Archive for the ‘Paul’ Category

Waaktaar & Zoe signs with Drabant Music

Picture from Drabant Music

Picture from Drabant Music

The Norwegian record label Drabant Music issued the following press release today:

Pål Waaktaar-Savoy (a-ha) and singer Zoë Aphrodite Gnecco (daughter of Jimmy Gnecco) recently signed a worldwide recording deal with the Norwegian record label Drabant Music.

Pål and Zoe are both living in NYC and they have known each other for years. When this exciting collaboration turned into an album project they decided to simply name it Waaktaar & Zoe.

The album “World Of Trouble” is set to be released on the 24th of February 2017, while the first single “Beautiful Burnout” will be released on September 30th this year. Pre order the single here.

Follow Waaktaar & Zoe on Facebook.

The music video for “Beautiful Burnout” premiered at the international a-ha fan convention in Oslo in April this year. The song features lyrics that Paul has re-used from the early version of “Foot Of The Mountain” that was included on the deluxe version of Cast In Steel.

Waaktaar & Zoe also have a new Twitter account.

Paul to release “World of Trouble” album

Aftenposten has published an extensive interview with Paul today (subscribers only), which was done in Munich earlier this month.

Oberhausen, 20 April (From a YouTube video by Patricia Seders)

Oberhausen, 20 April
(From a YouTube video by Patricia Seders)

A few translated quotes:

“We’re not stopping now. This isn’t a farewell tour.”

– Yeah, as you already did the farewell tour last time?

“Yes, this tour is to promote the [Cast in Steel] album. We’ll probably be back for more craziness at some point.”

– How important is a-ha for you today?

“When in the middle of it, nothing is more important. There’s nothing in my life that hasn’t happened because of a-ha.”

– Will it be sad to walk off stage after the last concert?

“Not at all – it will be great. I can’t wait for people to hear the music I’ve made over the last few years. First up is ‘World of Trouble’, an album I’ve made with Zoë Gnecco from New Jersey. Her voice gives me goose bumps.”

– What about a-ha makes you the most proud?

“The fact that we’re still rockin’! That’s perhaps because we’ve never been super satisfied with things we’ve done. We don’t sit and pat each other on the back, thinking we’ve done something fantastic. I feel like an underachiever in everything I do.”

Apollon Records to reissue Savoy albums

Savoy

Savoy

Savoy have signed a contract with Bergen-based Apollon Records to reissue all their five studio albums on CD, vinyl and digitally; Mary is Coming (1996), Lackluster Me (1997), Mountains of Time (1999), Reasons to Stay Indoors (2001) and Savoy (2004).

“We have signed a contract with Apollon to reissue all the first five Savoy albums. This will be the first time they are released on vinyl and on digital platforms”, Paul told Bergensavisen earlier this week.

No release date has been set so far, but it appears Lackluster Me will be released first, as Warner in the US has yet to greenlight the reissue of Mary is Coming.

“Apollon has shown great enthusiasm for Savoy for a long time and that means a lot to us. It means everything, really”, Paul says on the decision to sign with Apollon Records.

The deal with Apollon does not include the new Savoy album, which will hopefully be released sometime later this year.

“The new Savoy album will be mixed now before the summer and has not been signed to any label yet”, Paul says.

Paul is also preparing to release the album he’s recorded with Zoe Gnecco. A music video of a song from the album will premiere at the a-ha fan convention in Oslo later this month. More info on a-ha.com.

Savoy recording new album in New York

Savoy

Savoy

Frode Unneland has been in New York this week, to work on the next Savoy album together with Paul and Lauren.

Paul posted a few pictures on Facebook and Instagram today, confirming that the band is currently recording at a studio in Rhinecliff, New York.

They were originally planning to finalize the Savoy album in the summer of 2014, but that was apparently postponed until now.

In an interview with the newspaper Åsane Tidende last week, Frode said they are planning to release both a new album and to reissue the old Savoy albums on vinyl.

