June 28th, 2009


a new chick-magnet

Earlier this month, a-ha.com published an interview with Norwegian photographer Stian Andersen.

In the interview, Stian talked about what it has been like working with a-ha since around 2000, as well as a new a-ha book project. He also talked about hanging out with Apparatjik last winter when they were recording in Norway:

So you were also working with Apparatjik; was this in an official capacity or were you just hanging out with them taking pictures in a casual way?

It’s official in the way that I got a phone call from Magne inviting me to the recording session to do pictures. Nobody knew what was gonna come out of it. They didn’t want to dress up and pose for pictures like you normally do. Even though we have some in that direction anyway, that are quite funny and different.

I just hung around for a few days while they were recording and it was great. I didn’t know what to expect really, I didn’t have any expectation and it was much more experimental than I ever imagined. It was such a kick to be there. I stayed there one extra day just because I loved the sound of it.

So how does that differ from working with a-ha?

It was really, really casual, it was like a bunch of lads hanging out, eating good food, drinking wine, going skiing on the slopes and recording in the nighttime. I’ve never seen anything like it.

One of Stian's fabulous Apparatjik photos was posted briefly on the Apparatjik MySpace page and was immediately a hit among the fans. It's too big to view in this layout, so Collapse ).

Given that it's been so quiet in the Apparatjik camp lately, since all the guys have other projects going on these days, I think it's likely that Stian is going to find himself an unlikely (Apparat-)chick magnet very soon ;-) It's a good thing the guy doesn't have a twitter account, that's all I can say ;-)

I'm looking forward to more of Stian's pictures, not just of a-ha and Apparatjik but the many other bands he's worked with as well.

another related interview

Last month, Karl Oluf Wennerberg did an interview with a-ha.com and talked about his experience playing with a-ha. Here are the relevant Magne F/Apparatjik bits.

Karl Oluf on working with Apparatjik:

Can you tell about some of the other bands have you been in/played with?

Apparatjik: Inspiring when there is no politics, just music.

I like that phrase 'no politics', and I think that meshes well with the experience Stian had last winter with Apparatjik (see my previous post). I'm curious to hear what Magne, Guy, Martin and Jonas would have to say about Apparatjik - the experience collaborating with each other, what is unique about this particular constellation of creative minds, each person's contributions to the music and visuals, etc - but so far they've all been pretty quiet about it. Not sure anything resembling clarity on this project will ever surface, but I guess you never know.

Karl Oluf on working with Magne F:

You contributed to Magne's solo album 'A dot of black in the blue of your bliss'. How did that come about?

We had been playing on his songs for a while and it just felt natural to record a new Magne F album.
He invited us to his place in France and we basically recorded the record in two weeks. We had a few laughs, dinners, drinks and many good "takes".
We were inspired by Borat at that time, so I think "great success" will cover the experience.
It was a blast. Seeing how he is working is always mind blowing, but to hang out with Mags can be painful. He hates to lose and actually never does. He is skilled in many ways.

It is cool that there seems to be a recurring theme of people working with Magne saying that there's a lot of relaxing time together too, not just studio work and task oriented stuff. Maybe there is a correlation between good food and good music? If so, the guys in a-ha must have had a lot of good dinners and good wine together in the past year because the new album is just stunning. The more I listen to it the more I feel like it is the 'missing piece' somehow, the album they *had* to make. It's right up there in my top favorite albums of all time, along with 'A dot of black', and that's saying a lot.