From Iceland — An Experimental Birthday Gift

An Experimental Birthday Gift

Published July 19, 2023

An Experimental Birthday Gift
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Skelkur Í Bringu breaks from hibernation

Welcome back to the filthiest interview column in Iceland. In this issue, we went to a secret location to interview the non-punk, psytrance-influenced, Reykjavik-based band Skelkur Í Bringu.

We’re a Happy Family

Skelkur Í Bringu has three components and two of them are close cousins, Pétur Eggertsson on drums and Steinunn Eldflaug Harðardóttir – who also performs as dj. flugvél og geimskip – on vocals and bass. Hold your “every Icelander is related anyway” jokes as long as you can, please. While guitarist Siggi Hólm Lárusson might not directly be related to Steinunn, they have been friends since high school.

 “It’s a matter of life or death.”

The formation of Skelkur Í Bringu can be traced back to one peculiar birthday celebration in 2007. “We were going to meet at my house to drink some alcohol,” recalls Pétur. “We needed to get a birthday gift for our friend, Sindri Freyr, so we made a bunch of songs about him.” Three songs were crafted as a tribute, but the reaction to the gift remains a bit of a mystery. Despite this, the band decided to take their songs to the next level and began performing them.

Photo by Art Bicnick


“They told me I needed to play the bass, so I learned a few weeks before our first show,” says Steinunn. Shortly after, they embarked on a four-day tour around Reykjavík. Their musical activities tend to peak during the summertime, with the band feeling a temporary disconnect during the winter as they hibernate.

“We listen a lot to rockabilly, Indian music and psytrance. We mix everything and then something comes out the other side.” Up until now, Skelkur Í Bringu has recorded seven albums, but only one has been released. “We are not sure where the masters for most albums are really,” Pétur laughs, while Siggi adds: “I’m pretty sure one of them ended up in a pizza box and got thrown up on.” The only person who probably has all their albums, whether released or vomited upon, is superfan Hörður Gabríel. “He is a legend in Iceland. Music for him is like what bread is for people. If you want to hear an album that hasn’t been released, he has it,” explains Steinunn.

 “Sound needs space to travel through. Ægir is the sound and Hörður Gabríel is the space.”

This Must Be The Place

Within the Icelandic music scene, the importance of DIY venues cannot be overstated. One such venue that holds great significance for Skelkur Í Bringu is R6013. “It’s a matter of life or death,” says Steinunn who thinks these places are vital as they provide a space for young bands to practice, create and keep music alive. She credits Ægir Sindri Bjarnason for bringing important bands to R6013, as he runs the venue from the basement of his house. Steinunn dreams of seeing Björk grace the venue, while Siggi longs for Metallica. “Sound needs space to travel through,” Steinunn concludes.

Photo by Art Bicnick

Skelkur í Bringu released their song, “Lúmski Snákurinn”, on July 14, along with an accompanying music video. Watch it below. 

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