We have already introduced our review of the album „Pink Boats” by Vigri on the website.
Today you can see what the band have to say to us personally about their debut album.
Hans Pjetursson will tell you about the process of making the album, inspirations, music, videoclips, but also about the current work of the band and their future.
Welcome on board of Vigri …
Marcin: How would you describe your debut album “Pink Boats”?
Hans: Layers and layers of sound, I think we set out to do an album that somehow could stand as a whole, with a theme going on through out, both sound wise and musically.
Marcin: How does this album feel for you, in retrospect?
Hans: It feels a little bit like finishing elementary school or something, we are full of memories and have made many friends but still it is somehow more exciting to think about what the future might hold than looking back. For now anyways.
Marcin: You said „Pink boats” name is derived from the red Icelandic sunset, which would lie over the sea’s horizon and turn all the boats from white to pink. But is that only? Isn’t this title a reference to Pink Floyd?
Hans: While we made the album we drove a quite a lot in the countryside and it was a frequent sight and I think 7 of the songs on the album started with the working title „pink boats” but somehow they spun themselves away from that name, so it slowly became apparent that the album had to be called pink boats because none of the song wanted to. And to be completely honest then I have to admit the title has nothing to do with Pink Floyd what so ever, it was kind of a surprise to find out how many listeners find and relate to a „pink floyd vibe” on the album. which was never our conscious intention. it is often the case with young Icelandic artist to be compared in the media with other Icelandic bands so we are very happy with, if only a fraction of Pink Floyd comparison or a reference.
Marcin: What bands have inspired you previously and what inspire you now?
Hans: I think we influenced by all kinds of music and art in general, i personally really like an old icelandic band called Trúbrot, I am also into a bit more experimental music such as matmos, leave cutter john and the icelandic artists Kira Kira and Kippi Kaninus.
Marcin: Your music is atmospheric, melodic and emotional. What are your inspirational sources for creating your sounds?
Hans: It can be everything really the surroundings where you create the music can have a lot to say but when we make music we try our best go with the initial feel of the song and build on it from there, instead of trying to turn a tomato into an apple, they can probably look quite similar from a certain standpoint but never the less they taste differently and the same is true for our music if we don´t stay true to the song then we end up spending endless hours trying to paint it all the wrong colors. But when in it comes to inspiration i have always been inspired by creating music and sometimes it just takes time to find the right context for the song to live in.
Marcin: What is the most important impact that music has on you? What kind of feelings would you like to give you listeners?
Hans: I like how music creates a self reflecting world on its own and while you are listening you are kind of stuck in there but with yourself and you don´t have to be that imaginative to convey some kind of understanding of what you are hearing, if that makes sense. We would therefor love if the listener feels what he feels through our music.
Marcin: Please tell me about the process of creating your music, how does it look like? Do you write the melody first or the lyrics?
Hans: When we make our music we start with the instrumentation and it has so far been very visual so we kind of work on a scenery within the song and take the lyrics from there. Except Animals I actually wrote on a plane, i am really scared of flying and was told by some therapist that i should just write down what what i was experiencing and somehow that would make flying ok. which was of course just nonsense but at least lefts words for that song.
Marcin: And what about the lyrics? How important are they for you?
Hans: They are important, but instead of maybe creating a song around lyrics we like our lyrics most of the time to descriptive and give more of a feel of what we experience within the song as well as reflecting off us personally and hopefully we manage to get that across.
Marcin: I know „Pink boats” was mixed at Sundlauginn Studio but tell me about the previous recording of tracks from this album. Did it really take place in old churches? Can you tell me more about this?
Hans: The first recordings where made in Flatey Island which is a very isolated island with only 4 inhabitants during the winter, we stayed there for a month on a farm and recorded in the old church that is made of thick concrete to withstand the extreme winter´s wind, which contributed to its distinctive sound. After that awesome experience in Flatey we decided record only in „place we liked”. After that we travelled around and found many really cool churches that sounded great and had the right atmosphere that suited the album, i think we ended up recording in 9 churches altogether. But we had had to find a place to record piano because the churches only have organs, so we found one in elderly home that sounded great.
Marcin: The artwork of your album reflects visually your album’s name. Please tell me something more about this cover. What was inspiration to create it? What was an influence on you when you were choosing the cover? Who made the artwork?
Hans: The artwork is by Thuridur Osk Smaradottir who is a long time friend a great artist. I decided I wanted her to do the artwork before we decided to do the album, I like how plain and simple her work is but at the same time with a great depth and you can find many small details and well thought out points within her work.
Marcin: You’ve made two amazing music videos to songs “Sleep” and “Animals”. What sparked the idea?
Hans: Oh, thank you. we always have many ideas floating around regarding music videos, but being sometimes quite expensive to make you can´t always allow your mind to go lose and just do what you want, and see how it looks afterwards, so everything has to be really well planned and organized to make it work. Music videos are kind of strange art form because they are often made and thought of as an advertisement for a song or an artist. when they are for me at least just as much important. and the song and the video have to complement each other in some way to work as a whole.
Marcin: Both music videos were directed by Ragnar Snorrason. How did you meet him? Why did you choose him for a director of your videos?
Hans: Ragnar Snorrason has made quite a few short films and I saw one of them at a film festival in Reykjavík and really liked his visual approach, so we just called him and met for a coffee, and from there the ideas started to evolve. And we are all really good friends now vigri and the film crew.
Marcin: The music video „Sleep” was directed by Ragnar Snorrason and has been featured at numerous film festivals around the world, right?
Hans: Yes. the infamous Eyjafjallajökull´s volcanic ash playing part in our video might have made some people more excited than they would have been usually about a music video from Iceland
Marcin: What are you doing now? Any music plans for the future?
Hans: We are currently well on our way with a new album that we are very excited about, the process with this album has been different and in a way more focused and the theme is this time split into two that contradict each other so it has been a lot of fun working on it, but I hope that we have it finished sometime soon. We have also been doing many live shows recently. than hopefully we will do some touring in Europe again next year.
Marcin: What can we expect sonically from Vigri in the future?
Hans: That´s hard to say, We are experimenting at the moment with an old tape machines and some cassette recorders. they give a distinctive tone that is very hard to recreate in a digital medium. But i think we have evolved a little bit from last album and our sound with it so we are looking forward to allow people to hear the new stuff.
Marcin: How would you describe the music scene in Iceland? Is there a difference between Iceland and rest of the world?
Hans: In Iceland there is a vivid music scene, but the main thing here is that artist often make what they want and for themselves without even thinking about any commercial success, because Iceland is so small. But I think there are artist everywhere willing to work hard towards their vision and make things how they see it and i don´t think Iceland is any exception from that.