Last Update: January 4, 2020

“I am lucky to have a family around me, but for many people Christmas is a rough time and a harsh reminder of loss, longing and crippling loneliness. I wanted to try and make an album which would also be meaningful to those who fall outside our commercial Xmas frenzy – an album which looks at the more melancholic, darker sides to Christmas: broken family ties, things we sweep under the rug, resentment hidden behind fake, jocular smiles – an album for holiday contemplation, not just sentimental decor.”

From A-ha co-founder MAGNE FURUHOLMEN shares ‘The Light We Lost’ from forthcoming album, in XS Noize.

“If you’re in such a place where you don’t feel connected to the world around you, it’s especially hard during times like Christmas. The society tells us that everyone should be happy, everyone should be together, everything should be sweet, fun and caring, but if you’re on the outside of that for whatever reason, the contrast becomes incredibly painful. People are at their loneliest when the world pretends to be merry. For me, it was important to try to make an album that no one would feel excluded from.”

From Interview: Magne Furuholmen talks about White Xmas Lies, A-ha and more, in ALTvenger.

“One of the roles I’ve always had in the band was to alleviate social awkwardness and diffuse all kinds of tensions, to be a kind of social glue. I am someone reacting to my surroundings. When no one wants to speak to the audience, I do it, I make the jokes, and I put on the smile. Pål Waaktaar and I didn’t develop a friendship because I was the ‘cheeky guy’ and he was the ‘gloomy’ one. We were both pretty dark gloomy lads but he was an introvert and I was an extrovert. I later used my extrovert nature to seduce the record company managers because we needed to have it done. And Morten is such an eccentric socially awkward person too! I was left with this fucking weird clownish image, which was extremely taxing for me, and I had no clue what to do with it. This is one of the reasons I crashed and burned and the band was over in the early 90’s after the big Rio show. On that stage, on the pinnacle of our professional lives, and in front of 200 000 people, I felt completely detached from the audience and from the band. I needed to wind down to zero, to lock myself into a room and do something else.”

From Rolling Stone Interview : Magne Furuholmen (A-ha).

We enjoy the fact that we have a much more direct relationship with the audience. Roskilde confirmed it. I was shocked to see how many people came. People came to the concert because everyone talked about it and no one knew what it was. No one had heard this music before, maybe, 10 or 20 people in the whole of the crowd had heard Apparatjik, but certainly not a thousand or ten thousand. It was so much fun playing to the audience that don’t know at all what to expect and then to win them over, to win the atmosphere and to make them relax and become a part of it. This is the fundamental thing about Apparatjik – to involve people and make people interested in being involved.

From Apparatjik: Or something about a supergroup’ / a-ha.com.

‘All music that’s meaningful is pain-condensed and made into something you can relate to,’ decides keyboardist Magne Furuholmen, as we settle into the band’s smart West London hotel suite. ‘Happy music makes me sad,’ he laughs. ‘It’s like watching a Hollywood movie where you know the ending and (are) told what to feel.’ The most garrulous member, he fails to see why so-called ‘dark music’ should make you feel depressed. Quite the opposite, in fact. ‘People find consolation in the way that someone can articulate conflicting feelings and turn them into some sort of beauty,’ he says. ‘That’s the attraction of Joy Division to me – their music’s beautiful.’

From this Scotsman interview.

I think that an emotional blow like this one can be really good for your creativity. That some of the greatest gifts you get in life are the ones that at first sight appear to be disasters. Gifts wrapped in disasters,” Furuholmen says, and continues: “I know it’s dangerous to say things like this, but my intention of saying it is to give young people who have experienced the same situation a feeling of that no matter how dramatic and serious things are, there may be something really rewarding at the other end, if you just manage to go through it. The gift my father gave to me was the freedom of not having to live in his shadow.

Speaking of the loss of his father at an early age. From Aftenposten, May 9, 2008.

I’m working in these fields, whether they be music, painting, sculpture, photography, writing or poetry – the more I can draw them together, the easier it is for me to have them cross-pollinate so I can examine the work from different angles.

From a conversation with Andrew Williams in a Metro 60-second interview [link no longer working].

Every book I read I mark every word or line that triggers something in me, and when I finish the book I write them all down in my notebook filed under ‘lines from literature’ so I know where they came from. A book that doesn’t give me lines is not a good book…in my book.

Magne’s MySpace blog.

‘I like that idea of tripping yourself and forcing yourself to do stuff that you’re not good at,’ explains Magne Furuholmen. ‘It’s quite important as a way of progressing.'” Later in the article, Magne says, “We should never ever look back on the last tour and say ‘how can we do that again better?’” reasons Furuholmen. “We should rather say, ‘what changes can we make to make it more interesting?’ I like making things difficult. It keeps you on your toes a little bit.

Andrew Eaton’s 2004 article Art of Reinvention.

I am a serial artist. I like to work with many things at the same time. Walking among a dozen clay jars to be painted on makes me feel how I imagine a conductor must feel in front of an orchestra. It also gives me a stronger sense of being led by the work itself, because it reduces my field of vision until I see only the things that are important to me; things you see just before you look at something – or through the corner of your eye just as you look away…things you miss if you stare. Together they tell a different story than apart, because they talk about each other. And they start behaving differently too; one is a problem from the start, continuously nagging me for attention, another one stands patiently awaiting its turn, some are mute or even hide. It can take me the longest time to discover their particular qualities. Working in series allows me to concentrate on overall atmosphere and be less hung up, or less “idealistic” on behalf of the individual works, and to my mind they come out stronger for it – more themselves.

Taken from the FOCI catalog published in connection with the 2004 exhibit at the Lillehammer Kunstmuseum.