The indie rock band Bikini Islands is fronted by Kyle Wacker, who, despite his band’s sunny name and surf-rock disposition, got the name from an ominous source.


“I can up with the Bikini Islands name from this Gang of Four song called “I Found This Essence Rare.” And it’s about the H bomb because they did all the nuclear testing on Bikini Atoll.”


Wacker’s approach to Bikini Islands was not so simple, at first.


“For a while I was really into being weird and doing weird time signatures and all these key changes in my songs. I feel like I never really understood the fundamentals. I was just trying to do something that was super difficult. With this project in the beginning we were just going to really be simple.”


It actually turns out, that the pop-punk band Blink 182, one of Kyle’s early influences, still has a strong pull for the songwriter.


“That simple structure that they have in their songs; the dynamics they use somehow find a way into the stuff that I’m doing. Even though I don’t want to be pop-punk-sounding, I still feel like it’s embedded in there and there’s nothing I can do to get rid of it entirely.”


Bikini Islands’ latest is the EP New Haunts. More on the band is at their website.



Photo by Kevin Gubish