viernes, 27 de noviembre de 2009

Entrevista a a-ha en MOTOR.DE

Antes que nada, muchas gracias a MariaOnsea por compartir la misma. Aqui les dejo una entrevista que le hicieron a Pal y a Magne el dia 12/11/09 donde hablan sobre la ruptura del grupo.

"We had the screaming girls"

Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and Magne Furuholmen of A-HA on the reasons of the upcoming split, embarrassing moments and their short time on the underground.

The Norwegian pop group A-HA has gone through all the ups and downs in their career. From Posterboy-Superstardom in the mid 80s, including a worldwide number-one hit with "Take On Me" to the disappearance of the complete irrelevance in the late 90s up to the brilliant comeback in 2000. Also with their current album, "Foot Of The Mountain," the trio proves that it has not forgotten how pop music works best. Im Gespräch mit lassen Gitarrist Pål Waaktaar-Savoy und Keyboarder Magne Furuholmen ihre Karriere Revue passieren. In an interview with guitarist Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and keyboardist Magne Furuholmen looks back at their career. I know you must have been asked this question very often recently, but what was the main reason for deciding to call it a day next year?

Furuholmen: At least now, it's no longer the question of why we have called ourselfs A-HA. This one we've been asked a thousand times. [laughs] Now the question about the split is being asked a thousand times. [laughs] I think the main reason for the decision is that we have come a long way together. For our 25-year band anniversary, we looked back - what we normally don't do, we always look forward - and found that we had a great time - from small beginnings in a garage in Norway to the arenas around the world. We also got the chance for a comeback and for receiving respect for it.

It was nice to see that after the very personal hysteria has subsided, our musical influence is still present. So we would rather stop at a peak, as to veg out half-forgotten. I rather end with people applauding with tears in their eyes as they'd applause just to get rid of you. It was a great experience together and we have a very complex relationship, because we know each other so long. It was simply the time to move on to do things in a different way.

Waaktaar-Savoy: The reasons are different for each band member. I would have been able to make another album. I had already written a few songs and worked on them. For me, it would have been great to do another record. But if you're in a band, there is either all or nothing. 25 years is a long time and there are a lot of other things I want to try. I would like to collaborate with other artists, or write for other people. Was it a difficult decision?

Furuholmen: Not really. Not if you look back at where we come from.
For me it was less a decision as a logical consequence after we had another hit album, good reviews and got reactions from the audience. On this tour we have played in larger venues than in the last five or six years. It always takes a longer to create a new album and I do not think that it is healthy to assume that the next record is better than the previous one. But with the current album "Foot Of The Mountain" the others and did have this ambition, we have worked very hard on it. I think that it is a fitting statement to resign.

Waaktaar-Savoy: It feels a little weird, because I was in the band for so long. Right now we have another year of touring ahead of us, so I do not think much about it. But at the end of next year it probably will feel a bit weird. Looking back at your career what were the best and the worst moments?

Waaktaar-Savoy: There are certainly some obvious highlights. But for me personally... [thinking] The beginning of our career was fantastic, we had this hysteria about our band, including the screaming girls. That changed later on, for a short time even we even were a little 'underground' with "Memorial Beach". Therefore our seven-year break was quite great because it revitalized our old band. Our comeback in 2000 was like a second birth. In addition, one could see how new musicians have been influenced by us.

Furuholmen: It is difficult to pick out individual moments. One of the highlights certainly was the popularity that we reached in South America during the middle of our career, when the hysteria in Europe and America noticeably shrunk. We suddenly found ourselves on a new continent again, where our music was accepted in a fantastic way . Once, we even played in the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro in front of nearly 200,000 people. We also already started with a highlight, when "Take On Me" became a number-one hit around the world. The worst moments are when nothing worksout and it puts you into an emotional low. Everyone reaches such a stage during a long career. That why the enthusiastic wave, on which we find ourselves at the moment, feel so good. Are there any decisions that you regret?

Furuholmen: There have been millions of poor decisions over the time, but in the end it's not about that. You make decisions and then you have to live with the consequences. For me, one of the most embarrassing moments was when we struggled with technical problems during the Live 8 concert in Berlin. This could have happened to anyone, but in a way it felt like as if we were not properly prepared. In the end, the only thing we heard on our speakers during "Take On Me" were the roadies of the next band tuning up the guitars. But I prefer to look on the positive things, for me even the negative ones are the seeds of a positive experience. I'm almost a little grateful for this embarrassing moment.

Waaktaar-Savoy: We came from Norway, and at that time there were very few bands that did what we did. We were very determined and believed in us. If we people wanted us to be on a TV show, we did everything they asked of us. For this we have paid a certain price. The beginning of our career ended up a bit in the 'Teeniepop' category. It took us some effort to get back out of there. Sometimes we were perhaps too polite. What are your plans for the future?

Waaktaar-Savoy As said, there are some things I would like to do. For example, there is Savoy, my other band. I was asked by other artists about working together very often, but never had the time for it. That I can approach now.

Furuholmen: For me, some plans are already fixed, as I work half of my time as a visual artist. There are current exhibitions and new ones need to be planned. And musically, I will continue to be busy, especially in my project Apparatjik. I am open to all new things in which I can contribute my skills. Whatever happens, it will feel like a restart. That's probably the most elegant way to end a career. From a creative point of view, it doesn't feel healthy just to rest on history. But maybe I am just sitting at home, reading a book in 2010. You play the ultimate show of your tour next year in Oslo. Is that important to you to end it just there, as a sort of farewell to the fans at home?

Furuholmen: Yes. We started our musical life in Oslo. The breakthrough, however, we only managed after we went to England, which is why there's our musical home. Our home country will always be something special for us. Our families and friends live there. It certainly will be a very special, emotional evening. And the concert was sold out within twelve minutes. Hopefully we can give back something to the people.

Waaktaar-Savoy: Norway is always a special place for us. But preparing the guest list is a full-time job. [laughs]

Interview: Mark Lomenick
Photos: Florian Kresse

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