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Welcome to the 'a-ha in the UK campaign' ...
Interview Page

OK, we know how you readers like a good interview or two, so here we aim to bring you regular chats with the rich, the famous, the good, the bad & the...Hmmmm... maybe that should be the 'not-so rich' and 'un-famous'... here we will have interviews with those great but unappreciated people 'behind the scenes'.

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Ok, many of us have probably read the "Lesson" stories on the Cold as Stone site.
Where do these imaginative and fantastic stories come from????  
Well, we have managed to track down the writer in his home in the US, and we pinched a little of his time so he could tell us more .............


Name: Russ
Age: 38
Lives: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Job: Carpenter/tradesman

Q:How long have you been a fan of a-ha?

A: I first became a fan of A-Ha back in 1985 when I heard the song "Take on Me" while in a disco in Lahr, West Germany. The sound I heard was "new" and "refreshing." The video really was what did it for me. I was hooked!

Q: What is your favourite a-ha track?

A: There are so many great tracks that the band has put out since their inception that it is hard to choose one specific song. I have so many favorites. I guess if I had to choose one, it would be a toss up between "Early Morning", "Slender Frame" or "Summer Moved On". Although there are many more which could be considered my favorites.

Q: Why do you like a-ha?

A: A-Ha's music is very soothing for me. The sound invoked by their instruments, Mortens' voice and all the wonderful orchestrations and arrangements A-Ha presents stir different and distinct emotions everytime I listen. Sometimes, I get the feeling of elementals; rain, snowstorms, the beach or sunset. A-Ha's music reaches my heart and I find there is an A-Ha song for every mood and that is what has made me a fan and continues to keep me one.

Q: How did the "Lesson" stories actually start?

A: The "Lessons" started actually quite by accident. One day I read a particular topic heading titled, "What are they actually saying" at the Cold as Stone site. I just took off writing from there. I have "NORWEGIANGUY" to thank for that and of course, Ivan (the site Administrator who prints the lessons on the site). By the way, "Take on Me" was originally called "Lesson One".

Q: Where do you get the story themes from? Are they purely made up or based on fact?

A: The storylines are based on existing places, countries and settings. I do admit that most of the main themes are purely fictional. Some, however, are based on my own life experiences. Lesson 6 through 8 are good examples of this. Being an ex-soldier helped me with most of the settings. Sometimes, the ideas just come to me. I do tend to have a running imagination. Oh yeah... almost forgot.. and I'm left handed.

Thanks a million to Russ for allowing us to pester him with questions and for use of the photographs!!
If you have not read the "Lesson" stories, tune into the Cold as Stone site, or contact Russ for more information!

Q: Do any a-ha fans make appearances in your stories? 

A: Yes!! Sometimes I do include fans, although I try to abstain from doing this. I have been known to "slip" a name in here and there. I won't mention any names but you all know who you are. I try not to grandstand anyone in particular. That would take away from the central characters. I almost used a yeti (bigfoot) once, but thought it would not be wise to, knowing full good and well that they have terrible hygiene (phew!).

Q: What number "Lesson" are you currently working on?

A: Presently, I am working on Lesson 9 and will try to wrap it up as soon as I can. It takes place in Oslo, Norway.

Q: What is the longest "Lesson" you have written to date?

A: The longest lesson would have to be Lesson 8. Lesson 8 tells the story of a weekend holiday in Innsbruck, Austria. There are 12 parts to the story and most of the settings (i.e., the hotel), actually do exist.

Q: How long does it take you to write a "Lesson"?

A: It usually takes me about 2-3 weeks to complete the average lesson. However, it has taken longer for some of the more substantial ones.

Q: Where can the fans find the "Lessons"?

A: The Lessons can be found at A-Ha "Cold as Stone" website in the "funny stuff" section. I believe you have a link to it.

Q: Have you ever met Morten, Magne or Paul?

A: Sadly... No. Perhaps I will someday. I have been to two A-Ha concerts. One in 1985 and the other in 1986.

Q: How do you make the characterisations of the guys? Are they based on fact, or just your imagaination? 

A: All the character traits have been a fabrication loosely based on their true selves. They are totally my perceptions of how each of them would handle themselves given particular situations. They appear to be doing fine for the moment. I do keep the character traits consistent, that way it helps to keep the stories believable.

Q: What do you think the guys would think of your "Lessons"?

