Per Gessle on Nyhetsmorgon

Per Gessle was one of the guests on Nyhetsmorgon, TV4 this morning. He entered the studio after Jubël (Sebastian Atas and Victor Sjöström), a Swedish duo originating from Halmstad performed their song, Someone. Per mentions how good they are and shows thumbs up to them. Program leader Jenny Alversjö asks Mr. G if they worked together and Per tells that for example, in 2018 they wrote music together for Name You Beautiful, the official song for the World Table Tennis Championship in Halmstad.

Jenny asks Per about Christmas. PG says it was calm of course. It’s been a quite long, boring time for everyone, Per thinks. Then Jenny tells there was the Late Night Concert on TV4 in December and it came as a consolation in the darkness when we needed it most. Per tells it was fantastic. They’ve been sitting isolated for such a long time and couldn’t play and even if there was of course no audience for this event, it was fun to rehearse and meet the band. It was fun to play in an acoustic arrangement, he thinks it’s always special. It was like finding new ways for the songs and certain songs fit this intimate format, e.g. Tycker om när du tar på mig or Listen To Your Heart. He tried to pick songs from Roxette, Gyllene Tider and his solo career. It was exciting for him.

Jenny asks how it works not to strip down something that is the core of the song. Per says the core things in his songs are most often the lyrics and the melody, so this way one can even put these elements more into focus.

Here they show some parts of the concert and Jenny tells it was incredibly nice. She asks Per how he picked the songs for this event. For this concert Per says he tested 10-15 songs, maybe more and he simply chose the ones that felt best. One can feel it that some songs just don’t work in a toned-down version. The Look, for example, would have been quite meaningless to be played there.

Jenny tells Per has Billboard No. 1 songs and sold millions of albums and she is curious about Mr. G’s relationship to music today. Per says it’s quite unchanged. Music has always been his thing and he has never thought of music as his job.

Jenny asks Per about his plans whether he is thinking about new things or planning to work with his already existing catalogue in the way we could see him at the Late Night Concert. Mr. G says partly this and that. He thinks he has always had a very good setup: Gyllene Tider, which is a certain type of power pop, Roxette, which is a totally different style also productionwise, his solo stuff, which is more lyric-based, more of a singer songwriter style and Mono Mind, which is also a totally different music. He used to say there are different things on the same tree and it fits him very well, so he can do diverse things.

Jenny asks Per whether he had done everything he wanted to do or there is still something he dreams about. Mr. G says he has no special dream, he just wants to keep going with all what he is doing and wants to see what happens, be curious and test things.

Jenny asks how Per finds inspiration and where his creativity comes from. Per says it’s his way to express himself. He expresses his personality and creativity through music and texts, so it comes by itself in a way. Many think that he ”goes to work” at 9 and plays the piano and the guitar for 6 hours, but it doesn’t work for him like that. He writes down just what he must write down and it’s when he has something that must come out. It can be a melody or an idea or a text.

Jenny asks Per about the secret of being a hitmaker and if he feels it when he writes a song that it would become a hit. Per says it’s been long since the last time he wrote a hit. Pop music has changed so much and he sticks to his roots, so he is not a modern hitmaker anymore. He says there are so many things that have to work for a song to become a hit. It’s not just the song itself, but it’s also about timing, cooperations, luck and a thousand other things that should work at the same time. Regarding certain songs, e.g. The Look, when they recorded it in the studio in the 80’s it felt that it was very special, but that it would become No. 1 in 30 countries, you never know in advance. It Must Have Been Love was a very good ballad and then it became part of the movie, Pretty Woman and it became such a monster hit. Coincidence also plays a big role, Per says.

Jenny mentions Marie passed away more than a year ago and is curious how it is to play Roxette songs without Marie. Per says it’s terrible that Marie is not there anymore, but he feels that the music lives on and he sees that all around the world. He still wants to play these songs, they are such a big part of his life, more than 30 years of Roxette. He doesn’t want to close that door, but it will be different and he will never replace Marie. Jenny asks Per about griefing and missing Marie. Mr. G says it’s a constant feeling. You can never call her or talk to her again. Now Pelle Alsing, their drummer also passed away before Christmas and it also feels incomprehensible. It’s tough.

