Archive for June, 2010

25 cover and tracklist

The cover art for the upcoming a-ha compilation 25 is now up on, while the complete tracklist has been posted on

Album cover

Album cover

CD 1
1. Take On Me (03:51)
2. The Blue Sky (02:36)
3. The Sun Always Shines On TV (05:07)
4. Train Of Thought (7″ Remix) (04:15)
5. Hunting High And Low (7″ Remix) (03:47)
6. I’ve Been Losing You (04:27)
7. Scoundrel Days (04:00)
8. Swing Of Things (04:14)
9. Cry Wolf (04:08)
10. Manhattan Skyline (Edit Version) (04:11)
11. The Living Daylights (04:14)
12. Stay On These Roads (04:46)
13. Touchy! (UK DJ Edit) (03:39)
14. There’s Never A Forever Thing (02:51)
15. You Are The One (7′ Remix) (03:50)
16. The Blood That Moves The Body (Two-Time Gun Remix) (04:08)
17. Crying In The Rain (04:21)
18. Early Morning (02:59)
19. Slender Frame (03:42)
20. I Call Your Name (04:29)

CD 2
1. Move To Memphis (Single Version) (04:15)
2. Dark Is The Night For All (03:46)
3. Cold As Stone (Re-mix) (04:32)
4. Angel (Edit) (04:06)
5. Shapes That Go Together (04:13)
6. Summer Moved On (04:38)
7. Minor Earth Major Sky (Niven’s Radio Edit) (04:01)
8. The Sun Never Shone That Day (Radio Edit) (03:30)
9. Velvet (04:21)
10. Forever Not Yours (04:06)
11. Lifelines (04:18)
12. Did Anyone Approach You? (04:10)
13. Celice (03:41)
14. Analogue (03:48)
15. Cosy Prisons (Radio Mix) (04:03)
16. Foot Of The Mountain (03:58)
17. Nothing Is Keeping You Here (Single Remix) (03:10)
18. Shadowside (Single Edit) (03:31)
19. Butterfly, Butterfly (The Last Hurrah) (04:11)

Sundfør wins a-ha talent grant

Stavanger, June 30th

Stavanger, June 30th

Morten was at VG and NRK’s summer show in Stavanger tonight, to hand out another 1 million kroner to the second winner of the a-ha talent grant.

The first finalist tonight was the band The Pink Robots, which has recently had a hit with the song “Curly”. The other finalist was Susanne Sundfør, who released her second and critically acclaimed album The Brothel earlier this year.

Morten announced that the winner was Susanne Sundfør, who came on stage and received a big cheque.

I’m a bit shaky, but very happy. I had no idea this would happen. Now I’ll hopefully get a chance to promote my music abroad and travel a lot“, Sundfør told VG afterwards.

She has all that it takes to make it big, and has every opportunity to succeed“, Morten said of the winner.

Listen to “The Brothel”, the haunting title track from Susanne Sundfør’s latest album, on YouTube here.

Susanne Sundfør receives the cheque from Morten

Susanne Sundfør receives the cheque from Morten

a-ha team up with Coop

a-ha and Warner Music Norway have teamed up with the Norwegian grocery store chain Coop and the newspaper VG for the release of a-ha’s upcoming ‘best of’-album entitled 25.

25 is a career-spanning double CD that contains 39 tracks, including a-ha’s final single “Butterfly, Butterfly”.

The album will be available exclusively through Coop stores in Norway from 19 July to 4 September. Members of Coop will be able to buy the album for only 99 kroner, which also includes a copy of VG. The price for non-members is 149 kroner.

We are very happy and proud that a-ha have chosen Coop as distributor of the ‘best of’-album in connection with the band’s farewell tour“, Bjørn V. Kløvstad from Coop says.

The full press release from Warner Music Norway has been posted by FaroJournalen here.

