From Iceland — Eating Pizza, Reading Books With MSAASS

Eating Pizza, Reading Books With MSAASS

Published October 5, 2011

Eating Pizza, Reading Books With MSAASS

My Summer as a Salvation Soldier is one of Þórir Georg Jónsson’s many musical projects. Þórir first stormed the 101 Reykjavík music scene with a fetching and ultra-sad cover of Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya’ back when that song was still relatively fresh. Since then, he’s been providing humans with a steady stream of high-quality output, whether it’s under the guise of MSAASS, post-hardcore outfit Gavin Portland, crust-core (yeah) masters The Deathmetal Supersquad, the indie-tastic Bvmmer…. wow. We could spend all day naming his bands. But we won’t. Just check any of them out – you won’t be disappointed.


Anyway, we e-mailed Þórir to get his thoughts on this year’s festival and whatnot. Read his answers below. Hurrah!


Who are you? What can we expect from your Airwaves appearance, and what can we expect of you in general? 


I’m Þórir, a member of the band My Summer as a Salvation Soldier (among others). I used to be the sole member of the band but now it has transformed into a three-piece rock band. From our Airwaves appearance you can expect a great rock show with folk leanings. From me personally and in general you can expect me to be knowledgeable about punk rock, eating pizza, reading books and talking about cinema.


What are some of the acts you want to see at this festival, and why? 


There are plenty of acts I want to see, both local and international. Saktmóðigur, Prinspóló, Mount Kimbie, James Blake and Quadruplos are some of them. But there are a lot more.


Are there any acts missing from the bill that you’d like to see on there? 


I’ve never really given that any thought. I’m sure there are. Aren’t there always?


Wow. There are, like, one million ‘international’ acts on this year’s schedule. Have you heard of any of them? Are you excited to see any of them?  Do you believe this changes anything for the festival in general, and its spirit?


Well yes, I try to keep up with what’s going on in the music world so I have heard quite a lot of them and look forward to seeing some of them. I think Airwaves would be a very different festival (for better or worse) if they’d stop booking international bands altogether. It would be less diverse from year to year obviously, and it would make it a lot less interesting for the Icelandic concertgoers I think.


Looking back, do you have a favourite edition of Iceland Airwaves? And if so, why? 


Not really, of course there are memorable shows but there isn’t a single year that stands out for me.


A lot of our readers are first time Airwaves-visitors. Do you have any tips for them? What to see, what to do, what to avoid, etc? Where to buy records? Or a good place to grab a bite or get away from it all for a while?


The best affordable places in the city to get food are Pizza King and Drekinn. The former offers the best pizzas in the city (and quite possibly the world) if you ask me and Drekinn is a great place to grab a veggie burger. Iceland unfortunately is not the ideal country to shop for records in. But my favourite place in Reykjavík to buy music is without a doubt Geisladiskabúð Valda.


Given that most Airwaves-visitors won’t have a lot of time in their schedule to see the Icelandic countryside, are there any nature-havens close by that you’d recommend?


Within the city limits there aren’t many, but I’d recommend Elliðárdalur and Grótta as places that are within walking distance from the city centre and are quite beautiful.


Has a lot changed in the Icelandic music scene since Airwaves 2009? How about Airwaves 2002?


I can’t say I’ve noticed that much change since 2009 but the music scene now is barely comparable to the scene in 2002 for so many reasons.


Who are your favourite Icelandic acts these days? 


Tentacles of Doom, Saktmóðigur, Muck, Quadruplos, Me the Slumbering Napoleon… I could go on and on but those bands are all great.


A lot of international journalists like to ask: “How has kreppa affected the Icelandic music scene.” Do you think the question is valid? Do you have a preferred way of answering it? 


Well I suppose it’s as valid as any other questions, which require you to make generalisations about the Icelandic music scene. It has definitely affected it. But I think it has mostly affected the boring business/economical side of it. Not so much the creative part of it. The scene here has always been very active and creative and that certainly hasn’t changed at all.




Watch Þórir do some of what he does best here!

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