Friday 22 December 2017
Transcript of Paul and Lauren's Facebook Q&A
Thank you to everyone who participated in the live Q&A on Facebook this past Tuesday! You can find the entire discussion on Facebook here.
The discussion is very long, so we've collected all the questions that received responses for you below. Thank you to Paul and Lauren for your time in answering so many great questions!
Jesper Sommer Schjølin: Is this album de facto the Waaktaar album that was never released + why new mix/version of Manmade Lake? ...(My) Weathervane makes sense of course :-)
Paul: It's not just remixes. It's different guitar and re-worked so I feel it's the grown up version of that song. We also got rid of the telephone voice so you could hear more of the lyrics. It's fuzz drenched and when you do that you can get away with having few instruments because their are so many overtones in the wash. It creates so many shapes and counter themes and riffs in that soup.
Sylvain Courtoux: My question (from a french fan) : after the "snipets" heard from the new album, we can see a sort of dichotomy between (new) songs built on synths and (it seems oldest) songs built around guitars - why don't you made an album entirely on synths ? Because Night Watch is the best Savoy single since (without a doubt) Velvet (which is based on guitars) ? Thanks.
Paul: Thanks for your question. Not all the songs want the same treatment. Sometimes we try to dress up songs different ways to see where they want to be and we go from there. Whenever you think you found a formula it never works. Every song is a new puzzle. But thank you! We are very happy with Night Watch and we're inspired to do similar.
Christopher Hopkins: I notice you’ve gone back to the 80’s concept of making 10-track albums. Is length important in the grand scheme of things? ;-)
Paul: It is just an after affect from the CD and everyone filled it with so much stuff and it diluted the whole album concept. Now that the vinyl is back you have limited space. Which I think is a good thing. And speaking of vinyl...we're coming out with a luxurious gatefold version of this new album!
Patricia Linthorst: hi guys! thank you for doing this! I have tickets for the gig in January. Super excited to see you there! Apart from the short set in RAH back in 2008 I’ve never had a chance to see you guys live. Can we expect a full set (20 songs?)? And do you welcome suggestions for the setlist? I’ve always hoped to hear I still cry, Get up now and Lackluster me play live…
Paul: Yes, we’ll certainly do a full set. We’ll do our best with the setlist. We have lots to choose from at this point.
Fanny Mel: I just want to say 'thank you' to Lauren to be there always with us, to share her passion for so many years. For the 32years a-ha fans that we are, you are too like family. Love from France and Merry Christmas to you.
Lauren: Thank you for being there as well! That's the most important part really. Merry Christmas. Have a wonderful new year!
Chloe Munro: Is the song and/or video of Nightwatch a reference to the 1994 Danish film of the same name?
Paul: No, it’s not. Could it be?
Debbie Heath Martinez: Paul and Lauren first of all Merry Christmas!
1. Music today has become so commercial it's great to see you guys continue to do your own thing ..what song on the new album would you say you had the most fun with?
2. If you could perform anywhere in the world (USA a ggod chouce) where would you choose and if you could only perform 1 song what would it be?
3. Which is better...Christmas in Norway or New York?
4. Thank you for all the great music!
Lauren: Hi Debbie. We had the most fun with Bump because it was so simple and groove based. We had a blast doing the beach boy harmonies.
Sylvain Courtoux: My question (from a french fan) : what are the albums of other artists you liked this year ? Have you listened to and liked the last Slowdive album?
Paul: Yes, I have! I also liked King Krule’s new album. Mild High Club. Cosmo Pyke. Yellow Days. Connan Mockasin etc.
Maya Santiago: Which ones of the songs on the new album stem from previous writing/recording sessions and which ones were specifically written for See the beauty in your drab hometown? We already know about Manmade Lake, Falls Park, Bump and Weathervane, but Night Watch for example sounds like it could have made it to a-ha's Cast in Steel alongside Door Ajar and Shadow Endeavors...
Paul: It's hard to draw lines because you are always working on stuff and half the time you don't know where the song will end up. It finds itself along the way. This album is a mix of brand new spanking songs and a few older ones. Nightwatch is a brand new song.