A: I think that they would enjoy them. Idolatry is flattery, isn't it? I know that they would take the Lessons all in fun, which is why I have written them in the first place.


Carry on reading down the page to find an exclusive "Lesson" written only for this website and its campaign!!


Morten was nervous.He paced back and forth in the large lounge behind the back of the stage.Pal was slowly strumming his guitar as he laid on the couch,watching Morten.He smiled."Mort,what's wrong?...did you forget your mousse?...haha!!"laughed Pal,putting the instrument down."Or is it the dampness of this place?."
"No,I wish!'s just that i feel like i've just had the wind knocked out of me.My stomach hurts...bad!"spurred morten as he gently clutched his mid-section."I don't know if i can go on that stage tonight...I'm not feeling so good."

Meanwhile,outside of the club........

"Hey!...You!!..You can't be going in there,ya see...there is some sort of concert thingy going on down in that place this evening...i wouldn't go in there if i were you...bloody rock's all the same...first they crowd the streets with all those hooligans,then they play that loud music...can't stand it,i tell you...I'm fed up with it all..."said the old man as he walked past Magne and continued to talk to himself as he headed down the street."Strange man...that Bert is...He's been saying the same thing for 30 years!..a little eccentric if you ask me..."replied Donnie(Club security officer)"Last time he was this upset,was back in '61...when that local band played here...hahaha!!You know that group that McCartney had before Wings...can't remember the name,though....They were huge!!!'ll come back to me."
Magne nodded his head and plodded down the stairs.He gave a sigh."So i wonder if Morten and Pal are finally ready?"he thought as he snatched a beer from the long bar and waved to the barkeep.


"Here Mort....Catch!!"said Pal,throwing a large bag of ice his way.
Morten caught it and promptly held it fast against his stomach."Man,..this feels fantastic!..I'll be better in no time...I can just tell."said Morten smilingPal."thanks, just my nerves again,anyway I'll be better after the soundcheck..always feel better then."


Liverpool nightclub

Pal was getting anxious,he had been rehearsing for awhile and was sitting down on the green loveseat,still strumming his guitar.Morten was in the restroom,primping his hair.

"Just look at this!..nope!..hell!...not good."said Morten as he tried to do something with his hair while he stared into the mirror."Mort!!..get moving!! we've only two minutes until opening..What the heck are you doing in there?"said Pal,as he pounded on the restroom door.(he lost the grip on his beer bottle,and it slid down his chest,emptying the remainder of the contents on his trousers.)"Crap!! my pants are soaked!..and only a minute left."
Magne walked up to Pal.
"Pal,you could have waited until Morten was out...haha!!!"laughed Magne as he pointed to the large wet spot on Pals' pants."Let's move it!!..time to go."
"It'll be okay...Now,if Mort would only get out of the restroom....we'd be set."smiled Pal as he patted a towel on the front of himself.From backstage they could hear the crowd start to chant."A-ha!..A-ha!!...A-ha!!"
Magne smiled."The fans...I just love it!!..and this night never would have happened if it weren't for those devoted girls from the A-ha in the U.K. campaign site...that's why we're here tonight....for those grateful U.K. fans!!!"replied Magne as he put out his cigarette.Pal agreed,giving Magne a high five as he adjusted his guitar strap.
"There...Perfect!!"said Morten as he swung the door open,just in time to hear the stage manager announce them over the P.A.system."Ready?"said Pal motioning towards the stage."Yeah!!"Morten nodded,clipping on his stage mic.
"Then,let's hit it!!"

"Welcome to the New Cavern Club,will you put your hands together for tonight's headliner....all the way from Norway....A-ha!!!"shouted the announcer.The crowd started screaming.

Pal turned to Magne,just as the lights came up."Oh...forgot to tell you.."he shouted into Magnes' ear."We're playing Wembley tomorrow night!"
Magne grinned as Pal started to play the first few bars of Scoundrel days...

"Was that somebody screaming? wasn't me for sure..lift my head up from an easy pillow,put my feet on the floor...cut my wrist on a bad thought and head for the door......."Morten sang.

The End



Click on the book to read past interviews that you may have missed in our archives...

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OK...that's all for now folks. If you know someone who deserves a bit of fame, or if you yourself fancy being interviewed about your website (or anything a-ha related) then drop us a line & we will be sure to get back to you.