Archive for February, 2014

Magne collaborates with Hvitmalt Gjerde on ‘Beatles’ score

Coming in August 2014

Coming in August 2014

Magne has recruited up-and-coming Norwegian band Hvitmalt Gjerde to record some of the music for the upcoming Beatles movie. Next week they’re going to London to do a session together at Abbey Road studios.

Magne revealed this at the by:Larm festival in Oslo yesterday, where he was interviewed about the movie together with musical supervisor Johan Husvik.

“Hvitmalt Gjerde has definitely got a clear and focused 60s sound already. I’ll try to keep the score song-based and will fight hard to give the movie a distinct character. I’m actually finding it a bit difficult to create this kind of music, which is supposed to be very underscoring in a way. But my goal is still to give the movie its own, defined 60s universe based on my ideas”, Magne said, according to

He hopes the surf-rockers in Hvitmalt Gjerde can add a youthful energy to the songs.

“The energy was one of the most important aspects of The Beatles, and hard to recreate”, Magne told Dagsavisen.

Magne seems reluctant to release the score on an album, but it may be made available online through his partnership with the streaming service Wimp.

A teaser for the movie, which premieres on August 29th, can be seen on YouTube.

Studio 1 concert at NRK

The stage at Studio 1 yesterday, with Morten's Everly Brothers guitar ready. (Picture by Valerie)

The stage at Studio 1 yesterday, with Morten’s Everly Brothers guitar at the front. (Picture by Valerie)

Morten performed seven songs at NRK’s studio 1 in Oslo last night, for an audience of around 200 people. The set included three songs from the new album that we haven’t heard before. They were actually so fresh that the band only heard them for the first time two days ago, Morten told the audience.

Morten was in a great mood, very relaxed and making jokes on stage, while the new songs sounded like something off “Wild Seed” – only better. The vocal performance was excellent. All this according to a fan who attended the show.

The band was the same he used at Spellemannprisen last month, except for a new bassist.

Here’s the set list, as posted on Morten’s Facebook page:

1. Brother
2. Do you remember me
3. Spanish Steps
4. Safe with me
5. Whispering heart
6. A kind of Christmas card
7. There is a place

In addition, “Brother” and “Do You Remember Me” were performed twice, in order to get the best possible shots for TV. The interview segments were apparently done on Sunday. NRK producer Stig Karlsen has posted a photo from the filming on Instagram.

The 30-minute show will air April 9th on NRK2, as part of the third season of the concert series Studio 1. This will coincide nicely with the album release, which is now confirmed to be April 11th.

Update: A photo gallery from the concert has now been posted on Studio 1’s Facebook page. Judging from the photos the new bassist seems to be Lars Danielsson from Denmark, who plays together with Per Lindvall in the band StudioTan and various other projects.

Morten to perform at Odderøya Live Festival

Festival logo

Festival logo

Morten will perform at the Odderøya Live Festival in Kristiansand, Norway on 11 July. This will be Morten’s first solo concert in Kristiansand since 1996.

The ticket sale starts tomorrow through

For an overview of all the 2014 concerts announced so far, take a look here.

More radio promotion

Morten in the studio at NRK P1's Nitimen (Picture from Facebook)

Morten in the studio at NRK P1’s Nitimen
(Picture from Facebook)

Morten did another round of radio promotion today, which included P4s Radiofrokost, NRK P1’s Nitimen and Radio 102.

Here are some translated quotes:

“We have just delivered the finished album. Beyond this point you can’t change anything, you’re handing it over to others, so there’s been a lot to take care of in the final stages.”

“During the songwriting, Peter Kvint and I have worked on the music, while Ole Sverre Olsen and I have written the lyrics. But there are also some exceptions. One of the songs on the album has been written by Ole Sverre on his own, but primarily he’s worked on the lyrics. Peter Kvint is the main producer, while I have co-produced.”

“This album has much of the same spirit as Wild Seed. I’m thinking Brother is a natural continuation. There are similarities in the sound.”

“Per Lindvall, who is a fantastic drummer and whom I’ve worked with in the past, including in a-ha, he’s playing the drums on this album. I’ve used him quite a bit previously, but now he’s brought along some of the guys he usually plays with. I’m going to Stockholm in a few days, to start rehearsing with these guys. It will be very exciting, as they are top-notch musicians.”

“We’re not sure when [the music video] will be released. Harald Zwart has got a fair amount of post-production to do, so you won’t just see my nose above water for five minutes. There’s a lot of decision-making around the material that’s been shot, which partly decides when the album is coming out. We’ve been aiming for album release in late March, but with the ongoing post-production on the music video, I think we’re looking at early April instead.”

In addition, nine brand new promotional photos from the recent Mexico photo shoot have been posted on They were taken between 30 January – 1 February.

Morten interviewed on P4

Morten in Radio Norge's studio, February 13th

Morten in Radio Norge’s studio, February 13th

Morten was interviewed on the radio show Michael Direkte on P4 in Norway yesterday. Once again he talked about how rewarding the Brother album process has been:

“I have never before experienced an album coming together this easily, with such momentum all the way through. It’s been quite unique. I don’t think Peter Kvint has been part of something like this before either. So we’ve had to pinch ourselves several times along the way, as every writing session we’ve done has led to material that’s been used. It’s very special.”

