ROK loves Noise.
ROK loves Underground.
So it was time to have a talk with K. Fenrir.
ROK Please introduce yourself to our ROK readers.
My name is Kristján Fenrir and I come from Iceland. Born in Reykjavík, but I have lived in various locations in Iceland. Even a few months in Turku (Finland), and I am currently located in the Netherlands. I am a maker of drone and noise, and I write as well.
You make intelligent, experimental noise music, resulting in noise-filled soundscapes. Where do you find your inspiration? Books, movies, nature, … Tell us your secrets
Thank you for the compliment. My inspiration comes a lot from nature and what I see and hear around me. It can be a certain place or a landmark that inspires me, but sounds in nature, and the urban area, inspire me as well. Even my workplace inspires me as there are loud machines there. I often think that’s something I could use for my music, both because it’s very fitting to my sound and I can work with it as I work a lot with field recordings.
Poetry and other written work inspires me as well. Those who have been following my music have probably noticed my love for H.P. Lovecraft’s work, both with the obvious references and also small hints, or suggestions. Other media, such as TV shows, films, other music and more things also work as inspiration for me. I try to stay open to things I can incorporate into my music or use somehow to give me ideas.
You lived outside the great RVK area, in Akureyri, the capital of the North to be exactly. I lived there as well in the period 1998-1999. I remember some nights at night club Sjalinn and café/venue Kaffi Akureyri.
How do your remember your youth in Akureyri? Were you already making music as teenager? Did you study music at an academy? Bands as a student?
I lived there as a teenager and then again for a few months in the winter of 2013-2014, and I spent most of 2015 there.
I guess my youth there was similar to most of my friends. There was summer work offered by the town, we hung out together after that and got up to no good. I lived there at the age of new experiences and it was nice. Somehow I didn’t feel at home in the town then though, but I guess it’s because I had lived in Reykjavík before and was used to everything being bigger and more things to do.
I did form some bands as a teenager, mostly with the same group of guys and the odd new member each time. We usually managed to write 2-3 songs, play a gig and then disband to repeat it all over again. I never studied any music but tried to learn to play the bass. I’ve had the same bass for about 15 years now but never learned enough to be able to play anything more than a very simple bass line. It wasn’t really until I moved to Reykjavík again that I properly got into making music and being in a band, most recognizably the doom metal band Hylur.
Can you suggest other interesting musicians from the North?
Northern Iceland is a home to some great acts. My favourite ones are void Ziz();, Deer God, Dulvitund and Hindurvættir.
What’s your all time favourite Icelandic album?
This one is hard as there have been released so many great albums in Iceland. I think the first Icelandic album I had (besides the Rokklingarnir LP when I was 3 years old) was Todmobile’s “Perlur og Svín”.
I think my favourite one though would probably be Svartidauði’s “Flesh Cathedral”.
What’s your all time favourite Icelandic song?
That would be Godchilla’s “Close to the Beyond/Hypnopolis”. That song is without a doubt the best stoner doom song ever written.
Foreign favourite bands, albums, songs …?
Favourite bands include but are not limited to Sunn O))), Electric Wizard, Type O Negative, Urfaust, Conan and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. I’m not sure which album is my favourite, but Type O Negative’s “Love You to Death” is the best song ever written.
You often use poems. How do you select them?
It’s usually a poem I like and my mind goes “hey this could go with the atmosphere I create with my music!”. Then Imake a track where I try to get the fitting atmosphere for the poem and how I want to recite it for the track.
I loved the cassette release “Longing for the deep” (2015). Your Dutch wife did/does the artwork/concept, isn’t it?
My wife edited the photo I took of Norðfjörður when I was at Eistnaflug a few years ago. The whole concept how the final look and the packaging was however made by Jóhannes G. Þorsteinsson, the master-mind behind Þ Kollektiv, the collective/label that released it.
Do you want to explain your pseudonym K. Fenrir to us?
It is an abbreviation of my first name and Fenrir is my middle name. Seeing as I am a noise musician with the (artist) name Fenrir, I was sort of expecting someone to accuse me of “stealing” the idea from the book Fenrisúlfur by Bjarni Klemenz (a great book in my opinion), but the truth is that I didn’t come up with anything more original than my own name. But then again, there’s certain honesty in that. Standing by your art by your own name.
You lived in The Netherlands for a while. How did this stay in the ‘Low Lands’ influence your music? Not at all, or some particular influences perhaps?
I don’t know if there are any direct influences per se, but I did start making my music when living here in 2014. I don’t know if my location or physical surroundings had much influence, or rather the fact that I was at a point where I really needed an outlet and knew that making music has always worked well for me in that sense.
When I started this project in the autumn of 2014, I hadn’t been doing much in a musical sense since Hylur disbanded in 2012. I talked to Aðalsteinn Jörundsson (AMFJ) to get some pointers and took it from there. I really liked making music again and felt this fulfilled the need to have an outlet for my ideas and to create music.
Do you have any upcoming projects, releases or gigs you want to share?
I have a finished release that I’m waiting for the right time to release. When that will be, I can not tell. I also have an unfinished experimental noise concept release that I want to finish and put out. Þ Kollektiv is also releasing something from me again this summer, at least digitally. We have talked about doing a very limited physical release but nothing is set in stone yet. As for live performances, I can tell that I am appearing at a gig in Utrecht soon.
Do you have any dreams concerning your music?
I try to live in the current moment as much as I can and the same goes for my music. Of course I want to learn new things, get more gear, keep getting positive reviews, release more music, experiment more and perform live, but I try to evolve as a musician and take my music further in as a natural way as I can.
Some things you want to add…
Keep supporting underground music. It’s thanks to those interested that us underground musicians get our art further.
Thanks for reaching out!
- Wim Van Hooste
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