Jenny says she also knows Per is working in the studio now and is curious what the future brings. Mr. G says he is recording an English pop album and it sounds a bit like Roxette’s origins. It’s a bit difficult to write uptempo pop songs at his age even if he wrote so many of such songs before. He simply took the challange to write an awesome pop record. Jenny thinks it’s very exciting and Per agrees. He has no clue when the album is out, but he plans to release it this year. When it’s ready.

Stills are from the interview.

Per Gessle to release Late Night Concert

This year’s surprise of Per Gessle on his birthday is that he releases his unplugged Late Night Concert recorded at Cirkus in Stockholm on 19th November 2020 without an audience, broadcast on TV4 on 16th December 2020. Besides being available digitally from 15th January on YouTube and all streaming sites, it will get a physical release too. Available on CD from 29th January and on vinyl from 12th March.

Tracklist

  1. På promenad genom stan
  2. Tycker om när du tar på mig
  3. Listen To Your Heart
  4. Småstadsprat
  5. Honung och guld
  6. I din hand
  7. Segla på ett moln
  8. It Must Have Been Love (Christmas For The Broken Hearted)
  9. Ömhet

So it includes all 9 songs played, but the order of them is different to the order in which we could see the beautiful performance on TV4.

Listen to the album on digital platforms from Friday and pre-order your physical copies HERE!

Fab news! It’s really worth a release to be able to enjoy this concert anytime we want to!

A very happy birthday to Per!

Micke Syd Andersson on Made in Halmstad

Christian Albinsson did a podcast interview with Micke Syd for Made in Halmstad. Listen to it HERE!

Micke talks about his name that it’s really Micke Syd Andersson. Syd was his nickname, because there was another musician, guitarist Micke „Nord” Andersson and it was confusing that they had the same name. Micke says the fun thing is that they both had hairdressers called Maria. Micke Nord is from Dalarna in the North and Syd is from Halmstad in the South, so that’s how they got their nicknames.

It turns out that Micke Syd loves driving. He was driving the tour bus on the GT tour and Christian tells it’s hard to imagine a band doing it nowadays. Micke says they are from another generation, they learned everything themselves. In Gyllene Tider all of them had different qualities. MP and Micke Syd were always the ones who fixed and controlled everything themselves. Their fundamental personalities haven’t changed much. The band brought the instruments themselves to the concerts and set up things for the gigs. They did 150 concerts in 1980, if he remembers right. They had Anders Herrlin’s brother as lighting technician and a friend from Gullbrandstorp as the sound technician.

Micke is 59 years old now and was grown up in Harplinge.

Christian asks Micke about his salary. Syd says when they broke through with GT they had Janne Beime to help them with the financial things. Janne was 35 years old then and they were 18-19. Janne still works together with Per. Micke Syd says he has never had a steady job and never really knew what he would earn money on in the next year. He has what he needs, he is not interested in cars or any other things that cost a lot of money. He has a Plug-in Hybrid Ford Kuga.

Christian asks Micke what he is interested in. Syd says „life, music, my family, my wife”.

Christian is curious if Micke has always been positive. Syd says he is not always positive, but he tries to be. He has been working a lot on it. He is the type who sees the opportunities and thinks how he feels on the inside can be seen on the outside. At the age of 35 you realize that you are not as hot as you were at the age of 20 or 30 and you start managing your life differently. Then he had kids, he divorced. Micke says he is tender on the inside. He says he e.g never drank alcohol or used other stuff. Looking back he thinks he took the right decision, how he has lived his life. He says life is tough anyway, sometimes even for him.

Christian says GT broke through when they were very young and there must have been many parties. Micke says Halmstad was very lively back then and there were indeed a lot of parties and alcohol and he doesn’t know why, but he ignored it. He was driving the tour bus, MP also did that during the first year.

Christian asks what Micke thinks when he says the word Halmstad. Syd says it’s home. He says it’s very strange, because he has been living in Stockholm now for 35 years, so for more years than in Halmstad, but home is still Halmstad. His parents still live there. Stockholm will never become home. Micke says all of them in the band are hillbillies, Halmstad characterized them and how they dealt with their career. They had those un-popidolish pop idol genes and even if they were so different personalities and they still are, they made awesome pop together. There is something very special about them.

Micke Syd is a HBK fan when it comes to soccer. He talks about his favourite players and tells he always had a dream to play in HBK, but he stopped playing football when he was 17. He thinks there is a similarity how you pick your instrument and your position in a football team. Micke was a goalkeeper and says drummers are usually goalkeepers. If you look at it from a psychological point of view, the goalkeeper is a quite exposed position and if he makes a mistake, it’s seen immediately. That’s the case with the drummer too. If he doesn’t do his job well, then the whole band won’t be so good. Micke likes that challenge. He says he has always been a team player and loves teams.

