Archive for May, 2013

Gumball 3000: Team 43 arrives in Monaco

Magne after arrival in Monaco (Picture by Valerie)

Magne after arrival in Monaco
(Picture by Valerie. Click to enlarge.)

They started out Italian style, but opted for a more Russian flavor along the way, suitable for an Apparatjik.

Last night Team 43 and their Gumballada crossed the finish line in Monte Carlo, Monaco, where they got a warm welcome from the crowd.

“We’ve been on the road for six days now, so tomorrow it’ll be a week since we started. But it feels both like a week and as a 31-second boxing round”, Magne said in a video shortly before arriving in Monaco.

Update: At the official wrap party on Saturday night, Team 43 won the Gumball Ambassadors Award. Well deserved!

Read all about the trip on the team’s Tumblr blog:

Here are some YouTube clips featuring Team 43:
Start in Copenhagen (at 5:06)    Start in Copenhagen 2
On the road in Sweden (at 3:06)    Arriving in Krakow
Arriving in Krakow 2 (at 0:48)    Arriving in Vienna (at 1:28)
Arriving in Monaco

Gumball 3000: interview in Krakow

Team 43 interviewed in Krakow

Team 43 interviewed in Krakow

“We start in a Ferrari and end in a Lada. Can it get any better?”

Watch Magne get interviewed by Danish newspaper Ekstrabladet here.

Magne takes part in Gumball 3000 rally

Magne behind the wheel (Picture from

Magne behind the wheel
(Picture from

Magne, who is a big car enthusiast, is taking part in the 2013 Gumball 3000 road rally, which started in Copenhagen on May 19th and finishes in Monte Carlo on May 24th.

Magne and Einar Skjerven, CEO of investment company Skjerven Group, will be driving through Europe in a black Ferrari 512 M, followed by a support car with a mechanic and a masseur. The Ferrari has been partly decorated by Magne.

The route: Copenhagen – Stockholm – Helsinki – St Petersburg – Tallinn – Riga – Vilnius – Warsaw – Krakow – Vienna – Verona – Monte Carlo.

Unfortunately, the Ferrari’s gear box broke down before Helsinki yesterday, and the team has since been searching for spare parts all over Europe. They seem to be continuing in the support car, with the Ferrari following on a truck until it’s fixed.

Update: Sadly, the gear box couldn’t be fixed. But the team seems determined to continue regardless of the bad news. Update II: They end up continuing…in a Lada!

You can follow all the latest developments on Team 43’s Tumblr blog (Magne’s updates are written in lower case):

Other celebrities taking part in the infamous road rally this year include David Hasselhoff, Tony Hawk, Xzibit and The Dudesons.

Prior to the rally, Magne attended hotel tycoon Petter Stordalen’s annual May 16th costume party in Oslo. This year the party had a Swedish theme, and Magne came dressed as Karlsson-on-the-Roof. As you may remember, Magne and Heidi came dressed as the lady and the tramp at last year’s farmer-themed party.

Morten appears at Billboard Music Awards

Morten on stage at the Billboard Music Awards, with Pitbull and Christina Aguilera

Morten on stage at the Billboard Music Awards, with Pitbull and Christina Aguilera

Morten appeared as a surprise guest at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas last night, where he joined Pitbull and Christina Aguilera on stage at the end of their hit song “Feel This Moment” to sing the chorus of “Take On Me”.

The 3-hour show, which aired live on ABC in the US, was held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The performance of “Feel This Moment” can be seen on YouTube.

Morten, Christina Aguilera and Pitbull (Picture from

Morten, Christina Aguilera and Pitbull
(Picture from

“Feel This Moment”, which borrows the classic riff from “Take On Me”, has been a big hit around the world in 2013. Pitbull was in contact with a-ha manager Harald Wiik over several months last year, to negotiate the use of the riff – which ended with Morten, Magne and Paul all getting songwriting credits on “Feel This Moment”.

“I thought it was fun, essentially. [Take On Me] has been treated to a lot of different versions. What is it, 25 years now, at least, since it was released. So it’s a resilient bugger. It’s been done in punk versions, heavy metal, death metal. All kinds. And now; Pitbull”, Morten said in the press room after the performance.

Morten also briefly talked about the new solo album he’s currently working on:

“I’m doing an album with a Swedish songwriter and producer, Peter Kvint. It’s possibly the best stuff I’ve ever done, actually. And that’s difficult to talk about, because it doesn’t sound true.”

Here is the whole Q&A session from the press room:

Prior to arriving in Las Vegas, Morten spent some time in New York on Friday, where a few select people had a chance to listen to some new demos.

Magne after heart surgery: “I’m in fantastic shape”

Cover of Magasinet, May 11th

Cover of Magasinet, May 11th

Magne is on the cover of Dagbladet’s Saturday magazine today. He is also on the front page of the newspaper itself.

In a 6-page interview done in London, he talks about the Norwegian Wood exhibition and the music he’ll be making for the upcoming Beatles movie at Abbey Road Studios.

“I’ll be using the old recording equipment used by The Beatles, and try to rent the old tape reels and microphones. I want to make it as authentic as possible.”

He also says that his heart condition is now much better, following a heart surgery last year.

“I have lived with the diagnosis atrial fibrillation, and there’s no denying that it’s been difficult at times. But after my surgery at Haukeland University Hospital last year I’m in fantastic shape. I have to thank the Norwegian health care system for giving me a new life at the age of 50. The problem is of course, if you ask my wife, that now I can work more than I’ve ever done. I have no limits.”

The journalist asks if he still has to take special considerations in his everyday life.

“No, not anymore. I’m healthy! For the first time in ten years I’m not taking any medication, that’s how it’s been for one year now. It feels really good.”

Magne has previously talked about his heart condition is several interviews, including The Daily Mail in 2009.

Magne in N Magazine

Picture from N Magazine

Picture from N Magazine

Magne is profiled in a 5-page article in the May 2013 issue of airline Norwegian’s in-flight magazine N.

The article focuses on Apparatjik and the Apparatjik Suite, his gallery Stolper + Friends, and the other projects he’s involved with in the new Tjuvholmen art district in Oslo, including mentoring young art students.

The whole interview, which was done by UK writer Lucille Howe at The Thief on March 25th, can be found online here (in English).

Apparatjik in Copenhagen, May 3rd

Copenhagen, May 3rd

Copenhagen, May 3rd

Magne, Martin and Jonas did their first Apparatjik concert of the year on Friday, May 3rd, with a 14-song set at the National Gallery of Denmark (SMK) in Copenhagen.

A reviewer at Danish music website Gaffa praises the “extremely well planned audiovisual bombardment of the senses” and gives the concert 5 out of 6 stars. Although he feels the music lacks an emotional quality, he says the show “worked incredibly well throughout its compact 49 minutes”.

Guy Berryman attended Magne’s exhibition opening in London on Thursday, but did not join the others for the concert in Copenhagen. The busy Coldplay-bassist last performed with Apparatjik in March 2011, and has been replaced with a stand-in at every performance since then.

Lowell had taken the trip over from Canada, though, and came on stage to do her two songs “Shake Him Off” and “The Birds”.

YouTube videos (by Carlos and others):
Intro / Josie   Do It Myself   Supersonic Sound   Tell The Babes (w/ Magne on vocals)
Shake Him Off   The Birds   Deadbeat

Meanwhile in Oslo, a new sculpture by Apparatjik has apparently been installed outdoors at Tjuvholmen.

‘Norwegian Wood’ opens in London

Magne in front of his version of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Magne in front of his version of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
The black P and B is an homage to Sir Peter Blake.

Magne’s new Beatles-inspired exhibition Norwegian Wood opened with a private view at the Paul Stolper gallery in London last night. NRK had an interview with Magne yesterday, as he prepared for the opening, which can be viewed here.

Helter Skelter by Magne F, 2013

Helter Skelter by Magne F, 2013

Norwegian Wood came about because Magne wanted to return to his woodcut-techniques of the mid-90s. During the preparations, he was asked to make the music for the upcoming Beatles-movie, which in turn inspired the theme of this exhibition.

“The Beatles was our pathway to adventure, they were our big heroes. We were like those boys in Lars Saabye Christensen’s book, we grew up with The Beatles. We had big dreams and made it big, largely because of them”, Magne told NRK.

For the artistic process, Magne was able to borrow antique woodcut tools from Sir Peter Blake, who designed the album cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

“His tools were quite small and delicate, while I have a somewhat rougher style. So for some of these woodcuts I had to use a chainsaw as well.”

Some photos of Magne creating the woodcut prints at Atelje Larsen in Helsingborg, Sweden can be seen at

Blake was scheduled to attend the private opening yesterday, where Magne would return the tools.

“Paul McCartney couldn’t make it to the opening, unfortunately, but he sent an e-mail with his best wishes”, Magne says.

Come Together by Magne F, 2013

Come Together by Magne F, 2013

Magne will be busy working on the Beatles film music in the coming fall and winter, but he’s already got some ideas ready.

“It’s a bit scary to compose something that will be heard alongside the iconic Beatles music. You need to find the right balance of being both respectful and disrespectful. The film music has to stand on its own feet, but also sound authentic of that time period.”

Magne has also made a few other public appearances recently. On April 18th he appeared at The Thief in Oslo, as UK newcomer Gabrielle Aplin did an intimate showcase gig.

“The concert was really good. She writes and sings beautifully. People should keep an eye on her, and be proud that they had a chance to see her this early”, he told

On April 29th Magne attended the European opener of Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball Tour 2013, at Telenor Arena in Oslo. “I’m the world’s biggest Bruce Springsteen-fan”, he said (sarcastically?) as he walked in the VIP-entrance.

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