Ask an American band to show you their practice space and chances are there will be a few chuckles involved. Bands in the U.S. quickly become jaded to the press machine. Interviews are added to the daily routine and “access” is reserved for magazines like Rolling Stone or Spin.
That’s not the case in Iceland. The Icelandic reggae band Obja Rasta invited us to their practice space where most of the cities notable bands rent space. After an hour of talking about the origins of the band and plenty of cigarettes, we started to part ways when they offered us a ride so we could stay out of the rain a bit longer. A welcomed gesture since we spent 20-25 minutes walking to the building (located right on the ocean) from the city center.
Not only that but they also offered to show us the studio where they recorded their music allowing for a stop for food along the way. Studio History is a one car garage that was converted into a cozy two room studio. To our surprise, the lead singer of Dungen, Gustav Ejstes, was visiting an old friend (the owner of the studio) and creating some music before his set later in the night at the Reykjavík Art Museum.
We were humbly added to their friend group making sure to introduce us to each of their friends when we ran in to them later in the night at the art museum. That kind of attitude goes a long way, especially for foreign journalists.