Interview: Port Isla

Port Isla are an alternative folk band from Norwich who were formed in 2011. They describe themselves as "covering 80's power ballads, complaining about beard growth and arguing about the correct usage of knots" and this is on a bad day! Since their formation, Port Isla have gone on to play The Great Escape in Brighton, opened the main stage at Playfest and played at the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg. You should definitely give their single 'Sinking Ship' a listen and if I still haven't convinced you, then your mind will be changed after this interview.

Rock Revolver (RR) - Hi thanks for agreeing to the interview. You're a folk/rock band and there seems to be a folksy trend amongst many bands at the moment. What is it about folk that you like?
Port Isla (PI) - I guess it fits very well with our songwriting style. Plus we are all big fans of singing in harmony.

RR - How did you all meet?
PI - Three of us met two years ago when we started uni at UEA. We worked on our songs and gigged a bit but soon we realised we needed a bassist, so we asked our friend Willem and luckily he agreed!

RR - Why did you choose the name 'Port Isla'?
PI - The name came from Stan and I looking through holiday photos. We found one of a rowing boat from my trip to Isla and the name came pretty naturally.

RR - Who are your influences and what do they mean to you?
PI - We consider lots of artists as influences, our main ones are The Beach Boys, Coldplay, Fleet Foxes and Neil Young.
RR - Do you think guitar music will ever truly be dead?
PI - I think anyone who says that is kidding themselves. There will always be a market for guitar bands, it's just something that drifts in and out of fashion.
RR - Can you describe your experience in Rocket From the East?
PI - It is a battle of the bands esq competition in East Anglia. We pulled out all the stops for our final performance at the Norwich Waterfront and it really paid off. I can safely say that was one of my favourite gigs.
RR - How have you balanced studying and music?
PI - To be perfectly honest, as soon as something like a release or a gig comes up, I completely ignore uni stuff.
RR - You have been compared to Mumford & Sons in the past, any thoughts?
PI - They are a very talented and popular band so I suppose you can take it as a compliment, but we do not consider them an influence (I haven't got round to listening to either of their records).
RR - If you could headline any festival which one would you choose and why?
PI - Glastonbury, without a doubt. I have never been but who could refuse a spot on the Pyramid stage?
RR - What impact have the 1960's had on your music if any?
PI - Well we are very big fans of The Beatles and The Beach Boys amongst many others, and their vocal harmonies are a big influence on our sound. It is probably our favourite era for music.
RR - Do you have any plans for the future?
PI - Just to keep on making music until we can call it our full time job.
RR - If you had to listen to one band for the rest of your life who would it be and why?
PI - I would probably get bored of anything after a while, so just for the sake of it I'll say Badly Drawn Boy or Beck. They have both got so many good albums.
RR - What runs through your mind when you are on stage?
PI - I'm worrying whether I'm singing in tune or playing the right chord usually, but every now and then I stop freaking out and just enjoy playing these songs with my best friends.
RR - Is there anything that you would like to change about your music career so far?
PI - Not really, but I have managed to break guitar strings at nearly every gig we've played. I should probably stop thrashing my poor guitar so much.
RR - What is the one unforgettable moment that you will never forget?
PI - The first time we went to a studio together to record our debut single 'Sinking Ship'. Up until then, we recorded lots of demos on our own at our respective homes. I can't wait to go back!

If you would like to find out more information about Port Isla you can find them here:

What do you think about Port Isla? Do you think they sound similar to their influences? What is your opinions of their single 'Sinking Ship'. Comment below.