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 there’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. (…) 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)
After releasing the second album called Jesus Christ Bobby in 2000, Mínus went in big steps to huge music world. They played among others in UK and at Roskilde Festival in 2002. Although career of Mínus looked better every day, Krummi had time to let his inspirations out in other project – The Moody Company, which he formed together with Franz Gunnarson from band Ensími. Even then you can’t say that in Krummi’s case no time means no activity in the field of music. The Moody Company was for him something like a vacation. This project was very different from what he did with Mínus. It was acoustic country blues band with double bass. Probably, it sounds quite exotic comparing to noisecore of his main project, isn’t it? The duo appeared on concerts only with guitarcases, but from time to time they played also with a bigger team.
In 2003, 1001 Nótt music label released a compilation called Sándtékk, which contains also two songs of The Moody Company. You can listen to fragments of the songs on tonlist.is. The band had whole album ready but everything turned into silence probably because of a lack of time. Something could be born in summer of 2005 but after all it never saw a daylight.
Anyway, Halldór Laxness – the third album of Mínus – actually met a daylight. The title is a little tribute to Noble Literature Prize winner, who is Krummi’s favourite Icelandic writer. A releasing of this album caused an extensive tour. This time plans included among others some of the most important gigs in whole Mínus’ career – warm-up before Metallica in Reykjavík in July 2004 for audience of 18 thousand, what equals 6% of Iceland’s population – and show on the main stage at Reading Festival the same summer.
Thanks to the extensive tour, which ended in 2007, Krummi was able to meet Daníel Ágúst Haraldsson at the only international Keflavík airport in October 2006. They have been following each other, coming to each other’s shows for years but they clicked finally in Keflavík. Esja joined the game taking care in silence of the capital of Iceland. The mountain spread sounds through two musicians, who have been well known on local music scene. What did bring them together to form a project called Esja, like this impressing mountain? It happened because of following their passion for country music and Merle Haggard’s works. It was made of a special chemistry at Krummi’s jam together with Daníel. They just decided to make good music. It could seem that both of them come from rather opposite musical directions but probably that was a fact, which actually made it better. Krummi have learnt a lot from 10 years older friend. Also Daníel admitted in the first ever Esja interview that working with son of Bohall inspired him in so many different ways.
Spike Raven – a name, which Krummi had been using in Esja and it means literally Oddur Hrafn – could finally fulfill his dreams and go on stage as a guitarist. Besides him, on the dashboard were also drummer Frosti Runólfsson (former of the deathmetal group Klink), piano player and long-time Krummi’s friend – Halldór Ágúst Björnsson (of The End and Sólstafir) and Mínus’ guitarist Bjarni Sigurðsson. On the first sight it seems weird that there was no bass player in Esja. However, it hadn’t any negative impact on the sound of the band.