Sunna Gunnlaugs: Keys For Traveling
SG: The lineup is the same as on Long Pair Bond. It's a bit funny since we have these Icelandic characters like "Þ" in Þorgrimur. Some people think it's a "P," so when he went into his interview at the U.S. Embassy regarding the work permit, some of the papers said "Porgrimur" and some said "Þorgrimur." I think they agreed to make it Thorgrimur [that's how it's pronounced], but you can call him Toggi. We are promoting Long Pair Bond on the tour but also preparing for a new recording, so it will be a mix of selections from Long Pair Bond and unreleased material.
AAJ: How did the title "Long Pair Bond" come about?
SG: I had just written that tune and needed a title for a performance, so I posted a little video on my Facebook site and asked people for suggestions. There were many great suggestions. A lady in California suggested "Long Pair Bond" and a guy in Pennsylvania suggested "Autumnalia." I picked "Long Pair Bond" for that tune but liked "Autumnalia" so much that I wrote a tune for that title. Then I wrote a blog post on my site, and those two wrote lengthy comments, fell in love, and the guy moved out to California. How is that for a story? I am hoping to meet them.
AAJ: Wow, that sets the bar pretty high for your next album. You can check "Love Story" off the list. The next recording will have to tackle World Peace. Speaking of next recording, are there any new projects in the foreseeable future, or is this primarily going to be Sunna's tour year?
SG: The plan is to record when we come back to Iceland in July. Same place, same engineer, same piano tuner, new music that should be well greased after the U.S. tour.
AAJ: On your site, you posted tour diaries from past shows. Will you be keeping one for the upcoming U.S. tour?
SG: I'll try to keep a tour diary. It's a great way to stay in touch with listeners. I actually wish I was better at updating my blog, but I just don't have the time to write consistently. Maybe because I'm a bit of a perfectionist, I need to feel right about what I post, so I read them over and over before publishing. Also, we have had some issues finding internet connections in the past [while on the road] or just the time to write and upload the post, so I don't expect daily updates. It's amazing how busy you can get when you also need to sample espresso and hunt down green shakes on the road.
AAJ: Green shakes? Like wheat-grass health stuff? Or is it a shamrock shake kind of thing?
SG: Wheat grass would be good, but a shake with kale and mango is super tasty. It jells well with the pleasure center. If all fails, I'll go for a Mojito or apple martini.
AAJ: If they make a kale martini, they might be onto something. Maybe combining the apple martinis and the blog posts will help you knock off two birds with one stone.
SG: Apple martinis and blog posts sounds like a good match.
AAJ: Any chance you'll have a tour diary entry that begins with the initial steps to set it up?
SG: A manual? Maybe if I include the initial steps in my tour diary blog posts it will help other bands from outside the U.S. do this. It's a daunting task.
AAJ: Is there a particular U.S. city or venue you enjoy performing at? One that you'd like to perform at one day?
SG: Of course I'd like to perform at the Village Vanguard one day. Who doesn't? We are playing a lot of new venues on this tour, and I am really looking forward to coming to Portland and Seattle for the first time. I'm so thrilled and honored that Jim Wilke from KPLU is going to record us at Tula's in Seattle.
AAJ: You've been putting up a lot of live- performance tracks on your site, all set at a price of free. What was your motivation for this? Can fans expect to see more of it? And if so, will it continue to be a mix of older and newer performances? Anything we can expect from the upcoming U.S. tour?
SG: The world is a big place, and I live on a small island. With cost issues, it's not that easy to go play other places, so I don't do it that frequently. But where would I be without my listeners? They are very important. So to maintain some sort of a relationship, I offer these free downloads. You could say they are, in a way, a substitute for a live concert. We will record as much as we can during the tour.
Sunna Gunnlaugs, Long Pair Bond (Sunny Sky, 2011)
Sunna Gunnlaugs, The Dream (Sunny Sky, 2010)
Sunna Gunnlaugs, Songs from Iceland (Sunny Sky, 2009)
Sunna Gunnlaugs, Live in Europe (Sunny Sky, 2003)
Sunna Gunnlaugs, Fagra Verold (Sunny Sky, 2002)
Sunna Gunnlaugs, Mindful (Sunny Sky, 2000)
Sunna Gunnlaugs, Far Far Away (Sunny Sky, 1997)
All Photos: Courtesy of Sunna Gunnlaugs