I'm not a particularly brave person. I'll stand up for what I believe in, but if you asked me to shoot a music video inside of a volcano, I think I'd be a little...hesitant to say the least. Icelandic blues/folk rockers Kaleo
have no such reservations. They recently released a live video of their emotionally turbulent and propulsive blues number "Way Down We Go" which they shot in a volcano. That alone would be imrpessive enough but it's the band's mix of the guitar heavy folk melodies of artists like Ben Howard with the unrepentant blues rock of the Black Keys that makes them such an enticing and soon to be megastars rock act.
We had the chance to chat with Kaleo about the new video, their other tracks, and what roles Iceland and the blues played in shaping their music.
Shooting inside of a volcano -- even a relatively dormant one -- is impressive. What made you decide to use those visuals for the live video for "Way Down We Go?"
Kaleo: The fact that you can actually go inside a volcano in Iceland is special on its own. We thought it would be a great location to shoot a live performance video. Before shooting the video, we went down there to hear how the acoustics down there were, and make sure that the echo wouldn't be too excessive.
Your sound strikes me as an expert balance between blues intensity and folk-rock melodies. Were there any acts in that vein which influenced you as songwriters?
Yes, I am very inspired by early blues and especially with this song, "Way Down We Go." However it can be different for every song since influences can come from anywhere.
It's a big time for Icelandic musicians right now including new records this year from Bjork and Of Monsters and Men. Do you think there are things about your homeland that have influenced your sound?
Absolutely. It's easy to be inspired by the nature and the landscape of our home country, Iceland, and the long winters and beautiful summers definitely affect me when writing songs.
For fans who are just now having a chance to hear your music for the first time here in the States, do you have anything that you would want to say to potential new listeners?
If you like the music, make sure you come out to see a live show. That is very [Ed. Note: much how] you can really get to know this band.