‘Loki’ – A name originally associated with the Norse God of mischief and trickery. Now there’s a new connotation to the name: Brother in laws, Fredrik Ferrier and Bjarni Margeirsson. With their music project initially beginning with the coercion of Fred’s sister, there’s nothing stopping the super-duo. Having both already become distinguished, with Bjarni being in the band Shadow Parade and Fredrik being on the cult TV show Made in Chelsea, they discuss their latest collaboration with BerlinLondon.
How did you come up with the name ‘Loki’?
B: That was Freddie’s choice.
F: We went through a lot of different names.
B: It was a painful process.
Oh really? How many names were there?
F: 50! I really like Norse mythology and Loki doesn’t sound too intense – It’s quite sort of light. And also do you know who Loki is? God of mischief.
So is that how you would describe your personalities? Mischievous?
F: Just Gods actually.
B: We are like Gods.
F: I hope these things (Dictaphone) detect sarcasm.
So if you could compare yourselves to any Gods – would it be Loki?
B: To be honest if he were to choose just by looks alone, you’d probably choose Thor.
F: Thor. Long blond hair. Thor’s probably the coolest.
B. I’d be Odin I think.
F: Odin is just the God of Gods. It’s very understated.
So, what were your first impressions of each other?
B: My girlfriend’s little brother.
F: I thought Bjarni was very reserved. He was very quiet. But no, I thought that it was quite cool that he was Icelandic and I was like it’s sort of strengthening the Icelandic bond, which I thought was quite impressive. I just like the exotic.
So when was the first time that you ever sang in front of Bjarni?
F: That was in the music department.
B: Yeah, yeah, yeah – I remember that.
F: And I think he was totally blown away.
B: I was amazed.
F: Stunned. No he wasn’t. Well I don’t know – maybe he was. That’s up to him.
B: No comment.
You evidently left a really good impression. How long have you been singing for Fred and Bjarni how long have you been playing the keyboard and composing?
F: I think I started on the violin when I was 6. And then I was doing the Suzuki method. And then I was also a chorister from the age of 8 in St Andrew’s Cathedral in Aberdeen. And then we’ve always done a lot of singing in my family.
B: The Von Trap Family.
F: Yeah. We always perform at every dinner party we have.
B: And for me the piano started quite early on – 6 I think. And I did practical piano from the age of 6 until about 16. And then I kind of got fed up at the whole thing so I started playing jazz piano, sort of doing my own thing. I kept going back to jazz, not until I quit entirely when I was about 19 and then I’ve just been sort of doing my own thing. And I kind of just fell into composition. It’s not a very romantic story but I kind of just fell into it. I’ve always been producing stuff since I was 15. I’ve always been fiddling with computer programs and stuff and making music like that so that kind of kept going and then I’ve kind of ended up doing a BA degree in composition and then decided to go on to do an MA as well.
Do you guys have any other hidden talents?
B: Juggling. It’s not really a hidden talent though. What’s your hidden talent Fred?
F: Sport. I used to love sports. I used to be quite good at gymnastics.
B: As you can see.
What’s your favourite song of yours?
B: Just can’t stop.
F: I think it’s the most complete. It’s got a beginning middle and end.
B: It’s quite melancholic as well. It’s quite Icelandic.
F: What’s yours?
F: That’s a funny story with that song.
B: That song was written as a Eurovision song originally by me for an Icelandic singer. So there is an Icelandic version of that song. Actually my plan was to do it in 24 hours, create a skeleton. I brought it to my friend and he was staying over and he was like yeah ‘this is definitely going on Eurovision’. We didn’t get into Eurovision – I was really sad. It was written as a Eurovision song and then I showed it to Freddie and was like ‘we should do this song’.
F: I loved the skeleton of it without the vocals. I just thought it was such a nice instrumental.
B: We almost threw it away actually.
Would you guys ever consider doing live performances?
B: Yes! We need to finish more songs first and then I need to design the actual live set and figure out how we’re going to perform it live.
F: A lot of the songs are all worked with the players. We have these major overlays. Especially Kria, you know the way it builds. It has this big building up and eventually about 12 voices.
