The Culture Bar Podcast: Creative Iceland — Inspired by Nature
Creative Iceland mini-series
Welcome to Creative Iceland – a special The Culture Bar mini-podcast series focusing on the creative scene in Iceland. This series is hosted by Icelander Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir from HarrisonParrott. Arna will be speaking with fellow Icelanders about various topics related to the creative scene in Iceland.
In this first episode, we are joined by Dr. Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen an Icelandic music journalist and scholar, and we discuss the popular assertion that the unique natural environment is the source of creative inspiration for artists and creatives in Iceland.
Iceland has long been associated with a high level of creativity and many believe the country’s striking natural environment is a major contributing factor when it comes to creative inspiration. During this interview, we focus on the music scene and explore why this connection between nature and creativity has become so dominant in the discourse around the creative scene in Iceland and how it affects the artists and the scene as a whole.
Thoroddsen is the director of the undergraduate media and communication studies programme at The University of Iceland. He earned his Master’s Degree from the University of Edinburgh in 2013 and a PhD in 2019 from the same university, where he carried out a research on the social dynamics of Icelandic musicians under the supervision of Professor Simon Frith. He is the author of three books on Icelandic music with the fourth in the writing stage. He’s been writing about music and popular culture since 1999, mainly for Morgunblaðið daily but his writings have also appeared in article collections and music sites abroad.
Dr. Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen (b. 1974) is an Icelandic music journalist and scholar. He’s been writing about music and popular culture since 1999, mainly for Morgunblaðið daily but his writings have also appeared in article collections and music sites abroad. He is the author of three books on Icelandic music with the fourth in the writing stage (will be published by the U.K. publisher Reaktion Books/The University of Chicago Press). He has been a member of numerous jury panels and boards, both at home and abroad, and is also a regular commentator on music in television, radio and other media in his native Iceland. Arnar has written extensively on Scandinavian music, especially about music from the Faroe Islands, and has been a member of the Nordic Music Prize jury since 2010. He has also presented his own radio shows and webisodes, DJ’ed, organized concert series and runs his own Reykjavik Music Walk company along with his wife. He also has his own website, arnareggert.is. Arnar earned his Master’s Degree from the University of Edinburgh in 2013 and a PhD in 2019 from the same university, where he carried out a research on the social dynamics of Icelandic musicians under the supervision of Professor Simon Frith. He is now the director of the undergraduate media and communication studies programme at The University of Iceland (The Faculty of Social and Human Sciences), earning his B.A degree in sociology at the same university in 1999, with a thesis on The Simpsons.
Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir 00:02
Welcome to The Culture Bar, a panel discussion podcast exploring, dissecting and shedding light on important topics in the arts and music world which matter to you. Welcome to Creative Iceland, a special culture podcast series focusing on the creative scene in Iceland. I am Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir from HarrisonParrott, and I will be your host on this series, where I will be speaking with fellow Icelanders about various topics related to the creative scene in Iceland. For our first episode, we are joined by Dr. Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen, an Icelandic music journalist and scholar, and we will discuss the popular assertion that the unique natural environment is the source of creative inspiration for artists and creatives in Iceland. Iceland has long been associated with a high level of creativity, and many believe the country’s striking natural environment is a major contributing factor when it comes to creative inspiration. During this interview, we will focus on the music scene and explore why this connection between nature and creativity has become so dominant in the discourse around the creative scene in Iceland, and how it affects the artists and the scene as a whole. Thoroddsen is the director of the undergraduate Media and Communication Studies programme at the University of Iceland. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Edinburgh in 2013, and a PhD in 2019 from the same University, where he carried out a research on the social dynamics of Icelandic musician under the supervision of Professor Simon Frith. He is the author of three books on Icelandic music with the fourth in the writing stage. He’s been writing about music and popular culture since 1999, mainly for Morgunbladid daily but his writings have also appeared in Article collections and music sites abroad. So hello Arnar, and thank you for joining us.
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen 01:54
Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir 01:56
And I think yeah, we can perhaps start this off by you telling us a bit more about yourself?
