“Kom vila hos mig” featured on “Krigarnas Ö”

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Emil Jonsvik with Marie Fredriksson. Photo: Pernilla Petersson

It’s almost a year now since we reported that a song by Marie Fredriksson was supposed to be featured on the Swedish movie “Krigarnas Ö” by Emil Jonsvik (who directed Marie Fredriksson’s video “Sista Sommarens Vals“). The movie is out in Sweden since May and now it was time to ask Emil about the song and the movie again since we weren’t able to watch it until now and haven’t read anything about Marie’s song anywhere yet.

The demo version of “Kom vila hos mig” is what you can hear in the credits of the movie. Emil wrote us why he chose it:

“It’s a naked beautiful song of Marie Fredriksson and the tune written of Mikael Bolyos and it makes everyhing come together. I’m always happy to work with so genius musicians as Marie and Mikael.”

So, technically, when the movie was being shot, the song was still new. Right now, Emil is trying to make the movie available worldwide. Until now you can purchase the movie in Scandinavia only:

The film is right now released with the big company SF, SF anytime in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. (Se it on SF anytime, Telia, comhem, Xbox 360 app, bredbandsbolaget …) We hope to plan a world wide release later this year.

Thanks to Emil Jonsvik for the information!

 



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12 Peaks of The Beatles by Per Gessle

In this 12 Peaks, Per Gessle and Sven Lindström feel like teenagers and talk about one of their favourite subjects on the planet, The Beatles. Huge thanks to Sven again for sharing the program with us! You can download the sound file in 3 parts from HERE (link is valid until 22nd August).

Mr. G’s 12 favourite hits from The Beatles:

  1. 12 Peaks of The Beatles by Per GessleHey Jude (1968)
  2. A Day in the Life (1967)
  3. Taxman (1966)
  4. I Am the Walrus (1967)
  5. Something (1969)
  6. Dear Prudence (1968)
  7. Rain (1966)
  8. I Feel Fine (1964)
  9. I’m Down (1965)
  10. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (1968)
  11. Run for Your Life (1965)
  12. Strawberry Fields Forever (1967)

In PG’s book The Beatles is the biggest there ever was, the most influential band in his life. All their songs are masterpieces, so it was pretty easy to pick 12 favourites. It would be really difficult to find 12 bad Beatles songs, so there won’t be a 12 Peaks show like that.

Per says one of the best songs ever written is ”Hey Jude”. He thinks it’s brilliant and it changed the world for so many people.

The second song on the list is ”A Day in the Life”. When Per first heard it, there was just magic all over the place in his little room. His brother had the album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Per was listening to it all the time.

Mr. G’s 3rd fave hit is ”Taxman”, a song written by George Harrison and released as the opening track on the Revolver album, which is one of Per’s favourite Beatles albums. But he can’t really make up his mind about which album is really his favourite.

The fourth song is something completely different. Per thinks it’s one of the wildest songs he knows and every time he hears it, it puts a smile on his face. It’s ”I Am the Walrus”, John Lennon in top shape. Sven and Per are of course 2 of the biggest Beatles nerds and they talk about the hidden messages in the song, namely, the lines of Shakespeare’s play, King Lear which one can hear in ”I Am the Walrus” in the background in a radio broadcast.

”Something” was written by George Harrison and it’s on the Abbey Road album, which is a stunning piece of music. Another most favourite Beatles album for PG. ”Something” is probably the most mainstream track, covered by so many artists.

”Dear Prudence” has a beautiful melody, a simple production and it’s mesmerizing to hear this track. Per just loves the song forever and ever.

”Rain” is the B-side of Paperback Writer and it’s a magnificent song. The vocal performance by Lennon is just amazing. Per also loves the glasses everyone was wearing on the sleeve. Sven says things were starting to get slightly psychedelic then.

The intro to ”I Feel Fine” just blew Per’s mind when he was a kid. It’s still fantastic, but in those days you never heard anything like that. PG loves the great harmonies and the great voice of John Lennon in this song.

Before Per and Sven get down to the next hit, Per mentions Sven wears a Rubber Soul watch. Sven says it doesn’t work, but never mind. The clock is always quarter past Ringo. Haha.

”I’m Down” is a hidden gem according to Mr. G. He can’t remember which single had it as a B-side, because he always played this song all the time. [It was the B-side of Help! /PP]

”While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is a song written by George Harrison and it was also a stunning piece of music when it came out and it still is. There is Eric Clapton on guitar.

”Run for Your Life” is fantastic pop music. It’s from Rubber Soul, which is a great album and everyone loves it. It’s a jukebox and John Lennon’s voice at this time is just the best there is.

Per picked ”Strawberry Fields Forever” as the last track on his Beatles list. He thinks it’s a magnificent piece of recording and is a highlight in pop history for Mr. G. It’s still very unique and at the time it came out you never heard anything like this. Per says it was always so cool with The Beatles that they did so many different things all the time. You could never know what to expect.

Before they play the last song, Per and Sven talk about PG visiting John Lennon’s house on Menlove Avenue in Liverpool. Strawberry Fields was a place close to where John grew up. Per says it was very special to visit the house. They kept it intact, how it was when John grew up and the guide showed them a little room inside the door at the main entrance where John and Paul were singing, because there were great acoustics inside. Per says he was standing there and started singing to see how it feels like and it sounded fantastic in there. It was almost like an echo chamber.

 



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Per Gessle interview from 1985

A fab interview with Per Gessle was done by Elisabeth Elle Sandberg on 9th February 1985. Elisabeth, who was 18 when she did the interview at Per’s apartment in Halmstad, decided to make it available online after 31 years. Great decision, I must say. What an interesting reading after all these years knowing what Per achieved in his solo career and with Gyllene Tider, as well as with Marie in Roxette. Awesome! Thanks a lot, Elisabeth!

Elisabeth starts the article with placing the interview in a time perspective. In 1983 Per released his first solo album, Per Gessle. The following year, in February, 1984 came Gyllene Tider’s English album, The Heartland Café, which did not sell particularly well. During this interview in 1985 Per started working on his second solo album, Scener. Gyllene Tider broke up about a month after this interview and Per and Marie formed Roxette in 1986.

On the day of the interview Per was in the process of looking for images that would illustrate the lyrics of his second solo album. He says it’s really hard. The only image he found good was a picture of his mother. Elisabeth asks if there were no pictures of himself and Per said he wouldn’t dare using them.

Elisabeth asks Mr. G why he is doing a solo album when he is fine with the band, Gyllene Tider. Per says he doesn’t have a good answer to the question, but it’s good to change the environment sometimes. However, there is less reason to make a solo album now than before, because Gyllene Tider’s music is closer to him than it was before. But after doing The Heartland Café album he decided that the next one should be a solo album.

Elisabeth asks if the next GT album will be more full of hits and Per replies that the main difference is that it will be in Swedish again. Another difference will be that he won’t write more than 1/3 of the album and gets the others write too. He thinks that if there is a reason for them to continue to play together, they must move on and everyone should contribute to the creative side, so it doesn’t become 12 Per Gessle tunes. There would of course be songs similar to Sommartider, but he hasn’t written so much yet. The idea is to make it a more danceable up-tempo album.

Elisabeth asks if Per thinks the fans will come back and Per says he hopes so, but he sounds a bit uncertain. Per says they are probably the oldest band at this level in Sweden and the audience they had in 1980-81 are four years older now. At that age musical taste changes quite a lot. According to Mr. G, each artist is just as big as their last song (The Heartland Café album sold 30 000 copies). They have, after all, a fairly large audience still and if they make a good album, he thinks they can be huge again. Per was surprised that The Heartland Café was selling so much anyway, because many people didn’t have a clue that the album was released, but that’s only because it was in English.

Per says Teaser Japanese sold quite well as a single, but he thinks it was totally wrong, a stupid thing. Mr. G says it was his fault that they did an English LP. He just wanted them to invest in Europe, but one shouldn’t throw out 300 000 SEK on an LP that no one wants to buy. Instead, one should record a single and test it. If it doesn’t work, one should make another single. Now he thinks the whole year they worked on The Heartland Café was a waste of time.

Mr. G says the fans bought the album Puls in autumn of 1982 and it is much to ask that they wait for a new Gyllene Tider album. They will release a new single after his solo album. It’s a bit useless to compete with himself. He says a song is finished and its title is “30 skäl” [this is the song Anna recorded in 1986 – PP]. Per says it’s very danceable and is possibly out sometime in July-August.

Per says his songwriting is changing all the time. The biggest change was in 1982 when he bought a piano. Elisabeth asks if it was hard to bring the piano up the stairs (since there were a lot of stairs to reach Per’s apartment) and Per laughs and says “they said” it was. The piano was built exactly in 1900 and he found it in a shop in Falkenberg. Since he bought it, he started to write music using the piano and it allowed him to write differently.

Per thinks it’s great to read his old lyrics. He doesn’t write the same way anymore. He doesn’t know why. Today it would be really hard to write a song like (Dansar inte lika bra som) Sjömän. Blå December was an attempt to write a short story, a narrated story in pictures.

Per says he started writing English lyrics when he was 13-14. He couldn’t play any instruments, so he just wrote the lyrics. He started playing the guitar in 1976.

