Does the world need more neo-psychedelic indie pop? Hell yes,and for that reason we’re more than happy that Canadians Nicholas Thorburn and Jaime Thompson became Nick Diamonds and J’aime Tambeur, respectively, and formed Islands. Recording and performing with a rotating supporting cast, the pair crafted the band’s debut, Return to the Sea, and such great songs as “Don’t Call Me Whitney, Bobby.” Even though Tambeur exited the fold earlier this year, Diamonds has had the band on tour and will reportedly begin work on a new album in early 2007. But instead of asking him about the ins and outs of the Islands lineup and their plans for the future, when we pushed Nick down in the mtvU Hot Seat and cranked up the heat, we made him answer our usual set of revealing questions.
Q: Tell us about your craziest touring experience.
A: It was a gas station on the side of the road somewhere between El Paso, Texas and Tuscon, Ariz.. We’d filled up and were heading back to our vehicle with an array of gummi worms and roasted cashew nuts, when, upon passing the gas tanks into the parking lot, we walked into a large heavy set man with a bellaclava mask. “Watch where you’re going, punk!” he shouted, and then kept walking at a steady clip. He walked right into the gas station and held the place up at gunpoint! We made our way quietly back to safety and then we got the hell out of there!
Q: What type of college class would you most want to take and why?
A: PHLOIHDST-446 Phonological development of the ontological imperatives of hyper-dimensional set theory. I would take this class, because learning is fun!
Q: What city in America is the most fun to visit and why?
A: A toss-up between Washington, D.C., because the city’s layout is modeled after the freemason symbol, further proof that the country is run by freemasons (Check out http://freemasonrywatch.org/washington.html) and Denver, because they have an airport with an Masonic underground base that conducts satanic and supernatural meetings.. (Check out http://www.anomalies-unlimited.com/Denver_Airport.html.)
Q: What’s some of the best advice you were ever given?
A: When Waylon Jennings said to me, “Don’t get on that plane, Buddy.”
Q: What’s in heavy rotation in your mp3/CD player right now?
A: Jim Guthrie, Lupe Fiasco, M. Ward, Subtitle’s Terrain to Roam, Tetuzi Akiyama, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Blonde Redhead, CX Kidtronik, Edan, Sa-Ra, Frank N Dank, Richard Hawley.
Q: The last good book you read or TV show you’re addicted to?
A: Paul Auster’s Music of Chance and before that Milan Kundera’s Unbearable Lightness of Being.
Q: What’s the first concert you ever saw and how was it?
A: Lollapalooza ’94. I was 12 and I saw the Flaming Lips on the second stage. It was moving. Unfortunately Green Day replaced the Boredoms for that portion of the tour (Vancouver, B.C.) and that wasn’t moving at all.
Q: What are three items you can’t live without on tour?
A: Books, my laptop and an acoustic guitar.
Q: Who are your major musical influences?
A: Paul Simon.
Q: Any random messages or tips you’d like to give to mtvU watchers?
A: Everything is under control!