As part of Taste of Iceland — a four-day festival celebrating Icelandic food, music, film, and culture running from November 13th to 16th — Reykjavík group Retro Stefson will play Toronto’s The Horseshoe Tavern on November 15th. If you’re a fan of irresistible dance beats and a fun time, we highly recommend you catch this young band this weekend. Ahead of the show, we spoke with Retro Stefson‘s Unnsteinn Stefánsson to discuss hailing from Iceland, touring as a seven-piece, good headphones, menus with spare ribs, and disco songs.
AMBY: Hey Retro Stefson, welcome to our website. What has the band been up to lately?
Retro Stefson: We’ve been writing some new stuff. And we just played the Iceland Airwaves festival. We started a record label with our junior manager. And we hope to start recording a new album in the new year.
AMBY: You soon play Toronto’s Taste of Iceland festival. Does hailing from Iceland have an influence on your sound? If so, how?
Retro Stefson: No, I don’t really think so. We have a great network of accomplished musicians that help each other out. I think we have a sound that could be from any country in the pop music world.
AMBY: Which other artists from Iceland should we keep our eyes on?
Retro Stefson: Definitely check out the acts before us – they’re side projects of Retro Stefson. Uni Stefson is my solo project, Young Karin is my brother’s project with young Icelandic singer Karin Sveinsdóttir, and Hermigervill is the synthesist of Retro Stefson.
AMBY: When it comes to prepping for a tour, what are some quintessential items you must pack?
Retro Stefson: iPhone. Then you’re safe. Good headphones are a nice plus. With these two items you’re ready for the everyday battles of the modern world.
AMBY: What’s it like touring as a seven piece — is there much conflict with so many opinions to be heard?
Retro Stefson: No, not really. My brother and I argue a lot of course. But the rest of the band is really patient. Then we also travel with a Zen guru by the name of Robert Steiger – he passes on the wisdom of life down when we’re on tour.
AMBY: Your latest record was released in 2012. Have you started writing any new material while on the road? If so, when can fans expect to hear some new material?
Retro Stefson: Well Hemigervill just sent me a song he wrote while on tour with FM Belfast. A disco song that’s an exciting number to start working on. But our fans can expect more rock’n’roll, more trance and more R&B.
AMBY: If you could be a fly on the wall at any given time or event, where would you want to be?
Retro Stefson: When the first burger and fries are laser printed.
AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about Retro Stefson that nobody knows yet?
Retro Stefson: If there are spare ribs on the menu of a restaurant we go to before a show, we must order them.
Thank you Retro Stefson, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout