After putting out the glorious “The Ghost That Carried Us Away” in 2007, Sindri has once again returned to his solo origins, renaming himself Sin Fang Bous to release “Clangour”. Recorded and self-produced in his home studio, it sounds like he had a lot of fun making it.
More electronic and upbeat than Seabear, it’s full of Animal Collective-style pop melodies, an esoteric rainbow of sounds and a savvy balance of the accessible and the experimental. IMX meet the maestro ofclangourous pop…
So first of all, what’s the story behind the mysterious name?
I wanted to have a name that didn’t mean anything so I made it up. Sin because of Sindri, Fang because I felt some of my teeth looked like fangs and Bous because I needed a last name. It is of course a way too long and complicated name. No-one can remember it or knows how to pronounce it. I pronounce it Sin Fang Bous (booze).
Did you have an idea of what you wanted to do with Clangour or did you just dive in headfirst?
I just recorded lots of stuff. I didn’t know how it was going to turn out but that was one of the thoughts behind it. I did lots of random improvised stuff and then of course only used a tiny bit of it. I think at some point I wanted to make a really chaotic pop album.
And do you think that’s what you’ve achieved now it’s done?
I think I’m pretty happy with it. I haven’t listened to it in a while though because after the recording/mixing/mastering process you're so sick of it. I'll listen to it in a couple of years and then I'll know if I’m happy with it.
It sounds like you had access to a lot of instruments…you must have an interesting studio. Or did you borrow some from other Seabear members too?
Well I've been collecting instruments for a while so most of the instruments I played were mine but yep, I used some of the instruments the guys had in my studio.
You seem to enjoy playing with found sounds and eccentric noises - where does that particular passion stem from?
When I started out trying to make music I didn’t play any instruments. I had some sound editing programs on my computer and was always recording stuff on my Minidisc player and playing with the sounds. I actually used lots of that stuff on the album.
Did you play everything on the album?
Yes. That was one of my rules for this album. Lots of my friends are musicians and its pretty easy to get them to play for me, but I wanted to see if I could make a whole album with me playing everything. I’m not the best percussion person in the world so it was a challenge but fun.
It sounds like you fulfilled some kind of personal mission with Clangour…
One of the foundations of this album was the sentence "listen to your crazy voice". I heard an artist say this in some DVD interview when I was in art school. I can’t remember his name but he said he always tried to listen hard to his crazy voice when he was making art. I think everyone has a crazy voice somewhere in the back of your head and I tried to listen to it when I was making this album. I also wanted to be a bit brave with my voice so i was singing a bit above my range and doing all sorts of experiments with it. And I wanted to play all the instruments myself on the album. I had lots of little missions on this album.
Soppy question I know, but who would you regard as your main influences, musically or otherwise over the years?
I’m not sure what my influences are as I don’t think about it that much. I always try to do music that I think I would want to listen to myself. The first thing I remember really loving was Michael Jackson. I was pretty obsessed with music as a child. I listened a lot to hip hop and rap and as a teen I listened to the whole post rock thing a lot. Now I listen to lots of old and new music. I follow music blog sites and stuff like that but I also listen to my vinyl records a lot.
What were your favourite Icelandic records of 2008; and what are you most
excited to hear in 2009?
There were lots of great ones… Sigur Rós, FM Belfast, Skakkamanage… and more. I've got high hopes for 2009 - Hjaltalín and Kimono I’m sure will deliver great albums.
What’s 2009 gonna bring?
I’m touring as Sin Fang Bous in Europe during May/June, and I think a few dates in the US. I’m working on a new album and maybe it will be out in the end of 2009 if I’m really hard working. Seabear will release an album and an EP in the fall/winter. There will also be some festivals this summer, in Europe and a US tour when the album comes out.