interviewed by Randy Pubert
Nightspots Magazine: Hello, Jonsi. Forgive me if I pronounce something wrong with this interview but when you make up your own language called Hopelandic, I don't stand a chance!
Jonsi Birgisson: Okay, no problem.
NM: I love the new album Go. Tell our readers about it.
JB: I have had these songs for many, many years in my head. I finally had time to do this album and record it. I have been with my band Sigur Ros for sixteen years now. We have done many albums. It turns out now that the members of the band have all had babies recently. It is perfect timing for me to make this record. When I started I had 30 songs to choose from. The songs have been written with guitar, harmonium, and ukulele.
NM: What is the difference between a Sigur Ros album and your solo effort?
JB: The main difference from Sigur Ros is to have different players and performers on the album. It was really healthy for me.
NM: Your sisters put the album cover together?
JB: Yeah, they are amazing.
NM: What made you decide to sing in English on the solo record?
JB: My boyfriend Alex Somers is from America. I speak so much English these days. It was finally good to do it in English.
NM: You live in Iceland with him and made an album him with called Jonsi and Alex. How was that experience?
JB: It was really good. We have been making music since we met, also drawings, painting and stuff. Finally last year we went to Hawaii for a month in April and just mixed the whole album. It was definitely good for us.
NM: You shot the video for "Go Do" in Iceland with only four hours of daylight a day. That must have been difficult.
JB: Yes, we shot it between Christmas and New Years. We had three days to shoot it. We did some inside shots also.
NM: You play your guitar with a cello bow?
JB: I do that with Sigur Ros but with this concert I don't do that.
NM: We have you for two shows in Chicago. What is the solo concert experience going to be like?
JB: It is going to be really fucking good. I am going to play all the songs from the album. I will also play older songs as well as the new ones. Some are not from the album because I only have the one solo CD. It is going to be a really good show. I am working with two guys that have a theater and opera background. So there will be a lot of visuals and projections. There will be animations also so it will be really cool, actually.
NM: I have always thought your music is perfect for soundtracks to movies. Your song "Sticks & Stone" is on the How to Train Your Dragon movie soundtrack. Did you see the movie?
JB: Yes, I saw the movie. My song is at the end. It is an amazing movie. It is a kids' movie but has good humor. I really liked it.
Go check out Jonsi at the Vic Theatre ( 3145 N. Sheffield Rd. ) on April 27 or 28 at 7:30 p.m. For ticket and tour information visit jonsi.com .