Bringing back the grandiose, pitch-black wall of sound that was blasting up the Batcave in the 80s, Murmansk are a hard, howling band full of sexy sorrow. Bringing together a beautiful melt of the darker elements of music, they are a band to definitely make Goth rock purists let down their skepticism for a second. Certainly not for the faint of heart. Their bass player Olli opened up the vault to give us the secrets of their powers.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: who you are, what you do, why you do it. Remember: Hype is for PR departments, honesty is for musicians.
We are four musicians from different corners of Finland, although all of us have now settled in Helsinki. The name of our band might be the best reference to the music we make.
Do you have anything special you want to accomplish by coming to Iceland? If so, what?
I think the major thing for all of us is to visit Iceland and Reykjavík, as none of us has been there before and we’ve always wanted to go. Having an opportunity to play a couple of shows there is even better. Is it still possible to go whale-watching in October? Besides that, I’m very eager to check out many of the artists and bands performing at Iceland Airwaves.
LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT
We won’t have you pin yourself down in a genre, but maybe you can tell us what musicians you hope your fans also like. What music inspires you?
It would be easier to name artists and bands we’d wish they don’t like. Or that they definitely don’t listen to “all kinds of music.” I guess it eventually doesn’t matter what kind of music they like, if they like it for the right reasons. Any music that has a voice of its own is inspiring. The most recent artist I’ve been really impressed by might be Kurt Vile. What a brilliant new album he has.
And what would you want to tell our readers, to convince them to come to your show (remember: you are not in marketing, you are an artist)?
There’s a fifty percent chance to be either disappointed or see one of the best gigs of your life. But what we can assure is that this music does not leave you without an opinion. Love it or leave it.
ROOMS AND CORPSES
What is your ideal onstage outfit and why?
I guess all of us wear the same things onstage as we would going to a supermarket, ideal or not.
What got you making music in the first place? What kept you playing?
I’ve been fanatic about music all my life, and I started collecting records when I was seven years old. So at some point it seemed very logical to start making music myself too. At the moment I see no reason to stop doing it, being surrounded by three very talented musicians. I’m currently very excited about our upcoming third album, as we are now in the last stage of the recording process. The previous one we actually made already three years ago, so we have been preparing this for a while now.
What do you like these days? Anything we should know about?
The idea that this autumn and rain doesn’t last forever and there might even be sun after these dark months! This weather forecast probably ain’t a newsflash for you Icelanders.
What are your current obsessions besides music? What are you reading/watching/learning about?
There’s a lot. Besides consuming films and books, I’ve been recently studying Estonian enthusiastically. For a Finnish speaker it is not too difficult, and it’s sometimes also amusing. A lot of same or similar words as the languages are related to each other, but often they have slightly or totally different meanings. For example: if the Estonians are talking about “rooms,” the Finns might understand the word as a “corpses.” And so forth. I guess it goes the other way around as well for how the Estonians think about the Finnish language. But this might be interesting only to Finns and Estonians, as those two languages are linguistically pretty much alone in their own little sandbox.
Make a five track playlist for your plane ride over. Tell us why each track is there. Your scenario: you’re just about to land, and you want to mentally prepare yourself for whatever you think is going to meet you.
Here’s a playlist with no further explanations, they are all just great songs. Music shouldn’t be explained too much. Kurt Vile, ‘Runner Ups’; Beirut, ‘Santa Fe’; Serge Gainsbourg (feat. Brigitte Bardot), ‘Bonnie And Clyde’; Talking Heads, ‘Road To Nowhere’ and Yazoo ‘Don’t Go.’