The eight colours of the rainbow – Krummi Björgvinsson (part I)

I would describe the Icelandic music scene as a rainbow, if you just put the black in the rainbow and it would be perfect the Icelandic music scene. Because it’s everything. I mean there’s a guy playing in a black metal band, playing keyboards for some electronic bands and everybody knows each other and the competition is healthy. There’s always bad-talk and all that stuff. The music is great, everybody puts everything into the music. There are very individual artistic needs in every band. It’s different, nobody is copying another Icelandic band. You just have to find your root and grow your flower – something like that. (Krummi Björgvinsson)

The last time I wrote about a neo-classical composer, who started his adventure with music 14 years ago as a hardcore musician. So today I would like to show you a personality of Krummi Björgvinsson – thanks to his words he inspired me to look deeper into such a bottomless well like Icelandic music. In my opinion, there was no other more colourful personality in 2012 on Icelandic music scene than Krummi. He is mostly known of Mínus, because he has played with this band for a long time, actually since beginning of his career. Recently Krummi‘s ambient project called Legend received acclaim – a debut album titled Fearless was released in North America and Europe by Canadian music label Artoffact Records. According to Trash Hits, only Björk is a bigger local personality than Mínus frontmant – Krummi, actually Oddur Hrafn Stefán Björgvinsson.

He was born on August 29, 1979. His passion is music and it has surrounded him thanks to his father Björgvin Halldórsson, better known as Bohall, since first days of his life. A story of father’s career is actually a subject for a separated article because it’s not easy to tell it in a few words. In brief, his voice can be heard on more than 500 songs and he has recorded over 900 compositions. Because of him Krummi has played many instruments since childhood. His favourite one is a guitar. He wanted to be a guitarist, but until he became a charismatic frontman, he has also played drums.

A band called Mínus, which Krummi is most known of, wasn´t his first adventure on stage. When he was about 12-13, he formed his first official group called Impulse. It was a rave project. Like he described it in the interview for Release Magazine from 2013, they played electronic in really hardcore way – 180 bpm. But the first legend of Icelandic music, which Krummi made, was Mínus. It showed him new possibilities. The band was formed in the fall of 1998, when boys, who were playing in two separated music projects (Spitsign and Gundog, which name was changed to Unglóð and Krummi played drums there), got together because not all of them had a license to drink in bars then so they spent a lot of time sharing the same rehearsal room. How did they play? Let’s see.

A half year later, they took part in a competition for young talents called Músíktilraunir. It’s a quite natural way of letting music career roll in Iceland. Whole more serious fun on stage usually starts from this competition. In March 1999 Mínus presented itself the best as it could during Battle of Bands and reached the most valuable prize in the competition. Krummi was also hailed as the best singer of that edition. This band, which was making barely first steps then, supported American post hardcore group Fugazi only one month after Músíktilraunir and Mínus debut album – Hey Johnny! – was out in October the same year. Then paths of Krummi and Halldór Ágúst Björnsson crossed for the first time but I’ll tell you this story a little bit later.

To be continued…

The eight colours of the rainbow – Ólafur Arnalds

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