föstudagur, febrúar 29, 2008
A lot of media attention for Iceland in the papers & on the radio.
An article full of wrong spelled names was published in the quality paper De Standaard.
Island Airwaves instead of Iceland Airwaves, Jonssi instead of Jónsi, Haflor for Hafþór, grillhusio for grillhúsið, tölba for tölva, the Kárahnjúkar area written incorrectly :(
I changed most of it in proper Icelandic :)
A country on the edge or
Een land op de rand
FESTIVAL IJSLAND VIJF MAANDEN IN DE KIJKER IN BRUSSEL
Publication: 27. February 2008 in De Standaard (Belgian Newspaper)
Vulkanen, gletsjers, een decennialang alcoholverbod en een nog langere isolatie: hoe heeft IJsland daaruit een cultureel aanbod kunnen puren dat de wereld fascineert? Bozar speelt vijf maanden gids.
Björk natuurlijk, aan haar denkt iedereen die gevraagd wordt om een IJslandse artiest te noemen. Maar in eigen land kon het techno-elfje de mensen lange tijd niet enthousiasmeren. Toen de zangeres in Europa haar succes opbouwde, dacht IJsland er het zijne van.
'Niemand hier geloofde aanvankelijk dat Björk wereldberoemd was', vertelt Hallgrimur Helgason. 'We dachten dat het om een reclamestunt ging. Iemand uit IJsland succesvol? En dan uitgerekend Björk? Daar was ze veel te avant-garde voor. En hier vertrouwde men geen artiesten. Toen Björk bij jullie haar eerste festivals speelde, kon ze hier zelfs geen kleine zaal vullen.'
Helgason is de succesvolste eigentijdse auteur van zijn land, een status die hij verdient op basis van één boek, 101 Reykjavik. Er gingen 15.000 stuks van over de toonbank, en 30.000 mensen zagen de verfilming. Dat zijn cijfers die kunnen tellen voor een bevolking van 300.000 mensen, en ze wijzen op een onuitgegeven revolutie in het rijkste land ter wereld: sinds enkele jaren wordt cultuur er als waardevol beschouwd. En daarin heeft Björk haar rol gespeeld.
'Duizend jaar leefden we hier geïsoleerd. De taal zat opgesloten in een frigo. Pas de jongste vijftien jaar is alles hier opengegaan. Björks succes heeft ons heel veel zelfvertrouwen gegeven', zegt Helgason. 'Dit is de gouden eeuw van de IJslandse cultuur. Nu beseffen ze hier voor het eerst dat cultuur goed is.'
IJslanders hadden in de loop van de voorbije eeuwen wel wat anders aan hun hoofd dan cultuur. Het volk, dat afstamt van Noorse en Keltische inwijkelingen, overleefde als een kleine gemeenschap dankzij zijn inkomsten uit de visvangst. Landbouwgrond is er nauwelijks, het eiland telt meer vierkante kilometer gletsjers dan de rest van Europa samen, en moet constant rekening houden met vulkanische gevaren. In zo'n context is artiest worden meer dan een keuze: het is gekheid.
'Get happy! Get drunk!', schreeuwt een stoere IJslandse ons toe wanneer we aankomen op een launch party van Iceland Airwaves, het muziekfestival dat jaarlijks plaatsvindt in november en steeds meer aandacht uit de wereld krijgt. Honderden groepjes bezetten alle mogelijke podia in Reykjavik en de meesten van hen dromen er niet van de wereld te veroveren: ze hebben er gewoon grote lol in om iets te creëren wat het duister verdrijft.
Zo is Jón Jónsi Birgison er ook aan begonnen. De excentrieke zanger van Sigur Rós, na Björk de bekendste IJslandse act, zingt met een falset die de wereld verbaast, maar vindt daar niets ongewoons aan. 'Alles vertrekt vanuit het onbewuste bij mij. Ik ben opgegroeid, ben muziek gaan maken, dus die zal wel met het land te maken hebben. En het is vaak lang donker bij ons. Ik maak muziek om gezond te blijven in het duister.'
Met 500 bands is popmuziek de meest verspreide cultuur in IJsland, simpelweg omdat het goedkoper is voor jongeren om een plaat te maken dan een film. En omdat kunstenaars in Reykjavik zich weinig illusies maken over de export, spelen ze wat ze willen.
Popmuziek, theater en dans, film en literatuur, beeldende kunst en performance art: ze geven allemaal present op Iceland on the edge, een groots kunstenfestival dat van 27 februari tot 15 juni plaatsvindt in Brussel. Een dergelijke artistieke happening is haast ongezien, maar IJsland heeft dan ook veel te bieden en spreekt tot de verbeelding. De taal heeft een heel oude vorm bewaard, de energiewinning wordt als een voorbeeld voor de wereld beschouwd en nergens in West-Europa is de natuur beter intact gebleven.
De opvallendste installatie waarmee het festival deze week opent, is Waterfalls van Rúrí: een indrukwekkende projectie van neervallende waterstromen op tientallen schermen, begeleid door het bijbehorende natuurgeluid. Dat wordt bovendien beïnvloed als je door de installatie loopt. 'In IJsland heb je honderden watervallen', zegt de artieste. 'Dat lijkt veel, maar het zijn er minder dan vroeger. Om één elektrische centrale te bouwen bij Kárahnjúkar om een aluminiumfabriek te installeren, moesten tientallen watervallen verdwijnen. Daar is veel protest tegen geweest: een heel jaar lang, dagelijks voor het parlement. En dan moet je weten dat IJslanders heel rustige mensen zijn die zelden staken.' Rúrí, die haar installatie voor het eerst toonde in 2003 in Venetië, noemt de natuur in IJsland het kostbaarste bezit van haar volk. 'Onze natuur is niet getemd. Dat moeten we zo houden, waarom zouden de mensen anders nog komen?'
Reykjavik is geen stad die Europese toeristen per se moeten hebben gezien. De etalages in de natte winkelstraten ademen de sfeer uit die je in een koude Europese uithoek verwacht en mooie gebouwen zijn er nauwelijks. Het is amusant om in opschriften als 'steikhús' en 'grillhúsið' pogingen te zien om de archaïsche taal te moderniseren. 'Maar,' zegt Margret Hallgrimsdottir, 'we proberen eigenlijk vooral om onze duizend jaar oude taal te bewaren door echt nieuwe woorden te vinden voor nieuwe dingen. Een computer wordt een tölva, naar analogie met völva, wat een waarzegster is.'
Hallgrimsdottir is de directrice van het vernieuwde Nationaal Museum, waar elk jaar tweehonderdduizend bezoekers komen kijken naar de geschiedenis van het eiland - de helft buitenlanders. Maar niet de bootjes, het zeldzame houtsnijwerk of de wandtapijten zullen in Brussel te zien zijn, wel een bijzondere collectie drinkhoorns. 'Ze zijn uniek, en er zijn er maar een twintigtal bewaard', zegt de directrice.
