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April 28th2003
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Long interview with Morten in Norway’s biggest newspaper

On Saturday, April 19, the Norwegian paper VG published a four-page interview with Morten. VG’s journalist Frode Nakkim visited Morten’s cabin in the south of Norway for some days, and Morten talked about a lot of different topics.

According to the journalist, he is “a man filled with curiosity and passion – a balance artist in constant struggle between chaos and control.”
“Girls give me energy” is the headline of the interview. “Girls give me energy, and it’s not about sex,” Morten says. “They affect me in a positive way.”

He says he sometimes gets a little crush on someone he sees in the crowd – from the stage, or someone passing by anywhere. “There are some character traits in a girl that can move me.”

It has been 18 years since ‘Take on Me,’ and one marriage and four children since Morten became Norway’s first and biggest world famous pop star. Now, at the age of 43, he has a new baby with his live-in girlfriend Anne Mette, and a-ha have released a new live album.

“I have become older, but so has the rest of the world,” Morten says. “And time has been kinder to me.” The journalist points out that he says that with a hint of irony, but that it is also true – in several ways.

Morten alternates between almost reactionary conservatism to rebellious anarchism in his arguments, VG writes. He speaks about the war in Iraq, about abortion, and sexual differences. Norway does not have room for real debates about important, but unpopular questions, Morten says.

He rarely listens to music when he is not working with his own, so the reporter and Morten spent five hours in a car without any music or radio. But Morten likes Coldplay, Eva Cassidy and Jeff Buckley. “They are vocalists that touch me, and they have come further than me. They stimulate me,” he says.

Morten tells about how the concert at gigantic Marcana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro in 1991 started some changes in him. He there stood on the large stage and looked out over 194 000 people, and they were all there just to hear a-ha, and to see Morten Harket.

“I got angry with myself,” Morten explains. “I looked back and thought about all that we had accomplished, and now we have gathered almost 200 000 people, and I still could not let myself go. The only thing they want from me is that I open the channel and give everything of myself. I still could not let my powers loose. What’s holding me back?”

That was the start of a process that changed Morten, both as a person and as a pop star, VG write. “I started to let go. I stopped preventing things from falling apart; I let processes happen without interfering.”

About his childhood, Morten tells VG that he was beaten up by other kids in school, and he tells about how it was important to him and Anne Mette to have a child, and about his fascination for aquariums. He also shows VG his working apartment in Oslo, where he makes music both for himself and a-ha.

“We still haven’t shown a-ha’s full potential,” he says. “There was a big gap between our musical identity and the image we got.” When VG asks if a-ha can ever live up to its full potential, Morten answers, ” The way we have been working on the last two albums, shows that it’s possible. But I’m not sure if I can answer yes. Today we need to follow up our private and personal things. We all have family, and we don’t want to give priority to the band before the family. There are other conditions than when we were in our twenties.”

VG asks about Morten’s relationship with Paul and Magne. “We don’t have much contact with each other when we are not working together,” Morten says. “Because it’s so intense when we are all in the same boat. But that does not change the way we feel about each other.” When asked if they are more like colleagues than brothers, Morten says that the brother term fits better.

“So if it really counted, you would offer an arm for those guys,” the journalist asks. “I do that all the time,” Morten answers.

See the whole article here. It contains pictures from Morten’s cabin, which is a rare glimpse into his personal life.

http://www.vg.no/pub/vgart.hbs?artid=56257

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  1. April 24th2014
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