the joke

In the time of the Sugarcubes, things were done completely different. We didn’t really have a heart for what we did. It was one big joke. Yes, you can write that down : The Sugarcubes were a joke. I don’t mean we were bad or fake, but we were people who would meet each other in the pub on weekends and then suddenly decided to make some stupid pop songs. While half of us weren’t even musicians ; we were really poets. Our heart wasn’t in music.

After a while, the joke became a job, a profession. And then it went wrong. At least where I’m concerned. Before the Sugarcubes I was in K.U.K.L., a punk band, and that was much more important to me. The KUKL-period taught me a lot of valuable lessons in a quick and violent way. That band really changed me. But the Sugarcubes....Maybe you should put it in a timeframe : the group was founded in a very lively, fertile time. Of course Iceland is very small and we were bored to death, so we wanted some action. We started developing lots of activities, which eventually led to one big commune of artists. We supported each other, started a little company to publish poetry and literature, we ran a radio station, we had a coffeeshop that doubled as bookstore... And everyone helped each other. It was a hot-bed, a breeding pit. All very exciting. And the poets who were used to getting drunk together every weekend, decided to start a pop band. That was the Sugarcubes.

From that moment on, something changed : the Sugarcubes suddenly became very interesting and everybody wanted them to become world famous. And the strange thing is that we actually started striving for that, even though everybody had other occupations as well. But we knew that we would regret it forever if we did NOT do it. In the end it was another two years before we signed a contract with a record company, because even though everybody wanted us, we were always very stubborn and pig-headed ; for instance, we refused for a long time to sing in English. Eventually it went awry because the group didn’t have enough priority for some members. They thought that other things were more important. I hated the fact that we were splitting up. I cried several nights. Later, I was glad we had made that decision : you shouldn’t milk out a joke for too long.

Oor, 6/95