Jófríður interviews Arnljótur - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Jófríður interviews Arnljótur

Jófríður interviews Arnljótur

Published October 22, 2013

Do you have a fashion idol?

There’s nobody in particular, although I have gone through my phases. When I was a kid it was Captain Hook and then as a teenager it was hippy culture, which I’m actually still pretty into despite some adaptations. I tend to get really excited about things and these days it’s decorative shirts, especially ones with the paisley pattern. It reminds me of both cells and shooting stars, which can be interpreted in many ways. I really enjoy having it on me.

Which would you prefer, living in a city and never seeing the ocean or living your whole life on a boat?

I think I’d prefer the boat. Seasickness is at least not a problem for me. I rewatched the great movie ‘Legend of 1900’ the other day and that might explain my choice.

Have you had a stalker?

Not that I know of…

Do you find it easier to express yourself in lyrics or through music?

I just like expressing myself in general. With Ojba Rasta it’s usually the lyrics that follow the music, but I don’t think one is better than the other. Lyrics and music can work so well together. Otherwise, 99% of everything that I have done musically has been lyrics-free. Sometimes the music needs lyrics. Sometimes not, because a word can make the music vortex around the word. Other times, things can’t be said with words. Everything is different.

What are you trying to get across when you combine the two?

It is impossible to explain here. It’s a symbiosis. People have to listen to the music and form their own experiences and observations. I’ve put everything into this and I mean what I produce. My subjects matter a lot to me and I make big demands on myself regarding what I produce. To make music and to release it is a bit like screaming into the future in some way and then it echoes forward. So one has to be careful about choosing what to scream. What’s important in life? Who am I? Isn’t the existential crisis largely propelling one forward?

How do you free the words in your poems from their meaning, if that is even something that you strive to do?

The Icelandic language is full of wormholes that allow ambiguity to flourish. Changing just one word can send everything into a different direction. Ambiguity can add meaning and new ways of experiencing the same thing. This relativity makes it an exciting area. That is, when things are not lost in translation, but rather found.

How do you go about creating meaning in the music that you make?

In some way you could say that I strive to create meaning by taking on things that I believe are important and doing that with sincerity. People also have to listen to the music though. But when people listen to the music, then it can become meaningful.


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