Sennheiser article

Going wireless with Sennheiser

Going wireless with Sennheiser

A new article about the various Sennheiser equipment a-ha are using on stage during the farewell tour has been posted on

a-ha’s current FOH engineer Sherif El Barbari, who took over for Sven Persson last year, explains that it’s quite special to be working with Morten:

Morten is incredibly sensitive to the performance of his microphone and wireless personal monitor system. In fact, I’ve been an engineer for close to thirty years now, and I have never met someone who is so spot-on regarding what he hears, what he feels, and what he expresses. He is a perfectionist who is capable of delivering, and that has really raised the bar for [monitor engineer Kursten] Smith and myself.

a-ha tour manager Kleopatra Tuemmler mentions Morten’s new wireless microphone, which he started using on the “Foot Of The Mountain” tour, as being a positive development:

He has always been a very focused vocalist. He’s never been one to work out any kind of choreography. Having a reliable, excellent-sounding wireless mic has opened up his performance, allowing him to move without fear of tangled wires. He performs in a different way.

Read the whole article at

Magne test-drives new electric car from Mercedes

Magne, sporting an Apparatjik hoodie by Moods of Norway, in front of the Mercedes SLS AMG E-CELL

Magne, sporting an Apparatjik hoodie by Moods of Norway, in front of the Mercedes SLS AMG E-CELL

Magne visited Kvernberget airport in Kristiansund today, where he had been invited to test-drive the new 533 horse power Mercedes SLS AMG E-CELL electric sports car.

A team from Mercedes AMG, a subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz specializing in high-performance luxury cars, is currently in northwestern Norway to unveil and test two brand new models. 32 motor journalists from all over the world will be visiting Kristiansund over the next two weeks to report on the cars, and Mercedes has brought in a certain Norwegian pop star and car enthusiast to promote the event.

In 1989 Magne and Morten imported the first electric car to Norway, in co-operation with the environmental organization Bellona. Today’s electric cars are of an entirely different caliber.

The technology has now caught up and been spread to a segment which also makes it possible for car enthusiasts to want an electric car. It’s great that established car companies are now making cars in the top segment which makes use of this new and pure technology“, Magne tells local newspaper Tidens Krav.

The car is totally sick. It’s fantastic to sit in a car with that type of power, without hearing the engine at all. It’s a unique feeling.

It’s always been a dilemma to be both a car enthusiast and an environmentally conscious person. You would often get criticized for wanting to be both; driving a sports car, while promoting an electric car. Now, for the first time, you can do both things at the same time – and that was about time!

a-ha have had a close partnership with Mercedes Benz in recent years. In 2001 the car company sponsored the concert webcast from Vallhall, and Morten has appeared on TV to praise the safety features of his Mercedes for saving his life when he survived a dramatic car crash on Christmas Eve in 2000.

Tidens Krav also has a video from today’s test driving, which can be seen here. There is also a video clip on YouTube.

Update: More pictures are available here.

Article about the G# guitars

Paul using a G# guitar in Toronto, May 10th (Picture by Corina)

Paul using a G# guitar in Toronto, May 10th
(Picture by Corina)

Today’s paper edition of Dagbladet has an article about a-ha’s newfound interest in the Norwegian G-Sharp guitar.

It’s fun that a-ha have fallen in love with the guitar and its sound“, Øivin Fjeld – the musician who invented the instrument – tells Dagbladet.

Paul has tested the guitar over time, and has really come to like it.

I have after all quite a few guitars to choose from, so I have to admit that it was a big surprise, also for me, when I found out that this little Norwegian guitar became our first choice for all the guitar tracks on “Butterfly, Butterfly”, Paul says.

Paul had initially decided to use a selection of various instruments from his large guitar collection on the final single.

But no, I actually ended up using the G# on all the guitar tracks“, Paul says.

Magne and Morten are also using the Norwegian guitar during a-ha’s ongoing farewell tour.

The G# guitars have found their natural place within a-ha, and they will be used even more during the next leg of the tour, not least because of the live performance of “Butterfly, Butterfly”, Morten says.

Other musicians using the guitar include Eric Clapton, Guy Fletcher, Mark Knopfler and Scotty Moore.

The full Dagbladet article is also available online here.

Shining wins first a-ha-million

Magne presents Shining with a cheque for 1 million kroner in Oslo, June 18th

Magne presents Shining with a cheque for 1 million kroner in Oslo, June 18th

Magne appeared on stage in front of 80.000 people at Rådhusplassen in Oslo last night, to hand out 1 million kroner to the first winner of the a-ha talent grant.