Ook het Stedelijk Museum, in het centrum van Reykjavik, krijgt voor de helft buitenlandse bezoekers over de vloer, en die zien vooral hoe IJsland geen grote traditie van schilderkunst heeft. 'We hebben een traditie van huisje, berg en waterval', zegt de directeur Hafþór Ingvason glimlachend. De bekendste schilder is Johannes Kjarval, een duivel-doet-al die op zijn eentje de meeste twintigste-eeuwse stijlen in zijn land binnenbracht. In Brussel is hij de sleutelfiguur in de expositie Magicians of nature.
Maar Ingvason wilde ook iets moderners: hij werkte enkele jaren in de VS en organiseerde bij zijn terugkeer een project rond de relatie tussen land en wildernis. 'Ik wilde een expo over hoe artiesten met onze wilde natuur omgaan. We hebben gezocht naar de dramatiek in de natuur. Daaruit zijn veel jonge werken gekomen. Het resultaat, Dreams of the sublime and nowhere, is een eigentijdse expo zoals die voorheen nooit in IJsland te zien was.'
Voor al die artiesten in IJsland is er maar één manier om te overleven, en dat is succes hebben. Er zijn nauwelijks kunstverzamelaars in IJsland, mensen kopen niet veel boeken, de 500 mensen die klassieke concerten bezoeken zijn steeds dezelfde, de opera overleeft enkel met heel zware subsidies, en in heel IJsland zijn drie theatergezelschappen. Die theaters moeten musicals programmeren om ook stukken van pakweg Kafka te kunnen betalen, maar daar zit niemand mee in.
'Je kan je niet tevreden stellen met enkel de intellectuelen', zegt de veelzijdige theater- en filmregisseur Baltasar Kormákur. Hij is een van de centrale gasten in Brussel. Hij stelt er zijn eigenzinnige bewerking van Ibsens toneelstuk Peer Gynt voor en schuift mee aan op een filmavond waar zijn film 101 Reykjavik getoond wordt. Het is een verfilming van het gelijknamige succesboek van Hallgrimur Helgason (zie hoger), gesitueerd in de vroege jaren 1990 in Reykjavik.
Kormákur: 'IJslandse lezers houden van moeilijke mensen en onmogelijke vrouwen. De antiheld in het boek en de film is een dertiger die bij zijn moeder in Reykjavik leeft. Hij is een nihilist, hij slaapt steeds met de verkeerde vrouwen, het klimaat rond hem is cynisch, en de humor is politiek incorrect. Het is heel typisch. We zijn daarin behoorlijk cynisch: we nemen niet snel iets au sérieux. We lijken wat op de Finnen en zijn zeker niet te vergelijken met de Zweden of de Noren.'
Leo Vebeke thx for the suggestion.
“I don’t think I’ll win but it is very exciting to be in that group,” Cortes told Fréttabladid. This summer he has concerts scheduled in places like Rhode Island and Beijing.
The award ceremony will be held in Royal Albert Hall in London on May 8.
More Gardar @ www.gardarthorcortes.com
fimmtudagur, febrúar 28, 2008
Sigur Rós is one Step Closer To Completing New Album
They returned from New York’s Sear Sound studio with foundations for 11 songs which will appear on their next LP. The band will continue recording the album with producer Flood in their Sundlaugin studio over the next couple of weeks, with a tentative release date of late spring/early summer.
miðvikudagur, febrúar 27, 2008
Mugison and his team of experts are currently assembling the bill for this year's festival, which will take place on March 21st - 23rd, but the first announced acts include top Icelandic bands: Bob Justman, Hjaltalín, SSSól, Mysterious Marta, Morðingjarnir, Múgsefjun, Sign, Retro Stefson, Sprengjuhöllin and XXX Rottweiler hundar.
Adapted from Source: IMX www.icelandicmusic.is
þriðjudagur, febrúar 26, 2008
"De Nýja Lichting "featuring Valgeir Sigurdsson, Benni Hemm Hemm, Skúli Sverrisson, Lay Low, Helgi Jónsson, Rökkuró, Ólöf Arnalds and Ólafur Arnalds. Also the "veterans" like Mugison and Alex MacNeil of Kimono.
Listen to the shows @ www.cucamonga.be/iotr/luister/luister.html
mánudagur, febrúar 25, 2008
1. SPRENGJUHÖLLIN - Verum í sambandi
4. KLASSART - Örlagablús
8. PÁLL ÓSKAR - Allt Fyrir Ástina
12. KK - Svona Eru Menn
13. MAGNI - If I Promised You The World
15. SPRENGJUHÖLLIN - Glúmur
17. JÓNAS SIGURDSSON - Baráttusöngur uppreisnarklansins á skítadreifurunum
19. HEIDA - Ég Og Heilinn Minn
20. SNIGLABANDID- Selfoss er
21. EIRÍKUR HAUKSSON - Ég Les Í Lófa Thínum
22. JEFF WHO? - She's Got The Touch
25. LJÓTU HÁLFVITARNIR - Sonur hafsins
26. BJÖRK - Earth Intruders (radio edit)
33. JÓNAS SIGURDSSON - Ofskynjunarkonan (#2)
36. NYLON – Holiday
39. JAN MAYEN – Joyride
41. MÍNUS – Futurist
42. NY DÖNSK - Verd bólgin Augu
43. JAKOBÍNARÍNA - This is a advertisement
45. GARDAR THOR CORTES / HEATHER SMALL – Luna
47. PÉTUR BEN, ÓLÖF ARNALDS & LAY LOW - Freight Train
49. AMPOP - Two Directions
52. MAGNÚS THÓR SIGMUNDSSON - White Dove
54. VIKING GIANT SHOW - The Cure
55. HRAUN – Impossible
56. MEGAS & SENUJÓFARNIR – Flær arsenna
59. HJÁLMAR - Leidin okkar allra
60. BUFF - Nú mun ég vaknad
68. B. SIG - You Could Be My...
71. GUS GUS - Moss [Radio Edit]
73. ÍVAR BJARKLIND - Yfir Hafid
74. JÓN ÓLAFSSON - Skortur á Thér
82. EIRÍKUR HAUKSSON - Valentine Lost
85. HJALTALÍN - Margt Ad Ugga
86. ELÍZA NEWMAN – Hjartagull
89. MILLARNIR & BOGOMIL FONT – Nektarklúbbabúbbar
90. MOTION BOYS - Hold Me Closer To Your Heart
94. GUDMUNDUR JÓNSSON - Nema ad kraftaverk komi í ljós
96. GUDRÚN GUNNARSDÓTTIR - Love Me Tonight
97. RAGNHILDUR GÍSLADÓTTIR - Ad Finnst Mér
Here they perform the song live outside @ Sirkus:
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia last week.
