Bragi Ólafsson: Bass, Books, Bad Taste

Born 1962 in Reykjavík, poet, playwright, novelist, translator, composer. For five years he played bass guitar in the rock group The Sugarcubes, in which the phenomenal Icelander Björk was also beginning to gain fame. When he recorded the third album with the band and toured the world, he stopped making music and started writing. He is the author of several books of poetry and short stories and four novels — Sendiherrann [2009, The Ambassador] was nominated for the prestigious Nordic Literature Award and won the Icelandic Booksellers Award as the best novel of the year. Bragi has also written several screenplays and translates from French, Spanish and English (Vicente Huidobro, Jack Mapanje, Guillaume Apollinaire, Tristan Tzara, etc.). Before he founded The Sugarcubes with his friends, the company Smekkleysa [Bad Taste] was established. "Sugarcubes were actually created so that we would have something to finance this publishing house. Smekkleysa is the leading independent record label in Iceland, although we never saw any money from it. We release not only popular music, but also modern Icelandic music and jazz and historical recordings. Also books, my first collection of poetry was just published by Smekkleysa in 1986 and two years ago I started publishing a series of small books called Pamphlets of Bad Taste." says Bragi.