A1 have been enjoying the limelight here in the UK again thanks to the success of the second series of The Big Reunion.
For the past few days we’ve been bringing you interviews with the individual members of the group and today we’ve got our final one with Christian Ingebrigtsen.
We chat to Christian about revisiting A1’s classic hits, talk about his solo success, and find out what he hopes The Big Reunion will do for the group.
How are you enjoying The Big Reunion experience?
A lot more than I anticipated (laughs). I was worried about dancing again and all that kind of stuff. Actually that’s been the most fun experience about this whole thing. Also all the other bands are really, really nice people and we get on so well so we’ve been making new friends.
What made A1 as a band decide that this was the right time to get involved in a project like this?
Well we’ve already been releasing new stuff and performing in other parts of the world like Scandinavia and South East Asia. Releasing stuff in the UK, you really have to have a platform to release stuff on and we haven’t really had that. Even though we’ve got lots of fans messaging us on social media like Twitter asking us ‘why aren’t you releasing stuff in the UK?’, it’s just not that easy because you can’t just go and release stuff. We’ve been waiting for some sort of platform in the UK to maybe release some of our new stuff. When this opportunity came along we thought ‘why not, it sounds like fun’ and thought it may be an opportunity for us to introduce the UK audience to our new material as well.
During the years when A1 disbanded you enjoyed a lot of success as a solo artist. How was that time for you?
I’ve had a really, really good time releasing solo albums as well. I’ve released three solo albums in Norway and had some number 1 records there. Basically that’s how I make my living still today doing concerts and touring Scandinavia. When I do concerts in Norway I’ll do a lot of my own stuff and hits back there, and I’ll do some of the A1 songs as well. It’s been really, really good and I’m blessed and fortunate to be able to live off what I love. My hobby is writing songs and performing. I have to say there’s something special about being back with A1 because someone to share every experience with really makes a difference. I still love doing concerts on my own as well but it’s just something completely different performing with the other boys. We know each other so well and there’s very few people in my life that can understand what we’ve experienced and been through other than Ben and Mark. Not a lot of people get to do the sort of stuff that we’ve done.
We’ve saw the episode of The Big Reunion that focused on the story of A1. It seems you, Mark and Ben have got past any demons from the first time round and are just getting on with things now. Would you say that was true?
Yeah. I think the difference between the three of us and the three of us and Paul I guess is that whenever there was arguments between the three of us we’ve always sorted out them pretty much immediately after. We’ve communicated and talked about it then we’re friends again. Like any other brothers would do, we argue, we have rows then we make up and love each other as brothers. With Paul he didn’t want to communicate like that and just cut us off; that was the difference. Ben, Mark and I have stayed friends the whole way through really.
Has your role in the band changed now? Often there’s always one person who’s organised, one who gets more involved creatively etc…
I think we’re all equally involved in the writing and the music side of things. I guess I’m quite organised (laughs). I’ve been my own manager in Norway for a number of years instead of having a manager so I’m making my own decisions. I have an assistant helping me out with phonecalls and emails. I’ve been used to being organised with the music industry side of things. I guess my role is more that side of things, especially when we’ve done stuff outside of the UK. Obviously Ben and Mark have a much better idea of what’s going on in the music industry in the UK because I haven’t been here in 10 years. They’re doing a lot of that stuff here. Up until now my role has been more the organiser of things. We’re pretty much an equal team on everything we do. We all like to get hands on in every detail from the business side of things to the production.
It was refreshing to see a band on The Big Reunion talking mostly positively about their experiences. Is that how you look back on those experiences now?
Absolutely, which makes it very hard for us to understand Paul’s decision. We all remember it as a positive and good experience. I know it doesn’t make for really good press to say everything is fine and we have a great time together but that’s the truth. We really, really enjoy working together in every aspect of things. With that being said, of course like with every working and brother relationship there’s arguments, rows and disagreements. I think we’re all very pragmatic so if we do disagree about things we all know we have to make a decision and find a middle ground.
Every band has a song or two they don’t particularly love in their back catalogue. Is there a classic A1 single you’ve been reluctant to revisit?
For The Big Reunion all the songs we’re doing we’re very proud of and happy to do. There were singles obviously that we weren’t happy to do (laughs) but luckily we had enough hits to avoid those for this show (laughs).
What kind of reaction have you been getting from your UK fans since The Big Reunion kicked off?
By the looks on Twitter and social media it’s been phenomenal. It’s been an absolutely amazing reaction we’re getting and I’ve only seen positive stuff. I think a lot of our old fans are excited to reminisce with us and hear the old songs. By the looks of it a lot of fans are interested to hear our newer material as well and even the stuff we’ve done as solo artists. We all grow up, as do our fans, so we are different so we’ve made music now that’s more suitable to our age that we like perhaps even more. We’re hoping our fans will too when they hear it.
What are you hoping that The Big Reunion does for you? Are you going to wait and see what happens or is your plan to release new material in the UK?
Well we’ve had number 1 records with our new material both in Asia and Scandinavia. Our hope is that this will build us a platform that’s solid enough to release some of that material in the UK. We’d like to share our new music with our UK fans.
The Big Reunion continues Thursdays at 9pm on ITV2 and the album The Big Reunion 2014 is released on 3rd March. Watch the video for A1′s classic version of Take On Me: