Chengdu-based promoter New Noise ends the year in style by bringing over Múm, playing the Little Bar Space on December 17th.
This will probably be the biggest show by an international band we have this year. Music lovers mark your calendars; it doesn’t happen that much that we get big international bands coming through.
We took some time to have a chat with the band’s leading member Orvar Smarason prior to their coming in Chengdu.
We find it so hard to figure out your music genre. How do you define your own music style (electrical/ambient/post rock/experimental… )?
We haven’t ever really thought of ourselves in acertain musical genre. Much more importantly, we just like to explore music and what’s better to explore than unknown lands? Usually when I get asked for a simple answer, I just say pop. Of course it’s not completely right, but it is such a wide term that it will do just fine.
For many of us, music of Iceland is very special, full of imagination, different from many parts of world. In your opinion, what makes your music so unique? Do you think living in Iceland influences your music composition?
It’s a difficult question to answer. I guess where you are from will always influence what you create, but how exactly it happens is much more complicated. Yes, Iceland is a very special place; it’s amazing to travel around, and it’s full of all these very remote and isolated places where you can be completely alone.
But then a city like Reykjavík, where we live, is in many ways just a small fishing village that got turned into a very small city. A bit like any other small Scandinavian city. What makes music special is the people, and there are plenty of those here in Iceland. We have really great community of music, and the most important thing is that there is a warm, friendly atmosphere among musicians.
Many new members got involved in the band during the past years. Some of them are very talented musicians. Did they bring some change to Múm?
Yes, we have been so lucky to be surrounded by this large group of immensely talented musicians, and each and every one of them has left their mark on the band. It is also really great for us that so many of them have had great solo careers after they have left, for instance Olof Arnalds and Hildur Gudnadottir, and I could name many more. But music is in some ways a projection of the people at the base of it, even though in the end there is no way to decipher what exactly came from where.
During your sixteen-year music career, which song impressed you most deeply when you created it?
There are a couple of Múm songs that are particularly close to my heart. From the very recent Smilewound, there is an instrumental track called “Eternity is the Wait Between Breaths”, which I wrote just a couple of days after my mother died. We only performed it live once, and by coincidence it was in the same church as her funeral was in. But my favourite Múm song of all time is “Moon Pulls” which is off Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy. I don’t know why, but this song gets me floating every single time.
Múm has played all over the world, but this is your first time visiting China. What do you expect most in the upcoming China tour?
Yes, itis. We have never played in China before, even though we have toured other parts of Asia. So we jumped at the chance when this came up, and hopefully this isn’t our last visit. We don’t really know what to expect. Hopefully people come to listen and enjoy the music, and then we can definitely conjure up something magical together.
*Date: Thurday Dec. 17th
*Time: Starts 8pm
*Venue: Little Bar Space 万象城小酒馆音乐空间
*Address: Chenghua District, Shuangqing Road No. 8, MiXC City 成华区万象城.
*Price: Pre-sale RMB 160/ Door RMB 200
*Pre-sale Tickets: newnoise.taobao.com