At someofitistrue we like to bring you a bit of variety. This week whilst not creating captivating sonic soundscapes, walls of noise and hypnotic melodies, the guys from Porquesi have found time to have a chat.
My only live experience of the band was a great moment. On our last night at the Airwaves Festival in Iceland, Victorsson and I decided to catch Porquesi in a bar named Dillon. Through the crowd, we could just make out the band wrestling everything out of their instruments. It is fair to say we were quite literally blown away by the band, who attacked every song with unreserved passion. They play loud, the music is challenging, but is grounded in many a great melody. It is not always the case, but I am pleased to confirm that the band’s album ’This Is Forever’ does an excellent job of capturing the essence of the band.
Half Icelandic, Half British – how did PORQUESÍ come into being?
Basically, like all good stories, it started with a girl – or something a bit less dramatic! Russ moved to Iceland and befriended Skúli; a spark was lit. Russ’ friend Jonathan moved here to intern at a fancy magazine, then in Spring 2009, Skúli and Russ started to puzzle together some ideas and ended up bringing Jon and Egill (Skúli’s brother) into the mix. That’s how it happened – or something a bit more dramatic!
What does PORQUESÍ mean?
If you read it backwards it becomes ‘Iseuqrop’, which means ‘nothing’ in Russian. Nah, just kiddin’. But seriously, PORQUESÍ is Spanish for ‘just -because’, although in Spanish you would divide it into two words: porque sí. We took the artistic decision of gluing these words together ‘cos we don’t give a fuck. No just kiddin’, we respect a whole lot of things and people.
Tell us about the genesis of ‘This is Forever’.
It all happened pretty quickly in the Summer of 2009. Russ and Skúli put together ideas for 4-5 tracks which we brought into the garage along with Jon and Egill. Before we knew it, we had played a few shows here and there in downtown Reykjavík, and the following Winter composed the rest of what became the track listing for ‘This is Forever’. In the Autumn of 2010, we recorded the album over a two day period, then spent some time mixing and mastering before we released it ourselves in the beginning of December the same year.
Have a listen to the album here http://porquesi.bandcamp.com/album/this-is-forever
I always get through the album and then suddenly realise that there have been no vocals. Do you find that it is harder to grab the listener’s attention without a vocal?
Not having the vocal element definitely forces us to take certain measures. For this type of music, being kind of minimal and repetitive, it is important not to overdo it, finding the right balance in number of repetitions; for example before adding something new. We have been told many times after shows something like, “cool stuff boys, but you should add vocals, that’d do the trick”. In the beginning we were very determined to play only instrumental music. I think all of us, at that time, listened to a lot of instrumental music, and it influenced us and made sense to us. Now, I think we are a bit more open to the idea of adding some vocals. You can’t deny the effect it has on the music. At the same time, it is a fragile thing; you can easily fuck it up.
Will vocals be introduced on future records?
As a matter of fact, the only track that is completely ready for our upcoming EP has a small vocal part. So yes, we’ll introduce some vocals, although we still consider ourselves as an instrumental band first and foremost.
For a newcomer to the band, which track would you recommend they listen to, and why?
Well, we have a video for ‘Obvious Harmony’, which is probably the heaviest track of the album. It’s the ‘hit single’. For something a bit softer, check out ‘Slowdown‘ or ’12-8-12′. And for a bit of both we recommend ‘Curfew and Crowded Streets’ or ‘This is Forever‘. The first and last tracks (the only ones with Icelandic names) are thought of as an intro and outro.
Is the balaclava a regular feature of the ‘live’ show?
Haha no, it was only a surprise element of the Dillon show during the Airwaves festival. It was supposed to increase the effect of our ‘rebellion song’, ‘Curfew and Crowded Streets’. Also, we wanted to do something special for the last Airwaves show. We also had a guest appearance from our friend Clyde Bradford from Human Hands. He played guitar for ‘Obvious Harmony’. That was a super fun performance! Definitely one of our favourites from Airwaves 2011 – this can actually be found on YouTube.
Airwaves was awesome and Iceland seems to have an amazing music scene – what’s it like to be involved in it?
Yeah, it’s a great music scene over here, and super diverse too. It definitely has this ‘community’ vibe about it, with bands willing to help each other out. We love playing with other like-minded Icelandic bands, and those who have never heard of us. It makes us strive to play a better show.
What bands have influenced PORQUESÍ?
This Will Destroy You, Caspian, At the Drive-In, Mogwai, and Converge to name a few.
What would be your dream festival line-up?
Tricky question. At the Drive-In reunion and Mogwai of course. Um, Jon would love to see Meshuggah, Russ would say Radiohead, and Egill would say Metallica. Haha. And probably a bit of Blink 182 to get drunk to.
Are you playing in the UK any time soon – what are your future plans for gigs?
We have nothing booked in the UK yet, but we have talked a lot about going there this year. When the opportunity will present itself, we will grab it. It’d be awesome to do a tour in the UK. We’re working on it. Stay tuned.
Where can we find out more about the band?
Our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/porquesiband is the most active. There you can find links to Myspace, SoundCloud, and more.
When can we expect new music – what form will it take Album, EP etc?
We are currently working on a 4-5 track EP, which will hopefully be released this spring. It’s going to be a lot darker and structurally more complex, but will also have some signature PORQUESÍ melodies.
Thanks to the guys for taking the time to chat. If you liked this blog, or any of our other interviews, then please do sign-up for regular updates.