Four years later Komdu til mín svarta systir (come to me, my dark sister), Icelandic band Mammùt released a new album. Kinder Versions is out now via Bella Union. We had a little talk with band about the new work, live shows and more.
It’s been four years from your latest work. “Kinder Versions” is your new album. What about it and the creative process? And the main inspiration?
The album took us about a year to write. The writing took place in many locations including a small isolated town in the middle of the winter, summerhouse where we wrote music in the midnight sun and a huge abandoned concrete walled office building in the suburbs of Reykjavík. The recording took another year and was produced by Curver. The inspiration is as always our daily lives with all the incidents and feelings that go with it. We dove deep into our souls and let everything loose and the outcome was Kinder Versions.
This album and the choice of English Language can be considered the big step to receive much attention outside of Iceland?
That is true. We‘ve thought about making music in English for a very long time but it wasn‘t until now that it made any sense. Since it‘s the first time we release outside of Iceland it was a natural evolution for us to switch languages to be able to connect to our audience better.
The video of “Breathe Into Me” was shot, directed and edited by yourselves. What about this experience?
We have many ideas about our music and our whole appearance and since our band is full of visual artists and graphic designers it‘s a lot easier to do things ourselves rather than explaining our ideas to others. That way the outcome is exactly how we want it. We usually get people to assist us but we like to be in charge ourselves.
Which part of Iceland culture had more weight on your way to do music?
In the beginning it was mostly a lack of things to do in Reykjavik that pushed us into start making music. When we had started writing songs we realised how great it was and that has kept us doing it. The culture and surroundings always have an impact but we‘ve never been able to identify exactly what affects us. For us making music is an inward journey that is expressed outwardly.
You have an upcoming tour. How do you conceive your live shows compared to the studio sessions?
Recording and playing concerts are two very different things even though they‘re both creative. Recording is digging deep into yourself and contructing what you might find and playing concerts is creating an atmosphere and a connection between us and the audience.
You played to the Iceland Airwaves last year. Tell us more about it.
Last year was the 11th time we play the festival but it‘s always as much fun every time. The whole city changes into one big chunk of musical excitement and you feel like you can physically touch the positive tension in the air. Last year was no exception.
What are the best releases you appreciate recently?
Father John Misty – Pure Comedy
Aldous Harding – Party
ANOHNI – Hopelessness