BIRMINGHAM – It has been eight months since Islander released “Power Under Control.” The concept record isn’t eight months old. It’s realness should stand the test of time.
Written through the perspective of a person dealing the reality of right and wrong, the disc opens with “Darkness” as the character explains all of the evil they are into.
The lyrics are aggressively real
“I’m into blood, fire
I have devilish desires
Violence and destruction’s my favorite game
I’m into lust, flesh, and the cheapest kind of sex
I don’t even need to know your name”
“I’m into all this stuff and there’s no getting through to me,” Islander front man Mikey Carvajal explained the character’s stance in the opening track, minutes before a show Sunday at Zydeco in Birmingham. “You’re not going to change me.”
The good guy steps in on the second track, “Bad Guy,” trying to turn his friend’s life around. The good guy is labeled a bad guy, Carvajal said, because of the perception of telling people there is right and wrong in the world.
“People think that’s bad now telling people there’s right and wrong, but there is right and wrong in the world,” he said, “so play the bad guy. In the Bible it says there will be a time when they call good evil and evil good and we live in that time.”
The prophet Isaiah said in Isaiah 5:20: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
Carvajal, like many Christians (including this one) believes those prophesied last days are here.
“I think that even if it’s a million years from now, I think we’re living in a crazy day,” he said. “I believe that it’s got to get a lot more terrible than it is.”
As the record goes, life goes and there is a way out of darkness. Carvajal isn’t shy about his faith, that rescues him from his own faults.
“To me, the beauty (of Christianity) is what Jesus has done for us, not what I’ve done to be forgiven but just the fact that He’s forgives. I’m so thankful I have a forgiver to forgive me,” he said.
“Devil Red” is one of the more intense songs on the album. The character wakes up at a party to realize the wolf in sheep’s clothing, seeing evil for what it is for the first time. The screaming parts of the song are the character face-to-face with evil. It’s a scene with demons laughing in the background because they find it funny the character took so long to see evil for evil.
The path to destruction is open to everyone, on the road, at home, in a rock band or in an office setting. Carvajal said the decision of what choices to make are made before going about your day.
“You’ve got to make the decision of what you’re going to do and who you’re going to be before you leave the house to go on the road because I can get into those same things at home,” he said. “You hear about people doing drugs and cheating on their spouse and being in all kinds of things at home. They’ve never been in some kind of rock ‘n’ roll atmosphere. I don’t think this is what makes people do this. I think people’s convictions and integrity, stuff like that is what it comes down to.”