It’s been a few years since Volcanoes Make Islands’ last release – a stout, 4-song EP titled Sick City. The songs are brimming with equal parts distortion and sweet melodies, and something else – the pursuit of love.
Henry Bianco (vocals, guitar) says that some of the early songs were about the myriad of the external struggles one goes through for love (though, you certainly wouldn’t lump any of them into the “love song” category).
For guitarist and vocalist Brad Sawicki, those struggles came in the form of an intercontinental relationship, and the inherent issues therein.
Not long after he and Bianco started writing songs together for Volcanoes Make Islands, Sawicki met Emma, a woman from Sweden who was here visiting her sister. She met Sawicki in a chance encounter at Chicago’s Beat Kitchen where Sawicki was performing with another band. Sawicki laughed about their meeting, saying “she wasn’t there to see us play.”
Sawicki soon visited her in Europe – even moving there for the summer. The relationship took off and, eventually, they were married.
Europe spelled love for Bianco, too, who went on a 5-week long honeymoon there with his wife, Gosia.
Bianco says that these changes in their personal lives – plus the evolution of their writing and the addition of bassist Todd Hill and drummer Alan Takaoka – speak to the sound they have now. Still sweet. Still distorted. But distinctly less romantic. The band is in the process of recording their debut full-length, due out later this year, and Bianco says that their songwriting is now more about bigger issues of life, politics and the world around us.