Photograph of Seabear @ Rafskinna Finlandia Party @ Organ (October 2007) @ Airwaves '07 by Wim Van Hooste.
A Big Mouth Strikes Again Interview with Sindri Mar Sigfusson from the lo-fi, folk-pop outfit Seabear talks about Michael Jackson, recording at home and becoming the Icelandic Simon and Garfunkel.
What are your earliest musical memories/influences and how do you think they shape your songwriting as Seabear?
Micheal Jackson. I used to really want to be Michael Jackson when I was about 5-9 years old. I'm not sure that influences me much as a songwriter but I still like Michael Jackson.
Your music cuts across many genres: folk, chamber pop, even a little psychedelia. How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it?
Folk-pop? Depends on the song I guess. I can never answer this question. I'm afraid.
Iceland has produced an eclectic mix of musicians in the past few years: Björk, Sigur Ros, Múm, Jakobínarína. What are your thoughts about the music being currently exported from Iceland?
It's good. There's always something good going on here it seems. My favorites from last year were, Hjaltalín, Olöf Arnalds and the new múm album (Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy).
What inspires you more as a songwriter? Hope or despair?
Hope for sure. I find it hard to make music if I'm feeling bad or upset.
You recorded Singing Arc [EP] as a one man band and now Seabear has seven members. How did the current incarnation of the band form?
Well, everyone started out playing as session players but then we had so much fun together they joined the band. It still works the same I guess. I write the songs and they write their parts over the songs. It's much better this way I think than being alone.
The songs on The Ghost That Carried Us Away are lush - almost orchestral. Could you talk a bit about all the interesting and unique sounds that make an appearance on the album?
I use a lot of samples, I guess - like bird samples and recordings from old tapes. We only use the instruments we think will fit in the song but not just to add some 'weird' instrument into the song just to have it.
How and where were the tracks recorded? And are you ultimately pleased with the outcome?
It was all recorded in my little basement studio where I usually work and then mixed in a big nice studio. Yep, I'm pleased with how it sounds.
With all the new recording techniques available to musicians these days, do you see Seabear taking advantage of more/less technology in future recordings?
Sure. I'm not very concerned with the process of making something but thinking more about the final outcome.
The Internet: Music's salvation or downfall?
I'm not sure yet. Maybe it's a downfall for the labels - if people would start paying more for what they download on the internet that is.
What albums are you personally looking forward to in 2008?
(Guns and Roses') Chinese Democracy?
What's in the future for Seabear? Tour plans? New recordings? Side projects?
I'm pretty sure we're going to America this year. And Europe also. I'd like to go to Japan. We're starting to record a new Seabear album in February and I'm working on my solo project, Sin Fang Bous, as we speak.
I also have a side project with my friend Robbi, called Sindron und Robfunkel, which is going to be like the Icelandic Simon and Garfunkel.
More Seabear @ www.myspace.com/seabear