To Elisabeth’s question regarding what Per thinks about Swedish music he replied that it’s exactly the same today as when Gyllene Tider had their breakthrough. There are great artists like Ulf Lundell, Dan Hylander, Eva Dahlgren and others who survive, but nothing new appears. He believes that a new generation of 17-18-year-olds will do great things soon. The record companies working with them will be great. Today the record companies are run by older people. The record company Stranded woke up now with bands like Ratata.

Per says many people wonder how he can write songs for Herreys och Pinks, but after all, those are the most-selling artists in Sweden and Per makes a living from writing music.

Elisabeth asks Per which producer he would choose for his next solo album or Gyllene Tider’s next album. Per thinks Gyllene Tider needs a producer more than himself. His solo albums are much clearer than Gyllene Tider’s. He thinks there are tons of good producers, but perhaps above all two. One of them is Trevor Horn, who is a tech pro. He produced Owner of a Lonely Heart by Yes. He is fantastic. The other is a guy called Robert “Mutt” Lange, who did The Cars’ latest LP. Per was stunned when he heard The Cars’ latest LP. That’s exactly what they should have done long ago, but they don’t have the resources.

Per says it’s so ridiculous that the record company still wants to have a new album in English. But they can’t spend more time on it, because then it will be the same thing again. Abroad they are competing for airplay time with all other Capitol artists such as John Waite, Tina Turner and David Bowie. And it is impossible.

To the question if he is interested in writing soundtracks or musicals, Per replies that he would like to do soundtracks and also instrumental music, it would be fun, but about musicals he thinks they are so boring.

Elisabeth asks Per if he remembers the first time he was standing in front of an audience. Mr. G says he was always singing Staffan Stalledräng. He and a guy called Peter Nilsson worked as troubadours and were singing at hospitals. There he learned how to sit with a guitar and sing for people. He says it was useful and helped when they played with Gyllene Tider. But he thinks he is still nervous. But that’s just because people have other requirements today in any context. Per says if you are at a family party, people always want you to sit down at the piano, sing and play. Stuff he hates, because he can’t. He can barely play the piano.

To the question which concert he was fascinated by, Per replies that there are several. Bruce Springsteen when he was in Sweden last. It was an incredible concert. He is just like an artist should be. He captivates his audience. Then Joni Mitchell when she was in Sweden. Per says he saw David Bowie on his recent tour in France. Randy Newman alone with a grand piano is the best there is. Staffan Scheja and Björn J:son Lindh are also beautiful. Per says there are so many ways to experience a concert, however, actually he doesn’t like to go to concerts. It’s rare that he goes to one and almost never at Scandinavium, because it’s so boring.

He is asked if he goes out to dance and his reply is he does. If he likes dancing? He says it depends. He thinks it’s fun to dance sometimes, it depends on what mood you are in. He tends to go out in Halmstad, but he doesn’t go out to dance only, but to eat.

Regarding what he produced so far Per says Rita & The Rip-Off. He would really love to produce more, but it’s hard when you work with yourself. This new album he is doing he produces it together with Lasse Lindbom. He thinks it’s good for all bands, no matter how much experience they have, to have a producer. You need an objective person all the time. If you work for a long time with your material, you become snowed in what you are doing. Producing other artists would be fun. Per thinks he is pretty good at it and he laughs. Then he goes off and gets more coffee saying he always drinks so much coffee. It’s part of his plans to produce more. The problem is that he likes working in Halmstad. He finds it boring to stay at a hotel in Stockholm.

Elisabeth asks Per what he would like to be able to do what he still can’t do. Per says he would like to be a better musician than he is. He would also like to be able to read music. No one he knows can do that. When one is working with other musicians, often older musicians, it’s an incredible advantage to be able to write and read music. When Per hears or knows what he wants in a song, he is humming it out. He thinks it’s a handicap. He would also like to be able to sing better, to have a larger vocal range. He went and took singing lessons four times, but he says he is not one of those who can do it, for example, every Tuesday. It’s rare that he is home. Mr. G says he had season ticket for Drott’s matches, but he saw only one game during the season, because he wasn’t home. He says it’s useless this way and he can’t have anything definite.

Elisabeth asks Per if he plays football and Per says they play soccer every Monday in the summer, he and some neighbors. He says it’s funny. He played football when he was little and he always found ball sports fun. He is also playing badminton quite often.

The interview ends with a question about what Per is doing now and he replies he is trying to get an agent in Los Angeles, and it goes pretty well.

PG_Elisabeth_Elle_Sandberg

 



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12 Peaks of The Kinks by Per Gessle

1 month after we shared Mr. G’s 12 Peaks of Roxette, now it’s time to listen to another 12 Peaks. Sven Lindström kindly shared with us the program about one of Per Gessle’s favourite bands of all time, The Kinks. You can download the sound file in 3 parts from HERE (link is valid until 26th July).

Per listened to The Kinks a lot when he grew up and he still does. It’s timeless music and great songwriting by Ray Davies. Mr. G’s very first LP was The Kink Kontroversy. Per bought it from his brother (7 years older than PG) who needed money for cigarette. Per still has the album which he thinks is a brilliant one, having a great sleeve with a Guild guitar on it.

Sven and Per talk about what the magic behind The Kinks is. Per says The Kinks come from some sort of British R&B and evolved into a very British pop institution. Ray Davies’ songwriting is the essence of the whole thing, but they are all great musicians and together they combine the band’s fantastic sound. Per thinks The Kinks in general were an underrated band. They were a little bit out of tune all the time, but that’s what makes them so special. They had wonderful guitar riffs.

The guys talk about the band’s drummer, Mick Avory. Per thinks one can hear he’s got his R&B background and he became a great pop drummer. Sven also mentions what a cool voice Ray Davies has, it sounds like he has a perpetual cold.  Per says Ray’s voice is in perfect harmony with his brother’s, Dave Davies’ voice.

Mr. G picked songs mainly from The Kinks’ early days. Here is the list of his 12 favourites:

  1. 12PeaksofTheKinksbyPerGessleDavid Watts (1967)
  2. Till the End of the Day (1965)
  3. Waterloo Sunset (1967)
  4. Sunny Afternoon (1966)
  5. Lola (1970)
  6. Tired of Waiting for You (1965)
  7. Set Me Free (1965)
  8. Where Have All the Good Times Gone (1965)
  9. Days (1968)
  10. Dedicated Follower of Fashion (1966)
  11. Rosie Won’t You Please Come Home (1966)
  12. Sweet Lady Genevieve (1973)

When Sven tells before The Kinks broke through, they made 2 flop singles, Per reacts ”yeah, well, most of us did” and laughs. Per says he adored Till the End of the Day when he was a kid and still does. The guitar intro is the best. Waterloo Sunset is one of the best pop songs ever written according to PG. It has such a beautiful melody line, such beautiful lyrics and it’s just magic in 3 minutes. It was an inspiration for Per and took the characters, Terry and Julie from this song and used them in a Roxette song, Me & You & Terry & Julie. It’s a little homage to Mr. Davies. Per met Ray Davies once. It happened in London at the BMI Awards. Ray had a Swedish girlfriend at the time, so they chatted a bit. Per says Ray is a great guy.

Sunny Afternoon is THE summer song for Mr. G next to Summer In The City by The Lovin’ Spoonful. It was a big hit in Sweden, one could hear it a lot on the radio. Per had it as a single and played it over and over again. Lola is one of those brilliant songs Per wishes he had written. He just loves it. The lyrics have typical Ray Davies phrases with double meanings all the time. Sven says it might be the first ever song about a transvestite. Per says ”maybe… as we know. But we’re from Sweden, so what do we know…?” Haha.

Sven asks Per to list the best pop groups ever, Per’s Top10, but Mr. G says after The Beatles topping the list there are many bands at the 2nd place, e.g. The Kinks, The Who, The Rolling Stones and The Beach Boys.

Besides talking enthusiastically about The Kinks, the guys even share the recipe of semla cake, NOT. Haha. But they know it’s a bun with some cream in it and has a sweet little thing inside. The sweet bun by the way was offered for Sven by Åsa, ”sweet wife” as Per refers to her. How lovely!

 



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Spanish interview with Per Gessle about Roxette

Sebas E. Alonso did an interview with Per Gessle at the end of June for Spanish jenesaispop.com. Here you can read a summary of it in English.

Per and the reporter are talking about the updated sound on “Good Karma”, but keeping the DNA of Roxette. Mr. G says that for this album they have 2 more songs recorded and there are 3 others they didn’t record in the studio. He says if he doesn’t like a song, he leaves it and focuses on something else. To make a song takes a long time. If he makes a demo and he doesn’t like it, he leaves it completely. A song has to pass several processes before reaching the studio.

Per says all songs on the album are special. “From a Distance” was originally a ballad, atmospheric, without a groove. But they had many ballads, so they took Marie’s voice and gave it to Addeboy vs. Cliff. It became an uptempo song, they added a guitar and new voices. What’s on the album is the second version. It was the last song they recorded.

Mr. G says it’s cool that people still listen to their songs and every time he hears e.g. “It Must Have Been Love” at the airport or at the supermarket it feels great.

