Article: The beginning of the end

In a little over a year, a 25 year long Norwegian pop adventure will come to an end. “Getting the opportunity to end things while you’re on top of your game is a privilege”, Morten Harket says.

On Tuesday night, Morten Harket and a-ha will enter the stage at Lanxess Arena in Cologne. That’s the start of the Foot Of The Mountain Tour. But the new album and tour will soon be in the background. Because next year the farewell tour will start, and in December 2010 things are coming to an end. After 25 years in the spotlight a-ha will enter the books of history.

“All things do eventually come to an end. We can look back at a fantastic 25-year career, and we’re now experiencing success once again. We’re riding on a really good wave. Getting the opportunity to end things while you’re on top of your game is a privilege. We’ve been at it for 25 years with a lot of highlights, where the artistic life, working as an artist, has been the most important thing. Because that’s what we set out to do when we left for London in 1983”, Harket tells Aftenposten from his hotel in Cologne.

It’s been a good year for a-ha. The album Foot Of The Mountain reached the top of the charts in Germany and was number five in the UK.

“The success we’ve experienced until now has not happened just by chance. We’ve set a few goals for ourselves and wanted to achieve something with the music”, says the Norwegian pop star, who is now looking ahead.

“We’re seeing this as a creative move, where you clean the table and set a new starting point – which is also the beginning of something else”, he says.

But it’s not the first time a-ha are going away. The last time was in 1993. It took seven years before they came back with Minor Earth Major Sky in 2000.

“People will always speculate if this is really the end, but we’re not going to give any comments about that. None of us know how things will be in the future, but that’s kind of the point, opening up for some fresh air. But a-ha has a farewell tour and a year of celebrating in 2010.”

– How is the chemistry within the band?

“That’s something I won’t bother to comment on. This is something the media has always been asking about, and the media has its own views on it anyway, so I’m not going to waste any time on it now. I just want to say that having had a 25-year international career also proves that things have functioned. Not many bands can look back on such a career.”

– But does the chemistry between you have something to do with the break-up?

“I don’t want to say anything about it. It’s meaningless speculation, and it’s depressing having to answer such question constantly. It doesn’t build things up. All of us want to build, create things. That’s what we do.”

– Is it hard to be old in the game when you’re making pop music?

“And what is pop music? Is it Britney Spears? We’re creating music that has many layers and aspects to it, music that’s challenging to perform and compose, challenging to analyze. a-ha’s music has always had a complexity to it, as well as an ability to reach a larger audience. There a much finer-woven layer of complexity to a-ha’s music than most of what you’ll find within the rock genre”, Harket says.

By Rolv Christian Topdahl., 26 October 2009.

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