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New material was necessary for Iceland's Of Monsters And Men
Of Monsters & Men's 2011 debut album was successful enough to keep the Icelandic folk-rock quintet on the road for several years.
And leave its members chomping at the bit for some new material -- which came in the form of July's "Beneath the Kind."
"It's good to play something new," singer-guitarist Ragner "Raggi" porhallsson says by phone from a tour stop in Columbus, Ohio. And after the long run of 2011's platinum-certified "My Head Is an Animal," which launched the hits "Little Talks" and "Mountain Sound," OM&M felt even more ambitious the second time around.
"We wanted to surprise ourselves, I think," says porhallsson, 28. "If it feels fresh to you when you write it, that's why you write it. It's doing something for you. That's mainly what I wanted to get out of it, that feeling you get when you write a song and feel like it does something for you. That's what I'm after."
porhallsson says it "took some time" to get to that material, and the first song he and co0frontman Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdottir wrote for the album, "Backyard," was "very different" from both the group's first album and from the rest of "Beneath The Skin" -- which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. "We didn't take it that far in the end with the whole album, but that was an important song for the album," porhallsson acknowledges. "There was a lot on that first album that we really like and really like about ourselves, so we were kind of picking those things out and not throwing them out the window but building on them instead.
"In the beginning making ('Beneath The Skin') we had people not even wanting to play their own instruments. We just wanted to do something experimental. So that was definitely needed, then we figured out slowly, 'But we really like those other elements' from the first album so we brought those along as well, and that's what you hear on the new album."
Of Monsters and Men
Tuesday, Sept. 29. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Masonic Temple, 500 Temple St., Detroit.
Tickets are $36 in advance, $40 day of show.
Call 313-832-7100 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
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