Archive for the ‘Paul’ Category

‘Tårer fra en stein’ to be published in German

Munich-based publishing company Riva has secured the rights to a German edition of Ørjan Nilsson’s book about Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, NTB reports via Gaffa.no.

The book is set to be published sometime in February/March 2018 and will be translated by Daniela Stilzebach, who has previously translated Norwegian books about Knut Hamsun and Edvard Munch into German.

“The German title of the book has not been decided yet”, Nilsson tells NTB.

The Norwegian first printing of 1500 copies sold out quickly, and there will be a second printing of 2000 books.

“There’s a big potential”, Norwegian publisher Christer Falck says.

‘MTV Unplugged: Summer Solstice’ and ‘Tårer fra en stein’ now available

The new book and Blu-ray

A big release day on Friday, as a-ha’s new live album/video MTV Unplugged: Summer Solstice was released in eight different versions and the Norwegian edition of Ørjan Nilsson’s book about Paul Waaktaar-Savoy was published.

If you haven’t yet ordered MTV Unplugged: Summer Solstice, here are the links:
Fanbox (amazon.de), Blu-ray (amazon.de / amazon.co.uk), DVD (amazon.de / amazon.co.uk), 2CD (amazon.de / amazon.co.uk), 2CD+Blu-ray (amazon.de / amazon.co.uk), 2CD+DVD (amazon.de), 3LP (amazon.de / amazon.co.uk) and 1CD (amazon.co.uk). Plus download and streaming.

BBC Breakfast, October 5th

For those of you wondering about the Blu-ray and DVD, they have now both been officially confirmed to be region-free.

To promote the live album, Magne and Morten were guests on BBC Breakfast on Thursday, while Morten visited ITV’s Loose Women on Friday.

Morten also did radio interviews with BBC Radio Oxford (starts at 30:30), BBC Hereford & Worcester (starts at 1:17:00) and BBC Radio Devon (to be broadcast on October 14th).

Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and Ørjan Nilsson

In Norway there has been extensive media coverage of Tårer fra en stein and the first printing of the book is actually already sold out, with a second printing set to follow soon, according to BA (paywall).

I won’t reveal too much of the 300-page book here (stay tuned for possible translations into other languages), but it goes in-depth about Paul’s songwriting, inspirations and career in a way that has never been done before.

“We’re unlikely to ever get a more detailed portrait of Waaktaar Savoy”, VG says in its review of the book.

There was a book launch at Tronsmo bookstore in Oslo on Friday, where author Ørjan Nilsson was interviewed by Audun Vinger in front of an audience which included Paul’s mother Gerd. A video of the full conversation has been posted on Facebook.

The Norwegian edition of the book can be ordered from haugenbok.no, tanum.no, platekompaniet.no or bigdipper.no.

For more information about the book in English, read a new interview with Ørjan Nilsson at The Electricity Club.

Summer Solstice reviews:
VG (CD: 4/6, DVD: 5/6)    Aftenposten (4/6)    Dagsavisen (4/6) (paywall)
The Irish News (6/10)    Scandishop online

Articles/reviews on Tårer fra en stein:
VG: Paul Waaktaar-Savoy i a-ha med ny bok: Lammes av sosial angst
NRK: Vurderte å starte duo med Morten Harket
Gaffa: Nå vil han prøve å rette opp i navneforvirringen
Gaffa: Mener katastrofe-konserten på Øya ødela mye
Dagbladet: Pål Waaktaar Savoy røper konfliktene som har ødelagt for a-ha (paywall)
Dagsavisen: Et stille mysterium (paywall)
Morgenbladet: Sjenert Mussolini (paywall)

‘Tårer fra en stein’ book pre-order

The front cover features a previously unseen photo from the early 80s, taken by Viggo Bondi

Ørjan Nilsson’s upcoming book about Paul’s life and career, Tårer fra en stein, will be published in Norway on 6 October and can now be pre-ordered from bidra.no (signed by the author).

The 302-page book (written in Norwegian) is based on extensive interview sessions with Paul over the last two years, where he has opened up more than ever before. The book goes into great detail about every aspect of his songwriting and musicianship, making it the definitive account on Paul’s creative output over the years.

Nilsson has also interviewed a number of Paul’s family members, friends and colleagues, including his wife Lauren, his parents Olav and Gerd, his sister Tonje, Alan Tarney, Viggo Bondi and Hågen Rørmark.

The book also features a number of previously unseen photos from the early days and lyric sketches from Paul’s personal notebooks.

