“Most gay men have a post traumatic stress disorder”

The beloved Icelandic singer and gay icon Páll Óskar has released his first album in nine years. The album, which bears the name The Crystal Album (Kristalsplatan), was sold up front both as a CD and a vinyl record and sold 1.100 exemplars which the singer is delivering personally to each buyer, giving them a hug as a bonus.

“I’m a very different performer from who I was … When I got rid of my issues, back in 2004, I really started loving to perform. I had always liked it, of course, but then I started loving it and the audience felt that and responded,” says Páll Óskar who has just released a new album and is currently preparing for a huge concert in Laugardalshöll.

He is also preparing for a huge concert at Laugardalshöll on September 16 and to top the year of he’s taken on the role of Frank N. Furter in The City Theater’s production of Rocky Horror Show which will premier next March. As busy as he is Páll Óskar took the time to chat with GayIceland and told us all about the album, the concert and the show.

Listening to the lyrics on The Crystal Album one gets the feeling that you are in love, are you?
“Not at the moment, no,” Páll Óskar says with a heartfelt laugh. “But I’ve been in love four times in my life and each one of those four wonderful men has a special room in my heart. When I’m working on lyrics I can open these rooms and get hold of the feelings. Feelings never die within your body, even if the love affair didn’t last.”

I’m especially referring to the lyrics of Ég elska þig tilbaka (I love you back), does that one have a special meaning?
“Not really. I guess you could say that I’m sending a wish to the cosmos, secreting a special guy into my life.” Páll Óskar laughs again. “It might work!”

Asked to describe the album in one sentence he takes a moment to mull it over, says it’s hard to be objective when you are in the middle of a project. But then he finds the words: “I would say that it’s definitely a pop album, high quality pop music, but with a serious undertone,” he says.

Yes, some of the lyrics sound as pep talk for people who are having a hard time: believe in yourself, stand by yourself etc., is that the message of the album?
“That pep talk is mainly for myself, but if there are others out there who can take it to heart and benefit from it that’s great,” Páll Óskar says. “You know I was a mess when I was younger and it was not til 2004 that I started working on my issues and getting help, both from the people in my life and professionals. I can pinpoint the exact moment when I got rid of the old issues, but it’s never over and you have to keep working on yourself all the time.”

“I think every gay man has a kind of post traumatic stress disorder. Realizing when you are still a child that you are gay and the process it takes to come out to the world leaves it’s marks. All the bad remarks you hear about being gay while you are still a child/teenager in the closet can leave you broken.”

What issues are you talking about?
“I think most gay men have a kind of post traumatic stress disorder.  You are at risk from this particular stress disorder from the moment you realize you are gay. Realizing when you are still a child that you are gay and the process it takes to come out to the world leaves it’s marks. All the bad remarks you hear about being gay while you are still a child/teenager in the closet can leave you broken. Remarks that come from the ones who are closest to you, people you even look up to and then just remarks from everywhere around, even in the media. And after you come out people start commenting on everything you do from the standpoint that you are gay. You constantly have to prove to the world that you are good enough, and it takes the strangest forms sometimes. I, for example, was intolerable and I was pretty difficult to work with. I was this

The Crystal Album is available on Spotify and YouTube and Páll Óskars website, palloskar.is, and it will go on sale in stores as a CD and vinyl record in September.

perfectionist who didn’t really trust anyone and kept pushing people away from me. Now I know that the people I’m working with are brilliant and completely capable of doing a good job and I can relax around them, trust them with my projects. It’s a great relief.”

A few years ago Páll Óskar was quoted saying that the cd was dead, that there was no longer any reason to publish music otherwise than digitally, what made him change his mind?
“There are fans out there who have followed me all these years and bought every record, people who love me as a musician and I started thinking that I owed it to them to make something special. Even if you can get all the music you want on streaming services like Spotify you still want to own the albums of your most loved artists. I love Madonna and I always buy her CD’s even though I can easily get them otherwise. So I decided to make an album and sell it upfront to those who wanted to buy it. 1.100 people bought the album that way and to show them my appreciation I decided to deliver all the albums in person, all over the country, give the buyers a hug and make them feel that I loved them back.”

The Crystal Album is also available digitally, both on Spotify and YouTube and Páll Óskars website, palloskar.is, and has gone on sale in stores as a material CD and vinyl record. But Páll Óskar is also giving his fans a chance to experience him life in Laugardalshöll on September 16th and he promises that they are in for a treat.

“… the guy who controls the lighting can control the images on the bracelets and at some part all the bracelets in the audience will light up and become a part of the overall effect … Apart from all that we will also build a new stage in the concert hall so it does not matter where you are in the audience you have the same view of me on stage.”

“I’ve been longing to do a professional concert in years,” he says. “I wanted to do it in 2008 with the Silver Collection (Silfursafnið) but then the crash happened and it was just ´God bless Iceland´and everything was swept off the table. Now everything is back in action and we have the technology and professionals to do a show like it’s never been done in Iceland before; with all the technology in lights and sound that has sprung up in the latest years. It’s gonna be spectacular!”

Páll Óskars initially played Frank N. Furter when secondary school Menntaskólinn við Hamrahlíð, MH, staged the musical back in 1991.

Among the things that have not been done in Iceland before is making the audience a part of the show by wearing special led bracelets when they enter the concert hall. “The bracelets are connected to the lighting desk so the guy who controls the lighting can control the images on these bracelets and at some part all the bracelets in the audience will light up and become a part of the overall effect. The dancers will also have led lights with wi-fi in their palms that are a part of the overall lighting effect. Apart from all that we will also build a new stage in the concert hall so it does not matter where you are in the audience you have the same view of me on stage.”

Will there be other performers than you?
“Yes. There will be a DJ to start with, getting everyone in the right mood and then Áttan will appear on stage. Then of course there will be a lot of dancers with me and I have the absolute best band in the world to back me up. I’m telling you, you don’t want to miss it!”

Despite rumours about the show being sold out Páll Óskar says that there are still available tickets on the floor (both for the family show and the evening show).
“Absolutely! The seating area sold out in an hour and a half but there are still tickets available,” he says. “Just go to tix.is and get yours today.”

A poster for the upcoming production of Rocky Horror Show, where Páll Óskar will reprise the role of Frank N. Further.

To top this great year off Páll Óskar will be playing Frank N. Furter in the upcoming production of Rocky Horror Show in the City Theater of Reykjavík. He is familiar with the role as he played it in the legendary production of the musical when it was staged by secondary school Menntaskóllin við Hamrahlíð, MH, in 1991. Are there any other of the people who staged that production involved in the show now?

“The musical director, Jón Ólafsson, was with us then, but none other of the ‘original’ cast will part take in this production,” Páll Óskar says. “We have already started discussing the piece under the guidance of the stage director Marta Nordal, and I can assure you that we will not be doing some copy of other productions of this legendary musical. We are going for the core of it and dragging up hidden meanings and I’m really excited to be a part of this.”

But Frank must have a special meaning for you as playing the role back then kind of put you on the map as a gay icon. How does it feel to revisit him?
“It’s a great feeling, for sure,” Páll Óskar says with a huge grin. “I’m a very different performer from who I was back then. When I got rid of my issues, back in 2004, I really started loving to perform. I had always liked it, of course, but then I started loving it and the audience felt that and responded. And the peculiar thing happened; straight guys started coming to my concerts, letting me hold their hand and sing to them without being embarrassed. These guys who had made fun of me since high school, criticising everything I wore, said and did, suddenly accepted me for who I am. The girls had always loved me, but it is a special feeling finding this love from the straight guys. It was like we had made a secret pact. And every time I perform now we are honouring and renewing that pact. It has opened up a whole new perspective and I’m very happy and grateful to be in the place where I am right now.”

Páll’s concert in the Westman Islands, which might be an indication of what’s to come in September:

The Hamburger Factory
- gourmet burgers

Ok. You’re in Iceland. Most likely for the first time.

