Lars Horntveth interview in Japan (20th May 2019)

Lars came to Japan as a member of Amgala Temple.
And I asked him for a short interview, asking about a-ha or PW-S related things as I did with Maya Vik before. Tusen takk, Lars san! (I was a bit drunk then and my English is really terrible...

(after the gig of Amgala Temple, 20th May 2019 Roppongi, Tokyo)

-I think you are 39 years old now. What was the start of your music?

LH: (Bruce) Springsteen... and... uh... a-ha.
Lars, Roppongi 2019

-When you started to listen a-ha, in what phase of a-ha...

LH: When I was a kid.  It was 85, maybe. The very beginning.

-I have noticed that young musicians like your age or younger have influenced by a-ha as they had a strong passion to go abroad outside of Norway.

LH: There was nobody to compare with.  Except now there are some like Kygo or Astrid S. They are big.

-So you liked a-ha personally before you worked with them. How did it happen?

LH: I knew Pål. I met and hang out with Pål several times in New York before. It was 2007.

-Before the reunion of a-ha?

LH: Yeah, before they broke up.

-Are you living in US now?

LH: I used to. Not now. I live in Oslo now.

-So when you first met Pål, you were living in NY?

LH: That time, it was only for 2 or 3 months.

-How did you met?

LH: Thru our friends.

-So...after that, maybe about ten years later, you worked with a-ha. Now I know you were a kind of friend of Pål from 2007 but how about other two? I mean Magne and Morten.

LH: I met them when I started to work for MTV unplugged.

-How do you think about them personally?

LH: I think... they are nice guys and difficult to work with.


LH: Difficult and nice, both at the same time(smile)

-You were asked to produce a-ha... from who?

LH: I was asked by a manager but I think it was a Pål's suggestion.

-It's interesting.

LH: Erik and Harald asked me. But I think it was from Pål. And the band finally decided it.

-I know Even (bass player of Jaga Jazzist) is a big fan of a-ha since he was a little kid. He now plays with a-ha. How do you feel about it?

LH: It is great. It's a great band and it's a great job. I'm very happy for it. Everyone in our place has bunch of different bands so we don't have any problems with it.

-One of my friends wants to know that is there any songs which was omitted from your producing at MTV unplugged album.

LH: Yes, one song. Take On Me.

-Only Take On Me? Why?

LH: Why?(lol) No they do like other that's it. I liked the one I made. I made two versions actually. It's a taste, you know. They are a band and I understand it. They can't like everything. They made a lot of songs and they are really different. They have their original. So it's natural that they don't like everything. But I prefer my one was the best (lol)

-In 2010, a-ha did two shows with Oslo Phil.

LH: I know it.

-I was just wondering who wrote the score for the orchestra then. Do you have any ideas?

LH: I think it was Kjetil Bjerkestrand - he worked with a-ha. I think he even play keyboards with them.

-a-ha will be on tour this year with orchestra. Are you going to work for them again?

LH: No. I just did the MTV unplugged.

-I became a fan of your band too. I'm just thinking of next album of Jaga Jazzist.

LH: We gonna start recording in June.

-June! Next month!!(excited)

LH: Ja.

-So if you have any plan to come back to Japan?

LH: Not yet. But I guess next year. We will have a new album and then come back to Japan, probably.

-OK. That's all. Thank you very much!