Hallandsposten made a long and interesting interview with Per in the garden of his house in Sandhamn. From the interview it turns out that Halmstad is the place where Per can get energy. He also mentions that Åsa is the best wife in the world and Gabriel is as interested in computer games as he was in The Beatles and all other music at the same age as now Gabriel is.
According to the article, first it was the answering machine, then the tape recorder and mini-disc, but today Per Gessle‘s most important “instrument” to record and collect his ideas is his iPhone. Later he is saving all his files to computer, too. Per’s mobile is full of cryptic names of draft files that later might become hits. The working name of e.g. ”Singel” was ”Apelsin” (= Orange – this word appears in the lyrics). Talking about hits, there are more than 1000 Gessle songs registered at Stim (International Music Agency of Swedish Composers).
As Per says to Hallandsposten, in terms of percentage, the lyrics take much more time to write than music. It’s often verses, quotes or events he’s picking. For example, ”Tiden är en dåre med banjo” (= Time is a fool with a banjo) is a Charles Bukowski quote.
Regarding ”Anders och Mickes första band” Per says:
It was my way of showing that we are five in Gyllene Tider, not just me.
Of course, we all know Per likes playing with words, he’s creating awesome rhymes. He says to Hallandsposten that ”Det blir aldrig som man tänkt sej” is about disappointment and with the rhymes ”Du kunde knappast knäppa knappar och knyta knutar på en och samma gång – du stod på fyllan bakom hyllan som en Bob Dylan väntande på varm buljong” he could express exactly what he wanted.
Hallandsposten writes it was 37 years ago when Per got his first ever fan mail – from Katarina. He remembers the letter clearly and says if he writes a song he thinks is good and then anyone else likes it too, he’s proud. He says he always wanted to succeed with his art, so today he feels that there is nothing left to prove. Therefore, being No. 1 on the charts or commercial success are not that important anymore.
To Hallandsposten’s question regarding what is driving Per, he replied:
Motivation. If I would lose it, no more melodies or chords would come to my mind. I wouldn’t be so open to ideas and wouldn’t take down what is out there.
Hallandsposten also asked how Mr. G can manage all the things he is doing at the same time: music, hotel, wine and even handling several social media sites. Per says:
If it wasn’t me doing it, then someone else would. And then I still should check it. So why not doing it myself? After all, it’s fun.
Original article © Hallandsposten; GT photo © Jari Välitalo
Celestte Williams contributed to the article.