The concert organizers in Serbia explained to Björk’s manager on Wednesday that they had called off her concert because of the unstable situation in the country, explaining they could not guarantee security for concert-goers, Morgunbladid reports.
“Maybe a Serb attended my concert [in Tokyo] and called home and therefore the concert in Novi Sad was cancelled,” Björk said.
Her stunt was covered in the media in Kosovo following the concert on Tuesday.
Björk has dedicated her song “Declare Independence” to different countries during her tour: to Greenland and the Faroe Islands when she played in Denmark and to the Basque Country during her concert in Spain.
Source: Iceland Review Online
Björk @ http://www.bjork.com/
sunnudagur, febrúar 24, 2008
"Allt sem that fer"
Bloodgroup performed @ Norwegian By: Larm Festival (22. & 23. February 2008)
Fjöldi íslenskra listamanna koma fram á tveimur Iceland Airwaves tónleikum í Brussel í mánuðinum. Tónleikarnir eru hluti af lista- og menningarhátíðinni Iceland on The Edge, sem hefst þann 26. febrúar, og stendur fram í miðjan júní.
Fyrri tónleikarnir verða nokkru fyrr en hátíðin, eða á morgun föstudaginn 15. febrúar. Þá stíga á stokk Amiina, Jóhann Jóhannson, Seabear og Ólafur Arnalds í menningarmiðstöðinni Bozar. Síðari Iceland Airwaves tónleikarnir fara síðan fram 8. mars á tónleikastaðnum Ancienne Belgique þar sem fram koma; múm, Kira Kira, Skakkamanage og Parachutes.
Markmið Iceland on the Edge, er að kynna íslenskar listir og listamenn og efla ímynd Íslands á alþjóðlegum vettvangi. Dagskrá hátíðarinnar er tvíþætt. Annars vegar er um að ræða metnaðarfulla íslensk menningardagskrá sem unnin hefur verið í samstarfi við Bozar, stærstu menningar- og listamiðstöð Belgíu, sem og eitt vinsælasta tónlistarhús Brussel á sviði popp og rokk tónlistar, Ancienne Belgique. Hins vegar verða ýmsir íslenskir viðburðir á sviði ferða- , ráðstefnu- orku og alþjóðamála.
Meðal helstu atriða er sýning á íslenskri samtímamyndlist, Pétur Gautur í flutningi Þjóðleikhússins, sýningar á vegum Íslenska dansflokksins og danshóps Ernu Ómarsdóttur, bókmenntakvöld um Halldór Laxness og um unga samtímahöfunda, íslenskar kvikmyndir og tónleikar með ungu íslensku tónlistarfólki á sviði sígildrar tónlistar og popptónlistar.
Pictures of Airwaves Part I @
laugardagur, febrúar 23, 2008
On last Valentine's night he performed @ Kultuurkaffee @ VUB University
Iceland Music Export (IMX) put Pétur Ben in the spotlight this month:
Born in Reykjavik in 1976, Pétur Ben has been playing and writing music since his teens. Although active in the Icelandic underground scene for years, Pétur first became known for playing with Mugison, arranging and writing for Mugison's 2004 album "Mugimama is this Monkeymusic?"
Pétur graduated from the composition department at the Reykjavík Academy of Music in 2004, where he studied with Úlfar Ingi Haraldsson and Hróðmar Ingi Sigurbjörnsson. His composition degree came in handy, giving him the skills to work on Ragnar Bragason's "Children" and "Parents" as well as several theatre productions, such as Strindberg's "Dreamplay" (directed by Benedikt Erlingsson) and his arrangement for "Woyzeck" a Vesturport production with original music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.
Pétur has also become an in-demand arranger for indie artists such as Mugison, Slowblow, Telepathetics and other Icelandic artists, though his biggest achievement to date is his accomplished debut album, "Wine for My Weakness". Released by Icelandic label 12 Tónar in August 2006, the project features 11 tracks that veer from catchy rock & roll to introspective acoustica.
“Wine For My Weakness” was voted “Rock Album Of The Year” at the Icelandic Music Awards, and following its release in Denmark, received rave reviews from Politiken, Soundvenue and GAFFA.
You're known as both an arranger and songwriter - which of these came first?
Like most I guess I started out as a songwriter but I was interested in classical music soon afterwards.
Are you mostly self-taught as a musician, or did you learn through college?
I tried to study jazz guitar when I was younger but I realized that I wasn't as interested in improvisation as in composition.
You studied composition at Reykjavik Academy - how was that experience? Did it teach you valuable things, or was it something you could have managed without?
It is a very valuable thing for me to have done that. Nobody can teach you to create but you can learn how to write for different instruments, orchestration, harmony, counterpoint, etc. - different musical styles and most importantly get hands-on experience working with musicians playing your own music.
You've been involved in quite a few works for film and theatre - is this something you've always been interested in, or something that came along organically?
I just need to make a living. But it's much more appealing to me now that I’ve graduated. And I listen differently to theater productions and films.
Which film/theatre work have you most enjoyed being involved with so far?
Ragnar Bragason the director of “Children and Parents” is one of my best teachers. He has an incredible sense of what makes a film tick. Those films were by far the biggest task I've taken on so far so I'd have say that those films are the jewels in my crown.
Your album came out a while ago in Iceland and has been really well received. What do you think of all the accolades and praise?
I'm getting used to it now, the praise and the crap you get. It doesn't affect me as much as it used to. I realize that my work isn't perfect but it’s mine and I'm proud of it. My album was recently released in Europe and it has had great reviews, far better than in Iceland. I'm touring the album right now and people are showing up, and the reception has been way beyond my expectations.
What did you want to 'achieve' with your album? It's your first so I guess it was pretty personal?
I just wanted to get it right you know. My songs were all written long in advance and just piling up. But I knew when it was finished and it took many concerts and crowd battles to finish it, plus lots of support from friends and the producer Biggi, who is the one that eventually delivered it. He’s a genius.
What do you hope listeners will 'take away' from the album?
My favorite albums become a part of me in a way. I want people to relate to the love on the album. I want them to ask questions about themselves and I want them to have fun and feel good.
Who are your favourite singer/songwriters?
I'm a big admirer of Tom Waits, Nick Cave and PJ Harvey to name a few and Mugison my good friend is also a great inspiration. I'd like to unite my many personalities into one: the singer/songwriter, the composer and the evil bad ass.
Who are your favourite soundtrack producers, and why?
I don't really know any but I like Tarantino's soundtracks and Stanley Kubrick. Both use music in a very different way to their predecessors.
You're currently on tour in Europe – how’s it going?
