Gudmundur Steingrimsson

(Drummer on Björk’s Icelandic jazz/swing LP ’Gling Glo’, on Bad Taste in 1990. After playing for nearly 50 years, is nicknamed ’Papa Jazz’. Plays in the Bjorn Thoroddsen Trio.)

We met on a radio programme, translated as Good Friends Meeting. I’ve listened to her since she was very young, I was born in 1929, and I immediately thought, This is different. She was unique. People disliked her because she was such a ... nature child. They said she was pretending but there is no pollution there, just pure Björk. I hope she is still the same.

She wanted to sing these old Icelandic tunes that older singers had made famous. The pianist, bassist and I want wild, we did the whole thing live, no double takes. The song she sings with just the piano in just one take. She is as good as the old singers, but very different. She changed the musical style, with more improvisation. She made it lighter. I’m very fond of her records in England, they’re so different. Even at my age, you can tell what she does and how she sings is from the heart, and that’s what counts.

Select, june 1994