AGENT FRESCO / Euroblast 2012 and the German experiences

Four volcanos from Iceland erupted on stage at the EUROBLAST FEST in Cologne, spreading unique and awesome music with an interesting voice between Serj Tankian, Gordon Downie (Tragicaly Hip) and Morten Harket. Four great reasons to find out more about this extraordinary combo from the North, so we talked to singer Arnor Dan Arnarson.

Interview: Dennis Rowehl

Photo by courtesy of Agent Fresco Comgrats! You’ve been one of my favourite Top-5-bands at the Euroblast Fest in Cologne this year! I’ve never seen such an energetic show with complex music. How often do you rehearse?

Arnor: Well thanks for the great honor, we really did enjoy ourselves tremendously at the Euroblast Festival! Regarding your question, I think we’ve performed live far more often than we have rehearsed as a band, but due to the new material and a lot of exciting new stuff going on, we at least try and meet up once a week. How was the experience with all the music fans and brilliant bands at the Euroblast?

Arnor: Mind blowing to say the least. Keep in mind that we are coming from Iceland, not really the craziest traffic for foreign bands there, so when we finally do get the chance to stick around at a festival and listen to other musicians we end up sucking it all up like a sponge. We definitely became fans of many bands and both the Euroblast team and the attendees were the nicest people ever. Such a privilege to be there and perform twice. Will you play in Germany again this winter?

Arnor: At this moment we’re scheduling a European tour in January, hopefully we’ll have most of the shows confirmed within a month, but yes, definitely, Germany has always been one of favorite destinations, so you can count on us. Great. Well, as you already told Iceland is not really known for well known bands except Björk … but since her for weird music (laughing)  Are there any clubs where you can play live? How’s the market right there? Did you enter the album charts in Iceland?

Arnor: Sounds like you need to come and visit Iceland my friend, you’re missing out on a lot of fantastic music! The music community is actually ridiculously strong, varied and big compared to the population of only 320.000. Sadly, though, we lost one of our great venues called NASA and as it looks right now, there’s another one going to be closed down. The main argument is opening more hotels, which is absolute bullshit, but if we really want tourists to come to Iceland and experience other tourists, then it’s the perfect idea … Our album did amazingly well in Iceland, compared to its sound and our music and I believe that the 17 track long debut of ours had around 7 singles, that all went to the top spot at the main rock station X’ið, so we can’t complain at all, especially considering the fact that this album was strictly made for our own pleasure, passion and venture. I heard that not such a long time ago there haven’t been radio stations which play music. Is this correct?

Arnor: Hmm, well my father was a radio host in his younger days, so that’s long enough for me to answer no to this question. This is the problem of disinformation  even in a modern world. Anyway. Your music is very complex. How or where did you get your inspirations for new songs? By the way … what’s first … the music or the lyrics?

Arnor: Everything is an inspiration and being open-minded is a key thing in our band. We just play around a lot with ideas and instinct is also a crucial element. In our example, we write the music first, mostly Tóti the guitarist, then I spend a long time with the instrumental tracks and lay down melodies and dynamics, with that comes the feelings and thoughts, which ends up being the lyrics. Our debut was extremely emotional and intensely constructed but we’re trying to break even more barriers with the new material, some of it, will be introduced during the next tour. What are the next steps to push your band?

Arnor: As said, we’re busy writing the new material, trying to evolve our sound even more live and on the record. We’re looking forward to be touring again to try out the new songs and hopefully get to record our new album pre summer, so that a release can be made next year. Thanks for the interview … and see you on tour!

Arnor: My pleasure!