Future Islands’ Samuel T. Herring says he’s only just “come to terms” with viral ‘Letterman’ performance

"It did so much for us, I should see that as a positive"

Future Islands frontman Samuel T. Herring has admitted that it has taken him six years to “come to terms” with his performance on The Late Show With David Letterman.

The Baltimore band became a viral hit on the show in 2014 after they played ‘Seasons (Waiting On You)’ for their TV debut, with many commenting on Herring’s dance moves across the stage and how he beat his chest repeatedly.

Months after the band’s live slot, Herring told NME he was stung by the reaction. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a joke as long as it’s not a joke to everybody,” he said at the time.


The singer explained that the spirit of the song “is putting forth this idea that we need to live by our own rules to get what we want out of life. And you know what? There’s kind of a ‘fuck you’ in that too.”

Herring has now spoken about the performance again, telling the Independent: “It’s taken me six years to come to terms with Letterman. People saw us as this overnight success but I didn’t want to be seen that way. We were ready for that moment.”

On his own performance he added: “Lots of people said: ‘This guy dances like nobody’s watching.’ But no. I was dancing like I knew everyone was watching. I was actually holding back. That’s what was going on in my head – don’t go too far.”

He continued: “These days, you’re bombarded with what everybody else thinks. It can really affect how you feel about yourself, and it did for years, but now I know that performance meant a great deal to a lot of people. I can’t dispute the fact that it revolutionised our careers. It did so much for us, I should see that as a positive.”

Earlier this week, the band released an animated video for their new single ‘Born In A War’, taken from their sixth album ‘As Long As You Are’ which is out tomorrow.


They are also set to play a special ticketed livestream show from their hometown, with tickets on sale now.

Reviewing the new album, NME awarded it four stars and described it as the band “spinning thrillingly off the tracks on a bruised sixth album that exudes the brilliance of their breakout 2014 song ‘Seasons (Waiting On You)’”.

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