Isaac's Aircraft

Isaac's Aircraft

United Kingdom

By simply being themselves and not trying to act out a manufactured image or fit a specific niche Isaac’s Aircraft have built a strong relationship with a broad fanbase, leading to support slots in the UK and Europe with acts as diverse as The Zutons, Amy Winehouse and The Like, and bringing airplay not just on indie and mainstream stations but also specialist outlets such as Kerrang. In the studio they’ve sought to work with people who bring something different to more... the table, whether it’s unfettered indie producers such as Paul Tipler (Stereolab, Idlewild, The Pipettes, Elastica) and Gavin Monaghan (The Editors, The Twang, Broadcast) or the multiple Grammy-nominated classical expertise of Adrian Carr. Isaac’s Aircraft are a band from Cambridge that enjoys confounding expectations, both musically and personally. In many ways the mix of individuals and influences that make up the band shouldn’t work, but that’s exactly where they draw their strength and inspiration, having already racked up a top 30 indie single and a top 10 US internet college radio hit. ‘Pigeonholes are fine if you’re a pigeon’ muses keyboard player Martin, ‘though I suspect that even some pigeons might yearn for more!’ A slot at this year’s Camden Crawl signals a big year ahead for a band that has resolutely stuck to an open-minded and inclusive approach to their music. Self-taught guitarist Calum and classically-trained pianist Martin provide a beautiful melodic blend between maverick and maestro, while indie kid Ant ties it all together with an expressive yet robust drumming style. Over this you have the pop sensibilities of frontman and rhythm guitarist Zak, who sees no problem in combining catchy songs with contemplative lyrics on subjects as diverse as conceit, cross-dressing and a conniving coalition government. ‘I think that when music works best it’s often a bit of a ‘holy trinity’’ he smiles, ‘head, heart and feet all getting a bit of a workout!’ Indeed while they’ve taken the unusual step of recording their first full-length album as a reflective acoustic take on some of their existing songs (with a full electric album of new songs due in the autumn), their live gigs are very upbeat affairs where the audience are very much included in the performance. This openness is at the heart of the band’s outlook on life as well as music. ‘We could never be considered a blueprint for the stereotype of a successful band’ explains Zak. ‘Martin is a German who studied to become part of the Anglican church, decided he wasn’t that convinced as to the existence of God, and nearly got thrown out for standing up to homophobic attitudes to be found there, which meant a lot to me as a young guy coming to terms with being gay. It’s not your usual route into rock and roll! We all draw positively on our pronounced differences as people - while Ant is wild in the party sense, Calum is wild in the sense of being a real nature boy, never happier (other than onstage!) than in the peace and quiet of the countryside’. ‘If indie music is about one thing for me’, explains Ant, ‘it’s about trying to provide something special where people can connect and lose themselves in the moment, even if in other areas of their lives they don’t feel they fit in.’ Calum agrees: ‘There’s that many layers to what we do that hopefully people can find something that speaks to them or surprises them. Sometimes people aspire to being cool in a way that’s quite snobbish, whereas we want people of all backgrounds to be able to enjoy what we do, whether that’s considered cool or not!’



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