Rokkurro Interview

Ahead of Ja Ja Ja event
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Appearing at the next Clash curated Ja Ja Ja Nordic music showcase on Thursday 21st October in London. Find out more about the event HERE.

Clash caught up with one of the band's on the bill, Iceland's Rökkurró.

For people out there that have never heard of you. Give us three reasons why they should?

We sing in Icelandic. The bands that do that are unfortunately a dying species. Our music has bits of cello, a beautiful female voice singing in a weird foreign language, eerie ambient guitars, groovy bass and complex drum patterns. We play some kind of a mix of indie, post-rock with classical influences.

Tell us a little about where you're from. Do your surroundings affect the music that you create?

We are from Iceland. During winter it's usually a bit dark and cold here so instead of enjoying a nice game of beach volleyball some of us stay inside and write music. I guess in a way that affects the music we play. Foreign people are always saying that they can hear something really Icelandic in our music but that's not something we set out doing when we make our music. We just plug in our instruments and play whatever we feel like.

If you could have played on or written any song, what would it be?

The Safety Dance - Man Without Hats. That song is just awesome and out of this world. On a more serious note it would probably be Pyramid Song by Radiohead. One of the best songs ever written.

How did the band come in to being? And where did the name come from?

The band started out in 2006 as a few friends meeting in Bibbi's (Rökkurró' drummer, guitar player and pianist) attic making music inspired by the movie Amélie. Soon the band made a homemade EP and put it up for sale in 12 Tónar record shop. The EP kept selling out and due to popular demand the band (I'm constantly referring to us as the band since I did not join Rökkurró until 2008) had to make more and more. Then 12 Tónar offered Rökkurró a record deal and then "Það Kólnar Í Kvöld" was released. Since then we've done a fair bit of touring around Europe, both by ourselves and supported artists such as Múm and Ólafur Arnalds and we've also got a fresh new album released in August.

The name is an Icelandic word which combines the words rökkur (twilight) and ró (quiet) so a direct translation would be something like calm during twilight. The name came up from a brainstorming session where band members were trying to find a name that was not only nice but also suited the band.

What is the most memorable gig you have played, and what can we expect of your live set at Ja Ja Ja?

Our release concert last month would probably rank pretty high on that list. We had a string quartet and backing vocals with us on the stage in the beautiful venue Iðnó. The time when we played in a 900-year-old castle in Erfurt in Germany also comes to mind.

What can we expect from your live set?

Energy and sincerity. We've witnessed that a lot of people can relate to our music in one way or the other - even though our songs are not in English.

If you were asked to curate your own Ja Ja Ja night, which three acts would you choose and why?

I'm gonna be a bit selfish on this one. I'd choose Efterklang, Kings Of Convenience and us. Just because these bands are highly regarded amongst our band members and it would be immense to share a stage with them.

We’d like you to make us a Nordic themed mix-tape. Which five tracks would you choose?

1. Efterklang - Chapter 6
2. Mew - Chinaberry Tree
3. Teitur - Josephine
4. Kings Of Convenience - I'd Rather Dance with You
5. Jónsi - Tornado

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Buy tickets to the Ja Ja Ja showcase with Rökkurró, The Deer Tracks and The Low Frequency In Stereo, at London's Lexington venue on Thursday 21st October, HERE.

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