Eine neue Ausgabe von balm&creak mit einem ziemlich expliziten Múm Special. Ich habe Gunnar, einen der zwei Gründungsmitglieder von Múm am 05.09.2009 in Berlin im Lido getroffen und interviewt. Der Gesamteindruck der Band war: wahnsinnig nett. Und das ist in keinster Weise negativ oder gar langweilig gemeint. Sie waren einfach freundlich, offen aufgeschlossen und harmonisch. Es war schön zu sehen, dass eine Band so in ihrer Musik aufgeht und wie Gunnar auch im Interview sagte, die Musik als ihr Baby betrachtet, das irgendwie seinen eigenen Kopf hat und das man pflegen und umsorgen muss, ihm aber auch die Freiheit lassen sollte sich selbstständig zu entwickeln. Musik als Ausweg aus der oft düsteren und harten Realität zu sehen, als Insel und Ort der Erholung. Die Musik, die live wie auch auf der Platte einfach nur zum wohligen träumen einlädt, teilweise trotzdem fasst tanzbar ist und auf jeden Fall den ganzen Saal in beschlag nahm, enthebt einen auf wunderschöne Weise aus dem Alltag und sorgt für einige Momente zum vergessen aller Sorgen. Und auch wenn der Vergleich alt und vielleicht nicht so gerne gehört ist, irgendwie hat Múm etwas sehr Elfenhaftes. Zauberhaft.
Múm Interview 05.09.2009 @ Lido
There is this platform called gogoyoko, where your new album is being published, what can you tell us about that?
It’s an attempt to cut out all the people besides the ones making the music and the ones listening to the music. It is very interesting and it’s very hard to imagine how it’s gonna turn out in the end, but hopefully it will work and be good. It’s very interesting as well, because – if you use it and you are a user of gogoyoko – you can buy it or just listen to it, because you also have this player. It’s very open to what you are listening to. You can listen to everything without paying for it, but I feel, if you acquire music from your friends, if somebody says: “You have to listen to this band, here take it!” and if you really like it, of course you want to buy it, of course you want to support it. I truly believe this, with people that like music, I don’t think … it’s not really stealing. It’s music and it’s abstract, you are not stealing anything, when you are listening to the radio. It’s the same, similar thing. And I think people have this urge in them that they want to support music that they like.
How do you write your songs?
Usually me and Örvar come up with a song and then we kind of start to take everybody in and… In a way we all write together, because what we do with the rest of the band, we might have some ideas you know, but then there is total freedom, we give everybody total freedom to kind of try whatever they think should be there. But in the end we kind of decide what stays… so. But there is an old saying in Iceland, or with us, or with people I know at least. Every individual in the band is equally as important however big the role is, because it’s like soup, if you don’t add a little bit of chilli or something, it’s not a good soup. It’s very important to get everybody’s touch. I think that is something very important to respect because a lot of bands get into this macho fight, where some person claims to control everything and people are kind of possessive. I don’t or we don’t believe in this. We kind of believe that music has it’s own life and you are kind of helping it into the world. But you know, it kind of grows on its own, it tells you where it wants to go and you just have to help it.
And who writes the lyrics?
Örvar writes all the lyrics.
Can we talk about one or two of the songs from the album?
I think it’s funny to talk about this Kay-ray-ku-ku-ko-kex Song. It’s inspired from a… it was in a book … I can’t remember which book, but in a story bei Kurt Vonnegut. He’s a very, very good author, he writes kind of like… let’s say, for the sake of saying something, arty sci-fi novels, so it’s very abstract but… not arty, arty is not the right word, but you know, entertaining. It’s not totally sci-fi but it has very strange stories and he’s a super good author. I really really respect him. And in one of his stories there are marsians, people from Mars or some other planet, aliens, alien species, and they only have one word in their dictionary and that is Kay-ray-ku-ku-ko-kex, so depending on how you say it, or how many times. It doesn’t really describe it but they only have this one word and it means everything. And that song has a kind of an interesting life, because it got born in New York in our friends Arton Pears (?) house, he has a band called My Spirit. He is a very good friend of our’s and we usually stay there. It is in New York upstate, very very beautiful band and a beautiful house and it’s really nice hanging out with him and being around him. And I was actually there around the time, usually when we go to America we have a couple of days to hang around with him. And he was actually working in a studio, recording something or producing something and I was in his house and was playing around with the piano and all these instruments. That is kind of where it got born. And then there is a lot of, you know there are so many turns, where it changes and we added more things. We recorded a choir for it in Estonia that was really fun and…
How do you think being at different places influences your music? Do those places influence your music?
Yes, I would say definatly, but it’s very hard to kind of pin point these things in music, because music is so very abstract but it’s… it’s very hard to get your mind around it, head around it. And that is something we always do, we always, when we make albums, we do it in different places, you know we focus on different things in different places. And that is very refreshing. When you are working on something. Always when you are doing something creatively you come to a point where you hit the wall, you’re like: “what’s next? I don’t know…” Then sometimes the best thing to do is kind of leave it like that for a day or two or a week, month or year even, if you need to. I believe that music kind of has to formant and grow. Like good cheese or wine or something like that, you just have to leave it and let it age. But this thing, when you change places, you kind of get a new perspective. You don’t… it’s really strange, you don’t perceive it the same way. It becomes something different and you find solutions that you couldn’t find before. It’s somehow refreshing, it’s always really good to… and like you say, there are influences, that come from different places, but I think it’s mainly this energy, this fresh air, a new life somehow. And we usually pic places that are very nice and cosy, so that is a benefit.
