Before we talk about your movie, give us a quick introduction to
Finkel the band, your music and musical style!
there! Thanks for taking an interest in us. We are Finkel, the
Los Angeles-based electro-pop duo. We've been making weird music and
art together since 2012, and the journey keeps taking us deeper. Our
interests lie in workshop-based musical projects; we like to create in a
vacuum with specific parameters and see what comes out the other side.
We've done things like wearing colored lenses to see how it changes our
view of the world and therefore our creative output, all the way to going
to a small isolated island in northern Michigan and writing music using
sounds captured on-site. We are gluttons for limitations.
So in a
few words, what's your movie Islanders
is about being married independent artists in a uniquely small northern
Michigan community, and goofing around.
What inspired you to go to Mackinac for
inspiration for your music, and furthermore, what inspired you to take a
documentary film crew with you?
Speaking candidly, this musical project was supposed to be our last, so we had
nothing to lose. It was the height of the pandemic, our musical
careers were upturned, and we didn't know what was next. With all of
the madness of the pandemic, we decided to go back to Jane's hometown
(Mackinac Island) and write music without any plan of release, using the
island as inspiration. We let our friends Anna Gustafson, Joe Zook
and Craig Harmer know of our plan, and it struck them with an idea.
The five of us had been crafting a documentary project for a few years,
and this seemed like the perfect chance for a proof of concept. We
were all out of work, and all desperate to find our way through the dark
tunnel of a total career pause. The clouds opened, and Islanders
What can you tell us
directors Craig Harmer and Joe Zook, and what was your collaboration with
of all, we love these two! What gems! They are such
visionaries, incredibly hard-working, KIND as hell, FUNNY, and a treat to
work with. They are truly a dream collaboration because there is so
much trust in our collective visions that stepping on toes is kept to a
bare minimum. Everyone in the group has such admiration for one
another's work, that we assume we are going to love whatever they are
working on. That kind of collaboration creates work that is formed
on the basis of fun and trust instead of fear of rejection. The
outcome is completely different because vulnerability is kept firmly
Also, Anna Gustafson was the editor on this film, and included in all of the
above statements. She's a motherf****** badass.
Do talk about the shoot as such, and the
and Joe did a fantastic job of making the camera feel like we were just
hanging out with them. Our interactions with the camera were our
interactions with them as our friends and family (Joe is Jane's cousin)
and didn't feel like we ever had to act. What you see is exactly
what it's like to hangout with this crew. The cameras were present
often, so we quickly got used to them. Filming didn't happen
non-stop, but moreso when moments of importance or creation were afoot.
Thus, it always elevated the experience. We really loved the eyes of
the camera making the music writing feel like we were on-stage.
Any stories you shot for the movie
that didn't make the final cut?
I'm sure! But honestly, we don't really remember because we were
just living life, and 70 hours of uncut footage would be a horrible
Anything you can tell us
about audience and critical reception of Islanders?
far, so grand, and we couldn't be more thankful. The most common
response we've heard is that people feel inspired to create, and that's
our whole ethos. We want to aid in making creativity feel attainable
and exciting, so it's awesome that people are diving into their own
projects because of Islanders.
on your experiences with Islanders,
would you be willing to ever be the subject of another documentary?
much so! This was a proof of concept for a docu-series we'd like to
create, so we better get used to the cameras. That's not to say that
it wasn't a complete mindf*** to be filmed and then watch it back.
You're like, "So I talk like that, huh?"
future projects you'd like to share, in whatever medium?
can't give away too much, but it's going to be similar to Islanders, and
got you into music to begin with, and did you receive any formal training
on the subject?
is in everyone, and our parents were no different. They started us
young on music appreciation, and their tastes were quite eclectic.
Jane went onto study opera at Albion college, and Brian took a few guitar
lessons, but mostly just messing around has been our greatest teacher.
Do talk about
Finkel's past history for
a bit, and some of your career highlights?
started as two participants in a college acapella group called Euphonics
in 2010, then a cover band called Me and My Friends, then a folk band
named Less Is More, then finally in 2018 we became Finkel. Finkel is
the culmination of what we learned in our previous projects, turned into a
super art project that combines music and many other mediums. The
entire journey has been a true joy, and a never-ending chance to try
something new. We've had the honor of playing at music festivals
like Audiotree, Summerfest, Mile of Music, and Blissfest. We've toured
nationally and regionally around 12 times since 2014. We've created this
documentary and other docu-series works that have taken us all over the
country and the world. We've engaged in countless self-inflicted writing
workshops and collaborated with talented artists across many different art
mediums. As independent artists, we consider ourselves grossly fortunate.
weirder and more adventurous, the better. We love it when somebody
gets up on stage with reckless abandon and lets it fly. If you have
to do anything at all, let yourself fall into the deep end and see what
... and since this is first and foremost a
film website, some of your favourite and least favourite movies?
movies - Spirited Away,
Royal Tenenbaums, Napoleon Dynamite, Lord of the Rings:
Return of the King, Amelie, Cutaway, Hausu, Dark
baaaaaaaad old movies we find on YouTube... there are more but that's all
we can think of for now!
favorite movies - The Cat in the Hat movie from 2003 ... and the new
Space Jam with Lebron James.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
movie's/your band's website, social media, whatever else?
else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
have merch, please buy it. Thanks for these questions and for amplifying
the art that we created together.
for the interview!