Besides Icelandic artists and entertainers, it’s almost impossible to find musicians who decide to tour Iceland. It just doesn’t happen. That’s why, when we found out that an Irish surf-pop musician and a punk rock band were organising concerts all around the country, we were both curious and excited at the prospect.
All along the ring road
“I think the concept comes from the fact that for many years my brother and I, when we were in our band called Vamos, used to do quite a lot of tours of Ireland, the UK, and mainland Europe,” Vinny Wood says. “So I basically decided to bring this other band over, this guy I grew up with called Eoin Dolan, who is a producer, musician and songwriter.”
Eoin and Vinny couldn’t be more different, when it comes to their creative endeavours. Eoin’s soft melodies have a retro feeling that transports you back to the ‘50s, with a slight nod to the early Beatles. Vinny and his brother Tom, instead, hit their drums hard and will have you jumping wildly on the dancefloor in no time at all. Together, they’ll charm your socks off, starting with a concert in Reykjavík on Saturday October 6, then hitting hostels all around Iceland, including the Freezer Hostel in Rif.
While Vinny lives with his girlfriend Una Sigurðardóttir in Stöðvarfjörður, in the East of Iceland, Eoin will be flying over from Ireland just for the tour. “When you go through that effort to go to another country then you try and do as many gigs as you can in the time that we have,” Vinny explains.
Exciting times ahead
Even though Vinny is about to go on tour, his exciting long-term project takes most of his time on a day-to-day basis. For the past three years, in fact, he and his girlfriend have been working on building a state-of-the-art analogue record studio in an old fish factory—the first one in Iceland to record music on tape instead of on computers. Surrounded by the beautiful scenery of Stöðvarfjörður, the studio would not only be a place to record albums, but also an opportunity to connect with one’s deepest emotions and fuel creativity.
Besides the cost of the tape, which is has become increasingly harder to find, recording analogue isn’t as expensive as one thinks. But the main benefit one gets from employing this technique is the feeling of being there, in the moment. “There is much more focus on the performance of the music rather than on the tiny details,” Vinny explains excitedly. “It’s human, it’s organic and I think that’s what translates most of all from doing an album this way.”
To help with this endeavour, Vinny and Una have partnered up with one of the best acoustic designers in the world. John Brandt, who’s worked with Fleetwood Mac and Eddie Kramer, the producer of Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, has designed hundreds of recording studios in the world and he’s pushing the team to get the best out of their project. With such a hard-working team and a promising enterprise, Vinny and Una have everything to look forward to.