Frode is also drumming for another band at the moment, Evig Din For Alltid, which released their third album last month, entitled Tilbake Til Byen. It includes two songs written by him. He says the two bands are quite different entities:

“It’s really fun and exciting to be a part of Savoy, but it’s a totally different world compared to Evig Din For Alltid, which is more like a bunch of buddies hanging out. But it’s really exciting to be working together with Paul; we’re having a great time together”, Frode says in the interview.

Savoy’s last studio album was released in 2004, while a double “best of” album of old songs, re-recorded versions and some new songs followed in 2007. The band last performed together in 2008.

Paul interviewed by Aftenposten

A selection of pages from Paul's notebooks are included in the Aftenposten article

A selection of pages from Paul’s notebooks are included in the Aftenposten article

Today’s edition of Aftenposten includes an extensive 7-page article that tells the story of how two of a-ha’s biggest fans, P.A. Stenersen and Christopher Hopkins, managed to rescue a number of early a-ha recordings and notebooks, ending a decade-long legal stalemate between a-ha and their controversial first manager John Ratcliff.

Many of these early recordings are now included on the new 5-disc 30th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition of Hunting High and Low, to be released on September 18th.

Getting his old notebooks back also inspired Paul to record one of the early songs, “She’s Humming a Tune”, which has ended up being one of the tracks on Cast In Steel.

“When I got the books back, I saw the lyrics and remembered ‘oh yeah, that one was cool’. Then I thought it would be cool to record this one in particular now”, Paul says.

Paul also talks candidly about what he thinks of the new album:

“It is very hard to think of this as a-ha, because it seems to me that there are three different things – which one calls a-ha. It often ends up like this, and many bands do it this way. But I do miss the feeling of us being in the same studio, working on the same song in real time.”

An English translation of the entire Aftenposten article has been posted online at Aftenposten.no.

Article about Paul’s new Brooklyn studio

Paul in front of the modular synth system in his new studio earlier this year, before the studio had been completed (Picture from Dagbladet)

Paul in front of the modular synth system in his new studio earlier this year, before everything had been completed.
(Picture from Dagbladet)

Sonicscoop.com has posted an article about Paul’s new home studio in Brooklyn, which has been designed and built by Jim Keller of Sondhus.

“I wanted to build a place that actually sounded accurate. That was the big dream. And to be able to crank it up and for things to have some life”, Paul says.

Back in 2012, Sonicscoop.com had a previous article about Paul’s old home studio in SoHo, which was full of instruments and equipment that he had collected over the years. Since then, he has scaled down his collection significantly.

“It was important for me to simplify with this place, and it was very important to me to have walking space. I just wanted to get rid of everything just so I could think straight. Of course I do sometimes regret selling some of those old beautiful vintage synths because I know I’ll never find them again.

But when you write songs, you can can lure yourself into the thought that ‘If I just get this, I’ll write these great songs.’ That old ploy. It worked on my wife, and I think I was able to trick myself for a while too”, he laughs.

Read the whole article at Sonicscoop.com.

Update on new Savoy album

New album from Frode, Lauren and Paul

New album from Frode, Lauren and Paul

Savoy-drummer Frode Unneland was interviewed by Åsane Tidende this week, in connection with his other band Evig Din For Alltid which will be releasing its second album Åtte Minutter Fra Solen on September 5th.

Back in April, Paul told a-ha.com that a new Savoy album – the first since 2007’s Savoy Songbook Vol. 1 – would be finalized with Frode this summer. The Åsane Tidende interview now states that Frode will be going to New York next month to work on the Savoy album with Paul and Lauren. But when it will be released remains to be seen.

As for Paul, he’s been working on something in his home studio in Oslo this summer, with Karl Oluf Wennerberg on the drums. Karl Oluf posted a picture from the sessions on Instagram last month.

Links:
Evig Din For Alltid on Soundcloud and Facebook

Paul on Facebook and Instagram

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”.

“Manmade Lake” remix opportunity

A fun update on a-ha.com 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 a-ha.com.

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

Head over to a-ha.com to download the stem files and read all the details.

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 a-ha.com 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).

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