Simple yet energetic and noisy, there’s a new album from a new band in Iceland; I need you to go to hell, by Knife Fights. Consisting of Sigurður Angantýsson (Vocals, guitar), Helgi Pétur Hannesson (drums), Gunnar Petur Hauksson (Bass), and Þórir Bogason (synth and guitar.) Knife Fights have released the perfect summer album.
I need you to go hell is chock-full of modernized noisy 90’s American west coast style rock. A smorgasbord of The Breeders, Jane’s Addiction, R.E.M type sounds, with a dash of grunge. The opening riff sucks you right into the smooth-ish track, Stay Forever in Doubt, and rolls along into more raw, rock/punk tracks such as Gnarbone, one of my favorites on the album.
They’re on Soundcloud, you can stalk them on Facebook, and you can listen to and/or purchase the album on Bandcamp. It’s $10, and I promise you’ll get your money’s worth, every time I hear the thing I like it more.
As there is little out there on the band, this is my first attempt at an interview type thing. I emailed them a bunch of questions alongside my nonsensical ones and Siggi was nice enough to reply with answers:
1. I know you’ve been around in a few forms for a year or two now, what do you officially consider your start date? We released our first video sometime in October 2012 and had our first gig in April, 2013 so somewhere around that time I guess. This project had been gestating for a long time in my head so it’s hard to tell.
2. Can you tell me a little about how you started, and why? It all started when I decided I was finally not shy about singing anymore or at least that I really wanted to overcome my shyness. I had slowly been learning how to play guitar in my early twenties so it took a lot of time to feel comfortable writing music and singing and stuff. I had difficulty being the focus of anybody’s attention really. By the end of 2011, I had actually written a bunch of songs or riffs and started recording them on my Macbook Pro. Really hi-fi stuff. I started sending them to my talented music friends who then offered to help me flesh it out and maybe form a band, which we did. God bless them.
3. What other bands have you all been in before or are in now? Our drummer Helgi Pétur and bass-man Gunnar are both in an awesome band called Gang Related. Helgi is also in legendary punk band Morðingjarnir and recently started playing with our pal musician Þórir Georg. Busy man really. Our newly recruited synth-and-guitar man Þórir Bogason is of course the leader of the wonderful Just Another Snake Cult.
4. Who are your musical influences? I’d say these are my basics: R.E.M, Pavement, Bowie, Pixies, Springsteen, Built To Spill, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Cure, The Smiths… you get the idea. With Knife Fights I just wanted to make something loud and contemplative at the same time. We were conscious about not just repeating our favourite music but rather just go with whatever we feel like. We don’t really care what we sound like as long as it keeps us interested. I also think that music is very therapeutic and that you can really tell if a musician is sincere or not in their approach. That’s what unites all my favourite art is that it seems to stem from this need that we have to communicate something or other.
5. If you had to describe your style what would say? I’d say my personal guitar style is melodic, sloppy, wired, spaced out, organic and very un-professional. Our bassist Gunnar is like a bastard child of Jaco Pastorius and Fieldy. Drummer Helgi possesses a machine-like quality while also being really organic in his approach and Þórir’s synth-playing puts Tangerine Dream to shame. Basic.
6. You’ve been playing a lot of gigs in RVK, are we going to see you at ATP or Airwaves this year? Airwaves maybe. Depends on wether we’re deemed worthy of entrance. ATP would be amazing obviously. Buttloads of awesome bands there this year.
And of course, my nonsensical questions:
1. What is your favorite place in Iceland to play? Harpa concert hall was really nice and grand but I think honestly Dillon Rock Bar is always the most energetic and fun. It’s all good though. I’ll play anywhere.
2. If you combine all of your favorite colors, what do you get? Turquoise, pink and orange make this kind of dark olive green. Which is nice.
3. What are 3 of your favorite little known bands of Icelandic origin? I’m a little biased here but I have to say Gang Related, Just Another Snake Cult and Þórir Georg.
4. If you could be any creature playing your favorite song, what would the creature be? And what is the song? I have a deep fascination with gorillas so I’d be one of those and the song would be ‘The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite’ by R.E.M. It brings instant childhood nostalgia and mixed feelings.
Give them a listen, and if you’re around Reykjavik, keep your ears peeled as they are playing a lot of live gigs these days.