In an exclusive interview with the Grapevine, Georg Hólm (Goggi) and Jón Þór Birgisson (Jónsi) deny persistent rumors that Kjartan Sveinsson—who has been with the band since 1998—quit Sigur Rós.
The bandmates likewise dismiss as “fabrication” the stories published in the Icelandic media that an already-complete second album will follow-up their sixth release—Valtari, out May 28. These rumors have been running rife around Reykjavík for the past months, going as far as prominent music critic Dr. Gunni publishing them as fact on his website, before issuing a retraction.
Jónsi does confirm, however, that Kjartan will not be playing with the band on their world tour this summer, which begins in Philadelphia at the end of July.
The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RÚV) released an excerpt from an interview this afternoon wherein Kjartan himself confirms that he will be replaced on the upcoming tour by Ólafur Björn Ólafsson on keyboard and oboe, and Kjartan Dagur Hólm—younger brother of Georg and member of celebrated post-rockers For A Minor Reflection—on guitar.
Regarding his bandmate’s decision to bypass the summer tour, Jónsi told the Grapevine that he suspects that Kjartan is “tired of touring,” and that he wants to “spend his time doing something else.” Georg adds that the time consumed by touring is “not necessarily the most productive,” and Jónsi agrees that time spent on tour is not very “creative.”
Kjartan was, as per usual, involved in the making of the band’s forthcoming album, and no comments have been made regarding the lineup on the band’s impending 2013 tour.
Read the full Sigur Rós interview in the Grapevine‘s newest issue.
You can also read more of our online coverage about the new Sigur Rós LP, or our track-by-track sneak preview of Valtari.