Interview Interviews Eurovision 2014 Iceland

Interview: Pollapönk (Iceland 2014) speaks to ESC+Plus!

One of the acts everyone has been talking about since they won the national final  is the one which comes from Iceland called Pollapönk with Enga Fordóma. We have had the pleasure to get some statements, several weeks after they won the Icelandic selection.

ESC+Plus: As well all know, Söngvakeppnin 2014 was a large and long process, how did you guys experience the whole thing? Who do you think it was the strongest act?
Pollapönk: The experience was a rollercoaster ride from the beginning to the end. There were many strong acts in Söngvakeppnin this year so we are very happy to be the one representing Iceland 2014.

ESC+Plus: What was the first thing that came off to your mind when the result was announced by the hosts? Who was the first person that congratulated you when you just won?

Pollapönk: We thought of all the change of personal plans that we had to make the next months. That has been a lot of work because we all have demanding day jobs. We are sorry to say but we can’t remember who was the first person to congratulate us.

ESC+Plus: Have you already met any previous Icelandic Eurovision representative? What did they told you?

Pollapönk: Yes we have met some of them. They all say the same thing. Just have fun. That will not be a problem for us.

ESC+Plus: Now that you’re determined to attend the contest in May, how will you be preparing your way to Copenhagen?
Pollapönk: There is a lot of work to be done. We have finished recording the whole song in English. The legendary John Grant translated the lyric for us. We are filming a video as we speak. Then there will be a lot of rehearsals. We are also doing an interesting gig with the northern symphony orchestra.

ESC+Plus: As for the performance, are you going to add any element or will you guys play alone on stage? Will you wear the same costumes?

Pollapönk: There are meetings taking place every day on that matter. One thing’s for sure! It will be amazing!

ESC+Plus: Promotion before the contest has always been really important, are you planning to visit any other countries in order to let the contest fans listen to Something Better? Maybe Eurovision In Concert, which will be held in Mekwelg in Amsterdam next April?

Pollapönk: We are sorry to say that we don’t have a budget to tour before the contest. We will find other ways to promote the band to Europe.

ESC+Plus: What does Eurovision mean for you? How long have you been following the contest and who is your favourite Icelandic act?

Pollapönk: We all grew up watching Eurovision. Our favourite Icelandic act is Sokrates and Nina. Waterloo and Hubba hulle are our European favourites We all have participated in the pre-contest before, Heidar og Haraldur with Botnledja and Arnar and Gudni with Dr. Spock. We don’t generally like the concept to compete in music but nevertheless this has been a great platform for us to help make the world a better place with a message that the world needs to hear.

ESC+Plus: What would be the best way to select an entry for the Eurovision Song Contest for you?

Pollapönk: I think the Icelandic rules are ok. We would like to change one thing though. We think that it would be fair if you cold only make one call from each phone.

ESC+Plus: 170 million people or even more will be watching you, how does that make an impact on you?

Pollapönk: It does not matter to us if 1 or 170 million people are watching us. We always give 100%.


ESC+Plus: Apart from coming 1st, 15th or 26th or not reaching the final, would you make a come-back to the contest?

Pollapönk: Never say never.

ESC+Plus: What could Pollapönk contribute to the contest and what will the contest give to you?

Pollapönk: We want to try to get the message to as many people as possible. We hope our message will get through to the beautiful people of the world. We will fight prejudice and discrimination with love. The song Enga fordóma (No Prejudice) is about a young person who has the habit of stuttering around others and fears to be mocked or bullied because of this. With this song it is Pollapönk’s aim to help eliminate all bullying and prejudice as everyone has the right to live in peace and harmony with the rest of the world. Our main aim will be having fun and making sure our message will cut through. We want pepole to smile and feel the energy that we fell is in the song and the lyrics.

ESC+Plus: What’s the origin of the band? What attracts the little children to listen to your music?

Pollapönk: Pollapönk was founded in 2006 by guitarists Haraldur Freyr Gislason and Heidar Orn Kristjansson of the Icelandic post-punk trio Botnledja. They created Pollapönk when graduating as Bachelors of Education from the University of Iceland – in fact the first Pollapönk album was made when Haraldur and Heidar were graduating as Pre- school teachers. As a part of their B.Ed. work they made an album. The purpose was to write and perform ambitious music that children and adults alike would enjoy and be able to sing along to. The songs are intended to relate to different age groups in an open and illuminating way. We think the reason why children like is the fact that the music and the lyric is no fake and it is written with ambition real drive.

ESC+Plus: Some countries already picked their entries, have you listened to any of them? Who is currently your favourite?

Pollapönk: We have not had the time to listen to the songs that are in the contest. I heard the Swiss entry a couple of days ago and the guy that sings that song is a excellent whistler

ESC+Plus: Apart from musicians most of you are teachers, what kind of education do you teach? Do you have any funny anecdote with your pupils and Eurovision? What do they tell you about your Eurovision participation?

Pollapönk: Heiðar and Haraldur are Pre- school teachers. In 2011 Haraldur was elected the chairman of the Association of Pre-school Teachers and re-elected 2014. The children in the school that Heiðar teaches in are very happy that he is going to be on there tv singing there favoured song. One of the singers that was in Söngvakeppnin 2014 Guðrún Árný has a boy that Heiðar teaches. She told us that he voted for Pollapönk instead of his mother.

ESC+Plus: Thanks for your time and see you in Copenhagen, good luck guys!

Pollapönk: Thank you. No prejudice!

Iceland will perform at the 1st semifinal of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest which will be aired from B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen (Denmark) on the 6th of May.