Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Words and musings with Adalsteinn of AMFJ (PART I)

 * This is long overdue, as this interview took place a couple weeks back… It's not an interview really, more of a conversation, a virtual chat between a couple virtual world and real world buds. It was a good opportunity for us to bond over our shared fondness for Pig Destroyer and discuss things like sodomy, genital evisceration and colostomy bags. Not really, just music stuff. 

• • •

C; Let's skip the foreplay, how do we know each-other and why are we comrades?

A; We met on Halloween of 2012 in Reykjavík, when you were covering Iceland Airwaves as a part of The Reykjavík Grapevine reviewers team. We downed many drinks throughout that week and you came to my house and had my wife's chilli.

Later that month we met again in Toronto, when you came to a show an obscure show I was playing in a well hidden alley-way in Chinatown, I think. I know you as a nice guy who's making it work to do what he loves… While I'm a guy who likes what he's doing but loves his hobby.

C; And I know you as a nice guy that makes scary sounding music. But, do you think the overall image of your tunes are scary in sound, or at least unsettling and maybe even weird?

A; Yeah I've heard that a lot. People usually refer to the music as scary and I see what they're saying– there are a lot of macabre sounds and unsettling choice of samples… But I think there has only been one song that I meant to be a "scary" or "unsettling" tune. I never have a set idea of what I'm aiming for while writing. I just fiddle around with some beats and samples until I hear something forming that I like and then take it from there. Weird, maybe. I do try to make something new. Sometimes that comes out weird… At first, at least.

C; So which song did you write with the intention of being scary? And do you think music of this ilk, where the devil is in the details and emphasis is on a plodding build-up to require more patience from the listener than say, your typically more common genre?

A;  It was Útburður Umskiptingur. I wrote it for a Halloween themed show I played. Wanted to go for something primal and unsettling. So I went with a crying baby sample. Nothing is as unsettling as a baby crying.

Yeah, probably. Even if it's not a slow build-up, this type of music is always very nuanced, while other genres want to get straight to it. I think each genre has it's purpose. I don't wanna theorize about the purpose or intention of other genres, but they way I see it, noise music is about creating an atmosphere so it needs time to breath through the details.

C;  Well said. Alright so The Misfits or The Smiths?

A; That's a difficult one because I was never into either of them. I know more songs by The Smiths so I'd have to say The Misfits… mainly because they're not The Smiths.

C; (This caused me to shoot chocolate milk through my nose) Well shit man, fine. Based on the assumption that you are familiar with these bands, would you rather play a show with the grease-balls in Pig Destroyer or with the too popular for their own good Death Grips?

A;  Ahh another difficult one, and don't worry I know both bands very well. These are both bands that I admire and respect. For the longest time I had Pig destroyer listed as one of my influences on my facebook page. I absoloutely love that band. And I got goosbumbs when I heard the first Death Grips video. Everything they do is somehow a fresh idea or at least a fresh take on something already done.

So, of course I'd open for both of them if that were an option, but since this is an either or question I'd have to go with Pig Destroyer because I think that would be a better over all show… ya know from a curator/promoters point of view.

While Death Grips are along a more similar strain as my music I think the audience would think that AMFJ is a cheaper version of Death Grips while a crowd coming to see Pig Destroyer would appreciate some other kind of weird fury before they start. (I just put on Phantom Limb after answering this)

C; Hahaha this is why we are friends, I put on Phantom Limb when I asked you the question. I love every detail in this album.

A; Yeah it's my favorite one of theirs but there have been times in my life where I will play Machete Twins on repeat for a whole day straight.

C; Have you seen that video when (singer) J.R. Hayes mic breaks during a set and he continues to scream over the music like a banshee out of hell? It was one of the most feral things I've ever seen, truly.

A; YES I HAVE SEEN THAT ONE. It's a video I think about every time I'm getting ready for a show. My friends who know me closely, tell me after my shows if I reached that similar level of Pig Destroyer intensity. It's the basis of their influence on AMFJ's music, I think.



  1. Small world, i think i was at the show in the kensington market alley way

    1. Haha, hope you liked it. My gear broke down mid set so my vocals didn't come through and since I couldn't hear my self to begin with I didn't realize this until towards the end. Fun night though. :)

    2. Play Europe we have a big market for this type of thing

    3. @AMFJ i do vaguely remember the set, it was a strange show, but good