In connection with the book release, a ltd. ed. 7″ vinyl featuring cover versions of “Whalebone” by the author’s own band Willow and “Manhattan Skyline” by Kings of Convenience will be included for those who pre-order through bidra.no.

On 6 October there will be a book launch at Tronsmo book store in Oslo, where Ørjan Nilsson will talk about Tårer fra en stein with music journalist Audun Vinger.

Tårer fra en stein can also be pre-ordered from haugenbok.no, tanum.no, platekompaniet.no or bigdipper.no.

New Savoy reissues: solid remastering, but shorter than the original albums

Mountains of Time inner cover with new liner notes by Kieron Tyler, record sleeve with lyrics, and CD.

The new and remastered version of Savoy’s Mountains of Time (1999) was released by Apollon Records last month, and those who pre-ordered the vinyl and CD versions from the Savoy Bandcamp page are finally starting to receive their items.

I have only had a chance to listen to the new CD version so far, but from the first moments of the opening track “Man in the Park”, the increased clarity and detail resulting from Joe Lambert’s new remastering work is striking. There’s an added punch to the drums and the layered guitars sound razor sharp. To my ears, it sounds really good throughout the album.

But those familiar with the original album will also notice that many of the songs are noticeably shorter on this reissue. That was also the case with the Lackluster Me reissue last year, which was 2 minutes 13 seconds shorter than the original 1997 release – but it’s even more obvious on Mountains of Time, which has been shortened by 3 minutes 12 seconds in total, compared to the 1999 release.

While most of the edited songs simply fade out earlier, some of them, like “Any Other Way” and “Grind You Down” have parts missing in the middle of the songs.

According to Apollon Records, editing some of the songs for the new vinyl editions is Paul’s own choice, as it was necessary in order to fit the albums on one vinyl record in best possible sound quality. The original albums were never recorded with the vinyl format in mind.

But that’s not really the issue; regardless of the need to shorten the albums for vinyl, the original full-length versions could easily have been used on the new CDs and digital versions. That has not been done. Additionally, Apollon Records has also chosen not to mention the new song edits anywhere.

They are still fantastic albums, in beautifully presented gatefold covers with new and informative liner notes. But it’s confusing when certain parts of the songs you’re so used to hearing suddenly are missing.

According to some fans, there is also an error on the actual Mountains of Time vinyl record, in the form of a “clicking” noise at the end of some songs that sounds like someone changing tracks. This is not present on the CD version.

For more detailed info about which songs have been edited, check out these comparisons between the original CDs and the reissue CDs:
Lackluster Me (1997 vs 2016)
Mountains of Time (1999 vs 2017)

“Laundromat” single release

Single cover

In the midst of everything going on with a-ha at Giske recently, Drabant Music released “Laundromat” as the fourth single off Waaktaar & Zoe’s World of Trouble album on 16 June. Available on iTunes, Spotify etc.

“Laundromat easily stands out as the best track on the album”, Norwegian music site Gaffa said in its review of World of Trouble earlier this year. “It is cheeky and sexy, and takes unexpected turns in its buildup.”

As with the previous three singles, “Laundromat” is also accompanied by a music video, which was released on 20 June and directed by Jason Brandenberg and Lauren Savoy.

This is the first video Lauren has done for the Waaktaar & Zoe project, while Jason Brandenberg also directed the video for “Tearful Girl”.

Drabant Music press release

New book about Paul coming this fall

Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and author Ørjan Nilsson
(Photo by Ivar Kvaal)

October 2017 will see the release of the first book focused on Paul Waaktaar-Savoy’s music, life and career.

The book is called Tårer fra en stein (Tears from a stone) and has been written by Norwegian journalist Ørjan Nilsson, based on extensive interview sessions with Paul in New York, Berlin, Hamburg and Oslo over the last two years.

“I have listened to a-ha all my life, and I have long wanted to take a deeper look at Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, a man who usually doesn’t say too much”, Nilsson tells Dagsavisen.

“It took some time before he opened up, but he hasn’t held back on anything. He has answered any questions and talked about everything from religion, family and adolescence, to the inner conflicts in a-ha and his problems with social anxiety.”

According to a press release about the book, Paul opens up about “his work, mindset and music. About art, film and literature. About his adolescence in suburban Oslo in the 60s and 70s, his life in America over nearly 30 years, his successes and failures. About a-ha, Savoy and Bridges. About giant crowds in arenas and stadiums, about concerts in front of 50 people. About politics, The Doors and Gunvor Hofmo. About his wife Lauren. About Morten and Magne.”