The jazz/metal band Shining and singer-songwriter Hanne Hukkelberg were the two finalists in Oslo at VG and NRK’s annual free summer show (where a-ha headlined in 2009), which also featured performances by Madcon, Scouting For Girls, Jason Castro and Scissor Sisters, among others.

Magne annoucning the winner

Magne annoucning the winner

After Shining and Hukkelberg had performed one song each early in the show, the audience in Oslo (and TV audiences around the country) could vote for their favorite by SMS.

Near the end of the show Magne came on stage to open the envelope revealing the winner.

We considered quite a lot of artists, together with an international jury, and both these artists have a unique style. We think they have a good chance to have further success within their genres“, Magne said when asked why a-ha had chosen these two finalists.

Afterwards he revealed the winner: “It’s a great honour, on behalf of a-ha, to present the very first of our talent grants to…Shining!

Shining had been active prior to tonight’s concert, urging their fans to vote for them, as can be seen in this YouTube video.

Learn more about Shining on their official website and on MySpace.

The next a-ha talent grant will be presented in Stavanger on 30 June, where Susanne Sundfør and Pink Robots will compete for another 1 million kroner.


Update: VGTV has a video interview with Magne and Shining after the show.

“I am pretty sure that Shining has a real chance to leave a mark internationally. So we’re hoping that the money can help them to get heard, to get noticed by people. That’s what it takes, in our opinion.

They have something that’s quite unique for them at the moment, and there should be several filmmakers in Hollywood eager to work with these guys now.

– An appropriate ending

Detail from single cover

Detail from single cover

The new (and last) a-ha single “Butterfly, Butterfly (The Last Hurrah)” is now available for listening at Warner Music Norway’s website here.

In connection with the premiere of the song, Magne was interviewed on NRK P3’s “P3 Morgen”, while Morten was interviewed on NRK P1’s “Reiseradioen”.

Here are some quotes:

Morten:This is a new single from us, but it’s not intended to promote anything. It’s just something we wanted to release, in connection with this final year.

Magne:I think this is one of the best songs Paul has written in a long time, and an appropriate ending in my view.

The three concerts in December are sold out, but we’re doing some really big concerts in Norway this summer where it’s still possible to get tickets, as far as I know. [The August concerts] will probably be the last celebration for people in general, we hope, because during a few hours fans from all over the world managed to buy…I suspect some of them to have bought tickets for all three shows [in December]. So maybe we’ll have the same audience each night. (laughs)

We have had quite a loyal fanbase for a lot of years, where a-ha has become part of their lives, you know. They travel from all sorts of strange countries to see our concerts. And for them, those last shows will be special – and they will be for us as well.

It’s turned into something cultish, and in many ways I feel we’re doing them a favor by providing them with a proper ending, so they can get into something new instead. (laughs)


The single is getting decent reviews in the Norwegian press. VG‘s Stein Østbø gives it a 5 out of 6 and calls it “a swan song that keeps growing with each new listen“. The reviewers from Aftenposten and Dagbladet both give the single 4 out of 6.

New a-ha single to premiere on Monday

The single cover

The single cover

The last a-ha single “Butterfly, Butterfly (The Last Hurrah)” will premiere on Monday, 14 June, announced today.

The song was written by Paul and has been produced by Martin Terefe.

It will premiere on several Norwegian radio stations, among them NRK P3, at 09:50 am Norwegian time. It will also be streamed online at at the same time.

“Butterfly, Butterfly (The Last Hurrah)” is released as a digital download in Norway on 5 July. The song will also be included on a new a-ha “best of” album, entitled 25, which is set for release in Norway on 19 July.

Info about international release dates is not yet available.

a-ha concert in Stadtallendorf

Stadtallendorf, June 6th

Stadtallendorf, June 6th

The rescheduled concert in Stadtallendorf, as part of the Hessentag festival, ended up being a wet experience for 8000 people yesterday, despite promises of good weather earlier in the week.

