From Iceland — Character Shining Through: Seabear Returns

Character Shining Through: Seabear Returns

Character Shining Through: Seabear Returns

Published May 2, 2022

Photo by
Lilja Birgisdóttir & Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir

Seabear began as a solo project of Sindri Már Sigfússon—who you may also know as Sin Fang— in 2003. Since then, it has grown into a six-piece act involving musicians, each with projects of their own and each bringing something different to the table.

While their latest single, Waterphone, came out in 2019, their new album, In Another Life, marks the band’s first since 2010’s well-received We Built A Fire.

So naturally, our first question to Sindri Már was, what was the hold up? The pandemic? Not exactly.

“Six people within a democratic band, it takes a long time to get to a solution,” Sindri tells us. “So we have very long Facebook threads. We’re all so different in our personalities, music-wise, we have such broad musical tastes and opinions, which was one of the good things when the band started. It was a mix of classically-trained [and] art school kids, basically. But the delay is more because we just wanted to get it right. We had like 25 or 30 ideas for songs, but ended up with 10 or 12 on the album”

Just one of the gang

Sindri is more than happy to be just another member of the band when he writes with Seabear, as he finds the experience produces something he wouldn’t be able to accomplish on his own.

“I think we’re definitely going to do another album. I’m super happy with the sounds we did for this album. Everyone’s character really shines through.”

“I think more big-picture when I do Sin Fang,” he says. “I’ll usually write every part of a song. When I do demos [for Seabear], I’ll leave spaces for people to fill up. It’s not for me to fill the whole canvas. The demos also have to be stronger. I can’t just bury them in production tricks because the song has to be good to start with. You can make anything cool in the studio, which isn’t an option with this band. I also think more about how the song is going to translate live. I don’t think about that when I write a Sin Fang song; I’m writing it purely for my own gratification and I don’t think about any of that stuff. I’m more of a team player in Seabear.”

“I would have never made this album solo,” he adds. “I couldn’t make this music without these other co-writers. Everyone is equal in this band. It’s really fun. When you funnel an idea through six people, it’s always going to end up where you never would have ended up if you were just on your own.”

Why the reunion?

Getting the gang back together for one big score started as a joke of sorts, but then transformed into something magical.

“We were out to dinner with our partners, something we have an annual tradition of doing, and we were just talking about how funny it would be to make an album now, because the last album came out 12 years ago and was made 13 years ago,” he tells us. “Everyone’s changed a lot and has evolved as musicians as well. When we did the first two albums, we didn’t really know what the hell we were doing, stumbling our way through the dark trying to figure this thing out. So the basic idea was wouldn’t it be funny to make music together now and see what it’d sound like? Because we could never make music the way we did when we were in our 20s. It’s just not possible. Sometimes when you play a really old song of yours, it almost feels like you’re doing a cover, because you’re a completely different person.”

Once recording together again, the magic came back in spades.

“It felt like we never stopped,” he says. “That was the really funny part. We did the first song and my brother was listening to it and said, ‘Yeah, it sounds really Seabear-y.’”

The future looks bright

The experience was so positive, in fact, that fans of Seabear will likely not have to worry much about whether or not they can expect more from the band.

“We already have a few ideas that we’ve been working on remotely,” Sindri says. “This was actually quite easy to make for us. There was no drama. It was just fun. In the end, we were just happy that we pushed this over the finish line. We also fell into a groove where everyone has their part. I think we’re definitely going to do another album. I’m super happy with the sounds we did for this album. Everyone’s character really shines through.”

You can check out, and buy, In Another Life on Bandcamp, Discogs, Smekkleysa and other platforms.

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