Islander keeping it raw on the road

*On a personal note, if you like rock music and don’t have one of Islander’s album’s you’re missing out. Both should be musts for your collection. Here is link to fetch them. “Violence & Destruction”“Power Under Control”. I’ll have more from my chat with Islander vocalist Mikey Carvajal in the next couple days. Here is part of our great conversation Sunday evening in Birmingham.


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Stretched out on the front bench of a white passenger van, Mikey Carvajal is home. The Islander front man is also home on the stage, where his vocals are driving one of rock ‘n’ roll’s best bands.

Its rise has taken place over the course of two albums since 2014.

“It’s been nuts,” Carvajal said. “We got to tour with some of the biggest bands in the world and make tons of fans and live on the road, live in this van right here.”

Call it nu metal or what have you, Islander is straight up rock music. Currently on The Overdose Tour with The Word Alive, the band is supporting its second album, “Power Under Control.”

The concept record is a fluid mix of heavy – heavy rock, hip hop, punk and even some reggae undertones.

It has kept the band busy and Carvajal, guitarist J.R. Bareis, bassist Ezekiel Vasquez and drummer Arin Illjey would have it no other way. It is a new lineup two years after 2014’s “Violence & Destruction.”

“It’s been amazing, more than I could have ever dreamed of,” Carvajal said. “You’re sitting in my house basically. I live in here. This bench that I’m on, this is my bed, my couch, everything. It’s not too glamorous but I love this lifestyle.”

Carvajal, who celebrated his birthday on the road a day earlier, and the four-piece also love meeting fans, something they make time to do after each set. The tour is moving West for shows in Houston, Dallas and Mesa. They’ll travel the roads on the white van that was parked in the back of Zydeco Sunday night in Birmingham.

It’s the raw, rugged road lifestyle Carvajal saw before it happened. The band has done the bus tour and Carvajal admits that’s more ideal. But he’s a rocker ready for the road in a passenger van, through the hot, the cold and the transmission problem alike.

“For me, it was always about going out, almost hippie-lifestyling it, living in a van,” he said. “I would much rather be in a bus, no doubt, but this right here, I’m not complaining. I’m so thankful.”

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