Truth be told, the concept of a supergroup isn’t all that enticing. Oh sure, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young belted out some classics in their heyday, and who could forget the musical stylings of Cream. But that was a different era – most of their successors in the field of supergroupdom have been decidedly un-super in every way. For the most part, supergroups are a bile, bloated and boring remnant of an era thankfully long gone.
And this is why we won’t refer to Esja as a supergroup, even though they have the pedigree to back the “super” along with the unity to support “group”. For even though Esja is the musical offspring of two bona fide Icelandic Music Icons – a situation that would normally spur a gargantuan clash (or stroking) of Egos – the band visibly puts a focused, positive energy into their creative efforts and channels their unbridled creative joy right back at any audience they confront.
But of course. Daníel Ágúst (of Gusgus, Ný Dönsk and solo fame) and Krummi (Mínus, Jesus Christ Superstar) are professionals, and they have in their respective careers both displayed again and again a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to make and play great music. And the lesser known bandmembers – film-maker Frosti Gringó (drums, formerly of grindcore champions Klink), Halldór Björnsson (keys, also member of The End) and recent addition Bjarni (guitar, also in Mínus) – all rigidly talented men in their own right, add crucial elements to the mix, making the band a true live sensation. At least if you dig their style of gritty seventies rock.
A Friendship Evolves
Loading out gear the morning after a packed release show at NASA, singer Krummi sounds hung over, tired and ecstatic about everything, still high from last night’s show. “Esja was born of a singular passion, and out of coincidence for the most part. It’s like it was meant to be. Daníel and I kept meeting at the Keflavík airport, on our way to do tours or work abroad. And a friendship was born, one that keeps growing,” Krummi fondly reminisces.
“Then one day I stumbled into a studio he was working at, right next to Sirkús, and we started jamming, me on the guitar. There really was no turning back after that, and now we have an album that we are really proud of. We’re already writing songs for the next one, this isn’t a one-off. It’s a full-time band, and we plan on playing as much as we can, remaining best friends and dressing smart.”