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popplagiū.com    Sigur Růs Interviews      1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9       

 

Stuart Bailie interviews Georg Holm, bassist with Icelandís coolest act, prior to their show at Belfastís Empire Music Hall, 30 March 2000.

Stuart: Sigur Ros have already inspired some of the most pretentious journalism in the world. According to Melody Maker, "they sound like god weeping tears of gold in heaven". Is that right?

Georg. "I think itís a bit over the top. It sounds like a poem. But maybe thatís what our music is as well. Itís a poem."

Stuart: A lot of it boils down to the vocalist, Jonsi and his extraordinary style. Can you talk about the evolution of this, Georg?

Georg: "It took maybe a year. It started in a studio,. We did one song and found something we really wanted to do. And we started rehearsing after that and it wasnít the same. So it took maybe a year after that to develop into what we wanted it to beÖ until we found again what we wanted to do."

Stuart: Did you have any musical reference points, or was it an intuitive thing?

Georg: "It was just from our heart. A lot of the bands that the press has been comparing us to, we havenít even heard them. Until recently. We donít discuss it we just do. When we write the songs, it might start with a drum beat or a bassline or something and just slowly develops into a song. The song is never finished until we release it on the album and the singing just goes with the flow."

Stuart: Over here, Van Morrison has coined this phrase, Ďinarticulate speech of the heartí. The idea is that words are abstractions that donít mean that much, and to get to the core of your soul, you have to go down another level, where words donít have any meaning. You have to excavate down to that. Is that a useful parallel?

Georg: "Yeah. I think that fits the picture."


Stuart: "My understanding of Iceland was that there was this company called Bad Taste, which spawned the Sugarcubes, which in turn spawned the career of Bjork. It seems that Iceland isnít afrain of encouraging people with interesting avant garde ideas. In Britian, people sometimes mock that.

Georg: "I think itís not very easy in Iceland. People arenít that encouraging. In the other Scandanavian countries, bands that are doing something different, they can get funds from the state. In Iceland thereís nothing like this. Youíre completely on your own. You have to find the right people to help you."


Stuart: But in Iceland, youíre encouraged to move between rock and roll and poetry and other art forms. Thereís a more complete picture.

Georg: "Yeah, people in Iceland are very open to everything, really. Even though that might sound like a contradiction."


Stuart: You say itís hard, but youíve gone gold with your album. They say that only Whitney Houston is in the same league in Iceland. Is that true?

Georg: "Thatís true, I think weíve sold 7 000 records now. Thatís not a lot, but itís pretty good for a band like us. Pop bands can sell 12 -15000 if theyíre lucky."


Stuart: And this track, ĎBium Bium Bambaloí is based on a nursery rhyme. True?

Georg: "Itís actually based on an Irish nursery rhyme, a very old one. But the lyrics are in Icelandic."

Stuart: So letís talk about trout fishing, Georg. Iíve heard a rumour that you can catch fish in your teeth.

Georg: "Thatís absolutely true. Itís a long story. I canít remember actually doing it, but Iím certain that I can."

Stuart: The story I heard was that you were working together in a wooden hut in the wilderness. Everyone goes slightly mad. And at one stage, you dive into the water and catch a fish in your teeth. Will you allow us to believe that rumour?

"Definitely. Iím gonna let it evolve by itself. Itís a very funny story. Ha-ha!"

Stuart: Your album will be released shortly over here. Can you give us an idea what to expect?

Georg: "I just think people have to find out by themselves. I donít want to ruin the surprise."

Stuart: The big question is, will it sound like God weeping tears in heaven?

 

SIGUR ROS
Stuart Bailie interviews Georg Holm, bassist with Icelandís coolest act, prior to their show at Belfastís Empire Music Hall, 30 March 2000.

 

Stuart: Sigur Ros have already inspired some of the most pretentious journalism in the world. According to Melody Maker, "they sound like god weeping tears of gold in heaven". Is that right?

Georg. "I think itís a bit over the top. It sounds like a poem. But maybe thatís what our music is as well. Itís a poem."

Stuart: A lot of it boils down to the vocalist, Jonsi and his extraordinary style. Can you talk about the evolution of this, Georg?

Georg: "It took maybe a year. It started in a studio,. We did one song and found something we really wanted to do. And we started rehearsing after that and it wasnít the same. So it took maybe a year after that to develop into what we wanted it to beÖ until we found again what we wanted to do."

Stuart: Did you have any musical reference points, or was it an intuitive thing?

Georg: "It was just from our heart. A lot of the bands that the press has been comparing us to, we havenít even heard them. Until recently. We donít discuss it we just do. When we write the songs, it might start with a drum beat or a bassline or something and just slowly develops into a song. The song is never finished until we release it on the album and the singing just goes with the flow."

Stuart: Over here, Van Morrison has coined this phrase, Ďinarticulate speech of the heartí. The idea is that words are abstractions that donít mean that much, and to get to the core of your soul, you have to go down another level, where words donít have any meaning. You have to excavate down to that. Is that a useful parallel?

Georg: "Yeah. I think that fits the picture."


Stuart: "My understanding of Iceland was that there was this company called Bad Taste, which spawned the Sugarcubes, which in turn spawned the career of Bjork. It seems that Iceland isnít afrain of encouraging people with interesting avant garde ideas. In Britian, people sometimes mock that.

Georg: "I think itís not very easy in Iceland. People arenít that encouraging. In the other Scandanavian countries, bands that are doing something different, they can get funds from the state. In Iceland thereís nothing like this. Youíre completely on your own. You have to find the right people to help you."


Stuart: But in Iceland, youíre encouraged to move between rock and roll and poetry and other art forms. Thereís a more complete picture.

Georg: "Yeah, people in Iceland are very open to everything, really. Even though that might sound like a contradiction."


Stuart: You say itís hard, but youíve gone gold with your album. They say that only Whitney Houston is in the same league in Iceland. Is that true?

Georg: "Thatís true, I think weíve sold 7 000 records now. Thatís not a lot, but itís pretty good for a band like us. Pop bands can sell 12 -15000 if theyíre lucky."


Stuart: And this track, ĎBium Bium Bambaloí is based on a nursery rhyme. True?

Georg: "Itís actually based on an Irish nursery rhyme, a very old one. But the lyrics are in Icelandic."

Stuart: So letís talk about trout fishing, Georg. Iíve heard a rumour that you can catch fish in your teeth.

Georg: "Thatís absolutely true. Itís a long story. I canít remember actually doing it, but Iím certain that I can."

Stuart: The story I heard was that you were working together in a wooden hut in the wilderness. Everyone goes slightly mad. And at one stage, you dive into the water and catch a fish in your teeth. Will you allow us to believe that rumour?

"Definitely. Iím gonna let it evolve by itself. Itís a very funny story. Ha-ha!"

Stuart: Your album will be released shortly over here. Can you give us an idea what to expect?

Georg: "I just think people have to find out by themselves. I donít want to ruin the surprise."

Stuart: The big question is, will it sound like God weeping tears in heaven?

Georg: "Definitely!"

Sigur Růs:
Jůn řůr Birgisson (vocals, guitar),
Georg Holm (bass),
Kjartan Sveinsson (keyboards/piano), Orri PŠll Dżrason (drums)

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