Bayside-based East Coast Islands is creating a new music genre they call calypso punk rock. With a recently released album, Our Little Monster, and plans for a tour the two brothers promise music will always be in their future. Pulse Insider spoke with lead singer Max Eisenkraft about this new genre, how he draws inspiration and more.
Pulse: How did you get your start in music?
ECI: I got my start in music right before attending LaGuardia High School for drama. I saw a music special and one of the people featured looked at the camera at the end and said, “I get paid to play music and hang out with my best friends. How cool is that?” And that made more sense to me than anything else. I knew I could use the acting, but I decided to pursue music as my vessel.
Pulse: What/Who are your greatest musical influences?
ECI: The most non-tangible influences I have are little kids laughing or playing in playgrounds. I feel like they are still untainted and still fire proof. As far as musical influences, my mother introduced me to bands such as Tom Petty and the Heart Breakers, The Band, Sublime, Blink 182, Rancid and Mozart back when I was in elementary school. So I would say a lot of my curiosity in musical formulas stems from those guys.
Pulse: Why this genre of music? What about it inspires you?
ECI: I describe my music as calypso punk rock. What reggae would normally do with the bass, my brother does on different steel drums. The genre didn’t exist yet, which is something I pride myself in. I like that I can write a super happy feeling song as well as a dark, eerie song using the same instruments and formulas.
Pulse: How would you describe your music to someone you just met?
ECI: I would describe my music as happy melodic. It’s not just rock, it’s not reggae and it’s not just calypso. I try to write stories that aren’t extremely specific but that are melodic and inescapable. I like to be the narrator, but I let the perception of the story be determined by the listener.
Pulse: Tell us your hometown, where you live now and whatever biographical details you’d like to share:
ECI: We were born and raised in Bayside, New York–always repping 718. But I am in NYC at least twice a week. I can be in the greatest city in the world in 25 minutes or be on the beach in the same amount of time. Both environments were crucial in making my music and me.
Pulse: What’s in store for the future!?
ECI: What’s next for Max and ECI?? Well, there might be an ECI tour coming up if all goes well, and I am also working on linking up with some other artists from BK and Hawaii to work on some new songs and vibes for another record. There will always be music in my future. Always.