A Talk with Vök
By Serenat Kivilcim
Black on the Canvas had the privilege of chatting with the members of Vök. Formed in 2013 in Reykjavik, Iceland, the indie pop trio launched their first EP via Icelandic Indie label Record Records, following their first place finish at the notorious Musiktilrauner battle of the bands contest. Their sweet dreamy sound is often associated with that of a gentle rain amidst a vibrant sunset. During the interview, they were asked about life in and away from the band, as well details of what 2015 holds for the trio.
How did singer Margrét Rán and saxophonist Andri Márfirst meet and ultimately form Vök?
Vök: We met through mutual friends and had been best friends for many years before the idea of making music together popped up. Forming the band was, in all honesty, an accident! We had been playing around and learning to make music together for some time but the band was really only made to perform at Músiktilraunir (Battle of the bands).
We really were just experimenting and wanted to see if we could perform our music live and how we would go about doing just that.
The name of the band, “Vök”, is very interesting. Who came up with the name, and why?
Vök: We were searching for our name and we had many, many….maaaany ideas, but all of them lacked character and/or didn’t call to us.. To this day we don’t know what prompted Andri to burp up the name “Vök” but it called out to us and just stuck with us! And we like the meaning of it! Its one of those words used to describe something and has no equivalent in English.
You’re based in Reykjavik, Iceland. Can you tell me how the city influences you and your music?
Vök: Everywhere you go in Reykjavik the city always has concerts galore to offer you! Many people you meet when you are out on the town are musicians or like to dabble in some kind of music, the rest are music lovers so the city and its culture is filled with music of all genres and it kind of lights a fire under your butt and you just want to participate in it. We really don’t know to which extent the city influences us (we probably stand to close to it to see it) but the country side definitely does!
Do you guys engage in any other creative outlets aside from your music?
Vök: We take time for the occasional sketches, photographs etc. but most of our “free” time goes to our one true love, the art of skiing (snowboarding for some).
What are a few artists that have influenced your life and music?
Vök: There are so many bands and so many nostalgic moments to choose from!!
The biggest ones that come to mind right now have to be Portishead, Air, and Massive Attack and of course everyone has their Beatles phase!
What are your favorite albums of all time? What music do you enjoy listening to currently?
Vök: Dummy – Portishead
So long, see you tomorrow – Bombay Bicycle Club
Talkie Walkie – Air
Humbug – Arctic Monkeys
Play – Moby
In a space Outta sound – Nightmares on Wax
We could sit here all night reminiscing about countless other great albums!
What inspired the bilingual EP “Tension”?
Vök: Our inspiration for Tension came from our surroundings here in Iceland, and our experiences and relationships. Both of us were at a time in our life where something was about to explode within us and the result was “Tension”.
Who came up with the edgy concept of the video for Tension, which includes a heavy sensual theme with two couples making out? Is there a message that you intended to convey through this video?
Vök: We were playing at Spot festival in Denmark in May of last year and we were joking around with the plot for the video. We knew we wanted it to be sensual, so we came up with a few ideas to get things started. Then we introduced our ideas to directors Skapti and Baldvin and they took our ideas and made them into the complete concept. In the video we wanted to demonstrate that it does not matter who you are or who you choose to be with if you and whoever that may be are happy about it. Why should anybody care if you’re into guys or girls or both for that matter? What difference does it make? It doesn’t define who you are. To us, it’s all the same and it’s all beautiful.
You performed at Iceland Airwaves two years in a row, if I’m not mistaken. How was the experience?
Vök: The first time we performed at Airwaves we didn’t know what to expect! We ended up playing nine shows in four days. To this day, we really don’t know what was going on; there was so much! This last time we had time to stop and smell the roses and enjoy ourselves a little bit more, playing four concerts in as many days.
Both times at Airwaves have been the highlights of each year but totally different experiences, but both equally amazing.
You are currently working on your debut LP, which is set to release in spring 2015. How far into the process are you? What sounds can we expect from this EP?
Vök:We are currently still recording and always working on new material! Our sound is constantly maturing and in a nice direction (we feel). We want to hold on to our own sound and keep growing with it! We are dreamers by nature and hopefully that will be reflected in this album.
What does 2015 hold for Vök?
Vök: As mentioned before, we plan on finally putting out new material and we’re really excited about that! Then we’re playing a couple showcases in the coming months and hopefully we’ll be lucky enough to get to play more abroad in the summer, and get to tour a little bit. Our main goal for this year will basically be getting our music and ourselves out there and having good fun in the meantime.