Archive for April, 2014

Paul: “I loved her voice from the first moment”

Album cover

Album cover

Although the CD release seems to have been delayed until May 9th, Linnea Dale‘s new album Good Goodbyes was released digitally last Friday, April 25th, and is now available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and Wimp.

The album includes three songs produced and co-written by Paul: “Better Without You”, “Sweet Life” and “With Eyes Closed”. Paul is also credited with keyboards, bass, drums, programming and guitar on all three songs.

“I loved her voice from the first moment. It doesn’t matter what kind of microphone or filters you use. It’s all there from the get-go”, Paul tells VG in an interview today.

“She has her own knack for melodies, and an atypical way of using words. It flows beautifully”, he says.

“This is the first time I’ve done something like this, and I liked it. It felt good; a different perspective. But I was under the impression I wouldn’t have to do any promo work, so this is a bit of a downer”, Paul jokes.

VG also asks him which other Norwegian artists he’d be interested in producing:

“There are constantly new and cool artists emerging back home in Norway. I’d need to look into that. But I really loved Susanne Sundfør’s “White Foxes”.

Morten on Tørnquist Show

Morten on Tørnquist Show

Morten on Tørnquist Show

Morten is the main guest on this week’s episode of VGTV’s online talkshow Tørnquist Show, which can be viewed at

Host Einar Tørnquist had talked to some Harket family members in preparation for the interview, which resulted in some unusual questions about Morten’s teenage interests; the caiman he kept in a bathtub, the orchidarium he had in his bedroom and the butterflies he imported from abroad.

He was also asked about the Rock in Rio concert and the hilarious megaphone incident in Salem, 2010.

Meanwhile, the Brother album has entered the German album chart at #11 in its first week, while it’s #62 in Switzerland. And details of the next single “Do You Remember Me?” has been posted on the French site Apparently it’s released on May 12th, with the same cover image as the UK promo CD.

Update (25/4): Morten was a guest on Kveldsåpent on NRK P1 tonight. The interview can be heard at

Update II (26/4): There is a new interview with Morten at today.

Brother enters at #1 in Norway

Straight in at number 1

Straight in at number 1

Morten’s new album Brother has entered the Norwegian album chart VG Lista Topp 40 at number 1 today.

This is his fourth solo album to reach number 1 in Norway, following Wild Seed (1995), Letter From Egypt (2008) and Out Of My Hands (2012).

In the UK, the album initially appeared on the midweek chart at #23, but has since fallen down to #32 and then #39.

Update: Brother enters the UK album chart at #56, with first-week sales of 1,461 copies. In comparison, Out Of My Hands sold 3,454 copies in its first week two years ago.

Update II: Brother is “album of the week” on the Ken Bruce show on BBC Radio 2, from 21 – 25 April.

Morten interviewed by Vårt Land and NTB

"This album is a tribute to the diversity among us", Morten tells Vårt Land.

“This album is a tribute to the diversity among us”, Morten tells Vårt Land.

A few additional interviews with Morten have appeared in the Norwegian press today.

In its album review on Friday, the Christian newspaper Vårt Land wrote that “Brother is without a doubt his most existential, wonderingly, even sacral and religious album that he’s made on his own”.

Today’s interview follows up on that notion. Here is one quote:

“Our reviewer feels that the lyrics on this album are deeper than in a long time. Is it your Christian background that shines through?

– Absolutely. I still have the same Christian faith that I grew up with, but I can’t use that as a starting point, because I wish to communicate with people who don’t share the same faith. That means my starting point can’t be that God created us, that Jesus is his son and that he gave his life for us. If I am to communicate, I need to start somewhere else and trust that these things will get across on their own, which I believe they will. I strongly believe that the search process in itself is valuable. It’s the questions that make us spiritual people, not the answers. There are no eternal answers, only eternal questions. Christians will also benefit from questioning everything. Including the scriptures and the history. That will make you a true child of God”, Morten says.

