From the land of Fire and Ice comes a new sound of electronic synthesizer pop music and experimental visual art. This trio erupts with electricity in every way shape and form. Svala Kali’s electro-soul voice has earned her a seat on the musical throne as well as her unique strong high fashion presence. Brothers Eddie and Mega hold the crown for their extraordinary hard grooving production. Let us breathe in this majestic musical air together as we enter the kingdom of STEED LORD…
Interviewer Meikee Magnetic
Photographer Topher Adam
Stylist Svala Kali and Fiori Couture
Hair and Makeup Rolando Aqui, Yumi Kotani, Mandy Artusato
Stylist Assistant Sam Swartz
Location Myth Masque Ball at The Los Angeles Theater
Where were you each born?
All born and raised in Reykjavik, Iceland. We are Icelandic city kids.
Can you describe to our readers the landscape and people of Reykjavik Iceland:
Kinda hard to put it in a sentence, we are a creative and outgoing nation. We love foreigners because we are island people so it’s a great place to visit. The nature and landscape of Iceland is incredible, wild and almost untouched. Everything from volcano’s to glaciers to red black and white sands. It’s like being on the Moon, Mars, North Pole and New Zealand all at the same time.
Tell us some details about your band history and how you came together:
We started in 2006. Eddie gave Kali a house beat as a birthday present and she wrote our first song ‘You’. Then Myspace happened and before we knew it we were touring as a band, really before even deciding on becoming one. We are a family, Mega and Eddie are brothers and Kali is Mega’s wife. We used to be a four piece band with Eddie´s and Mega´s middle brother AC being in the band but he left the band in 2010 to pursue his career as a visual artist and an art director.
Your now based in Los Angeles, it’s the perfect place for your group to be located. Do you think living in LA has changed you in any way?
We love LA. We have always been in the US a lot since we were little kids so moving to LA was not a big deal for us, but rather natural. If LA has had any impact on our lives it’s nothing that we have really noticed ourselves. It hasn’t changed us, we’re still very Icelandic, still vikings and still a little crazy. The lifestyle of living in LA vs. Reykjavik is of course very different especially with the weather and all. Reykjavik can be a little tough on your soul with the long winters but I think that shapes the Icelander. Our humor is very dry and dark and we strive to stay creative. The sun can mellow you out a bit that’s why we go back to Iceland at least twice a year to get back to our natural environment and to connect with our families and friends again. LA is great for the creative mind just if you don’t let the Hollywood bullshit get to you. It takes a few years to totally understand the city and the culture here.
You were commissioned by Sweden-based retail giant H&M to design a line for their Divided label. What was that like for you?
Yes back in 2007 we got the chance to design a few pieces for the monster Swedish retailer. It was an awesome experience! The garments had tags with ‘Designed by Steed Lord’ printed on them, that did so much for us as a band and designers. People were connecting the dots between the music, the art and fashion which was exactly what we wanted without really knowing it really. To be recognized for all the aspects of what is Steed Lord. Since then Kali has started her own clothing line called Kali and it´s available at the LA based web shop Lastashop
What were some highlights of your musical travels?
We are just starting to tour again after a short hiatus after working on our album. We love performing! That is what Steed Lord is all about. We have a lot of fun when we tour and travel. We shoot a lot of goofy videos and stuff that you can see on our YOUTUBE Channel. <CLICK… Touring also keeps us on our toes cause we always re-work our live show to keep it interesting for us and the crowd.
You are an excellent Icelandic trio of high music art and soulful sound that’s addictive to the eyes and ears. We love how you incorporate high fashion into the project, was this a plan from the beginning or how did this come to life?
Thank you. No not really, we are all just deep into fashion and have always been since we were young. Kali being a fashion designer and stylist she has always put a lot of work into creating a unique look for our live shows as well as music videos. The music comes first for us, fashion is the cherry on top plus a fun way to express yourself and we have always embraced that.
What designer would you love to collaborate some Steed Lord stage outfits with?
We would love to work with KTZ, Romance Was Born, Givenchy and Balmain. There’s so many amazing designers out there. Also Daniel Palillo is a genius, we would love to rock his designs on stage.
Originality is so hard to come by today, you are unique. What artists inspire you to do what you do?
We are super inspired by old Sci-fi and fantasy movies from the 60´s, 70´s and 80´s. Stanley Kubrick is a big inspiration plus Michael Jackson and Prince. David Lynch, Michael Mann and Luc Besson. Also artists such as Patrick Nagel, Hajime Sorayama and H.R. Giger. We get our inspiration from all kinds of energy such as Icelandic nature, from our dreams, old folklore, various books and stories. It’s hard to pin-point.
We can’t help but to shake our asses to you, who are some producers that have done remix work for you?
