Issue 111

Monthly newspaper and online publication targeting 18 to 35 year olds. The ultimate guide to the hottest parties, going out and having fun. Music, fashion, film, travel, festivals, technology, comedy, and parties! London, Barcelona, Miami and Ibiza.

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Tell us a bit about yourselves? Thorunn: We are When 'Airy Met Fairy and we make music for music lovers. Mike: All our songs are created in layers - different melodies that are intertwined into another - with Thorunn's magnificent voice holding it all together. How has growing up in Iceland and Luxembourg, respectively, swayed your music? Thorunn: My father was a pilot. The first part of my life I spent in Luxembourg, the second in Reykjavik. After finishing my A-levels, I spent some years in France and Germany and later returned to Luxembourg, where I met Mike. Many people tell us that they can hear Iceland in our songs. I think it's because I miss my home country. I feel like I'm a lost killer whale, singing to my people. In that sense, geography has shaped our sound. What is your new album Glow about? Mike: Some music bloggers and journalists have described Glow as a concept album. In reality, it's a mix of tunes talking about life. Thorunn: I recently heard an interview with Julian Schnabel. He describes art as a denial of death. And he's right: like any artistic work, Glow might survive us. To me, these songs are a celebration of life. Not our personal lives, but life in itself. There's so much beauty in human behaviour and music is a mysterious way of saying it out loud. It has a very unique sound to it, having being described as 'melancholic pop', what influences you whilst creating your music? Thorunn: The creative process is my favourite part. The hours in our little home studio is where I come alive. Mike, on the other hand, is all about rock n' roll, he blossoms up like a flower when he can play a live show. Mike: Like a flower? Thorunn: Yes! Like a black dandelion! Why is it important to you to keep a 'minimalist' sound? Thorunn: WAMF is born in an overproduced music environment. Sometimes we joke about being a country for musical refugees. Mike: Just to make it clear: we are not saying we are better than others! We're just saying: This is where people can get that good old less is more. It seems like you have had a lot of 'life experience' that went into making the album. How do you think this has affected your songs overall? Mike: Many people say life is pain and pain is art. In my opinion, music is a way of communicating and telling one another "Fuck! I know how that feels". And the older we get, the clearer it becomes: no one gets spared by the Russian roulette of what is called "life". But we're not focussing on what we have lived, we just want to our songs to be everybody's songs. Is there anything you are trying to get across in your music? Mike: We haven't really figured out what exactly it is that makes one person take a brush and paint and another take out the guitar and play. But I guess for us it's a mix between the need to create and the need to be heard while you're creating it. Thorunn: We have no mission or message. I'm just reacting to an urge to sing. No masterplan behind it. But certainly, there's a creature inside of me, dictating when something is good enough to be recorded – or not. A nasty little monster that prolongs the recording process. You have already toured in some amazing places, including Tokyo and Prague, but where would you most like to gig in the world? Thorunn: it sounds corny, but anywhere is fine. As long as there are grateful listeners. That's all I could ever ask for. Mike: I agree with Thorunn. I've played in front of sold out concert halls and festivals and no one cared I was there. I've played in small venues with a handful of guests and they cried. At the end, it's about the quality of the exchange with the crowd, rather than the quantity. What has been your proudest moment so far? Thorunn: Every time I read a lovely review about our album, I feel proud. One of the first ones was Paris magazine L'Obs. They wrote an amazing review about our album and I had wings for days. Mike: I've got two boys. I'm proud I made them. Thorunn: I too am a proud parent. I've got a daughter, she's my diamond. What ideas have changed your life? Mike: You're asking a vast question. The wheel was created thousands of years ago and it is definitely influencing my life today. Artificial intelligence would have fascinated me as a small boy. Today it's worrying me. I mean Stephen Hawkins' prophecy is not exactly uplifting… Thorunn: But if you're talking about music, then I must mention the legendary Talking Heads "Stop making sense" concert recorded 1984 in Los Angeles. What a daring project at that time! Everybody talks about Michael Jackson or Prince, but David Byrne is a legend! What it your favourite song of all time? Mike: Like my favourite colour, it changes every day. Thorunn: Oh man, you're torturing us. The list is too long! So many great songs by so many great artists! Radiohead, Peter Gabriel, Magnetic Fields, Violent Femmes, Björk – they' ve all written masterpieces… But now I kind of feel like listening to Led Zeppelin and check If I can find a favourite of all time… Who would be in your ultimate band? Thorunn: Thom Yorke, but then I'd be unemployed. Mike: Originally we were five band members. Now we're only two left. That's more than enough. Thorunn: For now! We're dreaming of a performance with a whole orchestra. Goosebumps! What life advice would you give to people? Thorunn: Stay hungry, stay foolish! Stop making sense! Mike: Be pure and don't try too hard. What does the future hold for When 'Airy Met Fairy? Thorunn: We have no idea. And we don't want to. Knowing would kill the dream. Mike: A couple of more albums. Starting with the second album early next year. Having travelled the world with their melancholic and enticing sound, Nordic band When 'Airy Met Fairy are on the verge of releasing their debut album Glow in just a few days' time. For fans of anything with raw emotional lyrics mixed with slowed down pop, this is the band for you! " STAY HUNGRY, STAY FOOLISH! STOP MAKING SENSE! " Follow @WAMFmusic 2018 / ISSUE 111 INDIE 53 Grace Barnott | Guestlist

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