“More music is on the way”, Paul says. (Picture by Jakob)
The first part of the Q&A with Paul was posted on a-ha.com today.
After the release of “Manmade Lake”, many fans have been wondering if we can expect a Waaktaar album at some point. And Paul can now confirm that he is indeed working on a full album:
“I’m working on an album to be released under “Waaktaar”. It should be ready shortly after the summer. Hopefully I’ll be able to upload some individual tracks long before that.”
He also provides some background info on “Manmade Lake”:
“It’s been a favorite of mine for a while. It was written around the overdriven guitar riff in the outro and I’ve been looking for a way to present it. The voice is run through a guitar amp which I thought strengthened the mood and related to the words, particularly in the second verse. Sort of like a ground-to-air type voice.”
Moreover, Paul mentions that he’s working on two additional albums, and that he’s hoping to include the song used in last year’s Scent of a Womantrailer on the next Savoy album.
Morten and Dan Sunhordvik’s acoustic performance of “Brother” on the talkshow SWR3 Latenight aired in Germany last night. The performance, which was taped in Baden-Baden on Wednesday, can be seen here (starts at 24:30 minutes).
Apparently Morten’s in-ear monitor couldn’t be used, so the odd-looking thing on his cheek was an improvised solution.
Contest winner Bettina gets vocal coaching from Morten (Picture from ffn.de)
Morten was in Hannover today, on the fifth day of his German promo tour for the upcoming Brother album.
On the radio station FFN another contest winner, Bettina, had the chance to get vocal coaching from Morten as she sang a duet with him on “Brother”. Two different video reports from the visit have been posted on ffn.de and sat1regional.de. He was also interviewed for several FFN shows, and there are extensive photo galleries on haz.de and ffn.de. While at the radio studio he also met this fan.
Morten also visited the studio of HR1 for more interviews. The HR1 website has posted a video clip of Morten speaking in German, inviting people to come to his concert in Offenbach in May. There is also a photo gallery.
In addition, more interview clips and acoustic songs were broadcast on both SWR1 Baden-Württemberg and SWR1 Rheinland-Pfalz tonight. Here is an acoustic version of “Safe With Me”, recorded in Stuttgart on Tuesday:
And here’s another Instagram photo from the visit to Baden-Baden on Wednesday.
Acoustic session on SWR1 Rheinland-Pfalz, March 27th (Picture from swr.de)
Morten continued his promotional tour of Germany today. In Mainz he visited the studios of SWR1 Rheinland-Pfalz, where he was interviewed for two different shows. He also did another acoustic session together with Dan Sunhordvik. A photo gallery and a few interview clips have been posted on swr.de.
In Ludwigshafen he was interviewed by RPR1, where a lucky contest winner had the chance to ask him some questions. She asked if he’s going to play more solo songs on this tour, instead of a-ha songs, to which he replied: “More of me”. A picture with RPR1 host Inge Meyer has been posted on Facebook.
He also visited Radio Regenbogen in Mannheim, where he was met by a group of fans. A photo gallery can be found at regenbogen.de. Update: A video clip from the interview has been posted on YouTube.
Meanwhile on SWR1 Baden-Württemberg, another part of Barbara Scherrer’s interview with Morten was broadcast this evening. She asked him if he’s figured out the live versions of the songs yet:
“I’m not there yet, but I’m looking forward to warming up with the band and really starting to gel with the band. They’re very good actually, it’s a brilliant band.”
Even though he’s going on the road with a new backing band, Morten says that he’s hoping to play with Dan, Erik and Karl Oluf at some point as well:
“Dan Sunhordvik was part of the band that I had last time around, when I toured after Out Of My Hands. And that was also a great band, I was very happy with that band. Something else has happened this time around. The drummer that I played with on the Wild Seed album in 95, his name is Per Lindvall, he did sessions for this album, Brother, and he got so excited about the material that he said ‘I’m gonna play this. I’m gonna come with you live.’ And then he brought with him a couple of other guys. And that has been a tough decision for me, a difficult one. Because I want to play with both teams – and maybe I will. I’m kind of hoping I will. But this time around it’s with Per and a Swedish bunch. One guy is Danish – no, two actually. They’re two now.”
Oh, and here’s another acoustic version from SWR1 Baden-Württemberg – “Brother” performed with Dan Sunhordvik:
As for why “Did I Leave You Behind” was left off the album, Morten has told a German fan that it was because they only wanted to have 10 songs on the album, and it didn’t quite fit in with the others.
Morten in the studios of SWR1, March 25th (Picture from swr.de)
Two additional interviews with Morten were broadcast on German radio today.
