Lit­tle Talks,

Jim Car­roll

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - COVER STORY -

spent a lot of money to get there so it’s hard in terms of money. We have been lucky be­cause we have a really good team around us. We’ve also been a lit­tle bit lucky. We were in the right place at the right time.

“A lot of peo­ple at home thought we were an Amer­i­can band at first. They said we’re not very Ice­landic, but I don’t really know what would be typ­i­cal Ice­landic. It’s hard to stand out from all the other bands in Ice­land be­cause you don’t want to sound like any­one else. It’s a small coun­try, so you def­i­nitely don’t want to sound like any­one else.”

That Ice­landic scene, he notes, has also faced prob­lems in the wake of the coun­try’s in­fa­mous eco­nomic col­lapse in re­cent years. “Venues are be­ing torn down. When ev­ery­thing was do­ing well with the econ­omy, be­fore the bank­ing cri­sis, peo­ple had this great idea to build a huge mu­sic hall. So now that we have this big place, there’s this think­ing go­ing around that the bars and clubs should close down, be­cause we have the gi­ant mu­sic hall. But those small bars and clubs are where peo­ple want to go when they go out to hear mu­sic.”

For him and his band­mates, the success of OM&M has meant they can con­cen­trate full-time on mu­sic and tour­ing. Prior to all this, some of them were in col­lege, one was a plumber, an­other worked in a meat fac­tory and an­other was an air­port se­cu­rity guard. “When it all took off, we gave it all up. I think we all thought ‘yes, I want to be in a band all the time!’”

Pórhalls­son men­tions at one point how Mum­ford & Sons have paved the way for bands like them to beat a sim­i­lar folk drum. But while they may both be tagged as folk, OM&M are a much dif­fer­ent band in other respects. They’re a rau­cous live en­tity, a band who be­gan to use vol­ume ini­tially as a way to over­come the talk­ers in their au­di­ence and found it very much to their lik­ing.

“We didn’t plan out things, it’s just how our sound devel­oped. It would make more sense if we had said one day ‘we should try to sound like this’ but that’s not what ever hap­pens. Our mu­sic just sort of evolved. All of us like Ar­cade Fire and Arc­tic Mon­keys, so I think that has had an ef­fect on our sound. We’ve got acous­tic gui­tars and arena-sound­ing drums, dra­matic pi­anos and gui­tars. There’s a lot go­ing on at once.”

The band spent most of 2012 tour­ing, but minds are al­ready slowly turn­ing to what the fol­low-up to My Head is an An­i­mal will sound like. Pórhalls­son thinks the huge amount of travel they’ve done will have a big bear­ing on al­bum num­ber two.

“We have ex­pe­ri­enced so much in the past few years that has changed us and ev­ery­thing seems to have moved really fast. But when we go home to Ice­land, it’s dif­fer­ent be­cause things move at a much slower pace there. It’s a dif­fer­ent world. The next al­bum is def­i­nitely go­ing to be in­spired by what we’ve been do­ing. We will ap­proach it slowly, but some­thing is def­i­nitely hap­pen­ing and we look for­ward to bring­ing it to life.”

Of Mon­sters & Men play Dublin’s Olympia on Fe­bru­ary 21st

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