FILTER Issue 48
Sigur Rós: A Far Off Place
On stands May 16, 2012
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FILTER Magazine travels to ‘A Far Off Place’ in our latest issue, FILTER 48, arriving on newsstands this week. The upcoming issue of the ‘Good Music’ publication exclusively features Iceland’s Sigur Rós in the quartet’s first-ever cover story. Later this month, the band will release their long-awaited and highly anticipated sixth album, Valtari.
In a rare interview with the notoriously private group, FILTER delves into the mysterious and complicated universe of Sigur Rós, interviewing the band in their hometown of Reykjavík, Iceland’s capital and location of the intimate loft studio in which their upcoming album was finished. The foursome speaks candidly about the processes and perspectives behind their new album, their three-year hiatus, their family-like bond and experience working alongside a new producer, Jónsi’s longtime boyfriend and musical collaborator Alex Somers. Sigur Rós will soon embark on a new tour for the first time in nearly four years, sharing their extraordinary sound worldwide once again, the music enabling fans to journey to a far off place of their own.
*Each issue features a special vertical cover dust jacket.
On Sigur Rós’ recording process
“When we go in and do a new album, we don’t think about the last one. We’re not forcing ourselves to lead a certain soundscape…” – Kjartan Sveinsson, Sigur Rós
“We try not to think of a path to take, it’s something that evolves and takes shape later in the process.” – Orri Páll Dýrason, Sigur Rós
On the new album, Valtari
“This record was a hard process, but still, it was kind of joyful at the same time. I’m really happy with the result. I hear something different each time I listen to it.” – Georg Hólm, Sigur Rós
And FILTER agrees, adding that, “unlike any Sigur Rós album, their sixth combines ambiance with sepia-tinged antiquity. As the album that took the longest to make…it could have been their first, at the turn of a century that’s never existed.”
“It’s just the sound that these four guys create—and it’s not like guitar-bass-drums-piano or whatever…it sets a good example for bands not to be locked in and thinking too much about being a musician. It’s more about being music-makers.” – Alex Somers, co-producer of Valtari
On playing live together for the first time in four years
“I’m really looking forward to it. Actually. I think it’s really exciting. We were talking about how funny it is when it kicks in. You’re so stressed and then you take up your instrument and you start playing, and then you automatically go into the right chord” – Jónsi, Sigur Rós
The cover art features both vertical and horizontal exclusive images of Sigur Rós shot in Iceland by Lilja Birgisdóttir.
More Highlights from Issue 48
Steve Martin: Five-String Samurai Takes Flight (page 63)
After playing the banjo for nearly 50 years, Steve Martin sits down with FILTER to shed light on his songwriting influences, musical collaborations and what it's like to be back on the road after 30 years.
On how the banjo lends itself to comedy: “Because it’s such a particular instrument. It doesn’t blend naturally—it’s always the star, or it’s nothing.”
They Even Had It On The News: Public Enemy Turns 25 (page 80)
To mark Public Enemy’s 25th anniversary, FILTER talks to Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Hank Shocklee, the S1Ws, Rick Rubin and more to separate the hype from the heritage.
Rick Rubin on Public Enemy’s most important contribution to culture: “Probably the people they influenced to make music…Rage Against the Machine, for example. Maybe the radical nature of Odd Future harkens back to the newness of Public Enemy.”
LIARS: 3 Men, A Plan (page 66)
With a new album out, Liars discuss with FILTER the process behind making WIXIW, a record unlike anything in their discography: the anxiety, the doubt, the excitement, all intermixing to create the end result. This album has a shift in sound so stark, Aaron Hemphill of Liars calls the new album “the antithesis to what we did on Sisterworld”.
On the recording process: “This is what we all go through; we have this sense of uncertainty and doubt that’s part of our process…it’s important to go through that, so that you know you’re doing something beyond your normal scope.” – Angus Andrew, Liars
On the new album: “We knew from the start that we wanted to approach the record from this electronic standpoint. It’s neutral and normal for us to look for some sort of challenge every time we make a record. You want to take on some new way of approaching the whole thing, and I felt like this was the one realm we’d never fully tried to attack.” – Aaron Hemphill, Liars
En Pointe: The Brutal Beautiful Art of GRIMES (page 72)
Grimes is not just a visionary when it comes to producing and recording her own music, she is also an inspired artist. Claire Boucher, aka Grimes, chats with FILTER on why she’s in it for the love of creation and how she’s attempting to combat “the certain banality of pop music today”.
“The people I admire most are the people who have left a mark in culture. My goal in life, and if I could do anything, would be to do that.” – Grimes
SIGUR RÓS: A Far Off Place
Texas Forever: The Outsider Films of RICHARD LINKLATER
Five-String Samurai: STEVE MARTIN Takes Flight
They Even Had It on the News: PUBLIC ENEMY Turns 25
Back to the Baltics: 60 Hours in ESTONIA
GETTING TO KNOW
YOU SHOULD ALREADY KNOW
by TIM & ERIC