Christian mentions QBTQ (four brave bulls in Spanish), Adam Alsing’s house band on his talk show. Micke Syd was a member of the band in the 90’s for 5 years. Micke tells a story when an adult film actress was on the show and after the program the band went to the swingers club with her where she met other adult film people and partied with them. That was surreal, Micke says.

Christian asks Micke about Halmstad. Micke says summer is Halmstad. He tells that when they had the rehearsals before their last tour with GT, he lived in a house in Frösakull with his wife, Helena for almost a month. It was near Prins Bertils stig and it was magical that each morning he could walk through the woods, along the beach and up to Hotel Tylösand. Christian says he heard the guys rehearsing, but didn’t dare to disturb them. Micke says they tried old songs they never played. One of them was Sista gången jag såg Annie from their debut album. Christian thinks that was their best album. Micke Syd explains when you are young and you just want to make music and your creativity is on a high, it can be heard. For the second album they thought much more about how they should sound, how they should play, etc.

Christian asks about the lyrics that they sound different when a 20-year-old sings them vs. when you sing them now at the age of 60. He means Flickorna på TV2. Micke thinks that the songs belong to those who they play them for. These songs still have their audiences and they associate these songs with happenings and experiences in their lives, so when they play them to the crowds, there is a contact between the band and the audience. He tells these are timeless songs and carry the summer feeling. The songs they play are the ones people want to hear. He remembers he saw Tom Petty live once and he expected to hear the songs he was listening to when Tom was the God for them in GT and he got disappointed, because Tom played his new songs from the new album. Syd says Per wrote so friendly texts that they are still working with teens nowadays. They sing along När vi två blir en, for example. Even if life has changed a lot, people still experience these feelings in life and music is their soundtrack to it. Different bands mean different things for different audiences. On the last tour GT played new songs too, which the guys liked, but still they played the old songs and then you could see a different crowd reaction, when they realized it’s this or that song they knew and associated an experience with it.

Micke says he and Helena went to Halmstad’s city entre and it felt totally dead. He says it’s the same with many other city centres, but it’s sad how fun it was back then and how it is now.

Christian asks Micke when he feels the best. Syd says when he is with his family and when he is playing. They have grown-up children now and they don’t meet very often, but when they meet, he sees and thinks they did a good job. Both Helena and him. They don’t have kids together, but their children are like syblings. So it’s lovely when they are together.

Christian is curious when Micke feels the worst. He says at 3 in the morning. Haha. Syd says he is a sensitive person. He is Pisces and Pisces are sensitive. He is thinking a lot about things. He thinks many things are not managed well in the music branch now and it feels that those who should make it better don’t do their job. He thinks it’s the same in the whole world, but since he lives in Sweden, he talks about that.

To the question how he develops himself Micke replies that everyone has their better and worse sides and he is still learning a lot. He learned a lot about life. There is peace that everyone is looking for. You have to be good to yourself and then it will be visible on the outside as well. Positivity comes through and it motivates him. He says you always have the possibility to change yourself.

Christian asks how Micke is as a lover. He answers Christian should ask Helena. But he thinks he is like when he plays the drums: he recognizes, he listens and feels and he wants to please.

Christian says he heard Micke increase the pace in a song when he gets excited. Micke says everyone has their own tricks. Christian realized it when they 5 play together in GT, it’s so much different to when they play the songs in other constellations. Micke tells a story when in 2013 they played (Dansar inte lika bra som) Sjömän, there was a background screen with different images during the verses and the choruses. The lighting technician came to Micke when they had the final rehearsal in Halmstad Arena and said he couldn’t tune it right for the chorus. It worked for the verses, but not for the chorus. Then Micke asked for a little screen in front of him and played in the pace according to that, so that the film came in the right pace as well. Then when the guys listened to the song they liked it, but they thought something felt strange. Everyone was doing what they had been doing for more than 30 years except for Micke, because he was checking the screen and played according to that. He felt like a restrained horse.

Christina asks Micke how he was at school. He says he was nice except towards one guy. He has never been in a fight except for with that one guy at school and Micke’s brother. He tells he has always been fair.

