Before they play their first Australian show tonight at The Zoo in Brisbane. Raggi, Arnar and Brynjar popped into AAA Backstage headquarters to chat with our very own Katie Zahra.
How did you guys find each other?
Raggi - Well Nanna my co - singer and Brynjar had been playing together, she had a solo project and then Arnar joined after me when we decided to compete in a music competition called Músíktilraunir with a different name, but that’s when we decided to be a band.
She was Songbird before that, wasn’t she?
Raggi – Yeh so that’s when we formed Of Monsters and Men before that competition, then later on when the songs became more demanding I guess we needed more instruments and more people so Kristján our bass player joined and Árni our keyboardist.
Who came up with the name and where did it come from?
Raggi – I did, It just kind of came from nowhere I guess and it just kind of fit something we were doing.
You guys toured the states earlier this year and you played SXSW, how was that? And how was touring the states in general?
Arnar - SXSW was a lot of fun, it was really hot and I thought I would die!
Brynjar – The whole tour was a lot of fun, it was suppose to be 20 shows in one month but then it turned out to be many more because they sold out.
Raggi - We had to play 8 times at SXSW, The first show was in a bike shop and it was our first show in America after our album had broke, we had done a few showcase shows there but not for the general public, so it was the first one for them and it was totally full.
What’s the music scene like back in Iceland? Is it similar to the genre you guys play now or completely different?
Brynjar - No, it’s really diverse. Not very big but there are a lot of bands compared the population.
If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?
Brynjar - It would be JC, he would be really interesting to work with, I am a big fan and I really love his music.
Arnar - I would probably be something else, that where we are very different, JC wouldn’t be my first choice, but if we had the opportunity to do it then I would do it.
Has anything surprised you in the music industry so far?
Raggi - I think just how normal it is, the people that work in the business end, you think that show business from the outside is very glamorous but it’s more just normal people.
Brynjar - Yeh everybody is really laid back and just regular people
Raggi - It’s also a lot of hard work than we thought it would be, there’s a lot of interviews and morning stuff and your working through out the day not just touring and stuff. Most work is press and media.
So I’ve heard your coming back to Australia in December? Is this true?
All – Yeh
Bryjar - Probably
Arnar - No we are coming
Raggi - I think its almost confirmed
Arnar – I think its more confirmed then not confirmed
Will you be playing lots of tour dates then as well?
Raggi - It might be some festival dates or something, but nothing has been confirmed, so we don’t want to give any people false hope haha.
We actually have more free time here than we have in other countries, like last night we went to an animal sanctuary and patted some kangaroos and some koalas.
So I heard that you don’t have set instruments… is that correct?
Raggi – Well I always play acoustic guitar and sing, Brynar always plays electric guitar and Arnar always plays drums
Arnar – I play accordion as well
Raggi – Its more like our piano player plays the organ, accordion and piano but also we have an extra member on stage with us who also plays those 3 things and they kind of mix around.
What does the future hold for you guys?
Arnar – The future is very unclear, it’s just foggy
Byrnar – Lots of touring and probably writing another album
Arnar – Definitely writing another album.
Raggi – Yes definitely writing tons more and touring, that is the dream
Arnar – Maybe go fishing in between
Raggi – And visit animal sanctuaries
Arnar – The plan is to tour long into 2013, so we are already very much booked.
When will you fit in some time to do some writing?
Brynar – After this tour
Arnar – After this interview
Do you find it easier writing at home?
Raggi – Well we haven’t really done anything else, the first album was written totally at home, we had no dreams of anything like this when we wrote it, so it was written in relaxation, so we haven’t tried to write much on the road but I think that we will eventually do it. It will probably be different
Arnar – Maybe better
And last but not least.. If each of you were any animal what would it be and why?
Raggi – We’ve thought about this some what.. Australian animals Arnar is probably a Dingo.. I am probably…
Arnar – A koala bear combined with a seal.. haha
Raggi – Ok yes a koala bear combined with a seal
Arnar – And Brynjar is more like a Wombat
Brynar – Yeh I like that
Katie Zahra – AAA Backstage