And then there was music – interview with Bloodgroup

It would seem like a lot of water has flowed in Vistula since last gig of Bloodgroup in Poland. Recently more and more things happen in Icelandic topic, so the picture of this band could blur a little in our memories. But Bloodgroup don’t allow situation like that and announced it’ll return in May for the fourth time! We invite all moms, big children and those a little bit younger to Białystok on 26th May. Meanwhile, on the wild South during the last visit…

Úlfurinn: Just one year has passed and it‘s your third visit in Poland. Altogether you‘ve played 9 performances. Why do you like our country so much?
Hallur: Because Poland likes us.
Janus: Why do you like us so much, huh? It‘s been going really well. I mean everything since first gig, clubs have been really packed and you really appreciate music.
Sunna: People are very nice.
Hallur: And we also feel very good here in this country.
Janus: The audience seems to really get the idea of it. It‘s not like that in every country.

Ú: What was the most memorable place you’ve ever played?
Hallur: Well… under the Great Wall in Chine, I think.
Raggi: Yes, it’s one of them.
Janus: Actually both of gigs in Chine were quite special. Another one was also crazy, because I don’t think that they knew there who we were and still there were 10 thousands people and everybody went crazy.
Raggi: More than 50 thousands people at the first gig.
Janus: Everyone went crazy. I don’t think they knew who we were.
Sunna: Another really memorable gig was in Poland. After the concert I sat upon a piano, signing and selling albums – that was crazy, I couldn’t move.
Hallur: It was our first gig in Poland. In Poznań, February last year.
Janus: That was so packed. So after show was organised a space for people to buy our stuff. We were like up on the corner on the top of the piano, just on the top of the piano signing them. A lot of people everywhere.

Ú: Last year you were touring abroad a lot. Is it a good way to travel? Do you have any free time to make some sight-seeing during the tour?
Janus: Not really.
Hallur: Almost never.
Janus: At that tour we did 21 gigs.
Hallur: We had one day off and I guess we didn’t make sight-seeing. We were just sleeping.
Raggi: And we actually used the free days, a few of that we had to program…
Hallur: Fix the instruments…
Janus: Often in the middle of the tour everything is kind of shaky, so we have to fix all the cords and stuff because it just happens they’re getting worse.

Ú: It’s passed over 2 years since Dry Land was out. You have a lot of ideas for new songs, for sure. Have you recorded someting yet? Did you have a time?
Hallur: We haven’t recorded… the way how we worki s basically like we record out ideas and work in the studio but anything is kind of ready to release yet…
Raggi: We have some new ideas.
Hallur: We’re working on them.
Raggi: There’s an album on a way.
Janus: We’re still kind of gathering all the ideas to actually get the whole concept.
Hallur: To find out how the mood would be. Maybe something like Dry Land or first album or something just complety different.

Ú: There was a new song in Kraków, right?
Hallur: Yes. We played one new song.
Raggi: Maybe it’s gonna be on our new album.
Hallur: Or maybe not (laugh). We don’t know. Actually we did it before Dry Land. We made then a lot of songs. Probably 20 or 30 and we tried them all on concerts. Some of them were played like 10 times but then we realised this is not how we want to sound. We just moved on and changed some of the other songs. Like the song My arms. It used to be a lot different in live version before was recorded.

Ú: You work now in a little bit changed team, because Sunna has been with you for 1,5 year. So you music path also changed a little.
Hallur: Of course. It has an impact. Everything is changed. Everything will change. In a good way.
Janus: It’s all exciting for us. We’re still trying a new things.
Raggi: It’s all about experimenting – that’s what we’re doing at studio. Try to make something completely different.
Hallur: I wish we had more time. We’ve been touring a lot so we hadn’t had time to do as much as we wanted to.
Raggi: We sure have been making out a lot more songs ready last year. We played in 20 countries so we were really busy, we just didn’t have enough time to do that.

Ú: Did Lilja [Jónsdóttir] definitely finish work with Bloodgroup? Is she still a good spirit of the band?
Hallur: She’s not gonna be our singer anymore.
Janus: But she’s always a part of the band. She’s their sister and our good friend. She’s actually one of the first people, we show our songs we did. Just because we trust her judgement so she’s some spirit of the band.

Ú: I think making a surprise for fans is so exciting like Gogoyoko Wireless. It was probably the first time in Bloodgroups’s history when you used a guitar, bass and drums.
Hallur: We tried once before. It was with our friend at Melodica Festival in Reykjavík and he asked us ifwe want to do this, he sat there and really went after. Do you know Svavar Knútur? It was him.
Janus: He actually made us do it!
Hallur: „You have to do it!”. And we said „ok, man”. He played piano with us. We played 3 or 4 songs maybe. That was the first time when we tried. And we always wanted to do something more with it but then appeared the opportunity to do it with Gogoyoko Wireless.
Janus: Hallur played drums, Raggi played bass, I played guitar, because that’s actually our main instruments. Not keyboard. None of us are actually keyboard players. It’s something that came to us really late.

Ú: So what instruments do you play?
Janus: Hallur – drums and guitar.
Raggi: I play mostly bass and guitar.
Janus: Playing guitar and singing.
Sunna: I play piano.

Ú: Not so long ago we could watch in Warsaw Backyard documentary. It seems like in Reykjavíkis well-working music scene. What about your hometown?
Hallur: There are a few good bands from our hometown but there’s no music scene. These guys, all from those bands, were in high school. Tey’re all living now in Reykjavík and doing their stuff there. There’s no music club, no venue in Egilstaðir.
Raggi: Before we have formed the band we just moved to Reykjavík to be the part of scene.
Hallur: And we borrowed some old house, where nobody lived there, to record first album.
Raggi: Actually when first we played gigs in Reykjavík every weekend, we drive from Egistaðir, which is over 700 kilometers of really harsh roads. So we drove every week back and forth…
Hallur: Just to play two gigs in Reykjavík and go back.

Ú: Before Bloodgroup was formed, each bandmember was an active musician. Are those experiences from previous projects helpful now? While working in the studio?
Janus: When we were recordeing the first album, none of us had any experiences with electronic music before, because we were just rockers and played metal and funk. So this was something that we said we will do and it just worked.
Hallur: It helped us in this way that we were all so excited we do this.
Janus: We were courious. Actually we didn’t know how to eat it during the first year…
Raggi: How to play keyboards…
Janus: Yeah and then slowly, we got more and more fun because it was a real challenge. Their sister is classically trained to play cello, so all those experiences of course help you to make any kind of music.

Ú: What would you do, if music didn’t exist?
Raggi: Oh my… we would create music. We’d create the concept of music.
Hallur: And then there was music!
Janus: If we didn’t hear music, I guess you don’t know what you’re missing, if you never heard it. But I think the world is a really great place because there is art. And either things – not just music.
Raggi: We would probably just sleep.
Hallur: That’s a right answer! :)

Thanks! We hope Bloodgroup will feel good this time not only in Białystok!

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