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Country Norway

Style Melodic Rock/AOR

If you are friends, then you’re friends for life. True friendship can go in fits and starts, maybe even the periods where you do not see or talk to each other. But we continue to be friends for that. As the four of Dance With A Stranger. Øivind Elgenes, Frode Alnæs, Yngve Moe and Bjørn Jenssen.

It is almost 20 years since DWAS broke through. If not with a bang, it was at least a instant hit. The song was called “Everyone needs a friend.” It was performed for the first time during the Grammy show in early 1988 and immediately became a huge radio hit. In retrospect, it still stands as one of the major Norwegian classics. It also paved the way for their debut album, of 125,000 Norwegians made and they got a well-deserved Spellemannpris for the following year.

But prior to the breakthrough in 1988 was the year of hard work. The four had played while in other constellations. It is enough to mention the band name Masqualero, Ruphus and Jon Eberson Group. In 1984 they came together in Bergen. They knew they wanted to create a “super group”, a band out of the ordinary. The inspiration came from American soul, blues, rock and jazz. Out would come their own original version of all this.

They had skills; Frode Alnæs ‘melodic sense and strong guitar playing, Moose Elgenes’ powerful “black” voice, and a special steady rhythm section where bassist and drummer Yngve Moe Bjørn Jenssen impressed. The songs were largely made by Frode, with contributions from Moose. They were so confident that this was going to go the way that they dropped all other projects they were involved in. It just took a little longer to break through than they may have thought.

They had their first performance at the Music Eivind Solås New in NRK. As Frode Alnæs Band. They agreed that they should have a different name. Frogs were proposed but not approved. Text Talk was unfortunately (or fortunately) busy. However, with professional help, they came at last up to the Dance With A Stranger (which is also the name of a movie about the last official hanging in the UK). They rehearsed intensively in Oslo for several weeks at a time and for several periods, before they began to tour the land and sea. And they quickly gained status as a cult band, or anything out of the ordinary. In order to afford to tour, they worked as a freelance musicians, school concerts, along with other artists.

Record contract – it was the one they worked on – let published, however. They recorded several demos that were sent around to record companies. But no one was interested. In 1986, they released a self-financed single, with the songs “Just A Second” and “No More Sorrow”. Marius Müller was the producer and medgitarist. The response was overwhelming, and after so much hardship had others may put the instruments at the time. Not DWAS ….

They should make an album. They prove that what they were doing was worthwhile. Was anything out of the ordinary. So they took out private loans and went ahead with the recording of the debut album by Bjørn Nessjø in Nidaros Studio in Trondheim. Money ran out before they were finished. Then spit Nessjø the rest. He had heard them at Skansen in Trondheim before they came into the studio, and had great faith in guys.

They thus had a pre-recorded disc, but no record deal. Not until Ivar Dyrhaug came into play. He established the company Norwegian Plateproduksjon, partly to give out DWAS ‘first album. He also ensured that they could perform during Grammy award in 1988. With “Everyone needs a friend.” It was the breakthrough they had worked so hard for.

The song from the Grammy was a massive radio hit, and contributed to the debut album (with the same name as the band) sold over 125,000 copies. More than enough for them to make album number two – without thinking too much on the cost. They spent more time on the production of “Two” than anyone with a Norwegian album earlier, and the expectations and beliefs of the plate was huge when it came out in September 1989. Not without reason, it turned out.

The first edition of 100,000 copies. It was not enough. When cooked the worst selling the nation’s largest record shop one copy of “Two” every minute! It did not stop until 200,000 was passed. And “The Invisible Man” was a definite crowd favorite. Also down in Europe began to open their eyes to these super enthusiastic musicians from Norway.

Especially Germans enjoyed so much. 200,000 of them bought “Two”, and they were involved in numerous television shows. They did also tours and played at major rock festivals Rock Am Ring and Roskilde. In 1989 the band won first prize in the Eastern Europe’s biggest song and music (Sopot, Poland). Another highlight of this period was an appearance at the European Music Awards in Monte Carlo in 1990, with Ringo Starr on the first row and Don Johnson as host …

The breakthrough did not come down in Europe. But there were some very good stories out of the investment in such Germany: Hannover DWAS played in a concert that had actually been the one submarine bunker. It was built during the war. Frode would introduce the band and says: “Auf der wir haben Bass Norwegische bassist Yngve Moe, aus Narvik! Klingt one clock? “Orchestra broke altogether, and had great difficulty getting started with the song, such øvrrig was” Stuck In The Middle “.

Over the years there have been several attempts to put down the band. None of the attempts have been successful. They have had breaks, yes. To try out solo careers, among other things. After the release of “Happy Sounds” in 1999 they toured until 2002. When all felt that they had to have a break. A long pause. It was only that they said yes to playing on Tahiti Festival in Kristiansund in 2005. It was so much fun playing together that they might continue.

– Dance with a Stranger [1987]
– To [1989]
– Atmosphere [1991]
– Look What You’ve Done [1994]
– Happy Sounds [1998]




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