From Iceland — Airwaves Special: Þórir

Airwaves Special: Þórir

Published October 6, 2007

Airwaves Special: Þórir

“Sometimes, I think it might be fun to be in just one band, and focus on that,” says young musician Þórir. “But the reason I am in so many bands is that you form a band, and then the others don’t have time to do anything for two months and then you have to form a new band to keep occupied.”

Þórir will probably be this year’s Airwaves busiest performer. He is a member of three bands that play during the festival. His solo project My Summer as a Salvation Soldier, the hardcore outfit Gavin Portland, and finally Deathmetal Supersquad, which will play during the Nordic House special program on Saturday. “I haven’t finalised the schedule yet, but so far, I will be playing eight shows in four days.”

Gavin Portland’s debut album, Views of Distant Towns, met with great reviews last year. Following the release and their performance at last year’s Airwaves, Kerrang! editor Paul Brannigan offered the band a slot on a Kerrang! mini-tour of the U.K. in support of post-hardcore legends, Hell is for Heroes. “He sent us an email and asked us to come on tour. This was not a big deal really. Basically, there is just one person in the U.K. that likes Gavin Portland. It is just a coincidence that he is the editor of Kerrang!.”

Þórir’s solo project, My Summer as a Salvation Soldier stands in stark contrast to the abrasive Gavin Portland. Lo-fi and emotional melodies, usually strummed on an acoustic guitar by the singer, although a band sometimes backs him. As a solo artist, Þórir has toured extensively, including a trip to SXSW and all over Europe. “I never thought this was music that many people would accept. I show up with an out-of-tune guitar and I can’t really sing, and singing about very personal stuff, I thought people would shut this out.” His next album is scheduled for release in two months and will be distributed by Cargo Records. “I recorded this album by myself. I just did it on my laptop in my room,” Þórir explains “I had some difficulties. My laptop crashed and I lost all my recordings. Eventually though, I had 45 songs ready, and I chose 12 for the album.”

Despite the name, Deathmetal Supersquad has little to do with death metal. Originally, the band started as a project between two friends who played simple folk punk on an acoustic guitar and a drum kit. The most recent line-up features a bass player as well, and a third friend who was simply added so they could spend more time together. “The point with Deathmetal Supersquad was never for it to be a real band. It was just for us to be able to hang out together, because we were not playing together in any other band. We just decided to add him as well. He has never played bass before.” The band is working on an album that will be released early next year and plans for a tour are underway.

So, which project does he enjoy the most? “When it comes to pure fun, I’d say Deathmetal Supersquad because the only point with that band is to have fun together. If we don’t feel like rehearsing, we just go out for a pizza or listen to records and we never play shows unless it is something we enjoy.”

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