FJ - Mags, you're doodling there, you're an artist as well.
MF - I have worked parallel since my first exhibition in 1989, and I've since dedicated approximately half my time to visual art. Having said that, I have about twice the amount of time in me than most people do.
FJ - You don't sleep, Mags?
MF - I start the day on European time, and I restart it when America wakes up and keep going around.
FJ - Has that been forever, or is it since touring and things?
MF - No I used to be one of the world's best sleepers and I think I have slept enough in my youth for my whole life [...] I have my fair share of energy and I have spent it on music and art.
MH - You are doing very well as an artist.
MF - Yeah for some parts of my life, obviously the fame and the money and the music gave me a unique starting point. (A) I had to be careful not to be kind of seen as a 'celebrity painter' and I had to kind of say no to most of the things that were offered me and (B) I had a financial security so I could work on a professional level from the word 'go'. I could start a project on my own, I didn't need a galleriest, or some guy coming in and funding my projects, I could do it on my own.
At some points in my life, the music was funding the art. But at certain years over the last 10-15 years, the art has funded the music. So it's been a priviledged position to be in.
MF - We have one advantage, and that is that repetition dulls, and sometimes you lose fascination and interest because you know things too well. I think most people find that in their marriage or in their lives, that something you are exposed to always is something that you take for granted. And I think one of our advantages is that we are guests in the English language.
I am really passionate about English. I kind of got that from my mother, being an English teacher, but I also got it from my high school teacher who was almost a dictator in the way that he taught English, and it made me appreciate the precision of the language and the possibilities. Every time I read a book, I only read in English. Even Norwegian authors these days, ironically, but it's because I am always looking out for linguistic finer points. I am always making notes, I have this kind of advanced way of making donkey's ears, bending down the pages [...] Every time I finish a book I have to re-read all these pages and write down the passages and [...]
(That last bit is timely, since swordznsorcery commented here recently about how it is interesting that Magne presents his art/poetry in English - I knew there was an interview somewhere where he talked about being fascinated by English, but I couldn't find it. This isn't the one I was thinking of, but it's definitely relevant :-) )