ISLES is a Bay Area instrumental rock band that began as a side project of Ivan Torres in 2011. In late 2013, Torres gathered fellow musicians and friends for a one-off performance his album Spaces. After positive reception, ISLES retooled itself as a full band in 2014. Daniel Macias-Bernardo (bass), Evan Massi (drums), and Dev Addison Bhat (guitar) took up permanent line-up spots, and the group began writing new music. Since then, ISLES has crafted a unique sound reflecting the diverse personalities of its members and their influences. The result is a balanced dichotomy between lush atmospheres and crushing intensity. Prismatic guitar melodies cascade around dynamic bass lines and emotive drumming. In a live setting, the band focuses on raw energy and massive sound to move a crowd. All of this culminates in a unique style that sets them apart from their contemporaries.
ISLES released their newest album, Bending Light, October 20th, 2015, and continue to write new music.
Ivan Torres : guitars, vocals
Bio: My foray into music began playing classical brass instruments in grade school before making the move to bass guitar, and guitar after that. After spending the better part of a decade as a metal vocalist for a few metal and death metal bands, I've found my way back to my guitar writing post-rock. You can't keep the metal roots out for long though, as what's becoming more and more apparent with ISLES' new direction.
Influences : Deftones, If These Trees Could Talk, Between the Buried & Me, The Ocean, Dark Tranquillity, Intronaut, MONO
Top 5 Old-School Games:
Mega Man 3, Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, Earthbound, Punch Out!
Daniel Macias-Bernardo : bass guitar
It all started on an upright Wulitzer piano when I was four or five years old, I don't really remember. What I do remember is that music has always been an important part of my life. Then there was the time I tried doing that sports thing. Eventually around the 8th grade, I realized I sucked at sports so I started playing guitar and then from that I started playing bass. With that I was in a number of bands, almost all going nowhere. When I'm not making music with Isles, I enjoy going to shows, watching other bands do what they do best.
Influences : A Wilhelm Scream, American Football, Communique, Hot Water Music, La Dispute, Loma Prieta, Look Mexico, Moving Mountains, Not To Reason Why, Owen, Pretend, Propagandhi, Sam Russo, The Americas, The New Trust, The Velvet Teen, Thrice, TTNG, Wild Ones, Wildcat! Wildcat!, Young Livers and a million other bands I can't think of right now. Come to a show and ask me!
Top Five Books:
1. Ham on Rye- Charles Bukowski
2. The Garden of Eden- Ernest Hemingway
3. Revolutionary Road- Richard Yates
4. Child of God- Cormac McCarthy
5. Anna Karenina- Leo Tolstoy
Dev Bhat : guitars, synths
I began learning music in elementary school on trumpet and baritone. I discovered a band called Queens of the Stone Age in middle school and decided I would learn how to play guitar and dance. I got pretty good at one of those. My life-long love of 80s synth pop combined with an obsession with downtempo electronic music inspired me to learn how to use synthesizers and samplers. When I’m not performing in ISLES, I’m twiddling on synth machines or watching Law and Order SVU.
Influences: A Perfect Circle, Doves, Foals, Glassjaw, Minus the Bear, Cult of Luna, Grandchildren, Man Man, Earth, The Samuel Jackson Five, Caveman, Savages, Massive Attack, AA Bondy, Deftones, Irepress, Brian Eno, UNKLE, Yeasyer, Queens of the Stone Age, Red Fang, Depeche Mode, ummm and some more.
Top 5 Science Fiction Films:
- Time Crimes
- 2001 A Space Odyssey
Evan Massi - drums
Bio: I started playing drums my freshman year of college in Santa Barbara, where my roommate had an electric kit to play around on. Eventually I bought my own kit and played every chance I got. I played with friends in Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo, but never really joined any bands. When my girlfriend, Kate, and I moved out to New York City after college, I joined my first, true post-rock band (Alcian). We wrote a few songs and played a couple shows, but Kate and I decided NYC wasn't for us and backpacked the globe for 8 months. When we settled back down in Berkeley I found Ivan and the rest of ISLES on craigslist and have never looked back.
Influences : EITS, TWDY, Mono, Sigur Ros, GY!BE, EF, Mars Volta, Minus the Bear, American Football, Cursive, Bright Eyes, This Town Needs Guns, Curl Up and Die, this list goes on.
Top Five Superheroes: Spider-Man, Batman, Wolverine, Ironman, Hulk (4 out of 5 of those are scientists)
All photos taken by Sakara Birdsong Photography