Sigur Rós influenced by Eurovision

The Icelandic band cite the brain-frying tedium of watching the Eurovision song contest as the inspiration behind their new single Gobbledigook

You would be forgiven for imagining that Sigur Rós take their inspiration from icebergs, sunsets, meteor showers and sex - life at its most beautiful, trembling and awesome. But the truth is a lot less serious. Forget the stunning secrets of the natural world - Gobbledigook, the band's thrilling new single, was inspired by the way Eurovision turns your brain to mush. And the making of it wasn't an easy process.

"We wrote [Gobbledigook] on the night of the Eurovision song contest," lead singer Jonsí Birgisson explained to the Sun. "We were in a rented farmhouse, it was a long evening, we watched the whole contest, and afterwards our brains were so fried we had to write Gobbledigook."

Whereas the song's title seems to convey the idea of nonsense, Birgisson says this a mistranslation. "It translates badly into English. [In Icelandic it] means some sort of prank. Something like things going wrong, like roofs falling down on to your head."

The song is perhaps the most joyous moment on Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust, the group's new album, and it marks a change from the band's typical melancholic post-rock. As with the rest of the record, Gobbledigook was co-produced by Flood - a producer best known for work with U2 and Depeche Mode. But he and the Icelanders did not immediately get on.

"There was a clash," Jonsí admitted. "[Flood] came to Iceland and we were already in the middle of writing songs. But Flood doesn't work like that - he usually works with a band from scratch and writes with them until the end. We had been writing for 14 years so his methods were a bit hard to take on board. He kept butting in, saying, 'Oh, why don't you put a guitar here or there?' and we'd reply with a firm, 'No!'"

"So we sent Flood home and finished writing our songs - and after that he was perfect. He did help. He has this great focus and works hard. He kicked us up the arse."

Whatever Flood did, it seems to have succeeded. Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust debuted at No 5 in the UK charts, the group's best-ever showing. Maybe the band ought to argue with more of their producers - and watch a whole lot more Eurovision.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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