Friday, May 22nd, 2020
My Favorite Album: Georg Holm of Sigur Rós on Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers”
“We’ve always said when we’re writing music that a song isn’t really ours and we don’t like it unless it stirs some sort of emotion within ourselves as we play it.”
May 22, 2020
By Dom Gourlay (As Told To)
Issue #66 – My Favorite Album – Angel Olsen and Sleater-Kinney
I had to think about that quite deeply because it does change. People’s favorite albums don’t necessarily stay the same forever. You might have a favorite now but in 10 years you may have another one. The record I’m listening to quite a lot now—and I actually listened to quite a lot when I was a kid, even before joining Sigur Rós—is Wildflowers by Tom Petty.
It’s a really personal record for him and you can really hear it. I think he’s stepping out of his comfort zone a little as well. It’s produced by Rick Rubin who I believe is the expert at doing exactly that, taking people out of their comfort zones. I just connect with the album somehow, particularly the lyrics. I find myself in the music. If I was going to do a cover I think it would have to be the title track.
It’s difficult to say whether Wildflowers influenced me as a musician? Maybe it has in some ways. We’ve always said when we’re writing music that a song isn’t really ours and we don’t like it unless it stirs some sort of emotion within ourselves as we play it. If we don’t feel anything then we’d might as well scrap it. That record is full of personal emotions and it has melody throughout each and every song. We’ve always said melody is the key. It has to have melody to be a good song, and that record’s definitely full of melody. It’s definitely influenced me. I’m not even sure if the other members of Sigur Rós have even heard it. I just don’t know, but it’s definitely had an influence on me in my music and my life.
Sadly, I never got to see him play and I never will I guess. Maybe on the other side!
(Georg Holm is a founding member of Iceland’s Sigur Rós. The band formed in Reykjavík in 1994. Sigur Rós’ acclaimed second album, Ágætis byrjun, turned 20 in June and was reissued as a deluxe seven LP/4 CD anniversary edition. Portions of Georg Holm’s conversation have been abridged and edited for structure and flow.)
[Note: This article originally appeared in Issue 66 of Under the Radar’s print magazine, which is out now. This is its debut online. For the issue we interviewed musicians and actors about their all-time favorite album.]