Grísalappalísa arrived in summer 2013 and went on to play one of the very best shows of Airwaves last year, and since then have released a fantastic second record and been named best live band by the Grapevine newspaper. That’s already a lot of reasons to check them out if you get the chance next week. And as you’ll learn below, one of those shows is with the legendary Megas which is going to have to be seen to be believed.
I only just interviewed them in the summer but that’s no reason to talk again to one of the most exciting up and coming band from scene Iceland at the moment. Also, it gives me the chance to make sure they include my favourite song in their setlist – and also discover it was inspired by the not-at-all-naff, Limp Bizkit!
Like I said in the summer, your show at the Art Museum in the first slot of the first night of Airwaves last year was pretty much my highlight of the whole thing. How are you going to make this year even better?
Thanks! This year we will be performing twice on venue, at Gamla Bíó on Thursday and Gaukurinn on Saturday. Gamla Bíó is the old Icelandic Opera house. It's a really beautiful building and we are fortunate enough to be able to perform there with our friend and idol, the legendary Megas. It's always a gas when we get together and I don't think this will be an exception, what with the epic stage and all. The whole evening at Gamla Bíó is really nice, some premium rock and roll all around. Then we’ll be performing our own set at Gaukurinn and we promise a heart-throbbing powwow! We’ve been spending most of the year playing concerts all over the place so things tend to spin in all sorts of crazy directions on stage.
Are you happy with the reaction to the second album? Is there a particular track which you love playing live?
We're happy with the reaction it's already gotten, we would've wanted to see more of it, but that's life. The next record will be bigger than Jesus.
I like playing Vonin Blíð, mainly because one part in it is the most nu-metal we've written. Long live the legacy of Limp Bizkit. Playing Flýja and Sá Mig í Spegli with live strings during our release concert was also amazing. Stage packed with music stands and no room for Gunnar and Baldur onstage, sheet music flying all over the place!
I am in love with the song, "Vonin blíð" so (a) can you tell me what it's about please? and (b) please please play it at Airwaves, thanks!
Oh we'll play it alright. Vonin blíð is about dealing with relationship issues. Conflict between lovers can get intense. Like God and Satan.
I only just heard that you'll be playing with Megas at your Thursday show at Iceland Airwaves 2014. How did that come about? What should we expect?
Yeah we’re very happy about that, we’ve done a couple of shows with Megas, he’s our idol and our name comes from one of his songs. The first time was a surprise concert at the Reykjavik Grapevine award where we won the best live band of the year (yeeeeah!!) and Grapevine hooked us up.
That was a crazy party, then we performed together again at Innipúkinn Festival this summer where Megas was one of the main numbers and the festival closer. I think I’ve never seen as many people packed into so few square meters in my life, the place was completely packed beyond its limits and there was a queue way past the corner and everyone went completely batshit crazy. Our instruments were actually kind of sticky and wet from all the condensed sweat when we took them out the day after the concert. People of all ages were behaving like primates. I saw some pictures of the crowd recently and everyone looks like they’re attending some weird religious cult gathering, hallelujahing with their hands in the air and crying and laughing and making weird faces. Maybe everyone was hallucinating?
Some of the band are also in other bands, does Airwaves mean that you have to do a lot of organising and running between stages?
Yes. A LOT. It is the busiest time of the year. Last year we had a completely packed off-venue gig at 12 Tónar and I had another gig starting with another band on the other side of the city centre at exactly the moment we finished the one in 12 Tónar, so I had to pack the instruments at light speed and bicycle with them at dangerous speeds across the tourist packed downtown to jump up on the stage into the middle of the first song of the other set. I’ve never been so sweaty on stage in my life.
What's your best piece of advice for someone attending Iceland Airwaves for the first time?
I don’t really know, I’ve never been a tourist or a guest at the festival, I don’t think we’re the right people to ask. I always play way too many concerts for my own good and then I try running around like a headless chicken seeing as much of the other bands as possible when not on stage myself for the entire week and then spend like a week afterwards completely exhausted doing nothing in the post-airwaves depression.
I don’t know just stay indoors in a winter parka with a thermostat and keep the door locked the windows closed and the blinds folded and beware of the puffin shops.
Grísalappalísa play during Iceland Airwaves 2014 as follows:
Thursday 6th, Gamla Bíó @ 23:00
Friday 7th, Laundromat Cafe @ 13:00
Saturday 8th, Slippbarinn @ 17:45
Saturday 8th, Gaukurinn @ 23:20