Tårer fra en stein will be published by Falck Forlag, which has previously published books about Hunting High and Low and Scoundrel Days in its series of books about the 100 best Norwegian albums of all time. As part of the same series, Nilsson wrote a book about the Kings of Convenience album Quiet Is the New Loud in 2014.

‘Mountains of Time’ to be reissued in July

The new Mountains of Time album cover

Savoy’s third and most successfull album Mountains of Time from 1999 is set to be reissued by Apollon Records on 14 July, the label announced on its Facebook page today. The reissue will be available on CD, vinyl and digitally. There will also be limited edition T-shirts.

Update: pre-orders can now be made at the Savoy bandcamp page.

The Mountains of Time reissue was originally slated for release in May this year, with Reasons To Stay Indoors to follow in July, but both of them seem to have been pushed back a few months.

While the cover of last year’s Lackluster Me reissue was mostly similar to the original, this new reissue of Mountains of Time will feature a brand new cover. The cover image seems to interpret the album title quite literally, showing both mountains and an hourglass.

For more info on Savoy and Paul’s other side projects over the years, check out a new and detailed article written by Barry Page for The Electricity Club.

“Open Face” single release

“Open Face” single cover

“Open Face”, the third single from Waaktaar & Zoe’s World of Trouble album, was released on 7 April and can be purchased/streamed here.

A music video for the song, directed by Jenny Woods, premiered exclusively on the French Rolling Stone website today and can also be seen on YouTube.

For more in-depth info on Waaktaar & Zoe, check out the extensive interview Paul did with the Super Deluxe Edition website last month.

As for possible Waaktaar & Zoe live dates, Paul says in the interview there’s still a chance it might happen:

“I would love to because she has a really powerful voice. I’m just trying to figure out how it could be done. I’m toying with the idea of doing a double show, where Savoy can do one half and Zoe can do the other half… stuff like that, to make it workable for me, as well. (…) The original idea was to do some festivals first, in the summer, but it got a little bit tight with the unplugged thing with a-ha, so we’ll see. Once we get to the end of the summer, the fall period is fairly open for me, so I’m hoping that would be a good place to do some gigs.”

Paul interviewed in Musikkpraksis

Cover of Musikkpraksis, #1/2017

Paul is on the cover of the latest issue of Norwegian music magazine Musikkpraksis. Inside there’s a 10-page report from Paul’s home studio in Brooklyn, where he recorded the newly released Waaktaar & Zoe album.

“When you hear her sing, she sounds like she could be 20, 30 or 40 [years old]. I find that really cool”, Paul says of Zoe Gnecco.

“I tend to write songs based on where I’m at in my own life. When I get someone else to interpret them, who’s in a totally different place, it does something to the songs. You feel like you’re hearing them from two different angles. Something that means one thing from my viewpoint, means something else from hers.”

He is also pleased with the World of Trouble mixing process, which was done with Steve Osborne.

“The good thing about Steve is that I can give him a bit more than he needs. Whereas many others want to include absolutely everything in the mix, Steve isn’t afraid to remove things. He knows what might potentially hinder the melody, and what might strengthen or weaken the groove.”

Among other things, the interview also covers Paul’s current preferences when it comes to microphones, amps and guitars. As for future releases, there is a lot of material from the last few years that’s just waiting to be heard.

“I have a lot of songs ready, and it’s only now that I’m starting to release things. But I can’t just release everything all at once, that would be too much. I need to release [Waaktaar & Zoe], then Savoy, and then the next one.”

From Musikkpraksis, #1/2017

A few more translated quotes from the interview have been posted on a-ha.com.

The magazine is now available in selected Narvesen stores across Norway. The price is 149 kr (£14).

‘World of Trouble’ now available

Album cover

Waaktaar & Zoe’s long-awaited World of Trouble album is released today by Drabant Music, and is now available digitally on Spotify, iTunes, Tidal etc. through this link.

If you prefer physical formats, the album is also available on CD, black vinyl, purple vinyl and blue vinyl. All formats can be ordered from Drabant Music (worldwide shipping).

In a review in Vårt Land’s paper edition, music critic Olav Solvang writes that Paul “delivers several rock solid applications for new pop classics” and that Zoe’s vocals “fit perfectly with Waaktaar’s quirky, and at times demanding, songs”. He feels that “Beautiful Burnout” is “a powerful pop song that should become an international hit” and that she sings it “with an impressive maturity and presence”.

Other Norwegian album reviews so far include Aftenposten (3/6), Dagsavisen (3/6), Gaffa (3/6) and VG (3/6).

Zoe was a guest on NRK P1’s Kveldsåpent last night. The radio interview can be heard at radio.nrk.no. There is also an interview with Paul in Dagsavisen today.

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