Shazam Meets… Of Monsters & Men
Last week we caught up with Of Monsters & Men, who have been one of the year’s biggest success stories. After forming just two years ago, the Icelandic sextet won their local battle of the bands contest and have had a steady rise to global fame since. Their debut single ‘Little Talks’ has sold a million copies in the US alone, as well as hitting the top 5 in over five countries.
The band have also announced a string of – now sold out – shows across the US later this year, as well as selling out three nights in London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Not bad for a band still only touring their first album. We spoke to bassist Kiddi about their forthcoming shows, being compared to Arcade Fire and when they plan to fit in recording their next album.
You guys recently announced a UK tour which was greatly received, with most venues selling out; even adding a third date in London. Are you surprised at how quickly UK fans have taken to you guys?
Yeah, it’s happened quite fast actually. It’s very good! We’re really excited, when we first played in London it was a pretty small show in Camden and now to play big theaters it’s pretty nice. It’ll be the biggest crowd we’ve ever played in the UK so a little nervous.
For those fans who’ve bought tickets to the shows, what can they expect?
Well, they can expect some good music, played by happy musicians playing music that they love to play for people. I hope they’ll enjoy it.
This year saw the release of your debut album, ‘My Head Is An Animal’, could you go through what influenced you making it?
Making the album, we’re influenced by the seasons here. We were writing it and putting it together during the winter, which had an effect on the whole sound. You have a lot of free time in the winter in Iceland, so you tend to be creative. Plus we all come from different corners musically; personally I’m from more of a rock background
Nanna your lead singer was originally a solo artist, what swung the decision to form a band?
She was just trying to expand; I don’t want to make it sound like she needed help! But maybe she needed different ideas to compare hers. to Then we started bringing things together and it snowballed into a group.
Back when you started, you originally won a battle of the bands competition. How important was that for your progression?
We really just took part for the heck of it. It’s a big competition here in Iceland, the bands that take part tend to be young, garage bands who are perhaps playing their first show. It’s a starting point for them. The group didn’t even have a name at that point, they decided on Of Monsters & Men just before the show. I wasn’t even in the group at this stage! It wasn’t really serious at this time, but they ended up winning the competition! Of course, that then became a really big push for the band.
You’ve been compared to bands such as Arcade Fire & Mumford and Sons. How does that make you feel, nervous or happy?
We get happy feelings! As these are bands we all have in common in what we like. Making the album we listened to a lot of Arcade Fire and Mumford & Sons were getting really big at the time. It’s an honour for us to be compared to them, they’re so good and we look up to them. If somebody is comparing us to them, it’s a good thing.
What are the bands plans for 2013?
We’re going to be touring for a while now, as we’re getting recognised all over the world and people want to come and see us play. We’re going to be very busy before we can even think about getting into the studio.
Do you find time to write on the road, or are you happy to make a start on new music when you have more free time?
It’s kinda weird, you’re always busy and you can’t just be alone with your guitar. It’s kind of hectic, which is the reason why it’s so hard! Maybe we just need to get used to the process…
Of Monsters & Men’s debut album is now available on iTunes, their latest single ‘Mountain Sound’ is out Monday. For more information head to their website.