Hello Dulvitund (unconscious). Hello Þórir Óskar Björnsson!
Please introduce yourself to our ROK readers.
I am 24 years old, currently I’m a student and work as a waiter in a restaurant.
Your 3-track “Huldar Slóðir” (Hidden Paths) EP from 2014 was very recently re-released as a limited edition cassette on the Dissociated Records label.
How excited are you about this cassette? How did you came in contact with this label?
I’m very excited. I’ve always wanted to release this material on a physical format. The label got in contact with me and we talked about releasing future material. While discussing on releasing my next album we thought it was a good idea to re-release this material first, since I felt that it didn’t get much attention when I released it digitally in 2014.
Last year you released the fantastic début album “Lífsins Þungu Spor” (2015) on vinyl. Can you explain the title to us? Where did you find inspiration for this full album?
The title comes from a poem written by my great-grandfather. I’d like to think that the album is under the influence of industrial, darkwave and black metal. I was pretty mentally unstable while writing the album and I was dealing with bad depression and anxiety. So I think it’s fair to say that my poor mental state has a lot to do with the theme of the album. The album is mostly written during the winter, so the long dark days and the freezing cold were an ispiration as well.
A second full album on this label is forthcoming in 2017, isn’t it? What can we expect from you next year?
The new album is still in its early writing/recording process but is expected to be released next year. It’s going to be heavier, darker and I’m going to be working more with ambient/black metal elements. I’m also going to work more with various artist from the local black metal scene here in Iceland, so we’ll just have to wait and see how that will work out. Dulvitund is going through some small changes musically but I’ll always stick to the same electronic formula of heavy dark depressing synths and heavy percussions. I dont want to give out too much but it’s going to be something else.
You lived in Akureyri, the capital of the North, in the longest fjord of Iceland, Eyjafjörður. How was it to grow up outside the Reykjavik area?
I grew up in a small town called Skagaströnd. At the time I didn´t know what it was like to grow up in a bigger town or city. The population in Skagaströnd is around 500 people. The freedom to go anywhere and do stuff is something that felt normal to me as a kid. I don’t think that kids growing up here in Reykjavík get to experience that and experience nature the way I did in my small hometown. By the time I was fifteen years old I moved to Akureyri to attend college and for a smalltown kid it was strange going from a small town of 500 people to a town of seventeen thousand. I moved to Reykjavík about a year a go and for a smalltown guy like myself, it took me some time to get used to. Altough I had been to Reykjavík many times before I moved here, living here is quite different.
When did music came into your life in your childhood?
Music has always been in my life as far as I can remember. I got really into heavy metal when I was a teenager, worshipping bands such as Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Black Sabbath, etc. I’d spend all my allowences on Metal Cd’s and metal shirts. As soon as I moved to Akureyri there was an explosion in the underground music scene there.
How was the night life/were the live gigs at Akureyri?
All the local bands were playing there almost every weekend in garages, practice spaces and youth centers – since most of the band members were under eighteen at the time and they weren’t allowed to play at the local bars. I also remember this one time when a few bands got together and held a concert inside where the local swiming pool is. The first few years I lived there, there was always something going on but as soon as people got older, bands started splitting up, people started going their own way and in the end most of them moved away.
When do you start to make music yourself? Which instruments do you play? Did you go to music school?
I started making music by myself in my teenage years, recording raw metal demos with drum machines and writing songs in the guitar tableture program Guitar Pro. I got my first guitar when i was 12 years old and it was a classical acoustic guitar. I attended music school in my hometown but it didn’t last very long and I soon got bored with it. It wasn’t until I was fourteen years old when I got my first electric guitar that I got interested in learning again, but instead of going back to music school I taught myself how to play. Today, I mostly play with synthesizers, guitars and bass.
Do you have previous projects/band experiences?
I’ve been in a lot of bands and projects before Dulvitund but the most notable band, formed in 2011 is the Black/Doom Metal band Naught.
Naught had a good run from 2011 – 2013, releasing one EP on cassette.
The band members got pretty unstable and split up. We had a comeback show at Norðanpaunk Festival this year with a new frontman and we have been discussing getting back together and writing more material. I’m also a member in the experimental dark folk project Á Geigsgötum which is a solo project of my friend Ingi Jóhann Friðjónsson. We recorded a full-length album a few months back, but it’s not released yet.
Since the end of 2013 you play/release dark ambient music as Dulvitund. What’s the origin of this alias?
My growing interest in synthesizers, drum machines, darkwave, minimal and dark ambient music is what started it all. I started messing around with VST’s (Virtual Studio Technology), Synths and other gear. I wasn’t sure where I was going with it at first but I was aiming at something depressing ambient Boards of Canada type of music. I started recording raw material in the end of 2013 and released it, calling it Dulvitund. I didn’t expect much feedback and I kept it for myself. I slowly started getting some attention for what I was doing and I’ve kept going ever since. Didn’t expect this much attention at all.
Can you situate your influences, sources of inspiration? Books? Movies? Poems? Daily life? Nature?
I use the hard, cold Icelandic winters as an inspiration to my music. I feel like I am more active musically during the winter rather than the summer. Something about the lack of sun and the freezing cold inspires me to write more. I read a lot of autobiography books. Interesting people with an interesting stories to tell, always capture my attention. I am also a big fan of sci-fi books and I’ve always loved the works of writers such as Michael Crichton, H. G. Wells, H.P Lovecraft and many more. Films by Lars Von Trier, David Lynch, David Fincher and more have always had a huge influence on me. Rather than watching and discovering new films by new filmmakers I always end up going back and watching a classic by a great filmmaker. I’ve always been interested in art movements such as expressionism, surrealism and mostly minimalism.
Do you have favourite musicians, Icelandic and non-Icelandic ones?
My all-time favourite musician is David Bowie. I am also a fan of Edgar Froese from Tangerine Dream, Martial Canterel and Daniel Johnston to name a few. My all-time favourite from Iceland is Megas.
Name some of your all-time favourite Icelandic songs & Icelandic bands/musicians…
Some of my all-time favourite Icelandic bands are Þeyr, Singapore Sling, Svartidauði, Naðra, Zhrine, Ultraorthodox… the list goes on. I’m a big fan of the Icelandic 80´s new wave/punk scene as well as today’s Icelandic black metal scene.
Some of my favourites Icelandic songs are ‘En…” by Þeyr, “Take your time” by Jóhann Helgason
“Her Longing” by Taugadeildin to randomly name a few.
What are you future plans?
The future is still pretty unclear. I’m going to use the rest of the year to focus on finishing the new album, so I probably won’t play much live until it’s ready. I’ve also been thinking about a small Europe tour next year but we’ll see how that works out.
- Wim Van Hooste
More information on Dulvitund can be found here: