#Interview! London-based four piece Is Tropical caught our eye with their CG infused and sexually frustrated video for the track “Dancing Anymore,” a few years back. But they weren’t always the indie-electro group you know and love today. They made their move from the humble beginnings of a DIY art collective, putting on exhibitions and events from their South London squat. As parties continued into the early hours of the morning they started dabbling a little further with their infectious sound. Although a little ad-lib to start off, Is Tropical found their direction and continue to create some seriously contagious tunes. With the release of their latest LP, Black Anything, earlier this year they set out to take us on an aural journey with a mix of synth-pop and experimental sounds – proving for a sleeker set of tracks this time around. Not forcing a release date on their latest album allowed them to let their creativity work its magic. And we’re pretty pleased with the outcome. As the fruity foursome touched down in Berlin amidst their European tour, we thought what better time to catch up for a quick chat before they hit the stage for another high-energy show.
KALTBLUT: You weren’t always making music as Is Tropical… How did it all start?
Is Tropical: We were living in a squat in South London in the late ‘00s and then we put on art exhibitions in a four storey Georgian mansion. Other people had been squatting in it for a while and the walls had been painted yellow and bright green. We just stripped it all out, threw all the rubbish out, started painting everything white, and getting international artists to exhibit there. We got a little bit of recognition from the newspapers as they started coming down and giving us coverage. Charles Saatchi came down and started buying some of the artwork off people. With alcohol sponsorships we would just throw parties after the event. Sometimes it would get to two or three in the morning and we’d have some instruments lying around and we’d just start playing punk shows late at night. After a while we decided to start making music properly. Actually doing something that was planned, as opposed to impromptu stuff that sounded terrible.
KALTBLUT: I guess it started more as a collective…
Is Tropical: Yeah, it was just a bit of fun really. We didn’t start with the intention that this is a band, this is what we’re going to do. It just kind of evolved into what it is now.
KALTBLUT: What would you say has been the most stand out gig so far?
Is Tropical: Mongolia was pretty fun because no one had really played in Mongolia because of the licensing laws. Labels wouldn’t send their bands there because they weren’t making money out of it. But, we just wanted to travel to different places as long as they paid for the flights. But, I think when you go somewhere completely different and play somewhere that isn’t on a normal tour schedule it can be the most fun.
To read the full interview over at KALTBLUT please click here.