An interview with Sigtryggur Baldursson (aka Bogomil Font)
By Gunnar Hjalmarsson (aka Dr Gunni).
In Hljomalind paperette
It's Friday the 13th of August and the last ball of Bogomil Font and the Millionaires is tonight. I sit in the bar at Kringlukrain until Sigtryggur picks me up. It's been a major problem to contact him, lots of things happening in his life and he hardly has time for answering questions. But bless him, he can spare 30 minutes.
We go to Amma Lu and as we walk thru the door Sigtryggur says: "This is good money, go where the money is". As soon as he's thru the door he turns into Bogomil Font, the charmer. He kisses the waitresses, jokes with another woman; kisses, charms and smiles in every direction. You can see the women getting weak in the knees. We go backstage.
GH How did you starting banging drums ?
SB My father was a 'latino drummer' - was always drumming the wheel of the car - and I was infected by this, had some pots and pans until dad bought me a small drum in 1972. I started to practice. Then I was in a football/soccer a few years later and lied to the other guys that I could play drums. They were so impressed that I had to buy drums. It was an old wreck that my cousin owned, and this got rid of the ball. About this time I met Birgir Mogensen and we practised in the cellar at home. Had a band called Hattimas, we two, Siggi Jons (aka Siggi Perez Millionaire) who played guitar and also Bernard Gudmundsson.
GH When did you develop you personal drum stile ?
SB That came when I was in Theyr. That was a period of big discoveries for me, for instance I discovered Joy Division and all the new wave from England. I was mainly listening to jazz before that.
GH When did Theyr start ?
SB 1980. The first LP (Thagad i hel, published 1980) was recorded from January to September, with long breaks. That shows on the record. There are some jelly ballads and then suddenly some craziness; what happened then was that we discovered the new wave and changed completely.
GH You were never this typical Kopavogur-band (in the years 1979 to 1980 there was the wakening of punk rock, with lots of gigs in the Kopavogur cinema where Utangardsmenn/Outsiders and Fraebbblarnir and others were big).
SB No, it's a shame. We played there but not so much.
GH Well, and then Theyr developed...
SB Yes, I have been in three bands; Theyr, Kukl and Sugarcubes, but Theyr was the most insane of them all. It was a sort of group of people around the band, kind'of a family or 'cult' and it all went haywash when Jaz Coleman and Youth (from Killing Joke) came.
GH Why ?
SB We though we were about to make it and our gurus (Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and Gudni Runar Agnarsson) filled us with information that we were about to make it in the UK. We had too high hopes and it all ended in tears when nothing came out of this. Personal relationships were also quite unstable.
GH Was there some seriousness behind those ideologies that you adapted ?
SB Yes, but no. The song Rudolf was supposed to be criticism, but was really interpreted as we were nazis. We also adopted some nazi things like the clothing, but we were never real nazis. We were just showing off, just like today.
GH Kukl came next. A band totally against other things happening at that time. How did you all feel at the time ?
SB Kukl was a supergroup that was originated for a radio program, we liked working together. It was a good feeling opposing everything. We were crusaders at the time. We were on a musical crusade and it was healthy for us, after that I didn't need more crusading.
GH How about the republishing of the Theyr and Kukl stuff ?
SB I've given up trying to find the Theyr originals. Magnus (singer) prepared a Theyr collection for Enigma, but the master tapes got lost and Magnus says he doesn't know where they are. Therefore we'll take unused LP's and put over on DAT and then published.
GH All on one CD ?
SB No, Mjotvidur Maer on one and the small records on another.
GH What about Kukl ?
SB We'll probably do something similar, at least we will do The Eye. I dont know if we'll bother to redo Holidays in Europe, it's not worth it.
GH About Sugarcubes..
GH Was it a surprise how big the Sugarcubes became ?
SB Yes, at first. We tried to look at is as a comical thing. The same people we'd been talking to as Kukl were now very interested in the Sugarcubes even with two of the same singers. We just played popcliches and it worked.
GH It made you laugh ?
SB Yea, we laughed for a long time.
GH Then it became a routine ?
SB Yes routine is not healthy. It was bad for the moral when the band was working for some payments in advance, and things being decided in advance. It's really a miracle we can still talk together without needing lawyers.
GH Why are you going abroad now ?
SB We have been planning this for over a year, me and my wife. It became clear about last Easter where we'd be going, to Madison (in Wisconsin). I am happy with that, seems quiet and the culture is OK, I just feel like taking care of the home and relaxing.
GH What's the purpose of the trip ?
SB My wife's doctoral studies.
GH And you just take care of the baby ?
SB Yes and the home.
GH What about the drums, are they going into the closet ?
SB No, no. I have learned in the last year that the better I do as Bogomil Font the more I feel like a drummer. The drummer in me has been resting for over a year.
GH What do you want to drum, with what kind of band ?
SB I've got lots of ideas. Like playing ethnical music, sampled andlooped, played over and trampled on, an experimental idea - I'm doing something with this on my computer. I'm also interested in working something in Madison. I know Butch Vig (Nirvana) has his studio in Madison and I have contacted him and others I don't want to name.
GH Are you interested in playing session ?
SB No absolutely not. I'm very interested in playing with some good rappers. I want to do something I haven't done before, but I'll lay low to begin with and enjoy relaxing.
GH According to the popularity shouldn't you have started Bogomil Font earlier ?
SB Yes ..but I dont take Bogomil seriously. He's kind of a characterfrom a play. But many others seem to take him seriously and that's good.
GH Did is surprise you to have the best selling album (in Iceland) ?
SB Yes, I had the feeling this was a kind of a 'cult' thing, similar to Jupiters (another Icelandic band). But it seems we get through to a bigger crowd. It seems to be the main party music for 16 year olds and also for Theyr parents. That's of course very unhealthy. Not much punk in that.
GH Talking about punk, how does the old punk rocker feel here in Amma Lu (a club for older people) ?
SB Quite good really. Like I said I dont take Bogomil Font seriously and want to remind of my opening statement when we walked into this place. I am surprised that I never get stagefright when I stand in front and sing those songs. As a drummer on the other hand I often get a big stagefright, there I feel I have more responsibility, I'm not responsible for this Bogomil character. This can be explained psychologically in many ways!
Source: Scandinavian Indie Digest # 11 (1994)