"SÓLSTAFIR are not like any other band. Their latest album, 'Berdreyminn' underscores this statement. As its title "dreamer", which means "a prophetic visionary", aptly describes, the four Icelanders have taken their already impressive evolution one step further".
Interview by Michela (Anesthesia) & Alessia
Ph. (c) Snorri Sturluson
LFdM: How would you describe your new album to someone who doesn’t know your band yet?
-Hmm, not sure how to answer that. There is certainly not much metal on it, at least in the classic terms of metal, but I would like to think that we are making our own music outside the so called narrow minded genre boundaries, so I could also tell you that this is a metal album, just a very diverse and soft version of it. It’s also a rock album, just not in any typical way of rock is usually performed in. There is for sure a lot of atmosphere going on, open space dreamy stuff. I guess I could spend a lot of time going into details, since all the songs are very much different from each other, from Morricone Strat sounding stuff into church organ parts with D-beat.
LFdM: Compared to your previous albums, Berdreyminn has a brighter and deepest sound as if the darkness of the past had left room for a more optimistic way of life. How would you describe it?
- Some days the weather is just a bit more grey than other days. Lyricwise this album is for sure the most dark and obscure that we have done, but you are in a way getting it right cause there is also hope on this album.
LFdM: Your language is quite tough for almost everyone in the world. Do you think this is a limit for your international fans to comprehend the lyrics and the emotions?
- I guess it does in a way, lyricwise, but when it comes to emotion and somewhat soundscapewise it can add a feeling to it that one might not perceive otherwise. We have done songs in English in the past, and when we started using more clean vocals it felt more right to sing it in Icelandic, it’s closer to the heart and makes it more personal. Who knows, maybe we will do songs in English again later on, but for now, Icelandic it is.
LFdM: The Icelandic metal scene has considerably grow in the last few years. Why, in your opinion?
- Good question, I don't have the answer, of course, but I would like to believe that it is because of good bands making good music and working hard. I guess musical hotspots come and go, just like German thrasmetal, Norwergian blackmetal, Swedish deathmetal and such. Same goes with Seattle grunge or british new wave. Iceland is a small place, that hit the spotlight, and the metal scene sort of went under a microscope, and the more and more bands, like us for instance, go out and tour and do albums on foreign labels it tells younger band that they can as well.
LFdM: You started out as a black metal band, and you changed a lot during your career. Are you where you want to be, now? Or do you think Sòlstafir will evolve again in the future?
-If we ever come to the point of not evolving,I guess that’s the day that we call it a day and pack our bags. This talk of “changing styles” I find interesting and sometimes funny. Take a look at In Blood and Spirit and Masterpiece of Bitterness, there is way more difference there than there is between Ótta and Berdreyminn. We gained a lot more crowd with Ótta and I guess some people expected that that was our style, it had always been our style, and will always be our style. Well, it’s not.
This band is exactly where it is supposed to be, and Berdeyminn is the only album we could have done at this time, and the next one will be different. Imagine of Metallica never evolved from Kill em All, Mayhem from Deathcrush, Dark Throne from Soulside, Nirvana from Bleach. As an insider I still very much feel like we are the band that did “Masterpiece of Bitterness”.
LFdM: Iceland is a very peculiar country: do you think your nationality shapes your way of making music?
- It for sure does. I mean we obviously sound more Icelandic than Italian or Japanese. It’s a small remote volcanic island in the middle of nowhere. Growing up, Iceland was not a hipster tourist place, winters were hardcore, no one was rich, hardly any bands come here, we only became independent from Denmark in 1945, so we are a young nation. Then there is the nature part, there is always the risk of earthquake, volcanic eruption, and you are never far from the wilderness of wild nature.
LFdM: In your specific case, what does burn the soul? Lyrics or music?
- Music. I have a hard time learning lyrics, I find it hard enough to remember my own, so learning other people lyrics is at times impossible for me. I would be the worst cover band singer ever. When I listen to music I’m more into focusing on the snair sound or the bass drum.
LFdM: Thank you so much for your time guys.
Thank you :)