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toroddfuglesteg View Drop Down
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    Posted: August 06 2010 at 12:52


Eik from Iceland released two pretty special albums back in the 1970s. Their music was a mix of everything. Then they disbanded. But they have a homepage and I got in touch with one of their members, Tryggvi Hubner. Here is what he had to say about Eik and their two albums.

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First of all, please tell us how Eik was formed and how the rock'n'roll/pop scene was in Iceland in the 1970s.

Well.....

Eik was founded in Reykjavik 1972. The first version of the band was: Haraldur Þorsteinsson Bass, Óli Sigurðsson drums and Gestur Guðnason on guitar. Pretty soon they were joined by guitar wünderkid Þorsteinn „Stanya“ Magnusson and played their first gig in Tonabaer Reykjavik in 1972. In early 1973 keyboard and flutist Larus Grimsson joined the band and they made an impression on the Reykjavik music scene,as a young exciting instrumental band with their roots in blues music and original compositions. In 1973 they added 2 singers, Ari and Mike, they were afroamericans and the band had a soul influenced 1973, until Ari and Mike left the band. Gudnason left as well. Then ,singer Arni Sigurdsson joined the band and in this version they became a well known and a popular act, their „home ground“ being the Tjarnarbud club, a popular hangout for late hippies. Singers came and went, in 1975 Herbert Gudmundsson fronted the band, they made some TV shows but no records. The in late 1975 along came a young singer Sigurdur Kristmann Sigurdsson, „Siggi“ and a new drummer Olafur Kolbeins. This version recorded a single with the songs Hotel Garbage can and Mr. Sadness. Later in 1976 this band made their first album „Speglun“ (Reflection). The band was voted the most popular band in Iceland in 1976. Then in early 1977 a new band was formed. Sigg and Olafur Kolbeins left and along came Tryggvi Hübner on guitar, Asgeir Oskarsson on drums Petur Hjaltested on Hammond and singer Magnus F Johannsson. This version of the band operated for a year and made the album „Hrislan og Straumurinn“


Which bands were you influenced by ?

We listened a lot to american bands like Section and Crusaders and Mikael Urbaniak/ Urzula Dudziek. Herbie Hancocks head Hunters were hot. But Most of all We were always amazed by Gentle Giant.


I believe your bandname is Icelandic for Oak. Why did you choose Eik as your bandname ?

Strong, simple, long lasting,natural ...

When and how long was Eik active and did you do any tours in that time ? Have you had any reunion gigs after you broke up ?

The band was active in various ways from 1972- 1978. The band was always rather underground , very progressive and only for athe last 2 years was the band "Big" on the local scene, though always considered a very progressive act. The band had a reunion in the year 2000, the lineup being the 1977 version, apart from Bjorgvin Ploder taking over the vocals in stead of Magnus F Johannsson.

After the split up of Eik, what have you and the other Eik members been up to ?


Well, Haraldur and Asgeir are probably the most active studio musicians of the last 3 decades and still pretty active, Asgeir is also a member of Stuðmenn, the most popular band ever in this country. Larus Grimsson is a serious composer of electronic music as well as conductor of the Reykjavik Brass band. Petur Hjaltessted runs his own recording studio "Hljóðsmiðjan" in Hveragerði. Tryggvi Hübner runs a guitar school in Reykjavík. www.gitarskoli.is He has made hundreds of albums as session player, one solo album (1995) and the second coming up autumn 2010 (!) Stanya made a solo album in 1977, check him out on facebook, a whole hell of a story ... Herbert Guðmundsson is still singing and doing well , in a way... Magnus Finnur and Siggi have hardly been heard since, Siggi though sings one song on Tryggvi´s upcoming solo album.


Let's go straight to the albums; please give me your (long or brief) thoughts and lowdowns on.........



Speglun from 1976

Well, I wasnt on that one, although I was a dedicated fan , especially of Stanya, what an incredible guitarist! In 1973 he was two hand tapping all over the place, note this was many years before Eddie Van Halen...




Hrislan Og Straumurinn from 1977

A very progressive album, complicated polyrythms and at times unbelievably virtuosic playing, especially bass and drums. BIG compositions by Grimsson, and all kinds of challenging rythm mysteries by Oskarsson. My favourite from this album is "Eitthvað almennilegt" (Something decent) by Stanya. 13/8 in all its glory, incredibly fast, played like its the easiest thing in the world. Recorded live, basically.

Is there any other recordings of Eik stored in some archives or is those two albums everything there is from Eik ?

The single w. Hotel Garbage can might be alvailable on www.tonlist.is Also I sent you a youtube link to some of the stuff fro Herberts time.



How would you describe your music and sound ?

As above.


Both your albums is to my knowledge only out on LP and on Icelandic record labels. How was the distribution of the albums and who is taking care of the Eik legacy/copyrights these days ?

The band published Speglun themselves. Haraldur still has a few copies in a cartboard box downstairs. The other one is now owned by Sena- www.sena.is It was published in Japan around 1995. 500 copies. (They told us...)


Finally; a quick internet search has proved that both Speglun and Hrislan Og Straumurinn lives their own lives. What is your reaction to the renewed interested in your music, expressed through websites like for example ProgArchives ?

Great ! Fabulous. Its good to know there are young people who listen to good music from all times, not just the new stuff. You are doing a fine job my friend. Keep on rockin in the free world baby !

Do you have any contact with the music scene in Iceland these days and which bands would you recommend to us ?

Some of EIK members have been very influential in the scene ever since, and have been recorded on hundreds of albums of all kinds. The band that is active today thas resembles EIK the most is probably Agent Fresco.

Iceland is a top destination and highly recommended. I went to an Icelandic restaurant once and had rams testicles and dried shark. Besides of these delicatessen, is there any other Icelandic food you would recommend for the visitors to your country and what-to-do in Iceland would you recommend ?

Blue Lagoon is a must. Also the golden circle, Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir and Thingvellir. SnaefellsJokull peninsula, the Westmann islands For fast inexpensive food there is a totally Icelandic chain aptly called "American Style", never failes. For a more gourmet type dinner I recommend "Hereford" steak house and "Potturinn og Pannan"

Anything you want to add to this interview ?

Yup, some unreleased material on Youtube: 
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=hlj%C3%B3msveitin+Eik&aq=f

This is 1975 with Herbert as singer. Fenomenal guitar work by Stanya.


Thank you to Tryggvi for this interview.

Their PA profile page is here and
their homepage is here


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote memowakeman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 06 2010 at 14:53

A pretty nice band, hopefully I'lle review their second album soon. Great interview!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote memowakeman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 10 2010 at 20:24

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