Icelandic duo Krummi Björgvinsson and Halldór A Björnsson had both separately become giants in the Scandinavian music scene. Highly conceptual, dark and dance-able, this new-darkwave duo have the big ones it takes to back up their name. Currently they are working on music for a new album in the studio. We had the chance to speak about what makes them LEGEND…
Interview by Meikee Magnetic
Where were you each born?
We were both born in Reykjavík 101, Iceland.
What are some differences between Iceland and the United States good and bad?
Incomparable and incompatible. Iceland is so small in comparison. The population difference is immense and we are so isolated. We are less affected by war unlike the US. We don’t have an army. We do have in common that Iceland is turning into a police state and dealing with low life politicians and bad politics. Good or bad I guess we all deal with the same things as human beings.
When it comes to your lyrics what are some topics you write about?
Lyric wise I’m all over the place. I enjoy dark poetry and that will always be a part of my style, but it depends on the content and the emotion you’re trying to convey. The topics are the things that live in the human soul: Love, hate, lust, war, peace, struggle, violence etc… My lyrics tend to be very ominous.
Tell us about how your name LEGEND came to be and what the name means to you:
We did not take the name from Ridley Scott’s movie but I love that movie and it was very inspiring to me when I was young. The name describes our music perfectly because of our epic arrangements and larger than life personas we portray on stage. The name means a lot to me because I decided to name the band LEGEND and did the branding as well. It’s a short word with a powerful presence. Also the letters look cool.
How do you draw your musical inspiration?
From the unknown, the ugly and the beautiful.
What is the driving force behind your sound and how would you describe it?
We have always been inspired by loud factory sounds, noises and experimental music. We also love good pop songwriting, we just put those two together. I myself being a skater, hardcore punk kid in my heyday going to illegal raves and punk shows in the 90´s and Dóri growing up as a teenager in the 80’s says a lot about how we write music together and the sounds that are created. We are also very much into film scores and epic arrangements. I think that nobody wants there music to be labeled but I understand that people need to know what kind of music they are buying. There’s a lot of duality present in LEGEND it’s a dark sounding band with bright highs in each song; there are organic instruments mixed in with the electronic sounds, and even more broadly it’s a collaboration between two different creators. We both have different ways of approaching and writing music so I think that the dichotomies happen automatically. We are not really a happy band creating happy music and art! But that doesn’t mean we’re depressed or anything we just don’t like jumping around and being all smiles and pretending that everything in the world is “honky dory”.
How has music impacted your lives?
It has had a huge impact on my life. I have basically dedicated my life to music and art since I was born. I sacrificed a lot to be able to create something beautiful out of nothing. I have been a professional musician for nearly 15 years now and I have had my share of up and downs, which is important to go through to grow and appreciate things more. I think that being a musician in Iceland is the same everywhere else except the isolation can give you a head start to do something original. You get inspired by the beautiful weather change, nature and of course the grime of the city. I’ve learned that just by being yourself and doing things with conviction and sincerity takes you a long way. Follow your heart to the fullest and don’t compromise unless you really want to and have to. The bad thing is you’re always broke, but I live a low maintenance life and I’m not materialistic so it works for me.
What musical artists have had the biggest influence on you?
There are endless musicians that have had an influence on us. We like obscure musicians to very popular ones. We are very much into artists like Severed Heads, Strawberry Switchblade and Coil. There are so many composers we love but Jon Vangelis, John Carpenter and Tangerine Dream we adore a lot. Psychic TV, The Young Gods and Iron Curtain had a huge influence on me personally. We can´t help being inspired by OMD, Tears For Fears, Talk Talk and those great popular new wave bands of the 80´s. I know that both of us love Art Of Noise and Peter Gabriel.
I see you have dance remixes as well, the “Devil In Me” (Steed Lord Remix) creates a deep indie slickness I enjoy. Any plans on more remixes?
Thank you! No we are not keen on doing remixes. If an artist we respect would ask us to remix a song then maybe we would reconsider. You spend a lot of time doing a proper remix so we really would like to use that time for songwriting. We did the Steed Lord remix because we love the band and they are very close to us being friends and family. We are thinking of doing a remix album where other artists remix LEGEND songs. We´ll see if that will ever see the light of day.
When performing LIVE what instruments are onstage?
We perform live as a three piece. We have a live drumkit, two synthesizers (our keyboards are Access Virus TI2, Korg R3 and Korg SP250). A Mac computer with an installed Ableton Live music program to drive the backing tracks. I connect my microphone thru all kinds of effects and together we make some epic noise.
What are your trying to convey to your audience at your live shows?
The visual part is very important for us so I spend a lot of time pushing the boundaries of our live show. I try to find new things to incorporate into the band’s visual plane. I’m always pushing the images and visuals for our live shows to the max and making it look like it’s post apocalyptic, like after a nuclear war. We are silhouettes on stage performing with conviction, sincerity and passion. We engage the audience to enter our world and experience the concept that is LEGEND.
What’s next for Legend?
We have been really busy playing shows all around the world for the past two years since our debut album Fearless was re-released worldwide by Artoffact Records. We’re currently writing and recording our 2nd album and lots of live shows will follow. When it comes to writing the music we lock ourselves up in the studio and work very hard. I guess we turn into musical hermits and don’t see the light of day for months. I plan on doing more music videos for LEGEND and elevate the band to new heights.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
“There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.”