He talks about the band The 1975 from today’s music and that he likes their production, but he also still listens to ‘60s and ‘70s music. To the question if Roxette is a pop or a rock band Per replies they make pop music, but with guitars.

Regarding “Good Karma” Per says Marie thinks it’s their best album ever, but he thinks it’s rather just a good album. The best they could do now.

About “April Clouds” Mr. G says they had two ballads, “April Clouds” and “Why Don’t You Bring Me Flowers?” and they thought that one had to be the final song of the album. They decided on AC, which is organic, no synthesizers involved but real instruments. They don’t think of it as a farewell song, but many people interpret it so, and this is how things work. You do something and people interpret it as they want and this is how it should be.

The reporter asks about Marie and Per says he talked to her the day the interview was done (22nd June) and she was fine. Sometimes she can’t get up and has to sit, but other days she feels good and can even take a walk. Per says they haven’t talked about a future concert at all. It doesn’t look like there will be more concerts at all. But Marie sometimes surprises us and if she wants to do something, Per is there. But there are no plans at all.

Per talks about the fans, their support over the years and that it was a great rehab for Marie. He says even now when they decided not to do more tours they have their fans’ support.

Regarding how music changed nowadays, Mr. G says today the artist is like a brand, especially in the EDM world. David Guetta and Avicii are trademarks and are presented as brands, and they (Roxette) are not a brand. They want to be a band. Today in Sweden for example, Spotify is 90% of the market. No one is interested in the artists or producers anymore, however, he still buys physical albums besides listening to Spotify as well.

About the US Per says it was lost when their company was sold in 1992. They were planning the “Joyride” world tour, but the guys at the record label only wanted to work with people they knew and they didn’t know Roxette. Since then, things didn’t work. At the same time, to get the American market they had to spend 6 or 7 months there and when Marie became pregnant it changed everything. Since about 1993, when they started recording “Crash! Boom! Bang!” they didn’t do enough to keep themselves there on the market, they were not playing in the US. The last time they played in New York and Los Angeles was amazing, but it was not as massive. Per always says that they left America for the rest of the world. It required too much effort, they should have spent too much time there and Marie refused it.

Regarding “It Must Have Been Love” the reporter asks Per if he gets paid every time Pretty Woman is on TV. Per laughs and says he hopes so. He was asked if he thinks he could have won an Oscar with IMHBL for the best song and Per says he thinks so, but since there was an earlier version of the song, it couldn’t be nominated. And he laughs that it was him who told about the older version, so he should have just kept his mouth shut.

They talk about “Baladas en español” that it was the record company’s idea to record that album. Rafael Gil helped them to pronounce the words correctly and he says they got some critics. The reporter says there were no problems with the pronunciation, but the lyrics in Spanish were rather crappy. Per says he can say only “una cerveza, por favor” in Spanish.

Per closes the interview with the thoughts of being fortunate. If you look at the whole thing in perspective, it’s a miracle that Marie survived her illness. They did a tour of 200 concerts for 1.4 million people and it has been a blessing to work for 30 years in this. Marie doesn’t have cancer or anything, she is simply affected by the disease. Maybe they can make more music together in the future.

PG_spanish_interview



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CONTEST: Win a copy of RoXXXette On The Road!

Anders Roos, photographer and publisher of Roxette’s XXX tour photo book, RoXXXette On The Road was kind enough to offer us a copy of the normal edition for a contest. So here is your great chance to get hold of it if you don’t have it on your book shelf yet.

In order to participate, answer the following questions correctly:

  1. RoXXXette On The RoadWho wrote the reflections in the book? – Per Gessle
  2. As you know, there are 2 editions of the book: a normal and a limited edition. How many numbered copies of the limited edition book were released? – 300
  3. From when until when can you visit Anders Roos’ RoXXXette On The Road photo exhibition at Hotel Tylösand? – From 1st July to 31st August
  4. How many Roxette prints are on display at the RoXXXette On The Road exhibition at Hotel Tylösand? – 15

Send an e-mail with your name, address (so we can send the book in case you win) and the correct answers to the questions to rxbcontests@gmail.com until 23:59 CET, 25th July 2016. The lucky winner will be announced a few days later. Good luck!

 

Contest terms and conditions:
– In order to participate, you have to send an e-mail to rxbcontests@gmail.com with name, address and correct answers to the
4 questions. We will consider all e-mails we receive until 23:59 CET on 25th July 2016.
1 winner will be picked randomly among those who have participated and sent the correct answers.
– You can only participate once, any attempt to participate twice or more times will lead to your disqualification.
– Prize won’t be paid out in cash. Prize will be sent by registered
mail only once.
– Winners will be announced on this website, on our Facebook page and will also be notified per e-mail. You’ll be required to answer the e-mail confirming your address.
– RoxetteBlog.com will not enter into any correspondence regarding the result of the contest and is not liable for any damages, loss or expenses that may result in connection to the prize.
– All submitted data will only be used for the purpose of the contest and in case you are the lucky winner, to send you the prize.

AR_exhibition_1  AR_exhibition_2  AR_exhibition_3  AR_exhibition_4  AR_exhibition_5  AR_exhibition_6

Roxette photos on display taken by Anders Roos, exhibition photos taken by Patrícia Peres.

 

Update on 26th July: Winner of the contest is Frédéric Bourgoin, Canada.



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RoXXXette On The Road – the great collection of the Roxers Edition

As you all know, Roxette’s tour photo book, RoXXXette On The Road was published on 16th June in 2 versions. As a normal edition and as a Roxers limited edition. The limited edition is in a beautiful box and it exists in 300 numbered copies only. It contains 16 pages more than the normal edition and it includes a numbered print-out with the signature of Anders Roos, photographer and publisher of the book. The numbered print-outs exist in 12 different versions (not 15 as it was mentioned earlier), each of them numbered from 1 to 25. On top of all this, each and every single limited edition RoXXXette On The Road is signed by Per Gessle.

Some Roxers already started sharing pictures of their copies on Facebook and we see there are so many variations. Everyone is curious about what Per wrote in the books and which print-out ended up in which numbered copy’s box. For this reason, we thought it would be nice to collect them in a kind of an album on an easily available public platform and so we would create that on our website. It would be similar to the PLECtionary.

In case you want to see your limited edition book and print-out details in the collection, please do the following.

  1. Take a photo of the page(s) Per signed (and drew or wrote any funny text on) in your Roxers Edition book, as well as a picture of the print-out your box includes.
  2. Please make sure that all details are clearly visible, I mean the number of the book, the signature, the texts or drawings by PG, as well as the number of the print-out.
  3. Send us the photo(s) to this e-mail address: roxers.rxb@gmail.com
  4. In the e-mail please confirm that you own all rights related to the certain photo and state if you agree on sharing them on our website (roxetteblog.com). Please don’t send us others’ pics, only your own!
  5. Please write the number of your book (e.g. 1/300) and your print-out (e.g. 23/25) in the e-mail.
  6. Please also state whether you want your full name being shown on our website next to your photo or just your initials or if we should use the photo without stating your name in public or if you don’t agree on publishing the picture, but only the text and number of your copy.

None of the photos will be shared in hi res and of course, if you want, you can use your own watermark on them.

We are trying to collect all 300 copies this way, but of course, we are aware of the fact that it’s not sure at all that every owner reads this article or wants to share the details of their copies. So let’s see what happens.

You can send your photos anytime. There is no deadline, since some books are still on their way to their owners. It’s going to be a constantly updated thing until we don’t have it all. 😉 Anytime you get to know that a book changes its owner, do not hesitate to tell us about it, so we can update the details in the collection.

Here you can see a sample pic of what we expect from you as a photo. But you can be creative, the photos don’t need to look the same for each limited edition book, just take into consideration the above mentioned.

Roxers_Edition_No1_Patricia_Peres

Pic by Patrícia Peres

In case you have any questions, contact us at the e-mail address stated above.

Thanks to you all for your cooperation in advance and we hope you will enjoy the result later!

 



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Summer exhibitions at Per Gessle’s hotel

2 exhibitions had their openings at Hotel Tylösand on Friday, 1st July. Legendary British photographer, Mick Rock had the vernissage of his ”THE RISE OF DAVID BOWIE and more” exhibition on the 2nd floor, while Anders Roos opened his ”RoXXXette On The Road” exhibition in the hall on the ground floor.

It would have been probably better from the RoXXXette On The Road exhibition’s point of view if that one had started 1 hour earlier and then everyone could have gone to see the main exhibition after seeing Anders Roos’ 15 fab Roxette photos. Both exhibitions started at 7 pm and Mick Rock’s was an invitation only event. Many people came to meet him and have some words with him about his wonderful David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Debbie Harry etc. photos. He also signed his David Bowie book during the vernissage and was happy to pose for pictures with his fans.

PG

Photo by Patrícia Peres

Among the guests known to us there was Mikael Bolyos, Magnus Börjeson, Sven Lindström, Göran Fritzon and last, but definitely not least, Per Gessle. When Per arrived, he immediately got some questions from Expressen’s Kvällensposten (see their article and photos from the event HERE) and we also had the chance to talk to him shortly. He was in a very good mood, being excited about meeting Mick Rock. We talked about the RoXXXette On The Road book, mainly about the Roxers limited edition version and he said he asked the organizers to keep the low numbers for Hotel Tylösand, because he knows that we, Roxers pop up here often and would get it at the hotel. He said it took ages for the silver tint to dry when he signed those 300 limited edition copies, but it was fun to sign them. Good it wasn’t raining then, however, he has a glass roof on the terrace, so the books would have survived anyway. Per was kindly posing for a picture for RoxetteBlog and made me laugh how he smiled. Why to say ”cheese” when you can say ”Paul McCartney”? I’m glad I didn’t shoot at ”-cart-” Haha! Then off he went to enjoy the vernissage. The whole event lasted for about 2 hours and it seems that it’s not only Per who had fun with Mick Rock, but vice versa. See picture HERE.

At the RoXXXette On The Road exhibition you can see 15 C-prints from the book in 50×70 and 70×100 cm sizes. They are on display at Hotel Tylösand, in front of the Spa. You can even buy the numbered prints. There are 25 numbered copies of each 50×70 cm print and 10 numbered copies of each 70×100 cm print. The 50×70 cm print costs 6000 SEK, while the 70×100 cm print costs 10500 SEK. Prices include the frame (1000 SEK) and Swedish VAT (appr. 1000 SEK), so if you order from abroad, the prices might be different / lower. If you are interested in more details or you have any questions, contact Tres Hombres Art at info@treshombresart.com.

As Anders Roos told Lokaltidningen, Halmstad (read the article and see some pictures HERE) it was extremely exciting to be on tour with Roxette. He said the band was very helpful and they also wanted the result to be as good as possible. Anders tried to choose different images to get a good balance of pictures with both Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson, as well as the band members. Anders, who considers RoXXXette On The Road as a dream project also told Lokaltidningen that nowadays, when everyone goes to the concerts with their cameras and mobiles, it’s not the live photos that are the most interesting, but rather the backstage shots.

The exhibitions are free to visit until 31st August, so if you are near Hotel Tylösand, make sure you don’t miss them!

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Photo of PG & Mick Rock posted by Mick Rock                             Anders Roos photo by Jens Kassnert, Lokaltidningen



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Interview with Per Gessle in Allt om Vin

As we already informed you about it, the July issue of Allt om Vin contains an interview with Per Gessle. The magazine is available in Sweden as of today. The interview was done by Hasse Gänger at the end of April and the beauty pics of Mr. G were taken by Stefan Bohlin at Vingruppen’s office in Stockholm.

In the interview Per says he can understand those who are eager to have their own vineyard. Though in that case, one might decide: “Now this is what I will do for the rest of my life.” This thought has not entered Mr. G’s mind yet, but he says he is still young.

pg_allt_om_vin_2Per is not a super expert when it comes to wines, but he knows what he likes and that’s enough. It’s rather a hobby for him. He is also very curious. For example, he heard that Ornellaia has made a white wine, Ornellaia Bianco, which was impossible to obtain. He called a contact in England he usually buys from, but he was said the wine was sold out, 4000 bottles were gone. That makes one super curious. He didn’t even know what kind of grape was in it, but he wanted to test it of course.

The night before the interview with Allt om Vin was done, Per had dinner with his friends at PA & Co and drank a white wine he never had before and had never heard of. It was Aligoté, a little worse variant of the Chardonnay grape as the waiter explained it to him. It was amazing according to Per. He sent an e-mail directly to Ann Burgaz at WineAgency to ask if she can fix some of that wine for Hotel Tylösand.

Mr. G says that from the beginning he didn’t want to release his wines commercially. There are already a lot of celebrity wines and he doesn’t want to be part of this thing. Moreover, it was the hotel’s wines and still it is his basic idea, to find good wines for their guests. But Ann Burgaz thought the wines were so good. It almost felt as if Marilisa Allegrini produced better wines than what they paid for.

They talk about the wines and champagnes in The Per Gessle Selection and Per explains Kurt & Lisa is named after his parents and has the label with his parents’ wedding photo on it. Mr. G shares one of his coolest memories so far. It happened at a restaurant in Stockholm. Per was sitting there having dinner and three tables away there were some who ordered Kurt & Lisa. He saw how they poured it into the glasses, but they did not know Per was there. It was incredibly special for him and he had never experienced anything like that feeling before in music or anything else. Seeing someone else entirely unknown to drink his own wine was both really strange and cool.

Per tells Hasse Gänger he has no ambitions to become a major wine entrepreneur. He doesn’t want to be in the spotlight, because he doesn’t feel comfortable with it. For example, this interview is the only one he does about wines in the foreseeable future. He wants the wines to speak for themselves.

According to Mr. G, it’s two things that make his wines work. One is that Ann Burgaz has an eye on it and can open doors to high-quality suppliers. The other is Per’s taste. He always tells everyone that one doesn’t need to know so much about wines. The most important thing is to learn what you like. He doesn’t like Zinfandel, for example, but in Bordeaux category, he likes Saint-Julien wines a lot.

Regarding Sommartider wines Per tells the story that it was Magnus Börjeson, Roxette’s bassist who came up with the idea to launch wines called Sommartider. The wines came out first as boxed wines, but now they are also available in bottles.

Then they talk about the alcohol-free wines in the assortment, named after Per’s beloved wife, Åsa. Mr. G says Åsa drinks a lot of alcohol-free wines with her friends. The white and rosé wines in The Per Gessle Selection are called Fru Nordin.

Talking about the labels, as Per is very much of a design freak, he is happy to be involved in the label art. Sommartider wines have his own drawings on the label, Furet has the house he grew up in and Kurt & Lisa’s label colour is changed for every vintage. The latter was inspired by the American Sine Qua Non winery, which each year has new fun designs and names for each vintage.

It was quite difficult to finish the champagne labels, because the regulations are incredibly strict. Per’s own name could appear only in a certain percentage in relation to the name of the champagne, and the images must be wine-related. The 3 champagnes in the assortment are The Convincer, The Pleaser and the flagship, The Improver (which is only available in the restaurant range). 500 bottles of The Improver sold out immediately and the next turn was expected to be available still during this spring. As Per says, The Improver will always be serious shit.

In the interview Per says that he feels he has a little odd taste when it comes to champagne. Many of his friends are in favor of old champagnes, but he likes young champagnes the most. Old champagne tastes almost like a completely different drink. At the same time, his taste changes with time. For a while, he stopped drinking Bordeaux wines and he is rather drinking Italian wines. Mr. G doesn’t really like the new world’s too sweet and strong alcoholic wines. He is very much a Cabernet guy. He likes French and Italian Cabernet, even though they are quite different in taste.

Regarding the future, Per says a Pinot Grigio would fit in The Per Gessle Selection and they are also searching for a South African red wine in Kurt & Lisa’s price range, around 200 crowns.

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RoXXXette On The Road entered the charts

RoXXXette On The Road, Roxette’s extremely beautiful tour photo book photographed by Anders Roos was published on 16th June. The book that includes 41 reflections by Per Gessle has 2 editions, a normal and a limited edition version in 300 copies called The Roxers Edition. The latter one is presented in a very cool hard case and includes 16 additional pages vs. the normal edition, plus a print from the book signed by Anders Roos and the book itself is signed by Per in silver.

The book entered the charts and it’s not even a week ago since it’s out. The positions show high interest in both editions, even if The Roxers Edition is not listed at too many selling points. Let’s see the actual chart positions!

Bokus

On the daily sales charts we could already see that the limited edition book topped the list (actually, it’s now already out of stock), but now the weekly chart is also available and we can see the normal edition is in the Top5 as well. Woohoo!

RoXXXette On The Road – The Roxers Edition: No. 1 in Culture category
RoXXXette On The Road (normal edition): No. 5 in Culture category

Ginza

RoXXXette On The Road (normal edition): No. 2 among all books!!!

 

Congrats for reaching such nice positions on the charts! Keep it up!

RoXXXette On The Road entered the charts

 

Update on 27th June: both editions of the book kept their positions (No. 1 and No. 5) at Bokus, while at Ginza, the normal edition became No. 1.



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Interview with Per Gessle about Good Karma, melodies, songwriting and other groovy things

zdf_pgThere were quite some shorter and longer Good Karma interviews with Per during the past few weeks and he even provided all of us, Roxers with a fantastic opportunity, a Facebook live Q&A some days ago, answering 84 questions in 1 hour. After all this, we still had thousands of questions, so we put them together and shot all of them at him.

Even if Mr. G is always very busy with all of his parallel projects, he found the time to answer all our Qs. It’s really m.u.c.h. a.p.p.r.e.c.i.a.t.e.d. and we love all his detailed replies! And also the less detailed ones. Haha. Enjoy!

 

RXB: – First of all, thank you very much in advance for taking your time and answering our questions. Much appreciated! We know you are always very curious about the reception of your releases. Seeing the reaction of fans, your new album, ”Good Karma” is loved. How does it feel?
PG: – It feels fab. Since our fans are extremely varied and therefore very hard to please we didn’t expect anything like this. People, including the media, seem surprised by the direction we’ve taken and we find that interesting. You never know what people might think.
”Good Karma” has been created with a natural flow, we knew right from the beginning what we were looking for. However it’s been quite a difficult album to make. Not only couldn’t Marie join us in the studio except for her vocal takes and the technical challenges we went through took a lot of time and energy, especially from Christoffer. You need a low pulse and lots of patience to make an album like G.K.

RXB: – ”Good Karma” is the shortest Roxette album with its 38 minutes. Quality over quantity, but do you consider an album having a certain length when you start recording?
PG: – No. We record songs we like and use the ones we like the most. In the ”Good Karma”-case there are a few leftovers but we didn’t think they matched the quality of the other tracks so we left them out. Personally I think forty minutes is perfect for an album. You know you’ve succeeded if your natural instinct is to play it again.

RXB: – Your album titles are always short and simple. After the 10th studio album was released, which of your records do you think has the best title, taking into consideration the whole concept around that certain album?
PG: – I think they’re all pretty good. No, I don’t. I don’t really like ”Pearls Of Passion”. I don’t like titles with an ”OF” in the middle. It sounds pretentious. My original song was called ”Pearls AND Passion” but it was misspelled by EMI on an early draft and we kept it like that for some reason. And I changed the title and the lyrics of my song. True story. Have I told that one before?
”Look Sharp!” is a very cool title. ”Crash! Boom! Bang!” as well. And ”Charm School” and ”Joyride”. And ”Have A Nice Day”. And ”Room Service”. Hey, we’re brilliant at titles!

RXB: – You smiled in the Sat1 interview that the album leaked and so you could read on Facebook which songs people liked already before the official release date. Does it piss you off when such things happen?
PG: – No, it was expected. It’s almost impossible to keep things secret these days. There’s always someone who spills the beans. It goes hand in hand with our open-minded and ultra connected universe.

RXB: – Regarding radio, the last time a Roxette lead single went on air worldwide was ”She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)” in 2011. Unfortunately, in many countries ”It Just Happens” is still not played. Why do you think radios don’t pick it up even if there are news in the media about it?
PG: – Radio doesn’t work like it used to. In the old days you had music people who were in charge over playlists etc. Today most stations around the world play music selected by algorithms based on social media etc. It’s pretty tough to crack that system especially if you’re a ”vintage” band like us. It’s the same problem for most artists of our generation (and older). That’s one of the reasons most songs in the Top 40 chart sound pretty much the same and are targeted towards a very young audience who are on the internet all the time.

RXB: – You mentioned in several interviews that ”Good Karma” songs were not meant to be performed live. The previous two albums’ lead singles had you on lead vocals, which was obvious from promotional point of view as Marie wouldn’t have been able to handle new lyrics. How was ”It Just Happens” chosen now? Three singles in a row with you on lead vocals make us wonder.
PG: – No strategy. Warner wanted a ”classic” powerful Roxette-song as the lead single and off we went with ”IJH”. It’s a quite sophisticated song, coming from us. Maybe not the most obvious choice for a first single but I understand how they were thinking. Personally I consider ”IJH” to be a ”Marie-song”. Her vocals are the driving force behind it, not mine.

RXB: – ”Some Other Summer” might have a bigger potential. Do you expect it or any another song to be a bigger hit worldwide and that radios realize these tracks are worth to be on air?
PG: – No, I don’t expect anything. ”SOS” is a great pop song in my book, so are ”Good Karma” and ”Why Dontcha?” and a few others. But that doesn’t mean that I expect it to become a worldwide hit. It doesn’t work like that anymore. New balls, dear you.

RXB: – Talking about it, you gave ”Some Other Summer” to Sebastien Drums long before your original version was out. What was the idea behind someone else releasing your song before you do?
PG: – We had a mutual friend in the German music biz who asked us if we had a Rox-song Sebastien could use. And we had just finished ”SOS” so he got that one. I like the idea of doing unexpected things. Sometimes strange and wonderful things happen that way. But I never really understood Seb’s official version. There are a couple of other SOS-remixes he did that I prefer. But that’s me.

RXB: – The video to ”It Just Happens” turned out to be wonderful. We loved seeing you both enjoyed the shooting and Marie still loves acting. How was it working together with a new team?
PG: – It was cool. They all did a great job. We spent a day in an old building in the centre of Stockholm trying out the take away sushi and fooling around in front of the cameras. The rest of the shooting didn’t involve us at all but we certainly liked the result. It’s a beautiful little story that director Tobias Nordquist captured very well visually.

RXB: – We got used to the fact that MTV is mostly not about music and videos anymore and the clips are rather watched on YouTube, Vimeo, etc. What do you think is the purpose of a video clip nowadays?
PG: – I think most things you do promowise are made to remind the media and your fans that you’re still alive! If you release new music and don’t do anything, no interviews, no videos or no TV-appearances it’s really hard to cut through that enormous amount of information that surrounds us all. A video might pop up at an airport, department store or getting shared on smartphones. It’s all part of that big puzzle called the entertainment industry.

RXB: – We got very excited when in an earlier interview you mentioned you wrote some songs together with MP now for the first time since long. ”You Can’t Do This to Me Anymore” is now on the album and it’s certainly very different to what we are used to when you 2 put your talents together. Are there any other songs from this set of latest MP cooperations that might see the light of day?
PG: – I don’t know. We’ve written more songs together over the last couple of years but there are no plans of using them for the moment. Time will tell what’s gonna happen to them. MP sometimes got some wonderful and weird musical ideas and I try to glue them together with my humble ambitions. It’s fun. He’s very special. He still drives a very fast Suzuki-bike.

RXB: – You wrote 3 songs together with Addeboy vs. Cliff and they are co-producers on 3 other songs. How did it feel to work with others? You were never really into bringing new people in.
PG: – Well, I’ve changed. I had bumped into AvsC through other projects so I knew their style and what they were capable of. I basically asked them to send me some musical ideas, like sounds and grooves, bass lines and chord progressions, to see if I could make something out of it. And I could. I kept a lot of stuff they made, edited a few things out, added some new parts and wrote melody lines and lyrics. However, none of the songs we wrote together were specifically made for Roxette. They were just collaborations trying things out.
AvsC and me never worked together in the studio. It was all done via the internet. I loved the final result but actually never expected Marie to like it since it was pretty far out. Not quite ”classic” Roxette if you know what I mean. But she really loved some of the songs and so did Chris and Clarence. Off we went and put them on a rocket to Planet Roxette!
The ”Good Karma” track was co-written with AvsC but Chris wanted us to produce it ourselves so he could play some serious power chords in the intro. His guilty pleasure, I guess…. And Clarence added that ”Fading Like A Flower”-inspired keyboard intro. Very nice. Very catchy. Cheers.

RXB: – What’s the difference in the cooperation with Addeboy vs. Cliff between ”The Look” remake in 2015 when they got the basics and had to do something with it and when it was vice versa for ”Good Karma” songs and you asked them to give you baselines?
PG: – Well, the main difference is of course that the songs we wrote together started with them, not me. ”The Look” is my song which they ”interpreted” their own way. We did the same thing with ”You Can’t Do This To Me Anymore”, which was written by MP and me, but the backing track was created by AvsC. And they’ve just finished a fab uptempo version of ”Why Don’t You Bring Me Flowers?”. Same thing. A song of mine done in Addeboy vs Cliff-style. It will hopefully be released later this year.

RXB: – The world is changing. You record parts in one studio, others in another and you don’t even have to meet physically to put things together. Isn’t it strange for you to record this way? Don’t you miss the ”personal meeting” touch in each phase?
PG: – It depends on what kind of recording it is. The more technical it gets the less you need lots of people around. It’s always, more or less, only one person who’s doing the job anyway. In Roxette’s case it’s Chris since he’s in charge of the computer and the digital funfair. My (and Clarence’s) job is to guide him through the audio jungle with our taste and our musical suggestions.
Chris has become an amazing tech wizard. Without him and his vast palette of sounds the Good Karma project wouldn’t have sounded as interesting. And he’s become a brilliant mixing engineer as well. He mixes a song, sends me his vision, I change or suggest a few things and might add or take away something, he sends me back an updated version. And we go on and on like that for a few days and nights. When we’re done we send it to Marie and Clarence for their approval. That’s how the Good Karma-album was mixed.
When you make a record like ”Travelling” or anything with Gyllene Tider it’s a different ballgame. Then it’s all about instant communication and ”playing” together. I like both ways. I would love to make a new Mazarin-style album one day but I also know that if I want a really hardcore updated production sound it can’t really be done in that ”organic” way. You have to do everything on the computer. It’s no big deal. I’m glad I enjoy both ways. And have the opportunity to choose.

RXB: – Besides the standard vinyl, there is a limited edition, beautiful, orange coloured LP as well. How many copies of the limited edition vinyls are released?
PG: – I wish I knew but I don’t. A couple of thousand is my guess. It might be less. Or more.

RXB: – There is a poster to this edition and it’s the album cover. Wouldn’t it have been a better idea to include a poster on which you and Marie appear instead of the butterfly?
PG: – No, if we thought so we would have done it. We like the butterfly.

RXB: – On the vinyl there is a ghost track after ”April Clouds”. We tried to figure out what it is. Any hints?
PG: – No. Another internal joke.

RXB: – It’s the first time you and Marie don’t appear in any form on the front cover of a studio album. Why?
PG: – We wanted this project to have a symbol that we could use on lots of things. The album sleeve, the tiny stamp-sized pic used on iTunes and Spotify and Amazon etc. On merchandise and upcoming singles. The butterfly-image is beautiful and stands out and can be used in so many varieties. And it fits the music and the title.

RXB: – Now we understand the butterfly artwork, its X shape and the evolution it symbolizes. What is still not clear is the guitar and microphone appearing at a certain body part of poor butterflies. What’s that intended to be?
PG: – It’s up to you to decide.

RXB: – Then there is no instrument on the ”Some Other Summer” cover. Is that a coincidence or maybe you rethought it after reading some comments?
PG: – No. I haven’t even noticed that. Thanks.

RXB: – Warner seem to be enthusiastic about doing promo for Roxette and we are very happy to see all their efforts. How do you see your cooperation with them vs. EMI?
PG: – It’s a totally different market today so it’s really impossible to compare. Warner worldwide is very committed to Roxette and the Good Karma-project. We’re very happy.

RXB: – You say that you would never be able to write e.g. ”Fading Like A Flower” today, simply because you moved on as a songwriter. At the same time, each song on ”Good Karma” has your stamp on them. All the lyrics are Gessleish as usual and the songs have the classic Roxette sound. So it seems your songwriting basics stay the same, but something is changing. How do you see it?
PG: – Yes, it’s like that. I change a lot but I still stay the same. It’s good and bad. I have my trademarks and style which make my songs sound like me. It’s hard to close that door and I’m not sure I want to. The older I get the more I treasure my personality and my way of thinking. My creative challenge is to find new ways to express myself via new sounds and techniques and collaborators and partners. That’s what I’m trying to do.

RXB: – What was the most challenging in improving your own sound for ”Good Karma” and update your style of writing?
PG: – I don’t know. The idea behind the album, to make a quite complex production that’s not intended to be played live, was there from the beginning. I started to write songs with that in mind. And, like I’ve mentioned earlier, working with new collaborators became part of that task.

RXB: – Which song do you think has the best title on ”Good Karma”? Which song do you think someone who doesn’t listen too much to Roxette would definitely listen to by seeing its title?
PG: –”You Make It Sound So Simple” is my favourite title. It makes me curious.

RXB: – There are 2 ”Why don’t you…?” titles on the album. Even if they are different, with one being rather slangy, isn’t it strange to include 2 similar titles on the same album?
PG: – No.

RXB: – You say you are very satisfied with ”Why Dontcha?”, because even if it seems to be so simple, it’s very hard to write such a song. How do you know that a good song was written? Can you feel it from the very beginning once it was written that everyone in the gang will like it?
PG: – Yes, I feel it as go along writing it. If it doesn’t interest me enough I don’t finish it. I throw it on the fire. But that someone else will like it is a different matter. I never know.
I might finish my song, make a simple demo out of it. Then maybe I re-write it and make another demo before I play it to anyone. Every song has gone a long way before it’s presented to the people I work with.

RXB: – Are you impressed by any song on ”Good Karma” to the same extent as any of your biggest hits throughout the years?
PG: – All of them. This album was made at a certain point in our lives and we’ve done the best we could under the circumstances. I’m not the one to compare our new stuff to the old stuff. Every song and recording has its own history and destiny.

RXB: – Knowing the album was planned to be released earlier than this year, have the lyrics of ”This One” ever contained 2015? (”Oh gimme a coin and I will kick off a dream / In 2016”)
PG: – Yes. There are versions with ”2015” somewhere.

RXB: – The music of ”April Clouds” and ”Wish You The Best” is different and you also mentioned that ”Why Don’t You Bring Me Flowers?” was originally an uptempo song. How does the melody to the same song change in your head?
PG: – I don’t know. I just follow what feels right. If you have a lyric like ”April Clouds”, which mostly were written a long time ago and you make new music to it, the end result will be quite different due to the fact that you’re a different person twenty years later. You interpret the words and the meaning and the vibe differently because you’re older and time has gone by.
Making ballads out of uptempo songs are quite easy. As long as the lyrics are interesting and the melodies are strong you can basically do whatever you want with a song.

RXB: – We know it’s very early since ”Good Karma” is out, but is there anything you would change on the album now?
PG: – I would love to have another go mixing ”You Can’t Do This To Me Anymore”. It’s OK but I know it can be even stronger.

RXB: – Roxette’s live career is (most likely) over for now. There are so many concerts that are lying in the vaults and waiting for a proper release. You mentioned a potential box with all these. Can you please tell us a bit more about what concerts it would include? We hope for Norrköping 88, Borgholm 89, Zurich and Sydney 91, Unplugged 93, Johannesburg 95 and Stockholm 2001 – having them in a bit better quality wouldn’t harm!
PG: – No, I can’t because I don’t know. But you’re right, the first things that should be made available are all those old live VHS-tapes and DVDs that’s not around anymore. The ones you mentioned.

RXB: – Roxette Diaries stopped in ’95. But there is 21 years more of Roxette stories to tell. Any plan to mix ”Soooo-Christoffer” clips and HAND / Room Service footage into one motion picture any time soon?
PG: – No, not for the moment. But I’m sure things will pop up down the road.

RXB: – Because of the tour cancellation, reporters of course asked you about Marie’s health and then many times overdramatized the situation with stupid headlines. It felt like history repeated itself, but you handled it quite well. How is it going with those interviews when you expect they would rather ask about the new album? Can you change the direction of the interview and skip answering questions not related to the album?
PG: – Yes I can if I want to. But most reporters are interested in Marie’s health and our future plans together. I can understand that. It’s not a problem for me. I know how media works.

RXB: – Was the tour photo book originally planned to be published this June already before the tour cancellation? Or if no cancellation, would you have waited until after the tour ending in September?
PG: – The plan was always to have it ready for the summer of 2016.

RXB: – Anders told there were several tens of thousands of photos and he had a hard time choosing only a certain amount to send you to choose from them. How did it work for you?
PG: – I went through hundreds of pics and put a little red dot in front of those I found interesting. I think Marie did the same.

RXB: – Will there be any tour book signing sessions?
PG: – No signing sessions, no.

RXB: – Roxette is celebrating the 30th anniversary this year. We got a new album, we’ll get the tour book. Any vinyl releases of previous studio albums by chance?
PG: – No plans but we might put together something for Record Store Day next year. 31 years is worth celebrating too!

RXB: – You wrote books, you did radio programs, you appeared countless times on TV. Do you fancy some new technological tricks besides Facebook and Twitter? As a part of your artistic exposure in e.g. YouTube videos?
PG: – Sometimes I do. I like new things.

RXB: – Besides music, your wine world is another part the fans are curious about. Are there any plans for some new items in The Per Gessle Selection in the near future?
PG: – Well, the new ”Kurt & Lisa” vintage will be out later this year. The new vintage of ”The Improver”-champagne from Pierre Peters will come early 2017. We’re talking about making a nice Pinot Grigio and also a new red wine from South Africa. Time will tell.

RXB: – Is there any question you would ask from your hardcore fan base now, either related to the new album or anything else?
PG: – Not really. You guys seem to cover most of my universe!

RXB: – Thank you very much for your time and good luck with all the new releases and your future projects!
PG: – Thanks very much. More to come, I promise!

 

/Patrícia, Tomasz, Kirsten, Judith, Sascha



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12 Peaks of Roxette

It’s now 3 weeks without Per Gessle’s Swedish radio podcast series and we thought you might miss some more ear candy while non-stop listening to Good Karma. You surely remember Per and Sven Lindström have a program on Nordic Rox called 12 Peaks. The essence of it is Per Gessle choosing 12 songs according to the actual topic and he and Sven are discussing them. Earlier we shared some of these programs and now it’s time to share another episode. The one about Mr. G’s 12 favourite Roxette songs. You can download the sound file (in 3 parts) from HERE (available until 26th July). Thanks a lot to Sven for sharing it with us!

12peaksofroxetteAt the beginning of the show Sven mentions Roxette were playing in Halmstad yesterday, which means they recorded this part of 12 Peaks on 23rd July 2015. They shortly talk about the XXX tour which started in 2014 and was to end in 2016 which is the real 30th anniversary year. They also talk about the comeback in 2009 and that since then they had been touring. Per says their shows are rather greatest hits concerts and they are fortunate to have a big hit catalogue with so many songs that people love all over the world. Mr. G says they have so many beautiful fans out there.

Getting down to business, the guys start talking about Per’s 12 favourite Roxette songs. Of course, it was very hard to pick 12 hits, having released approximately 60 singles over the years.

I’ve picked songs that I really like and songs that I think are easy-going for people to recognize as a typical Roxette song.

Mr. G’s 12 fave Rox songs:

  1. Opportunity Nox
  2. A Thing About You
  3. Sleeping Single
  4. It Must Have Been Love
  5. How Do You Do!
  6. What’s She Like?
  7. Wish I Could Fly
  8. Joyride
  9. Breathe
  10. Listen To Your Heart
  11. (Do You Get) Excited?
  12. The Look

The first choice is one of Roxette’s best power pop songs according to Per. Opportunity Nox. Mr. G says they couldn’t make a video for this, because of Marie’s illness and that’s why they did the cartoon thing. Per says ON is the kind of music he raised on, bubblegum meets T. Rex. Opp Nox is one of Sven’s favourites as well. He thinks it’s power pop at its best.

The next song is A Thing About You. Per and Sven talk a bit more about The Ballad Hits and The Pop Hits and Per says when they planned to do those 2 compilation albums, he wrote a lot of songs in those 2 categories. ATAY is the first song on The Ballad Hits and the video for that song was the last they recorded before Marie got ill. Mr. G says it was the end of Roxette Chapter 1. Per thinks it’s one his best songs. The whole recording is based on Per’s demo, the guitars, the vocals and they just added things to it. It has a sort of mesmerizing melody, which is hard to write for Per, but when it happens, he is very happy.

They get back to 1988 with the 3rd song on the list, Sleeping Single off the Look Sharp! album. It was one of the first songs they recorded for that album. They were just goofin’ around in the studio and tried to create what eventually became the Roxette sound. He always loved this track, because the production is so sparse and it really shows what a great singer Marie is. For Per it sums up that whole era of his life. It was the times when he started feeling everything was getting together for Roxette. They started the programming thing. They kept the guitars and the keyboards, but most of the rythm sections were made by drum loops and drum machines. It opened up a new dimension for them. They didn’t release Sleeping Single as a single, because they didn’t need one more single off Look Sharp! and they were touring and travelling a lot and wanted to record a new album, so Per was writing songs constantly for Joyride.

They got really lucky when they were asked to write a song for a movie. We all know he didn’t have the time to write a new song for that project, so he gave them It Must Have Been Love with slightly changed lyrics. Per says it was a perfect bridge for them between the Look Sharp! album and Joyride. It’s probably their biggest song still today. They didn’t go to see the premiere of Pretty Woman, but they had a screening in Burbank, CA. An earthquake was happening at the same time and the whole cinema was grooving a bit. For the first watching Per thought the movie was kind of soft. It didn’t blew his mind at all, but when he realized the potential of the film he saw it in different lights.

Talking about the XXX tour again, Sven asks Per if they get excited by playing these songs night after night. Per says they’ve been lucky to have these fantastic crowds everywhere and the positive energy and love and affection they get from the crowds every night is amazing. So they don’t consider it like ”Oh no, not another version of Listen To Your Heart!” It’s a blessing to have those songs. Mr. G says it’s hard to describe how much fun they have by playing these hits.

How Do You Do! became a huge hit in Europe (in Germany it was No. 1 for 12 weeks or so) and a big one in South America as well. It’s always a crowd pleaser. HDYD was recorded meanwhile touring with the Joyride album. The band hated Per for doing the album Tourism, because on all their days off he dragged them into the studio to record. Haha.

The next song on the list is off the album Crash! Boom! Bang!, which was recorded (most of it) in Capri, Italy. What’s She Like? is one of Roxette’s finest songs with Marie’s vocals. Per thinks it’s an outstanding track in their catalogue. He likes the melody, but he especially likes the way Marie is singing it. It’s just amazing. When they recorded Crash! Boom! Bang!, they already had the Roxette sound, the production in their heads, so they just had to get down to the songs. The album was about putting all the things together what they learned over the last 5-6 years. Marie is a great R&B and pop singer, but she is definitely one of the best ever ballad singers. Per says Marie is one of those persons who can sing the telephone book and it just sounds amazing, you believe her. It could be a B side: ”Marie Fredriksson sings the telephone book”.

After the CBB tour Roxette took a break for a couple of years, Marie had her second child and Per got together with Gyllene Tider. Then in 1998 they reunited to record Have A Nice Day. The first single off the album was Wish I Could Fly. It was recorded in Marbella, Spain. When Per wrote the song it was an experiment for him, because he never really worked with drum loops in the sense that he did in the studio. It was a side step from the classic Roxette sound. Mr. G says, when time goes by, you get a little tired of your style, so sometimes you need to drag in new people to get new blood in the system. When he listens to the album today, he thinks it sounds like a natural progression from CBB. The sound of pop music had changed and they started working with a new engineer, Michael Ilbert.

Sven and Per talk about The Look. Mr. G tells the story of how surprised he was that this song became their breakthrough hit. Their plan was Per being the songwriter and Marie the singer, but Marie had never found PG’s bubblegumish, power pop segment of songwriting too attractive, so all these songs fitted Per much better than Marie.

Regarding Joyride the guys talk about a radio convention in the US where Roxette went to present the new album. There was the Kuwait crisis back in those days and the single was held back for 6-8 weeks. After the radio convention , radio programmers came to Marie and Per to congratulate on their next No. 1, because they thought it was going to be a monster hit. And it did became their 4th No. 1. Sven and Mr. G talk about the title that it came from Paul McCartney when he said songwriting with John Lennon was a long joyride. They also mention the line ”Hello you fool I love you” which came from Åsa, leaving this note on Per’s piano in Swedish. Sven jokes Per should give a slice of the royalty to Åsa.

The next song is Breathe, which Per wrote for The Ballad Hits. It’s one of his favourite songs. Sven thinks it’s an easily overlooked song, but listening to it now it sounds really fresh. He jokes saying to Per to stop pointing that gun at him. Haha.

Listen To Your Heart comes next, their 2nd US No. 1. For Per the song sounds really American, the style of the music and the production. When they recorded it, they were just a Swedish band without an international career and they never thought it would become a No. 1, however, they strived for US success when they decided to do something really American in the studio in Stockholm. When they started recording Look Sharp!, Per made T-shirts: ”Today Sweden, tomorrow the world”. Back then it was just a silly joke. He asks Sven if he still has the tee. Together with IMHBL, LTYH is one of Roxette’s biggest songs. It got more than 5 million air plays on the radio in the US, same as IMHBL. Per says it’s amazing, Sven says it’s mindblowing and it helps to pay the rent.

Mr. G and Mr. L talk about the live performances again and Per explains in the past they tried to reproduce the albums live on stage, but nowadays it’s 100% live, without click tracks and all. Roxette live is a much more guitar-driven band, a much more rockier band than they are on the records. It’s much more fun for them to play like this and it’s much more organic.

(Do You Get) Excited? from the Joyride album is Per’s next choice. It’s a fantastic production by Clarence and it has great vocals by Marie. It was supposed to be a single in early 1992, but it never was. However, they did a beautiful video to it. There was a fusion going on between EMI and SBK Records at those times and the song just disappeared. They released Church Of Your Heart instead.

Per closes his 12 Peaks list with The Look. It’s still a big song for them and they just finished a remake of it (in 2015) with Addeboy vs. Cliff. It’s not that they ran out of new material, but they had the opportunity to be part of a commercial thing with a Swedish clothing company, KappAhl and they wanted to use The Look as the theme of their campaign. Per just felt if they do it, they should do a new version of it, so it sounds fresh and it doesn’t sound like 1989. But he realized he can’t do it himself, because he is still stuck in the old mode, so they needed fresh blood into the system. He gave the song to Addeboy vs. Cliff to think about it as a demo and do whatever they want. Then the guys came up with a backing track which Per thought was interesting. Marie, Per and their normal production team took the backing track, put guitars and keyboards on and vocals as well. So it sounds like The Look, but fresh. Sven says he sees Per keeps an eye on the new songwriting scene, keeping track of what’s happening. Per says he is really interested in what’s going on and in the record company where he is a co-owner they get a lot of music coming in. There is so much talent out there. Sven asks how it works when a songwriter who is doing it since 40 years teams up with a young talent to write songs together. Per replies it’s just fun to do that and he often gets comments like ”that’s so typical your style” when they start working together. In young songwriters Mr. G can hear that they are sort of developing their own style, but it takes time. You need to write a lot of songs, you need to find your taste, you have to follow your gut feeling all the time, you have to develop your own style in a natural way. Regarding The Look Per tells the story of how he wrote the song on the Ensoniq ESQ-1 synthesizer. He thinks when you buy a new instrument, you should write a song on it, because that’s the best way to learn how to play it. This is how The Look was born, while he was learning how to program the synth. He still has the synthesizer, by the way.



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RoXXXette On The Road – review

We knew it since the beginning of 2015 that a tour photo book project was going on in the RoXXX World and in May this year we got even more eXXXcited, when it turned out the release date is as soon as June. 16th June 2016.

SPOILER ALERT!

The book is already out and what an amazing photo book it is! A real celebration of our beloved band’s 30th anniversary! The book already looks wonderful on the outside. The size, the cover picture showing Marie and Per performing in front of a beautiful crowd on the steps at the Sydney Opera House in February 2015, the design of how the title is written with the 3 Xs with stars inside them and the name of the authors how it appears and tells you what the book is all about. It’s about a tremendous amount of fantastic photos taken by a most talented photographer, Anders Roos and it’s about the reflections of a most talented songwriter, Per Gessle and they 2 together show you how it really is to be on the road, to be on the 30th anniversary tour, the XXX tour of a most awesome band, Roxette.

RoXXXette On The RoadYou open the book and the first wow on the inside comes by seeing a series of bird view shots of the stage from the very beginning of building it up through the concert till the very end of tearing it down after the show. It’s just fabulous!

After the impressum and Anders’ nice words you see the list of people, teams and companies involved in the touring life of Roxette and then the contents show you which concerts were photographed and the titles of Per’s reflections. Then you bump into Mr. G’s preface, written in May 2016 to make it clear that the reflections were written before they gave up touring. When you read Per’s words ”they [the reflections] were created when Roxette was still a touring band”, you can’t help feeling the same way you felt on 18th April when you got to know they had to stop touring. Tears in the eyes and you hear in PG’s words how hard it is also for him. But we all respect Marie’s decision of course and she has full support of all in the band and among the fans as well. No question about it.

Knowing Per’s sense of humour you can be sure that there won’t be too many tears on further pages of the book, but with his #1 reflection he still won’t let your tears dry up. You’ll experience it when you hold the book in your hands and read it.

The book continues with the list of gigs on the XXX tour. All shows from the tour start in October 2014 in Russia until the last Roxette show ever, 8th February 2016, Cape Town, South Africa. Suddenly, the cancelled show in Mainz, Germany is not on the list anymore, no matter how many T-shirts were produced, haha, but the corporate gig in September 2015, Warsaw, Poland is there. Strange to include it.

The first photos are from the band’s rehearsal in January 2015, before the New Zealand – Australia tour leg started and the last shots are from July 2015, Sweden, from the last Swedish show in Rättvik. It’s no exaggeration that you really get an all access pass with this book. You see places you have never seen before and become part of moments you would have never dreamed about being part of. Anders got access literally to everywhere. To the backstage, dressing rooms, gyms, buses, airports, hotels, ceilings, front rows, pool sides, stages, e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.! Being the fantastic photographer he is, he managed to capture the essence of Roxette very well with his camera. Anders has great eyes to see the band how we, Roxers see them. His shots show Marie and Per and the whole gang how they are. The photos truly reflect the down-to-earth band we love. All pictures show you the groovy mood related to the shows, but also the tiredness of travelling and waiting in between. The pictures are so dynamic that you would love to sing-along to Marie’s, Dea’s and Christoffer’s get together backstage and you would start dancing seeing the band on stage, playing 100% live, or you would even join the crew in building up the stage before the concerts. It’s absolutely awesome!

Besides all the above mentioned, you have some more tiny details in the photos, like Marie does have socks and even Pelle runs around barefoot. Haha. You see pics from different camera angles, close-ups and distance shots, tons of photos of Marie and Per (yeah, you get some bad hair day pics, too 😉 ), the band, the crew, the fans, venues, stages, studios, hotels and other strange places. Laundry, anyone? You flick through the book and over one page you start laughing, over another one you start aaaahing and then comes the aaaawing. Incredible!

What about the reflections? Per wrote 41 of them and each and every one of them is just adorable. You read a lot about him over the years and heard him talking about his thoughts in uncountable interviews. You would think he can’t tell anything new. Oh, yes he can! There are still some hidden thoughts and some of them are being shared in this beautiful book. As I mentioned before, he makes you ”cry” at the very beginning of the book, but then his sense of humour really shows up, as we got used to it. I won’t quote more from him, because I do think you should get the book and read all his reflections yourself to get to know more about his childhood and teenage years, how he step by step became who he is now, his paving the way to Planet Pop, his make-up, guitar and plectrum fetish, as well as what he wants to be in his next life. Haha. You will even get to know what Per’s biggest regret is. I tell you, this guy is hilarious! Besides all this, of course you get to know more about Roxette’s touring life, how the band works and worked before, Marie’s virtues at the studio and live and no, you can’t have any longer texts from Per without lyrics references. We like that!

How Per talks about Marie, the band, BoJo, the crew and the fans is always so heart-warming. I actually burst out laughing at his Roxette band bucket list and how he describes BoJo’s tasks. You’ll find some great words about everyone and you feel how much he appreciates the people around him. Let me quote him about the fans:

We’re used to having ”The Roxers” close to the stage all the time. I guess we’re spoiled by our adorable fans. … Roxette has got some of the most active, kind and generous fans imaginable. So many people all around the world have followed us through thick and thin over the years and it’s impossible to exaggerate the value of their love and support. What would we do without you? Let’s take a bow.

You must love him!

The book’s 41st reflection is a conclusion. Per makes it sound so simple. To get to know what he makes sound so simple, you have to get the book for yourself. But not only because of that. It’s really a must have book in a Roxer’s collection. You will all love each and every photo in it and all the reflections as well. If you attended any of the concerts Anders took photos at, you will probably find yourself in the book. Either in the crowd in front of Marie and Per or on a separate picture. The book makes you feel we are indeed a big Rox family. Marie, Per, their families, the band, the crew and we, Roxers. And we all love being part of this family, don’t we?

In case you want to have the standard book, get your copy at one of these sites: Ginza, Adlibris, Bokus, Amazon. There might be more selling points in the future. If you are interested in the limited edition book (300 copies), wait for some more info about where to get it. So far Bokus listed it.

ROTR_1  ROTR_2

All pics by Anders Roos.

 



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Roxers’ favourite Good Karma tracks

You might remember Per’s Sunday reflection post. He asked which your favourite song is on Roxette’s brand new album, Good Karma.

SUNDAY REFLECTION. Howdy folks. So, the mighty Good Karma’s been out a week by now. Great reception. Thanks. One thing: what’s your favourite song? Just one, pls. Otherwise I’ll get confused! Cheers, P.

It was really hard for all of us to pick only one track, because all songs on the album are dear to most of us and our favourites are changing day by day or even hour by hour. Checking the comments under the post, some are having an album with exclusive extra tracks, like Joyride, The Look, Vulnerable and So Far Away, haha. Sticking to the real Good Karma songs, the title track seems to be the absolute winner. How about a third single soon? 😉

gk_roxers_faves

 



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Roxette reached 100 million views of Listen To Your Heart

It was 4 months ago when the official video to It Must Have Been Love reached 100 million views on YouTube. At that time Listen To Your Heart had 81.9 million views. Both videos were uploaded to YouTube on 4th March 2009. Today, 7 years later LTYH also reached 100 million views! Isn’t it a.w.e.s.o.m.e.? 100 million views! Seeing the view count of IMHBL (126.6 million), the future is so bright you gotta wear shades!

The song was written on 3-4 May 1988. This is what Per says about it:

I co-wrote this with MP Persson in May of 1988 and it immediately felt very special. The lyrics came from an all night conversation I’d had with a friend who was going through a heartbreaking divorce. In the studio with Roxette it sounded awesome, with Marie taking the lead role and Clarence creating that beautiful piano intro.

Our ambition was to make it sound really ”American”. I guess we succeeded…

It has become our most popular song all over the world and was our second No. 1 in the US.

The original lyrics contained some different words, so instead of ”Is there a whisper / That cannot be heard ? / You find the meaning / But you can’t find the words” the final lyrics became: ”And there are voices / That want to be heard / So much to mention / But you can’t find the words”. Sounds much better, doesn’t it?

We can find a little discussion about the song and the video to it in the Don’t Bore Us – Get to the Chorus! compilation booklet:

PG: The Big Bad Ballad. This is us trying to recreate that overblown American FM-rock sound to the point where it almost becomes absurd. We really wanted to see how far we could take it.

MF: It sounds a bit dusty today, but it was our second #1 in the US…

PG: … which of course we couldn’t ever dream about since it was more or less made for Sweden. When it hit big in the States we suddenly found ourselves lumped together with bands like Heart and Starship, which wasn’t the intention behind Roxette at all. But we got out of that one… I hope.

MF: The video was great. Shot with an American crew at the Borgholm Castle. The director thought we had built the ruin just for the video.

PG: It took some time to convince them that the place actually was for real.

MF: Today we perform it in a stripped down version, with acoustic guitars. Still love the melody.

Aw… Borgholm… It would have been so amazing to see them perform live there.

On 4th November, 1989 Roxette reached their 2nd No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with Listen To Your Heart. What was historically significant about the song is that it was the first No. 1 available only as a cassette single, not on a 45-RPM vinyl single.

A Belgian dance group, DHT did a trance cover of LTYH and it became a hit in the US and in some other countries. This way in 2005 Listen To Your Heart returned to the top 10 on the Billboard (reaching No. 8) as DHT’s remake.

The song is such a hit that American radios played it already more than 5 million times. In 1998 Roxette received an award from BMI for this song being played over 2 million times on American radio. Phil Graham of BMI said it was very unusual for a song to get over the 2 million mark in such a short space of time. In October 2006, helped by DHT’s cover, Roxette were awarded again by BMI for the song’s 3 millionth broadcast on American radio. Per and MP got the Million-Air Award for 4 million plays in 2008 and for 5 million plays in 2014.

We all remember the performances on each tour, how awesome LTYH sounds live, either in its original power ballad style (1988, 1991, 2001 (Barcelona, Stockholm) , 2009 (accompanied by a symphonic orchestra at NoTP), 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016) or in an acoustic, unplugged arrangement (1993 (MTV Unplugged just can’t be missed), 1995, 2000 (Virgin Megastore)).

This fanthem will never go out of style! Wishing many more hundreds of millions of views and radio plays of Listen To Your Heart! Congrats!

LTYH_100_million_views

 



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