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen 02:03
Well, as you said, In the introduction, I think it’s all covered, but I’m working here in the academia of Iceland , looking into sociology, and, you know, the music, culture, and teaching like cultural sociology, but I’m also a music critic. So I’ve been writing a lot about Icelandic musicians, and more, so part of a lot of music juries, or you know, you know, deciding who gets a prize and who not. And, yeah, I’ve been doing all kinds of music activities, and one of them, you know, really going into it academic wise, and, like my, my PhD, handled the society, if you can say that, of Icelandic musicians. And, of course, the topic that we are going to address today always comes into play.
Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir 03:04
Great, thank you. I think, yes, we will perhaps just begin with a more general discourse around the nature inspiring creativity topic. And is it a well known motive?
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen 03:19
Well, it’s a well known motive, but we have to, and this has been contested. And it has been contested more of late, I think, maybe 15 – 20 years ago, it was more taken as a given. But as people have looked at matters more closely, and like I did in my PhD, you know, of course, Icelandic nature has an effect in some way. But you know, it’s much more weaker, I would propose than people want it to be, and I think that’s a key, what people want it to be. Foreign journalists want it to be simple, and they want it to be very direct influence on music making in Iceland. But when you talk about the actual Icelandic musicians, you hear another story. So this is a fabricated discourse, you know, made by journalists, to sell headlines, you know, and you know, it’s completely understandable. That’s just how the media works. So there has been a very interesting challenge and interesting, we could say, literature to try to deconstruct this myth of all of what you’re addressing here, just so I take the topic and throw it out of the window, at the beginning.
Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir 04:48
Of course, yeah, this is part of the topic. So really interesting, and maybe if you can elaborate a bit more on the researchers and what they have found.
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen 04:57
Yeah, two things just from the top of my head so I won’t forget. A friend of mine, Nick priors, which is a cultural sociologist at the University of Edinburgh, he did a very nice, I would say groundbreaking research here in Iceland, where he came to Reykjavik and just made on the ground sociological research on what was actually going on with the Icelandic musicians. And just the title of the article is, it’s not a nature thing, it’s a social thing. So he found out which, you know, somehow is quite clear, when you just think about it logically that the, you know, the Icelandic music society is driven by individuals and connections. It’s not driven by walking up on mountain Esja and look over the landscape and get inspired by that, you know, it’s too simple. But I understand, you know, especially like music export offices, tourist offices, wherever they are, they need simple messages. So that’s why this you know, whoa, do you live in Iceland, so you must be a great musician and make a beautiful music, because you saw a lava field yesterday. And, you know, that’s fine. But but but when you go to the nitty gritty of it, it is not true. And then, I partook in an article the other day with my colleagues here in the University, where a discourse, you know, media discourse was analysed, you know, how, like, the British media writes about Icelandic music, and it’s all you know, in that way, you know, is the easy similarities between you know, Jónsi’s guitar from Sigur Rós sounds like molten lava and all that. And I’ve been thinking, what about rock bands from Hawaii, do their guitars also sound like volcanoes? You know, you know,
Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir 07:03
that’s a really good point. Yeah.
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen 07:05
There are volcanoes in Hawaii but there’s no scene in Hawaii where the pop bands there that their little Hawaiian guitar sounds like molten lava. So, you know, just this statement, absolutely, demolishes the argument somehow. And so it’s, I understand and also this Nordic thing and the cold then all this dramatic thing, which the musicians of course play up to as well that makes it a little bit complex, you know, when the musicians themselves are also like feeding feeding this machine. And but yeah, we both found in this analysing the media discourse that the word is cheap allegories, and also Icelandic musicians always just likened to other Icelandic musicians, you know, especially young women musicians are always likened to Björk you know. So you know, but as I’m a journalist myself, I know, I know how these things works as well. You know, you need simple things and you’re working on the stress and when you go to the Iceland Airwaves festival the editor wants lava and and geysers, it’s as simple as that. If you look at how people have written about Iceland Airwaves festival, it’s always the same article you’re reading. About how the crazy Icelanders are and you know how creative they are and, and this nature thing, you know, and I don’t want to sound too sarcastic or anything like that, but you know, it’s not as simple as people would like to have it.
Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir 09:00
So how do you think this affects the overall image of the creative scene in Iceland when it’s just focusing perhaps, so much on this nature connection?
