Posts Tagged ‘a-ha’

Morten: “We have a deep respect for each other”

Morten, February 2021

a-ha: The Movie had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York this weekend. The first review (4 out of 5 stars) has been posted on the website Josh at the Movies:

“The fact that I instantly opened my Spotify and downloaded most of A-Ha’s discography as soon as A-Ha: The Movie ended should speak volumes about its overall quality”, Josh Batchelder writes in his review.

“Following their dream from struggling below the poverty line, A-Ha: The Movie is an endearing story of realizing your dreams and believing in them. The documentary feels deep-reaching, a truly honest portrayal of personalities and musical insight. (…) I look forward to exploring more of A-Ha’s incredible body of work, as the ripples of their impact on the music industry can still be felt today.”

Morten himself has been interviewed by Salon.com in connection with the premiere. When asked about his own favorite a-ha songs, he says:

“There could be many. I don’t have a favorite song. I can lean to one song for a period, then to another. But all the songs we’ve done, we’ve had some sort of soft spot for at some point in time, or they wouldn’t be there. And there are a lot of songs in the making that have never gotten through to the point of being recorded and released. There are some cornerstones. On “Memorial Beach” there is a song that most people don’t know, “Cold as Stone,” which I like. A lot of others that are more the darker side of the band. A-ha is a dark band, really. That is where we are coming from. None of us listened to pop music growing up. We would not have listened to A-ha ourselves if we were on the street, because of the image of the band. Because of a number of things. Because of me, for one. [Laughs]”

In the interview, Morten points out how the band in many ways has been more successful since the 2000 comeback than in the first period:

“I feel the documentary fails us a little in the second half, which [chronicles] when we got back together through to today. That is the longest period that we’ve been together, I believe. And it’s our time when we’ve done our best business and touring. We played to many more people in the second half than in the first, and success-wise, that’s a bigger achievement than making it in the first place, I would argue.”

Early reports about the film also suggests that it spends quite some time on the often-reported creative frictions within the band:

“What I do feel is that the focus in the second half of the film is the disagreements and problems. But one has to bear in mind that we’ve been together for all this time and we’ve chosen to get together and get back together over and over again. We have a deep respect for each other and I’m always proud and honored to be associated with them. And we all feel the same. But we are not the same, and that is part of the package. All three of us are completely necessary for the band to become A-ha”, Morten says.

Director Thomas Robsahm has also done several interviews to promote the film recently, including conversations with Cineuropa and Screen Daily, while a video clip from the film, detailing the evolution of “Take On Me”, was published by Rolling Stone.

Next month a-ha: The Movie will be screened in Germany, as part of the Munich International Film Festival on 8 and 9 July. Information in English is available here.

Lisbon back on the schedule (again)

After a-ha’s performance at the Rock in Rio Lisboa festival was cancelled due to Covid in both 2020 and 2021, hopefully third time’s the charm as a-ha have now been confirmed for next year’s festival:

25 June 2022: Rock in Rio Lisboa Festival, Lisbon, Portugal

Duran Duran have also been confirmed for the same day.
Tickets already purchased will remain valid for the 2022 festival. More info here.

Movie trailer now available

The official trailer for a-ha: The Movie premiered yesterday, via articles posted by Variety in the US and VG in Norway.

It has also been posted by the production company on YouTube:

“I wanted to tell a story about their boyhood dream, and how incredibly difficult it really was to achieve an international breakthrough back then. About the future of a-ha. If there will be more music. I hope you’ll get to know them better as individuals and get a deeper understanding of the mechanisms within the band. This is not just a film about a-ha, but above all a film about Paul, Magne and Morten”, director Thomas Robsahm tells VG.

a-ha: The Movie will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York on June 12th – tickets for the outdoor screening are sold out, but streaming access can be purchased here (US only).

Meanwhile, the Norwegian premiere has been pushed back to September 3rd. Theatrical deals are also in place for Japan, Korea, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, according to Variety.

a-ha – The Movie to premiere in June

Directed by Thomas Robsahm and Aslaug Holm.

