Let’s Take Five: An interview with Ist Ist!

It’s been a rather successful past few months for Manchester based, post-punk band Ist Ist having headlined both Gorilla and The Ritz in Manchester. Not just that, but the band also put out a live CD of their aforementioned Gorilla show towards the end of last year and sold all 100 copies within a few hours. That’s saying something for a band who have grown their reputation organically over the past few years. Ist Ist are to release their debut EP ‘Spinning Rooms‘ on the 6th April, so we decided to have a chat with the band to talk about the EP, playing live and the future!

Featured photo by Paul Husband.

Spinning Rooms EP - Ist Ist

Hi there! Firstly, so that our readers can know a bit more about you, please introduce Ist Ist:

We’re Adam Houghton, Andy K and Joel Kay. We’re from Manchester. Our music has been described as “majestic post-punk.” We’re fine with that description.

Your debut EP ‘Spinning Rooms’ is set for release on 6th April! What can listeners expect from the EP?

For those familiar with our music, it might come as a surprise; the overall sound is a slight departure from previous releases. For those unfamiliar with our sound, expect slightly melancholic post-punk with attention to melodies and songs taking turns to places you wouldn’t have predicted.

Recently, I read that you’ve scrapped a lot of music over the past few years, including fan favourites in order to move forward. This is obviously a good thing in the long run, but was it a conscious decision overnight to stop playing them or did you just outgrow the songs naturally with time?

It wasn’t an overnight decision, or even a decision at all, it was more something that happened gradually. We felt we were, and still are, writing music too good to not include in our live sets; this meant some older songs had to go. One of our singles ‘Nights Arm’ was in the set for our very first show and it’s still in the set now, so we don’t just drop older songs based on how long they’ve been around, it’s all about quality.

You’ve also got a 7 date tour coming up across April/May including your first venture abroad as a band to Berlin, but where is somewhere you’d love to play, but haven’t yet?

Probably New York. Bowery Ballroom or the Central Park Bandshell. Being a band from Manchester is a privilege because the city has such a rich musical heritage, but it can sometimes be a burden because you’re always compared to the iconic Manchester bands past and present. If we were writing the same style of music but weren’t from Manchester, it’s doubtful we’d get the Joy Division comparisons as much. That comes with the territory though. We’d go down well in New York; they’d appreciate our sound.

Finally, have you got anything to share regarding upcoming gigs and what have you got planned for 2018?

Besides the tour, we don’t have any shows booked which we can announce yet. We’re working towards going into the studio at the end of summer and are looking to put out another release this year if we can. It’ll likely be another EP; we’re still some way off an album.

Debut albums should be sacred and not just released when a band thinks that just because they have 10, 11 songs they’re ready to make them into an album. You can only have your debut once and we want ours to do us justice.

We’d like to thank Ist Ist very much for their time! The band’s debut EP is set for release on 6th April and you can pre-order it here. You can also listen to ‘Preacher’s Warning’, the first track taken from Ist Ist’s forthcoming EP ‘Spinning Room’s below.

Also, you can catch the band on tour at the following dates throughout April/May:

14th Apr – Sebright Arms, London
20th Apr – Rosi’s, Berlin, DE
28th April – The Deaf Institute, Manchester
5th May – Meet The North Think Tank? Undergound, Newcastle Upon Tyne
6th May – Cellar Bar, Blackburn
10th May – Rough Trade Nottingham, Nottingham
17th May – Cafe Totem, Sheffield

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