Interview: Mikey Carvajal of Islanders
Islander’s Mikey Carvajal
April 10, 2015
Mikey Carvajal is the lead vocalist of the Nu-Metal band, Islander. The band hails from South Carolina, and they recently opened for Three Days Grace for a sold out show at the House of Blues San Diego. Mikey set aside some time after the show to let us know what the band is up to and how they’re doing.
Juan Barragan: Great show out there! How is the tour treating you so far?
Mikey Carvajal: It’s been awesome. We have three dates with Three Days Grace. We’ve been touring hardcore since July of 2014. We get little sections of time off, and we’re touring with Nothing More in a couple of days, so it’s going to be really fun.
JB: Violence and Destruction was your first CD Release. Has it been well received so far and where did you come up with the name for the album?
MC: I came up with the name for the debut record on a tour in 2013 actually. I was reading the scriptures in the Bible, and in the Book of Jeremiah, everytime Jeremiah opened his mouth, the words “Violence and Destruction” were blurted out. He was warning people about God’s wrath and how much God loved them. That was his ultimate message for people. He became a household joke because of that. He said that if he holds it inside, it burns in its bones like fire and he can’t hold it in, so he must speak Violence and Destruction. As far as the record goes, the concept of not holding back and not sweeping difficult conversations underneath the rug but actually getting down to the nitty-gritty of things. It’s been well received. We’ve had two singles hit the 20’s on Billboard. They are debuts, so we are really grateful for all the fans that we’ve made, they are more like a family to us.
JB: That’s great to hear! Currently your record label is Victory Records. How has working with them been so far?
MC: It was great at the beginning, but lately, just being completely honest, it hasn’t been the best experience working with certain aspects of Victory Records. But there’s also these aspects of Victory Records, like our marketing team and publicist that are just awesome. It’s all the big business though, it’s the same everywhere, it’s like if you start this crazy punk rock band, and the next thing you know, you do the most un-punk thing you could do, you sign a record deal, so it’s kind of expected.
JB: Aside from touring, are there plans for a sophomore effort anytime soon?
MC: Yea, we’re writing one right now, we have it titled, which I can’t tell you that. It’s going to be really good, we’re really excited about it. I know that I have a lot of things to write about. It’s going to be a concept album. I can’t tell you what that is either; otherwise it would all be given away.
JB: Well, we can’t wait! You’re part of The Whosoevers, you had their shirt on while on stage, can you tell us more about that non-profit organization and its mission?
MC: It’s a non-profit, started by Sonny of POD. The Whosoevers go out and they speak in prisons and public schools and they are helping women get out of sex trafficking and stuff like that. They just share with people the love of God and let them know what his son did for them and basically just serving people at their need. Instead of going out and saying, “Hey, believe what we believe,” we’re just like, “Look, what can we do to serve you?” That’s what’s going down.
JB: That’s a great organization, I didn’t know you were a part of it prior to today. I knew of its existence.
MC: It’s funny, I used to say in interviews, “I’m not one of the decision makers, I just wear the clothes.” Lately, they’ve been asking me stuff. Now I guess I’m more of the decision inspiration guy.
JB: Is there any particular theme or message that you’re trying to spread with your music?
MC: First and foremost, we’re a rock band. I always tell people that if I owned a restaurant, my mission would be to make good food. Our mission is to make good art and art that we enjoy. If its art that other people enjoy, then that’s awesome and it means the world to us that we’re meeting people where they are in their lives and we’re just trying to have an understanding of each other saying, “Regardless of what I believe in, I believe that we’re all human beings,” and all we’ve got right now is each other to go to and seek truth together. Let’s not get in all these foolish arguments saying, “Well I believe this,” and “Well I believe that.” We can talk about what each other believes, but let’s go into it first knowing that none of us know it all.
JB: Your lead guitarist had a tail on, can you tell us anything about that?
MC: He found it at Disney World. We were like, “Do not wear that on stage!” and he was like, “I’m gonna do it!” He wore it on stage and then we told him not to wear it ever again and since then he’s never played a show without it. Now we’re getting all these different colored ones, and all these custom ones and stuff. A few years from now he might even be a dinosaur on stage. We’re thinking of doing some Islander tails, and we’re going to start selling those too so people can come out to shows and wear them. I never thought I’d be in a band with a goofy tail, and now I’m so happy that I am because maybe I was taking myself a little bit too seriously, so wear the tails everybody!
JB: It’ll be like a good luck charm. Thank you Mikey!