Ilya S. Savenok, Getty Images The sad news came across late Wednesday afternoon…
- Posted on Apr 1st 2010 12:30PM by Farah Ishaq
The nine-track solo album project, with strings arranged by Antony and the Johnsons and Grizzly Bear composer Nico Muhly, features new track 'Kolniôur' for which a video premiered on Spinner earlier this week. The album, which will be released digitally on April 6, has a physical counterpart, a collectable "covetable" CD/DVD cloth-bound velvet-lined box set version available to order online.
Jonsi's solo world tour will see the Icelandic musician collaborate with theatre company 59 Productions to create a stage set for his music, and he will also be joined by a brand new group of backing musicians on the road. The elusive Sigur Rós has also been confirmed to appear at several international festivals this year, including Coachella in the US, Oya in Norway, Sonar in Spain and Latitude in the UK.
Spinner caught up with Jónsi, just as he was finishing off the finer details for the new record.
'Go' originally started out as an acoustic album, and has ended up being a really widescreen record. How did that come about?
It started as an instrumental and it scaled up into something so much bigger -- very colourful and multi-layered, like some kind of monster! A lot of that happened when we went to the studio to record. I think that is where the craziness started to happen.
How did you meet Nico Muhly? Were you a fan of his composing work?
I met him here in Iceland. He spends a lot of time in Iceland. I heard one of his albums and I really liked the arrangements, so I thought I would like to work with him on this, my album.
How much input did Muhly have on 'Go'?
A lot. He did all the arrangements -- the string, wind and brass arrangements. He also plays nearly all of the piano on the album, so he had a lot of input. After the strings and all of that came in, it was much more colourful, more lively. I'm really happy about that.
Where did the inspiration come from for these new songs?
From everywhere. From life in general. People, friends, family, books, films.
What do the rest of Sigur Rós think about your new album?
They haven't heard it I think! [laughs] That's terrible!
So what is happening with the band while you've been working on your own project. You announced last year that you would be releasing a new Sigur Ros album in 2010...
We haven't got another album ready. That was just a rumour. We started to record something but then we kinda chucked it all away. I think we are going to start it again. A little break. Everybody in the band is having babies, so not right now. For the first half of the [solo] tour, I will have maybe four people with me.
Has your confidence improved after making this project -- with just your name on it -- come to life?
[laughs] More confident, yes. But maybe more scared also! It's quite scary, but it's cool though.
What drove the decision to sing more in English this time? You've not done this much before.
My boyfriend is American [Alex Somers, also collaborated on Jonsi's 'Riceboy Sleeps' album] so we only speak English at home now. I think it was a natural progression. I wanted to try to write in English and never had the opportunity before. It was quite interesting.
How long did it take you to complete this new album?
I went into the studio in April and finished in November -- but the songs are from different time eras. One of the outtakes from the album is like 10 years old. So the songs are all different ages. It was fun and spontaneous to make. Creative. When I went into the studio with Muhly and my boyfriend Alex I didn't know what was going to happen. I didn't know how was going to sound at the end. That was exciting to see. I'm really happy with it.