Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Inquisition: 091.GlerAkur

1. How did you came up with the name of the band?

In 2008 I unexpectedly had the whole month of December off from work. The darkness and cold really leaves you no options but to find something fun to do at home. I decided to record a piece of music which was my Christmas present to everyone. I just sat down and started multitracking. The result was some sort of a Mike Oldfield/Philip Glass mashup. My girlfriend called the track GlerAkur because “Gler” means glass and “akur” means field. Simple as that. 7 years later when Prophecy offered me a contract this felt like the right name for the project.

2. Do you have a standard procedure of creating a song? Do you just jam around or is there a main riff and the track is build up on it?

I guess it’s all of the above and more. Pretty much anything can inspire a song. When working in sound design you start listening to the world around you with much more depth. You’d be surprised how many harmonies there are around us all the time. A distant traffic jam mixing with crashing waves and seagulls, echoing against a harbor wall. That's music.

3. What are your influences and what kind of music do you hear when you are at home?

Oh, I can’t start naming musicians or bands, the list would be too long. Music is my passion and I can honestly say that I listen to all types of music. There is not a genre out there I don’t like. There are of course artists I don’t enjoy, don’t get me wrong. As an artist I think it’s important to explore your influences and role models. When it comes to writing and arranging music I’m not afraid to try and replicate a sound or to replicate a creative method developed by an artist I love. This is a way of exploring and honoring your influences. To me that adds depth to your art and subsequently to the whole realm of my existence. I have been doing that for a long time and have hopefully found a method of my own.

4. Which is the one album you can't live without?

There are two albums I listen to from start to finish at least once a year. Ommadawn by Mike Oldfield and Gothic by Paradise Lost.

5. What's the first record you've ever bought?

“Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” by Iron Maiden. It’s an epic masterpiece.

6. Name a band that you would like to share the stage or tour with?

I think the act of touring is a fragile thing. It involves artists who are trying to promote their art, but at the same time it is tiresome and hard work. It is more important what kind of people you travel with, than what kind of music they play. Genuinely nice people that play decent rock would be the best combination for me.

7. Did the internet and specially the blogs helped to spread your music around the world? Name a place (country) that you were surprised to know your music has reached to?

The internet, definitely. Honestly I’m surprised every time I see a review from blogs, magazines and zines from all over the world. This is our reality right now. If you have an online presence, you have a global presence. It’s exciting and chilling at the same time.  If I had to name one country in particular I would say Italy. The response from there has been extremely positive and I have no idea why.

8. Do you support the idea of bandcamp where fans can decide the price or services like Spotify?

I support the idea of people paying for music and it seems the only way to get even the smallest amount is to cater to the spoiled public. Bands are still generating some revenue through touring but the costs of tours leaves little behind these days. Just enough to get by, to stay fed and clothed until you go on the road again. In my case I’m not planing to make money from touring. My financial goal is to break even when I travel with my music. I make a living by producing and making music like a plumber or an electrician. It’s a trade, and I get payed by the hour. The music I write that does not end up in plays or scores anywhere else I use for my own and release under my own name, in my other band projects or as GlerAkur. It’s pretty bleak actually when I put it like that, but at least I’m making a living as an artist and I celebrate that fact every day.

9. Where do you see yourselves in 10 years?

I will probably be scavenging for food in a post-nuclear wasteland somewhere in Africa. That is if I make it out of Europe during the firestorm. Until that happens I’ll be writing and/or producing music for stage, plays and movies.

10. Is the artwork of an album important nowadays in the digital era?

Sure. There is always going to be logos and some sort of designed imagery for artists. Perhaps the classic “album-cover artwork” will become a thing of the past, or at least less important since physical copies are slowly disappearing.

11. What is you favorite album cover?

“Into the Pandemonium” by Celtic Frost. It’s horrifying. The whole gatefold sends chills through my spine.

12. It seems that a lot of people are turning on vinyl again. Why do you think that is and which is your preferable media format?

I think it’s a nostalgia thing with a certain generation. At this time this generation has money and is willing to spend it on music, but I guess we'll find out soon enough if it will survive. Rock music is slowly being pushed to edge of the industry and in some ways it’s turning into a novelty act. It’s gonna bounce back though but whether it will save the vinyl from extinction depends on the next generation of novelty rockers. I definitely enjoy the vinyl format because it kind of forces you to listen to whole albums, and that holds on to the ritualistic aspect of the musical experience. For digital formats I stream, mostly on YouTube, occasionally Spotify, but there is something about Spotify that bugs me. I don’t like to be fed options and recommendations through an algorithm. That sort of thing undermines the illusion of free will and it’s not a good feeling.

13. What's the most vivid story or moment as a band?

15 years ago I was a member of a cover band. We did weddings and other events and we usually treated our customers with accepting requests beforehand. If you sent us a list of songs within a certain timeframe we would learn the songs requested and usually everyone was happy with the result. This was easy money, most of the time. One night we’d been asked to do a lot of old time schlagers and pretty mainstream pop songs but there was this one girl at the company that booked us constantly complaining about the lack of rock music in our program. We decided to throw in one special request from her and we started playing Rock And Roll by Led Zeppelin. Immediately the people on the dancefloor disappeared, they all ran for cover, most of them holding their ears. Except for the girl whom we were playing the song for, and this old guy, and he was furious. We just focused on the girl though and she was having a blast. The guy came up on stage a few times screaming some unpleasantries but we always managed to push him off with our instruments as weapons. This made him even angrier. Then, during the solo, and I was nailing it, I saw him coming towards the stage again, the girl was headbanging and we were tight as hell. I was doing a one hand solo with my right hand throwing the devil's horns at the girl. Next thing I knew I was covered in beer. The old guy had gone to the bar, bought a large beer and he just ran back to the stage and threw it at me. Our drummer stopped playing and screamed into the snare mic: “THANK YOU GOOD NIGHT!” We left, the guy wanted to kick our asses and his friends had to hold him back. He was obviously wasted. The next day I took my guitar to a luthier to have it cleaned. I billed the old guy for the cleaning. The luthier charged the guy to much for the cleaning and we split the difference between our selves. I probably spent it on beer. It so happened that the gig took place at the basement bar of The National Theatre in Iceland, the very same place we recorded “The Mountains Are Beautiful Now”.

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