FIVE BEFORE LIVE with Óskar Gudjónsson from ADHD
A new Q&A section posing 5 questions to our artists before their upcoming IMC concert.
Ahead of their Dublin debut at The Grand Social on Wednesday 7th February, we spoke to saxophonist ÓSKAR GUÐJÓNSSON from Iceland band ADHD about music, friendship and staying curious. Info & Tickets available here
Q. 1 What motivates you, as a band, and as an individual, to create music?
Maybe the strongest one is the friendship I have with the other people in the band - its a special and unique experience to get to play with them. What motivates me to keep writing music for this band is the live playing experience - the feeling, the places that you can take that music.. Usually when you record, it’s like the first blueprint of the song, then we use the live situation to explore whatever we can find in it - the emotion, rhythmically or harmonically,..the exploring happens live.
Q.2 Who or what inspires you at the moment - be it in music, arts, politics or your personal life?
To me, since their are four of us in the band, I’m pretty sure you would get four very different answers to the question, but my inspiration is these people I play with. You know, what drives each person and trying to figure out how to behave towards a personal connection with something. Drawing something out of them physically and for the music. So a big inspiration for me is how you can put people together and find a common ground and find the motivation to do something.
Also food! Cooking is a big inspiration in my life, which is mostly music otherwise. And family life..is a big factor in my life for inspiration. Finding new flavours, new smells, or putting something together, orchestrating and arranging something into something that, seeing if it works, what you can create.
Can you recommend some other artists from Iceland who inspire you for us to check out?
I would recommend that you check out everything that you can get your hands on! It is difficult to narrow down just what I am listening to at the moment, but some artists that are very interesting to me that I’ve been listening to lately are:
Moses Hightower, Roforo, Amiina, Vinkingur Heioar, Samaris, Olof Arnalds, Skuli Sverris, Hjalmar, Risaeolan. There’s a lot of great stuff!
Q.3 Can you tell us about a seminal experience, project, or encounter that had a significant impact on your career?
Well, in some ways, there was never anything else that I wanted to do. In some sense, it has always just been a clear path with music…but of course there have been a few moments that help you to believe in that path.
I was actually reminded of one of these moments recently when an acquaintance of mine spoke about how when I was 18 or 19 years old we were working together on a building site, and he reminded me of a conversation we had about my future, because at the time I was thinking that maybe I should actually pursue something like my father - he was a carpenter. I wasn’t fully sure about my path at that time. He told me recently, more than 20 years later that he had responded to my doubts with ‘No - follow the path you are on with the saxophone playing - try it out fully’ because he himself, who was some years older at the time, had not taken that path, to pursue the Arts, and he regretted it.
I had totally forgotten about this conversation.
So actually there are many many little moments in your life where you’ve been guided by people that you might not know that well, particular moments, things you have now actually forgotten. I’ve been wondering about how much affect this conversation might have had on me, or other moments like it.
Also I was lucky because I started to play extremely early, at 17 or 18 with some of the best jazz players in Iceland and I got the opportunity to play a lot. I got to do the work, get that experience, on stage so early on. So now I don’t feel like I can do anything else - this is it - no other option for me!
Q4. What is next for ADHD - any plans for 2018?
Yes we will start working on the next record. There is talk also of doing a live record, which we have wanted to do for quite some time, however we always end up making new songs and releasing new material instead of recording our live back catalogue. So there will be a record coming out in 2018 but not sure what it will be yet.
I think we will be trying out a new way of working on a record - working on it for a longer time - and bouncing ideas around for longer maybe. Usually we make the record in a relatively short time, one intense period, where things are quite fresh - when we find a version we like, we leave it and move on - but allowing more time to develop the music could be interesting
We are also playing some Italian summer festivals as well as a European tour in the Autumn
Q5. Where do you see music going in 20 years time - genre, audience, industry, technology?
I don’t have a vision for the future of music. I don’t even know where I am going, other than trying to get the melodies that are inside me out, without hurting them too much; trying to be honest to what the melody is saying. To me music has always been so much about the melodic content and the emotional value of that, so that everything else is a kind of house around the people that are in it. Even the house itself
I don’t have a futuristic mind. I’m a saxophone player so I don’t play any electric instrument, so I haven’t moved into that area of knowing where it goes or where it could go
However there are all these interesting people out there and they will continue to find ways to express themselves. Things that don’t resonate musically today, might resonate with people tomorrow. I try to be as broad minded as possible,
The future, I’m looking forward to it surprising me - I like being surprised - by the people in my surroundings and people in general. It is a matter of looking and opening your mind and staying curious.