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Múm - Múm Knows Best

Author: Justin Levy
Sunday, 9 December 2007
Örvar Þórejarson Smárason – founding member of múm, part-time partner with other Icelandic bands,poet, artist and friendly bloke – has a natter with 3D’s Justin Levy about their new album.One of only two foundingmembers left in the once four, now seven, member experimental group, Smárasonhas learnt to deal with group changes positively.  It’s a good thing, he says, and depending onhow you approach it, can work for the better. Múm’s new album Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy was madeimmediately following the departure of original member Kristin Anna Valtýsdottir.“We’re kind of used tochanging the band,” Smárason says. “It’s not the first time it happened in theband, from the start in 1997. Yeah, a lot of pretty constant changes. Itdefinitely keeps things interesting. It puts new energy into things, which isdefinitely a good thing in music.”Curiosity is bound toarise concerning their fourth album’s title; is ‘smearing poison ivy’ someobscure northern European reference, or is it, as the kids would say, completely random- It’s actually muchmore obvious. It’s about unabashedly lathering venom all of over yourbody.    “It’s something aboutgoing and doing things that maybe you’re uncertain of, or even if you thinkthey’re not the right thing to do, you should still go out and do them,” hesays. No, he’s not endorsingdrugs. He’s talking about taking those risks that come with such a broad-mindedmusical collaboration, for better or worse. Some will find the music tooobscure, but many will love the sentimental and sweet electronic-infusedplayfulness. And the Icelandic chillers have not confined themselves to thelikes of Europe – they have recently returned from a pleasantlywarm reception in the United States, and the next year is brimming with touringschedules. Unfortunately, the one uncertainty on the list is Australia, which they may return to when they grace Singapore in March. Smárason flatteringly explains why theyhaven’t returned since their 2004 tour.“There’s been talk of comingback,” he says. “Maybe the biggest reason for not touring again was it was sobig last time we don’t want to ruin it”.You tease, Smárason. Luckyyou make good music.WHO: Múm
WHAT: Go Go Smear The Poison Ivythrough Pod/Inertia
WHEN: Out now