Keeping a finger on the pulse

Nostalgic boys or explosive musicians? Lucy In Blue Q&A

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‘We’re just nostalgic boys, rarely connecting with the current trends in popular music. We just wanted to make some rock and roll, but with a dynamic flow and sophistication’ describe themselves Lucy In Blue, a rock quartet formed in 2013 by Arnaldur Ingi Jónsson (keys, vocals), Steinþór Bjarni Gíslason (guitar, vocals), Matthías Hlífar Mogensen (bass) and Kolbeinn Þórsson (drums). A few months after the formation of the band they took the stage by storm at the annual young talents music contest Músíktilraunir and got the 2nd place. No doubt, one can’t resist their explosive pure joy of live performance.

2019 was favourable to Lucy In Blue. Their sophomore album, In Flight, went out on 12th April that year via Norwegian label Karisma Records. Its release show took place at Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands, as the band’s potential was noticed by Walter Hoeijmakers, the artistic director of the festival. The band was introduced to him, with an apparently good result, by Lucy In Blue’s good friends in Season of Mist-signed Icelandic band Auðn.

The windy island in the North was still blessed with some shows of Lucy In Blue in 2019 but continental Europe was even more spoiled. The Icelanders had toured as a support for the American stoner metal band Sleep and spread their spacey progressive rock in such countries as Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Belgium. And of course, how could they not play at Iceland Airwaves last year? Check the full performance below then:

Let’s have a look at Lucy after dropping the sophomore album.

All of you started playing quite early. What was the first music that caught your attention? How do you think your musical upbringing has impacted on your current direction in creating?

Lucy In Blue: Luckily, we all had a separate musical upbringing, but from the start, all of us were exposed to time-tested artists that have put a mark on the history of popular music, the Beatles, Frank Zappa, Metallica, Pink Floyd, etc. They, among more contemporary influences, put us on the path of music and have certainly contributed to our current taste and musical direction.

What were some of your main artistic challenges when starting out as a band in Iceland?

Lucy In Blue: First of all, something we still deal with, was creating music that we actually enjoy, but then, as more people were exposed to our stuff, we have mostly been struggling with making a unique sound out of what we are. We were, of course, very much influenced by the past, but when people started comparing us to acts we didn’t know, as well as the ones we knew, we were sometimes a bit afraid we would somehow manage to trample on someone’s musical legacy every time we’d make a song. But we don’t really think too much of it, if a riff or a soundscape moves us, we just go with it.

I have heard you still dream of performing one day with the Icelandic legend Megas. Why so?

Lucy In Blue: He’s just such a brilliant songwriter and poet, dressing his songs up in some paisley, adding some harmonies and some slick odd-time grooves to his songs could make for a really interesting show.

How do you usually approach the creative process? Which part is your favourite and why – making music, recording it or performing?

Lucy In Blue: Every step of the way is an enjoyable one, for sure, but recording and performing, especially, can feel more like a grind, when a song is finally polished well enough for a live performance and/or recording, we have already moved on to the next one. But we try to make them as well as we can, so that they never bore us. Composing is a struggle of its own, but unlocking a groove from some unknown place and binding it with some exciting chords or melody is a thrill like no other. We all contribute to the process, no song is solely a product of a single band member, that hasn’t changed much from the beginning. Although each member combines his individual ideas with the ideas laid out by the others, in the end, it always feels bigger than just the sum of our individual processes.

Can you share some details on how In Flight was recorded?

Lucy In Blue: Before recording anything, we practised each song meticulously, except for one that we just kind of puzzled together a week or two before recording. Then we laid down everything, except for the vocals, live in one or two takes, did some guitar and keyboard overdubs and recorded the vocals. It was a good weekend.

Fingers crossed for the adventures in 2020!

Words by Stína Satanía

Follow Lucy In Blue:
Facebook: lucyinblue
Instagram: lucyinblueofficial

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