He‘s the son of a Sugarcube, a mate of Damon Albarn and he’s coming our way with some “live instrument techno”. Kaktus Einarsson of Icelandic electro-indie group Fufanu talked to Musos’ Guide ahead the release of their second album, Sports, next month.
MG: Are Christmas and New Year a big celebration in Iceland?
KE: Yeah, I think it’s a typical European thing. Here in Iceland, everyone goes a bit shopping crazy for the two weeks before Christmas. But New Years is quite magical here. We have so many fireworks. Everyone can buy as many fireworks as they want and they just go mad. So sometimes it’s a competition between houses and streets, who has the biggest fireworks.
MG: We’ve had ‘Bad Rockets’ and ‘Sports’ out as singles already will there be another single before the album comes out?
KE: Yeah, I’ve just returned the cinematography gear because we were shooting a video last night. ‘Liability’ is the next single.
MG: Is that a fun part for you, shooting the video?
KE: This has been really interesting. We basically did all the videos ourselves. We got people in to help us with it. It’s a different creative outlet.
MG: In the New Year you have a new album coming out. It’s called Sports. Is it related to Huey Lewis And The News?
KE: No, happily we didn’t know there was another album called Sports when we named our album Sports. It surprised us when we found out about the other album.
MG: You played with Damon Albarn on his solo album.
KE: I just worked on it with him but then I toured the album with him. I played trumpet there. I didn’t play anything on the actual album. I did bits and bobs in the studio. We’re good friends and he trusted me for this.
MG: Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs produced Sports.
KE: Yeah, he produced the album. It was great. We did it all here in Iceland. He’s a brilliant guy to work with. You don’t here it and go 'Hey, this is so Nick!’. It’s more the approach he has, and how we worked with him. He was pushing us. Often if we thought something was done, he still wanted to see if we could do something different to it. It was a really good collaboration. He understood what we were thinking, and we understood what he was thinking.
MG: You started out in an electronic direction.
KE: Definitely, It was pure electronic. Gulli was playing around with guitars and it just happened. We grew up a bit and wanted to try different things. At the beginning it was more like live instrument techno. It wasn’t about changing the style of music but changing how it was played. We were just pushing our limits. We had really good control of our synthesizers. We both had skills on instruments. We wanted to push that even further. That pushed us into creating new kinds of music as well.
MG: What is the live set up now?
KE: Since this change happened, to having electronic and two guitars on stage, we’ve been rocking from being two on stage. We had a drummer, a guy doing electronics and a bassist, And me singing. So six people on stage. But the current set up is Me, Gulli and Alli, the drummer, He’s the new member, And Jonassai. He is doing the bass. So we have four on stage now. I’m doing the electronics more now, and singing. Gulli on guitar and singing.
MG: And when the album comes out you will be over in the UK touring.
KE: Yeah we’re coming back to the UK in the middle of February. We’re looking forward to it. It will be nice to go on a good run again. We’ve just been doing single shows this fall. It has been good because we’ve been trying out the new songs and the new live setup as well, going from six on stage down to four. It will be great to do some gigs in a row.
MG: You played over here before, touring with The Vaccines and in Hyde Park with Blur.
KE: It was good fun. We didn’t take the gigs too seriously. It was more about us playing and having fun, playing to different crowds in different venues. It was great to have the chance to do them, but the aim for us is just to have fun. That’s the reason we’re in this.
Fufanu play the UK next month:-
Feb 14, Gullivers, Manchester,
Feb 15, Oporto, Leeds,
Feb 17, Nice 'N' Sleazy, Glasgow,
Feb 18, Tank Underground, Newcastle,
Feb 20, The Flapper, Birmingham,
Feb 21, Louisiana, Bristol,
Feb 22, Kamio Red Gallery, London,
Feb 23, The Green Door Store, Brighton