Is Tropical are set to bum rush the show at Dot to Dot festival this weekend. Our ‘toggie Ash caught up with them in our digital undergound lair to shoot the future.
We grilled them bout our 1993 special obsessions, Wu Tang, Phil Collins and their debut album Native.
Here’s what they had to say for themselves…
PR: You play dot to dot festival over the bank holiday weekend what you think of the Tri-city festival and its line up?
IT: Seems like a lot of festivals are in the home counties / south coast so it’s nice to have an excuse to go up north. we might stay at dom’s mum’s house and smoke her Yoda bong if we get the chance. Nottingham is a good city to play in, every time we’ve been there someone’s got their head kicked in outside that horrible mega club.
PR: Any other festivals you also looking forward to this summer?
IT: We have a couple in scando-land and those are gonna be great. Sweden here we come!
PR: What can we expect from your live show? An energetic set?
IT: Yeah as long as we’re playing after about 4pm and the cobwebs have been swept away it’s hard not to get into playing live. our mate hoey has been smashing it on lights recently, he’s like the rain man of strobing. also I don’t think we’ve played the new set up north yet… expect some tracks of the album, ones people may not have heard if they’ve seen us before.
PR: For anyone who has not come across IS Tropical, how did you guys form and come together as a band?
IT: We came together in a dream when we were all really young – there was a skatepark in heaven with a massive vert ramp… I was sat at the top with Stevie Nicks and the other two were doing backflips … we gave each other high fives and promised to meet up later in life… I think we went in the celestial hot tub shortly after that.
PR: How did IS Tropical merge as the name of your band and stick?
IT: We were going to be called the Wizard Lords and then we realised it was a really bad name. so we chose a name that didn’t mean anything and had a nice word in it. and we liked it because everyone likes nice words at the end of the day, don’t they?
PR: In the past you have toured with Klaxons, The Big pink, how was this for you? Good learning curve?
IT: All the tours we’ve been on have been learning experiences in their own way. We’ve been lucky in that we have become pretty good mates with everyone we’ve been on the road with – and we haven’t just gone on like four support tours of bands that all sound the same.
From the Big Pink we learned the power of extreme volume; mystery jets we learned that one day we might be able to be virtuosos like them; good shoes we honed our football and ‘ladding it up skills’, and that Tuesday in Canterbury or wherever can be like Ibiza ’98; Klaxons we learned it’s all about the energy you put into everything you do; and the little tours we did with Teeth and Egyptian Hip Hop taught us that playing music in a band is a great way to meet people and slowly hide the symptoms of organ damage.
PR: Any juicy stories or banter with you guys and the other bands you could shed some light on?
IT: We can shed some light on this – never trust Fifi Brown to cut your hair. She will coulse you and leave you 40 per cent in, looking like a fox with mange. I had to get on stage like that.
Luckily we were in france so I guess the kids thought it was on purpose.
As far as tour banter goes, we mostly discuss how much we’re looking forward to stopping at the next McDonalds. Oh and whatever skateboard trick someone did in the service station car park the night before. or ‘WHERE’S MY VODKA’ or ‘SHIT WE LEFT AN AMP IN IRELAND’
PR: Your debut album Native to is out on the 13th June, What are your feelings about it and what can we expect?
IT: We’re so excited it’s not true, you know when you’re a kid and you wrote your Christmas list in September and by the time it comes to Christmas Eve you’re almost paralysed with excitement? It’s like that. xcept we’ve had these songs on our iPods and been playing them at house parties to people and now we actually get to see if anyone in the outside world likes it as much as we do. shout outs to Jimmy Robertson who can eat more turkish pizza than any producer in the UK.
The album’s quite diverse we think – it’s got highs and lows but we tried to make it so that every song was worth listening to – there’s no point putting filler tracks in you’re not really sure about. No-one wants that. So hopefully its just 40 minutes of joy. Smoke a bowl, chill back, listen to it with your girlfriend, she’s hot, but she might leave you soon. so enjoy the moment
PR: If you guys could collaborate with any artist, dead or living who would it be?
IT: Wu tang. Namely the Gza, because we’re really good at playing out-of-tune pianos too. And we used to be obsessed with the Wu when we were kids.
PR: How do you gear yourself up before a show? Any superstitious rituals?
IT: We put our masks on and try freak each other out and sometimes we listen to really heavy dance music and slap each other around a bit. Oh and sometimes if it’s not dark enough on stage when we come out, we pray at the back of the stage until someone figures out what’s going on.
PR: Ex England captain Rio Ferdinand has recently peaked 1million followers on twitter, what’s your view on the social media site? do you guys Tweet?
IT: I’m gonna go check out Rio’s twitter. Does he say anything good? We have a band Twitter – it’s good when you’re out and you don’t have credit to send someone a text. I don’t think we’ll have a million followers any time soon though. twitter.com/istropical
PR: On PurpleRevolver we’re launching a 90’s season 1993 in particular, what your highlights of 93?
IT: Ok, we’re talking the year of Ace of Base, Doggystyle, Siamese Dream (smashing pumpkins)…. yeah that was a good year. I think it was 1993 that I got my first skateboard too, it was a pink hulk hogan one, with the plastic grip thing on the edges, I guess so you could get a proper flex on when you go downhill on your knees.
PR: We are also into predicting the future, what’s IS Tropical vision for the future?
IT: Ray Kurzweil’s ‘The Singularity is Near’ is a good book to read if you like thinking about the future. Personally, we think it’s gonna be like now, but maybe with more transparent stuff and you could do stuff by waving your hands around like Minority Report a bit. Oh and everyone might speak Chinese. Can’t wait until we meet aliens and then we get new kinds of space drugs to try.
PR: What’s the biggest and most outrageous rider you have seen backstage and what must be on yours?
A couple of French festivals we’ve played we got cigarettes on our rider. That’s pretty awesome. I don’t think we’ve ever toured with anyone who asks for white puppies and human furniture, all our mates are kinda normal humans really. But one day when we get super mega rich and famous, we’re gonna hire Dave Grohl to do Indian head massage on our soundman. He loves Dave. They get iced together all the time but he’s never given Chris a head massage I bet.
PR: Last question now and does Phil Collins get a bad rap?
IT: We were in a hotel and late at night there was a huge outdoor arena concert of Genesis. And Phil Collins was a bit of a creep. He was wearing a shirt that looked like it was made out of tissue paper, and he kept doing that dance where one of your hands is a spider and it’s crawling on your and you have to keep knocking it off. Like something your uncle would do on your leg and you remember it when you’re older and wake up crying. But that didn’t happen.
PR: Thanks a lot for your time. See you in Manchester and lookout for us in the photo pit!
For more information on the band check out their website.
www.istropical.com or find them on facebook https://www.facebook.com/ISTROPICAL