After several postponements and much back and forth, the highly anticipated documentary film a-ha – The Movie is now finally set to premiere, at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York in June 2021.

The festival is held from 9 – 20 June, and the movie will be shown as part of the “Spotlight Documentary” section. Producer and co-director Thomas Robsahm says it will be extra special to have the world premiere in New York, only a few blocks from where Paul Waaktaar-Savoy lived for many years.

The movie will also premiere in Norway during the same month, on 18 June. It will also be distributed by First Hand Films in a number of other countries, including Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Finland, Israel, Sweden and South Korea.

The running time may end up varying in different markets, as in addition to the 1 hour 39 minute version planned for Norwegian cinemas, there is also mention of a 90-minute version and a 52-minute version.

Other links:
World premiere for a-ha – The Movie at Tribeca
Anthony Bourdain, A-ha docs among 2021 Tribeca Festival feature line-up

Update 5/5:
It looks like the world premiere will happen at Brookfield Place in New York on June 12th. Tickets go on sale May 10th, while tickets for the virtual screening (starting June 13th – US only) are available now at tribecafilm.com.

Los Angeles concerts rescheduled

The three a-ha concerts at The Wiltern in Los Angeles are the latest to be rescheduled for next year. Here are the new dates:

07 April 2022: The Wiltern, Los Angeles, USA
08 April 2022: The Wiltern, Los Angeles, USA
09 April 2022: The Wiltern, Los Angeles, USA

Original tickets remain valid.

New tour dates for Japan

The seven a-ha concerts in Japan have now been rescheduled again, to January 2022. Here are the new dates:

13 January: Civic Hall, Fukuoka, Japan
15 January: Tokyo Dome City Hall, Tokyo, Japan
16 January: Tokyo Dome City Hall, Tokyo, Japan
18 January: Aichi Arts Center, Nagoya, Japan
19 January: Grand Cube Osaka, Osaka, Japan
21 January: Tokyo Dome City Hall, Tokyo, Japan
22 January: City Culture Hall, Shizuoka, Japan

Original tickets for all shows are still valid – except for the concert in Osaka, where the venue has been changed from Festival Hall to Grand Cube Osaka. All original Osaka tickets will be refunded and new tickets put on sale soon. More info on the website of Japanese concert promoter Creativeman.

Meanwhile in Portugal, the Rock in Rio Lisboa Festival has been postponed once again – to June 2022. It remains to be seen if a-ha will still be a part of the lineup for a third time.

European tour rescheduled for 2022

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As expected, the European Hunting High and Low tour planned for April and May this year has now officially been rescheduled for 2022, due to Covid-19.

Here are the new dates, as announced on a-ha.com:

28 April: Partille Arena, Gothenburg, Sweden
29 April: Royal Arena, Copenhagen, Denmark
01 May: O2 Arena, Prague, Czech Republic
04 May: AFAS Live, Amsterdam, Netherlands
05 May: Forest National, Brussels, Belgium
07 May: Le Zenith, Paris, France
09 May: Festhalle, Frankfurt, Germany
11 May: Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin, Germany
12 May: Barclaycard Arena, Hamburg, Germany
14 May: Arena Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
15 May: Lanxess Arena, Cologne, Germany
18 May: DNB Arena, Stavanger, Norway
20 May: Oslo Spektrum, Oslo, Norway
21 May: Oslo Spektrum, Oslo, Norway
24 May: BIC, Bournemouth, UK
25 May: M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool, UK
27 May: The SSE Arena, Wembley, London, UK
28 May: Utilita Arena, Birmingham, UK

Original tickets remain valid. See a list of all upcoming dates here.

Update: The special screening of a-ha – The Movie has also been rescheduled accordingly. The new date is 19 May 2022 at Colosseum Cinema in Oslo. Original tickets remain valid for this screening as well.

Please note that the world premiere of a-ha – The Movie is now planned for sometime in 2021, meaning 19 May 2022 is now billed as a “special screening” instead.

Is Morten on The Masked Singer in the UK?

Viking on The Masked Singer, 2 January 2021

The a-ha fan community lit up last night, when a very familiar voice appeared on the UK version of The Masked Singer on ITV.

Dressed up as a viking, the person inside performed a haunting version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Songbird”. The video can be seen here.

The clues given were also a clear indication who might be inside the costume, as can be seen in a video posted here. “King’s rock” equals Kongsberg in Norwegian – the city where Morten was born. He played the role of The King in the Norwegian-dubbed version of the movie Mirror Mirror. And he has been a mentor on two seasons of The Voice in Norway.

Additionally, the viking said he also wears “another kind of armour”. All three members of a-ha have been appointed Knights First Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav.

In September 2009 Morten selected a number of his favourite songs for “Tracks of my years” on the Ken Bruce show on BBC Radio 2, and the first song he chose was Fleetwood Mac’s “Songbird”.

“Christine McVie is one of the singers that have had the most influence on me. She’s credited, obviously, for her voice, for her singing and songwriting. I just think she’s greater than that. It’s the tone of her voice, the way she uses it. I think she’s truly great”, Morten told Ken Bruce back then. Later that same month he performed “Songbird” at a solo concert in Norway.

The judges and studio audience on The Masked Singer liked what they heard, and Viking is through to the next round. He beat Seahorse, who turned out to be Mel B from the Spice Girls.

According to Deadline, the second season of The Masked Singer was shot over eight nights at Bovingdon Studios, north of London, in September 2020.

The show has also been a big hit in Norway recently, as Maskorama, where the influencer Herman Dahl was revealed to be inside the viking costume.

2021 tour probably rescheduled for 2022

It might be a while until this happens again

Last week saw the announcement that next month’s a-ha tour in Japan will be rescheduled again. Today, a-ha manager Harald Wiik tells VG that all the other dates planned for next year are also likely to be rescheduled.

“30-40 concerts were postponed to 2021. Unfortunately, I assume we’ll have to postpone everything once again, to 2022. It is unlikely that large concerts and festivals will be going ahead until the third or fourth quarter of 2021”, he says.

“I wish we could tour in 2021, but I don’t think that will be possible. In Norway alone there is estimated to be 1,3 million people in the risk group, who are the first who should be vaccinated. Even if most things goes according to plan, it’s hard to imagine a return to normality until late fall.”

VG asks Wiik if it will be at all possible to do a world tour on a similar large scale as was planned before the pandemic.

“I think it can be possible in 2022, but even that is uncertain. We’re planning to tour all over South America, plus the USA, which is facing big challenges, and there could also be new waves [of coronavirus] in Europe. We are, as everyone else, dependent on the situation to get under control, and we also have to do a specific risk assessment on behalf of our employees and not least our audiences”, Wiik says.

He also tells VG that the a-ha camp is currently working on both a feature film and a musical, in addition to the already finished documentary film. And a lot of new music is being written, although it remains to be seen how it will be used.

“a-ha can handle another tour postponement. But it hurts to see how our crew and backing musicians are struggling, who, in addition to our postponements, are also losing other tour opportunities.”

a-ha aiming for Portugal (again)

Festival ad

a-ha were supposed to perform at Rock in Rio Lisboa in Portugal this summer, but the festival had to be cancelled due to Covid-19.

The organizers are trying again next year, and a-ha have now once again been confirmed to be headlining together with Duran Duran on 26 June 2021.

This will be the very first time a-ha perform live in Portugal. The Rock in Rio spin-off festival in Lisbon has been held every other year since 2004, and is one of the largest of its kind in Europe, with an attendance of around 350,000 people.

Tickets are on sale now, while tickets already bought for this year’s festival are still valid for 2021.

A total of 38 a-ha concerts are currently planned for 2021.

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