On Radio 7 he was a guest on Chrissie Weiss’ evening show, where he talked briefly about the upcoming tour:
“We have a shorter spring tour coming up in May, across Europe. A couple of weeks only, quite a dense tour. Doing a little of France, Belgium, Germany, England – even Turkey, for the first time. It’s exciting, as I’ve actually never been to Turkey. So that has its own merit in itself, to go and play in Istanbul. I look forward to that very much, also because this is an album that I am very keen on playing live.”
The 5-part interview can be heard on Radio 7’s website.
He also appeared on SWR1’s “Guten Abend Baden-Württemberg” tonight, where the album track “Whispering Heart” was played for the first time. In addition, Morten performed an acoustic version of “Do You Remember Me?” together with Dan Sunhordvik, which can be heard below:
The full interview doesn’t seem to available online, but another acoustic performance will be broadcast on SWR1 tomorrow night.
Morten and Dan also did an acoustic version of “Brother” on the TV-show SWR3 Latenight in Baden-Baden today. Some Instagram pictures have been posted here and here. When it will air remains to be seen.
Morten started his German promo tour in Munich yesterday, where he visited the studio of radio station BR3. In the interview, which was broadcast today and now available on br.de, he was asked about the melancholic feel of “Brother”:
“Melancholy is seen as sad by some people, whilst for other people it’s a way of reflecting on things that have value to you. But “Brother” is kind of a war song at the same time; you are you, and you have the right to become you. And no one has the right to prevent or to stop that from happening. If I’m interested in you, I don’t want to change you into becoming something I like, so to speak. I should just welcome anything that you want to do to become you”, Morten said.
Today he was in Stuttgart for an interview with SWR1, which can be heard on swr.de. It included the premiere of the full version of “Do You Remember Me?”, which is the second single off the album. There is also a gallery of photos on SWR1’s Facebook page.
He also visited Radio 7 in Ulm today, where a lucky contest winner had a chance to sing “Brother” together with Morten. Interview clips, along with a YouTube video and photo gallery have been posted on radio7.de.
Several other interviews have been taped and will air in the coming days and weeks.
The promo tour, which continues with radio, TV and newspaper interviews for the rest of the week, will apparently also visit Baden-Baden, Mannheim and Hannover.
Magne attended the funeral of Kjell Nupen (1955 – 2014) in Kristiansand today.
Nupen, who died from cancer on March 12th, was one of Norway’s most famous contemporary artists. He was Magne’s artistic mentor from 1989 – 1993 and they held several exhibitions together.
“Norway has lost one of its greatest visual artists and a unique personality. Kjell was a great figure in every way, and leaves a gaping void that will be impossible to fill. Everything I know about graphic art I’ve learnt from him”, Magne said in his speech during the ceremony.
Magne outside the church
“Kjell was a kind and thoughtful man, and one of the wisest people I have met. I have lost a close friend and an important discussion partner. The most important thing I can do now is to honour him through my work, and prove that I was worthy of his trust.”
“Kjell. I miss you and it hurts so much. There’s so much more we should have talked about. I am grateful for the time we had together”, Magne said.
The funeral ceremony was held in Søm Church, a church decorated by Nupen himself. 700 people attended the funeral, including King Harald and Queen Sonja.
Magne carried the coffin together with Bjørn Eidsvåg and Ole Larsen (VG photo).
Paul has contributed to Hågen Rørmark’s latest album Alt Eller Ingenting, on which he plays drums on the track “Ensom Leter”.
The album was actually released in September 2012, but I didn’t find out about it until now.
Alt Eller Ingenting is Rørmark’s first album in Norwegian, following Mondo Cane (1995) and Signs & Songs (2008). The 11-track album can be purchased at hogen.bandcamp.com.
Rørmark is known to be a good friend of Paul and played guitar with Savoy in Oslo and London in 2008. He also played harmonica on the Savoy song “Is My Confidence Reeling?” in 2004 and appeared on stage with Weathervane in 2011.
In addition he co-wrote the song “Undecided” for Morten Harket in 2012, together with Tor Einar Krogtoft-Jensen and Christian Engebretsen. Krogtoft-Jensen also plays drums on Alt Eller Ingenting and has co-produced the album together with Rørmark.
The “Brother” music video, which leaked online earlier this week, had its official premiere on VGTV in Norway today.
“Harald Zwart got the idea for the music video immediately after hearing the song for the first time. It’s based on a classic movie by the Swedish comedians Hasse & Tage. We have arranged for a copy of the video to be delivered to the Hasse & Tage museum”, Morten tells VG.
