Andri Ásgrímsson x Mundi

The Icelandic musician Ásgrímsson soundtrack 'Harmabót', a Dazed Digital film featuring Mundi's AW10/11 collection

Fashion Incoming
Þórður Ingi Jónsson photographed by Fumi Nagasaka
When Dazed Digital visited the Reykjavik Fashion Festival  earlier this year, we not only looked at what was on offer in terms of clothes, but also soaked in the Icelandic music. One of the fashion stars on the island, Mundi, teamed up with musician Andri Ásgrímsson to soundtrack his AW10/11 collection. Together with the street-casted 16-year-old Þórður Ingi Jónsson, Dazed let the electronic melodies of Ásgrímsson - made with string instruments and ancient synthesizers - accompany Mundi's dark and moody fashion in a film called named 'harmabót'. Afterwards, we spoke to Ásgrímsson about his music and to young Jónsson about heroes and teenage life on the island...

Dazed Digital: Where are you based?
Andri Ásgrímsson: Reykjavík, Iceland.

DD: Can you describe your sound?
Andri Ásgrímsson: I find it best to describe it as sci-fi/classical - I'm using old synthesizers combined with piano and strings.

DD: What was the theme for your new solo album and what influenced it?
Andri Ásgrímsson: The theme is aliens attacking Reykjavík and me being the superhero who saves everybody and protecting the mystical mountain Esja. A bit surreal, I know but I had to do something, the music is mostly instrumental and I had to have some theme to tie it together. I had recently seen the Flaming Lips motion picture 'Christmas on Mars' so I guess that it influenced me along with bands like Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Godspeed You Black Emperor and Chopin!

DD: I heard you are also in Icelandic band 'Leaves', how long have you been playing in the band? Also what are the differences between Leaves' music and your solo music?
Andri Ásgrímsson: I've been playing with Leaves since 2003. We've released three albums which I have played keyboards on. The music is totally different, it is more mainstream, just pop music and related to Coldplay or Doves.

DD: What do you think about Icelandic music scene?
Andri Ásgrímsson: It is powerful and very competitive, a lot of good bands, it's funny, we always have one replica band from the outside world, as in, one band sounding like Coldplay, one like Radiohead and Franz Ferdinand and so on.

DD: What are your plans for the future?
Andri Ásgrímsson: To grow old!

DD: Where can we buy your album?
Andri Ásgrímsson: You can get it on amiestreet.com/f.eks or gogoyoko.com, it's called 'Orrustan um Esjuna' or the 'Battle of Esja' by me, Andri Ásgrímsson.
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DD: How old are you?
Þórður Ingi Jónsson: I'm 16 years old.

DD: Where were you born and where do you live?
Þórður Ingi Jónsson: I was born in Reykjavik and have lived on the west side, in 101 Reykjavík, since I was born, in the cold, harsh, volcanic wasteland of Iceland. It's a hard-knock life what with all the passages to hell that spew toxic fumes and melt faces all day. We're getting good at annoying Europe by means of economic terrorism and stopping flight traffic. Everything is going straight to hell over here, I predict full scale rioting and anarchy...

DD: What kind of music do you like? What are your favorite bands?
Þórður Ingi Jónsson: It's a hard question to answer because it's difficult to summarize it into genres that don't do the music itself justice. I was the biggest post-punk and 70s punk fan around 2005-2006 with accompanied ripped leotard vests and leather jackets. Now some stuff I listen to that deserves namedropping is drone & doom metal (Electric Wizard, Boris, Eyehategod), shoegaze (My Bloody Valentine, Ulrich Schnauss), underground hip-hop (Antipop Consortium, Kool Keith, stuff from Def Jux), noise (Throbbing Gristle, Wolf Eyes), Jazz (Sun-Ra & Miles Davis) and electronic stuff (the first bands that comes to mind are Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin). I'm always going through some new shit to listen to. Recently I've listened to a lot of The Fall, a Japanese noise-rock band called Mainliner, Tom Waits' 'Bone Machine'. Sun-Ra's 'Lanquidity', Erik Satie, Moondog and what has been called anti-social electro; Arpanet's Inertial Frame'. The best Icelandic music is the ever-so cool Singapore Sling, the horror-electro of Evil Madness and 80s punk stalwarts Þeyr (Theyr).

DD: Do you have any heroes?
Þórður Ingi Jónsson: No more heroes anymore. Though Yougal Bono has inspired me a lot throughout my life, as a good friend and as a creative muse. You can witness his exploits here. But there are a bunch of persons that have inspired me. My brother for one, Þórarinn Ingi Jónsson. Others are Hunter S. Thompson, Lenny Bruce, William Burroughs, Bill Hicks, Jack Kerouac and Kurt Vonnegut.

DD: What are you into at the moment?
Þórður Ingi Jónsson: At the moment I'm into dressing up in expensive gala-type suits and getting really drunk, also chucking things at children in swimming pools and then drifting around the pool nonchalantly, "The Graduate"-style. I've been watching shitloads of The Sopranos (the quality of that show never ceases to amaze) and reading Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Nietzche. Between that, I'm pretty caught up in school what with all the excessive, back-breaking homework. Also, collecting VHS tapes. VHS is the shit.

DD: What do you want to do when you grow up?
Þórður Ingi Jónsson: I tend to not think of the future, instead I concentrate on what's going on in my life at the moment. I like writing, so I might become a writer. I guess it boils down to what one does after high school, what one's going to study in college. Philosophy comes to mind. Basically just creating shit and throwing out some good ideas. I like the Jeff Koons style of getting rich first and then becoming an artist. But sadly, it doesn't work that way in Iceland. There's no money here.

Read Dazed's interview with Mundi HERE
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