It's going great. I didn't have high expectations for this tour and I actually thought that around 15 people would show up but people are coming and I guess my booker’s promotion is working. I'll do a support tour with Kaizers Orchestra next month and I don't know what the hell to expect, but I'm really looking forward to it.
What's the best thing about touring/playing live for you?
I can't really describe that. There are moments that you have with the crowd that neither of you can explain.
What other plans do you have for 2008?
I'm producing an album for Bubbi that I have to finish. Then I have some more touring to do both with my band and Mugison. And hopefully I'll have some time write something new. And hopefully something will come. You never know, no matter what you've studied. It's up to me and the Lord…
More Pétur @ www.myspace.com/peturben
or @ the Minus MySpace @ www.myspace.com/minus
IJslanders ontdooien niet - Icelanders don't defrost
Voor een land dat maar evenveel inwoners telt als Gent is IJsland de laatste tijd erg goed vertegenwoordigd in de media. Vlaanderen Vakantieland wijdt er momenteel een reeks reportages aan, en deze week raakte nog bekend dat je in België nergens voordeliger spaart dan bij de IJslandse Kaupthing bank. Vrijdagavond verzamelden een aantal IJslandse bands zich in Bozaar voor Iceland Airwaves (***), een festival dat door middel van een paar avondvullende programma's in Brussel een dwarsdoorsnede wil schetsen van de plaatselijke muziekscène. Dat Björk en Sigur Ros slechts het topje van de ijsberg vormen is inmiddels geen nieuws meer. De jongste jaren hebben tal van IJslandse muzikanten hun actieradius naar het buitenland verlegd. Ook al blijft het wachten op een act die opnieuw een doorbraak naar het brede publiek kan forceren, toch valt het niet te ontkennen dat artistiek talent er beter vertegenwoordigd is dan in veel dichter bevolkte gebieden. Seabear (**) bracht hier met The Ghost That Carried Us Away bijvoorbeeld een verzameling frivole popliedjes uit die even naïef als aanstekelijk klinkt. Ook live was het zevenspan vrolijk met belletjes, violen en melodicas in de weer. Op de songs viel weinig af te dingen en de cover van de Undertones-klassieker Teenage Kicks was er één die gehoord mocht worden. Maar toch stond je er vooral van te kijken hoe dunnetjes de band ondanks die uitgebreide bezetting voor de dag kwam. Daardoor kon je je nooit van de indruk ontdoen dat je naar een slappe versie van Aracade Fire stond te kijken, en slaagde de band er niet in om de belofte die de plaat inhield helemaal in te lossen.
Datzelfde ging in zekere zin ook op voor Johann Johannsson (***). De man haalde met zijn cd's al twee maal de jaarlijkse eindlijst van De Morgen, maar kwam live zo afstandelijk uit de hoek dat hij niet eens op het idee kwam om het publiek even aan te kijken. De pianist liet zich bijstaan door een strijkerskwartet en een man die zich over de elektronica ontfermde. Samen maakten ze bloedmooie, in zichzelf gekeerde soundscapes die vaak donkerder waren dan een maanloze nacht, en zich in een soort melancholie wentelden waarin je de wanhoop haast kon voelen. Daardoor dienden zijn instrumentale composities zich aan als het muzikale equivalent van een Krystof Kieslowski-film. Meer dan eens laaiden de emoties zo hoog op dat het publiek pardoes vergat te applaudisseren. Net daarom was het des te erger dat er achteraf niet eens een bedankje afkon. De passage van Johannsson was er -kortom- één die pas écht tot haar recht kwam als je er met gesloten ogen naar luisterde.
Afsluiter Amiina (***) was eigenlijk in hetzelfde bedje ziek. Dit dameskransje uit de entourage van Sigur Ros maakte vorig jaar met Kurr een cd waar een haast adembenemende schoonheid uit sprak. Live deden ze weinig anders dan die muziek zonder veel franje reproduceren. Daardoor kreeg het optreden meer van een open repetitie. En ja: de jongedames konden meer dan behoorlijk overweg met violen, laptops, xylofoons en zingende zagen, maar de surplus om hen dat in levenden lijve te zien doen ontbrak. Daardoor illustreerden Seabear, Johann Johannsson en Amiina elk op hun eigen manier een stelling waar ze zelf nog wat van konden leren: op plaat is prachtige muziek voldoende, maar live komt het erop aan één en ander een beetje boeiend te presenteren en een brug naar het publiek te slaan. Daar schoten deze kille IJslanders stuk voor stuk te kort. Hoog tijd dus, dat ze daar een beetje ontdooien.
De IJslandse groep Seabear kwam met een ruime bezetting op het podium. Ondanks het indrukwekkende instrumentarium kwam het optreden slapjes over.
Foto Alex Vanhee
föstudagur, febrúar 22, 2008
fimmtudagur, febrúar 21, 2008
Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde performed alongside rocker Bubbi Morthens at a concert against racism in Reykjavik , entitled “Brothers and Sisters” or "Bræður og systur". Haarde, who is reported to have a good singing voice, sang three songs at the concert.
Haarde sang two songs with the South River Band—the prime minister has performed with that band on earlier occasions—and one in a duo with Morthens, singing Icelandic classic “Lóa litla á Brú,” Morgunbladid reports.
Other performers include KK, Nýdönsk, Mínus, Lay Low, Ragnheidur Gröndal, Hjálmar, Ragnar Bjarnason and Sprengjuhöllin, both young and established musicians. The audience filled concert venue Austurbaer and some were waiting at the door to get in.
The purpose of the free concert, which was spearheaded by Morthens, was to fight racism in Iceland, following the launch of an anti-Polish website.
Source: Iceland Review Online www.icelandreview.com
miðvikudagur, febrúar 20, 2008
mánudagur, febrúar 18, 2008
Siggi Baldursson - Sugar Cube
In 1986 the Bad Taste label was established as an artists guild to help provide for the artists' needs. To generate income for the label, some of the members decided to form a pop band. The band was known as the Sugarcubes and would go on to help shape the future of Alternative music. I had a chance to talk to the groups co-founder and drummer, Siggi Baldursson.
This interview takes place in Madison, Wisconsin where Siggi now lives with his daughter and wife who is finishing her PH.D. in biochemistry. His home is scattered with various sticks, drum pads, vintage key boards and a 5 year old daughter's art work. The Aphex Twin set the background music as I sit and wait for him to finish a phone conversation regarding drum syncopation and phrasing. As we begin the interview, he offers up some fresh brewed tea and natural comb honey, leans back in his chair and says, "well...."
Q: What kind of musical training have you had?
A: I tried studying classical percussion one winter in
Iceland. I studied with the timpani player from the Rejleckyvek symphony. But he really envied me, being a rock and roll player, a free-form player. He was one of the most horribly bored people I've ever met. So I decided, man, I'm just better off by myself. Since then, there have become more options to study percussion in Iceland, there is a jazz school there now which is great. It gives young players an opportunity to study percussion. I would have liked that. But no, I've just studied on my own.
Q: How did the Sugarcubes develop?
A: Well, we all joke about as being a sort of happy accident. We had a band Kukl, that had me and both the singers (Björk and Einar) in it. I worked continuously with them from '83 to '92. In the summer of '86, we decided to form Bad Taste. Bjork was then having her first child and was married to a guitar player involved. Bad Taste was supposed to be sort of an artists coop. A
company that could cater to artists needs, whatever they might be. Like we were working with the surrealist group MEDUSA. they did a lot of poetry and art and stuff. The first two releases on Bad Taste were books actually. So to make money for the label, we decided to form this pop
band, because pop bands make money. Previously we'd been supporting ourselves by working in the mental hospital. We felt that if other people can make pop music, then we can make pop music. Let's make some money here! We recorded some things and Einar had been living in London for a while. One of the people he had met was Derek Birkett who ad a band and his own little punk label that turned into one little indian. He was interested in the first recordings that we sent him and wanted us come to England and finish that up with him. His then friend Ray Schulvin was a producer guy, and they helped up finish up the first album Life's To Good. When the first single came out, it made quite a splash there. The rest is sort of history.
Q: When did you start doing remixes?
A: After our third record came out. We were sort of breaking up, and there was some question as to if we should put out a greatest hits compilation album. Make us
a little more money. We had squandered all our money on bad books and expensive recording equipment for our records. Instead of putting out a greatest hits record, 'cause we only had three albums out, we thought we could make a remix record. A lot of cool things came out of
that. We just threw them onto the record and put it out. That was the "IF SAID" album.
Q: Describe how you ended up becoming a lounge singer in Iceland...
A: Well, I was never a lounge singer with the Sugarcubes, I never sang a single word with them actually.
Q: But independent of that?
A: Yes. Well, while we were writing our (Sugarcubes) last record in the winter of "91 over in Iceland we sort of had a little spoof band along the side, that involved people
circulating around our little record company. We actually had a little record company back in Iceland called "BAD TASTE RECORDS". And so some of the people from some of the bands on our label formed a little orchestra called Conrad B's jazz orchestra. That was sort of a fantasy band, where everybody got to play whatever instrument they wanted to.
It sounded absurd! People who were musicians, more or less, were playing all new instruments that they had a shot at playing. Thus not playing them very well, but with a lot of GUSTO! And it was almost like a little surrealistic jazz orchestra. So that's where I devised
this crooner of sorts, Bogomil. Bogomil was the guest crooner with the band.
Q: Crooner behind the curtain?
A: Yeah, the crooner behind the curtain, so I could grow a big mustache. Always a huge Bulgarian mustache, RAAAAR, and croon. So that was even more of a spoof thing than the
Millionaires. I formed the Millionaires in Iceland in '92, after the Sugarcubes came off our American tour in '92. I needed some money so I formed this little jazz band, the Millionaires, a little 5 piece with added percussion so you could take on more. It became sort of an overnight
sensation back in Iceland. And, much to my surprise and to everyone's surprise, we became a platinum selling band in Iceland, in the summer of '93.
Q: Being a producer/musician, what do you look for in younger players?
A: Well, I like simplicity and feel, as opposed to technical finesse and fireworks. Also fresh outlooks and fresh perspectives on playing the drums. Either challenging yourself by changing the set-up of your kit, or trying to reinvent yourself. Changing your approaches and keeping your playing creative. And tuning, I like drummers who have a sound, who really know how to tune their drums. I think having a sound is very, very important, having a personality. For an artist, in any art, that is important. That's what it's all about. You have to find your niche, find your sound, find your style, combine sound and style to find something that is distinctively you.
It might sound arrogant, but I believe that I too have, by now, developed somewhat of a style and a sound in my playing. It's taken me awhile. The thing is I'm not very good at doing things premeditated. I like things to come along. Things have their time and I'm not very good at
trying to think things out beforehand. I'm not very good at practicing, I can't sit down and practice a particular fill, or specific things. But, I keep on trying to push myself in weird directions when I play and I keepa trying to get new sounds and new ideas. Then being able to take those to other places. I've also gone through periods where I felt I was just hopelessly stagnant as a player. When that happens you really have to jolt yourself. I stopped playing for awhile when I moved here.
I've never been sort of a drummer's drummer. Like hanging out with drummers and talk about rudiments, or keep my practice pad on the table and bounce my sticks on it all the time. I hate that, I've never been into that. I'm not the kind of guy that likes drum magazines, or anything like that. I don't like drums as a lifestyle, so-to speak, I like them as an instrument. I like to play them, but I don't think they're cool. A lot of musicians really get into it as a lifestyle, wear necklaces with little drumsticks on them. I see that all the time.
Q: One thing the I've noticed about you is that you play with a very minimal setup. How did that evolve, large sounds through minimalism?
A: Well, it's a philosophical thing really. No, that would be an overstatement. I started fiddling around with minimalist setups a long time ago. I actually had a monster drum kit when I was in Kukl, the band before the Sugarcubes. It was this weird anarchical punk band with
jungle rhythms. I was totally into African rhythms and applying those principles to the kit. I did a lot of that.
But, when we started the Sugarcubes in '86, we wanted to make pop music. So for us, the people of this clique, to sit down and make pop music was quite a joke. We were all from rather radical, experimental type bands. To take it on I thought it would be good to go for something
completely different. That's when I started using just the bass, snare and hi-hat to try to get..... try to squeeze more ideas out of the simpler form. Now that I started playing with the Reptile Palace Orchestra, I've been using the hand dumbek a lot. The idea then came to use the dumbek, bass drum, and hi-hat a lot, and try to make that play together. But, I also like to be able to slam out some back-beats, so I added a little piccolo snare drum.
The more I played that set-up, the more I liked it. It's very good for you to be able to scale down the instruments. Instead of looking out, is like looking in. Almost like a Zen approach to drumming.
Q: On the other side of it, you also do a lot of sampling with Urban Myth and playing along with drum loops. How do you feel that's affecting what you're doing?
A: I do love fusing together loops, either sound loops or drum loops, with acoustic playing. You
add more organic elements to that repetitive element. The repetitive element has its own
charm, and it took me awhile to see that. Sometimes it's nice to do that because it frees you to just relax on top of a drum loop and bounce along. It really doesn't effect my drum
playing very much.
Q: How do you perceive what you play, or how do you think your style fits into the music you play?
A: I'm just used to being in the corner and driving the boat. People just have to either stay on the boat or fall off. I just sit back there and slam out the groove. Once I get going, it's like a choo-choo train. Get that train running and people sort of jump on and off. I'm a bit of a groove monster.
