If Týr could do it in Faroese, why couldn’t the Icelandic Dimma raise the interest of the Polish audience? They have a reliable line-up, six heavy metal studio albums, an attractive scenic presence, a passion and a love for music, and plenty of new ideas. They are a mature band, that can be enjoyed and appreciated even more. The co-founder of the band, Silli Geirdal, answers our questions.
HMP: Have you ever made an oath to Odin that Dimma will remain known only in Iceland?
Silli: We’re atheists, so it’s none of Odin’s business (laugh). But seriously, we haven’t been active abroad so far because we don’t want to lose touch with our Icelandic fans. On the other hand, we’ve never said no to an invitation. We’ve done a few gigs outside of Iceland, e.g. in New York and St. Petersburg.
I used to think Dimma had a modern approach to hard rock / heavy metal, until I heard someone say about your videoclips, “It sounds like Hungarian rock from the 70s / 80s, (P. Box, P. Mobile, Piramis, hard rock pieces by Omega) or maybe like East German hard rock (Phudis)”.
Silli: I’ve never heard any of those bands. It’s not a secret that we’re inspired by anything and everything that has happened in rock and heavy metal. You know, the Beatles, Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin, Marilyn Manson, Korn, Judas Priest, Behemoth, even Sigur Rós, Amiina, The Sugarcubes and Björk.
You’ve released six studio albums and plenty of live ones. It must give you an immense satisfaction. Do you ever think, when considering the Danish metal scene “Great music, but we also have a lot of excellent tunes in Iceland!”?
Silli: We’re very proud of the musical scene in Iceland. I’m astonished by how many great bands and artists come from our rock in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Think about Sigur Rós, Sólstafir, Hatari, Vök, Skálmöld, Auðn, and Mysþyrming. Each has something special, and each does a great job globally. Apart from them, there are many bands like Dimma and HAM, with no international following. We didn’t try to promote internationally, but we feel proud to be among these names, and proud of all we’ve accomplished.
How would you summarise Dimma’s history, starting from 2004?
Silli: I started this band with my brother Ingó, because we needed to express the musical ideas we had at the time. Together with vocalist Hjalti and drummer Bjarki, we released two albums with English lyrics, which we didn’t often perform live. In 2010, Hjalti and Bjarki were replaced respectively by drummer Birgir Jónsson and vocalist Stefán Jakobsson. Only then did we start to perform live a lot, attracting a wider and wider audience. At the end of 2018, Birgir decided he didn’t want to be part of it any more. In his place came the amazingly talented drummer Egill Rafnsson. Recently (1st June) we released our best studio album, “Þögn”.
Many musicians say their band is more than a hobby. Would you also say so?
Silli: As the poem says: Dimma is our life.
You had a plan to perform with Judas Priest in Reykjavík on 24th January 2019. Can you share some of your memories? What distroyed that plan?
Silli: We had high hopes for that day. Playing together with Judas Priest would have been a dream come true. When we heard it was cancelled, we were devastated. I think it was caused by Ed Sheeran’s concert happening around that time, which sold 60,000 tickets. For some four to six months, no other tickets were sold. Doesn’t matter that Ed Sheeran’s audience is completely different from Judas Priest’s, because our island only has 350,000 inhabitants. If 60,000 people go to see Mr Sheeran, everything else falls apart.
Congratulations on your new album “Þögn”. I love it. Did your fans influence its final shape in any way?
Silli: Honestly, we don’t know any other way of making music. We’ve always done it just like with “Þögn”. We didn’t have a large audience before we started singing in Icelandic
The lyric video for the title track was out as early as 20th November 2019 and the live recording of “Andvaka” on 24th February 2020. Was most of your album ready much long before it was officially released?
Silli: We had lots of ideas two years before the premiere, but not full pieces. We wanted to finish the composition stage in early 2020 and release the longplay in the autumn of 2020, but we felt the individual songs were becoming better the more attention they got from us. So we took our time. “Þögn” deserved all our time and effort, all the heart we put into it.