There is no Icelandic act that I have seen live more times than Mugison (at least, I think that’s true). That’s due to a few reasons; firstly he’s been active all the way back to my first time at Iceland Airwaves in 2004 (where he played on an exceptional bill in the beloved Nasa venue), secondly he has played in the UK a fair bit over those years, and thirdly his shows are unmissable.
He has an awesome catalogue of songs these days which he is constantly updating and refreshing, and adding to. Hs shows have the consistency of the song-writing quality but also that wonderful unpredictability of varying from acoustic to the sort of full-on rock goodness that got him a support slot with Queens Of the Stone Age a few years back. As you will learn below, it seems he doesn’t know himself what kind of Mugison show Iceland Airwaves 2014 is going to get.
I can assure you, it is not be missed. Have a look at his typically outstanding performance from Airwaves 2011 and get addicted.
Hello again Mr Mugi Sir. Where are you right now, and what are you doing?
I´m in Sudavik, where my family lives, it´s in the wild Westfjord region. I´m in my studio working on new stuff. Thought I´d finish an album this year but the material was so boring I could not continue to work on it. Just started working on the next one again again, and I’m very excited about some of these ideas. I have been sampling bell tones on the guitar for the last 2 days for a new song.
So, this will be my 11th Iceland Airwaves. And I saw you play in Nasa at my first one in 2004. You played just after Ske and before Quarashi, The Bravery, Trabant and Gus Gus. Do you remember that show? Not a bad line up!
Yes sir I remember like it was yesterday, it was the best Airwaves I´ve done. Everything was just right, my act was finally making some sense, still very risky, the venue was packed - good times.
Since 2004, you have played acoustically, with a laptop, with a big noisy rock band, with a choir, with various home-made instruments... what are you planning for Iceland Airwaves 2014?
I´m not sure! I have been dying to do an electronic show for years now but I´m so lazy. I´m all talk and no do. My rock band is in peak physical condition and I just got a new tuner for my acoustic guitar so I have been using that a lot lately. Maybe I should do a variety show?
How important is Iceland Airwaves for the local scene? Has Airwaves played a role in getting you known overseas and invited to play around the world?
Yes it´s very important. My first show in 2003 I got really positive reviews witch I could then e-mail to gig promoters all over the land “Mugison is a joyous mix of Miss Piggy and Elvis flipping on a laptop” - that got me far.
I'm sure that a lot of people are going to be very keen to see you play at Airwaves. Just in case not everyone is decided, why should we choose your show above other things happening at the same time?
I think people should ask themselves - which describes them the most: Pescetarianism, Sushi or Pudding. If pudding is your thing then I´m your man.
Are you working on a project at the moment, can you tell us anything about the next Mugison record?
I think it will be a sort of best of album but with all new songs. If you know my catalogue you can have fun pinning songs to the old albums.
Have you had a good look at the Airwaves schedule? What are you really excited to see this year?
No not yet. I need to make a playlist, do the yearly research. I know I won’t miss Caribou am listening to his new album right now and loving it.
Finally, can you give some advice for people attending Iceland Airwaves and visiting Iceland for the first time?
Come with an open mind, do the typical touristy things, blue lagoon, golden circle and get drunk downtown. Don’t feel bad about it, enjoy it as much as you can. Bring warm clothes it can be very cold. Take long walks by the sea and listen to Vespertine (Björk). Take a random bus around town and listen to Sigur Rós.
Mugison will be play Iceland Airwaves as follows,
Wednesday 5th, KEX Hostel @ 21:30
Thursday 6th, Bunk Bar @ 19:40
Friday 7th, Harpa Silfurberg @ 21:00