Regarding the band, Christian tells Per and Micke take different positions, but with the same determination, while Anders, Göran and MP are more in the background. Syd says it has to do with their personalities as well. Per and him are different, but they want the same thing, to do something good. And that’s been like that since the beginning. Christian says Micke mentioned earlier he is a team player and on stage they are indeed a team, but he is curious if they are a team off stage as well. Micke says in the band they all have different musical qualities, but the differences were refined over the years, not only musically. All of them developed and they have fun together when they meet. When they recorded their last album in France, Micke was driving to there with a friend and driving back with Helena. It was practical, because there was stuff they couldn’t have brought there on a flight and he also thought that it was the cheapest option for him. Christian asks if you really think about that when you record an album. Micke says the music industry has changed a lot. These days you don’t earn money when people are listening to music digitally. But the creative process, the recordings cost a lot. You can earn on tour then. But ask people if they want to work gratis. Spotify earns millions, but you get nothing. Micke can’t understand that. It’s not OK. So, recordings cost much and you get a little contribution from the record label, but otherwise, the rest is paid by you.

Regarding who is driven to what extent Micke says MP is not that driven, he is more silent, but his musicality is great. He is cautious, he has always been. It’s so nice to see that they got this far in their career and in a way they are still the same. Micke tells a fun story. When they took the press photos in France, everyone was dressed up, then they checked the photos and saw that MP was wearing his slippers. It didn’t really feel like a pop idol, so they had to photoshop the picture and put jeans on him. [Haha. Yeah, one could realize it already back then, when they shared the picture on GT’s Facebook page. See photos: MP in slippers; photoshopped press photo. /PP] No one really thought about that or cared much. There is something charming in that. When they are on stage, they create something cool, but they are still the guys from Harplinge and Åled and so.

Christian mentions words and asks Micke te react on them in one word. To Halmia he reacts Gessle, to Per Gessle he reacts Halmia, to Harplinge he reacts home. Regarding Hallandian dialects he says there are at least 5 and he loves that.

Christian is curious if Micke will get fat again. Syd says he won’t. Christian asks what was it that wasn’t so good in being fat. For Micke the change was about being healthy and of course also being on stage in top shape. He lost 18 kg in 4 months, he gained 5 kg back though, but he still keeps himself fit. It was a good challenge for him.

Christian asks Micke how he ended up in Gyllene Tider. Syd says Per and MP asked him. He played the drums and Janne Carlsson was the bassist. Then Anders became the bassist and Göran joined them. Then there was the Farfisa. Micke says there were many coincidences in their history or they weren’t coincidences at all.

Christian is curious how it was to break through when they were so young. Syd says such things he can’t remember much. They were 18-19 years old and suddenly people started screaming after them. They called his mom’s hairdresser salon or were lying in the ditch in front of it waiting for Micke to come home. People stole washed clothes from Per’s garden. Such things happened. They all lived with their parents at the time. They were the non-smoker generation, however, Göran and MP smoked. But they advertised jeans and soft drink. They were who they were and he thinks that was their key to success. If you watch Parkliv, you can see what outfit they had. Nothing special. Christian asks when they met other artists who they maybe thought were cooler, maybe Europe, what Micke thinks they thought about Gyllene Tider. Doesn’t he think they thought they were frumpish? Micke thinks they rather thought about their platinum albums. Haha.

Regarding the recordings in France, Micke says it was much fun. They decided that it would be their last album. It was Micke’s idea. The others thought it was a good idea when he told them why he thought so. They had a unique career and all of them 5 are still there. They decided to record the album in a totally different way at a different place than ever before. If they travelled only to Stockholm, it wouldn’t have been the same. They had to go further and be in that Gyllene Tider vibe. Christoffer Lundquist was there with them. They didn’t listen to the demos, they decided just to play and see what happens. Per did the demos with MP, so he knew them, but not the others. They had a big space where the studio was, it was very nice. It was just them and 2 French technicians. There were cooks who prepared meals for them, so they could just concentrate on their work. They created the songs from scratch and it was a very creative process. The surroundings were magical. Micke says he is a lonely guy, so they weren’t hanging out together after work. He likes to contemplate and look at things. There was a gym, they could go out in the garden, so they didn’t have to be together all the time. They all loved it and they loved the result of their work as well. It became a very good album. What they created during their career they could do it only together, them 5. And to know that what they did meant a lot for people and also that they did something good in their lives is great. When they were 20 they just wanted to be pop idols, but 40 years later they still had fun making music together.

