Sigur Ros have built a career on making hypnotic, introspective and immersive experimental rock. Their cinematic sound conjures up the same sort of tranquil, snowy, mountainous imagery that can be found in their home country of Iceland, and many believe their music is best appreciated in silence - but as bassist Georg Holm explains, that couldn't be further from the truth.

"A lot of people seem to think that we really enjoy it when people are very quiet and respectful during our show but, honestly, I think it's the exact opposite. If you see people shouting and really enjoying it, then we feed off that," says Holm.

"When the energy level in the room is high, it will be on stage as well."

Sigur Ros have been active for 23 years, with seven studio albums under their belt as well as a number of film soundtracks, collaborations and a guest appearance on Game of Thrones. They've gone through several line-up rotations over their career, currently existing as a trio with founding members Holm and singer Jon Thor "Jonsi" Birgisson alongside drummer Orri Pall Dyrason, who joined the band in 1999.


Last in New Zealand over a decade ago, the trio are returning to our shores with a production that has blown away audiences the world over; reviews have described the show as a "spiritual odyssey", a "climax from the heavens" and a "wondrous exhibition of sound and vision". The concert contains two sets with an intermission, with a dazzling light show to match the band's entrancing sound.

"It is a sensory thing; a spectacle, or whatever you want to call it," says Holm. "There's a lot going on on stage, there's a lot of changes that happen, so it'll be hopefully something that no one has ever seen before."

Holm says their set will delve back into their ample back catalogue, as well as showcasing some new material from their forthcoming eighth studio album. The band has attempted to work on a new record while on their extensive world tour - a goal which, Holm says, has proven to be an unprecedented challenge.

"[It's] difficult... to be working on a new album and touring - it's all taking a little bit longer than we expected.

"I think we might have learned a lesson. It was an idea we had; that we would just try and create a full album on the tour, because we'd already started writing stuff and [we] thought, 'Oh, this is going really well'. But it did slow us down more than we expected."

It's easy to understand why it would be hard for Sigur Ros to try to write an album while simultaneously touring; the sheer technicalities of their enormous live show makes it an expensive and long process to pack up and down, and in the past year the band has travelled extensively across Europe and North America - at times playing four back-to-back shows in different cities.

There's a slight novelty in the fact that one of the world's most famous and well-travelled indie bands heralds from the tiny, isolated nation of Iceland, population 330,000 (home to other major artists such as Bjork and Of Monsters and Men) - but Holm says it's a novelty that's lost on the locals.

"We're traveling around the world, and we're playing shows all around, and every time we get back home the question we get is; 'Are you up to anything these days?'

"You're like, 'Yeah, I just flew all around the world'. People are always surprised, so it is a bit of a little bubble. It doesn't even realise that there are all kinds of stuff going on everywhere else because it's so busy on its own."

Who: Sigur Ros
What: An Evening With Sigur Ros
When: Friday, July 21
Where: Spark Arena