Is Tropical interview

Loyal and worthy readers will know that eclectic electro-poppers Is Tropical have designed a series of photo print t-shirts for Billabong. The luckiest amongst you may have even won one recently but if you missed out ease your sorrow by reading this interview with the band, which we ran in the magazine earlier this year. They chat fashion credentials, artistic freedom and their creative London mates

Interview by Britta Burger

How did the Billabong collab come about?
We did an interview for a magazine from the South of France. One of the guys there is a surfer and we talked about how we used to also. So he masterminded a gig on the beach and things started rolling with Billabong…

Have you designed clothes or worked in a fashion context before?
Well, we design all our merch and Simon used to work in a boutique and make clothes. Also, when we were young and poor we used to buy really cheap clothes and print logos on them, like Zero and Nike.

Was designing the Billabong tops different from making band t-shirts?
We approached it in the same way really, but Billabong liked the idea of us being on the image.

We heard you used an image by (this issue’s cover photographer) Ellis Scott for one of the tops. Do you work together with other artists a lot?
There is a tight community of creatives in London that all help each other out. It’s good because everyone is at a professional level but gives each other mates rates. We’ve also worked with Tom Beard, Dom Jones etc.

How would you describe your style? Does is reflect your sound?
Pretty ruff. Whatever is around and we can borrow off friends and I guess that’s like our instruments, most of which belong to mates.

Your videos are already pretty iconic, how involved are you in making them?
The last two have been made during really busy times so we have given amazing directors artistic freedom. We strongly believe that too many cooks fuck up the kitchen, people sometimes are best left to make their art.

What’s your surf philosophy?
Go hard or go home!

The ‘Is Tropical for Billabong’ collection is out now


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