Jack Daniel’s, mischief & music

Hisland returns to Kingston with stories of troublemaking

Despite the inherent difficulties of being an unsigned band, Hisland guitarist Mat Araujo (left) and drummer Rob Corrigan (second left), agree it’s easier to hold only themselves responsible for whatever happens.
Despite the inherent difficulties of being an unsigned band, Hisland guitarist Mat Araujo (left) and drummer Rob Corrigan (second left), agree it’s easier to hold only themselves responsible for whatever happens.
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The members of Hisland have been on one or two epic benders.

Guitarist Mat Araujo and drummer Rob Corrigan recalled playing the South by Southwest Festival in 2011 and for them it was quite the few days.

“The memorable story from that was that we drank for 14 days straight,” Corrigan said as he chuckled.

That’s not the first time the band, which also includes vocalist Andrew Silvestro and bassist Dave Kaduk, has gotten themselves into trouble.

Corrigan told me about one occasion when their bassist broke 12 laws in one night.

“It all involved driving a moped. It was in one instance — it was quite funny. That’s his claim to fame, I think,” Corrigan said.

All in a day’s work for rock stars.

This party attitude is seen in their live performances, where they often take a shot of Jack Daniel’s whisky before playing.

For fans of Cloud Nothings, Vampire Weekend and Deer Tick, this static style rock and roll band is worth checking out when they play Kingston on Friday.

Araujo said he’s excited to play because it’s the band’s first time doing a gig here.

In fact, Hisland’s performance in town is overdue since they’ve already visited several times during the summer.

“It’s really cool that this is our first show here because our band name actually comes from our cottage in the Thousand Islands up there,” Araujo said.

When the rock group sat down to write the songs on their EP, Araujo and Corrigan both agreed that they don’t look for inspiration to write. Instead, it finds them.

“It all depends — certain songs are for the moment. One song on the EP you might write hungover one day, and the other songs might be more heartfelt. It’s very spontaneous.”

Although they love playing all of their songs, Araujo said he enjoys playing “Balloon Lungs” the most.

“Everyone seems to love it and it has this 50s rock feel to it. I think when we brought in that bass line and those harmonies in the back it just really brought the song together.”

Hisland, unlike other young Canadian rock bands, isn’t signed to a label. Corrigan said the situation isn’t ideal, but also has its upside.

“If you have any problems, you know who it came from. It’s not a long process of what’s happening. Everyone’s very accountable for what’s going on.” Despite difficulties like having less exposure than signed bands, Araujo and Corrigan agree that keeping band decisions internal is worth it.

“It’s like having a little family,” Araujo said.

Hisland plays the Mansion tonight at 10 p.m.

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