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frequently asked questions
algengar spurningar

what is sigur rós?

a rock band from iceland. the members of the band are:

  • jón þór birgisson (nickname jónsi) - vocals, guitar, synth
  • kjartan sveinsson (nickname kjarri) - piano, keyboards, guitar, flute
  • georg hólm (nickname goggi) - bass, xylophone
  • orri páll dýrason (nickname erm.. orri) - drums, keyboards

has that always been the line-up?

no, the original drummer, águst, left the band to in 1999 (shortly after the recording of ágætis byrjun), in order to pursue a career in graphic design. he was replaced with orri. kjartan joined the band around 1998.

when did sigur rós form?
in august 1994, the same day jónsi's sister, sigurrós, was born (hence the band name).

what does 'sigur rós' mean?
sigur rós translates directly to 'victory rose'. sigur rós was named after jónsi's little sister, whose name is sigurrós (without a space). sigurrós is a fairly common female name in iceland. you can find more translations here.

can i use music by sigur rós in my film or video?
please fill out this permission form. the permission form will be sent to management for consideration. they'll be in contact with you in due course.

where can i get that song from vanilla sky? ("the nothing song")
the song at the end of vanilla sky (on the roof of the skyscraper) is called njósnavélin (a.k.a. the nothing song) and is the 4th track on the 2002 album, ( ). the song had not been recorded in a studio when vanilla sky (2001) was made, so the recording you hear in the movie is from a concert (the roskilde festival in denmark, june 2000). you can download mp3s and videos of this song through here.

what's that song where the bassist uses a drumstick?
this song is called hafssól (aka hafsól) and is on sigur rós's first album, von. the version they play at concerts is a revamped rendition of the song, and it has in fact been changed so drastically since it was recorded that the band have re-recorded it. it appeared as a b-side on the hoppípolla single.

what language does jónsi sing in?
on von, ágætis byrjun and takk, jónsi sang most songs in icelandic but a few of the songs were sung in 'hopelandic'. all of the vocals ( ) are however in hopelandic. hopelandic (vonlenska in icelandic) is the 'invented language' in which jónsi sings before lyrics are written to the vocals. it's of course not an actual language by definition (no vocabulary, grammar, etc.), it's rather a form of gibberish vocals that fits to the music and acts as another instrument. jónsi likens it with what singers sometimes do when they've decided on the melody but haven't written the lyrics yet. many languages were considered to be used on ( ), including english, but they decided on hopelandic. hopelandic (vonlenska) got its name from first song which jónsi sang it on, hope (von). tracks 7-9 on takk are in hopelandic.

where can i find sigur rós lyrics and translations?
the lyrics to ágætis byrjun can be found in the lyrics section and (very rough) unofficial translations of them can be found in our elsewhere section. some lyrics to takk can be found on the takk section. you won't be able to find lyrics and translations from ( ) because the vocals don't contain lyrics [see question above]. title translations can also be found in the lyrics section.

where can i find bootlegs and live videos?
hundreds of live recordings and videos can be found on the sigur rós ftp site: ftp://ftp.sigur-ros.co.uk (anonymous login).

there is a long silence in my copy of ( ), is this normal?
yes, that's what it's supposed to be like. the abrupt end of track 4 is followed by 36 seconds of silence, which signifies the division of the album's two halves: the "sweet" half and the "heavy" half.

where can i buy sigur rós's first two albums, von and von brigði?
you can order sigur rós's first two albums from the band's online store, called klink. please note that von brigði is not an original album, it's a remix album of von. there is, however, one original sigur rós song on it, called leit af lífi.

how old are the members of sigur rós?

  • jónsi is born april 23rd 1975.
  • georg is born april 6th 1976.
  • orri is born july 4th 1977.
  • kjartan is born january 2nd 1978.

is there a sigur rós ftp site?
yes: ftp://ftp.sigur-ros.co.uk (anonymous login)

what kind of equipment does sigur rós use?
here are two very extensive features/interviews about sigur rós's equipment: sound on sound (2002) / future sound (2005). most people are curious to know what jónsi does to make his guitar sound like it does. he uses a gibson les paul guitar and a cello bow with a lot of rosin, through a lot of reverb. more details can be found in the articles.

do the members of sigur rós speak english?
yes, they all speak english. georg speaks most fluently (having briefly lived in england) while jónsi has the thickest icelandic accent (you can listen to the guys speak english in this interview).

what is englar alheimsins (angels of the universe)?
englar alheimsins is an icelandic film by friðrik þór friðriksson. the soundtrack for the film was a score by hilmar örn hilmarsson, a famous icelandic composer. the soundtrack also features two songs by sigur rós (bíum bíum bambaló and dánarfregnir og jarðarfarir). these two songs appear in the climax of the film. for more information click here. another soundtrack that sigur ros have been involved with was that for the documentary film hlemmur, about homeless people living in the main bus station in reykjavík. this instrumental electronic soundtrack will be released at some point but in the meantine, you can download a song from the score here.

where can i get the englar alheimsins film and soundtrack?
it is available in a variety of formats here.

have sigur rós ever collaborated with mogwai?
no. there are a couple of mp3s going around named e.g. "sigur ros & mogwai - luvstory". these mp3s have nothing to do with sigur rós, nor with mogwai. they were made by the korean band 500won project whose name was put on the mp3 by someone outside the band, which resulted in sigur rós and mogwai fans spreading the mp3s around the internet.