Interview with Sölvi Blöndal

This interview was conducted with Sölvi Blöndal through e-mail October 17, 2004.

Now when the new album is ready, are you satisfied with how it turned out?
This album was the hardest I've ever done, but I couldn't be happier about it. We had done some songs prior to the album (Race City, Mess it up) and in spite of them songs being good they didn't fit into the album. This album has its own feel/sound which is different from everything we have done before. Furthermore I knew before we made the album that either we had to leave our old style behind us or quit. We chose to move on and take Quarashi into new dimensions.

Was the process of making this new album any different from when you made Jinx?
Yes, very much so, The songs on Guerilla Disco are more concentrated musically and lyrically, the music is very seventies based and psychedelic sometimes under the influence of Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Boston, ELO, Lyrically the album is 1000 more times concentrated. Each song has a concept and a meaning. That is one of the reasons I am so happy about it.

In what way has the music style changed since Jinx?
It has changed so incredibly much, one has to bear in mind that I made Stick em up in the year 1999, 5 years ago. Jinx is to some extent a "best off" album from Quarashi with 5 new songs. "Guerilla Disco" is an album that was completely written and recorded over a period of a year and half. Jinx is also more of a rock rap album with a few exceptions, The rock on Guerilla Disco is much more influenced by Led Zeppelin rather than Limp Biscuit.

How has Tiny influenced the new album and the new style?
Lyrically, he has changed it completely. He has brought a lot of intensity to the table along with more hip hop influence. I have never worked with anyone that has much as much passion for the music as he does.

What's the latest news regarding the label issue? How come you are not signed to Columbia/Sony any longer?
A bit before Hossi left the band in 2002 it was clear that we would not release our second album with Columbia in the states. Columbia Records is a very fine record company but it is good for Quarashi to review what record company we work on record to record bases.

What was the reason for releasing 2 new tracks through and do you think it was a success?
The reason is that we believe that or some format of that kind will become increasingly popular in the future. Of course we want everyone to hear the music and therefore is cheap and user friendly. Others can buy the cd :) I don't think Internet download hurts music sales, and it definitely helps musicians sometimes, however we are very opposed to illegal cd burning of our music, that is theft. Stars is at the top of chart so I guess you could call that a success.

There have been a lot of rumors lately. Some rumors are saying that Steini has left the band. Can you explain the situation?
Steini is one of my best friends and a loyal ally through all the Quarashi albums. All the Quarashi albums differ in some way, each album has a different lineup and a different feel, there is no point in making the same album again and again. Steini did not participate musically in this particular album, that is all there is to these rumors. Nothing else has changed, he is with us in concerts and rehearsals and most importantly he is my friend. Maybe he'll be the main rapper on our next album.

Another rumor is that Hössi will be back in the band. What do you have to say about that?
That is untrue. Me and Hossi made a lot of cool tracks together, and there is nothing that says we will not collaborate again on other projects than Quarashi but Quarashi and Hossi have gone separate ways, and that was done in full friendship.

There are people who think that the past/present members of Quarashi are not friends and that there are internal fights in the band. What do you have to say to these people?
That is completely false. Let me clarify one thing though. There are 3 past members of Quarashi: Dj Richard (Egg album), Dj Dice (Xeneizes), and Hossi (Jinx), there are no more past members. Of course we have had arguments like all bands, if we didn't have arguments about music there would be something wrong with us. However all past and present members of Quarashi meet each other or speak to each other on regular bases. Everything else would be absurd.

Are you and the other guys in Quarashi affected/irritated or whatever by what people may write in guestbooks etc. on the Internet?
Not really, I am always glad when people take interest in Quarashi , regardless of whether they like our new music or our old music, I mean, different Quarashi music from different time simply represents different periods of my life. I only get a little irritated when people say someone was a member of Quarashi when they never were member. Other than that I am glad people are writing.

Quarashi got a lot of fans around the world after the success with Jinx. Are there any plans on releasing the album in other countries than Iceland?
Yes we have plans, "Guerilla Disco" will be released in Japan next year, and we plans to go the us, Europe and Australia again, but we will give details later.

Are there any plans on concerts outside Iceland in the near future?
There will be a tour around Japan early next year, other than that I don't know, nobody here tells me anything :)

And last, what's your reaction to Iceland's defeat against Sweden in football the other week? ;)
Well, me being 50 % Swedish I was not as pissed off as you might expect, They simply had the upper hand and more confidence. What can u say, aren't the Swedes the biggest and the best, we'll beat you at handball next time around.

Thanks for your time.

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