Sunday October 17th, 1999 – Sunnudagsblað – culture
Rhyme genius from hell
The guys from Quarashi will be releasing their second album Xeneizes tomorrow. You could say that the work on the cd started the fall of 1998, shortly before the guys took a leave from music, but the main work was done this summer. Sölvi Blöndal, songwriter and drummer of the band started going over each song on the album.
Stick ’em Up: The recording session for Stick’Em up was the single most complicates that I’ve had. We wanted to put together a hard rock song that would reflect the rock music that we ourselves listened to back in the days. We got Smári Jósepsson to play the guitar riffs for us and then I cut it down and changed it and Hössi rapped over it. When we finally sat down to listen to the outcome we thought the song sounded really bad and decided to do it all over again. I got my old Ham-record and found what I was looking for in the mix and got Hrannar to play the guitar. After Hössi and Steini rapped over it we also got Ómar to come but the song still wasn’t finished, there was quite a lot of work put into the making of the prototype of the album. The thought was always to make the song a single so that made the recording even harder.
Tarfur: In the making of Xeneizes, Sölvi whined the rappers to make an Icelandic song as per usually. They thought it was a minimum to have at least one Icelandic song on the record. Since Sölvi started making music he had wanted to use a part of “Ég vil þig” by Óðmenn in a song but hadn’t been able to until then. To top it off he had goten him self a record with “Þú og ég” and a song from it was entwined into the song. Everything is Icelandic in the song and there is also a reference to the song by Óðmenn in the lyrics, everything twined together and more of a whole than they had done before.
Punk: Punk is the first song written for the album, it was made in 1998, and already at that time it gave a clue about where I wanted to go with the album, make it faster, more guitar riffs and more rock. The lyrics are about a specific rapper in this town who compliments himself left and right, but there’s nothing behind it.
Jivin’ About: A stupid popsong, but even so I find it fun to listen to stupid popsongs sometimes, and sometimes it’s fun to make that kind of a song. There’s least of Quarashi in that song, of all the songs we have recorded, but there’s a lot of humor in it, that no one has caught on to.
Brazilian Mongo: Sölvi was flippin on Brazillian music when he created that one and used music in it that he had take with him from Brazil. Some sort of trip-hop with a jazzy mood, unlike their previosu stuff but considered vital to gear the album down a little. The song contains dj-scratchin on a global base and Sölvi still doesn’t understand how DJ Dice did what he did in that song.
Model Citizen Another pop-bubble, but with more of Quarashi in it than Jivin’About had. I was sort of finished writing the song but wanted to take something out of a Swiss song. A big part of the lyrics is about marijuana, without it being a praise, I wanted to borrow a part from Úr bláum skugga after Sigurður Bjóla. When I asked him he said he didn’t give a crap what I did with the song, which I thought was very cool of him, I raise my hat to him.
Tambourine Cut: One of the first songs that were created for this album. It has been on our setlist for a long time and one of the few songs on the album that have gotten the change to develop the way that songs that we play much do; There’s much more balance in the rap. This is a true Quarashi song- with a beginning just like a drunken Spanish sailor playing a guitar.
Xeniesis: One of my favorite songs on this album. I used a bunch of drums on it that I recorded in my garage at home. It has everything in it that I want songs to have; a catchy chorus, good humor, cool beat and a guitar solo.
Mayday: Mayday is a very fun song that was initially supposed to be acted without singing. At a concert we met this great rapper who just appeared on stage. I talked to him afterwards and asked him to come check us out next time we’d be in a studio. He totally surprised me by showing up. I didn’t have any song for him, but thought of mayday and had him rap over it, he did that in one run, with nothing written, totally by memory, insanely cool rap. Then Hössi rapped his part, making it look as if they were battling.
Surreal Rhyme: Is one of the first songs made for Xeneizes and it was made as a concert song, cause of that, more equal proportions in the rap. When they worked in the studio the verses became unequal in size but when crated on stage Steini and Hössi divided the verses much more between themselves. Surreal Rhyme and jivin’ about are mad from the same song though no one can probably hear it
Show Me What You Can: In that song is one of the best rhymes Hössi has ever written and the first one he put together for Xeneizes. Sölvi actually proposed to people to listen carefully to the lyrics, cause people had been saying that they didn’t put allot of thought into the lyrics. But this time Hössi put a sock in their mouth, rhyme-genius from hell. (the missing text is due to obscure content )-à Ég tók bút frá ELO í lagið, fékk reyndar ekki leyfi fyrir því, en treysti bara á að Jeff Lynne lesi ekki Moggann.
Fuck You Puto: It took us about twelve to fourteen hours to put down forty different guitar riffs and then I sat down for a few days and found the best pieces. The name of the song implies exactly what we mean with it, Quarashi in a really bad mood, unlike Switchstance, not to it though, but that time is over. This is the rock we grew up with, not Korn or Limp Bizkit, but Ham, Rage Against the Machine and Slayer. Smári Jósepsson, who plays he guitar, owns a big part in the song.
Dive in: Traces it’s roots to an old song Sölvi wrote, kinda Depeche Mode-ish which Hössi heard by coincidence and wanted to sing. It didn’t come out to well so he wrote another one which he also sang, but that didn’t work out either so Sölvi put it in the works. He had music by Debussy in mind but couldn’t place it until he hummed it for Lárus in “Tólftónum” (Twelvetones, a store in Iceland) and he knew right away what music Sölvi was looking for. With that in his computer he wrote a song, Hössi sung it and it was there. Rumors says they are both trying to say something with the song.. just not sure what.
Bless: Bless is Elis Regina yelling as much as she can. Bigbeat song, but it didn’t look like they were gona have one on Xeniezes. Sölvis biggest dream is to get a song in the Matrix and that says something about Bless.
Morgunblaðið/Kristinn Fjórir fræknir BjörnIngimundarson, Höskuldur Ólafsson, Sölvi Blöndalog Steinar Fjeldsted.
Thursday September 23rd,1999- Innlendar fréttir
Quarashi’s single highly popular
Around three thousand people went online and downloaded Quarashi’s new single Stick’Em Up , which was published on the news web of the Morgunblað : www.mbl.is on last Friday. Those who worked on the release say that this is a far better result than was expected, since a popular single usually won’t sell more than 300-500 copies here in Iceland.
Stefán Ingólfsson, a co-worker of Quarashi, says that the reaction that the release of Stick’Em Up online got went beyond what anyone had hoped. “This was a far better result than we dared hope for, especially since usually a popular single will sell in 300-500 copies in Iceland. This warm welcome just goes to show that this kind of release totally has a role and place and that it will probably take over in the nearest future.”
Stefán says he thinks that the selling of albums in this form isn’t too far away, even though there are still quite a few details that need to be worked out about things like royalties and copyrights.This type of release evens out Iceland’s place with foreign bands, since the basic cost of a release is the same whether 500 copies are sold or 500.000. That way you can lower the distributing-and publishing price substantially and hopefully this technology will increase the release of Icelandic music. In addition this gives musicians a new objective ground to further their music aside from the radio. “
Quarashi’s song is the first single of the soon to come album of the band, the song can be found on www.mbl.is where it’s available for download to listen to it on the computer, but there are also directions on how to make a cd out of it. On the page that is dedicated to the single it’s possible to get a cover for the single that can be printed out, for example on a color printer, this has never been done with a release before.