Iceland will be represented at Eurovision 2019 by Hatari. Get to know the band better with our 10 Things About…Hatari piece!
1. Hatari is an industrial BDSM techno and punk rock band from Reykjavík, Iceland. Endless descriptions of the band have included ‘a bondage techno performance art group’, ‘pseudo-fascist cyborgs’, and ‘IcePop’.
2. The three piece consists of three art school friends: Klemens Hannigan (vocals), Matthías Tryggvi Haraldson (vocals) and Einar Stéfansson (drums).
3. The band’s name literally means ‘Hater’ and they formed with the main objective of taking down Capitalism.
4. Despite their distaste for Capitalism, the band all have relatives who have relatively high ranking official jobs. Klemens is the son of Nikulás Hannigan, the head of the trade office division at Iceland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and Rán Tryggvadóttir, a lawyer for legal firm LMB Mandat. Matthías is the son of Haraldur Flosi Tryggvason, the owner of LMB Mandat and Einar is the son of Stefán Haukur Jóhannesson, the Icelandic ambassador stationed in London.
5. Hatari was formed in 2015 by Klemens and Matthías, and they were later joined by Einar. Throughout 2016, they performed five times, including appearances in Reykjavík, at Eistnaflug, at LungA Festival, and at Norðanpaunk, prior to their break-out performances at Iceland Airwaves, held at Kex Hostel in Reykjavík, on 31 October and 6 November 2016.
6. The band’s debut extended play was named ‘Neysluvara’ which spawned the singles and music videos for the songs ‘X’ and ‘Ódýr’.
7. On 21 December 2018, Hatari announced that the board of directors of Svikamylla ehf. had allegedly passed a resolution to dissolve the band. The band explained that the decision came about because they had failed to topple Capitalism. Matthias explained in a recent interview with the Independent that ‘…bringing down Capitalism was too much. It’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of Capitalism. We still want to obliterate it, but also maybe sell a few T-shirts along the way too.’ Simulatenous to the announcement, Hatari released the music video for a new single, ‘Spillingardans’. Their final concert was held at Húrra, a bar in central Reykjavík, on 28 December.
8. In January 2019 Hatari unretired and was confirmed as one of the ten acts competing in Söngvakeppnin 2019 (Iceland’s Eurovision selection competition). Their song ‘Hatrið mun sigra’ proved hugely popular and won the contest by a convincing margin. The band don’t like to be put in boxes and ‘…as soon as people start placing us within a genre, we instinctively react against that in trying to avoid a stamp. Our participation in Eurovision is yet another experiment.’ Their song is deemed a ‘warning from the future, prophesying the downfall of Europe. The lyrics read: ‘The revelry was unrestrained / the hangover is endless / life is meaningless / the emptiness will get us all / Hatred will prevail / Europe will crumble’. Check out the full lyrics here.
9. The band have been hugely celebrated in their native Iceland, winning a number of high profile awards including two Grapevine Music Awards for Best Performance, and an Iceland Music News Award for Music Video for the track ‘Spillingardans’.
10. Their selection for Eurovision has already stirred up some controversy. The band are vocal on their Pro-Palestine stance, something which allegedly flies in the face of the rules of the Contest which are supposed to steer away from discussion of politics. But the band remark that: “So that [performing in Israel is] in itself a breach of the Eurovision rules. You can’t go to Tel Aviv and perform on that stage without breaking the rules of Eurovision. That goes for us and everyone else. And you can’t be completely silent about the situation, as the silence in itself is a massive political statement too’.