Christian asks if they sat down to discuss the problems they had before. Micke says not really. You can only sort things out if you are interested in it and it has to come from both sides. The problem stays there until you solve it. Sometimes it would just be about opening that door and talk about it, but sometimes it’s hard to open the door.

Christian asks Micke about money. Micke says it doesn’t mean much to him. It’s important until the point he can live his own life. It was important for him to raise his kids and live where he wanted to live.

Micke knows a lot of people spend a lot of money to see them on tour and it feels nice that they can give back something via their music. On the last tour they invited a group of policemen, firefighters and ambulance, as well as defense veterans to thank for their service. Anders Thornberg was also there. He is the National Police Commissioner and is also from Halmstad. He is the brother of Per Thornberg, great saxophonist. Many don’t know that Anders is also a great musician, he plays the drums. They shared their drumset in the 70’s when they played at the same rehearsal studio. Micke says at one concert Anders was at the mixing board and Micke started playing the wrong song at some point. Shit happens. There were 10 thousand people, he said they start again. It was fun. He says he later explained the rason was that he was nervous because of Anders Thornberg being there. [Haha. That happened in Eskilstuna. /PP] He says he also managed to get tickets for fans from South America. They flew in from South America, but they couldn’t get tickets, so of course he sorted it out.

Christian asks about the last song on the last concert, how it felt. Micke says it happened in Halmstad and it was very special. The song was När alla vännerna gått hem and when he came to the front of stage he saw there were many people holding up a TACK sign. He is still touched by that. It was nice to close it all at home. A lot of people came who had been following them for more than 30 years and also people from several parts of the world to see them. He cried during the last song and you could see that all the others were so touched too.

Micke is contemplating what if they hadn’t told it was the last one, how would it have been. What would have happened then. He thinks it wouldn’t have been the same. Earlier they never said it was the last tour. They came back several times. They are still good at what they are doing. He says it’s different when he performs the songs separately from the band or when Per performs them on his solo tours. It’s never the same as when they 5 play together.

Micke says he likes meeting people. He likes to perform for smaller crowds and see people’s happy faces and he also likes to stand there at Ullevi. He mentions he took a selfie at Ullevi with 55 thousand people in 2019. That was cool.

Christian thanks Micke for the conversation and Micke says it’s his pleasure and he is thankful he could be on the podcast.

Per Gessle on Nordic Rox – January 2021

In the latest 2 episodes of Nordic Rox Per Gessle and Sven Lindström got back to playing Nordic music instead of Per’s top favourites. For the fans it unfortunately means much less talking and less insights, but in the January episode Mr. G added some info related to his songs, so I thought to share the transcript here.

The guys are in Per’s Stockholm apartment and Sven tells they have a stack of records in front of them. Per adds there are lots of vinyl singles and asks Sven if he likes his apartment. Sven looks around and tells there are a lot of guitars, lots of records and music books, so what’s not to like.

Per says there will be some Swedish songs on the show and maybe even a Danish song. Sven adds, there will be something new, something old, something borrowed. Per adds something blue. First they have the Sahara Hotnights. Per thinks they are a great band, but he doesn’t think they are around there anymore. Sven tells they took a break, but they made some excellent records while they were kicking. The song they play is Mind Over Matter. Per says he loves that one.

The guys also play Undressed by Kim Cesarion. Per thinks it’s an amazing song. He doesn’t know much about Kim, but he is a Swedish guy and this is a wonderful song. Sven asks what makes the song so special. Per thinks it’s just a great track. Great production and convincing music.

Adiam Dymott’s Black Cloud is also played from her self-titled album. Sven says it’s a Nordic Rox favourite. The guys can’t really agree on how to pronounce her name. Per says it sounds very French. Sven tells she is from Uppsala. The album is produced by Thomas Rusiak, who worked a lot with Teddybears and made solo records as well.

A song by Metro Jets is played too, The Morning Show. David Birde of Brainpool and Magnus Börjesson teamed up for Metro Jets. Magnus played bass in Roxette for many years and now he is in Per’s solo band as well. Per tells he has no hair, but he is a great guy. Haha. This song was the signature song of Hipp Hipp!, a Swedish TV comedy show.