You will probably bathe in the Blue Lagoon and take a road trip to Gullfoss and
Geysir. That’s all well and good. But neither Geysir’s nor waterfalls are
something you eat. That’s why we have 15 brilliant and creative hamburgers at
The Hamburger Factory. And they are all perfectly square. Don’t miss out on
Iceland’s most beloved hamburgers.

The Hamburger Factory is Iceland’s most innovative gourmet burger chain.
Packed with burger-craving customers since it’s opening in 2010, among the
regulars is Iceland’s best known fisherman, Eric Clapton. In our restaurants we
welcome tourists with our newspaper like menu and smiley service. They are
packed with fun items and memorable connections to Icelandic pop culture.

Locations:

Omnom Chocolate
- award-winning chocolate maker

    Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolate company based in Reykjavík. We produce handcrafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. We’ve developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavor cacao beans.

    Our creative flavors are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.

    Omnom’s process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. If it doesn’t please us, if something isn’t absolutely delicious, there’s no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts. Our team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where our ingredients come from has led us around the corner to dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside and all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.

    In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

    At the end of the day, our goal is to make chocolate.

     

    Alfred’s Apartments
    - gay owned an operated

      Alfred’s Apartments and Alfred’s Studios is a gay operated and owned accommodation in the heart of Reykjavik.

      Alfred’s Apartments offers spacious apartments at a good price located just around the corner from Laugavegur shopping street. You can choose the apartment starting from a Small Studio for 2 persons to a large One-bedroom Apartment with balcony for 5 persons.

      Their staff will ensure your comfort during the stay and provide the most updated information about the city, gay and night life in Reykjavik.

      Each apartment has a private bathroom with a shower, fully equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi. Guests can buy groceries at the local grocery store 50 meters from the apartments. Because of their very central location, numerous shops, restaurants and cafés are available in the surrounding area. The Church of Hallgrimur is located 350 m from the apartments, a tourist agency is just 50 m away and the nearest gay bar is less than 5 minutes walking distance.

      Laekur hostel
      In the hostel we have dorms for 4-8 persons with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. The rooms are furnished with free internet, lockers, and a USB charger by each bed. The beds have linen provided and you can rent a towel in the cafe on the ground floor for 5 EUR.

      All the dorms are mixed with both genders. You can also book a whole room with 4-8 bunker beds.

      Blue Lagoon
      - a world of wonder

      Named by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, the Blue Lagoon is a shimmering expanse of warmth, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Its unique geothermal seawater comes from 2000 meters within the earth where sea and fresh water converge in a tectonic frontier of porous lava and searing heat. Propelled by extreme pressure, the water ascends to the earth’s surface, emerging enriched with silica, algae, and minerals: the elements that endow Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater with its radiant, healing properties.

      From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing a hotel, a restaurant, a luxury lounge, a renowned line of skin care, a research center, in-water massage, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

      Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape of Iceland’s Reykjanes lava plain, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

      Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

      Whales of Iceland
      - larger than life

      Whales of Iceland is the largest whale exhibition in Europe (and perhaps even the world), where guests can learn about the giants of the sea in a calm and modern environment. The permanent exhibition features whales like guests have never seen them before. It is truly a giant experience.

      Landsbankinn
      - leading financial institution

      Landsbankinn is a leading Icelandic financial institution. It offers a full range of financial services and is the market leader in the Icelandic financial service sector with the largest branch network.

      The present bank was established on 7 October 2008 but the history of its predecessor dates back to 1886. The bank is owned by the National Treasury of Iceland, which holds 98.2% of its share capital, and other shareholders who own 1.8%.

      Landsbankinn’s strategy is to provide comprehensive financial services that meet customer’s needs. It emphasizes providing exemplary service to customers, developing e-banking for their convenience, increasing the efficiency of support functions, modernizing its technology and ensuring effective utilization of its balance sheet.

      The bank’s vision is to be exemplary and its role is to be a trusted financial partner.

      Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

      Landsbankinn wishes to lead the development of a sustainable society in Iceland by integrating economic, social and environmental concerns in its operations. The Bank aims to ensure that both its owners and society at large benefit from its activities.