Maria Paz Altamira Hi Lauren!!! Welcome!!! First I congratulate you for the new and long awaited album. Who came up with changing the musical style? Congratulations, from what I could hear, you did very well!. Nigth Watch is addictive. I love him. Apologies for my English. Kissing from Argentina.
Lauren: Hi. I agree. It's a new direction. With Savoy we always try to strip things down. Like "Fear list" etc... It's always been there but we went further this time. Personally, I love this kind of music. Dark and groovy :-)
Emmanuel Reymond: I was amazed to read in 'Tårer fra en stein' that you contacted Mark Hollis mid-90s to work with him. Did you have specific songs in mind (that would end up on Mary is coming or not) for him to sing or work on? Did you have a precise idea of how the collaboration would have worked? Were you a fervent listener of Laughing Stock at the time and would you say this album (or any other of him) has had an influence on your work?
Paul: I just liked the tone of his voice. And the way he pronounced the words...couldn’t understand any of it :-)
Patricia Linthorst: Thank you for re releasing the old albums. Is there any chance that Mary is coming will be released any time in the near future? It is a very precious album for me and I only own one now. I like to have an extra to listen to in the car.
Paul: ‘Mary’ was signed to Warner Bros in the US and it’s a little harder to get the rights back. Still trying though.
John Keenan: Pal and Lauren why is it really hard to obtain your albums in the united kingdom, also you guys never tour Glasgow will you ponder the idea of a Scottish savoy tour leg ?
Paul: Hi, thanks for the question. Not sure why it's hard? At least it should be digitally available and we have an international distributor with the vinyl so hope that helps. We'd love to play Glasgow. We have a few friends int he area. Fingers crossed.
Carlos Maciá: The sound of the new album is much more electronic than in previous Savoy albums: was this a conscious style decision or just a natural evolution?
Paul: Hi Carlos. A lot of time I feel we get tune smithy where melody is the king and everything else has to follow so on this album we wanted to let things be more random so we didn't fill up all the space. For example, on Nightwatch we had 3 melodies which could work and I started with groove first.
Maria Paz Altamira: Lauren! In a video I saw yesterday, you ask Pål what is his favorite part of Night Watch... and do something very fun for me. The question is if you liked that part and what are your favorite songs throughout the career of Savoy. Which I touch your heart deeply.
Lauren: The breakdown part in Night watch is one of my favorite bits on the album and I want to go further with it. I'd love a whole album filled with unusual riffs like that! Favorite songs? "End of the Line" "Whalebone" I've got a bunch....hmmmm "You should have told me" but now I have new ones off this album. "Sunlit", "Nightwatch", "Manmade" and "Falls Park".
Carlos Maciá: Hey Pål! Could you please share this link so people get to read "your" book in English? Takk! Click Here
Paul: Bet I sound much cooler in English so yeah...sign this petition!
Anna Adeney: Question for Lauren: Does Pål wear his hats to bed too?
Paul: No, that would be weird. Shoes..yes.
Christin V. Papandreou: Will you have a record signing??
Paul: We certainly will, I hope. Keep checking in for more info.
Barnaby Strong: Hei Paul and Lauren!! After the huge success of a-ha’s MTV experience, how about a Savoy Songbook II to include some Bridges (Juicy Fruit Song) your favourite a-ha & Savoy covers. A mixture of acoustic and heavy electric? Guest musicians could include Viggo, Oystein, Anneli etc...Merry Christmas to you! X
Paul: We are still working on releasing the bridges album so hope it will come out next year. But it's a great idea and let's see!
Emerald Green: Returning to what you said about Munch and painting a motif for several times, are the any plans to release the other versions of the songs that didn't make it on the album? The Munch Recordings, so to say?
Paul: That's something that could be fun for A-ha as well. We have lots of different versions of the songs. That could be fun to release at a later date!
Vikas Tewari: How great a song is Against The Sun? Thanks for writing it. Sometimes I just stare at my kids and hum that song in my mind.
Lauren: Thank you! Me too :-)
Carmen Paradiso: Hi guys, congrats for the new album, first song released is great, with a fantastic new sound! Any further concert dates throughout Europe? Italy for example? thanks and best wishes from Italy!