I did enjoy playing with Pauli Ryan on percussion. He was one of the more tasteful players I've played with. Some of the younger guys are indeed skillful players, but so many of them are used to playing that drum circle music, sort of drum culture music. In what I'm doing that sound is kind of big and bulbous. And it gets to be pretty much overkill. It needs more tasteful, smaller percussion. What Pauli did was put all kinds of different sounds in there, like the chimes and the gong, very tastefully.
Q: You also have a sponsorship with Paiste. How did that transpire?
A: It happened when I was in the Sugarcubes, of course. I was doing a high-profile project. That lead to the sponsorship because it's just advertising.
Q: What are you looking towards now, at this stage?
A: I want to be able to make music and live off it. I don't have any grandiose dreams of fame and fortune. I do want to be able to finish the CD I'm working on, a series of drum loops, and start making music with my own drum loops. Doing my own project. I probably have to cut down on what I'm doing externally: Urban Myth, Headpump, Reptile Palace Orchestra, playing with Bradley Fish and mixing the Natty Nation project. That along with doing my
own stuff, which is what I'm most excited about. Finally, I'm also trying to do some writing. Trying to finish a couple of film scripts and stories.
YouTube Channel @www.youtube.com/user/Rjominn
The Band Noise
The Band Hoffman
Video of the Song as featured in Friðrik Þór Friðrikson's Documentary "Rokk í Reykjavík".
sunnudagur, febrúar 17, 2008
They'll perform @ Iceland Airwaves "Bad Taste Evening" @ Bozar/Paleis voor de Schone Kunsten @ Brussels 30. April 2008
All about Steintryggur @
Thx Jen goed Digital for the suggestion.
fimmtudagur, febrúar 14, 2008
Music is the song "Glósóli" by Sigur Rós
Box with 4 Official records and also a fifth CD that was never released "Ókomin forneskjan".
Cover of the "Ókomin forneskjan" album was made by Hallgrímur Helgason @ the age of 19 as a student @ Menntaskólanum of Hamrahlíð.
Picture of Hallgrímur Helgason, the writer of "101 Reykjavik"
Concert of Hinn íslenzki Þursaflokkur together with Caput @ Laugardalshöll 23. February.
miðvikudagur, febrúar 13, 2008
Three years ago drummer, Sigtryggur Baldursson (Siggi), became famous in Iceland as the happy, exciting crooner Bogomil Font. With his band Milljonamaeringarnir (The Millionaires), Bogomil started a mambo-mania in Iceland that's still going strong, released a hit album and then disappeared in the fall of 1993, when Sigtryggur moved to the USA and took his alter-ego Bogomil with him. In the States Sigtryggur has worked as drummer for different artists while his wife is studying. But Bogomil didn't leave him alone so Siggi had to give in and has now released an LP where Bogomil Font sings songs by the German composer Kurt Weill.
Bogomil Font was created in the bar of Hotel Intercontinental in Zagreb, where Bragi and Sigtryggur sat once and discussed the idea of putting together a swing band with crooner a la Sinatra and other great role models. Sigtryggur picked the name Bogomil from some calendar there, where they learned that Bogomil is Siggi's protective saint, but the latter part of
the name, Font, was created from poetic inspiration. Bogomil first played with Hljomsveit Konrads Be, in which Bragi was the drummer. In 1992 Bogomil began playing with The Millionaires. Sigtryggur has said that it was difficult to get people to take the band seriously in the beginning; they thought that the Sugarcubes drummer was not a serious singer. Sigtryggur still kept on with Bogomil Font, also to make it easier to be on stage. He says that he never felt any stage fright since he was singing as Bogomil but not as Sigtryggur.
Bogomil and the Millionaires recorded the LP Ekki thessi leidindi (don't be boring/not this boredom) which became one of the most sold albums in 1993 and the group became the most popular party group in Iceland. Then Sigtryggur decided to leave the band, quit at the top, and move to the States where his wife, Sigrun, was beginning her doctoral studies in biology. They settled in the university town of Madison and not before long Sigtryggur was looking around for extra work as a drummer.
Sigtryggur found that there was not enough work for him in Madison, so he looked to Chicago, three hours from Madison for
opportunities. One of the things he was interested in was to find partners for issuing the Bad Taste publications in the US, but Sigtryggur runs the Bad Taste Co. along with other Sugarcube members and others.
"I visited some small publishing companies in Chicago, looking for work and for partners" says Sigtryggur. Among the people he talked to was John Henderson who now takes care of Bad Taste publications in the States. "When I met John I found that he has lot's of interest in Icelandic music and has a collection of this music from the eighties. So he knows about groups like Kukl, Theyr, Purrkur Pillnikk and not only the Sugarcubes" says Siggi. John and Siggi became friends, and decided to start the Bad Taste USA, which is run as a sister project from Hendersons company. Along with this Siggi did some drumming for the industrial War Zone studio.
Through Henderson, Sigtryggur met the owners of the King Size studio which fit well with Sigtryggur's idea of recording a new LP with Bogomil singing songs by Kurt Weill. "That studio was good for the sound I was looking for, a little raw like there was a circus band playing" says Sigtryggur. "Bogomil was just one of many of my projects and I didn't intend to do more with him for time being when I moved here. Then I had the idea to make a Kurt Weill album, I'd been listening much to his songs and Bogomil really wanted to sing the songs. It didn't leave me alone so I decided to carry out this idea and handle the songs as I see fit".
"I had been fiddling with some of these songs for a long time. I started to record in July and had done some experimental
recordings of some of the songs and wondered about the ideology. I did not intend to make a Bogomil record at first.
'Ekki thessi leidindi' was done in concert since the group was popular as a party group and not much more, party group with style.
But Bogomil didn't leave me alone and at last I decided to give in, I looked to some musicians I had gotten to know here in Chicago, first and foremost Dave Trumfio, who is among the owners of King Size studio and main recorder there. He plays contra bass on the record as well as taking care of the technical side. Then there is Dave Adlers keyboardist and trumpet player, and Biff Blumfenganger violin and guitar player, who did the composing".
Sigtryggur doesn't agree that it is too much for him to do Kurt Weill's songs, who have mostly been interpreted by classical musicians. "Of course I have respect for the project and that's also, to a certain extent, why I did it. I didn't to it to do this out of ambition, I think Kurt Weill's music is simply nice music that has usually been taken too seriously. But Bogomil takes this very seriously. Kurt Weill's music is usually for musicals and theatres, which is about the darker sides of human life and wanted to do a circus-like version of this music. I know which I am very interested in.
I like what is happening here. John has very small facilities, he runs the company from his flat, we get a little room there for Bad Taste. We are now publishing two albums with Unun and Bellatrix, and work with an advertising company called Audiotronics from Nashville. Bellatrix is going to the US after Christmas to tour and record".
