The Yum Yums are back. And how! Did Morten Henriksen write the ultimate Power Pop anthem? It could just be. ‘For Those About to Pop’ is a song that we will still sing along in 20 years.
What was the moment you knew you were on to something?
I don’t know if we ever thought we were ‘on to something’. The songs were written over a 6 years period, so the album feeling came gradually. It wasn’t until the COVID lockdown in March 2020, I found time to figure out which songs to put on the album, and to finally finish them. I basically chose the ones I felt was closest to the finishing line. To my big surprise, the rest of the band agreed with my choices, so I finished them and shipped the songs to our magnificent mixer and co-producer Christian Jacobsen, who also (because of COVID) had time to mix the album. Luckily Perry Travolta also had time to master the album, so we made the deadline for releasing the album on the 1st of July. We got deals with Screaming Apple (LP) in Germany, Waterslide Records (CD) in Japan, and Rum Bar Records (CD) in the US. I also pressed CDs on my own House Of Rock label, here in Norway. When the album was done, I sent it to blogs, podcasts, and journalists, everywhere. The album got really good reviews, and the songs were played on radio shows and Podcasts everywhere. So, everything turned out perfectly! The only trouble now, again… because of COVID… is to get out there touring again, and sell the album to our fans, which we miss dearly!
How did this record come together?
The idea of the title came pretty early. I wanted it to be a tribute to our loyal fans who had stuck with us for 25 years. The plan for the album was originally to be our 25-year anniversary-album. We missed the deadline of course but stuck to the idea anyway, so now it’s a 27-anniversary album, haha… It’s still a tribute to our fans and hi-energy pop music fans everywhere!
The songs of the album were written over 6 years. Our last album, The Yum Yums …Play Good Music was a break-up album, with pretty dark and bitter lyrics. On For Those About To Pop I wanted to bring back the positive and happy side of The Yum Yums, where we belong, with songs about girls and pop music!
When did you decide to start asking for opinions on the new songs?
I always send out song demos to the band, to our mixing guy, and to people I know, I can trust.
Some of the songs were over 6 years old, and others were written pretty close to the deadline.
Writing songs is an ongoing never-ending process.
The meaning of success has changed over the years. What would success look like for the new record?
Getting good reviews, being played on radio/podcasts, and hopefully getting people to buy the album, wherever they can get it. The most flattering kind of success is when people are dancing and singing along to our songs when we play shows. That may take a while before we will get that experience again, though…
As an artist, you chose to show your emotions to the world. Is it always comfortable to do so?
Well, my lyrics are not really that deep, even though I do put in a few secrets and personal lines here and there.
Any ideas about how to turn this one into a million-seller?
Not really. I’m really not a business person. If anybody has any good ideas, I’d love to hear about them! I wouldn’t mind making a living out of playing music!
You can pick 3 co-writers to write new songs with. Who? … and Why?
I prefer to write songs on my own, actually, but I can namedrop a few of my favorite songwriters.
Adam Schlesinger (too late now, of course, RIP)
ChinChap (Nicky Chinn / Mike Chapman)
What’s the gig you will always remember? And why?
The Devil Dogs – 1990 in Norway, The Big Beef Bonanza-lineup
The Fleshtones – Madrid, ca 2008
The 184.108.40.206’s – Oslo, ca 2004
Tina & The Total Babes – Radio Heartbeat festival (their ONLY show)
When was the last time you thought ‘I just wrote a hit!’?
Is recording a record easier than getting it heard nowadays?
Absolutely! We are pretty lucky, though. We get our songs played on the radio and Podcasts.
Spotify helps, too
Cassettes are back. Which 5 five songs would make your first mixtape?
Cassettes are back?? I make my own playlists though and listen to them all the time.
I guess I’ll list my favorite songs right now:
1234 Dee Dee Ramone – Helen Love
Game Over – Not Ur Girlfrienz
Number Seven – The Speedways
I Like Your Band – The Let’s Go’s
My Lambretta – Gallows Birds
Recording music. What’s all the fun about?
The good feeling when everything falls into place and the song(s) comes out even better then what you had in your mind.
Playing music in front of a crowd. What’s all the fun about?
Playing live is just the best feeling! The communication with the crowd, seeing them dancing and singing along to our songs!
Always proud to answer ‘I am a musician’ to the question ‘what are you doing?’?
You can’t control the way people ‘hear’ your music. But if you could make them aware of certain aspects, you think, set your songs apart. What would they be?
Our songs are meant to be very spontaneous, so if you don’t like them, The Yum Yums are not your thing.
Vinyl is back, Spotify is ruling, tickets for concerts are becoming more and more expensive, everybody can record songs, social media is the marketing tool, Coldplay stops touring … how will the music industry look like in 5 years?
If Coldplay stops anything… much better!