Alexander Rybak in Norwegian press due to upcoming episode of HGVM. 14.03.2014

Rybak speaks out about ESC-time: – I was stressed and overworked.

Article published on Author: Tore WaskaasFound and translated by Tessa Lande. English revision by Katie Anderson.

Alexander Rybak speaks about crushing his violin, and when he broke his hand.

Alexander Rybak (27) is honored in Saturday’s “Hver gang vi møtes”. Among other things, he talks about the episodes where things have gone wrong.


Rybak does not deny that 2010, in the wake of his Grand Prix victory, was a busy year for him. Rybak estimates that he was home only five days during the year.
The result of much work became much stress.

– When you are overly stressed and overworked, you never know what causes the cup to overflow. And so unfair is the world. Once you have ? something and it’s been a bad day, it could be someone in the family who offers a cup of tea and that is the reason why you say “No, I do not want tea!”.

Annoyed at the sound engineers

In 2010 he crushed his violin on stage during a sound check before a TV appearance in Liseberg, Sweden. There was a sound engineer who was the source of the irritation, and it is not the only time he has allowed himself to get angry at sound engineers.

– When I smashed my hand just before Eurovision in Norway, it was due to a sound engineer. The time I wrote some goofy stuff on Facebook was because of another sound engineer,- says Rybak in the program.

Had to think positive

The episodes were covered in the media, but Rybak was determined not to let the negative media stories influence him.

– I realized that the media likes the negative stories more than the positive ones. In the midst of all the negativity I thought: “No, I will not focus on this.” I’d much rather cultivate the positive,- says Rybak in “Hver gang vi møtes” broadcast on TV2, Saturday at 20:00.

Watch the video-teaser for  “Hver gang vi møtes”, program 3:


Article published on Author: Kirsti Hovland
Found by Sara Anja. Paper issue provided by Jorunn Ekre. English translation by Tessa Lande. English revision by Anni Jowett.

COMPOSING: -Taking part in HGVM has made me stronger in the belief that I am good enough as a songwriter and composer. I will go for that in the future, and focus on quality and not quantity. That only destroys my reputation.


– Dreaming of a family life in the countryside
– How he handled the downturn after the MGP adventure
– Working on a musical about trolls

Alexander Rybak was so far down that he crushed the violin and hurt himself. He is now looking forward towards the dream of a wife, children and a life as a composer in the countryside.

In tomorrow’s episode of “Hver gang vi møtes” Rybak  is the guest of honour. Five years after the victory of the European Song Contest finals, he is at a different place in life than when he, still full of heartbreak, won with “Fairytale”.

Here he talks also about what happened when he lost his temper after the Eurovision victory. During the show at Liseberg Rybak crushed a fiddle on stage, wrote on his Facebook page about a nervous breakdown and beaten his hand up the wall until it started to bleed.

– For me this was a therapy for not keeping things inside me. I chose to release pressure instead of keeping on a fake smile. I chose to be honest with the media, although I was recommended by the management not to talk to the press to save strength for TV shows in Europe. I was on my way very early in the morning for a TV show in Germany, and my Management said that I shouldn’t show how tired I was,- he says.

On the road

– I felt brave then by showing how I felt. But that doesn’t mean I would have done the same now,- says Rybak.

It is long since we’ve heard from Rybak recently. But the violinist and artist travels around Europe: Turkey, Greece, Russia, Scandinavia and recently New York where he had a workshop with violin students at a private school. He has almost as many travel days as he had when it boiled the worst around him.

SUCCESS: When Rybak won Eurovision in 2009 he became a star over night. The price was high. High work pressure and tempo lead to sleepless nights and a young man who just hoped he could rest and sleep.


In 2010, I had five days totally free. The last two years I have had 30-40 days in Norway, where I’ve been in the studio for 60-70 percent of the time. I’m working on a musical which I initially thought to be an auditory experience for children. But then, sooner or later, I hope it can become a musical on the big stage. Although I did not think about the consequences of what I said when I was at my worst, I still keep my family audiences. I got a second chance, – says Rybak.

Suspiciously troll

– The musical,- says Rybak,- is called “Troll”. It’s about a troll who can play violin and does not trust people,- he says,- and smiles warmly.

Sigvart Dagsland’s interpretation of Rybak’s “13 Horses” in tomorrow’s episode will be an emotional moment that triggers tears from Rybak:

– The song was written when I was still relying blindly on people and believed in the best in everyone,- he says in the program and cannot hold back the tears as he tells about taking on an outer shell so no one could hurt him.

– What was it that changed your view of people?

– Several individual episodes. I was more on the alert after a series of experiences that were quite revealing and sad, especially for those people themselves. One example is a journalist who wrote about me after the rap song that “there are not many reasons why we should like this artist.” A month later he comes with his little girl approached me and asked for her autograph, because his daughter “was my biggest fan.” Another is a video journalist at work with a photographer who almost tramples a siblings who are on my show. I took into consideration the tribulation and decided that it was not safe to sign autographs in a chaotic crowd. The headline in the same newspaper was “Ran away from crying children.”

Criticism and bullying

Rybak believes he has survived criticism, pressure and bullying by listening to the right people.

– That’s all from my best friend Thomas who protected me from bullies when I was eight years old, my Norwegian teacher, the janitor at the school, my violin teacher, mom and dad. And actually Disney films where the morality is “Friendship conquers all.” But when I went to school I realised that if one excluded those who teased, there were no friends left. Since then I have chosen to look at bullying as teasing. Whoever wins the game is the one who lets himself be played with.

OUT OF TOWN: Today Alexander lives in an apartment at Aker Brygge. But that is hopefully only until the adult life as a husband and dad starts. “I have a plan about that. And the countryside can be either Nesodden or Maridalen. But in the countryside. A place I can work and live at the same time.”


About “Fairytale” Rybak says in the program that the song is therapy for six years of heartbreak. But you were the one who broke up, why?

– I was 16-17 years old and the stupid pride. It was all-consuming. Every day we were together. We should remain together. Then came the choice if I would stay with my high school sweetheart or become a famous violinist. Luckily I became that, but I would recommend today’s youth to keep their sweetheart. Then it rather has to be a poor consolation that “Fairytale” would not have been such a good song if it were not for such strong emotions. Strong emotions are bigger than the right emotions,- says Rybak.

– How are you now?

– If I have to sum it up, I can say that my life had been in the morning, I have nothing to complain about, because I have lived 100 lives. I am privileged. But I dream of a life in the countryside with my wife and two children. That I can live and stay at the same location. The producer I work with in Gjerdrum, Knut Bjørnar Asphol, lives like that: Has a studio in a house in the countryside. Two floors below, he lives with his wife and two wonderful children. That is my ideal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *