A band returns from the wilderness of indie rock

As the cliche goes bands don’t quit they just go on a break. And since cliches do tend to get thrown around a lot they must hold true sometimes.

In this story the cliche is true because SUÐ (meaning buzz and pronounced SUTH) is back with new songs and an album!

So the break has ended – but how did it that come about and why did it end?

But first, let’s start at the beginning.

In the latter part of the nineties and the earliest part of the naughties SUÐ traversed the underground scene of Reykjavik playing random shows at random venues which are most now defunct – such as the grand old Grand Rokk.

A three-piece of singing and guitar (Helgi), bass and singing (Kjartan) and drums (Magnus) (briefly a four-piece with Viggó on guitar for two years in early 2000s) the band wrote and delivered songs that drew inspiration mostly from the alternative and lo-fi scene in the States and bands such as Pavement, Sebadoh and Guided by Voices amongst others.

The band released its first album Hugsanavélin in the fall of 1999 and was recognised with a nomination at the 1999 Iceland Music Awards as the best newcomer (bjartasta vonin) along with Brain Police, Mínus, Toy Machine and Múm, which took home the price. Sigur Rós incidentally won most of the awards that year including best album for Ágætis byrjun.

In the years following the release of Hugsanavélin more shows were played (including Airwaves in 2000 and 2001), songs were written and recordings were made, but none sadly released, except the single 444 gátur in 2001.

And so it went until 2003 when life intervened and band members got split all over Europe.

A hiatus ensued with the band only sporadically meeting up in the years afterwards and then completely going silent.

Now fast forward to 2014.

Following a get together (no playing though) in Helgi’s wedding the band decided it was time to find a rehearsal space – in part to play on Helgi and Kjartan’s (who are twins) next birthday bash.

As it also happens one of SUÐ’s brothers-in-arms, punk band Saktmóðigur, is still active and a rehearsal space was available to share with them and rock band Kontinuum.

So in February 2014 SUÐ regrouped in a cold and dark rehearsal space in Seltjarnarnes.

As it happens everything had been unlearned.

Nothing came easy and not having the discipline or patience to learn songs by other bands and struggling to convincingly play the old SUÐ songs the band instead starting working on new songs as an easy way out.

In the spring of 2015 so many new songs had been hashed out that the band started thinking about recording them.

Through a friend the band reached out to the recording and mixing guru Albert Finnbogason (of Grísalappalísa fame) and recording dates for base tracks were eventually set in November 2015.

Following two days of base track recordings where 10 songs were laid down the band took hold of the tracks and a 3 month gruesome overdubbing session ensued.

Thankfully, the songs survived the session. 2 additional songs had even been spawned and Albert received all of the tracks for mixing.

Finnur Hákonarson then mastered the whole thing.

Now all of a sudden a 12 track album was ready to be shipped.

There was no other choice for SUÐ than to return from the hiatus and so SUÐ did this July with the release of Á flótta, the first single from the new album.

The second single, Plastgea, then followed and now the album Meira suð! is finally out.

The break has ended, the cliche is true and SUÐ is back from the wilderness of indie rock.

In 2019 Suð went back to studio with the trusted Albert Finnbogason. The new album will be released in spring 2020. It’s name is Vesen.

Suð in 2016.
Suð in 2016.