A Grapevine service announcement Pay attention: Holuhraun, still spewing lava. Bárðarbunga, still sinking.

Sigur Rós Denies Split Rumours, Confirms Others

Published May 15, 2012

In an exclusive interview with the Grapevine, Georg Hólm (Goggi) and Jón Þór Birgisson (Jónsi) deny persistent rumors that Kjartan Sveinsson—who has been with the band since 1998—quit Sigur Rós.
The bandmates likewise dismiss as “fabrication” the stories published in the Icelandic media that an already-complete second album will follow-up their sixth release—Valtari, out May 28. These rumors have been running rife around Reykjavík for the past months, going as far as prominent music critic Dr. Gunni publishing them as fact on his website, before issuing a retraction.
Jónsi does confirm, however, that Kjartan will not be playing with the band on their world tour this summer, which begins in Philadelphia at the end of July.
The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RÚV) released an excerpt from an interview this afternoon wherein Kjartan himself confirms that he will be replaced on the upcoming tour by Ólafur Björn Ólafsson on keyboard and oboe, and Kjartan Dagur Hólm—younger brother of Georg and member of celebrated post-rockers For A Minor Reflection—on guitar.
Regarding his bandmate’s decision to bypass the summer tour, Jónsi told the Grapevine that he suspects that Kjartan is “tired of touring,” and that he wants to “spend his time doing something else.” Georg adds that the time consumed by touring is “not necessarily the most productive,” and Jónsi agrees that time spent on tour is not very “creative.”
Kjartan was, as per usual, involved in the making of the band’s forthcoming album, and no comments have been made regarding the lineup on the band’s impending 2013 tour.
Read the full Sigur Rós interview in the Grapevine‘s newest issue.
You can also read more of our online coverage about the new Sigur Rós LP, or our track-by-track sneak preview of Valtari.



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Geir Haarde Lands Washington D.C Ambassadorial Post

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Former Prime Minister of Iceland, Geir H. Haarde, has landed a pivotal ambassadorial post in Washington D.C, reports RÚV. Geir is most known for being prime minister during Iceland’s 2008 economic meltdown. In 2010, parliament voted in favour of Geir standing trial for negligence and mismanagement while in office. Geir was eventually found guilty of one of the four charges of negligence levied against him. As reported, the charge was that he either knew or should have known that he had to respond in some way to the information he had been receiving that the economy was unstable. Prosecutor Sigríður

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Iceland Sends Men Only To UN Conference On Women

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Iceland, considered a global leader in gender equality, has announced it will send only men to a U.N. conference on women and gender equality, reports ABC. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson told the U.N. General Assembly of world leaders on Monday that the January “barbershop” conference will be unique, “as it will be the first time at the United Nations that we bring together only male leaders to discuss gender equality.” It won’t however, be the first time in history that male leaders get together to discuss women’s issues, without any women present. According to Gunnar Bragi, the

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Tax Committee Chair: “No Choice” But For Government To Buy Tax Evasion Evidence

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The chairperson of parliament’s Tax and Economics Committee believes the Icelandic government should buy evidence of tax evasion, a sample of which has already been offered to authorities. RÚV reports that Frosti Sigurjónsson, a Progressive MP and the chairperson of the Tax and Economics Committee, believes the government should pay to receive only legal documentation of Icelanders evading taxes. If the documents were illegally obtained, he added, this detail would certainly “complicate” matters. “If it’s true what I’ve heard, that the Germans have gone this way, buying this kind of information, than I believe we have no choice but to

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No Known Icelanders In ISIS

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The National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police confirms there is no evidence that any Icelanders have joined forces with the theocratic extremist group ISIS. Vísir reports that they sent a formal inquiry to the police on the matter, and were informed that – to the best of anybody’s knowledge – no Icelandic citizens have joined forces with ISIS. As far-fetched as the possibility may sound, European Union anti-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove told the BBC that over 3,000 EU citizens have already joined ISIS. Closer to home, Vísir adds that at the beginning of the summer, Danish secret services revealed

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Murder In Breiðholt

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A 28-year-old man is in police custody, suspected of having strangled his wife. The suspect denies the charges against him. RÚV reports police were alerted to the scene shortly after midnight yesterday, at which time the victim had been dead for a few hours. It is also reported that the couple’s two children, aged two and five, were in the home at the time of death, but were asleep. Vísir reports that the suspect denies killing his wife, and was led into Reykjavík District Court yesterday for a custody hearing. He will remain in police custody until October 17. “These

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Volcano Watch: Lava Field Bigger Than Lake Mývatn

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The lava field created by the Holuhraun eruption is now 44.5 square kilometres, reports RÚV. By comparison, Lake Mývatn is 37 km2. Seismic activity continues to be strong with as many as 60 earthquakes reported in the Bárðarbunga area on Saturday. The largest earthquake reported yesterday had a magnitude of 5.2 and the subsidence of Bárðarbunga caldera continues. Since September 12, the caldera has subsided by 7 metres and the subsidence has now reached the caldera’s half-way point. Iceland’s Civil Protection and Emergency Management services have closed roads in the Northeast, north of Dyngjufall as well as some roads out

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