And I heard some of you have been living in Berlin for quite a while. Have you been living here?
Yes, I lived here, Örvar lived here the longest, I lived here a couple of times for a couple of month, you know three, four month, something like that, but then, the longest I lived here was for a year once and I always think when I come here, I think: “oh, I have to move back, this is so nice” I really like it, I really feel like home here. It’s one of these cities where I feel at home all the time, I really like it.
Hildur, the Singer and Chello/Viola Player, she lives here now, she’s been living here for two years, or more and is very happy.
Have there been any colaborations with german artists?
Not really, she is doing a lot of that, she is doing a lot of her solo stuff, collaborating with various people. She’s been playing with, I think they are calling themselves Angel (?) and Schneider TM and Ichbo (?), I think his name is – from Pansonic (?), and you know she has friends here and she’s doing some things. No, we haven’t really done any collaboration thing for quite some time. But this is also something we do or try to do is to do something different and not just make music for albums and then release them…
You’ve also been working on some other projects, like djing, or soundtracks and stuff like that?
Yeah, we’ve been trying to do some things. We’ve been doing radio play and then we do, you know, music for theatre and all sorts of things. Lot of it is not something that we are actively trying to do, but it’s something that we… that happens and when it comes we are like: “yeah, something new, something fresh” and it’s very very much fun. Keeps you on your toes. Especially when it is something that you have never done before. Something that you don’t know how to do.
How do the changes that the band undertook feel for you? You started of as four people now you have a completely different band.
It feels very natural. It feels good. It’s a very good group we have now. We are all super good friends for a long time and it’s very… it feels like a big family. It’s a very ballanced atmosphere. One can have a bad day or a supergood day and it’s ok. It’s a very very healthy situation or something. And I think it’s very natural too, that when you do something like that for more than ten years, it’s bound to have a lot of changes. We are totally different people now then from when it started and we kind of… I remember it from the beginning, the guys and we started to play, it was just the four of us and then five of us and then kind of, if you feel this, how it’s nice to grow… the only thing I’m worried about is that in another ten years we are gonna be 20 people on stage, that’s gonna be a bit hard.
But the band mainly lives with the two of you?
Yeah, it wouldn’t really work without us.
And I heard something that you didn’t want your remix album to be released or something?
The first Remix Album that was done around our first album. Our first Album was done on an icelandic label and then licenced to other labels, talkboat (?) and others. And the thing is, that two 12″ were supposed to be remixed, and they were supposed to come out around the same time as the album.
But this record company was not really a record company. Just some guy that got some money and was trying to do something, whatever, he was just very bad in doing this. So we kind of released our album and he never released the 12″. Nothing happened until we did a remix project with Thomas Morr, where we brought two or three songs and his artists did different versions of them. So basicly the problem was that, when we were doing this with morr this other guy decided to make another remix album at the exact same time, because he wanted to, I don’t know get a free ride with publicity, and that was kind of a lousy thing to do. So it was not the case that we didn’t want it to come out at all, it was more that we wanted it to come out when the Album came out, on 12″ like that, but he waited for two years…
Did you ever have any political intentions in your music?
I mean there is a lot of power when you have, when you achieve meaning or political meaning in art. But it’s also very dangerous, not dangerous, but flamable. It is something that… I don’t know, I think like for Múm, I believe that we have a different approach, we kind of instead of criticising the things that are wrong we try to show people that there are other things. You know, you can kind of go away from all troubles and you can… there are… it’s like kind of an unreality, all these fictional happy things. Because there is so much darkness in the world today, that just confronting it is an overwhelming task, but then again as people, as persons it is a totally different thing, we could start talking about Sudan or whatever, you know, or refugees, Israel, whatever, that is ok. I have a lot of opinions and we all have a lot of opinions on these things. But we have chosen to kind of keep it away from our music, it’s something, i don’t know why, but maybe it is something that we want to keep it like… it’s like a kid. You want to keep a certain amount of truth away from the kid, to keep it heathy.
But you are donating some of the profits from your new album to a project?
Yes, through gogoyoko, it’s a very interesting, a beautiful aspect of this gogoyoko thing. It gives you the possibility of donating money to charities, which I think is really good. And it’s a good guy that is taking care of this and it is 100% safe and reliable, not that they say: “yeah yeah, we are giving them the money”. So, I really respect that, I think it’s really good. We have done, you know lot of charity, well not charitywork, but we have supported a lot of different things, but it’s something that you, you know, when you do things like that, then you are not necessarily shouting them out, because that is not the reason why you are doing it. Not like a lot of rich people or celebrities, people that want to get attention by doing good things, and I don’t see the reason why, nobody needs to know about it. We’re just helping somebody that needs help and that’s all. That is nothing you need to take credit for, that’s not the case.