Botnledja are three close friends Heiðar Örn Kristjánsson (vocals + guitar), Haraldur Freyr Gíslason (drums) and Ragnar Páll Steinsson (bass). They started rehearsing in Halli’s grandmother’s garage and few months later they won a national band competition for amateur musicians. The first price was 25 hours in a studio. Not much, but the boys only used 24 hours and the result was a groundbreaking record for the Icelandic music-scene, “Drullumall”. The grunge had begun for Iceland. Botnleðja won the Icelandic Music Awards for Best Newcomer in 1995. Botnleðja became Iceland’s most popular rock-band with the second album in 1996, “Fólk er Fífl”. The sound was a bit more sophisticated but the energy was still there. Botnleðja had a massive impact on young musicians in Iceland with their powerful rock and cheerful attitudes. For “Fólk er Fífl” they won the Icelandic Music Awards for Best Song, Best Album and Best Band. Botnleðja was invited to tour with Blur in UK in early 1997. That was the start to their international outbreak.
Since then they have visited number of international festivals including Reading (UK), Eurosonic (DK), In the City (UK), Spotfestival (DK), Emmaboda (SE), Iceland Airwaves and many more. The third album, “Magnyl”, came out in 1998 and won critical acclaim everywhere. It was thought to be more mature than the first two records and it had a much heavier sound. For “Magnyl” Botnleðja won the Icelandic Music Awards for Best Album and Best Band. The fourth album “Douglas Dakota” was recorded in Cornwall England. It was released by Botnleðja´s own label Spik ehf in 2000. They also released an EP with songs from Douglas Dakota in English called “In line” in 2002. It had a completely different sound than Magnyl it was much lighter and had clear melodies. When the fourth album was released the Icelandic Music Awards were not held. Botnleðja was invited to play with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 2001. Some of their songs were arranged for the Orchestra and Botnleðja played with them. Botnleðja has supported bands like Prodigy, Ash, Super Furry Animals, Pulp, Skunk Anancy among others. In spring 2002 Botnleðja went on a European tour with Sparta (ex. At The Drive In members). In the fall (2002) they recorded their fifth album “Iceland National Park”. That is their first album to be released internationally.
Wikipedia on Botnleðja:
Botnleðja ('Silt') is an Icelandic rock band formed in 1994. They gained popularity when they won the 'Músíktilraunir', an Icelandic "battle between the bands" competition in 1995. The band members are guitarist and singer Heiðar Örn Kristjánsson, bass-guitarist Ragnar Páll Steinsson, and drummer Haraldur Freyr Gíslason. Heiðar and Haraldur are also band members of 'Hafnarfjarðarmafían' ('The Hafnarfjarðar Mob'), a support band of the Fimleikafélag Hafnarfjarðar soccer team.
The band Blur, who had been recording their self-titled album Blur in Iceland in 1997, were fans of Botnleðja. Their hit song "Song 2" borrowed the catchy "woo-hoo" from Botnleðja's 'Þið eruð Frábær'. Later that year Botnleðja joined Blur on their UK tour.
Fólk er Fífl (1997)
Douglas Dakota (2002)
Iceland National Park (2004)