Following 2011 best seller„Arabian Horse“, Birgir Thorarinsson, Daníel Ágúst, Högni Egilsson and Stephan Stephensen release their third full-length album „Mexico“ via Kompakt in 2014, where they leave no stone unturned on their journey to sonic bliss, delving ever deeper into timeless melodies with every subsequent track and stepping further into the future of anthemic pop music.
Thanks to GusGus
Felix / KOMPAKT
Cédric & Thierry Jaussaud
We are preparing for the tour in the fall, it is going to be rather packet tour with lot of countries we have not visited for a long time. The US for example, and some whe have never visited like Greek. and enjoying Iceland short summer.
MEXICO is your 9th studio album. Where did the idea com from? Where and when did you record it?
We just wanted to do another album, that is what bands normally do. There where no specific ideas on overall feel that we started with. Only that we wanted to play around. Make one rather carefree album. With no aim for grandeur. Just make music we love. The first track that emerged was Airwaves, bit different than it is now though, and that was in the summer of 2012. The back bone of Crossfade and Sustain was laid out in February 2013. It took the rest of the year to finish the album and two months more. Mostly because band members where busy doing other things. The album was recorded as the others, in our own studio in Reykjavik.
What do you usually start with when working on a new piece?
Most often very simple beat constructing some cool synth sound and then try to arrange some cord structure or bass line using it.
Obnoxiously Sexual is now available and is a massive electronic track. The 10 first seconds make me think of a Todd Terje track. What were the influences for this album?
Obnoxiously Sexual is actually worked from a demo that I did in 2005. The beat and the cord structure is basically as it was in 2005. When we work music there are no specific influences. For example my love in music ranges from all kinds of electronic music since 78 for example, New Wave, HiNRG, Italo Disco, House, techno, Trance. You name it, for me all genres have cool tracks with in them. But when I do music I have no genre in mind, nor do I have any artist in mind. My influences are all messed up in some soup that is on the Gusgus menu.
Do you feel it important that an audience is able to deduct the processes and ideas behind a work purely on the basis of the music? If so, how do you make them transparent?
I see no reasons to do anything else with music than just listen and take in what it gives you. It is a spiritual thing and humane sharing of feelings and ideas. It should be perceived as such, not as a technical thing.
GusGus was founded almost 2 decades ago now. How did the band evolve musically?
Not sure how to answer this, it is more for some critic to analyze. We where connected to triphop on our first two albums, the forth and fifth where more housy I guess and less drumloop sampling. Then 24/7 and Arabian horse where more techno perhaps, but then there have been some housy stuff on all of them and techno as well. So I think our evolution can best be described as random walk.
Iceland is the place of birth of great artists such as Björk, Sigur Ròs, Múm and more recently Ásgeir. What do you think makes you guys so special?
I don’t think Icelanders are super special in anyway. I think the musical productivity is a combination of isolation and insouciant of obsticles.
The music video for Crossfade has just been released. How did you meet Tommy Kha and what was the idea behind the video?
President Bongo pinned him down and the idea is from Tommy.
The question may be awkward… But where does the pseudo « President Penis » for Stephan Stephensen come from?
I really don’t know. There is sometimes some drinking that leave traces like that in the media.
Music-sharing sites and blogs as well as a flood of releases in general are presenting both listeners and artists with challenging questions. What’s your view on the value of music today?
I have blend feelings towards all this. The increased ability for music to reach out is divine. But this evolvement is very difficult for the indie labels that are so important partners for artist in there evolvement and marketing (I have no interest nor skills in marketing for example so I need to work with a label). Some people are seeing this as a blow to the big corporative labels. But it is not and we are getting even bigger corporative entities dominating the market and taking most the income without any loyalty to artist, like Youtube and Spotify. The big corporative labels did at least make agreements on some commitment, for example financing the music production and touring. Our revenue for 1.000.000 streaming of songs is as valuable to us as selling 500 copies of our album. You do the math. So you see how difficult this is for the small labels. We at least have some income from touring.
We’ve been waiting for you for so long in Paris. What about touring here?
I think we are, in November or December.
Please recommend two artists to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.
James Holden and Soft Cell.