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paul & chris interview georg
(viðtal)

whats your favourite place to play at?

i think that this place is nice (royal festivall hall, london), but probably some of the places in iceland...maybe because of the crowds. they're a bit more noisy over there, but only after we finish the songs.

people in the uk tend to talk through gigs, which is pretty annoying.

yeah, but its getting better now.

so has your favourite gig been in iceland?

yes, i think we all agree that our favourite gig was in iceland, at the opera house. that was great.

so have you got any plans to play there again?

we'd like to, but no we've not got anything planned at the moment

we've heard that jónsi is considering singing in english on future releases, is that true?

yeah we're just thinking about it. we might try it, see if it works.

is that a natural progression, just something you thought you'd try?

yeah it is. maybe we'll have some songs in english and some in icelandic.

is that an attempt to crack the market over here?

no, we don't think of it like that. its just that some of the hopelandic sounds a bit like english, so maybe its easy to transform the hopelandic into english than into icelandic...icelandic is a little more harsh.

why did you choose to sign for fatcat?

because they're great guys!

you preferred that than signing to a major label?

yes definitely. we need to be free.

what about in america, will you do the same?

we'll maybe start off that way and see how it goes. in japan we'll probably go with a major.

did you enjoy it over in japan, you've just played the summer sonic festival havent you?

yes..its one of the most brilliant countries i've ever been to.

did you get a good reception over there?

yes definitely...we were told that japanese crowds dont even applaud you if they dont know the songs, they just stand and look at you. but they did for us. especially in osaka...maybe because it was a younger crowd.

what do you think of being constantly compared to bands like mogwai and the cocteau twins? does that annoy you?

maybe a bit, but people always do that. maybe to make it easier for press to describe the music. i can understand that but i dont think we sound like any of these bands. we've mostly never heard of these bands.

so what would you say were your main influences... what music did you listen to when you were growing up?

thats a really horrible question! theres no one band we all think has influenced us. for me, when i was younger i used to listen to leonard cohen and then later to bands like nirvana and led zepellin, but then i grew out of that. i still like those bands, but not in the same way. and the other guys listen to all kinds of stuff, heavy metal etc.

i heard that you're really into electronic music too, because you've signed to fatcat, an electronic label...

yeah thats right, we particularly like the fatcat stuff. especially 2 guys called smith and ludlow, they're excellent. really good.

so what are chasm like? they're on fatcat too, arent they... they're the support for your upcoming tour.

they're great...i've only heard one album but its really good.

we've also heard you're going to be experimenting with electronic music on your new album...is there any truth in that?

probably not....maybe in the future if it fits. but we'd never decide to definitely 'go electronic'. we'll just see how it goes.

so if it happens it'll be a natural progression then?

oh yeah, definitely

we've also heard you're going to be experimenting with electronic music on your new album...is there any truth in that?

probably not....maybe in the future if it fits. but we'd never decide to definitely 'go electronic'. we'll just see how it goes.

so if it happens it'll be a natural progression then?

oh yeah, definitely

what albums did each of the band members take part on? wasnt it ágúst drumming on the first two albums?

yes, on the first album (von) it was me, jónsi and ágúst. we've been on both albums, and kjartan was also on the last album. but orri hasnt been on any album yet. ágúst quit just after the opera house gig, that was his last gig...thats also why it was so special for us.

was that a big blow for you, when ágúst left?

yes it was, maybe we could see it coming but it was still a big shock. but then now we've got orri and he's a really great drummer.

the video for svefn-g-englar was shown on english tv last thursday...how did that come about?

it was an idea of jónsi and kjartans to start with. at first i was quite worried....i didnt want it to end up looking like some advert for a hospital or something. but as soon as we talked more about it it was fine. its a very simple idea. we got really good people to work on it, the perlan theatre group.

so are the perlan group big in iceland?

yes, they're very well known....they're the only downs syndrome acting group in iceland. they're really nice people. my favourite guy is the wind one. he used to just stand around with a cigarette all the time....

the quotes for the video...who came up with those?

it was because channel 4 asked us to do something for 4later. we just wanted to show the video. they didnt want to do that, they wanted something else too for the beginning, an interview or something. so dave (cawley, of fatcat records) came up with the idea of using these quotes. so i went out with a digital camera and filmed the area where we filmed the video. it took me a week to try and get it off my computer! it was about 1.5gigabytes! we eventually took a vhs video and recorded it straight off to my computer. we then wrote the quotes in. they're dave's idea too. we wanted to do our own quotes but didnt have time to do it, so dave suggested borrowing quotes from elsewhere, so we all sat down and found some we liked. my favourite is the last quote before the film which mentioned angels, which fitted the film perfectly. but we didnt want to be all arty-farty about it...we're not philosophers. we just thought they were great quotes.

can you tell us about hrafnagaldur othins. that means nothing to me, so can you explain what it is too?

yes, it its a thing from the icelandic sagas. probably the most famous one. there was a part of the book which was taken out because this norweigan guy said was a fake, but they've recently found out its real and been put back it. its very dark and horrible. hilmar who did the angels of the universe, had the idea of making music from this. we're going to make a whole concert from this if we can.

what articles that have been written about you have you been most satifisied with?

theres a lot of cliched stuff. theres also a lot of stuff we dont understand, its too poetic. we dont have a particular favourite, but do have one we like the least! thats the icelandic review. it was awful.

i havent read any good media reviews yet, its all cliched regurgiatated rubbish, about you and glaciars and stuff.

yeah, we always have to be photographed in front of a geyser. its such a cliche. i like kjarri's quote in Q, about the fact that its like taking pics of english bands in front of the tower of london...

have the instruments that were stolen from you been found?

yeah, they were actually stolen 2 or 3 times, maybe we should be more careful! we always get them back, except my bass is never taken...maybe thats because i have this small medallion inside it thats like a protective charm. it says something like 'their bows will break and their swords will be stabbed into their own hearts' or something. jonsis old guitar was smashed up last time, so thats why he's got the new one.

whats your favourite sigur rós song?

i like the new stuff, pop song, death song and those. from the album (ágaetis byrjun) i like viðrar vel til loftárása. i like the bass in that. but i think we've grown up a lot now. we've been trying to rehearse the old stuff for the union chapel gig. we all maybe think the album is a bit of a cliche now. i think that song is maybe a bit *too* epic.

mp3s, are you aware of this and the napster debate? whats your view on that? are you pro or against?

i'm definitely pro mp3s. i think that people that do get 1 or 2 songs from napster will then go out and get the cd, so i think its good. i think the music industry has to take a bit more control of it, its kind of out of control right now. if mp3s really did take over, then musicians would be out of money, and we'd be in trouble. but its fine as it is now, really good.

what are your favourite films?

i have a few. theres one i saw recently, a very old film called i think veronicas adventures or something. its a polish film from '69...very surreal. when you watch it the first time you dont get it, but the second time round its brilliant. i also like eraserhead.

 

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