Beginning as an instrumental and sampled vocal project between Ulf, and Jo in Oslo in late 2000 Flunk were then signed for a track on a compilation by Beatservice Records in winter of 2001.
On hearing the finished track, label manager Vidar Hanssen signed the still-unnamed band for a full album.
They made a big impact with their downbeat cover version of ‘Blue Monday’ which was well received in the UK and was included on numerous compilations in North America and Europe. With the success of their album, BBC invited them to do a live recording session for John Peel’s Radio 1 show The Blue Room in London. Shortly after Notting Hill Art’s Club would become the location of their live debut.
Flunk have since released six studio albums plus remixes and demo compilations. A few of which have featured in Hollywood movies and well known tv series like “The O.C” and “Designated Survivor”. They have also toured around the US, China, and Europe.
Flunk is essential listening for anyone with a passion for guitar, electronica, soundscapes, folk, psychedelia. in fact, for anyone who demands the music they listen to challenges them and transports them to worlds they never even knew they wanted to visit.
What made you want to get into music?
Ulf: Protection from boredom, and a genuine wish to reach out.
What’s the writing process?
Ulf: Loop it, and see what happens. If nothing happens, move on.
How do you transfer that onstage energy to the studio?
Ulf: Not sure if we actually do? It’s like two different kinds of art. I feel playing live is something completely different from making new songs.
What come first lyrics or music?
Ulf: Music. What feels good!
How did you all meet?
Ulf: So… Once upon a time I (by chance) was a pop star in Norway. Jo, the guitar man, played in a band I had befriended as a music journalist. Anja I met through her boyfriend at the time. I produced some songs for his band. Erik, the drummer, played in Jo’s band. So, well… Oslo is small…
What has been the best gig you’ve ever played and why?
Ulf: Not sure… again… I think probably in London, because we were sharp. It was special. Played there February 2020, we were good, but all the shit was on by then. Only no one knew. Our last concert…
What was the last track you played on Spotify?
Ulf: Hah… Most of the time it’s Lana (Del Ray). But I’ve played the last part of Burial’s new track, “Dark Gethsemane”, hundreds of times the last few weeks. From 05:00 it’s the best dance record since Fat Boy Slim. Rocking like…!
What would be on your rider?
What other talents do you have? (kazoo playing, champion toast burner…._
Ulf: Heh, well… Good question! Anja is a doctor – GP, actually. I’m a journalist… Jo, the guitarist, works at a place with people with sopecial needs, Ole Kristian (bass man) is working part time for a theatre.
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
Ulf: Get rid of the men, using their position and power!
If you could collaborate with any band / person / producer who would it be?
Ulf: Musti. Norwegian rapper, really exciting voice, musically beyond interesting!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Ulf: Don’t quit your day job!
If you could open for any band artist who would it be?
What other bands do we need to be checking out right now?
What’s in store for you when all this is over?
Ulf: More of the same!
How are you coping with lockdown?
Ulf: Different challenges, I guess. Don’t know what they are all thinking. Trying to cope, trying to live through this. We made a new album, without more trouble than usual. But, yeah, it’s Norway, we are holding our breath. And we do it very, very good. But yeah… dying a little bit, a tiny bit, every day.
How is lock down effecting the music scene?
Ulf: There is no music scene any more… Yeah, Girl In Red has got an album… She’s from our hood. But there is no scene, there is a guy playing his guitar and speaker every day – in the square. But everything is gone.
What do you miss most about live gigs?
What’s the scene like where you are from?
Ulf: Kind of same answer as the “How is lock down effecting the music scene” question. Sorry! No scene… Nothing happening!
Talk us through the new track?
Ulf: Fingertips is that kind of pop song – a simple, no bullshit thing. It probably didn’t take more than fifteen minutes to write, but – mystically – it took eleven years to record. We tried it for ‘Lost Causes’ and ‘Chemistry and Math’, but couldn’t agree on the sound. So now we just finished it, more or less as we originally played it during rehearsals in 2010.