Sven jokes and tells Per now a band called Roxette is coming up, he doesn’t know if Per knows them. Mr. G says he heard about them. The song they play is a demo Per did for 7Twenty7 which was recorded in 1997 and it was written for the Have A Nice Day album. It sounded very different on the album and the demo is like how it was supposed to be. Guitar-driven power pop. Sven says he always preferred this version. Per says he knows it, Sven likes simple stuff. Sven adds it’s because it’s less synthesizers and more guitars. Per explains that for the album they took a different direction, to use more synthesizers and technology. Live they performed it more like how the demo is.

Teknikens under by Wilmer X is played. Per tells they are a great band and explains that the title means „the wonders of technology”. He thinks it’s a wonderful track. Kjell Andersson was the A&R guy at EMI and he was the mastermind when Wilmer X went from the garage rock style to a bit more 80’s production. The song is produced by Dan Sundquist. Per says he loves Wilmer X. Lead singer Nisse Hellberg sings in a very strong Southern accent, which makes it impossible for Stockholm people to understand what he is singing, but that doesn’t matter. It’s got a great attitude and it’s just great songwriting.

The Hives is also on the show, Hate to Say I Told You So. Per thinks they are also a great band and wonders what happened to them. He hasn’t heard anything from The Hives for a long time. Sven says they are not as prolific now as they used to be, but they pop up every now and then.

Hang With Me by Robyn is also played. Per says Sven is the biggest Robyn fan he knows. Sven laughs and says he loves the Body Talk album. Per says he knows and as soon as he looks away, Sven sneaks in another Robyn song, which is nice. Sven says and when he looks away, Per sneaks in a demo from himself. Haha.

Per tells during the pandemic he felt very isolated in the Swedish West coast in his house, so he went into the studio and recorded stuff that he wrote in the 80’s and 90’s and had this grand ambition to play all the instruments himself. It was a stupid idea, he laughs. Then says no, it wasn’t, but after the fourth or fifth song he realized he wasn’t a very good drummer and certainly not a good bass player. So he took some help from some local guys. It turned out to be a great album, it entered the charts at No. 1 in Sweden. Sven picked the first song off the album, Nypon och ljung. Per says he can’t translate it into English, because he doesn’t know the English words for that. Sven says the whole album has a homely feeling. Even if now Per has a great bass player and drummer on the album, he plays the guitar which is all over it. Per says that’s why he wanted to play as much as possible, because he is not the best musician in the world, but he wanted to make it personal. When he plays the piano or the harpsichord or the mouth organ or whatever, it’s him. And that’s what he wanted to do. He didn’t want a fancy production. He picked songs that are still relevant for him at least lyric-wise. Some songs he wrote when he was 23-25. Those lyrics get a different meaning when it’s sung by him in his sixties. You change the point of view what the lyric is all about. Suddenly you get a touch of sentimentality, it’s different with the experience. So for Per it turned out to be an interesting summer. For Sven it’s like Per wrote the songs, now he sings them and in between life happened. Mr. G says he has written almost 1000 songs in his life, these are the registered songs, so when he digged into the archives there were so many songs he forgot about. Some songs he was surprised by and some songs felt like „shit, what was I thinking?”. He realized that he changed his style of songwriting. He made longer songs when he was younger, he edits songs more now when he is older. He is trying to be a bit more efficient nowadays. He thinks that goes with being a musician all your life. Per says that was the story of his life and asks Sven „how about yours?” Haha. Sven says it’s even shorter. They laugh. Sven says let’s listen to the song, which is 2 minutes 35 seconds of bliss. The album’s title, Gammal kärlek rostar aldrig is a Swedish saying, meaning old love never dies. Per took that title because most of the stuff on the album is old and it fits the album pretty well.

Blue Fun – The Robert Palmer Mix by Mikael Rickfors is played from 1984. Per thinks it sounds great and is really cool. He thinks Mikael is an amazing singer. Sven says you can hear it in this version of the song, but in the original version his voice is unfortunately drowned in echo. Robert Palmer just stripped everything down.

Sleeping In My Car in Asha Ali’s interpretation is also played. Per thinks it’s a great version. Sven tells it’s different from the Roxette original. Per says the original choruses are in major and Asha is doing it in minor style.

Melody Club’s Baby is also on the show. Per thinks it’s a very good song. He asks Sven if the band is still around. Sven doesn’t think so. Their Face The Music album was great, Per loved it.

Miles Away by one of Sweden’s best garage rock bands, The Nomads is also played. Sven says Per has just finished playing air guitar. Per admits it, you can’t resist when you hear this one.

