Designed for the runway, not the record press?
By Rebecca Louder
“It consists of a person playing on a computer and another playing drums. The person on the computer mainly writes the music, but has no real knowledge or background in music, but the one playing drums has been doing that his whole life.” – Good Moon Deer
Hailing from two small villages on Iceland’s eastern shores, Guðmundur Ingi Úlfarsson and Ívar Pétur Kjartansson met and befriended each other at the tiny college they both attended. While the latter went off to Reykjavík to play drums with such bands as Míri, FM Belfast and Benni Hemm Hemm, the former went to study in Amsterdam where he began tinkering around with making music on his computer.
Guðmundur went it alone for awhile until he grew self-conscious being a loner on stage who looked like he was refreshing his email, so in 2011 he asked Ívar if he would join the band to keep him company and move his limbs to the music. The pairing has been a success so far and the two are in the process of recording tracks and re-imagining the means by which artists release music.
Besides the obvious, how has the addition of Ívar’s live drumming shaped the band in its current state?
It naturally adds a jazzier element but it also adds tension and a bit of danger to it as well. Now the live shows are all about how well we communicate on stage and are able to deliver the music without too much of cluster. That’s the reason why we always set up the drums sideways on one side of the stage and me facing the drums on the other side. That way we can have a perfect connection to communicate without words and decide what happens next.
Word has it you’ve been working on your debut album. When do you expect it to be released and what can you tell us about it?
If a band hasn’t released an album, they most certainly should be working on one. That’s kinda what the music world wants you to think. We actually don’t believe in the old fashioned way of releasing albums anymore. We’re releasing songs. In the end, they might form a whole, which then might be considered an “album” but it also might not. There most certainly won’t be a physical copy of the music to get, we can promise you that. There might be an album though.
FASHION FADES, STYLE IS FOREVER
You have played a live set for a fashion show at LungA in 2011 and did a performance at KronKron. Do you consider your music “stylish”? If your music were clothing, what item(s) would it be?
That’s a funny question. Stylish is maybe not the right word. Different, maybe? It’s something you’re not used to hearing or seeing. It might be something like different coloured socks. But it is a coincidence that our girlfriends are both fashion designers so maybe fashion influences the music more than we think. Who knows?
After your album’s release you have a tour on the horizon. Where will this be taking you? What is your ideal concert setting?
Ok, so we lied a bit in that text on the Airwaves website. We’re not really releasing an album and not really having a tour. Or are we? We talked to Henrik Vibskov the other day about playing concerts in all his shops, in NYC, Copenhagen and Oslo (fashion again, we know). I think we might start there. Our ideal concert setting is actually somewhere where people can watch something else than us, but still enjoy our music. It might be fashion, or art, or something else?
DON’T TAKE OUR ADVICE
You’re almost certain to be playing alongside several bands at the same time. Tell us WHY festival goers should decide to see you instead of the other?
We’re playing right before Hermigervill so you should show up early and see us before he plays, you don’t want to miss him. But, also, we’re OK.
For all non-Icelandic festival goers, what Icelandic acts do people need to look out for? Are there any hidden gems in the dirt that need to be discovered?
Wow, ok that’s a tough one. There’s a lot of good stuff on at this festival. Do your research, you can find music and links from any band on the Iceland Airwaves website. Don’t just sit there and listen to someone like us trying to tell you what to go and see. Different music for different people.
What are you listening to these days? Make us a quick playlist or share a few artists that are up your alley right now.
Guðmundur: I’m almost only listening to new music these days. Which is strange, I normally only listen to old music. There’s just so much good new music out there right now.
Ívar: Francoise Hardy, Stevie Wonder, Deerhoof, Dirty Projectors, Michael Martin Murphey, Sudden Weather Change, Rustie and more and more…
Anything else you would like people to know about Good Moon Deer?
We’ve revealed too much already.
Good Moon Deer will be playing on Friday November 2nd, 20:50 at Faktorý upstairs.