Paul: Thanks! we would love to go to Italy. It's one of my favorite countries. I'm waiting to see how many shows A-ha will add to their schedule but that is something we'd love to do. For starters we're doing a release show for the album on the 11th of January in Oslo at Park Theatre. Hope to see some of you there. Zoe Gnecco will be coming to sing a few songs off her album as a special guest.
Manuela Cermisi: I like the new black and white pictures of you three, like this one. Who is the photographer?
Lauren: Jason Brandenberg who also did Nightwatch and Isotope videos. He's a talented friend.
Emerald Green: As it is the season... If the ghost of Jimi Hendrix appeared to you for Christmas and granted you one of his talents as a gift, which would you choose?
Paul: Nice question. He was really into landscape painting but I'd probably go for his guitar playing. How could I not!
Meri E. Brady: Paul and Lauren, first of all thank you for the gift of music, the best present I could ever receive. Question: what comes first, the music or the lyrics? Does it vary by song? And where do you find your inspiration when you’re having a hard time getting started? (Or getting to completion)
Paul: 90 percent of the time, the music comes first. But as a side project, you always carry a notebook and find or hear words that appeal to you. After, you're given clues about what the lyrics should be and I go back to my book to find inspiration.
Jesper Sommer Schjølin: Maybe unrelated, maybe not: The Poem album - 2018? :-)
Paul: Looks like it!
Emerald Green: Paul, we know you value your guitars; if one of them gets old and broken beyond repair, what do you do? Bury it solemnly in your garden? ;-)
Paul: I lost a guitar recently at the airport and just got it back 14 hours later. I didn't sleep much! yeah. It affects me.
Peter Smith: Did Zoe Gnecco ever put down a vocal for the song Cast on Steel? My gut says that she did... any chance we'd ever hear that cut? I think fans want to hear it?
Paul: Yeah, you're right. She did sing on the first version of cast in steel. Well done. She also sang on the first version of Under the Makeup. She did a fantastic job on that song. Maybe they'll be released at some point.
Emma Williams: My son, Paul (named after you) will be having surgery in hospital tomorrow. Please can you give him a shout out? Much love x
Lauren: Good luck! We wish him the best of luck and a speedy recovery over the holidays! Much love from both Pal and Lauren.
Christin V. Papandreou: Don't you ever get tired Pål?? So many projects and concerts (NOT complaining ;-) )
Paul: Yes, I'm exhausted. No... It gives me energy. This is what I do.
Ellen Schmitt: It would be great if the release gig could be shown online, for there are many fans who cannot make it.
Paul: That's a geat idea. We'll see if it's feasible. We'll look into it.
Mair Thomas: I was in LIverpool 2 weeks ago on a photo session for college course work and I always go to the Tower Hotel to take a photo of the LIverbuilding, it was at this hotel I was staying back in 2006 for the Summer Pops when I saw yourself Pål Waaktaar Lauren and Auggie crossing the road, we had a few minutes talking in front of the Liverbuilding, it was a chance meeting, but where has been the most bizzare place you have met a fan of Savoy or a-ha??
Paul: Hi. We remember. The most bizarre place was a supermarket in the middle of America. Was not expecting a Savoy fan in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. It was a pleasant surprise!!
Napolsky Vitaly: What is your Idol songwriter? And don’t say it’s you
Paul: Don't worry, I won't. There are so many to choose from it's hard to set one down. King krul is inspiring me today.
Frauke Linge: Just wondering why this is happening parallel to a-ha touring? And any promo planned? Greetings to NY.
Paul: Yes. We'll be doing promotion for both bands as we travel on tour.
Peter Smith: Was Zoe Gnecco too busy with school to tour... that was a strong opening album for her... odd that there was no follow-up.
Paul: Before the Zoe album was released, we started on the savoy album. Things get released as they get finished. We're more clueless musicians than marketing genius's.
Peter Smith: What's the high neck c chord variation fret string positioning for angel in the snow?...no one seems to get it right... you know, positioning just before the Am chord when you slide up high on the neck.
Paul: You put a finger on the 12th fret on the b string and let the other strings ring out and that's your chord.