In an interview with NTB, available at, Morten talks about the upcoming festival tour in the summer and how it turned into more than he first imagined:

“I agreed to do a few, and then it turned into a lot. (…) It will be interesting. I haven’t done many festivals before. And we mostly did our own concerts with a-ha. I said I wanted to give it a try, and now I’m suddenly staring at this really long list”, Morten says with a slightly self-deprecating grin.”

In other news, Morten will be a guest on Sounds of the 80s on BBC Radio 2 on Saturday, April 19th. And has announced plans for a 2014 fan weekend in Oslo on November 14-15, which would include “a fan party on November 14 and an ‘intimate’ concert with Morten”.

New Morten Harket biography in the works

A new biography about Morten is currently in the works, an interview in UK’s Sunday Mercury newspaper revealed today:

Morten is currently working with writer Tom Bromley on his biography and says “It’s been very good, he’s a really nice guy and we have had some interesting sessions. He makes me remember things, makes me see things again”.

He chuckles: “I then read his interpretation of me and attack that and then resurrect it.”

The book does not have a title as yet, although Morten laughingly promises it will have one.

Tom Bromley has previously written books like The Encyclopeadia of Guilty Pleasures and The Weird and Wonderful World of One Hit Wonders, which makes him seem like an odd choice if this is supposed to be a serious biography. He has also written about a-ha in a chapter of his 2012 book Wired for Sound: Now That’s What I Call an Eighties Music Childhood.

On the other hand, Bromley was the one who gave Morten his copy of Maajid Nawaz’ Radical, which resulted in “Brother” being written. “It triggered something in me. It touched me. The guts that guy has, the balls of steel and capacity for depth. It spoke to me”, Morten says of Nawaz’ book.

The Sunday Mercury interview is not available online, but pictures of it have been posted on Twitter: Page 1    Page 2

Also, if you missed yesterday’s interview with Morten on BBC Radio Devon, it’s available on (starts at 23:10 mins) until April 19th.

Brother album available now

The CD features cover design by Jeri Heiden and photos by Just Loomis

The CD features cover design by Jeri Heiden and photos by Just Loomis

Morten’s new album Brother is released in Norway, Germany, Austria and Switzerland today. The UK release is on Monday.

Morten spent yesterday meeting the Norwegian press at The Thief hotel in Oslo, which has resulted in interviews in Aftenposten, Dagbladet, Dagsavisen, Adresseavisen and Budstikka today.

There is also a 7-page interview in Dagens Næringsliv’s weekend magazine. It has been posted online at as well.

Today he’s done more radio promo, starting with Nitimen on NRK P1, where he did an acoustic version of “Do You Remember Me” with Dan Sunhordvik. The interview and performance can be heard on There is also a picture and a video clip from the rehearsals on Nitimen’s Facebook page. Later on he was a guest on Michael Direkte on P4, a few audio clips have been posted on

Morten and Dan have also done a live session for VGTV. The performances of “Do You Remember Me” and “There Is A Place” can be viewed at

Some of the coverage in today's newspapers

Some of the coverage in today’s newspapers

The album reviews are generally favorable, with Aftenposten (5/6) being the most positive so far. “The title track’s longing melancholy, naked sensitivity and timeless reflection on the term identity, sets the standard”, Aftenposten’s reviewer writes. He also mentions the “believable intensity of the songs” and how Morten “has let the music develop naturally and harmonically” this time.

Vårt Land’s reviewer feels it’s “without a doubt his most existential, wonderingly, even sacral and religious album that he’s made on his own”.

Bergens Tidende feels the album is “a step in the right direction”, compared to “the forgettable Out Of My Hands”. Drammens Tidende expects the album to be a commercial success, “because of the many catchy, radio-friendly songs”. Bergensavisen highlights the songs “Whispering Heart”, “Brother” and “There Is A Place”, but feels “the album is a little uneven as a whole”, partly because of the lyrics.