      It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

      Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

      Dohop
      - get inspired

      Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

      Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

      More recently, Dohop has developed a unique product called Dohop Go!, which allows users to check for the cheapest available flights from their home airport. This tool is perfect for those who are looking for travel inspiration but are not willing to overpay for their flight ticket. Dohop Go! is now available in the Dohop Flights App, both for Android and iOS, along with its traditional flight, hotel, and car search engines. “

      Macland
      - for all your Apple needs

      From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

      Macland is located at Laugavegur 23 (101, Downtown Reykjavik)
      For all your Apple needs. We are here.

      Aurora Reykjavik
      - northern lights center

        Aurora Reykjavik is a Northern Lights Center situated in downtown Reykjavík at the Old Harbor next to Icelandair Hotel Marina and Vikin Maritime Museum.

        Aurora Reykjavík is Iceland’s first educational and recreational Northern Lights Center where multimedia is used to explain when, why and how the Northern Lights work, with the highlights being large HD projection of the Aurora’s. We also share myths and legends about what our ancestor thought about those mystical lights.

        The Northern Lights Center is for all ages. Children are our favorite guests and we created the exhibition in a way that children can have a look freely and parents don’t have to worry about things being broken.

        Aurora Reykjavik offers a great selection of souvenirs that are designed and made by Icelanders along with nice little coffee corner, where you can enjoy free coffee and tea while browsing through the souvenirs or just planning your next step.

        Contact Aurora

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        Ísey skyr
        - once tasted never forgotten

        Our Story
        Once upon a time, 1,100 years ago in fact, Nordic settlers began arriving in Iceland. They brought with them the skills and knowledge for producing skyr. As time passed, the know-how and recipe for this nutritious food slowly faded out elsewhere in the Nordic region. Luckily, the Icelandic skyr-making tradition continued.

        For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

        Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
        This is our secret and you are in on it

        You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

        Núðluskálin
        - noodle bar

        Núðluskálin is a small gay owned and operated fusion noodle bar.

        All of our courses are individually made from fresh ingredients and therefore highly customisable.
        We offer fully Vegan versions of all courses.
        Though originally a take-away we now seat over 30 people.

        Núðluskálin is located right in the heart of Reykjavík on Skólavörðustígur 8 (street leading up to the big Church) near the junction with Laugavegur (main street).

        Seatours
        - adventure cruise

        Ferry Baldur – the gate to the West fjords
        and VikingSushi Adventure – Bird & Nature watching Tour for everyone all year around

        The “VikingSushi Adventure” is the right boat tour for travelers who are adventurous and want to experience something new – close up to the nature seafood simply doesn’t come fresher than this! The archipelago area of the Breidafjordur Bay always surprises her visitors during winter or summer with spectacular sights. Where else you get to try delicious fresh scallops and sea urchin roe straight from the ocean served with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.

        600x400-seatours-tasting

        This old volcanic area, characterized by the typical basalt formations of the islands, is the home of countless birds. Here you will also find the strongest currents in Iceland. The VikingSushi Tour takes roughly two hours and our captain is also the tour guide.

        600x400-seatours

        The VikingSushi Tour is a true adventure through incredible nature which should not be missed by any traveler to West Iceland.

        Birds, possible to spot:
        -puffins (from the middle of April until the middle of August)
        -eider ducks
        -shags
        -kittiwakes
        -fulmars
        -white-tailed eagle

        The car ferry Baldur is the bridge to the West fjords via the island Flatey
        Ferry Baldur crosses Breidafjordur Bay daily from Stykkisholmur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula to Brjanslaekur in the north. A ferry ride considerably shortens the route between the south and mid-west of the country and the West Fjords region. It also gives you the opportunity to experience a floating restaurant.

        Take a stopover at the charming island Flatey when you are crossing the bay or go to a day tour to Flatey and back to Stykkishólmur. At Flatey are no cars allowed and between the houses of the 18th century you get the feeling of a journey back in time.

        Contact Us


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