Paul has been keeping very silent since December 4th, but today a new project is revealed in an interview with VG.
Together with his friend and Ours frontman Jimmy Gnecco, Paul has started the project Weathervane, which will provide the main song for the upcoming Norwegian thriller Hodejegerne (Headhunters). The movie is based on Jo Nesbø’s novel of the same name and will premiere on August 26th.
The single, also called “Weathervane”, is released in Norway today and is now available for listening on WiMP and can be downloaded from iTunes and Platekompaniet.no. It’s a song that keeps growing after several listens and features Gnecco on lead vocals.
“We got to know each other through a common friend right at the beginning of Savoy, around 1996, and he has contributed on songs like “The Breakers” (from the “Savoy” album in 2004) and supported a-ha on the farewell tour last fall. He impressed me greatly then as well, and even though we’ve occasionally been talking about doing something together, those discussions became more frequent since this was a-ha’s last tour”, Paul tells VG.
“Back around 2003/2004 I happened to be looking for something new, and I have always loved a-ha and Paul’s songwriting in particular. For a while there I was trying to figure out some way to become a vocalist in Savoy”, Gnecco laughs.
For Paul, December 4th last year actually became the starting point of the next step in his career.
“That was more of a coincidence, but there’s something symbolic to that as well. We had this big farewell party at the town hall after the last concert in Oslo Spektrum. There I was approached by Morten Tyldum, the director of “Hodejegerne”, who asked me if I had something that he could use in the movie. At that point I had actually just written this song”, Paul smiles.
He admits that there was a very special feeling backstage after the last a-ha concert.
“It felt strange, still we didn’t get time to reflect much on it at that moment. We had just completed a really long tour and deserved a party for finishing the tour as well, not just 25 years of a-ha”.
Paul has been keeping in touch with Morten for the last six months, but he’s not sure what exactly the former a-ha vocalist is planning to do now.
According to VG, Paul has also been doing some writing and producing for others since January, without specifying who that is. And he admits that he originally expected to just remain in the background for quite a while from now on.
“But this chance to front a new project again was just too good to let go. I like the way this has evolved. Weathervane hasn’t been put together on a whim, we have known each other for a long time and Jimmy has just the right vocal range that my songs need to reach their full potential.”
VG’s reviewer Morten Ståle Nilsen gives the song 4 out of 6 and writes that Paul’s “songwriting signature is so distinct that it almost doesn’t matter who is singing his songs. (…) The beat is fierily electronic, the piano plays along resignedly, the tone is grandiosely sad – without becoming depressing. The weather is clouded, with showers developing. In other words, everything is as it should be in Waaktaar’s anxious universe.”
Update: A video interview with Paul and Jimmy, plus clips from the music video can now be seen at VG.no.
Update 2: VG.no has also posted the full music video now.
Update 3: a-ha.com has also posted the music video on YouTube. The footage of Paul and Jimmy was directed by Lauren Savoy and shot in Woodstock, New York.