John Henderson, Siggi's co-worker was much surprised by how much the mambo album has sold and Siggi agrees; "Bogomil Font can be blamed for the mambo mania in Iceland two years ago. Probably because mambo was not very well known in Iceland and also there's so much style involved. For me it was always a little circus, I didn't take it too seriously, I visualized the Millionaires as a small pub band, but they turned into a mambo monster. Bogomil Font and the Millionaires was supposed to make some cash while I worked on other things, but it turned I didn't have time for anything else.
I was going to make a record with beat music before I started to do this second Bogomil album, some played and other sung.
Some of the stuff I sing myself, as Sigtryggur, Bogomil has nothing to do with that record. I also have some other singers in mind, for instance an American female singer. When that album is gonna sell in huge amounts and makes me a multimillionaire, I can pay Bogomil what I owe him and get rid of him" says Sigtryggur and laughs. "I'm a little stuck with Bogomil, he has been like a vampire and prevented me from doing other things for a while".
Translated by Albert Sigurdsson
Source: Morgunbladid Newspaper 19. November 1995
þriðjudagur, febrúar 12, 2008
Video taken from the Movie Rokk i Reykjavik of Friðrik Þór Friðriksson
Bubbi Morthens gegn rasisma
Icelandic singer-songwriter Bubbi Morthens is planning to hold a free concert against racism in the venue Austurbaer in Reykjavík on February 20. He made the decision after reading about teenagers launching a website against Polish immigrants.
“When almost 3,000 brats have registered for some hatred website against Poles and other immigrants, we cannot just sit and watch quietly,” Morthens told Fréttabladid. “I hereby advertise for musicians. Anyone who has made a name for him- or herself in the music industry can come and play if they want to support this cause.”
“I think it is very important that we who can reach the ears of the public take a stand. I call for an awakening on this matter. […] It is very serious to personify a group of foreigners and place everyone in the same category. We shouldn’t forget that Prince Polo [chocolate bar] is Polish, so one could say the Poles saved my youth,” the singer added, jokingly.
Morthens has already talked to a few known artists in Iceland about performing with him next week and is in contact with Ahús, the Intercultural Center in Reykjavík, on providing speakers and musicians of foreign origin for the event.
“We have to kick the racist gang in the butt,” Morthens concluded.
Bubbi Morthens with his band Ego performing "Sieg Heil", a song featured in the Movie Rokk i Reykjavik
mánudagur, febrúar 11, 2008
Tasting stuff... but leaving the hákari alone
Issue Number 4 of Little Licker featuring Icelandic Music: www.littlelicker.com/Little_Licker___issue_4.html
Items about Sigur Rós, Bloodgroup, Singapore Sling, Amiina and GusGus
“I am a grateful... grapefruit”
Already in Number 2 they refered to Icelandic music:
Iceland’s excellent psychedelic adventure. New pop songs always go for the jugular in their videos. No subtlety whatsoever, all flash and fireworks, as if they are trying to cover up for the mostly mediocre lyrics and half-assed harmonies the songs are made of. All crammed together at an ADD-inducing breakneck speed for guaranteed cretine results.
Now take the latest releases by the Bedroom Community label from Iceland. The mesmerizing scratchboard expressiviness of Valgeir Sigurdsson’s ‘Evolution of Waters’ or the odd-looking pubic hair-like forms in Nico Muhly’s ’It Goes Without Saying’ eaves us utterly transfixed. Pure Gondry magic, n’est-ce pas?
Yes, you’ve seen stuff like this before courtesy of Björk (she has collaborated with most of the artists on the label in one form or another). And there’s really nothing new in using stop-motion movie-making techniques in mainstream music videos
(check out Peter Gabriel’s ‘Sledgehammer’).
Which begs the question: Why do we still have to dig deep to find gems like this?
sunnudagur, febrúar 10, 2008
"Today has been OK"
laugardagur, febrúar 09, 2008
"Song for the Spirit"
The history of Icelandic music on Cassette Tape
Tomorrow, 10. February, Gunnar Lárus Hjálmarsson aka Dr. Gunni, presents the first part of 4 parts of a Radio Show on Ras 2 about Iceland music that was released as Cassette Tape.
Featuring music by surrealists Fan Houtens Kókó, this band released 2 cassette tapes "Musique Elementaire" and "Það brakar í Hr. K". Also music of Oxzmá, Bubbi Morthens, Hjördís Bergsdóttir, Ónýta gallerýinu (Sigurjón Kjartansson), Hinu afleita þríhjóli, Ást, Slagverk, Jóa á hakanum, Tönnunum hans afa, Graupunni, Rotþrónni, Öpp Jors, Fyrirbæru and Vonbrigði.
You can listen (life broadcasted on Sunday and Monday or by streaming) to this program, if you go to:
http://dagskra.ruv.is/ras2 and click on the program
Part I Sunday 10. February 14:00 or Monday 11. February 22:07
Part II Sunday 17. February 14:00 or Monday 18. February 22:07
Part III Sunday 24. February 14:00 or Monday 25. February 22:07
Monitor Number 5
- Sirkus R.I.P.
- I Adapt R.I.P. too
- the story of Kolrassa Krokridandi & Eliza Newman Geirsdottir
- Studios in Iceland
Last concert of Jakobinarina 8. March @ Organ ?
New records by Borko and Morðingjarnir, both on Kimi Records Label (Akureyri based)
Mordingjarnir Release: 6. March "Afram Island!"
Borko Release: 13. March "Celebrating Life"
Release of the Third Record by Bang Gang (Bardi Johannsson) in 2008 ?
Free mp3 of the Bands in February-March on the site are going to be from the following bands
Who Knew?, Halftiger, Naflakusk and We Made God
Recommended MySpace of Tesla Girls: www.myspace.com/teslagirls
Look @ the pictures & stories yourself, and/or Learn Icelandic @ www.monitor.is
föstudagur, febrúar 08, 2008
"Margt að Ugga (Goodbye July)"
14. February @ NASA, Reykjavik
26. February @ Bozar, Brussels
miðvikudagur, febrúar 06, 2008
Iceland Review reports:
Young up-and-coming indie-punk band Jakobínarína announced that they were quitting. The band members declined to further discuss their decision at this point, but reporters suspect singer Gunnar Ragnarsson has become tired of band life.
Jakobínarína’s UK agent Edna Pletchetero said their decision is news to her though she has had the suspicion for some time that they would quit, DV reports.
According to Icelandic music news website monitor www.monitor.is, Ragnarsson was determined to take a break from the music industry and the band members were also tired of the direction their music has taken.
Monitor also reported that four of the six members of Jakobínarína are going to continue under a new band name and that guitarist Hallberg Dadi Hallbergsson will become the new singer.
