From Iceland — It’s Our Party, and We’ll Play if We Want to

It’s Our Party, and We’ll Play if We Want to

Published November 8, 2007

It’s Our Party, and We’ll Play if We Want to

How does it work from a practical viewpoint having half the band living on a different continent, now that two members (Árni R.H. and Lóa) have recently moved to New York?
Árni R.H: Árni [V.] is coming out in November and we’re going to fi nish recording and maybe even work on some new material.
Árni V: Personally I think some of the best things that happen with us are unexpected. Like how we often have people on stage that haven’t necessarily been rehearsing with us.
Árni R.H: Like during Airwaves this year.
Árni V: We played fi ve gigs, four of which were on Saturday, and in the last concert, at Gaukurinn, there were at least four or fi ve people with us who maybe came in in a few songs but who weren’t ever at rehearsals.

But you’d say that you are the core, you two and Lóa?
Árni R.H: Yeah we don’t play without Árni, and we don’t play without Lóa or without me. Everyone else is… very important, but they can’t always be there and we can’t always bring them along.
Árni V: Originally it was just Árni [R.H.] and Lóa playing around… Someone said as a joke that they should cover a song by Rage Against the Machine, and they did it, and since then it’s just been building onto itself.
Árni R.H: With that song, Lotus, you can really hear the difference between the recorded and the live versions of our songs. On the recording, Lóa just sings a small chorus, but when it’s taken live it has a lot more power in it.

Then you have additional voices as well.
Árni R.H: Yeah then we have extra voices. But there is a different mood in the live set, and we’re trying to get elements of that into some recordings that we’re doing now.
Árni V: It would be easy to criticize us as a plugand- play band, but it’s not completely like that.
Árni R.H: It’s a bit diffi cult to get people to understand what exactly we do with our equipment. I can control how loud all these elements are as well as where we are in the song. I think people are slowly starting to realize, once they’ve been to a couple of shows, that it’s not always the same, it changes each time.

In the past year I started to recognize FM Belfast as a sort of a “party-band.” You play a lot of concerts that are connected to private events –is that some sort of strategy or is the goal just to play as much as possible?
Árni R.H: I think just play as much as possible. It’s so much fun to play.
Árni V: I think it’s just really a mature approach to play anything and anywhere. To not be starting a band and aiming for Laugardalshöll, you know, “we’re going there!” But rather just being willing to try anything out.
Árni R.H: And we have tried quite a lot. We’ve tried Mál & Menning bookstore for example, and people danced there.
Árni V: Instead of being like “All right, dance now! Join us!” I think we’re getting the message across by enjoying it ourselves.

Well it’s a unique approach, that you can come together quite spontaneously and still not be afraid to share your music with people, whatever state it’s in.
Árni V: Yes I think that’s quite right. It’s really important to be able to play wherever for whomever.
Árni R.H: I also think just showing people joy, instead of trying to be really cool on stage makes a huge difference. People just want to dance. They don’t want to dance to something that seems too arrogant.
Árni V: And that wasn’t a conscious decision either. We’re not up there like “here we are performing, for you the audience.” We do this so as to get people along with us.
Árni R.H: Yeah, it’s our party, and everyone’s invited.

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