Breakfast with an Arctic Fox

I have recently interviewed Hildur Kristín Stefánsdóttir, the lead singer of Rökkurró, and Lily and Fox.

My full article can be read on Iceland Review, but there was plenty that I couldn’t fit in. So I have placed it here instead.

Hildur has temporarily relocated to Japan. You can read about her adventures in Japan here.

Why did you go to Japan?

Well I was studying Japanese in the University of Iceland and to
finish my degree I had to take one year of studying in Japan. That was
of course the main reason but at the same time I wanted to try
something completely new and different. I wanted to see how it was to
change your environment and get used to a new culture and as I’m very
interested in Japanese culture I really wanted to absorb it all by
being there for some time.

Was it hard to leave Iceland and Rökkurró?

Yes, it was extremely hard. I had always had this dream of going, but
I couldn’t bear the idea of leaving the band for such a long time. But
then I changed my mind as I felt afraid that if I wouldn’t go now I
would never go! But saying bye to friends, family and the band at the
same time was really tough.  Rökkurró is taking a break while I’m here
so I know it’s hard for the others in the band as well. But it didn’t
take me long to feel how restless I was without music. Luckily I had
decided last minute to take my cello with me because I felt like I
would be lonely without it. But that wasn’t enough so  a couple of
weeks after I came to Japan I bought an Ukulele to play around with
and from that I started making music which made me instantly feel much
better about the whole situation.

Are there any plans for a Lily and fox album?

Actually yes! This is all very exciting for me because how new this
project is and how fast everything has happened! I would say that Lily
and Fox was born in October of 2011 so it’s only about 8 months now.
You know, if it was a baby it wouldn’t even be born yet! I’ve been
very active writing songs the last months so I think that I have
enough of songs for an album now,  but I’ve decided to start with an
EP album that I can hopefully release this fall. And we’ll just see
how it goes from there!

Are there any plans to tour as Lily and fox, after the success of
your Japan shows?

Well I still have some shows to play for these 3 months that I have
left in Japan, but they are so far all in Tokyo. I would love to play
in other places in Japan as well so maybe I’ll try to make that
happen. There are no other tours planned at the moment, but when I
return to Iceland it is really tempting to try to do some kind of a
tour in Europe. To tour is the most fun thing in the universe so I
guess I’ll just have to make that happen!

What does Lily and fox mean?

It is so confusing to explain- but I’ll try!  Basically I’m a huge
animal lover so I wanted it to have animals in the name but I also
wanted it somehow to be connected to Japan because my connection to
Japan is such a big part of me. Foxes or “kitsune” are thought of as
mythical creatures in Japan, that have magical abilities and appear in
many folklore stories which made my love of them even stronger. And
from that on I started forming a story in my head of these characters,
Lily and Fox. Lily is a human in my mind but the name was based on my
favorite flower..well and my mothers name! See how confusing this is?
Haha!

How do you choose which songs to cover?

It’s kind of random. Apart from the fact that I have to really love
the song. When I decided to cover Nightcall it was mainly because I
was so in love with that song at the time and because it was an
electro song but with a beautiful melody I really wanted to change the
sound completely. Those kind of transformations are my favorite
covers. But as for when I covered Interpol, that was like a challenge
I made for myself. I had just been talking to a friend on how some
songs are so heartfelt to you that you don’t want anyone to “ruin”
them by covering them. So I decided to take one of my all time
favorite songs and try not to ruin it and see if I could be happy with
it!

How did it feel to sing in front of 50,000 people?

Hands down, one of the weirdest feelings I have ever experienced! It
was such a surreal idea that I didn’t really get nervous until about 1
hour before going on because I made the mistake of walking out and
looking at the crowd! And from that moment I got so stressed out that
I thought I was going to die before making it on the stage! The
Icelandic National anthem is also one of the hardest songs to sing
that I know about, with it’s very broad range that made it all even
more nerve racking. But of course it was a once in a lifetime
experience and also a great lesson for me in seeing how stress affects
your body. Because for those 90 seconds it took to sing the song, I
stood so ridiculously tense and stiff that actually when I woke up the
day after, my whole body was sore!

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