80’s popstar says fame is ‘confusing’

A-ha’s Magne Furuholmen thinks fame is “confusing”.

The 59-year-old musician shot to stardom alongside Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, and Morten Harket in the 80s with A-H whise big hit ‘Take On Me’ and Magne admits that they didn’t enjoy being portrayed as pop pin-ups at the time.

While A-ha is definitely not a one-hit wonder in its native country of Norway, the band only had one big hit in the US: “Take On Me” topped the charts in 1985.

Much of  the song’s success can be attributed to its innovative music video, which combined live action and animation, making it perfect for heavy rotation on MTV.

He explained: “We went along with it in the ’80s but from the early ’90s we kind of felt that we failed our music in many ways by feeding into the sort of pop idols.

“Fame was confusing. We were young men who went from nobodies to the centre of attention wherever we went. We had people running after us. We were ducking, diving and calling the police for help. It was entertaining, but taxing.

“We all suffered from the perception of the band in the early days which lingered for quite some time. One of the reasons I went into visual arts, and we all had solo projects, was to reset. We tried to get away from the stereotyping.

“Morten, obviously, bore the brunt of fame. He was the centre of attention and in interviews people were more curious about his biceps or hair than A-ha’s actual music. But later, bands came out as fans — and people that you wouldn’t necessarily expect like Morrissey, and we were huge Smiths fans. And Noel Gallagher, The Stone Roses and Coldplay. Kanye West used to dance to ‘Take On Me’ during his show.”

The band are now set to release their 11th studio album, ‘True North’.

But Morten admits that the band – who live in different locations around the world – actually work better when they’re not together.

“Working separately has been very much the typical A-ha of the last decade.

“We are very different, but we are three. And all three of us need to feel that we are free to do whatever feels right.

“I don’t take part in the writing. I don’t want to muscle my own stuff in between Pal and Mags. It doesn’t really work, so I’ve stopped doing it.

“As a singer it’s how I interpret things and engage in their songwriting. It’s how the music speaks to me. I write for my solo work but for A-ha it works better like this.”

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