Hello it´s Sóley from Seabear and I will do this interview, there are so many interviews at the moment that we have to answer so we all take turns with that.
Ryan: There have been some great artists/bands from Iceland that have become successful internationally over the past decade or so: Björk, Múm, Sigur Ros, Kimono, to name but a few, why do you think Iceland has such a great record for producing great, eclectic bands?
Sóley: It´s a very common question that Icelandic bands get and I don´t know if there is like one reason for that. Some mention nature, elfs and the isolation. For my parts it´s more because we are only 300.000 people living there and the art scene is strong in Iceland, everybody is helping each other making things happen. Let´s say that in Iceland we have a positive competition. And nobody wants to be like the band in next garage.
R: What are your thoughts on the music being produced in Iceland at the moment? Any hot tips of who to check out?
S: I like it, or most of it. Good examples are: Múm, Kimono, Hudson Wayne, Fm Belfast, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Ólöf Arnalds and many others.
R: How much of an influence do you think living in Iceland has on your music? And other than your homeland, what else influences your music?
S: Nature and the weather probably affect my daily life and then of course it comes out in the music. Weather is the most common thing to talk about in Iceland, for sure! In December it´s dark almost the whole day and in the summer we have sun day and night. Other influences is music I listen
to and art in general.
R: So how did you go from recording your Singing Arc (EP) as a one man band to recording new album We Built a Fire as a seven person band?
S: Sindri started as a one man band. He was invited to open up for the band The Books from NY. Then he got Guggý (violin) and Örn Ingi (electric guitar) to play with him. On the record Ghost that carried us away he added Kjartan (drums), Dóri (bass) and Inga (keyboard, backing vocal). I, Sóley (keyboard, accordion backing vocals) joined the band shortly after the Ghost release. Somehow everybody started as session players but then we had so much fun that no one left. Now we made We built a fire together, composed the songs and arranged them all seven. That was no problem, the only problem was to find time to do it.
R: Now that you have gone from a one man band to a seven strong group how has the writing process changed? Has it become more difficult with so many different ideas pinging around, or simplified the whole process?
S: Making the new album we did it all together, composed, arranged and other stuff. Now Sindri has his own solo-project going on Sin Fang. I think it´s more like a mood thing. While in Seabear we make Seabear songs, while doing other things like solo projects we just concentrate on that!
R: How is it going with your side project Sin Fang Bous? And what are your future plans for it?
S: Sindri is working on his second album and will finish it hopefully this year or early next.
R: Any news on Sindron und Robfunkel?
S: They are working on their first album
R: What are your other interests outside of the studio?
S: My (Sóley) interests are music, music, music. But other interests are drawing and going to hot swimming pools.
R: Any plans to try and breed a Seabear in the near future?
S: Yes, of course.
R: What’s your opinion on the internet and downloads in relation to music, and do you think sites like Lastfm and Spotify are beneficial to bands/artists?
S: I think it´s just some evolution that happened, the internet is growing very big and because of that CD sales are not the best. I think at least for our record, it “leaked” on the internet so people could download it illegal but at the same time more people got to know it and now (while on this German tour we are right now) we have sold a lot of the new cd and the
vinyl. Internet is a good media. Yes we like LastFm and Spotify.
Sóley from Seabear