Happening tonight, the Mnet Asian Music Awards will be kick starting in Hong Kong this year. Obviously piled with a load of amazing Asian line ups; we can’t help but to also anticipate for the international celebrity performance also happening at the event.
The comedic duo Ylvis, who launched their unanticipated hit “The Fox” earlier on this year went viral across the globe; acing the hearts of audiences from aged 2 and above. The head spinning track that hooks easily onto the mind made the Norwegian talk show hosts gain fame in an instant. Whether the exposure has been for good or for bad; we had the greatest opportunity to talk to them in a round table interview, letting us know what Vegard and Bard truly sees the gift was from their “Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!” and “Hatee-hatee-haee-ho!”
First of all, welcome to Hong Kong! We are very glad to have you here, and as you might or might not know; “The Fox” also made a big impact to the communities here in Hong Kong. It was something different, but associable with the Gangnam style craze which happened at around the same time. What do you guys think was the ‘it’ factor for your track to become so successful?
We have no clue what so ever. We have no idea what made it such a hit! It was just a track for our talk show back in Norway; and it was meant to be complete rubbish. The whole idea of the song was to make it seem like we were trying to make a great track, and then fail miserably. But we don’t know how it became more than that stupid song nobody laughed at when we showed it in our office to our colleagues before it went viral.
The video cost us 2 days’ worth of shooting, and things went completely wrong for our costume. You might not have noticed, but the costumes we were wearing was not of a fox. It was a bear onesie and a squirrel onesie! What happened was our costume maker used some sort of spray paint on the plastic costumes we were initially wearing; and just before the day of the shoot he told us that something horrible happened, the costumes melted!
One of the funniest scenes during the shooting of the video was seeing the grandpa with the child actor. It was 2 in the morning and we were still shooting, and that poor kid was trying so hard to stay awake!
As we know, The Fox song gained a lot of hits on youtube and went viral through social medias online. What else is the duo thinking to do in the future to share your upcoming tracks or performances to the public?
We released a book titled “What does the Fox say?”. It’s a children’s illustrated book, and we had this idea in doing such a product before the video made a hit; so it’s not just a spin off from the project. We wanted to have so sort of merchandise for The Fox. And since it’s a funny and great idea for a children’s book, we decided to publish it!
Being invited to Hong Kong to perform at the MAMA show, how do you feel about Hong Kong and what will the performance be like on the 22nd?
We like Hong Kong a lot! It’s somewhat similar to Bergen, the town we’re from in Norway. It’s fast paced, but there’s still space with different components like nature and city scape in the location. Only difference is, we have like 1/100 of the population you guys have here and 1/100 of the height of buildings you guys built here back home!
As for the show, we just did a 3 hour long rehearsal yesterday at the venue. It’s very great to see people here so concerned about the end result and the quality of the performance. We’re not invited only because we made a hit and we’re recognized, but we’re invited to do something good; I think that is the most important. Sometimes people are just concerned about you being there for the noise; but for the MAMA, it’s definitely about quality.
For the night, we will be performing The Fox, that’s for sure; but we will also be collaborating it with a Korean artist… We were told not to leak out any more information about our performance of the night or else our families back in Norway will be in danger, and we love our families a lot… for now.
Mentioning about your family, how is it like working with your brother in all these different countries all the time? Do you guys argue about certain things or during the process of comedy creation?
Oh, we’re sick of each other! We don’t hang out outside of work, seriously because I would get so sick of him. But, we never argue. We just talk and get things done. Working with your sibling is like having a skin disease. It’s horrible if you develop a skin disease during life; but if you’re born with it, you just learn to adapt and deal with it… I can’t fire him anyways!
With our kids though, we won’t encourage them to enter the show business at such a young age. We started 13 years ago and we’re glad we’re not 16 right now, because things can get quite complicated. I did hear that our songs stopped the twerking sensation for some kids, so some parents are thankful for The Fox track; but we also know that a lot of parents hate us, because their kids just keep looping this stupid song in the house!
You guys have a lot of identities and associated industries; you guys are talk show hosts, comedians, and musicians with a strong family background training you both in guitar, violin, vocals, as well as trying out acrobatics for your talk show. How does it feel personally, with so many different things associated to you; and does it ever feel weird to be on the other side of the interview table being asked so many questions now?
That is a great question. We are, in fact, very messed up. And you’re right, we’ve tried so many different things, and at times it’s strange because in our talk show we invite guests; but outside of that, we’re now the guests for Medias like you. Bard did try acrobatics (and it did not work out), but we try it anyways. We like the challenge, and that’s what makes us strive in such different position of identities. We want to try it not because we can, but because it’s challenging and that’s fun.
We just came here from our US trip, and that trip was completely unintentional. It just happened and we ended up in the Jimmy Fallon show. We do see all our different identities at the moment, but we always recognize ourselves as Comedians. We’ve done staged shows, songs and other performances; but it always fall under the comedy section.
It’s always interesting to see where our acts get morphed into though. We heard that one of our songs ‘Jan Egeland’ got played in the Security Council! It was just a song for us to give him a hero like image. We’ve also heard of the Morgan Freeman version of The Fox and its great! All our funny ideas comes from life experience; and these ripples of our works are so funny!
It might be smart to say that our songs mean something; but to be honest it means nothing. Completely nothing! It’s just a joke for ourselves!
And a neat fact is; the brothers have only seen a real fox 5 times in their lifetime because they’re usually in the forests of Norway anyways. It was an amazing experience to see the hilarious duo face to face; and they are even more good looking real life. So stay tuned, and keep your eyes open for their performance tonight at the MAMA awards.
Interview and Written by Joyce Tsang