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen 09:11
There are two things or there’s one thing with two sides going on which I find really interesting that of course some Icelandic musicians play up to you know, what is needed from them or what is expected. And you know, and I’ve talked to some musicians and they have the sense that in some way some artists are doing things maybe not straight from the heart but what they think will have an effect like you know, doing videos in the beaches and you know, this nature kind of videos. Then there are Icelandic musicians that are you know, like, you know, contesting this and you know, they don’t want to take part of it and you know, they say which is true. You know, I’ve never went left just outside of Reykjavik you know, I am a city kid you know, I just listen to Velvet Underground and Sonic Youth and I’m just holed up in a garage in the west side of Reykjavik doing indie music, which I read about in the, in the British press. So, this is kind of taking people down that, you know, all Western societies are, you know, it’s just people, you know, there’s all kinds of people in Iceland that are creative people, but there’s also, you know, people are always so shocked when I tell them that we also have bad musicians in Iceland. It doesn’t, it doesn’t fit the criteria.
Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir 10:52
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen 10:54
You know, everything is great. Everything is good.
Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir 10:58
So do you think perhaps, if we move this a bit into then the exercise in nation branding? So this is then quite connected perhaps in some way?
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen 11:11
Yeah. As I said, just, if I turn myself into a cold shark, you know, and I’ve worked with, you know, the, you know, the, the, the export music office in Iceland, and all these people who are, you know, and more power to them, naturally trying to sell Icelandic music, or perhaps, and, you know, it just needs some tricks, tricks of the trade. You know, and that’s good. I’m absolutely not saying it’s a bad thing. It’s just part of how things work. So we have that. And, you know, there’s a, there’s a bit of, or, you know, of this nation branding, you know, like, you know, trying to lure people into Iceland, to record. And then you say, you know, come to Iceland to record because it’s so beautiful here. And, you know, it’s true, it’s beautiful here. And people go maybe to scenic studios outside in the country. And, you know, that that somehow works. But, but as I say, sometimes it goes too far, like this nation branding, and I am very uneasy with, you know, talking about music, and branding. But I can’t say a lot, you know, my, my field of expertise is pop music, which is a manufacturerd music at the heart of it, so I can’t say anything, you know, I’m the devil’s advocate.
Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir 12:47
So do you think, like, you mentioned that some artists might find this discourse around this a bit restricting when it comes to creating and having to play up to this?
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen 13:02
Yeah, you know, in a way, you know, of course, we have all kinds of music in Iceland, and you know, some of it aligns to these things, some not. I’m thinking of like Kælan Mikla our gothic band, three girls doing this gothic music. And they somehow managed to cover two fields at once with doing this straight, you know, general gothic stuff, which has been going for 30 – 40 years. But they also have this Nordic wixen you know, something magical happening, side two and two. But they could be from Norway or Sweden or Finland, you know, they couldn’t be from Morocco, but you know, they have this Nordic/Icelandic thing but also somehow general you know. Now I’ve completely forgotten what you were asking me about
Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir 14:03
No, it was just if some artists or creatives might think that this label around nature and like acts as restriction when they are creating and they have to create something specifically to fit into this
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen 14:22
but i think you know, I think some you know, some bands are just doing their stuff like we have reggae bands in Iceland who are just doing their Nordic reggae somehow and you know, they don’t think about this. Then I think about a band called Solstafir which is like an atmospheric black metal band. And they somehow connect to nature in all the right ways you know, they have this vast epic songs that remind of, you know, hail storm or, or or you know, something like that. I think they haven’t thought that far about it. They’re there in a way just doing their stuff. And you know, if it fits into some kind of a Nordic ideas about music, then fine you know. I think that’s a good example of a band that’s truthful to their art, but it just so happens that it ticks all the right Nordic branding boxes. So I would never, you know, accuse them of you know, you’re playing up to what’s expected because they are not. And then, you know, it’s also difficult to judge, you know, and, you know, and I was gonna say, I’m not gonna judge but I’m a music critic so I’m constantly judging these things.
Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir 15:45
So do you perhaps think that musicians and all the artists that are not, maybe in this kind of nature box, do they have more difficult time getting their art outside of Iceland?
