As we’ve written about over the past few months, Of Monsters and Men are one of the breakout new bands of 2012. During their first proper U.S. tour, they’ve sold out almost every venue they’ve played and their song “Little Talks” has been on radio stations everywhere. Before they played their last show of their tour in Seattle, we caught up with singer Ragnar Ûrhallsson and asked him how the crowds are, what’s his favorite city to play in the States and what’s the first thing he’s going to do when he gets back to Iceland.
How has your time in the States been with all of the promotional appearances and gigs?
It’s been very good. We’ve been very busy but it’s been so good. All of our shows have been sold out and we’ve been doing a lot of radio.
Would you have ever expected this a year and a half ago when you first started out?
No, not at all. This is very different than what we would have thought. It’s so cool that this is all happening and we’re very pleased and grateful.
“Little Talks” seems to have taken on a life of its own and has become a runaway hit. How exciting is that for the band
So crazy and very cool for us.
What’s been your favorite U.S. city to play?
We had a really good concert in Philadelphia. They were one of the first ones to recognize the song and we had two concerts there that sold out very quickly. They welcomed us with open arms. It was a release party as well since our album came out on the 3rd (of April) and that’s when we played there.
Did you eat any cheese steaks?
Yeah, I had one. It wasn’t very good though. I didn’t like it very much, but I did dedicate a song it.
As long as you won over the crowd, that’s all that counts.
Yes, yes (laughs).
How did you guys come up with the title for your album, My Head is an Animal? What’s the meaning behind it?
It’s in the first sentence of the album. The song is called “Dirty Paws” and the first sentence contains the words. We knew early on that was going to be a title and the opening track of the album. I think the sentence sums up the album for us and the feeling while we were making it.
The vibe and everything like that?
How are the crowds here different than Iceland and Europe?
I really can’t compare them. The people are very open; they come up to you after the show and hug you and stuff like that. In Iceland, we keep more to ourselves. That’s the big difference.
Is there any new material in the works or any B-sides that didn’t make that could make up a new album?
We released this album in Iceland last September and for the international release, we recorded two new songs in January. We have a couple of songs that we’ve been playing that haven’t been on the album.
After you go home, what’s next for the band?
We go home for six days and go straight to Europe and play shows in Amsterdam, Paris, London and Berlin. We’re going to L.A. to play another few shows there. Then we go home and then back to the States. We’re always going back and forth. We’re playing a couple of festivals: the Newport Folk Festival, Outside Lands and a few more.
What’s been the reception back as your international profile has grown?
They seem to be very supportive and happy for us. We know how lucky we are to be in this situation, which is very, very happy and great.
What’s the thing you’re looking forward to the most when you get home?
I would like to hug my girlfriend. That would be nice. Also, seeing my family and resting a bit would be great.