There is a 2-page Per Gessle article in Aftonbladet Söndag’s 2nd September 2018 issue. Nina Jakobson asked Mr. G 21 interesting questions and he answered them in his entertaining, Gessleish way. Here it is in English.
1. Two albums last year and one this year. How many songs do you actually have in you?
– I’ve had a good flow for many years. As long as it feels important and is fun, I’m rolling on. I’m still very curious musically. That’s enough for quite a long time.
2. Which song are you most proud of?
– In a way I’m proud of all finished songs I have written. Otherwise I wouldn’t have finished writing them. Most end up in the trash bin. The other day a song from En händig man, TomTom popped up. It’s a good one. Min plats from En vacker natt tunred out to be as I had hoped. Tycker om när du tar på mig is nice. What’s she like? from Roxette is special. Hjärta utan hem from Gyllene Tider makes me happy. Gyllene Tider is a fantastic little band.
3. And is there any song you’re a little less satisfied with?
– Some songs have definitely not improved over the years. But when they were written and recorded, they felt like future classics!
4. What is the leitmotif in your music?
– Melodies. Always strong melodies.
5. What is the difference between singing in English and Swedish?
– There are two completely different expressions. English is easier to sing. It sounds better. There is even greater difference in writing in English than in Swedish. In your native language, you can express yourself “heavier” and more precisely.
6. You are the idol of many, but who is yours?
– My wife! I have no real idol anymore. When I was young, I had quite many: John Lennon, Elizabeth Taylor, Ronnie Peterson, the Monty Python gang, Uncle Melker in Saltkråkan.
7. How was singing with Nick Lowe?
– Incredible. He came to Stockholm and I had the honor to spend a few days with him. Besides working in the studio, we played music, drank wine and talked about dirty tour memories.
8. What would you have done if you were not a musician?
– I wanted to be an architect when I was little. But then I heard Get It On from T. Rex.
9. When is it the hardest to be you?
– I’ve been lucky enough to work with what I love, that is, songwriting and music. So it’s not that difficult to be me compared to many others. Possibly, when I put too high demands on myself and my environment. I do it sometimes. It’s tricky to break that pattern.
10. If I were to move in with you, what’s the first thing that would bother me?
– That everything is in order and is very organized. It doesn’t fit everyone. Some get stressed by it.
11. What is your most unknown talent?
– I like cleaning.
12. Who would play the main role in the movie about your life?
– Micke Syd.
13. Who would sing the soundtrack?
– Marie Fredriksson and Helena Josefsson. They are the best I have worked with. I love when girls sing my songs. There is some sort of feminine fragility in many of my songs that comes out so well then.
14. What do you do when you are not making music?
– Watching movies, reading car magazines and thinking.
15. Why do you have so many cars?
– It would have been a shame if they were left unsold.
16. What do you do when nobody sees you?
– I’m always visible. It feels so.
17. Do you get starstruck? When?
– Earlier more than now. When I met David Bowie, I barely dared to speak. But it was in 1983. I have since then noticed that all performers, artists, actors and sportsmen/women I like, strangely enough, are very ordinary people. They work hard and determined and have talent, luck and timing. Most of them are very open and nice.
18. What’s your favorite swearword?
19. When did you use it last?
– Recently when I realized that the squirrels chewed up our cushions and towels out in the garden. Squirrels are sweet but my Chip and Dale quota has been filled for a long time.
20. What gives you goosebumps?
– Music. Sometimes I can end up in some sort of music coma and bury myself in Leonard Cohen, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell for hours. Goosebumps are lovely.
21. What would you do if you were God for a day?
– Clean up a little.