2012 Artist Survey: múm
Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason Reflects on the Last Year
Jan 29, 2013
For Under the Radar's 10th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2012.
Pick up the print version of the Best of 2012 issue to read responses from the following artists: Alt-J, Fred Armisen, Bear in Heaven, Camera Obscura, Chad Valley, Charli XCX, Choir of Young Believers, Clinic, CSS, Dan Deacon, Desaparecidos, Django Django, Efterklang, Egyptian Hip Hop, El Perro Del Mar, Grimes, Halls, Richard Hawley, Hercules and Love Affair, Ladytron, Liars, Lord Huron, Lower Dens, Mount Eerie, My Morning Jacket, The Mynabirds, The New Pornographers, of Montreal, Peaking Lights, Porcelain Raft, Laetitia Sadier, Tame Impala, and Tegan and Sara.
Then download the digital version of the Best of 2012 issue to read all those surveys, as well as bonus responses from the following artists: !!!, Clare and the Reasons, Codeine, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Esben and the Witch, The Fresh & Onlys, Get People, Islands, Kwes, Lost in the Trees, NZCA/LINES, OFF!, Plants and Animals, Still Corners, Violens, Xiu Xiu, Young Dreams, and Zambri.
We are also posting additional web-exclusive artist survey interviews to the website. Here are responses from Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason of múm.
Top 10 Albums released in 2012
When I told a friend of mine that I was trying to compile Top 10 albums from 2012, he asked me if I had actually heard 10 new albums this year. When I started to write them down, I saw that he had a point. Outside the ones that I had a hand in myself, I have only heard six or seven. So I made a few of these up:
1. Páll Ivan Pálsson: Humar Örn
2. Oj Barasta: Oj Barasta
3. Sin Fang: Flowers
4. Squarepusher: Ufabulum
5. Four Tet: Pink
6. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti: Mature Themes
7. Tilbury: Exorcise
8. Hansel feat. Itty Bitty Pitty: Snazz & Pizzazz
9. The Ikea Furniture Ensemble: Who's the Box?
10. Suspicious Mimes: Humphrey Go-Kart
What was the highlight of 2012 for either you personally or for the band?
Writing a new album. Making music is one of the most enjoyable things you can do. I have also been studying. This is good.
What was the low point of 2012 for you?
The war in Syria.
What are your hopes and plans for 2013?
We have an album coming out some time next year , if we manage to finish it. When it comes out we will get on the airplanes and buses and come play some shows.
To what extent did the poor world economy affect your ability to make a reasonable living as an artist in 2012?
For artists the state of [the] economy doesn't really matter, it's always going to be tough to make a living. There seems to be a consensus that it is somehow rude that musicians ask to be paid once in a while—the state of the world economy isn't really going to change that.
What are your thoughts on the 2012 U.S. presidential election?
There was a sigh of relief, but in the end I am not sure it really matters who the U.S. president is.
Steve Albini criticized Amanda Palmer for recruiting musicians to play in her backing band for free. Was he right to do this and was Palmer right to change her mind and pay her musicians?
I don't know who Amanda Palmer is and I don't have an opinion on how she deals her wheels. But a well-fed musician is a pleasant musician.
What pop culture phenomenon from 2012 would you most like to erase from your memory?
Edible loincloth was a fad that I hope won't be coming back.
Were you affected by Hurricane Sandy? Do you think that climate change was partly responsible for the hurricane?
We had some residue from it in Iceland and the balcony blew off my house in the middle of the night and a huge tree fell into our garden. I can't say if climate change is directly responsible for this particular storm, but it is obviously a problem of incomprehensible proportions.
Tell us about the most memorable fan encounter you had this year.
I also play with FM Belfast and I get my clothes stolen from stage once in a while, but this May somebody actually got on stage in Berlin and stole the shirt off my back while I was singing.
What were some of the rejected names for your band?
The Fiji Bee Gees, Jambon Jovi, Händel with Claire, Smorgasbord Orgasm, Jazz Fest Dummies, Tasteful Crotch, A Fish Called Rwanda, Twisted Fister, ZZ Laptop, and many more. We actually have a website where we collect all our bad band names: http://badlynamedband.tumblr.com
Tell us about your first kiss.
It was pure darkness.
Would you survive a zombie apocalypse? Explain.
I would. I have very high adaptability skills and I am mentally prepared. I've gone through all kinds of apocalyptic scenarios in my head while I sleep. Also, I like canned food.
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