Islander Vocalist Mikey Carvajal Talks ‘Power Under Control’


Story by Anne Erickson

Interview: Mikey Carvajal of Islander chats about the band’s new album

I first met Islander on the 2014 Mayhem Tour. They had just released their Victory Records debut, “Violence & Destruction,” and had a hot new song on the radio called “Coconut Dracula.” I immediately liked the band’s positive lyrics mixed with heavy, alt-metal instrumentals. Not to mention the guys are involved with the Whosoevers movement, an outreach organization co-founded by Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D. and public speaker Ryan Ries with the mission, according to, of “leading the way to reflect Christ in culture.”

Islander vocalist Mikey Carvajal in the studio.

Now, the Islander guys – vocalist Mikey Carvajal, bass player Zeke Vasquez, drummer Arin Ilejay and guitarist JR Bareis – are back with a new album, “Power Under Control,” out Aug. 5. They’re also hitting the touring circuit again, with a crop of dates through September. Islander vocalist Mikey Carvajal checked in with Audio Ink Radio to talk about what’s ahead for the band. For more on Islander, head to the band’s website.

You guys have a busy summer. You’re releasing “Power Under Control” in August and also have a slew of tour dates through September. What’s this time like for you?

It’s exciting. We are just glad it’s finally time to get on the road and to do what we do best– play shows.

What was the most rewarding thing about your time working on “Power Under Control?” How long did it take you to write and record?

We wrote the record in a week and a half, and we recorded it in about three weeks. For me, personally, I loved holding the finished product in my hand for the first time. That’s always my favorite part.

Are there any ongoing themes on the new album?

Absolutely. This album is a concept album following a character on their own path. They learn how to harness their energy for something good rather than having energy spewing out of their life in all directions. It’s all about being focused and at peace. That doesn’t come without a struggle though.

Tell me about the single, “Bad Guy.”

Bad Guy is a song about telling it like it is even when it’s not popular to do so. If we really love our friends, we will sometimes have to play the bad guy. It’s not easy loving people, but it’s totally worth it.

Islander recording their new album, "Power Under Control."

Mikey, you’re involved with the Whosoevers, and I’ve actually interviewed you before about your involvement. What’s new with the organization?

Not much. That’s the beauty of it. Not much has changed other than the fact that every day more people know about it. The love and passion of the movement never changes. There is just more of it being spread around.

What’s ahead for Islander for the rest of 2016?

We always take one day at a time. But we will be staying on the road as long as there are roads to stay on.

Promo photo courtesy of Dustin Smith. Studio photos courtesy of Victory Records.

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