B: Yeah 6 voices all doubled. But I mean it’s not a problem. It’s just a problem I have to deal with – to set up the live sets. And we have to practice as well. And I’d like to have some live players as well with us. And I need to find them. And being a music student as well it’s quite easy because I know a lot of players and drummers and stuff and we can work with them. Hopefully within 2 months we’ll have some more songs and a live set.
Would you prefer a more intimate gig? Or an O2 styled gig?
B: It’s easier to be in front of 60,000 people than 60 people. 60 people is much harder I think. I was with my band and we were in front of 40,000 people and that’s like the easiest gig I’ve ever done. But when you’re in an intimate setting with like 60 people, it’s like if you do a mistake – you’re screwed.
F: I was in Copenhagen last year and I was with my mum, my dad and my Icelandic grandparents and my sister and a boy friend and we were in the living room and they said ‘oh go on sing’ and that was tense, singing in the living room with no music or anything.
B: With people you know as well that’s even harder.
F: It was quite intense.
If you could be as big as anyone, who would it be?
F: Justin Timberlake.
Do you see yourself as JT?
F: Don’t see why not?
B: Icelandic version of JT.
F: If you don’t aim high then you have no hope.
If we were too fast forward a year, where do you see Loki going?
B: I have no idea – wait what happens. The most important thing for me at least is to keep making music.
F: Yeah, it’s more important to just keep making music.
And before you were in the band ‘Shadow Parade’. What have you learnt from your past experiences that you would say have helped you now for Loki?
B: Well, we recorded our own album ourselves so I mean it’s all the skills required to do big productions and stuff. It’s just experience. Life experience. Studio experience. Logistical experience as well. Knowing how to set all these things ups and how to do live concerts and how to record.
F: I have no idea what he does half the time. I look at the computer screen. There are so many dials, switches and buttons on the computer screen.
B: It’s a very good school for me personally. The best school is being forced to do these things.
And also – Your artwork for your songs is beautiful. Who designed it? How did you come up with concept?
B: It’s me. I wanted to release a track and we had a deadline so I was like ‘by this day we have to reach it’. So basically I had to go back and design an album cover. So I found a bunch of online websites and just made it and it came out quite well – so just kept it. And it was no concept really. I just found some birds and made them white and that was that.
Online it says that you (Fred) are involved with an art dealership named Geist Galleries. Would you classify music as an art?
F: 100 per cent.
B: It’s the king of the arts. It’s a fact.
So what would you say in your opinion constitutes art?
F: It’s the lifelong eternal question. It hasn’t been answered for decades.
You can try now..? Here in Starbucks.
F: I think it’s a way of expressing oneself. But then again the other thing is that for me art is talent. I think a lot of it is talent. There’s got to be some sort of talent involved. At least that is what constitutes art for me. I don’t like it when someone does something and they go ‘this art’ and I’m like well… It’s a skill.
B: It has to speak to people as well. You have to be truthful in what you do. You can’t say what art is because what are we to say what art is. But I mean I suppose it depends on what you as an individual define as art I guess.
And what do you love most about living in London?
B: You (points at Fred).
B: I meant you go first…
F: Oh. (Laughs) I like how many people I know here. It’s nice to have a sense of belonging. And I quite like how it’s a bit ridiculous in some parts of this town.
F: It’s so excessive. You know places like Belgravia, Knightsbridge and those sorts of glamorous places. What actually can happen is that you spend so much time there you get kind of sucked into it. And I like how different it is to the rest of the world. And the opportunities. That’s my favourite thing in London.
B: The same as Freddie. It’s the opportunities here. It’s basically for music and film composition and sort of commercial companies. Career wise it’s really good.
Do you have any other projects in the works?
B: He’s got the art gallery and I have a film competition project that I have to do.
F: We just need to write more songs. And then…
B: We might do a summer song – I really feel like doing a summer song. Because it’s hot and sunny.
F: I’m up for doing that. You heard it here first.
B: A new track for Loki is coming out here at the end of the month. Beginning of the next maybe. We were inspired by the interview.
Check out Loki at http://www.loki-music.com