Ásgeir // Interview

asgeir

When talking to Ásgeir you he gives the impression of being everything but the worldwide acclaimed ‘next big thing’ from Scandinavia. The extremely polite 21 year old is still a bit overwhelmed by his worldwide success, and extremely grateful of every single moment he manages to spend home: “we’re staying here for another week or so, and then we are off again to the US for about two weeks, playing SXSW and then getting ready for the next tour.”

Let’s sum things up: Ásgeir released his debut album “Dýrð í dauðaþögn” about a year and a half ago, and it ended up being the biggest selling debut album in Iceland, ever. So big that even John Grant became a big fan and translated it into English. It all started naturally as he’d heard some of the songs and wanted to be involved, so they just sat down and started to work on it together: “The Icelandic album is really poetically written, and we wanted to try and keep it as poetic and beautiful as the Icelandic lyrics, so it made sense to have some musician and lyricist to help us with it.”

 There is something calming and peaceful about the nature here.

With “Into the Silence” being just released in the US it seems like the time to relax hasn’t come just yet: “the time we’re probably going to properly relax is going to be 2015 when we come back here in Iceland, and we can start focusing on the next album.” Despite keeping him extremely busy, touring allowed him to take his music to a different level: “whilst doing this record, I started listening to more electronic music, that somehow blends with the folk guitar parts of the music in the album”.

Should we expect something more electronic in the future? “I’m always on my laptop, so I when I get some time I try to write some music. It’s a different way from what I used to do with my guitar; I’m really into it now, it’ll be really interesting to see where it leads”.

Generally speaking being home is inspiring for many artists, but Iceland itself surely offers a completely different level of incentive with the emptiness and space that comes from the mountains. No wonder people started picking up an ‘Icelandic’ nuance in the music: “I grew up in a small town and was really close to nature in my surroundings, I spent a lot of time outside. There is something calming and peaceful about the nature here, and when I feel too stressed out sometimes I just take a long walk”. Even though he grew up a small town, Aisger was surrounded by music since young age. His mum, organist and music teacher, got him a guitar and took him to music school when he was six, even if classical music wasn’t really what he was after: “it was mostly my brother who somehow influenced me whilst growing up. I wasn’t totally isolated by coming from a small town, there was also a music school down there. I met some guys at my age and we formed some bands together. They were rock bands, you know, I was listening to a lot of grunge music at time.”

I was listening to a lot of grunge music at time

As his brother has been touring with him for the past few months, they’ve been listening to the ultimate classics, with a surprise of ZZ Top, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, and lot of Bob Dylan, as “he’s one that everyone can relate to”. When talking about music inspirations at the moment he’s into bands such as Ghostpoet and London Grammar, and an electro-dance gem from Iceland: “they are three sisters called Sísý Ey. it’s S-I-S…it’s not easy to spell as there are all Icelandic letters! They played Sonar Festival last year and they are definitely worth checking out.”

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Buy: Asgeir – In The Silence

Live: Union Chapel – April 8th (Sold Out)