Besides being an amazing musician, Sigurlaug Gisladóttir, widely known as Mr. Silla, is also a very cheerful, talkative and positive person. After her concert at Cracovian Klub Alchemia I asked her a few questions concencerning mostly music and inspiration.
Do you find inspiration in travelling?
Mr. Silla: Travelling? Oh, I see. I thought you said troubling (laughs). I think travelling is one of the most inspiring things for me. When I tour a lot, I love coming home and working from thoughts and experiences. And troubling is a whole different thing. I wouldn’t say I was troubling. Trouble part comes with to express what is inspiring.
What is the most exciting in being a musician?
Mr. Silla: Well, for me it is being on stage, because I really enjoy that and it is also really fun to explore. You search for new sounds. It is also very exciting to me.
I really admire people who can go on stage and perform just like that.
Mr. Silla I think I just was kind of born with it somehow, I just could do it from when I was very young. I was very shy when I was younger, but then when I was around a teenager I started really loving it.
What is the greatest asset of playing solo?
Mr. Silla: Money (laughs). I really enjoy playing in bands, but it’s really nice, when we aren’t entitled to play together, we can travel a lot easier cause there’s just the two of us. We can do shows that are maybe more low-budget and stuff. So you get to travel more, and meet more people and it’s really lovely. That’s kind of good for being a small band.
After almost two years since your debut came out what do you remember most vividly of the recording process?
Mr. Silla: That I was recording in London and I guess it is because I had a few friends that were living in London at the time and sometimes after half a day of recording they would come and would get drunk in the studio and listen to it. It was something so new about it, so nice to share it with your friends. It made me feel very good and confident and moving forward, that friend moments in the studio. But the whole process was very good for me, working with my best friends like Mike Lindsay.
Would you change something about the record if you could?
Mr. Silla: Absolutely not! It should always stay as it is. It’s its own kid. You can’t change it later. You can enjoy performing differently, but you just move on, you make new music. No regrets.
How did this happen that you put so many emotions into your songs?
Mr. Silla: I don’t really know how to answer it. It was very natural. It just came out this way, I didn’t really think about it a lot. I was kind of lucky in that way on this record. I didn’t made it. It wasn’t calculated or planned, I just came out.
You and SALK have that in common.
Mr. Silla: Yeah! Absolutely.
So you are currently working on your second solo album. Did something funny or worth remembering happened already along the way?
Mr. Silla: There was one synthesizer, old Russian synthesizer that only worked on one song and everytime we wanted to use it for other songs it just worked for half an hour, for recording the one bit in one song and then it just would never do it if we wanted to after that.
Does the push of music industry toward global streaming services bother you?
Mr. Silla: No, not at all. More people can hear the music! It’s a wonderful thing! You can still make something special, it just doesn’t look the same and that’s fine to me. It’s ok that things change. The platform is just bigger. You can make incredible video art and that’s ok. It stands on its own. And you can also just release songs.. it’s basically opening up the way of releasing music. It doesn’t have to be confined to the length of the CD or the LP, That’s fun. You can make an 15 hour record if you wanted to. Or you can just release three songs and that’s valued as a release as well, so I think it’s great. With this record I did not promote it in Mexico, but apparently there’s like a million hits on my songs on Spotify. All in Mexico! I don’t know why! It’s wonderful, it would have never happened before!
It’s a big topic to discuss, especially because many artists are against such services.
Mr. Silla: It’s been a while since artists got paid in the way that they used to. It’s not like it would happen overnight. It’s not all because of the Internet. You can mope about it, get sad or you can work on changing it to a place where it works in a better way. You figure it out. You can’t just be sad or upset at home. Nobody cares about that (laughs). Find your ways to be creative and about how you make the money. And people are very much close to the artists, especially with crowdfunding and all those options. If you like an artist you can specifically pay for their stuff and you feel like you’re being a part of the creation. I think that’s a really nice outcome of what has happened. It’s hard, of course, but I still like it. I don’t mind it, and it gets excited.
Would you recommend it to young talented but still underground musicians?
Mr. Silla: Absolutely! Just make it available. All of it is a bit abstract cause it’s all about PR.. but for sure, make your music available.
Does the nature and your surrounding inspires you?
Mr. Silla: For sure. Also If you are alone, in the nature, in Iceland for example. That’s exciting and that can be superinspiring.
You live in Berlin now. Does the city and it’s atmosphere is inspirational for an artist?
Mr. Silla: Yeah, there’s a lot of amazing young artists living there now because it’s relatively cheap comparing to all the other big cities. There is really nice and inspiring art scene. And I think also, the city just doesn’t give a shit, which is good. You just got to do your thing, nobody’s there bothered by you. And the club scene is superinspiring too, because it’s like a new world to me.