I’ve Been Waiting For You by ABBA is on the show. That’s a pretty early track from 1975. Per says it was a good year for the roses. Sven says it has its musical vibe to it, you can almost sense Mamma Mia! is coming up. Per says he loves this track.

She Owns the Streets by The Raveonettes is on. Per says he played it a lot, he loves it. Sven says they are a superb cool Danish duo.

A next song is Inivisible to Her by Brainpool, one of Per’s favourite bands. Mr. G says he misses the original setting of Brainpool. They still exist, they pop up every three years or so, doing something. The setting with Janne Kask as the singer was amazing. Per thinks their Painkiller album was their big breakthrough. It’s a brilliant album produced by Michael Ilbert. Christoffer Lundquist plays the bass. Sven says Per has spent many years in Christoffer’s studio in Skåne. Per says he became one of Mr. G’s cornerstones in his musical life ever since they started in the late 90’s. Per realizes how time flies. 20+ years and Chris hasn’t shaved since 1999. He has got this Rick Rubin look, he says. Sven says he’s got his mad professor look. They laugh and agree that it’s really cool.

The guys threaten to come back whenever you least expect it with more good-looking music on The Spectrum.

Still is from the Bag of Trix comment videos recorded by Anders Roos.

Thanks for the technical support to János Tóth!

Q&A with Per Gessle in Classic Pop magazine

In the Jan/Feb 2021 issue of Classic Pop magazine (UK) there is a Q&A with Per Gessle about Roxette’s Bag Of Trix release.

Steve O’Brien asks Per to tell how this boxset came into existence. Mr. G tells he was looking around for live stuff and found so much material that he had forgotten about. There are a couple of leftover tracks from the Good Karma album that were never finished. He explains that during the recordings Marie had good days and bad days, so as soon as they had enough material for an album, they just stopped. Then he found songs from their Abbey Road session from the 90’s and some old demos too. Per explains there was a lot of material that had got lost (e.g. bonus tracks on CD singles) when they moved from CD into streaming.

Steve is curious how the name Bag Of Trix came about. Mr. G tells he has a list of titles and phrases in his computer and those could be song titles or album titles. When this compilation came into sight he started thinking and he thought of Bag Of Tricks.

Then I changed the ’Tricks’ to ’Trix’ so it reminds you of Roxette. It’s the marketing guy in me, I suppose.

Steve asks Per about the process, how he found all these songs. Mr. G tells he has a big archive of cassettes, CDs, CD-Rs and DAT tapes, all going back to the 70’s. Over the past 10 years he’s been transferring everything to his computer.

Only the other day, I found five cassettes that I’d forgotten about, from the early 80’s before Roxette. I wish I was more organized, though – I’m a seven out of 10.

Steve wants to know if Per rediscovered any songs that he wished, in retrospect, that they had included on an album. Per says on every album they had 8-10 leftovers, because they always had so much material. He thinks most of the time they made the right choices.

There are a couple of tracks off every album which I don’t really rate, like ’Physical Fascination’ off ’Joyride’, I think that’s a crap song.

Steve asks which songs from Bag Of Trix Per is most excited about sharing with fans. Mr. G thinks the live version of Wish I Could Fly is great and the Tom Lord-Alge mix of Soul Deep is really good, too.

Regarding what to include and what not to include, Per tells Classic Pop magazine that the original idea was to see if they can make one album with leftovers and then it just grew. Then someone reminded him about the Spanish tracks and that they weren’t available anymore, so it just went on and on.

To Steve’s question about how it felt revisiting the songs Mr. G replied that it was a very positive thing. He remembers Roxette very fondly, they had an amazing journey together.

It’s terrible when I think about Marie, she was only 44 years old when she got ill. But I listen to it and it’s all coming back. I just love to hear her voice still.

Per tells he is currently releasing a Swedish acoustic album [so the interview must have been done end of October / beginning of November 2020 /PP] and he is also writing a new album in English.

I’ve recorded eight tracks for that so far. Hopefully, that’ll be done by next spring. And one of these years, I’ll go out and do another tour. I miss touring.

The magazine published a Bag Of Trix review as well which is rather based on comparing this release to The RoxBox (Roxette 86-06). One sentence I had to laugh at: ”It’s hard to criticise the motives behind Bag Of Trix, as the collector gene means we all want every cough and spit from the vaults.” Haha. So true. The coughs and spits on those later found five cassettes would just be perfect for a next release from the vaults.