At the top of the year, Icelandic post-rockers Sigur Rós announced that after 14 years, multi-instrumentalist Kjartan Sveinsson had left the band.
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“I guess he’s tired of touring and wanted to do other stuff,” says bassist Georg Holm matter-of-factly. “It’s all on a very friendly note.”
Indeed, there seems to be no drama surrounding Sveinsson’s departure and the remaining trio: Holm, singer Jón Pór Birgisson (Jónsi) and drummer Orri Páll Dyrason have already recorded a new album, with a title of "Kveikur," which Holm says is “as good as finished.
It comes less than a year after Sigur Rós released their sixth studio album “Valtari.”
“We’ve been very productive. We’ve been working quickly and having great fun. When you’re having fun it’s easy to go to work. If you enjoy what you do it’s all fun. We never really stop working.”
The word fun and Sigur Rós don’t exactly go hand-in-hand. Their emotionally engulfing and sometimes wrought music gives them a serious aura.
“I’m not quite sure why we have a serious image because we’re not. Obviously, we do take the music seriously. We treat it with respect. At the same time, we are absolutely not very serious people,” Holm says and confirms that with one of many affable chuckles.
For their spring tour, Sigur Rós’s core creative trio will be augmented with strings and brass, and number 13 musicians in all.
“We actually have two extra people to replace Kjaten,” says Holm. “One playing guitar and one playing piano. Yeah, it was big shoes to fill.”