In Siren Take The Spotlight!July 02, 2012 at 1:48pm
The fabulously progtastic In Siren took some time out of their busy schedule to talk to us about their barnstorming new album In Between Dreams, which they are releasing exclusively on Gogoyoko. The band tells us about how their album was put back due to their bass-player losing a finger (yikes!), on-stage punch-ups, and whether a prog renaissance is on the cards ...
Hello In Siren! Please introduce yourselves.
We are five musicians in Reykjavík that play and tour with other bands, but still feel the need to make this kind of music. Our other projects include Ask the Slave, Momentum, Árstíðir and Plastic Gods.
Tell us a bit about what brought you to this point?
When the band was formed in 2007 we played a heavier mix. We released a six song EP under the name Polymental. In 2008 the band was re-christened In Siren and we set sails for a more melodic horizon. The songs came together quite quickly but then we spent a long time trying out different arrangements.
In Between Dreams was scheduled to be released in 2010, but we had a number of unfortunate incidents that put us back and delayed the recording process. For example our bass player lost a finger in a work related accident ( he still plays the bass, using only four fingers on his left hand). On another occasion the band was attacked on stage during a gig by violent members of the crowd. The whole thing ended with a huge cowboy-style group-fight in which some of our instruments got severely damaged.
That is seriously heavy. In five words, describe your new album 'In Between Dreams'.
Pensive, Preposessing, Proud, Particular, and Patient.
Many P's there. And here comes another. P for Prog. You have some super proggy influences (of which we approve) - how did you get into that?
We all love progressive music of all sorts, and we spend a ridicilous amount of time listening to the likes of Yes & King Crimson, Frank Zappa, and more recent bands like Pain of Salvation and The Flower Kings. So I guess it was a short step to try out our own progressive wings.
Still, our raison d'être, was never to “be a progg-band”. We just made songs inspired by music that we love.
Do you think it's time for a renaissance of the genre?
The world has grown more tolerant to all sorts of music over the last years. Instead of having one style dominating the stage, all musical expressions can coincide. Progressive music will not likely be mainstream in the future but it will definitely redeem its honour in the opinion of the public.
And in a way I think that the renaissance has already happened because there are a lot of great bands right now that use progressive ingredients in their music. One good example is Agent Fresco from Iceland.
Why do you think some people are wary of progressive music?
My guess is that they simply don't understand it. And the same people who have unfortunate preconceptions about progressive music also tend to be expressing feeble opinions about jazz, and music that isn't always in 4/4.
In Iceland there also seems to be an old punk vs progg vendetta, but the “quarrel” thing is kind of stupid and outdated.
Agreed. We hear you love Trubrot - who else on the Icelandic scene do you dig?
There have not been to many progressive bands in Iceland, in the traditional sense of the word, but we really dig the band Þursaflokkurinn which made some really cool albums in the late 70's/early 80's.
And what are some of the preconceptions people have of Icelandic music, in your perception, that you would love to see the back of?!
I guess the most common preconception is that Icelanders are very connected to nature, and that this connection reflects in their music. Of course there's a grain of truth in that, but it is not be the primary reason why we sit down and mess around with musical instruments. Still, I don't mind if people continue to hold on to their preconceptions. They amuse me and make for good conversations when touring outside Iceland.
You're releasing In Between Dreams exclusively on Gogoyoko - tell us a bit about what Gogoyoko means to you as an artist and also a consumer of music?
The idea behind Gogoyoko is pure genius: The artist has absolute full creative freedom and control over his/her art, and the consumer can rest assured that all the money goes straight to the person who made the music. Gogoyoko is really the way all music commerce ought to be, and for us it was really a natural choice to be a part of it.
Where can we see you live in the near future?
Our release concert will be in Reykjavík on August the 8th, at the place called Gamli Gaukurinn.