Heavy wind, rain and thunder a few hours before the concert had the organizers pondering a possible cancellation. Apparently there were concerns about the safety of the audience as things came flying through the air, and people had to leave the area in front of the stage.

But the weather improved and a-ha eventually went on stage, slightly delayed. Some of the stage equipment and Magne’s synths had to be covered in plastic to avoid the rain. Morten’s voice was considerably better this time, and “Early Morning” was back in the setlist.

8000 a-ha-Fans durchnässt aber glücklich   a-ha spielt auf dem Hessentag
a-ha live auf dem Hessentag

Soundcheck 1   Soundcheck 2   Soundcheck 3   Soundcheck 4
The Bandstand   Summer Moved On   Minor Earth Major Sky   Move To Memphis
And You Tell Me   Early Morning   Stay On These Roads   The Sun Always Shines On TV

Apparatjik performance at Flø

The cube in action at Flø (Picture from Sunnmørsposten)

The cube in action at Flø
(Picture from Sunnmørsposten)

The four members of Apparatjik held their second ever concert/art-performance as part of Hugo Opdal’s “Go with the Flø” art festival on Friday, June 5th.

We are four musicians who perform and create things together within a short period of time. It may sound like a concert, but we view it more as a discussion forum“, Magne told TV2’s evening news.

The concert had been criticized in the local press beforehand, because of the steep ticket prices; 2000 Kroner ($309) per ticket. And according to Sunnmørsposten, not a single ticket was sold in advance (although Hugo Opdal claimed he had sold 20 tickets on Facebook). But the sales picked up when the price was lowered to 1000 Kroner shortly before the concert. Many local people at Flø and random people visiting were also allowed to enter for free, to fill up the venue.

Magne and Jonas emerging from the cube (Picture from Sunnmørsposten)

Magne and Jonas emerging from the cube
(Picture from Sunnmørsposten)

Apparatjik also launched their “Bolshevik Box” at Flø – a limited edition box set containing a CD, DVD, 12″ vinyl record and one of eight art prints. The Apparatjik prints were also exhibited on the walls of Hugo Opdal’s gallery.

An NRK news report about the art festival can be seen at There are some screenshots on the WOTM forum.

Moods of Norway has some pictures of the guys on Facebook.


And the latest clip in a series of Apparatjik video podcasts, this time featuring a heavily-distorted Magne, is now available here.

Kiel concert

Morten letting the audience sing in Kiel, June 1st

Morten letting the audience sing in Kiel, June 1st

Yesterday’s concert at the Sparkassen Arena in Kiel went ahead as planned, with around 5500 people in the audience.

Fan reports say that Morten’s voice was in better shape last night, although he did say that he went on stage against his doctors’ advice.

Like in Trier “Early Morning” was left out of the setlist, and the audience helped sing along when Morten needed to rest his voice.

The Hessentag concert in Stadtallendorf has now been officially rescheduled for Sunday, June 6th, according to, among others. Tickets from last Sunday remain valid and there are also tickets left. Luckily, the weather is expected to be much better this time – warm and sunny.

Magne in Kiel, June 1st

Magne in Kiel, June 1st

Magne will now travel back to Norway to play with Apparatjik at Flø on Saturday, June 5th – and hopefully he’ll be able to get back to Germany in time.

a-ha-Effekt in Kiel (NDR2)    Picture set 1 (NDR2)    Picture set 2 (NDR2)

BTW, here’s a small update on the new song; according to Irene’s a-ha fan café blog, “Butterfly” will be included on a new and updated “Best of” 2CD album with 36 tracks. The Norwegian release date is said to be September 20th.

Talent grant finalists

a-ha and their jury members have now decided on the final eight bands and artists that will be competing for the four talent grants of 1 million kroner each in Norway this summer.

They are: Shining, Hanne Hukkelberg, Moddi, Adjagas, Casiokids, Lars Vaular, Susanne Sundfør og Pink Robots.

The eight finalists were chosen from a list of 50 candidates, which can be seen at the bottom of this article.

There were suprisingly similar reactions and enthusiasm toward some of the acts – and then there were split opinions on some of the others“, Magne tells VG today.

– Did it turn into loud discussions?

Yes, we always have loud discussion“, Magne laughs.

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