Neon Noise Project: Is Tropical


Written by Lucy Natek
08 Monday 08th November 2010
Is Tropical is the sound you get when you mash up East Coast America, West Coast America and coastal England. Simon, Gary, and Dom, three artsy hipsters that moved to London from all over, started making music together about a year ago. Shortly after they began playing, they decided going into the music business would make a nifty little career, and a year after that, they are now the newest addition to the french record label Kitsune. The coastal trio, who treats the sea as their symbolic mother, are coming out with their new single “South Pacific” on November 22, and their album early 2011. They sat down with Don't Panic for a fun chat just before a dentist appointment and running of with Mystery jets to tour Europe.
I was expecting masks, so do you mind if we start with a question about them?
Not at all. I'm pretty sure we would get in trouble if we were be running around in masks.
Are you bored of questions about masks by now?
No, It's one of those questions we're always going to get asked, so it doesn't make sense to get sick of tem. If you do something for a reason you have to have to expect to be ask about it.
What was the reason?
We wear masks on stage, because they draw a line between us and the audience. They also establish an interesting kind of anonymity.
Will you ever go barefaced for the public?
Not right now. Wearing masks makes us that band that wears masks, it makes us special. But then again, you never know. We always have new ideas, and new reasons for doing something.
Are visual symbolics important to this band?
They are. We make music, but we do all the artwork as well, are involved in our videos, and wearing masks is also a part of that. The band is a product, and we want to present it as a whole pacage.
How would you label your music?
It's pop. The way the songs are structured, even the more experimental tracks have pop like melodies going through them. We wanted to include many genres, but now that the album is finished, we can say it sounds pop.
Did you want to make this kind of musik?
We started with an idea of what we wanted to achieve, but you can never do exactly what you want. The songs just naturally evolved this way.
How do you feel as part of Kitsune family?
Feels good, Kitsune was one of our choice labels, because it's big, but it's not a major. And with this album, they didn't treat us like their product, but completely left us to do whatever we wanted, so this album is all us, which is amazing.
Is the single giving us a good idea of what the album will sound like?
Not really. We tried to be creative with all of the songs, so it's not like the album is more of the same thing. Each and every song on the album can stand on its own.
What does the name mean?
“Is” is short for “it's”, and tropical is an escapism type of idea, that was formed in the winter time in London, which isn't tropical, but dreary and grey and kind of depressing.
Does that mean you don't like London?
We love London! There's always something going on, it's full of interesting people, there's culture all around. It's easy not to be bored in London.
You're going on tour with Mystery Jets. How excited are you?
Very excited.
I take it you love performing?
We love it, yeah. It's a good way of not getting bored of your songs.
Are you bored of your songs already?
Well no, but when you record a song, and you're trying to get it just right, every song gets tired. But on stage, it can always sound a bit different, you can play around with it more. And its also very cool to see how it bounces of the audience.
Do you have any pre gig rituals?
We slaughter chickens.
No. We would like to have a pre gig ritual, but we always forget. We wanted to steal a ritual from this band, who blast trash metal before they play, but then all we had was a couple of tiny portable speakers, and we listend to Blink 182 on those, so that was kind of a fail attempt. We still have to work on our pre gig rituals.
Do you have a venue or festival you would like to hit in the future?
Not really. We learned already that big names festivals and venues can be disappointing, because you build them up too much in your head, whereas you can play a no name venue for a small crowd, and have the best possible gig. It depends on the people, not so much the stage your playing.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully doing more of this. We will try our hardest not to get fired until then.

You can download Is Tropical's South Pacific track here.

Don't Panic attempt to credit photographers and content owners wherever possible, however due to the sheer size and nature of the internet this is sometimes impractical or impossible. If you see any images on our site which you believe belong to yourself or another and we have incorrectly used it please let us know at and we will respond asap.