Icelandic Costume Ball

Photo: Hörður Sveinsson/Courtesy of Universal Music

When the highbrow chill band known as Sigur Rós comes to New York this fall, only the four core members will perform. The show coincides with the release of the deluxe edition of the band’s latest album, med sud i eyrum vid spilum endalaust (“with a buzz in our ears we play endlessly”), which comes bound into a cloth-covered album of work by the fine-art photographer Eva Vermandel. We spoke to singer Jon Thor “Jonsi” Birgisson.

You guys are wearing costumes on this tour. Why?
We get bored just wearing our old T-shirts and jeans onstage, so we got these two sisters in Iceland to design costumes for us. Each one is a character. Orri, the drummer, wears a neon crown that is all crazy colors.

What’s yours?
I’ve got this jacket from 1800-and- something, and they pimp it up, put all kinds of shit on it, like the Mad Hatter. I’m a little bit spooky.

Are you wearing crazy shoes?
No, my normal shoes. I wear them because they are comfortable. They are like vegetarian shoes.

What can we expect at the New York show?
Expect the best of everything. Actually, we don’t know exactly. We’ll have our costumes, I think, and some video stuff and lights.

Tell me about the deluxe edition.
Nobody does CD covers anymore. In a few years, it’s all going to be just downloads. It’s nice to make beautiful things that people are going to collect.

People refer to you as an art-rock band. What does that mean to you?
That’s awful. Anything that has art in it sounds bad to me.

Icelandic Costume Ball