Per Gessle is back in Stockholm from mixing the album in New York and has taken some time to answer some of your questions.
Roxetteblog: Hi Per! We have collected some questions from our readers this time. As you can imagine, many or, ok, most, turn around the new album and the world tour.
Per Gessle: Hello folks, thanks for all these questions, I’ll do my best to answer them.
RXB: So let’s start with the world tour 2011. What was the moment you knew: Now Roxette is back – we can conquer the world again, we will go on a worldwide tour? Was it after a concert this summer? If so, which one? (Chrissie R)
PG: Well, when we moved into Germany with the Night Of The Proms-Tour I could tell that Marie was almost ready. She was focused, she sang well and she finally got back her selfconfidence that means so much when you’re trying to make sense on stage. The last part of that tour was pure joy as well as working with her in the studio this year. And the summer concerts, of course, was a treat. Especially St P was a highlight in my book. And guys and dolls, don’t forget that the feedback Marie got from you during all those concerts is what made it happen for her. And me.
RXB: Your had been touring the world about 15 years ago, the music scene and the world have changed significantly, how does it feel to be on the road today? What are your expectations about this long tour? (honky tonk)
PG: Honky Tonk, hello! You know what, when you’ve been doing this for such a long time (I jumped on this train over 30 years ago) you don’t think that much anymore, you just do your thing. I’m not trying to compete with anybody, I just try to enjoy myself, challenge myself and do the best I can with my writing, recording and performing. I love being on stage much more today than I did in the 90’s, don’t ask me why…. Also, knowing what Marie has gone through it’s really a blessing that this upcoming tour exists at all. And, of course, in the end of the day I’m honoured and grateful that our music still means something to a lot of people around the world. That can never be taken for granted.
RXB: “Back with their greatest hits” – that’s what is written on Roxette tour posters and apparently the tour name. Is there a chance you will play more than just a few of songs from the upcoming album or will it be more like a 25th anniversary tour? You know, we are working on a setlist suggestion again…
PG: Yaheeyaaaa, that’s not the tour name, someone just made that up! Things like that happen all the time!! But of course the show will be based on the obvious hits, that’s what most fans want to hear and you know us, we aim to please!!! However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t play the odd album track or your semi-forgotten, hidden favourite gem. February is the rehearsing month, we’ll decide these issues then. I hope. By the way, let us know your thoughts on the setlist. We’re known to pay attention. Not Pelle, though.
RXB: Many people are also wondering: is this Roxette’s last worldwide tour, a kind of good-bye? Or now that you’re back on the studio and road, you are staying for good and there is already lust for more?
PG: You never know. We take it step by step. That’s the way Marie wants it and I support that.
RXB: During the last two years you did a rather intimate GOE-tour with a very pure sound and show on stage, which was, I think, very well received among the fans and allowed a closer contact between the musicians and the fans. This was followed by a couple of pretty huge and stylish NOTP-shows with new arrangements of some songs especially for a big orchestra. And then Roxette went on a mini Roxette tour in rather big arenas. What are your ideas for the upcoming tour? Will these completely different experiences have any influence on the character of the concerts next year? (ria)
PG: Howdy Ria. Yes, what we’re gonna do is very much based on what we did this summer. It’s basically the same band even though it looks like Helena is coming back to make us smile. I love the idea of playing in a somewhat well-tuned, slightly ambitious power pop band, losing a bit of the klicktracks and sequensers and make things happen “the real way”. That’s what I tried to do with my European Tour 2009 and that’s what we aim for with Roxette these days as well.
RXB: How would you describe a Roxette 2011 concert to someone who has never seen the band live before? (Ros)
PG: Ooops, I think if you only heard Rox on the radio you’re in for a surprise. It’s a matter of taste if it’s a good or a bad one…….
RXB: The tour agenda says “dates to be added”. Even if it’s too early to announce concrete dates, can you reveal which regions are likely to see additional concerts? (various)
PG: Well, we’d love to play the UK, Spain, USA, Canada, Japan, Australia and why not Iceland as well as the rest of the world. But you know, if it will happen is not really in our hands. Lots of things have to kick in. The right promotors, descent schedules etc.
RXB: Could you imagine taking some recording equipment with you on tour again in order to record some new songs while you are on the road with Marie and the band? The Tourism album is a really unique album that is very dear to all of us fans so it would be nice to be continued. (Daniel)
PG: Hey Daniel, that’s such a cool thing to do. I won’t promise you anything but the thought definitely crossed my mind….
RXB: Moving on to the upcoming album, was there anything brand new used to record the new songs? For instance; new instruments, a new method of recording, something unusual introduced into the recording sessions? (damorox)
PG: Well, we started out with a “classic” setup using Jens on drums, Chris on bass, Clarence on keys and me on guitar. Then, after the short summer break, we basically let the songs dictate their own production. So we started to use a lot of drumloops and old fashioned synths and hot spices from the 80’s…… It suddenly sounded like Roxette!!!! And, when Marie got into the groove it all started to become obvious we had something special cookin’. Clarence told me today he considers the new one to be the best Rox-album since Joyride. Maybe he’s right.
RXB: Now that the final mixing is taking place and the album looks like in final stage, could you share more information on the single / album such as approximate release dates? or anything else you might already be able to tell us now? (various)
PG: I wish I could. The last info I got is this: Album release in February + Single prior to that. Sounds like January to me. However, there are still meetings taking place. Dubious plans are dreamt up.
RXB: Who is your biggest musical influence right now? Have you discovered any new artist you would like to recommend? (Majdy)
PG: I always try to locate new things. Right now I find myself listening to LCD Soundsystem, Hurts, Jefferson Airplane, Eels and this morning I was even singing Max 500 (by Kent) in the shower. I’m easy.
RXB: This is the first time you go on tour instantly after the album release. How will you handle the album promotion, are TV performances planned for the tour breaks or will you cover all promo before the tour? (various)
PG: Aaaah, you working record company, si? Well, hopefully there’s time for some decent TV-shows and promo activities in between. But to tell the truth, we look forward to the tour much more!!!!
RXB: This year was full of surprises and good news. Can we expect anything else “big” before year end? How about a couple of new snippets as a kind of Christmas present to all of us?
PG: Nah, I just hope that everything will come out fine. The album sleeve, the right choice of single, a video maybe. There’s still a lot of work for us to do.
RXB: And before we end: can you choose a song you like the most from the new album and reveal at least one sentence/verse?
PG: Marie is singing the last track on the album featuring these lines of pure honesty: “-God, I know it’s final – I decided to release my love on vinyl”…. Must’ve been written by me……
RXB: Thank you so much for your time!
PG: You’re welcome, y’all. Don’t catch a cold. It’s winter.