Second time around,building fires, they’ve sailed back. An Icelandic, indie-folk band, Seabear are pioneering their music over the Pacific coast of the United States. Modern Mystery got to catch up with the band during their quick stop in New York City and discuss the new material and their current ongoing tour.
What is the history behind the band’s name, who came up with it?
Sindri:It was something that I wrote in my sketchbook when I was living in London. It was some sort of stupid slang that these British art school kids used.
How long did you live there for?
Sindri:Only about a year, I was planning to go to an art school in England, but I ended up going home to Iceland and finishing school back there, London is very expensive.
How has your music-making process changed since the beginning when Seabear first got together? Is it still the same?
Sindri:A lot of it was done piece by piece, I would record bits by myself, then we would all work on it. Other parts for drums we would record in a bigger professional studio, and then used mixed techniques to combine it all together. We didn’t really record it all at once, people would just come in and we would work on it. The newer material is more of everybody’s work.
What is different about your new material from the EP While The Fire Dieswhen compared to your album Ghost That Carried Us Away?
Sindri:It’s more of a band sound, some of the songs on the EP we actually played live before we put the record out. What tends to happen when you play the songs live, you play faster and louder, which for me is more fun, so a lot of the songs were influenced by the energy of the shows. We had some old songs that we took and worked on, re-recorded on it too.
How long did it take you to produce it? Are you satisfied with it?
Sindri:Well, the writing part didn’t take a long time, it was the recording that ended up being a bit long. We went back and re-adjusted some songs.For the next album we hope it moves a bit faster. I haven’t listened to it since we released it, because by the time we were done working on it, I was tired of hearing it. But in my mind, I’m happier with the EP, than with the first album.
This is your second time touring in the United States, what are your goals/preconceptions for this trip?
Sindri:Well, we’re doing more of a west coast this time. We also did SXSW.
How was it?
Sindri:It was great, very fun, we all really liked Austin. We were there for almost a week, then we went up to Washington D.C. We’re flying to Denver after this show in New York and then driving up the west coast and playing shows.
Is there a noticeable difference between the fans from Iceland vs. U.S.?
Halldór : We don’t have fans in Iceland!
Sindri: Our parents are our fans! (laughs) No, in Iceland during a lot of the shows, we get support from our friends and family, and to be honest I’m always more nervous when we play back home.
What is your favorite venue to perform at?
Sindri: There is a place in Berlin called People’s House, that was probably one of the best ones we played at, but it’s hard to say.
Describe your typical day while touring.
Seabear: Wake up pretty early, eat something, drive for many many hours, be late, unload stuff, soundcheck, eat, play, load back in, sleep, repeat.
Sounds, very monotone.
Guðbjörg: It is, but the highest point of course that keeps us going is playing the concert.
What albums have you been jamming to lately?
Sindri: A lot of The Fall and we all really enjoy listening to Beach House. Last time we were traveling in America we would always put on Bruce Springsteen. We always have a few songs we like to listen to when we’re having fun, we also like Wu Tang Clan.
What are the next places that Seabear want to tour/launch their music?
Sindri: We want to go to Japan, China, Thailand, you know, North Korea, haha! But we also would really like to go to Australia.