Listen On:

  • Apple Podcasts
  • Spotify
  • Apple Podcasts
  • Spotify

Join Pushkin+

Gain access to ad-free versions of 20+ podcasts from the Pushkin library along with exclusive bonus episodes and other member benefits.

The Baltimore-based synth-pop band Future Islands was first thrust into the national spotlight in 2014 after making their TV debut on The Late Show With David Letterman. The band’s unassuming frontman Samuel T. Herring danced ecstatically around the stage seething with emotion. The performance quickly went viral, making it one of Letterman’s most memorable live appearances of all time.

At the time of their big break, Future Islands had already released three albums and been touring relentlessly for nearly a decade. And while they would become one of the most prominent bands on the festival circuit for the next several years, Future Islands has always maintained a sense of unparalleled raw vulnerability on-stage—in part because of the deeply confessional nature of Sam’s songwriting and electric stage presence.

On today’s episode Leah Rose talks to Future Islands lead singer Samuel T. Herring about the band’s latest album, People Who Aren’t There Anymore. Samuel also describes the physical toll his energetic performance style has taken on his body over the years. And his long-held gripe with guitar-based music.

You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Future Islands songs HERE.

The Hosts

Rick Rubin

In addition to being a podcast host, Frederick Jay “Rick” Rubin is an American record producer and former co-president of Columbia Records. Along with Russell Simmons, he is the co-founder…

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is co-founder of Pushkin Industries and host of the hit podcast Revisionist History. He is a journalist, a speaker, and the author of several New York Times bestsellers including The Tipping…

Justin Richmond

Justin Richmond is producer and co-host of the music podcast Broken Record with writer Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times editor Bruce Headlam, and music producer—and Def Jam co-founder—Rick Rubin. Justin…

Bruce Headlam

Bruce Headlam is one of the co-creators of the music podcast Broken Record. He worked at The New York Times for 19 years, including two years running the 50-person Video…