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el mundo interviews sigur rós, october 2002

supposedly you sing in an invented language, hopelandish.

(jnsi) when i am writing, georg makes a bass line and i make a melody with my voice, without lyrics, although it sounds like words later. i mean, we don't sit down and start scribbling words in hopelandish. in fact, hopeland doesn't exist, and neither does its language. we called it that way after our song von (hope) and it became a snowball after that..

although you don't use song titles anymore, the ones of your first album seemed to suggest a quite spiritual thematic. was that your intention?

do you find our music spiritual? then it is spiritual. it is a little complicated for us to talk about this issue. there are people who interpret our music in that way. on the other hand, other people feel deeply sad and they cry. people can even start laughing hysterically.

what do you seek with your compositions?

we don't know. everything we do happens in a very natural way, there is nothing planned about our music.

what do you think about people who consider you a pretentious band?

ja, ja ja! well... yes, some people think we are very boring, and other people think we are really good. both attitudes are valid for us.

when you created the band, did you try to escape from explicit influences?

things just happen. we have never decided how we are going to sound like, or if we want to sound like this or that band.

what artists do you usually listen to?

right now, stan getz, lionel hampton and josephine baker.

you have recorded your new album in an old pool outside reykjavik. do you think it's good to be isolated in order to be more creative?

if you are a creative person, it doesn't matter where you are.

however, iceland seems to be a real sanctuary in that way.

(georg) actually i am going to move to spain, to girona.

did you know that dal's landscapes are inspired by that region?

yes. perhaps that changes our point of view about music. lets see if it gets more surrealist!

do you find annoying that every time people talk about sigur rs all the clichs about scandinavian landscapes, goblins, elves and all those things are mentioned?

we are a little tired, because it seems like those things can define our work. it seems clear that living in a given environment affects to you, but in a rather unconscious way. you never decide to sound like a particular landscape.

last year, when you played in spain, you broke, unwillingly, a cultural law, because people doesn't conceive to go to a concert without drinking or smoking.

well, it's not that we think that's wrong. simply, people misunderstood us. what we think is that drinking or smoking makes impossible to pay attention to our music. there have been concerts in which we were feeling umconfortable because the smoke was really dense, and we have also seen completely drunk people who weren't paying any attention to us. to make things worse, our style is so quiet that if people is talking very loud we can't even hear to ourselves. anyway next time we come here don't worry, we will let you do whatever you want.

besides quiet, it proves to be quite psychedelic. do you recommend to take drugs in order to enjoy it more?

no. we will never recommend anybody to take drugs, although many people think that we play or we compose while being drugged.

what do you feel when you are playing?

(jnsi) i feel open to everything. (georg) i am always waiting for something to happen. and, sometimes, it happens... somebody faints in front of you or throws up (laughing).

don't you feel tempted by rock'n'roll stars way of life?

we are not that kind of people. in the last world tour, for example, we realized how easy it was to get drugs. we did get drunk several times at the beginning, but it is not very recommendable because you lose your energies quickly. if playing is always hard, just imagine playing with hangover. we go to bed early now. sometimes we have a beer, but that's all.

do you receive many sexual propositions from fans?

never. it never happens. we are always waiting for groupies to come for us, but nothing.

two of your songs appeared in vanilla sky ost. how did the experience turn out?

well we didn't like it at all. cameron crowe asked for the songs. he used to write for rolling stone and listens to a lot of music, but it turned out to be a weird thing. it was too much hollywood like. we hope to have learned the lesson. (georg whispers laughing: "i hate tom cruise").

you have pronounced in favour of mp3, however, there was only one copy of your new record to listen under lock and key in the offices of your spanish record company.

that's true, specially our american company insisted on that. they are paranoid people.

what is the strangest opinion you have heard about your music?

(jnsi) when our first album came out, we had just put together the band and it was all like a dream. i played the record to my parents and they got petrified. then my little sister, sigurrs, started to cry. i went to the kitchen to prepare a coffee, my mother followed me and said: "mmmm, nice record".




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