He also mentioned the great response he’s been getting to the “Brother” single:

“The feedback has been really good, also from people that you don’t usually hear much from. So that’s been fun.”

The conversation also touched on the topic of drugs in the music business. Morten explained that Terry Slater made sure a-ha never encountered any drugs:

“Our first manager Terry Slater – we found this out years later – had approached people and almost threatened to kill them if we were offered anything. He had seen how destructive drugs could be, throughout his years in the business. So he was on a real crusade, against people in the record company, in the media and others around us. I can’t remember ever being offered drugs of any kind. I actually found it strange that I never encountered any of that, but it turned out to have a natural explanation.”

At the end, host Michael Andreassen talked about his own experience of interviewing the a-ha members individually and together. In his opinion all three of them come across as such fun guys when interviewed alone, but can almost behave like jerks when they’re doing promotion together:

“I can understand you saying that, because that’s also our own experience. We gradually started to split up and do individual interviews, partly because there was such a huge amount of promotion that needed to be done. But also because we came across better that way. But you have a point. (Pause) I can’t say exactly why that is, but we have spent so much time together, done so many things together and faced a lot of intense situations. And it’s a challenge to sit there and be interviewed about something that triggered you [in the studio] six months ago, back at the moment of creation, when you were riding that wave. So you’re interviewed about one thing, while your mind is in a different place completely. And the process of repeating yourself in interviews, plugging something; a-ha was never any good at that. Explaining who we are, what we are and what we stand for; selling that to the media was never one of our talents”, Morten said.

Morten also did an interview with Radio Norge yesterday, which was broadcast today. A small video clip from that interview has been posted on Instagram.

Morten to perform at Tysnesfest

Morten will perform at this year’s Tysnesfest, which is a festival held at Tysnes in Hordaland, Norway.

The festival is held from 9 – 13 July, but the exact date for Morten’s concert is not yet known. Festivalpasses are available at

Update: The concert date is July 12th.

Harald Zwart directs “Brother” music video

"I'm not sure what's in the water", Morten told VG.

“I’m not sure about the quality of this water”, Morten said afterwards.

Morten was in Los Angeles last week, to do a music video for “Brother”. The video is directed by Harald Zwart, who previously did the a-ha videos for “Velvet” (2000) and “Forever Not Yours” (2002). VGTV has a video report from the set at Ernest E. Debs Regional Park, which can be seen here (at 3:50).

Zwart drenched Morten in water in both of the previous a-ha videos, and “Brother” is no exception. Wearing a wetsuit, Morten had to spend hours floating in what appears to be…uhm…a manmade lake.

Harald Zwart

Harald Zwart

“Harald is not interested in my body. It’s only the area from the neck up that counts now”, Morten jokingly tells VG.

“If you don’t make it challenging and exciting on the set, it won’t be an exciting video. Harket is sporty to be doing this. It’s cold and difficult to be floating in the water for hours, while pretending to sing”, Harald Zwart says.

The Brother album is now scheduled for release at the end of March, an album that has reminded Morten why he got into music in the first place:

“This has been an unusual year for me. The process of recording this album is the best I’ve ever experienced. I’ve really had a unique collaboration with the Swedish producer and songwriter Peter Kvint. When the material really hits you, when the songs have a distinctive character, that’s when I’m reminded why I got into music in the first place. It hits that guy inside me who started out 30 years ago, that guy who really wanted to do this.”

“I’m really enjoying myself at the moment, and I’m looking forward to getting started and playing live with the band”, Morten tells VG.

Prior to the music video shoot in LA, Morten and his team appears to have done a week-long photo shoot on the Caribbean Coast of Mexico. Make-up artist Kelly Thorpe has posted some info about this on Twitter and Instagram.

Morten to perform at Trollrock Festival

Morten will perform at the Trollrock Festival at Beitostølen on July 26th, the festival announced on its website today. Tickets are available at

This is the fourth Norwegian summer concert to be announced, and there may still be more to come. According to Morten’s new booking agency JS Artist, he will also do additional concerts and festivals in other European countries this summer.

Waaktaar: “Manmade Lake”


Cover image

Paul’s new song is called “Manmade Lake” and premiered on this afternoon. The song, which was originally recorded by a-ha in a different version during the Foot Of The Mountain sessions in 2008-09, is released as Waaktaar and marks the first time Paul releases something under his own name outside of Savoy.

“Manmade Lake” features a classic Waaktaar melody and production, similar to some of the material on the Savoy album (2004), with Paul on vocals. doesn’t have any more info about the song, but it sounds like Frode Unneland on the drums. The lyrics continue the theme of Paul’s fascination with astronomy and spaceflight. (Update: Frode tells Japanese site Bottomless Pit that he thinks Paul plays the drums himself on “Manmade Lake”.)

Listen to the song and read the lyrics on and Soundcloud!

Paul also has a new official page on Facebook.

New music from Paul

Finally new music from Paul

Finally new music from Paul has just announced that Paul will be sharing a new track on Saturday:

“Paul Waaktaar-Savoy is about to break the silence: he will be sharing a new track via on Saturday 8 February.

Join us here on Facebook and on on 8 February at 10:00am EST for this long-anticipated world premiere!”

Has he teamed up with Jimmy Gnecco again? Is it a new Savoy song? Something he’s produced for someone else? Or the first taste of a brand new solo project? I guess we’ll find out on Saturday…

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