YUM. is a four-man Indie band from Fairfax, VA. They’re known for their sweet and heartfelt lyrics alongside their fun surf rock sound.

Singer/songwriter Jon Flanders of YUM. was able to take some time to talk about the origins of the band, the inspiration for their lyrics and their stance on free music sharing.

Q: What’s the story behind the name of your band?

Jon: Originally, the band name was Paper Airplanes and had been for about two years. I had wanted to start a solo project with the idea of bringing in outside artists to play on the songs. Kinda like “using them,” so I thought of the name YUM. which stood for You Use Me. When the Drummer of Paper Airplanes was replaced, we decided to rename the band and use the “YUM” idea without it standing for anything. The band was now YUM.

Q: Your band has changed a lot over the years from band members to the name of the band. What’s the story of how YUM. formed?

Jon: I have been writing my own songs and performing for years, but always in the mindset of “Someday, I will play in a band with these tunes.” I started a band called Herd of Birds with our current drummer, Nate Read, years ago, along with two other close friends. Eventually, that band fell apart, and so I had to start over yet again. Without giving up, I went to open mic’s week after week and eventually started playing music with Collin [Rosenbluth], the former lead guitarist of Paper Airplanes and YUM. He was playing drums. Then we found a drummer, and Collin took the place of lead guitar. We got a bassist, he was kicked out and then found Kyle [Smith]. He was the one. About half a year later, Collin left the band, and now recently our good friend Rob[ert Mays] has taken his place to what is now YUM.

Q: With original songs like “So Far” and “Day Drinking,” where does your inspiration come from for songwriting

Jon: Like most song writers I write my songs about personal experiences. Take “Day Drinking” for example. The songs all about  the classic “broke up with a girl, and now I just want to drink at the bar.” “So Far” is about holding onto life and loving it for what it is. Most of the songs are personal, so I like to use a lot of metaphors and phrases that in some twisted way mean something to me. I try to also write in a way that hopefully the things I’m thinking about people can relate to in their own lives. Instead of saying exactly what I mean or being literal with my words, I like to find phrases that could have broader meanings.

Q: Bands communicate different things through their music, whether it’s for fun’s sake, or political issues, or personal emotions on different experiences. What do you try to communicate to your fans through your music?

Jon: I think the main point I want to get across is that even though times can be shitty or sometimes you might feel alone, things will get better, but you have to try! One can’t just sit around hoping for things to get better. You have to make things get better. Put effort into your own life and enrich others’ lives as well.


Q: You offer your music on Bandcamp with the option of free downloads. What’s your reasoning for this? Do you think the music industry should also move to offering free music?

Jon: We offer free music right now ‘cause we want to share our sound and get people interested in us. Most don’t realize that hard work is put into art, whether it’s painting, graphic design, and especially music. Everyone wants to get paid for the hard work they do. We do too. That doesn’t go to say that we don’t want to share our music. We appreciate every sale we make on merch and tickets. It’s the fans that really makes us. Without them, what’s the point of playing music? There is nothing better than playing music for people who enjoy the music you make. 

Q: For now, is there anything you would like to share? Any upcoming shows or albums your fans should know about?

Jon: With our new guitarist, the songs are getting a makeover. More polished and tighter. We are looking forward to playing out our new improved sound. We have some shows coming up that we are excited about too.

You can find YUM. at the Iota Club & Café in Arlington, VA on Oct. 18 at 4 p.m. and Oct. 31 at 8 p.m. as well as Jammin’ Java in Vienna, VA on Nov. 21 at 9 p.m.

To listen to YUM.’s music, head on over to Bandcamp. Stay up-to-date on what YUM. is up to on Facebook and Instagram.

About Michelle Goldchain

Michelle is a photojournalist who loves to live life by never sitting still. You can find her in art galleries in Dupont Circle, ethnic restaurants in Adams Morgan and comedy clubs in Arlington. In her spare time, when she's not typing away at a computer screen, she's probably listening to moody electronic music, watching cat videos or doodling.
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