Both VG and Dagbladet (3/6) are rather lukewarm in their reviews. “Brother has been produced to death by the Swede Peter Kvint; who I’m sure is a nice guy, but why should Morten f***in’ Harket work with these anonymous, mediocre collaborators?”, VG’s reviewer asks. Dagbladet feels that the album “starts well, but fades away into a series of semi-ballads that don’t take him anywhere he hasn’t been before”.

Here are all the reviews so far:

Aftenposten (5/6)

Bergens Tidende (4/6)   Bergensavisen (4/6)   Adresseavisen (4/6)
Drammens Tidende (4/6)   Fædrelandsvennen (4/6)

VG (3/6)   Dagbladet (3/6)   Dagsavisen (3/6)

Over on, the Q&A with Peter Kvint has now been posted. “We had fifteen finished songs (written and produced) and out of those we chose the ten songs that made it to the album. Some of the other songs (like “Did I leave you behind”) will be released later in some form”, he says in one answer. Read the whole thing here.

Morten to perform in Trondheim

Another summer concert was announced today; Morten will perform in Trondheim on 31 July, as part of the annual Olavsfestdagene festival.

“Trondheim is a special city with a completely different atmosphere than other cities. It’s good to perform up there every time, whether it’s with a-ha or on my own. I associate Trondheim with the Wild Seed album, which was partly recorded at the Nidaros studio”, Morten tells Adresseavisen.

Tickets are available now from Billettservice.

More UK promotion

On ITV, April 7th

On ITV, April 7th

Morten did some more promotion in London yesterday. He started by appearing on Lorraine Kelly’s show on ITV, which can be seen here.

Then it was time for radio interviews, which included BBC Derby, BBC Lincolnshire, BBC Merseyside, BBC Suffolk, BBC Devon and others.

Although Morten will do more touring in the autumn, he couldn’t promise any further UK dates when answering fan questions on BBC Derby:

“I hope so, but I haven’t planned – I mean, this is all I see now; the album is just coming out and it’s what I’m doing. The summer is also booked up, as for the first time I’m doing festivals in Norway. There are a lot of activities there, and I have decided to do that this summer. Beyond that I haven’t planned exactly what will happen.”

Istanbul concert cancelled

Morten’s concert at KüçükÇiftlik Park in Istanbul, Turkey, on May 2nd has been cancelled. This is due to poor ticket sales, the venue announced on Facebook.

Ticket buyers are now getting e-mails with refund details.

No one seems to have told Morten about it yet, though, as he keeps mentioning how he’s looking forward to playing in Istanbul in several UK live interviews today.

Update: The cancellation has later been confirmed by Morten’s management in a message on Facebook:

We are sorry to have to inform you that Morten’s concert in Istanbul has been canceled by the promoters.

Morten was disappointed to hear this, as he was very much looking forward to his first concert in Turkey.

We are sorry about any inconvenience caused by this, and Morten hopes to return to Turkey at some other time.

“Manmade Lake” remix opportunity

A fun update on today:

We sometimes hear from fans who would like to have a chance to remix an a-ha or solo track, using audio stem files – most recently, a fan named Carlos asked Paul this very question in his Q&A with

Paul is interested to hear your mixes of his new song ‘Manmade Lake’, and he has made the stem files available here on!

Head over to to download the stem files and read all the details.

Morten on Weekend Wogan and Gaby Roslin

Morten with Terry Wogan (Picture by BBC Radio 2)

Morten with Terry Wogan
(Picture by BBC Radio 2)

Morten is now in the UK to promote his new album. This morning he was a guest on Weekend Wogan on BBC Radio 2, where he did two acoustic songs together with Dan Sunhordvik; “Do You Remember Me” and – as a tribute to Phil Everly – “Let It Be Me”. The performance is available here. More pictures here and here.

Later on he was a guest on Gaby Roslin’s show on BBC Radio London, where he did two more songs together with Dan; “Do You Remember Me” and “Safe With Me”. He also talked openly about being bullied as a child. The show can be heard here (for 7 days). Pictures here and here.