Gotta keep those asses shakin’! We have actually had a bunch of our favorite artists remix our songs through out the years like Crookers, DJ Mehdi, Jack Beats, Mercury and more. There are always inspiring artist we would like to work with or get remixed by. Here are some on the top of our list: Pharrell, Giorgio Moroder, Todd Terje, Aeroplane, Oliver and Timbaland.
You’ve established a great project, you make it your own. What would you say is the main goal of the group?
Just to keep creating music and visual art! Stay creative and stay busy. We always like to challenge ourselves and try to do better so that’s why Steed Lord is an ever evolving musical art project.
What’s next for Steed Lord?
We’re putting out a few new songs, some new remixes and music videos. Also touring and doing some big shows in the US and Europe.
What does Dark Beauty Mean to you?
That beauty is not always flawless and pretty. It can be rugged, crazy and dark.
We included an interview with photographer and editor of Dark Beauty Magazine TOPHER ADAM about his photoshoot with Steedlord:
Topher, how did getting Mythmasque in Los Angeles as the Steedlord photoshoot location come into reality?
As all good things do, by magic! Since Dark Beauty has been a sponsor of Myth Mask for two years, it was timing really. When Steed Lord was approached by the concept they were all over it. One plus another was just a perfect match and the location was a dream come true. The Los Angeles theater was the perfect place to shoot. I contacted my friend Susan from Fiori Couture and she was showing at Myth that year and well, again, when things are meant to be, they just happen and magic is created in perfect harmony.
Were you a fan of their music before? How did their sound shape your ideas for the shoot?
Yes actually, I love their music. I have watched many of their videos and then of course listened to the album so many times. It was fate. I think the idea really came from the location and from me wanting to work with amazing people and tie something together that felt bigger than life as well as cinematic.
I think this is some of your best work, when you shoot musicians there’s a different type of energy that resonates from the images. Why do you think that is?
I personally think it’s because we all love a good show or performance. When artist get together and understand the big picture of telling a story the rest of it magically and seamlessly fall into place. I am a performer too, with my camera. What I want to capture isn’t just a simple shot of a moment, but the entire moment frozen in time to clearly tell everything about what our intentions were.
What was Steedlord’s reaction when they walked into the Los Angeles Theatre and saw how epic the photoshoot location was?
The group fell in love with the space. Then when we all met up and started working with Fiori Couture and then Svala’s wardrobe, it was so suited for the shoot at the location. When things are meant to be, I believe that they always just magically happen with ease and grace. Susan’s corsets and metal work inspired a lot of the look and the rich history in the theater was a welcoming harbor of pure creativity together. We were all so pleased to be doing this and making it work with way we did.
Let’s talk about the styling! The gold dress chosen for singer Svala Kali, who was the designer?
Svala is a designer herself for some brands, yet her sensibility and style were a huge help. It’s so important for an artist to feel like the artist and performer they are. Svala brought all these amazing vintage couture pieces and together with Fiori Couture, Rolando Aqui’s hair, and Mandy Artusato’s makeup, it all just fell into place with grace.
Let our readers know more about the production, how many were on the crew and what were their roles?
Typically on a shoot I am a one stop shop. On this shoot we had a small group of artists on set. Hair, makeup, wardrobe, photographer, and photographers assistant. I had Carl Chen with me this time, so he was helpful in assisting with maintaining the story for the spread. It was important for us to maintain the final goal and he is always helpful with that. We had a blast that day!
The collaboration between yourself and the group elevated the concepts to another level and the result was nothing short of majestic. One of the pictures became the cover for Dark Beauty Magazine, how did you know that shot would be the cover?
Usually I know when it happens. Being a visual artist, I see things in my mind before they even happen. It helps me plan for things without having to actually be there to ensure the results will happen. On this day, so much was going on, and we didn’t know the elements or looks we would have until everyone showed up. I had a pretty good idea as did Svala of Steed Lord. So, we kinda just ran with everyone’s ideas and it was the very first set we shot. The water fountain in the Los Angeles theater is mythical and magical. When I saw the gold dress and Fiori’s corset, it was the perfect direction to go and make that our focus. It all just happened like I said, one thing lead to another and we all just felt so positive and focused that the goal was to make the group very goddess and God like with their own personal flair. So, with the assistance of an amazing group of talented artists, we made magic that day. Without Eirn Layne’s Myth Masque event at the Los Angeles theater, and Steed Lord willing to make magic with us, Susan from Fiori Couture being apart of the show and Rolando willing to drive from Los Vegas to play with Dark Beauty, this would have never happened as easily as it did. Artists with passion always make amazing moments come to life! I’m thankful this day was a breeze and easy as we all celebrated what we do best, create!