From Iceland — Music for the Masses

Music for the Masses

Published August 20, 2004

Music for the Masses

Grapevine: What are your influences?
Böddi: Sting and Guns n’ Roses.
GV: Sting and Guns n’ Roses. Really? You’re not a 101 band, are you?
Böddi: No. What we’re playing is just for us. We’ve got good material though.
We’ve got interesting stuff that is not far from what’s been done before, but it’s got some unique features.
GV: Well that’s blunt. And you sound like realists.
Böddi: We have melodic rock.
(Interruption as a Touch fan approaches me and almost head butts me.)
GV: I’ve heard complaints about Icelandic vocals. Namely that there aren’t enough strong vocalists in the music scene here (well, there was this band Ríkið, but they´ve quit now. -Ed).
Kópur (the drummer): I don’t agree with that. We have Stuðmenn, Stefán Hilmarsson. We have plenty of great vocalists, they’re just in a different market.
GV: Not the 101 market?
Böddi: Definitely not.
GV: So who is your music for, exactly?
Böddi: We play music for everyone. My mom is in there. And I see 16 year old girls in there.
Kópur: My mom would be in there, too, but she doesn’t have a dress.

Moments after this final line, I take a seat next to Böddi’s mom and some of the many 16 year old women in attendance. The concert is completely and totally entertaining. A great voice and excellent drumming can make up for a lack of image – actually they combine perfectly with a lack of image. The band’s original numbers are indeed melodic rock a la Matchbox 20 but, honest to god, after months covering droning Icelandic hipster rock, it feels as refreshing as a Budweiser on a hot day (Love in a canoe -ed).

Especially given the visual effects: everybody in the band has cup holders attached to the mic stands. The guitarist has a shirt that says “I only sleep with the best,” a goatee, and a tribal tattoo on his bicep, as do many members of the audience. Böddi, often seemingly ecstatic about his voice and body, flops on the floor, jumps from tables and croons to anyone who will come near him – and many women and a couple transvestites do.

A friend who walked by the show, quickly, said the following over beers at Bar 11: “I’ve never seen so many people in Da Palace. And I’ve never been so afraid of them.”

If that’s not real rock, I don’t know what is.

Check out Touch at, and hear them on FM radio.

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