Adam Ross: Pal, what’s your favourite dog breed?
Paul: I once got scared of a tiny dog 20 years ago which Lauren hasn't stopped teasing me about, so something without teeth maybe? I actually love most dogs. Mutts are my favorite. The funnier looking the better.
Frauke Linge: And one random question I always asked myself, what are you fave spots or places or shops or restaurants to go in NY. Have been there last year for the first time but have to come back :-)
Paul: We used to live in soho. That was great for a long time but now it's a shopping mall. hmm. No place comes to mind. If one does we'll post.
Carlos Maciá: Question for Lauren: how much does your background in Film influence your input on the music? (timing, structure, tempo, etc...) And viceversa?
Lauren: I wrote Bump for a short film I made called "Scent of a Woman" the biggest influence is just the inspiration they create together. I've sold a television pilot to a company in L.A. If I'm lucky enough to get it developed I would hope to write some music for it as well.
Andrea Bragg: Absolutely love your new single and can’t wait until your new album is available. Are there any plans for the future to tour the uk with Savoy?
Paul: Not sure but we love London. We feel like it's a second home. It's a pretty big year for a-ha touring so I'll have to see how much gas is left in the engine.
Fernanda Bustamante: I just loved Savoy's new sound. How did you get to this new style?
Paul: I bought a new synth that was inspiring. It was a monster board and I was experimenting with a new palate of sounds. It's a Moog style modular synth. It helps. It's a different way of working.
Angie J Howard: Please could I ask do you both have the occasional artistic differences over song arrangements etc. Thank you Pal and Lauren .
Paul: No, not really. We're always pushing each other and Lauren probably pushes me more, but we get inspired by each other. As. you hon in on the final version of a song there is always lots of opinions and sometimes those opinions can be expressed loudly :-)
Christine Antonites: Will you be coming to South Africa?
Paul: Sorry no plans yet.
Belinda Golder: Merry Christmas to you both. See you in January. You must very excited, I know I am..
Paul: Thank you. We are. Glad that you can make it!
Peter Smith: Is the album version of manmade lake newer? And if so, was it inspired by the remix competition?
Paul: Maybe. But that was a very fun thing to do. I couldn't believe all the super creative fun versions we received. Maybe we should do that again for this album? Are you guys up for that?
Audrey Cox: How do A-ha feel about returning to Ireland after all these years?
Paul: Excited. Can't wait.
Victoria Webber: I have a bit of a silly question but none the less it’s something I’ve wondered for a while so I’m going to ask... Why do you always wear a hat these days? Merry Christmas guys!
Paul: For one, it makes me taller.
Manuela Cermisi: I hope you have enough CDs in stock on January 12 in Oslo! I want to buy a whole stack "See the Beauty in your Drab Hometown". Late for christmas but the friends like to wait for great music!
Paul: Thank you! Happy Holidays and we're happy you like the album.
Fernando L Sampaio Fernandes: If you would use one of album tracks for a future new album of a-ha, which one you'd think it could suit better?
Paul: Most of these songs could be done by a-ha. You tell me.
Mair Thomas: With attention on your photography , I send you both this image I took this evening 3 hours in my local park, part of my photography degree course work , have you thought of bringing out a book of your photography ?? My image taken in pitch darkness with a small thumb torch ( can be attached to a zip) and the camera flash.
Paul: Thank you. I love photography. I always have. I took the album cover photo, but no further plans at this stage. Your photo is great.
Brigitte Prior: I am sad I missed most of this q&a. It was my son's Christmas play in church. I am beyond happy about the new Savoy album. Dare I hope for a UK gig?
Paul: Hope it went well with your son. No plans for UK but we are playing a gig in Oslo, January 11th. Park Theatre.
Brigitte Prior: Do you still go to the cafe that inspired Karma Boomerang? One of my favourite songs btw. Instantly puts me in a good mood.
Paul: No. That cafe is in the west village. Too far from where we are now. But it's a great place! We miss it.
Paul: We need to sign off now. Thank you all so much for all the questions. It's been great talking to you all. Wishing you the best for the new year and Happy Holidays. Hope to see you in 2018. Come to our show January 11th at the Park Theatre!