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen 16:06
That’s a really good question. It’s interesting. I’m going to give an example here that the bands who are travelling abroad from Iceland, like Asgeir, Soley. You know, it seems to be a market for these kind of Scandinavian/indie type things with a touch of experimental “Bjorkisness” to it or something like that. It’s like this role has been established somehow. But then, let’s take Icelandic hip hop, for example. You know, first of all, it has not been made any real effort of branding it outside of Iceland. But then maybe, and I’m thinking out loud here, it seemed to be a bit hard to you know, hey, here is a hip hop group from Iceland. And I don’t know and then, you know, because there’s a very strong hip hop scenes in like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland, often with, you know, immigrants are often leading these scenes. But it’s like, it’s more difficult for them to travel, and I’m thinking about artists, like Lykke Li from Sweden and Eivor from the Faroe Islands and maybe Soley, Bjork from Iceland — these Scandinavian, noir princesses, they seem to have more access to international markets for some reason. I find it interesting that, like, at the start of our talk, and, you know, questions that I often get from, let’s say foreign journalists, is they assume there’s a very direct influence from nature to creativity in Iceland. And I think you know, if I’m imagining I am talking to a foreign journalist now, I have to ask: Can you explain to me how that works? Are you saying that if a four year old child you know, travels around with its parents, you know, around Iceland, are you telling me that being exposed to this beautiful nature will affect some kind of songwriting? Maybe, but I think it’s really difficult to see a direct you know, connection. Of course, it finds a way, and in some ways, you know, you write things about what you see around you, but that is appliable to every nation, you know. Musicians from Croatia, they might write about beautiful lakes and you know, being you know, stuff like that. Even if you’re in Denmark, you know, the Icelanders, of course, use every opportunity to take a little bit of deck at the Danes, but you know, even then, you know, that they can somehow just write about things that around us, you know, I think that’s just being an artist, you know, being from Greenland or Denmark or Russia. You can write about the things that around you so I think maybe that the nature has this huge effect, I think we have to slow down a little bit.
Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir 19:41
Yeah, and also Yeah, like we discussed so many other countries have great nature, but somehow they are not linked to this like nature inspiring creativity, like it is in Iceland.
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen 19:56
Yes, it’s I think we’re also benefiting from kind of a romantic ideal that like the Brits and the US have of the North. And you know, this has been called by my friend Kristinn Schram, he is a folklorist, this effect that he calls a Borealism, which we can connect into Orientalism that you know, I met people like this in Scotland when I was doing my studies, that they have these, you know, Rose tinted glasses view of the North, you know. That the jazz from the North is some kind of inspired by the tundra and, you know, and, you know, when you want things to be somehow you’re so eager to do that so you’re kind of imagining that they are like that, you know. It’s a really strong driver in people it seems, and I met these people where they admitted, you know, I have to admit, I have a very romantic view of, you know, North Norway, Iceland, blah, blah, blah, then often when, when people come to Iceland and see people go into grocery stores, you know, this is, this myth somehow crumbles.
Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir 21:22
Yeah, seeing that Icelandic people are just regular people that need to do their grocery shopping.
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen 21:28
Yeah, like people in Scotland and England. A western nation, first and foremost.
Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir 21:36
So yeah, like you’re talking about is more from the outside, in than from in to the outside.
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen 21:45
Yes, that’s what I’ve, that’s my feeling that the Icelandic music scene somehow gets caught up in, you know, a big media machine in the UK and the US. Where people are churning out articles about the Northern Lights, and the tundra and whatever. And then somehow, you know, reality begins to be distorted. And, like, you know, Orientalism and Borealism, it’s like a cartoonink view of what’s happening in these countries. And, you know, we want exciting stuff, we want them to be more adventures than they really are. And, you know, that’s just I think that’s just a part of being a human being, you know. I had when I moved to Scotland, I had very romantic ideas about Scotland, but they were much less kilts, less bagpipes, and less things that I had imagined. There were people, unfortunately, gone to grocery stores. So my, my ideas about Scotland crumbled.
Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir 22:56
And now in Iceland, of course, yeah, as we mentioned a bit earlier about the nation branding. Now, we had a campaign in Iceland called inspired by Iceland. And that was the result of the financial crash in Iceland and volcano eruption. So we’re kind of building back and trying to get tourists to come and visit the country. And mainly the, two focuses of this campaign was the nature and the creativity
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen 23:34
Inspired by Iceland, nature and creativity. Yes, you know, as I say, understandable. And I’ve made my academic case. And as I say, Inspired by Iceland that thing is a very understandable effort of when you’re, you know, doing tourist efforts. Like the Iceland Airwaves Festival was established at the time to generate more tourists and you know, getting, when we had mainly had summer tourists not winter tourists, now we even don’t need any effort because it’s, you know, all year around. But it’s always twofolded that you know, it’s not only you know, great for the music industry, but also just to generate: “How can we get people to Iceland?” Then you throw these lines at them. And you’ve heard about the story that there’s a movie that was made in the middle of the 20th century in Hollywood called Brigadoon if I remember correctly, which was supposed to happen in Scotland. And the Hollywood producers went to Scotland to find locations. And they went back and said, we can’t shoot this movie of Scotland because there’s nothing in Scotland that reminds us of Scotland. So they made the set in Hollywood. So I think this is a clear example of you know, that they had very fixed ideals of how Scottish things were so they just made them themselves instead of going to the location. This is already a twisted thing. But also, you know, when when you’re making these cartoonik ideals, you can never live up to them when you’re actually going into place. Like the poor tourists, you know that their first spot in Reykjavik is is usually going to BSI, the most dreadful bus station in the world, you know, nothing creative or, or beautiful about it. It’s just that.
Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir 25:47
Yes. So, perhaps in your opinion, and listening to what you have talked about, what are the main things that contribute to the creative scene in Iceland?
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen 26:02
Really good, another good, good question. I think we have to look at the proximity of the scene, you know, we are few, 350,000, everybody knows each other. And this non bureaucratic way of living generates often high speed doing, you know, and you as an Icelander, you know, all about this, you know, people just charge into things, and they make them happen. And, you know, there are theories that this is because of the old, you know, you had to go to fish, when the fish was in the sea. So you had to be flexible. This, just this construct of how people talk amongst themselves, how the, or the institutions here are, you know, lightweight in that, you know, you can absolutely walk into the offices of people and say, Hi, how are you doing? I met you last weekend at my mom’s birthday party and stuff like that. The musicians themselves have told me that this inspires them, or makes it easier for them to go ahead, you know, both, you know, it’s, it’s easy in that way that there are people ready to help them. And also, when you know, people in your, you know, proximity that you know, that your friend’s brother is a famous pop star, then you, you know, automatically think, hey, if he can do it, I can do it. And so, now I’m painting a very beautiful sociological picture of things. But this is one of the social factors here in Iceland that is driving the music scene here, I think we can contest that. And, you know, also the big cooperations between all the small scenes that, you know, if you’re in a, if you’re a young player in a jazz band, you probably know this guy in the hip hop band, or you at least know who he is. So all these cooperations between genres, it’s also very beautiful to see. This of course stifles things as well, you know, that you’re always playing with the same people and the same audience. But this at least gets you out of bed. It seems.
Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir 28:33
Yes, yeah. You’ve read about some musicians being in five bands and the genre is like one of it is a jazz band, one a pop band. So as you mentioned, yeah, I think that is a really big factor, how easily you can create something with people and you don’t have to kind of label yourself.
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen 28:57
You can’t, you can’t be a working musician in Iceland and decide I’m only gonna play this because you just don’t get that many gigs. So you have to be versatile. And of course, this has been romanticised as well, this, how Icelanders always do things they are so unafraid. And they just, you know, run into things, you know. Also this has been romanticised but this as well as you know, there’s there’s truth to it as well. You know, when and, and the poor journalists have come to Iceland, they send me a line: “Can you meet me?” and I always answer “yeah, let’s meet tomorrow and have a coffee”. They can’t calculate this in their minds, because it’s two weeks.
Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir 29:54
But yes, you have talked to several journalists. Do you feel like this discourse around the nature is getting stronger? Or is it staying the same? And do you perhaps remember when it started to be such a big motive in journalist writing?
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen 30:16
I think this is at least static, maybe not stronger, but at least static. Because, you know, it doesn’t matter if I’m and two other scholars are pointing to all the things. I think it’s too strong this image that I think it will persevere. Absolutely. And I think if I’m just gonna be, you know, I think just from the Sugar Cubes and onwards, I think this has been the main discourse, you know, this nature connections starts with the Sugar Cubes, we go into Bjork, and then GusGus. And, you know, GusGus, had their photos taken in the mountains and stuff like that. So it’s, I think it’s very, you know, I don’t see any, you know, ups and downs in this discourse. I think it’s been really steady. And then you can talk, is it bad? Is it good? I think it goes, you know, both ways, often just depends on the artists.
Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir 31:25
Like the export offices, like the music export, and other creative export offices, do you think they have contributed to this discourse?
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen 31:36
Well, of course, and maybe I have to backtrack a little bit, I hope I wasn’t painting them as cold sharks, as I said, because they’re not. Because I think, like, and I’m just gonna put it out as well, the Icelandic music export office, which has not been around long, you know, it’s around 2006/2007, it was established. I think they’ve done a great job to, you know, tighten the infrastructure of Icelandic music life, and enabling Icelandic musicians to go abroad. And, you know, you just need to use some, you know, tools of the trade to, to do that, and, you know, fine and, but, and I would never, you know, paint them up as, you know, you some devils. I’m partaking in all kinds of things, like, I’m a part of the duty of the Nordic Music Prize. Which it’s not the Nordic Council Music Prize, which is another award, which I’m also a member of the jury there. But this Nordic Music Prize was of course, like, you know, how can we, you know, how can we make people notice more Scandinavian music. So one of the things you can do is establish a price and put it in the media to make it more motivational somehow. And, you know, tricks are used there as well. But the main thing, of course, the emphasis is just to get the music out there, get someone to listen, try to, you know, get different musicians, you know, get them on their feet, and that they can have a market and some working market, which they can use. That would be the beautiful end result, which has been established in some cases. You know, like with the Icelandic Music Export that, you know, there are Icelandic artists, which have, you know, they’ve gottin funds and grants. And, you know, there’s a walk in policy with the office. You could walk in, “Hey, I’m a young musician, I don’t know anything, can you assist me” and he will get an interview.
Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir 33:57
And it’s also quite interesting to see that we have had a lot of famous artists in Iceland, coming to Iceland, like Justin Bieber, and he did a video in the nature. And, of course, also filming is quite popular now in Iceland.
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen 34:15
Yes, I mean, no, no, great, you know, great stuff, you know, it’s just, you know, it’s too blatantly obvious to not use these opportunities. You know, a setting for some, some kind of a Lord of the Rings movie, and you have the perfect landscape to, you know, help them set to help the movie. Fine, and you get all these people in and they’re buying sandwiches and food. So, you know, I sound like a capitalist now, but I’m all for this as well. You know, why the hell not. So but that’s a long talk over the coffee, you know, artistic integrity, blah, blah, blah.
Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir 35:16
Have you ever met an artist that is completely against this nature thing and really is angry with how this has developed?
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen 35:27
I think some of them just get a little bit tired. And you get these. And that’s also understandable that around the Iceland Airwaves, when all these music tourists come to Iceland and the, the Icelandic music nerds. The Faroe Islands, our brothers and sisters in the Faroe Islands, they call these people Faroe freaks. You know, people may be living in Seattle, and they’re obsessed, you know, by Icelandic music, you know, and they buy everything that they can buy, and whatever. And you know, and they come. And just to give you an example, there was a band, and a photagrapher comes and says, “hey, I want to take you horseback riding in the mountains for this photoshoot”. And they say, “I’ve never ridden a horse in my life”, you know. To answer the question, I think maybe they get tired, but I think most of them are clever and you know, they know it just comes with the territory, you know, you just can’t escape it. You can maybe control it a little bit. What you’re willing to do, and we have artists that make sarcastic play out of this. I remember a very nice promotional photo of Mugison where he was screaming in some kind of seaman’s outfit, you know, it was very overboard image of an Icelandic fisherman, and you could see that he was poking fun at what people want to see. And also our Viking rock band Skalmold, they have also, you know, kind of joked about this, you know, and then make over the top promotion photos. I always like this when people can sort of go out of the frame and just, you know, nod their heads. But the generally I think, as I say, you know, it just goes with the territory, you just have to accept that.
Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir 37:43
Brilliant, thank you so much for talking about this topic. It was really interesting to hear more about it. My pleasure. Thank you for listening, and please make sure to subscribe to our podcast, the Culture Bar.