Mattis Hætta, sidekick of Sverre Kjeldsberg who both represented Norway in 1980 with Sámiid Ædnan isn’t one to mix his words. In an interview with tabloid VG, Hætta tells why he is incensed.
It all began when ABBA manager Stikkan Andersson purchased the rights to Sámiid Ædnan through his company Sweden Music. The company was eventually swallowed up by the collossal Universal Music label, who, through the takeover, acquired the rights to this particular Norwegian entry. Sverre Kjeldsberg had previously contacted Universal Music in an attempt to persuade them to allow the inclusion of their track on a summer compilation album. The label were however, according to Kjeldsberg, extremely arrogant, replying back that his application was out of the question.
Money obviously pays however, as the duo have recently discovered. Universal Music has granted permission for Sámiid Ædnan to be used in the Hollywood horror film The Thing, which is scheduled for a Norwegian premiere in mid october. The decision has been hard for both Mattis Hætta and Kjeldsberg to swallow. "I find it strange that I wasn’t contacted in advance and asked for permission to use something which I was directly involved in creating", Hætta fumes. Sverre Kjeldsberg is equally dumbfounded at the decision, stating to VG that "It took me a while before it dawned on me that the story about Sámiid Ædnan being used in a Hollywood film was actually deadly serious. I had in a way expected to be contacted first before the decision to use the song in the film had been made."
Hætta is refusing to take the decision lying down, vowing to take the matter further albeit not through the usual legal channels, as both artists admit that they are ery unsure as to how they stand legally regarding use of the song. For the duo t’s a matter of principle and Hætta intends on contacting a traditional Sámi shaman in order to get his revenge. "Their reply back then was so unbelievably rude, it is after all my voice!", he complains. "They’ve now gone too far that I am going to get in touch with a shaman, which I’ve done once before." Whether or not his previous use of such an unorthodox method for payback achieved the desired effect is at the time of writing unknown.