Per Gessle about Gyllene Tider’s new single

Swedish Radio P4 Halland did an interview with Per Gessle about Gyllene Tider’s new single, Jag drömde jag mötte Fluortanten. Listen to it HERE! Reporter Camilla Hentschel and Per are dissecting the lyrics.

First they are listening to this part of the song:

Varje svartvit tangent / Spelade covers av Kent / Morfar Ginko han gungade i vimlet

Camilla asks Per about the rhyme ”tangent – Kent” and Per says it’s a clever one. They are discussing how differently they pronounce the word ”tangent” (= key, like on the keyboard) and Camilla is curious why Kent ended up in there. Per tells it’s like an abstract dream sequence and as in many of his songs, the lyrics are hopping from one scene to another. Each verse has its own profile. One verse can be written in ”me” form, the other in ”he” form. There can be different perspectives.

The other part they are listening to is:

Pö om pö blev vi vänner / Men av ren reflex blev jag ett måndags-ex

Camilla thinks it’s fantastic, because it’s like a journey. Little by little we became friends, then it turned into something more and out of pure reflex I became a Monday ex. Per says he tried to describe when the expectation is blown away by weak self-confidence. It’s a bit sad. The guy wanted so much and in the end he felt he became a Monday ex. That was it.

Sing along HERE!

 

Gyllene Tider interview in Aftonbladet – Scensommar magazine

Aftonbladet’s Scensommar magazine did an interview with Per Gessle and Anders Herrlin about Gyllene Tider’s last album and tour.

The reporter, Jens Peterson asks Per and Anders how it feels to come back to Ullevi with Gyllene Tider. Per says it’s grandiose and if there is something in music industry you have to learn it’s that you can’t take anything – e.g. success – for granted. Anders also thinks it’s fantastic and they feel honoured.

Per gets the question what is more fun and what is harder when he tours with Gyllene Tider vs. when he is out there as a solo artist. Mr. G says the most fun is that when they meet, it feels like time stood still. Everyone takes their own roles in the band. They come up with the same jargon and same type of jokes. Besides that, they play together in a very special way. If anyone of them would be changed in the band, the sound would be totally different. There isn’t anything worth to be mentioned as a harder thing, but Per is basically not a team player. He likes to work with his own compositions under his own terms. When there are 5 people in a band, it’s obvious that there will be compromises, but it didn’t affect the end result this time. Sometimes it’s good that someone puts Per in place, because he thinks he isn’t always right, even if it’s hard to believe. Haha.

Scensommar asks the guys if it is hard to pick songs for the setlist. Anders says not really, because they play together so seldom that it’s clear the concerts will be based on their old hits. There are a lot of songs tons of people expect to hear, then there will be new songs and they also dig deep in their catalogue. To the question how many songs they feel is obligatory to play, Anders replies appr. 20.

The reporter asks if they are tired of playing Sommartider. Per says he is not tired of it at all, but he can’t rehearse it anymore. Once they play it in front of an audience it’s fantastic. Anders’ advise is ”never underestimate hits!” It’s good to have an ace up their sleeve.

The new album is out on June 14th and the journalist asks how many new songs will appear on the setlist. Anders says they will run through the entire album on the rehearsals so that they can see what fits and how it feels. He says this album might be the best they have done. Per agrees with Anders and thinks the new album is fantastic. Their ambition was to get the feel of a band where everyone matured a bit while the years have passed, but without losing the pop nerve. It’s difficult, but Per thinks they succeeded.

The reporter asks why they recorded the album in France. Per says it’s perfect for bands to go away, live together, have breakfast, hang out, fool around, drink wine and create music together. He saw a documentary with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and liked the studio they played in a lot, so he researched a bit and it turned out the studio is in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, north of Marseille. First they sent Anders there last autumn to check it. He filmed there a bit and he was all positive about the studio, so they decided to go there in the spring of 2019. They started to work there the same day Morrissey left the studio. They found his vegan cookbooks in the guest toilet, Per says.

The reporter says when GT started touring, concerts were very different. He asks how the guys remember those days. Per says he remembers they were quite blonde. Haha. They were so young and lived in a colorful pop star bubble for years. They learned how to run a street race, they learned that they can’t live on the first floor at a hotel and that anything they leave outside their houses will be stolen (clothes, mails, number plates, etc.). Such things belonged to their everyday life in the early years. Concerts were short, but intense and folkparks were amazing. Anders adds the audience knew the lyrics already then. Better than they did.

To the question if this is really the last chance to see Gyllene Tider live, Anders replies that it feels so. They are all around 60 and life goes on. It feels good to end GT when they are still alive and everything feels to be on top and that they can do a phenomenal farewell tour.

Referring to Mick Jagger’s operation and that The Rolling Stones had to postpone their tour Jens asks if the guys have any health check before such a tour. Anders says they filled in a lot of papers about their state of health and went on medical checking. Even Göran was alive. Per ’s reaction to that is that it’s exciting.

The reporter is wondering why there are more veteran artists who attract audiences than younger artists. He mentions Bob Dylan, Sting, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Patti Smith among others. Per says it has to do with various things. On one hand, it takes time to come up with a song catalogue like what Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan have. On the other hand, there are hardly any stars of the same dignity these days. Music industry works differently now. Anders says it will be a problem at festivals in a few years, because: who will be the headliner?

Jens asks the guys who they think have been good at cherishing their own catalogue. Per says it’s those who have the opportunity to tour a lot and have active publishing companies that put music in movies and TV series. It’s important to always try to make the songs actual. Either in their original version or in another context.

Jens asks what kind of relationship GT have with other big artists who tour this summer. Per says they are of course all awesome in different ways. The touchpoint with Gyllene Tider is that earlier they did a Swedish version of Patti Smith’s ”Ain’t It Strange” from her ”Radio Ethiopia” album. Odd choice, one could think today, but it was obvious for 5 teenagers from Halmstad in the ’70s.

Thanks a lot for sharing the magazine with us, Pontus Ljungsten!

 

Per Gessle and Mats MP Persson on Kulturnytt – Swedish Radio P4

There was a 3-minute-long interview with Per Gessle and Mats MP Persson on Kulturnytt on Swedish Radio P4 today. The guys were talking about Gyllene Tider’s latest single and the recording of their last album.

Per says Jag drömde jag mötte Fluortanten is about an absurd dream which is about a past time and romance. With the new album, one of their most important aims was to show that they are a mature pop band and this is how the guys sound at the age of 58-60. They recorded the album in France and decided that they would play as much live as possible in the studio, to have the eye contact with each other and the fusion of 5 guys who work together in real time, not to create the sounds on computer. The songs, the arrangements and the lyrics have perspective. Per says it would be impossible for him to write Flickorna på TV2, När vi två blir en or Sommartider today, but he can write another type of pop music. Mr. G didn’t try to write classic single hits or very commercial songs, but wanted to show how GT sounds in 2019.

MP says in France they could take a little different turn in the arrangement and the whole recording session was much fun and very creative.

Per adds the biggest difference these days is that he mostly works acoustically. In the ’90s MP and PG made very advanced demos. When you work in a band, it’s good to leave the arrangement quite wide open. When Per plays a song on the acoustic guitar and sings, the melody and lyrics give an impression of what the song is about, so then it’s up to Göran on keyboards and Anders on bass and Micke on drums and of course MP too to interpret it. It’s a five-piece puzzle where everyone is important. It becomes a totally different song once Gyllene Tider plays it.

The album, Samma skrot och korn is out on June 14th, but you can already pre-order it (CD-hardbook, standard black gatefold 2LP, limited edition gatefold coloured 2LP) at the usual sites: Bengans, Ginza, CDON.

 

Gyllene Tider to release 4×2 vinyls

40th anniversary celebration of Gyllene Tider continues! The guys will re-release their first 3 Swedish albums (Gyllene Tider, Moderna Tider and Puls) and for the first time ever, Parkliv! – Live Mjölby Folkets Park 31 juli 1981 will also be released on vinyl.

All releases will come both on regular black vinyl and limited edition, numbered, coloured vinyl (500 copies each). Parkliv! limited edition will be white. This time the numbered limited edition means the records are numbered during production, so underneath shrinkwrapping on the back cover and will be available as regular releases at all stores to order.

The recordings are remastered for vinyl from the original studio tapes.

The items are out on 21st June, but will be available to pre-order already from 17th May. Check Bengans, Ginza and CDON!

 

Gyllene Tider to perform in Oslo in August

Gyllene Tider hasn’t played in Norway since the ’80s, but better late than never. They look very much forward to meeting all their Norwegian fans this summer. The band visits Trondheim on 8th August and Fredrikstad on 9th August and now they have announced a 3rd date in Norway. The guys will perform in Oslo on 18th August at an event organized by OBOS. This is the fourth time the housing construction group organizes a concert at the Opera roof.

Tickets for the concert cost 125 NOK (+ ticket service fee) and all revenues go to child and youth care.

OBOS members can buy tickets from 10 am on 14th May. General sale starts at 10 am on 15th May.

Update on 14th May 2019:

Performers at the event: Gyllene Tider, The September When, Timbuktu & Damn!, Ina Wroldsen

Gates open at 4 pm, concerts start at 5 pm.

Duration: 6 hours

Wheelchair users must purchase tickets via Opera’s customer center. Wheelchair users use the bridge on the front of the Opera. Audience entrance is on the seaside of the Opera House.

Musical fountain in Budapest plays The Look by Roxette 3 times a day

The musical fountain on Margaret Island in Budapest, Hungary plays The Look by Roxette 3 times  a day. The fountain provides a multimedia musical show since 2017 and this year Roxette got on the setlist. Woohoo! Watch it HERE!

The fountain basin has an area of 1,000 square meters and a total of 154 nozzles are lit by 227 colored lamps. You can sit under the plane trees and enjoy the attraction from 19th April until the first frost (~ end of October), each day from 10 am to 10 pm. Shows are 15 to 60 minutes long and start every hour from 11 am. If you want to hear Roxette, you have to be there at 3 pm, 8 pm and 9 pm.

Setlist of the session starting at 3 pm:

  1. Roxette: The Look
  2. The Dave Clark Five: I Don’t Know
  3. Simon and Garfunkel: Cecilia
  4. The Beatles: I Feel Fine

Setlist of the session starting at 8 pm:

  1. The Rolling Stones: Let Me Down Slow
  2. Herman’s Hermits: No Milk Today
  3. The Searchers: Saturday Night Out
  4. Guns N’ Roses: Sweet Child O’ Mine
  5. Roxette: The Look
  6. The Dave Clark Five: I Don’t Know
  7. Simon and Garfunkel: Cecilia
  8. The Beatles: I Feel Fine

Setlist of the session starting at 9 pm:

  1. The Rolling Stones: Let Me Down Slow
  2. Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik
  3. Liszt: Liebestraum
  4. Radics Gigi: Budapest szerelem
  5. Herman’s Hermits: No Milk Today
  6. The Searchers: Saturday Night Out
  7. Johann Strauss: Radetzky March
  8. Guns N’ Roses: Sweet Child O’ Mine
  9. Johann Strauss II: The Blue Danube
  10. Roxette: The Look
  11. The Dave Clark Five: I Don’t Know
  12. Ákos: Hazatalál
  13. Vivaldi: Four Seasons – Spring
  14. Simon and Garfunkel: Cecilia
  15. The Beatles: I Feel Fine
  16. Film: Budapest tánclépésben
  17. Film: Nagy Magyarok

You can see the complete list of the songs played during a day HERE.

It’s not the first time a Roxette song is used for the attractions of a musical fountain. I know Listen To Your Heart was already used in Prague, Czech Republic 2010 and Kislovodsk, Russia 2017. Probably, there were / are more fountains where you could / can enjoy our fave band’s music.

Don’t give it a miss when you are in Budapest anytime between April and October this year!

Watch the video HERE! (The kid in the video doesn’t belong to me, but he was too cool. Came to the front only when Roxette and The Beatles were playing. Haha.)

 

Gyllene Tider’s last album to be released in June

The waiting is almost over! Gyllene Tider have announced today the release date of their farewell album and the first single from it.

As the press release says, in March 2019, Per Gessle, Mats “MP” Persson, Anders Herrlin, Göran Fritzon and Micke Syd Andersson – also known as Gyllene Tider – gathered to record their farewell album in the recording studio La Fabrique in Saint-Rémy de Provence in southern France. On Friday, 14th June, the result will see the light of day as Gyllene Tider’s 7th and last studio album, Samma skrot och korn (”Birds of a feather”). But already on 10th May it’s time for a taster in the form of the single Jag drömde jag mötte Fluortanten (”I dreamed I met the dental hygienist”).

Per Gessle had spent most of 2018 writing new golden gems such as Skrot och korn (”Birds of a feather”), Henry har en plan på gång (”Henry has a plan in progress”) and Det kändes inte som maj (”It didn’t feel like May”). A total of 15 songs were recorded, of which 14 made it to the album – by accident, exactly as many as The Beatles used to have on their LPs.

And for the first time since the intro track on Gyllene Tider’s debut album, a cover has been added. That time it was ”Skicka ett vykort älskling”, Gyllene Tider’s powerpop version of Shocking Blue’s hit, ”Send Me A Postcard”. Now it’s Sven-Ingvar’s 1965 single Någon att hålla i hand (”Someone to hold a hand”) (of which Brad Newman made the original version, ”Somebody to Love”) that gets a Gyllene tackle.

Per Gessle says:

In the past you often played some covers to show where you came from and pay tribute to your role models. That’s why we did ”Skicka ett vykort”, ”Tylö Sun”, ”Marie i växeln”, ”Vill ha ett svar” etc. You manage a music heritage and then you try to do something of your own of what you love.

And what do they say about the album in general?

Micke Syd Andersson says:

The last album was one of the most fun ever to record. We have a special contact where you just start playing a song and hardly need to look at each other.

Per Gessle adds:

It has become exactly as I hoped: you can hear that it’s a band that has maintained its sound, but still that it has actually been 40 years since they started out.

After four decades, an already legendary Swedish pop band says goodbye with an album that miraculously indicates continued top shape, even though the band has not even existed for long periods. And with a farewell tour that currently sells out more and more places, yet another Swedish music summer will be dominated by Halmstad’s pearls. 40 years of Gyllene Tider reaches its climax here and now.

Tracklist:

  1. Skrot och korn
  2. Det kändes inte som maj
  3. Jag drömde jag mötte Fluortanten
  4. Vid hennes sida
  5. Någon att hålla i hand
  6. Aftonstjärna
  7. Vanliga saker
  8. Mannen med gitarr
  9. Låt denna trumslagarpojke sjunga!
  10. Bjud till!
  11. Bara i en dröm
  12. Henry har en plan på gång
  13. Allt det andra
  14. Final

You can already pre-order the album (CD-hardbook, standard black gatefold 2LP, limited edition gatefold coloured 2LP) at the usual sites: Bengans, Ginza, CDON.


Photo by Anders Roos

Roxette on Rocksmith

Rocksmith is an award-winning method, the fastest way to learn to play guitar. You can plug any real guitar or bass into your PC, Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 or PS4 and join over 3 million people who have learned to play guitar with this method that adapts to you as you play. Hundreds of songs are available and now 3 Roxette hits are also added. The Roxette Song Pack contains The Look, It Must Have Been Love and Listen To Your Heart and is available on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and Steam. The songs may be posted later for players in territories served by the European PlayStation Store due to differences in publishing times. See the tunings and arrangements in THIS VIDEO.

Roxette Song Pack

  • “It Must Have Been Love” – E Standard – Lead/Rhythm/Bass
  • “The Look” – E Standard – Lead/Rhythm/Bass
  • “Listen To Your Heart” – E Standard – Lead/Rhythm; D Standard – Bass

Thanx for the hint, Gaby Hildebrandt!

 

Busy April 12th for Roxette and Per Gessle fans

12th April brings for us fans one surprise after another. First it was announced that Roxette’s 6th studio album, Have a Nice Day will be released as a limited edition 180g yellow double LP gatefold sleeve. It was released only on cassette and CD in 1999, but never on vinyl. Nice way to celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary, isn’t it?

Per Gessle looks back at the record as a definite highlight in the band’s career:

Song-wise I think ”Have A Nice Day” could be our best album ever, maybe the only one that turned out like I hoped it would. That’s probably because the five-year break allowed enough time for lots of songs to grow — I wrote some of my strongest stuff and Marie’s ”Waiting For The Rain” and ”Beautiful Things” are among the best things she ever made for Roxette. And then we also added some crucial new members to our core team.

We were testing a lot of different things on ”Have A Nice Day”, mixing guitar pop ditties with drum machine driven dance beats, also adding more strings than on any previous album. And we’re talking real string sections here. You can tell that it’s recorded by a band with a big budget — maybe too big.

It has many songs and quite a long running time, a fact which in hindsight might have hurt it a bit — the “too much of a good thing” syndrome. Maybe ”Have A Nice Day” always was a double album that somewhat reluctantly was squeezed into a single CD. That’s why I love the double vinyl album format in this re-release. “Have A Nice Day” has come home again.

Tracklisting:

Side A

  1. Crush On You
  2. Wish I Could Fly
  3. You Can´t Put Your Arms Around What´s Already Gone

Side B

  1. Waiting For The Rain
  2. Anyone
  3. It Will Take A Long Long Time
  4. 7 Twenty 7

Side C

  1. I Was So Lucky
  2. Stars
  3. Salvation

Side D

  1. Pay The Price
  2. Cooper
  3. Staring At The Ground
  4. Beautiful Things

PRE-ORDER the album HERE!

 

Then there is another limited release by Per Gessle, tribute to The Ramones, I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend on 12″ vinyl in 2 colours. Clear red limited edition (500 copies) and clear limited edition (500 copies). It will also be available as a bundle with both colours.

Per about the release:

Ramones was a huge inspiration when we started our first band “Grape Rock” in 1977. The unbelievable energy, the amazing guitar sound, the cool lyrics and the added touch of surf music floored us totally. Impossible not to fall in love with.

In 2002 White Jazz Records was about to make a Ramones tribute album and I was invited to participate. My choice of song was the brilliant “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”. I couldn’t stop there so I decided to do two more killer tracks outside the album at the same time. Just for fun. Hey Ho!

Tracklisting:

Side A

  1. I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
  2. Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment
  3. Sheena Is A Punk Rocker

Side B

B side is with engraving “Per Gessle” sign.

PRE-ORDER the album HERE!

 

Gyllene Tider release 2 new compilation albums

Before they start recording their last album, Gyllene Tider released 2 compilation albums on Spotify today. Both contain bonus songs and also alternative versions of some gems. Tidiga Tider: Bonuslåtar och alternativa versioner 79-81 and Andra Tider: Bonuslåtar och alternativa versioner 82-84. Click on the album titles here and you can reach them on Spotify, even in countries where you can’t find them under “Gyllene Tider” or when you browse and try to search for the albums. However, 4 songs you will still not reach in every country. Hopefully, the albums are released on other digital platforms too.

TRACKLISTS

Tidiga Tider: Bonuslåtar och alternativa versioner 79-81

  1. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta – 7” single 3:51
  2. Gyllene Tider för rock’n’roll – Swing & Sweet EP 2:59
  3. Teena – B-side ’Ljudet av ett annat hjärta’ 6:07
  4. Marie i Växeln – Parlophone pop! – Instant hits, singlar & out-takes… vol 1 3:43
  5. Vill ha ett svar – Swing & Sweet EP 2:14
  6. Leka med elden – B-side ’Kom så ska vi, Leva livet’ 4:50
  7. För dina bruna ögons skull – Fan-club single 3:38
  8. 24:e december – Out-take ’Gyllene Tider’ album 4:30
  9. Beating Heart – ’Modern Times’ promo single (not /yet?/ available in all countries) 3:04
  10. Tylö Sun – Early version (not /yet?/ available in all countries) 3:17
  11. Och jorden är rund… – Swing & Sweet EP 1:57
  12. Vem tycker om dig? – Fan-club single 4:31
  13. Åh Ziggy Stardust, var blev du av? – Parlophone pop! – Instant hits, singlar & out-takes… vol 1 3:21
  14. Ge mig inte det där – Swing & Sweet EP 2:22
  15. To Play With Fire – ’Modern Times’ promo single (not /yet?/ available in all countries) 4:56

Andra Tider: Bonuslåtar och alternativa versioner 82-84

  1. Hej! – Out-take ’Puls’ 1:51
  2. Bara vara nära – Out-take ’Puls’ 2:44
  3. Tylö Sun – B-side ’Sommartider’ single 2:41
  4. Vart tog alla vänner vägen? – B-side ’Sommartider’ single 2:51
  5. Marie, Marie – Radio Parlophone – Andra sändningen! (Rockfile) 2:16
  6. Offside! – ’Rockriff’ cassette compilation / Out-take ’Puls’ 2:39
  7. Hi Fidelity – ’Hi Fidelity’ compilation 2:05
  8. I Go To Pieces – B-side ’Flickan i en Cole Porter sång’ 2:37
  9. Skäl att tvivla – Out-take ’Puls’ 3:31
  10. Threnody – Radio Parlophone – Andra sändningen! 4:45
  11. Ingenting av vad du behöver – Covermount magazine ’Schlager’ 4:19
  12. Kiss From A Stranger – Out-take ’The Heartland Cafe’ 3:30
  13. Anytime – ’Hi Fidelity’ compilation 3:26
  14. Young Girl – B-side ’Teaser Japanese’ single 3:36
  15. Mr. Twilight – Out-take ’The Heartland Cafe’ 3:19
  16. Teaser Japanese – Oriental Version – 12” remix (not /yet?/ available in all countries) 5:46
  17. Rock On – Out-take ’The Heartland Cafe’ 4:05

The YouTube links probably work only in Sweden: Tidiga Tider; Andra Tider.

 

SvD’s interview with Per Gessle about aging and pop music

Andres Lokko from Svenska Dagbladet did an excellent interview with Per Gessle and it was published together with Staffan Löwstedt’s wonderful photos in SvD last Sunday. It’s the first time Per let journalists inside his apartment on Strandvägen, Stockholm, so the article also gives you a sneak peak at where family Gessle live when they are in the Swedish capital.

The title of the article is ”Per Gessle, how is it to be so old?” and it predicts they were talking about aging. But once you have access to the whole article (which was published in paper on Sunday and available for subscribers online), you realize it’s about much more than that.

Andres writes Åsa, Per’s wife proudly shows one of Per’s 60th birthday present when they enter, a Playboy pinball game from the ’70s with a kitschy cartoon Hugh Hefner in a bathrobe and with a pipe, of course, flanked by blondes in bikini. The 2-storey apartment is a virtual Fort Knox. Where the guys could enter is the airy office with a grand piano in the room and shelves along the walls with CDs and art books on them. Wherever they look they can see framed pop-historical photos. In the toilet there is a black and white Iggy Pop, for example.

Åsa serves coffee and tons of cookies. Andres writes no one touched the bakery but a bowl of English liquorice disappeared very quickly.

Andres asks Per how it feels to be so old and Mr. G replies with a little self-ironic resignation that it’s cool and totally OK. Andres (born in 1967) says when he started writing about music 30 years ago, Mauro Scocco, Orup or even Per himself seemed to be old. Now they seem to be the same age. Per reacts that you don’t even notice when it occurs, you just all become adults. Then the older you get, the least important the age is.

Talking about aging, Andres says it’s strange, but suddenly he has a new role as a music journalist. It can happen that one calls him when Little Richard dies and he can also be waken up in the middle of the night to keep a knowledgeable eulogy of any pop legend. Per says aging with pop music is what both he and Andres do in a way. When Tom Petty died, it was as if a close family member had passed away. He felt things would never be the same again. When your idols die while you have the chance to get older and you have experienced how, for example, Marie got sick and others close to you have passed away, it becomes even more difficult to accept that David Bowie or Pete Shelley from Buzzcocks dies.

Andres asks Per if it is stranger to turn 60 himself than to see his idols turning 60. Per says it’s surreal to think of himself as a 60-year-old. 50 was one thing, 40 was also weird. There are periods when there is nothing happening in the music industry or in your life, but then suddenly you wake up in the morning and realize so many things have happened. Not only with music, but social media exploded, streaming services took over and you suddenly find yourself in a whole new world. And that makes you feel even older. Per says he even notices it on his son. Gabriel is 21 now and he is dealing with his own music while he is studying at KTH. He asks Per a lot of things and Per tries to answer, but they come from 2 radically different planets. Gabbe listens to music as much as Per does or did in his age, but he doesn’t care at all about artists, producers, album covers – all that Mr. G thought was vital. When Gabriel and his friends are listening to Post Malone and suddenly Dylan’s ”Subterranean Homesick Blues” pops up, they don’t even raise their eyebrows. Music has become something that just flows forward. Per tells Andres when he grew up he always listened to P3 and ”Release Me” by Engelbert Humperdinck was followed by The Zombies ”She’s Not There”, ”Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” by The Beatles and then an Evert Taube tune. On the same channel. According to Per, it’s the diversity that makes music much fun and interesting. He bought ”Delilah” by Tom Jones at the same time as ”Last Train To Clarksville” by The Monkees and his brother had records by MC5. During those times wanting to let hair grow over the ears was super-important, almost revolutionary.

Andres asks Per if he feels stuck there. Per says, a little. At least with the hair. It’s not just about age. As an artist you have a requirement to always rush forward. If he thinks of David Bowie, he changed his look all the time, but sometime in the mid-1980s he finished with it and was just David Bowie and it was alright.

Andres asks if it is something Per strives for. Mr. G says change for the sake of change is not necessarily ideal. As an artist, the change must come because you have a need for it. For example, the reason he searched for Marie Fredriksson was that he felt limited by his voice. He has a strange love-hate relationship to it and felt that he could write better songs than how he could sing them. So he needed a change to be able to maximize it. That was the main reason for him to start Roxette. THAT was a natural change for him. Andres says that in such cases the bonus is that after a while it’s fun to hear your own voice again. Per agrees. The more he works acoustically, the more he is longing to play power pop with Gyllene Tider and the more time he spends in an electronic world with Mono Mind, the more he suddenly wants to play acoustically. He thinks these cycles he has invented himself to keep the whole spectrum alive.

Andres says when he hears Per’s voice he often thinks of British singer-songwriter Al Stewart. He had a huge hit ”Year Of The Cat” in the early 1970s. Per asks Andres if he knows that Al Stewart recorded one of his songs once. It has never been released though. It was ”Call Of The Wild” from the first Roxette album. Per has it somewhere on a cassette. Andres asks if Al’s version sounds exactly like Per’s original recording. Mr. G says, not really. But he has a bunch of Al Stewart songs on a playlist he listens to quite often and then he actually thinks it sounds a little like Per himself.

Andres tells the fact that Paul McCartney has stopped coloring his hair was bigger news than his latest album. It was the same with Tom Jones. Andres thinks they went into a new, perhaps their last phases. He asks Per if he sees his paths this way. Per says it’s not far from him to think this way, but he hasn’t got there yet. The last few years he has done so many different things that he didn’t have the time to take that step where he would try to see himself from outside. He says he still doesn’t know what he’ll be when he grows up. The GT reunion this year is not news to him, because he has known since quite a long time that he would devote this year to it and has started writing songs for the last GT album.

Andres remarks that GT for Per is like a band on stand by. Per says it’s nice to have it like that. GT always comes back on a project basis and after a short intensive period it’s over again. Andres says Per constantly wants to move forward, but GT is a pure nostalgia machine. PG says it’s true, but everytime the band came back, one of his conditions was that they release a new album too. It’s not that they need new hits, because people want to hear the old ones anyway, but to get together in the studio and do a creative work. They have extremely good relationships within the band, but they hardly ever spend time together. Per works with Mats MP Persson in the studio in Halmstad from time to time, Anders Herrlin was there with him in Nashville when they recorded his solo albums ”En vacker natt” and ”En vacker dag”, but the others he follows basically only on Facebook. But during an album recording, they immediately find their original roles. Per thinks they really need to find that chemistry to be able to go on a tour together. Should they not do it this way, there is a risk that five strangers will suddenly play pop music in front of 150,000 people. Instead of partying together in Mallorca for 2 weeks, it’s more efficient to record some new songs, Per tells Andres.

It’s 100% right that Gyllene Tider is a nostalgia machine, but Per sees the band in a more serious way. He thinks GT is a very good pop band in the same way as Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Now that they are 60, he wants to try to make pop music that is worthy and adult in the right way. They can’t do any ”När vi två blir en” songs anymore.

The guys are coming back to the aging topic again. Andres mentions that they are the first to experience that such things as the death of David Bowie can happen, that pop artists die of old age. He asks Per how he deals with it. PG says Keith Richards is 75. He saw ”Under The Influence”, a documentary about him on Netflix the other day and he just said “I’m no pop star anymore and I don’t want to be that”. He has been there since he was 17-18 and now he is a groomed old uncle and feels relatively good in his existence. He can’t be compared to anyone else.

To Andres, Carole King is an excellent example of how she in 1960 wrote ”Will You Love Me Tomorrow” for the teenage girls in The Shirelles, but when she 10 years later sang it herself, as a ballad at the piano, she transformed the text author Gerry Goffin’s words into a sad and grown love triangle. Per says a good pop song works like this. Also some of Per’s songs work like that. For example, when Lars Winnerbäck sang ”Honung och guld” with Per on tour, the song got a completely different meaning.

Per tells SvD that as time goes by, he tries to understand how he was thinking when he was writing nearly 40 years ago. To find out what he was looking for. He was also thinking about it when he wrote the new songs for GT. He dreams to find a tone of adult dignity, but in their chosen form of pop.

According to Per, the school of composing that he works in doesn’t exist anymore. Definitely not in modern electronic dance or pop music. It’s a bit like when Paul McCartney sits down and plays ”Martha My Dear”. No one writes music like that today, but he has it in his DNA. When Per started playing, the first thing he learned was Swedish songs. He and his friend Peter Nilsson were Sweden’s first troubadours employed by the city council. Swedish social democracy at its best, Andres reacts. That music school mixed with Simon & Garfunkel and artists like Bernt Staf and John Holm meant a lot to Per. That song tradition is in his DNA.

Cover photo and all photos in the original interview article are by Staffan Löwstedt.

© Svenska Dagbladet, Andres Lokko, Staffan Löwstedt

Interview with Per Gessle by Variabeln

Carl Fredrik Lööw from Variabeln did an interview with Per. He asked Mr. G how a typical day looks in his life. PG said there is almost no typical day. It depends on what he is working with or where he is. When he is in the studio then he usually starts at 10 am and is there until midnight roughly. If he is on tour, then there is a lot of travelling and then a concert in the evening. If he is at home, he usually sits in the office for a few hours and answers mails and keeps everything running. He manages his, Roxette’s and Gyllene Tider’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts which is fun and doesn’t take much time. And then he writes songs from time to time. It’s a rather messy and varied life but it suits him.

Carl asked Per when he started to play the guitar and if he can play any other instruments. PG said he started writing lyrics when he was 14 but couldn’t play any instruments so he saved the melodies in his head. Then he learned to play guitar when he was 16. His first guitar was a nylon-stringed Spanish that he got from his mother. Then came the punk when he was 17-18 years old and then he bought his first electric guitar. Gyllene Tider was formed when he was 19. Mr. G also told Carl that nowadays he plays a little piano, but he is not very good at it. When he writes songs he usually uses both guitar and piano. It’s easier to keep track of the keys on the piano.

Carl’s next question was if Per has always loved music. Per replied he has. He remembers his first favorite songs. “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” by The Beatles and “Til The End Of The Day” by The Kinks. He was 6-7 years old then and there was something magnetic in pop music. He liked everything. The amazing clothes, long hair on guys, vinyl records and album covers, tough electric guitars, cocky pop bands. He has been completely swollen by pop romantic since then.

To the question what his favorite song is Per replied there are so many great songs so it’s hard to choose a special song. But just the day the interview was done he liked “Moonshadow” by Cat Stevens. He thinks it’s from 1972.

Carl asked how long Per has owned Hotel Tylösand and Mr. G said Björn Nordstrand and he bought the hotel in 1995. Time flies.

Carl also asked what Per is interested in besides music. PG said he likes cars and follows F1 with great interest. He usually goes to see a race or two every year. Of course, he is a fan of Ferrari.

Then there are 4 quick questions:

  • V: – Chips or chocolate? PG: – Chocolate. Though it has to be milk chocolate, I don’t like dark chocolate.
  • V: – Training or watching movies? PG: – Watching movies. I should train more but …
  • V: – Guitar or singing? PG: – Oh, how difficult. It’s super cool both. But I like to sing, especially in the studio.
  • V: – Be free or work? PG: – Work of course. I’m lucky because my work is my hobby.

 

Interview with Per Gessle by Diario Popular

Sebastián La Mastra from Argentinean newspaper Diario Popular did an interview with Per Gessle about Mono Mind and songwriting and Per told some anecdotes and talked about his admiration for the Argentine crowds. Read the interview in Spanish HERE!

In the interview Per talks about how it all started with Mono Mind and tells it’s a little more groove oriented than what he did so far, but without losing his writing style. Almost everything was done on the computer. It has become a tool to try different ideas with different collaborators. Per hopes to continue with Mono Mind for many years. He has many plans, as always, and the possibility of performing live shows is on the table. Mr. G says he would love to perform in South America and Argentina, it’s just about making things work financially.

About songwriting Per tells it’s easier to write mid-tempo songs or ballads than uptempo ones. Those 3-chord gems are hard to make at his age. You have to have the ability to keep yourself “simple” and that’s hard to do when you have written as many songs as Mr. G. He always tends to complicate his music. He hates that.

PG says the songs he writes are not about him, but they are written by him, therefore he is there somewhere. But at the same time, everything is fiction. He is a writer, he’s not making confessions.

The reporter asks Per what the funniest and most emotional memories are during his long career. Per tells the story of his trousers got broken on stage in Mexico back in the days and their 1995 Roxette concert in Beijing.

If he wasn’t a singer-songwriter, he would have loved to work in another artistic field. Maybe as an architect or interior designer or art director. Who knows.

Per mentions It must have been love and Queen Of Rain, Sleeping In My Car and The Look as his favourite songs. He also tells that all those years of touring with Marie were incredible, she is an incredible singer. Per says he was lucky.

To the question how he would define himself Per replied “lazy, lazy worker” and he shares his biggest dream, “peace and love on planet Earth”.

The guys talk a bit about Baladas en español. Per remembers that when choosing which songs to record, he only picked songs for Marie to sing. Except Vulnerable, which is interpreted by PG. The songs sounded great in Spanish, without knowing what they were about. It was a very strange experience, but at the same time fun. Per says he knows only “Hi, a beer please” in Spanish. To the question if he records anything in Spanish again, Per replies he doesn’t think so. But you never know. That’s what makes life interesting. Anything can happen.

The reporter asked Per to tell about his memories with Roxette in Argentina. He says South America and particularly Argentina have always been their favorite places to perform. They didn’t expect that kind of affection the first time they went. The crowds were so loud and they knew the lyrics. If only they could go back and perform to Argentine fans.

 

Where to end the Gyllene Tider farewell tour?

Most fans are wondering why Gyllene Tider would finish their farewell tour in Norway. It makes no sense at all. I honestly think the last gig won’t happen in Norway and of course I’m not the only one having such thoughts. Göteborgs-Posten published an article today written by Johan Lindqvist. Johan writes in details about why Gyllene Tider should end their last tour in Sweden and he points out where exactly that last show should happen. He asks the tour to be re-planned. Haha. If you ask me, it’s surely already planned, it’s just not known to us. Yet. 😉

Johan highlights Per Gessle is a man who likes good planning and order. He appreciates a great dramaturgy when it comes to writing the story of his bands. He has also read enough rock biographies in order to know how a nice finish should be directed. Therefore, it’s completely incomprehensible that he put his name on a tour plan where Gyllene Tider will celebrate his long career with a gig in Fredrikstad, Norway. I have to agree with Johan.

Johan says he has nothing against Norway, the country has good skiing places, but when Sommartider is played for the last time, it should happen in Sweden.

Public release of tickets for the tour is 9 am on 5th February. Johan doesn’t think the tour will sell out immediately, but the premiere gig in Halmstad and the last Swedish show planned for 3rd August in Gothenburg have a high chance to sell out faster than Per can say ”allsångsfest”. Haha. I have to agree with Mr. Lindqvist again. It would be quite reasonable to change the date of the concert and add it after Norway. But it’s not only the date, the venue should be changed too. To Ullevi, of course. GT made success there before and will do it again. Although many will see the band during summer, there will still be many who want to join in and fill Ullevi to pay tribute to Gyllene Tider during their last night.

Johan checked and Ullevi is booked only for Metallica and Summerburst this summer. So there is surely a chance to add GT in August. He asks Live Nation at the end of his article to make sure Gyllene Tider and the fans get a finale they deserve. At Ullevi.

Oh well. Fredrikstad is on Friday, 9th August. The distance to Gothenburg is only 210 km. So why not a finale at Ullevi on Saturday, 10th August? Or if not 3 gigs in a row, then OK, it can also be Sunday, 11th August. Who else is in for that? Or… Can 60,000 people fit in anywhere in Halmstad? 😉

Pic by Patrícia Peres taken at Ullevi, Gothenburg on 12th July 2013 

Per Gessle and Micke Syd Andersson on TV4 about the GT farewell tour

Per and Micke Syd appeared as guests on TV4’s Nyhetsmorgon and were interviewed by Jenny Strömstedt about the upcoming Gyllene Tider farewell tour. Watch it HERE!

When Jenny welcomed the guys, she noticed that they were wearing black clothes and asked if it is kind of grieving the ending of the band. Per and Micke Syd said nah, they are tough. Haha. Micke Syd said they were Sweden’s kindest pop band in the 80’s, so they are working on becoming tough.

Jenny asked what the fans think about the fact that it’s going to be Gyllene Tider’s last tour. Per replied that there are a lot of reactions. Micke Syd started singing Här kommer alla känslorna, but Per told him it’s not a GT song. Micke Syd said but it fits. Mr. G continued answering that GT means so much to a lot of people and it’s awesome. Micke Syd joined in and said fans say for example that their songs are the soundtrack to their lives. They grew up with Gyllene Tider. Per said it’s mainly their 80’s songs that he wrote when he was 19-22 years old. Back then he wouldn’t have thought they would be on a 40th anniversary farewell tour.

Then a short part of Parkliv tour film was shown and after that Micke Syd told the story that even if they beeped out the sound when Per told the phone number of Micke Syd’s mum’s hairdresser salon in the film, fans could read Mr. G’s lips and Micke’s mum got angry by constantly getting tons of calls after that. Jenny asked what the fans wanted. Micke Syd said ”talking to me” and Per joked ”having their hair cut”. Haha. Jenny asked how it worked with the fans back then. Both Micke and Per said they all lived with their parents and it was quite strange when fans were hanging around their houses. They were stealing washed clothes for example. Per said when he turned 21 he got 3400 mails, so his mum’s house was full of them. They also mentioned they had to check in at hotels on different names,picking different names each time. But of course, over the years it got calmer and the guys in GT also grew up and could handle it better. Jenny said that everyone tells about GT that they are like everyday people and so nice. The guys agree that they are nice.

Jenny mentioned that back in the days there were 2 big bands, Gyllene Tider and Noice in Sweden. They talked about the differences and Per said Noice was a big town band, while GT was a small town band. Micke Syd said this fact also determined that they had different mentality.

Per told that the band broke up in 1985 and since then they have always been doing something together on project basis. Like in 1996 or 2004 or 2013. The guys said they have a unique sound and when they play together it’s fantastic. They can’t put their finger on what it is about that uniqueness, but it’s like them 5 become 1 then. Per said when he plays GT songs with other musicians, they don’t sound like Gyllene Tider at all. There is a special style they have in GT and it shows up only when they 5 are playing together.

Jenny asked what the roles are in the band and if Per is the boss. Per said nah, he comes always as the last. Micke Syd told things are changing, but there are of course things that haven’t changed in the band. They also talked about how they play a song from 1980 these days. Micke Syd said they become young again on the inside despite the fact that he will soon turn 60. Per’s reaction to that was ”60?! Shit!” Haha. Jenny asked if it is the same feeling to sing about love now, when they are a little bit older. Per said when you sing a song you also act. Of course, when there is a song you wrote when you were 19 and sing it when you are suddenly not 19 anymore the song becomes different, it gets another meaning.

Per said GT is loved by so many people and one can’t take that for granted. It’s awesome to look back on their 40 years history. Micke Syd said there are so many memories related to their songs one can also see that on fans’ faces on the concerts.

At the end of the interview Jenny asked the most important question, if the guys can guarantee that this will really be a last time they go on tour again. Micke Syd nodded and Per replied ”it feels like that”. Jenny said it was quite a diplomatic answer.