The song itself started with Peter Kvint getting the idea for the melody:
“It was developed from there and to its final version by Peter and myself. The lyrical identity came to me – at the same time – after having just read the biography of Majiid Nawaz, “Radical”, about growing up as a young muslim in England, faced with European, Western culture and politics, and his personal confrontation with fundamental values after years of going down an uncompromising and dangerous road internationally as an islamist. And then choosing an even more dangerous road later on”, Morten says.
“Brother” is about love and respect, as it is shown when recognizing everyone’s right to become who they are. About the right to follow your own conscience. “Brother” is about respecting diversity – and how this is a fundamental value”.
Morten and his management really seem to be focusing on the Norwegian festival circuit this summer. Another concert was announced today; Morten will be performing at Stavernfestivalen 2014, which is held at Skråvika in Stavern from 10 – 12 July.
Although the exact date hasn’t been posted yet, it has to be July 10th, as Morten is playing other festivals on the 11th and 12th.
Other acts confirmed for Stavernfestivalen include Bob Dylan, Lars Winnerbäck, Kvelertak and Odd Nordstoga.
Some of you might be wondering about all the festivals in our country, but it’s almost like every little village has its own summer festival by now. Morten could have played at a new festival every day of the summer, if he wanted to.
If you want to see Morten live in Norway, but aren’t too keen on attending a festival, the concerts in Langesund (July 19th) or Rennebu (August 30th) could be an alternative. Those two are pure solo concerts, which could mean a more mature audience and a hopefully longer setlist.
Two different news reports about Magne’s Beatles film score sessions at Abbey Road Studios in London have aired on TV2 in Norway over the last couple of days. The first one can be seen at tv2.no.
Among other things we could see a blues instrumental being recorded for one scene, with Magne on harmonica, Jonas Bjerre on piano and Martin Terefe on guitar. Magne was also recording piano and organ parts together with Kjetil Bjerkestrand and could be heard playing “Stay On These Roads” on the original “Lady Madonna” piano.
Recording a blues instrumental with Jonas Bjerre, Martin Terefe and others
As we know, Magne is using original instruments, microphones and other recording equipment used by The Beatles for these sessions.
“It’s mostly for the music nerds, including myself, that we decided to do it like this. The idea of creating a sort of time machine and walking into a room from the late 60s. It’s almost like a theatrical setup of the whole recording session”, Magne told TV2.
“I don’t want it to become too big and symphonic. I feel like I’m the unknown, melancholic member of The Beatles”, Magne said when he was interviewed at the by:Larm festival in Oslo last week.
Playing “Stay On These Roads” on the original “Lady Madonna” piano
When asked, Magne said that he hadn’t sought the advice of Paul McCartney:
“But I have informed him about it! He’s a thumbs-up guy, but it would only have scared me even more if I’d asked him to help out. It’s very different to write film music without lyrics, which is what normally drives me to release solo stuff.”
Linnea Dale’s upcoming second solo album is now scheduled for release in May, according to Aftenposten. It will include 3 songs written by Paul.
Last night, Linnea took part in the first Eurovision semi-final with the song High Hopes (not written by Paul), which got her qualified for next week’s final in Oslo Spektrum.
Update (14/3): The album release has been moved forward to April 25th, according to a Warner Music press release. The 11-track album is called Good Goodbyes and has been produced by Kim Edward Bergseth and Paul Waaktaar-Savoy.
Another festival concert was announced today: Morten will perform at the Hvalstrand Festival 2014 in Asker, which is held on 22-23 August. The exact date for the concert is not yet known. Update: It’s 23 August.
“Morten Harket will finally perform in his home town, and we are very proud that he’s chosen our festival!”, festival manager Fredrik Brodtkorb says.
Other artists confirmed for the festival include Sivert Høyem, Melissa Horn and Alphaville.
For a list of all the 2014 concerts announced so far, click here.
Morten’s upcoming album Brother, to be released on April 11th, is now available for pre-order through Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.de.
Here’s the tracklist:
2. Do You Remember Me?
3. Safe with Me
4. Whispering Heart
5. Heaven Cast
6. There Is A Place
7. Oh What A Night
8. End Of The Line
9. Can’t Answer This
10. First Man To The Grave
For some reason “Did I Leave You Behind”, which Morten performed at every Night of the Proms concert, will not be included.
The final album cover doesn’t seem to be ready yet. So for now, the Amazon listings just include a combination of the “Brother” and “There is a Place” single covers.
Update: The cover art is now confirmed to be official, which is pretty shocking, considering how poor it looks. Was there no money left to hire a graphic designer?