He also met Maajid Nawaz today, whose book Radical was a source of inspiration for the lyrics in “Brother”. “Just met A-Ha lead singer @mortenharket to thank him for writing new album-track “Brother” based on my memoir Radical”, Nawaz said in a message on Twitter.

The UK promo continues tomorrow with more radio interviews, plus a TV-appearance on ITV’s Lorraine. Check out for the details.

Before going to London, Morten and Dan did another acoustic session for Radio Norge in Oslo on Friday. But I don’t know if it was broadcast live or recorded for later. Pat Sharp, who was also a guest, posted a selfie with Morten on Twitter. Additional pictures here and here.

Linnea Dale on working with Paul

Album cover

Album cover

“Better Without You”, the third single from Linnea Dale’s upcoming album, premiered on Norwegian radio a few days ago. This is one of the songs that she’s done together with Paul in New York.

In an interview on NRK P1’s Nitimen, Linnea talked about the experience of working with Paul:

“It was fabulous. I have enormous respect for him as a songwriter, so it was great to go over there. We started out with a pre-production session here in Oslo where we tested out some ideas, and then I flew over to New York and spent a week there a while later.”

It was Warner Music that brought Paul into the process. He has been busy moving to a new house recently:

“[The Waaktaar-Savoys] had just moved from Soho to a brownstone house in Brooklyn, so we were working in an improvised studio on the top floor. We had to stop recording every time a plane flew over head, as it wasn’t soundproof.”

Her upcoming album Good Goodbyes (April 25th) will also include two other songs written with Paul: “Sweet Life” and “With Eyes Closed”. Another song Paul mentioned in the Q&A, “Better Days”, must have been left out – unless the song title has changed.

“Better Without You” can be heard here (at 1:44:50).

Studio 1 concert on NRK1

From Studio 1

From Studio 1

Morten’s Studio 1 concert, which was taped in Oslo on February 24th, aired on NRK1 in Norway last night.

Six of the seven songs performed were included in the TV broadcast, which can be viewed online at Whispering Heart / Brother / Do You Remember Me / Spanish Steps / A Kind Of Christmas Card / There Is A Place.

An additional song, Safe With Me, is available as a bonus video here.

Morten was joined on stage by Per Lindvall (drums), Christer Karlsson (keyboard), Peter Kvint (guitar) and Lars Danielsson (bass).

The concert will be repeated April 9th on NRK2.

Paul: New Savoy album in the works

Frode, Lauren and Paul in 2007.

Frode, Lauren and Paul in 2007.

The second part of the Q&A with Paul is now up on

Not only is he working on the first Waaktaar album, there is also a new Savoy album to look forward to, Paul says:

“There is indeed a Savoy album in the works. We have lots of new songs recorded and we will finalize the album with our drummer, Frode, this summer. I also would like to release the whole Savoy catalogue on iTunes and Spotify as well as vinyl. So far, they’ve only been released on CD.”

He says his main focus will always be on releasing full albums:

“The album concept seems to be a bit washed out these days, but that’s what I grew up with so I’ll always have that as the main focus. However, it is fun to release a track like “Manmade Lake” and get an immediate reaction. I definitely want to do more of that.”

He also repeats what he’s said in the past, about how the idea to end a-ha felt like a business decision:

“The idea to end the band was forced. Not natural. It felt like a business decision to me. Just someone’s bright idea.
We can still play, still sing, we still have tons of songs to record.
And we still have a huge loving audience!

Read all of his answers, including info about the cover image of “Manmade Lake”, what he’s been listening to lately and his thoughts on songwriting, over on

For more updates from Paul, follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Soundcloud.

Morten to perform at Elvefestivalen

The festival dates keep coming; Morten was confirmed for Elvefestivalen in Drammen today, where he will perform on August 22nd. The Ylvis brothers will also appear at the festival. The ticket sale starts via Billettservice on April 7th.

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