Hurra Torpedo

They’ll be playing for an hour and 15 minutes this time. It’s the longest set in their 12-year history by a good half hour. They’ll be on their longest tour ever: almost a whole month from June 6th to June 25th, with one day off for every two shows.

This is not a sweetheart deal.Hurra Torpedo needs downtime to heal its muscles.

Onstage, stoves are destroyed, refrigerators tipped and deep freezers slammed. It’s a shtick that has made the band a top draw in Norway and an Internet sensation in North America. The three band members, Aslag Guttormsgaard, Kristopher Hugh Martin Schau and Egil Hegerberg, are cut-ups, and a series of videos of their first visit to the U.S., which can be viewed at, has turned them into the online Spinal Tap.

Hurra Torpedo came to the U.S. for the first time last year with the help of the worst booking agent ever, Gabe Frazzelblatt. The first gig on American soil was a kids birthday party, quickly followed by a show at a Texan steakhouse. At one point, Hegerberg had to yell at their manager while in a Western ghost town, picking up a handful of dirt and asking, “Is this the road to success? No!”

Internet afficionados followed the tour as the videos were posted. The tour got better, culminating with a triumphant night at The Roxy in Los Angeles. That got some heads a’scratchin’ because somebody booked the show and it wasn’t a cartoonish fictional character like Frazzelblatt. In fact, Pollstar communicated with Monterey International’s Kevin Daly and Jerry Lima wondering just that: did Hurra Torpedo have U.S. representation in the real world?

The magazine was already on the case and had talked to Roxy talent buyer Nikki Sweet, who sent us in the direction of the Ford Motor Company. Turns out, the Hurra Torpedo “tour” was part of a marketing campaign for the Ford Fusion. The band was real, though, and real manager Mads Martinsen – who is not yelled at – was working behind the scenes in Norway.

Now, Hurra Torpedo is back for its first authentic tour of the U.S., booked by Daly and Lima. The strategy is to take the band to right-sized rooms, ones that will easily sell out, including cities with colleges, Internet hipsters and, in one instance, a significant Norwegian community.

The tour kicks off in Spinal Tap’s least-favorite city, Boston – not a big college town.

“I think we picked 100 percent right-sized venues,” Lima told Pollstar. “We chose the venues that we chose because the promoters on them are really great. It goes hand in hand with getting the right rooms and having them be in the right place at the right time.”

The deep freezer usually makes it through the tour, according to Hegerberg, who is the one person in the band to play an earthly instrument (guitar). But the stoves are destroyed by the end of every the show.

“It’s like a marathon,” Hegerberg said of the extended set. “After a while, you build up the muscles.”

Hurra Torpedo

Hurra Torpedo is a supergroup of sorts, formed by “a small bunch of people who play in a huge amount of bands,” as Hegerberg told Pollstar. The band became an online meme when someone posted a video of them playing Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” on a Norwegian variety show circa 1995.

“We just played a big festival in France,” Martinsen told Pollstar. “The Frenchmen were laughing their asses off and having a good time. They played on the mainstage for about 5,000 people.”

Martinsen, who is also a booking agent, had to turn down several major European festivals in order to bring Hurra Torpedo back to the States. Such is the price of breaking a new market. Likewise, the percussive Schau is a television star who will need to juggle the tour and Norwegian festivals this summer with his filming schedule in the fall.

The band had about three big-time agencies to choose from for this tour, according to Martinsen. All were good but Martinsen went with Monterey International because he liked their ideas and because the company was one of the first to contact him.

“Luckily, we didn’t have to fly over,” Lima said. “I called Mads and had been all over the and had seen all the videos a huge amount of times. I think I knew the lines better than he did. … I got into absolutely everything on every one of the videos on the Web site and he saw that I got it. I think we just connected on it.”

When asked why Monterey was chosen, Hegerberg didn’t bullshit.

“It mainly went through Mads,” he said. “We had our say but it really didn’t matter much to us, actually. We were like, ‘Whatever. It sounds good.’ … I just went along with what Mads thought. We’re very much pleased with the results, of course.”

The band isn’t changing anything for this tour except for adding tunes. The famed costumes – classic Adidas-style jogging outfits with low-hanging pants – will be in full regalia. A reunion with The Roxy takes place June 24th.

There is, by the way, talk of bigger things for Hurra Torpedo – much bigger things – but Pollstar isn’t talking.