Jakobínarína first entered the Icelandic music scene in 2005 when they won Músíktilraunir, a competition for unknown Icelandic bands.
Following their victory, Jakobínarína performed at Iceland Airwaves and other music festivals and were consequently given their record deal with British label Regal.
The band’s first studio album The First Crusade was released last fall, receiving good reviews. For the past few months they have toured Europe and have even performed with the Kaiser Chiefs.
He is also featured in the movie and on the Album "Rokk i Reykjavik"
Suggested by Jen Goes Digital, Thx !
Sveinbjörn in Rokk i Reykjavik movie (Thx to Luis Maria Benitez):
Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson - "Rímur"
þriðjudagur, febrúar 05, 2008
reporting from the reef and telling you what has happened since my last report. The most active band this summer was OXMSA. Their first vinyl effort, a 12" called Rip Rap Rup sold well and the song "Kitty" from the record became popular, especially after the boys showed a promotional video on Icelandic TV.
Video of "Kittý" by Oxsmá
They toured the country and played in the most unusual places, like slobby fish factories, oddfellows clubhouses, etc. The 6 lanky guys also gigged wildly in the capital city, Reykjavik and became the band to see and hear. Unfortunately, they split up in September, causing several teenage girls to commit suicide (just kidding). After they split, they finally had the guts to reveal 2 movie masterpieces that they made during their 5 years of existence . Once again they' caused thrills . One is called "The OXSMA Planet" (a strange sci-fi movie with rockabilly aggression at its best), and the other is "Suck Me Off, Nina" (a wonderful comedy about some Icelandic hippies into drugs and shows the OXSMA boys imitating hippie music and wearing wigs, etc .).
KUKL, now internationally known, was pretty active in '85, playing in London, Denmark and Berlin. They played several times here, including once with MEGAS (an old Icelandic rock legend), creating a wonderful evening . Their LP came out on Crass Records and is titled Holidays in Europe. It's produced by Penny Rimbaud and sounds like everything you haven't heard before. They can be contacted through Gramm Records/ Laugavegur 17/ 101 Reykjavik/ Iceland.
MED NOKTUM released a mini-LP this summer entitled Skemmtun. They played some dates and gained some attention. Theirsinger used to be in a band called THEYR and the music is strongly influenced by that group and other Cold Wave bands with thought-provoking lyrics like Killing Joke. A new record can be expected from this group.
Video of the band Með nöktum
The VOICE is a new group of 4 young boys who play pop punk a la early CLASH. They play a lot but gain little attention.
They're planning to release a record but I don't know when.
VONBRIGDI finally played again (after a 1 year absence) with the same members.The music has softened up a bit, but it's still up in the air as to what direction their music will take . A mini-LP is planned for this year.
Finally, here is an interview, done by D.L . Johnson, with my band, S.H. DRAUMUR. We just put out an 10" EP.
We've been around for 3 years and the members are Hauker (drums), Steini (guitars), and me (bass) . We've also appeared on several comp tapes and have played 25 times. Warpt Records West (from Santa Cruz, CA) has just released a C-60 with us and a band called ITCH . This interview was done in our rehearsal garage.
It was freezing outside and the drummer was so cold that he had to wear gloves to play . ..
MRR: What was the scene like when you started back in '82?
SHD: Things were on the decline, bands were breaking up, some good groups started playing for money, the clubs dragged out their disco records, and the worst thing of all was that people in general lost interest.
MRR: Have things improved? SHD: Yeah, in a way, because 2 clubs (Zafari and Hotel) have opened for bands in the winter . But Radio 2 is doing a bad job.
MRR: What's Radio 2?
SHD: For over 60 years there's been just one radio station in Iceland, but then suddenly the state realized that it had to open a new one with "music for the younger generation". Many people thought that it would improve the rock scene, but instead of playing the real music for the youth, they mostly play castrated muzak and stuff like that.
MRR: They just legalized free-enterprize radio: will this help?
SHD: We haven't heard any good stations yet, but hopefully . . . We're thinking of forming one ourselves, but who knows if it will happen.
MRR: Do you expect your record (Bensin Skrimslio Skriour, or translated, Gasoline Monster Crawl) to be played often on Radio 2?
SI-ID : Not unless we bribe the disc jockey.
MRR: How would you describe your new record?
SlID: We don't want to tie it to any category, except to say it's rock'n'roll at its widest and the record is simply flicking great.
MRR: Where do you find gigs?
SHD: Our goal is simple : we want to let as many people as possible to hear us, so we play wherever we can--avant garde art galleries, clubs, theaters, colleges. . .but people don't seem to attend gigs as they should.
MRR: Why not?
SHD: They are brainwashed by the media, and they don't want to be seen in "evil places".
MRR: Well, this sounds like a bunch of paranoids in a fascist state . Would you say things are really that bad?
SHD: OK, OK, the problem is linked to the media . If we had radio stations who'd really dare to play good music, the scene would improve . Please remember that there are only 250,000 people living on this reef, so we should be thankful that there is so much going on.
People have written us and said they are amazed there is a scene here at all. They say that in their half million population city there may only be one good group . So, if we sell 500 copies of our record here, it's like selling 500,000 in America.
MRR: Do you consider yourselves to be part of the international punk scene?
SlID : Yeah, positively . . .well maybe not music-wise. We want to play different styles . .we are not musical fascists. We listen to and play various musical styles. But we still punks(!) because we follow the original goal : to do things ourselves. We are in touch with a lot of people internationally and still want to add to our correspondence. Write us.
MRR: Didn't you go to Europe last summer?
SHD: Yes, we played a brilliant gig in the UK, and were supposed to play some shows in Germany. But we got sunburned in Barcelona, Spain and had to rush our trip after lying in bed in pain for 3 days. In Spain in pain . .ha ha ha.
MRR: How do people react to your gigs . .do they slam or something?
SI-ID : I-la! Slam? . . .no, no . They just sit around and get drunk and crawl home . Sometimes they pogo, if they aren't drugged up too much.
MRR: What constitutes a "good" gig in Iceland?
SI-ID: More than 30 people, good sound, and profit instead of endless loss.
MR: Tell us about your lyrics.
SLID : All sung in Icelandic. We are one of the few groups doing that. Everybody thinks they will become big rock stars doing some bullshit in bad English. Prostitution. Our lyrics are mostly stories, word games. They can't be translated into English.
MRR: Well boys, last words and future plans?
SI-ID : We aim to lose more money on more releases. And we plan to gig in England in '86. Our EP is available for $5, and the first orders will receive a copy of the English-speaking fanzine Gorilla Ice Cream that features Icelandic groups.
Our address is : Gunni/ Alfholsvegur 30 a/ 200 Kopavogur/ Iceland.