17 Questions With Of Monsters and Men Guitarist Brynjar Leifsson


17 Questions With Of Monsters and Men Guitarist Brynjar Leifsson


Homer Simpson famously said that alcohol is the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems, which is true, but also kind of dated. Booze has been fucking up lives and making them better for centuries. A more millennial approach would be to replace booze with technology, which has become the one thing I depend on more than booze to make me happy, and the only thing that can make me feel like a total turd just as easily. Here, a recent example:

A few weeks ago I was an attendee at Bushmills Live, an intimate gathering held at the historic Old Bushmills whiskey distillery, just outside of Belfast. The event was heavy on UK-based acts I’d never heard of, but was headlined by one of the biggest bands of the summer, Of Monsters and Men, who were fresh off performances at Coachella and SNL, and were en route to Glastonbury immediately after the show.

I had an interview scheduled with the cherubic lead singer Ragnar Þórhallsson, and bassist Kristján Páll Kristjánsson, but had forgotten my recorder at the hotel. Damn you technology. Thankfully, I had my trusty iPhone on me, which can also record interviews. Yay technology! So the three of us sat down, surrounded by aromatic barrels filled with ageing whiskey, and had a lovely conversation about Icelandic folk stories, SNL after-parties, and LeBron James. But when I returned home to transcribe said interview, my Iphone crashed, and I lost it, and many others, including one I’d done with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, which I’m afraid I may never get over. Damn you technology. Luckily, I was able to score an interview e-mail with the band’s lead guitarist, Brynjar Leifsson. Yay technology! But e-mail interviews are normally boring. Damn you technology. Which is why we decided to try out this 20 question format, which actually worked out pretty well. Yay technology! So see? Technology: the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems.

Your favorite city in the world is?
Keflavík, Iceland.  That’s where home is

Your last meal on earth would be?
Leg of lamb, baked potato with béarnaise sauce all prepared by my mother

The first album you ever purchased is?
Oh god, I can’t even remember. Probably something by The Beatles.

The song that always makes you cry is?
None – made of steel

If you could time travel, where would you go and why?
I’d go back to 1912 and be on the Titanic for a day, just to see if I could find Rose.

What historical figure would you most like to have dinner with and why?
Nikola Tesla, because we would probably have an interesting dinner conversation.

What superpower would you most like to have and why?
I would like to be able to fly. That way I could pop home for an afternoon if we had a day off on the road.

What was the first splurge you made after the success of your first record?
I don’t think any of us have really splurged, but I have picked up a few guitars along this tour.

In what circumstance would you break the law?
Drunken circumstances.

What are you most grateful for?
I’m most grateful that this is my job. Being able to play music for a living.

Who have you met that left you starstruck?
When we were in New York City, after we played Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, we where all standing outside our dressing room when Cameron Diaz walked passed us. We were going to ask her for a picture, but when she walked passed us she said “hi” and all of us just froze. By the time any of us got a word out, she was in the elevator.

What’s your favorite childhood memory?
Watching “Help!” by the Beatles day after day.

If you could see one band or musician live that’s no longer alive, who would it be?
Roy Orbison.

What’s your greatest fear?
Our drummer, Arnar. 😉

The new Of Monsters and Men album will sound like?
Five people with too much time on their hands.

What’s you favorite bar in the world?
Faktorý in Reykjavík, Iceland.

Glastonbury or Coachella?
Glastonbury, because I feel closer to home.