Since playing the Iceland Airwaves festival in 2005, Joseph Mount and his outfit Metronomy has gone from being a solo project to a full-blown electro-pop band. Since the release of their album Nights Out last fall, the group has built up a steady blog buzz and toured all over the UK and North America, wearing out dancing shoes wherever they’ve gone. They now have the honour of being the only non-Faroese, non-Bedroom Community affiliated international act to play Airwaves for a second time. I recently spoke to Mr. Mount about where the band is at right now.
It was a long break between your first and second albums. Will we have to wait another three years before you drop a new album or do you have plans to hit the studio again soon?
Sadly, it is seen as a long break, but in actual fact it felt like a very short time. In the three years we were trying to get out of a record deal and touring pretty hard. Fact is the next record will take much less than three years to make. The last one only really took about nine months.
What is your song writing process? Where do you do your best composing?
The process is very confused, but it is efficient. I compose best in a dark room after a few drinks…or an argument.
How do you know you’ve made a song you are happy with? What’s the feeling you get?
It takes a long time. You need to like it yourself, first of all. Then you need to feel like it was worthwhile by others enjoying it also. As a rule of thumb, I do not release music that I do not like.
You guys remixed U2’s City of Blinding Lights, but it wasn’t allowed to be released. What’s up with that?
That was a marketing decision I think. Fuck knows why they didn’t like it. They had a chance to back a young aspiring artist, but decided against it. It’s not unusual.
Your music videos are pretty clever. How much hand do you have in those? Do you owe it to the directors you’ve worked with?
It is a bit of both. In most cases I have come up with the ideas and given them to a director. Luckily we work with good video makers who understand our humour. They then take the idea and run with it. It’d good to let someone else have fun.
You have been touring fairly extensively since the release of Nights Out. How do you avoid hitting the wall of exhaustion?
Well, the new line up has postponed exhaustion to some extent. It’s very exciting and new for us all. Otherwise, we don’t. We get ill on the road and do our best to keep up. Of course we have the best job in the whole universe, but it is not without its minor problems.
Are you looking forward to playing at Airwaves for the second time? What makes you excited?
The first time I played at Airwaves was the first time I ever played abroad. I remember being so afraid and excited, it was a massive thing for me to do. No one else in the band has ever travelled to Iceland, and I keep telling them how beautiful the air is. The first time I played there had a huge impact on me.
And do you realise you are pretty much the only international act that has been invited to play Airwaves twice? How does that make you feel?
It is an honour. It’s maybe a mistake that I am able to come back, but of all the people in the world that could be invited I am probably the most grateful.
Any particular remembrances from your last Airwaves stint? What stuck out if anything? Also, a lot of first time Airwavesgoers will be reading this, so in that spirit: Do you have any advice for them? What not to miss, and what to dis?
I remember three things…
1. Being very nervous
2. How incredible the air was
3. How very English the people are
Beyond that, I would say that Iceland is a very unique place. I can’t dis anything. Really, nothing bad happened to me there last time.
What can the Airwaves audience expect from your live show?
A very excited bunch of English people who want nothing more than to put on a good show. I really can’t stress how excited we are, you probably get this a lot, but this is the highlight of our year.
- When: Friday 23:50
- Where: Reykjavík Art Museum
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