Photos by Hafsteinn Viðar
Seeing that Wormlust hasn‘t released material for a while, I wanted to start with asking you about one of your most recent projects, Ljáin. What is the idea behind Ljáin?
Well, Ljáin is a musical piece by Wormlust for the European tour – although it seems like it might split off its host in the future.
This thing, it started from a series of dreams/nightmares – whatever you want to call them – this summer when I was starting to think about the tour. In the dreams, I was playing band in a band of silhouetted shadow figures.
Sometimes dreams stick with you, and in that dreamhazy week, those songs just flowed through me. I guess I was unconsciously realizing a vision.
How would you say Ljáin differs from your previous projects?
It’s like the first two Wormlust demos really, in that it’s a flow of consciousness type of writing, so as in Wormlust, it started from a bad acip trip – this thing somehow was transmitted to me through the sub-sphere of visions, things were developing so fast that I basically felt more like a transceiver than anything else. It also has this tangiable and visceral feel to it at this point; I think I could draw comparisons to having a shadow limb. I kind of know that it’s there waiting for me. Like an everflowing spring.
Again on Ljáin, you released two EP‘s in a very short period of time. Was that something previously decided?
No, as I said I had no say in the matter, I don’t know if it’s a case of being more adapt at playing my instruments or more open to letting the unknown world enter my thoughts – without analyzing them constantly, though.
Regarding Wormlust as a live project, how did the decision to start playing live come about?
The Oration promoters had been asking me to play live regularly, and that coincided with me wanting to see if my art would be taken more seriously if I played live. In my mind, I felt like Wormlust was being treated as a marginal project because I didn’t play live, and also there was the need to challenge myself. The songs on Feral Wisdom are technically not human. Not sure if that hypothesis about being marginalized was true; it was born out of pessimism, so the thought was drowned out by new gloom.
As for future live performances, will Ljáin be something that people can expect to see in the future, i.e. after the upcoming European tour?
There is talk of a closing this current Ljáin piece in America by touring church halls, under bridges and other strange places in mid February 2017, with US members of Martröð helping out. I feel like this upcoming tour might be my last, though.
Just to close the door on my questions regarding Ljáin, could you tell us something about the lyrical content? Would you say it’s in a similar vein to the lyrics for Wormlust?
That’s easy – they deal with what the confines of personal hell are vs the Bosch-like one I have been exploring so far, and also they deal with magic. In them, the realities of magic are explored. They are much more primordial and darker; it is not as though my previous lyrics have been sing-a-longs, but I go much more into the personal, gritty and mortal side of things.
So I’m guessing that there are quite a few people who want to know what’s happening with your new Wormlust album, Hallucinogenesis?
It’s on its way to being finished – about six months ago it was still quite the mess, but the advent of having to be a live band really put thunder behind my steps. I made the error of announcing it way too soon to get myself going, but instead it became like an ever-tightening noose on my mind. So that was a challenge I overcame by realizing what I had done so far was hardly perfect, and in the end it was done from a place of pure creativity and not having to please anyone but myself. That opened up the floodgates. But the theoretical stuff – books of manifestos, notes on production, song theory and discipline that have slowly filled my walls – helped a lot. Putting down some boundaries and rules of engagement creates a viable path to follow.
You’ve also been quite active in the visual art area, photography and illustration in particular. Could you tell us a bit about your work (influences, stylistic directions, etc.) and perhaps how it’s connected to your music?
On the surface, you could say it is all bound by the likeness of being dark, but in a sense there are things to take into consideration. Serving yourself and then carrying out the visual worlds and themes someone else has created for themselves. Let’s just say that I would never photograph a band like Svartidauði in a style that didn’t suit them. But that’s still with my aesthetics on top and whatever. As for my music and illustrations, there I can’t really put others’ wishes above my own self expression; in music, because that’s my true voice, and illustration, because they are self portraits 99% of the time. I can’t do anything other than self portraits – the 1% being shit. Inspiration, that would be an endless list, but Sindre Foss Skancke started as my main one when I got back into drawing and I took it in my own direction.
So finally, what do you think lies ahead for Wormlust in the future?
More releases, though I would like to make it harder on myself and somehow marry the mediums of music and photography in the future. Maybe do something film-related, like a music video sister to my release, but that’s just one of a billion fancies.
CELESTIAL WOUNDS Tour 2016
08.10) St. Etienne