high school.
William Cashion started playing guitar when he was around 13, having had a couple of bands as a teenager in Raleigh, where he commuted to high school from Wendell, North Carolina. In 2002 he enrolled in the painting and drawing program at ECU and had drawing classes with Sam Herring.
The idea to form a band came while Cashion was helping Herring study for an art history exam. They invited local record shop personality Adam Beeby to play rhythmic keyboards and fellow art student Kymia Nawabi for percussion and backing vocals. After a tumultuous debut on Valentine's Day February 14, 2003, at Soccer Moms' House, Herring also invited Welmers to join the band. Only Cashion and Welmers already played a musical instrument—the guitar—but Cashion took the bass and Welmers the keyboards, for a Kraftwerk-inspired sound.
Sam Herring played Locke Ernst-Frost, an arrogant narcissistic artist from Germany, Ohio, dressed in a 70s-inspired white suit with slicked-back hair, and a heavy German accent. The character's name originally was meant to be Oarlock Ernest Frost but it got shortened as a reference to John Locke, the religious poet; Max Ernst, the artist; and Robert Frost, the American poet.
The band quickly gained a local reputation and started touring the underground venues in the Southeast, playing shows with North Carolina acts like Valient Thorr and Baltimore artists such as Height, Videohippos, OCDJ, Nuclear Power Pants, Santa Dads, Ecstatic Sunshine, Blood Baby, Ponytail and electronic musician Dan Deacon whom they met during a show on May 26, 2004.
Nawabi who was already a senior when Cashion, Herring and Welmers were freshmen, left the band to prepare for her graduation project in June–July 2003. When Adam Beeby had to leave Greenville in September 2005, the remaining members dissolved the band.
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