Iceland: Hvanndalsbræður speak to esctoday.com

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In anticipation of the final of Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins 2010, Iceland's pre-selection to determine the country's representative at the Eurovision Song Contest, esctoday.com will be providing you with interviews of all six participants competing for the honour of representing Iceland in Oslo. The national final will be held this Saturday, February 6th and our series of interviews continues with Hvanndalsbræur. Find out what they had to say below.

First of all, congratulations on qualifying to the final of Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins 2010. Did you expect to qualify or did it come as a surprise?

Thanks dude, yes it came as a little surprise. The author of the song, Rögnvaldur Gáfaði quit our band recently so we did it as a prick to send his song in to the competition. The song got through and here we are, the joke goes on!

For those people who don't understand Icelandic, please tell us what Gleði og glens means and what message your song conveys.

Gleði og glens means joy and happiness. The message is, stop whining and be happy.

How would you describe your song in terms of style?

It starts of a bit like Clash, little punk/rock but goes on the be a nice traditional song, it’s a joyful song with a little punk element in it.

Please tell us a little bit more about your band and its various members and the music you usually make.

The band is about seven years old, we started out the three of us, Rögnvaldur (Author of song/guitar), Valur (Drums/singer) and Summi (Bass/singer) and were mostly playing Icelandic traditional songs with this punk element. A couple of years ago we added two guys to the band, Pétur who plays guitar and mandolin and Valmar Valjaots who plays violin and accordion. Valmar is from Estonia so if we go to Norway we are hoping to pick up 12 points from themï��. The band has released 5 albums in Iceland and is in the making of nr. 6. Anyways, Hvanndalsbræður has grown and the sound has changed through the years, we are mostly playing nice pop/rock songs these days, but the punk/Ska element is never far away.
Two great guys join us in this competition for back vocals and they are Rögnvaldur Gáfaði Rögnvaldsson (the author) and Guðmundur Svafarsson from the band Ljótu hálfvitarnir which is one of the most popular bands in Iceland these days.
Please go to www.myspace.com/hvanndals to listen to our songs and see what we are doing.

Your qualification followed the pattern of the first semi final, where Matti Matt's Out Of Sight qualified as the most outstanding song of his heat, in a field dominated by ballads. Do you think the fact that your song was the least "ordinary" one in your semi final helped you to reach the final?

Yes, definitely. People want to have fun and that’s exactly what we like to do to. There has always been a less “ordinary” song in our competition and they have done well, but in the end it is usually a dramatic ballad that wins, except this year of course.

You will be the only act to sing in Icelandic at Saturday’s national final. Could the choice of language contribute to a good placing as well?

Well, Icelanders are really into being Icelanders these days, with all of its pride and glory, but in the end we think it will not be a decider. This was the only option for us, to sing in our own great language; we would never sing in English, it crossed our mind to sing in Chinese, but never in English.

In your view, what are the main reasons for the fact that there aren’t more entries in Icelandic language in the line-up of this year’s national final?

Well, this is a hard one. Most of the people who line up for this competition are thinking all the way to the big competition in Norway, where they might have a slight change of making it. We on the other hand are just thinking about entertaining the Icelandic people, if anyone else enjoys it, great. If not, great !

Who do you think has the best chances to win on Saturday and why?

Anyone can win it, these are all very good acts and great performers. But in the end, we will probably win it.

Are Hvanndalsbræður fans of the Eurovision Song Contest?

Well, probably not fans as the visitors of esctoday would call it. But we watch and everyone has an opinion on the songs. It’s entertaining …

Finally, do you have a message for our readers at esctoday.com?

Hell yeah, see you in Norway !!

Esctoday.com would like to thankHvanndalsbræður for taking the time to this interview and wish them the best of luck for the Icelandic national final on Saturday.

Interview with Icelandic broadcaster RUV:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCWtxOWBieA

Hvanndalsbræður's bid for Eurovision, Gleði og glens:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpTTdPeN34k

Live performance of Gleði og glens at the second semi final of Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztT8XJG49mQ

La La Lagið

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUJ3ajXiFDs

Vinkona

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ybio2PGKkxk

Halli Skúla (Hvanndalsbræður's version of Leonhard Cohen's Hallelujah)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be4WWTsmHvU

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