meet the guy playing with 12 different bands at iceland airwaves

Is Magnús Jóhann the busiest man in Icelandic music? This Airwaves sees his fingers being put to more use than anyone else, playing with no less than 12 acts this year.

How are you going to manage to play for 12 different acts during the festival? This must be some record! Will anyone beat you this year?
The 12 different bands shouldn’t really be that much of a problem as most bands are only playing one show and there are a lot fewer off venue gigs this year. But let’s hope for the best…. This situation could be worse since i’m not even playing with all of the bands that I’m involved with.

Have you begun rehearsing? Do you even have time to sleep?
Many of the bands I’m performing with this year I have already played with a lot before so rehearsals aren’t really a biggie. But in some cases the music has yet to be composed. So that poses a challenge.

Surely there must be at least two other people that can play keyboards in Reykjavik. Why are you hogging the Airwaves limelight?
Not sure how I got myself into this. But I often have a hard time saying no. Although I’m not the only person in this situation. Magnús Eliassen the drummer from Moses Hightower and Tómas Jónsson, keyboard wizard, are probably dealing with something similar.

Whose songs are the hardest to learn? And whose are the hardest to memorise?
I guess you could say that the keyboard and percussion parts for Moses Hightower are the trickiest. Most of the other stuff is pretty straightforward. Hardest part about this mess is lugging all the synthesizers around.

Are your hands insured?
Good question. I’ll have to look into that.

What’s your favourite rehearsal snack?
Drinking a lot of coffee tends to be important at rehearsals. Also I’m a big fan of „ostapopp“ but that doesn’t really work well at rehearsals.

If you have a spare moment, what bands will you check out?
I’m super stoked for Cashmere Cat, Superorganism, Rejjie Snow, Tierra Whack, Eivör and tons of nice Icelandic bands as well!

Who’s your favourite new Icelandic band at Airwaves this year?
I’ve never seen Kjartan Holm live before and the same goes for Ólafur Arnalds. I’m also pretty excited about Hugar, AUÐUR, Vök and Bagdad Brothers all of these bands always deliver an awesome show.

Catch Magnús playing with the following acts:

Magnús Jóhann
Moses Hightower
Logi Pedro
Elín Harpa
Sycamore Tree
Gabríel Ólafs

Get tickets

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo Instagram Logo Spotify Logo YouTube Logo