Aftonbladet’s Scensommar magazine did an interview with Per Gessle and Anders Herrlin about Gyllene Tider’s last album and tour.
The reporter, Jens Peterson asks Per and Anders how it feels to come back to Ullevi with Gyllene Tider. Per says it’s grandiose and if there is something in music industry you have to learn it’s that you can’t take anything – e.g. success – for granted. Anders also thinks it’s fantastic and they feel honoured.
Per gets the question what is more fun and what is harder when he tours with Gyllene Tider vs. when he is out there as a solo artist. Mr. G says the most fun is that when they meet, it feels like time stood still. Everyone takes their own roles in the band. They come up with the same jargon and same type of jokes. Besides that, they play together in a very special way. If anyone of them would be changed in the band, the sound would be totally different. There isn’t anything worth to be mentioned as a harder thing, but Per is basically not a team player. He likes to work with his own compositions under his own terms. When there are 5 people in a band, it’s obvious that there will be compromises, but it didn’t affect the end result this time. Sometimes it’s good that someone puts Per in place, because he thinks he isn’t always right, even if it’s hard to believe. Haha.
Scensommar asks the guys if it is hard to pick songs for the setlist. Anders says not really, because they play together so seldom that it’s clear the concerts will be based on their old hits. There are a lot of songs tons of people expect to hear, then there will be new songs and they also dig deep in their catalogue. To the question how many songs they feel is obligatory to play, Anders replies appr. 20.
The reporter asks if they are tired of playing Sommartider. Per says he is not tired of it at all, but he can’t rehearse it anymore. Once they play it in front of an audience it’s fantastic. Anders’ advise is ”never underestimate hits!” It’s good to have an ace up their sleeve.
The new album is out on June 14th and the journalist asks how many new songs will appear on the setlist. Anders says they will run through the entire album on the rehearsals so that they can see what fits and how it feels. He says this album might be the best they have done. Per agrees with Anders and thinks the new album is fantastic. Their ambition was to get the feel of a band where everyone matured a bit while the years have passed, but without losing the pop nerve. It’s difficult, but Per thinks they succeeded.
The reporter asks why they recorded the album in France. Per says it’s perfect for bands to go away, live together, have breakfast, hang out, fool around, drink wine and create music together. He saw a documentary with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and liked the studio they played in a lot, so he researched a bit and it turned out the studio is in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, north of Marseille. First they sent Anders there last autumn to check it. He filmed there a bit and he was all positive about the studio, so they decided to go there in the spring of 2019. They started to work there the same day Morrissey left the studio. They found his vegan cookbooks in the guest toilet, Per says.
The reporter says when GT started touring, concerts were very different. He asks how the guys remember those days. Per says he remembers they were quite blonde. Haha. They were so young and lived in a colorful pop star bubble for years. They learned how to run a street race, they learned that they can’t live on the first floor at a hotel and that anything they leave outside their houses will be stolen (clothes, mails, number plates, etc.). Such things belonged to their everyday life in the early years. Concerts were short, but intense and folkparks were amazing. Anders adds the audience knew the lyrics already then. Better than they did.
To the question if this is really the last chance to see Gyllene Tider live, Anders replies that it feels so. They are all around 60 and life goes on. It feels good to end GT when they are still alive and everything feels to be on top and that they can do a phenomenal farewell tour.
Referring to Mick Jagger’s operation and that The Rolling Stones had to postpone their tour Jens asks if the guys have any health check before such a tour. Anders says they filled in a lot of papers about their state of health and went on medical checking. Even Göran was alive. Per ’s reaction to that is that it’s exciting.
The reporter is wondering why there are more veteran artists who attract audiences than younger artists. He mentions Bob Dylan, Sting, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Patti Smith among others. Per says it has to do with various things. On one hand, it takes time to come up with a song catalogue like what Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan have. On the other hand, there are hardly any stars of the same dignity these days. Music industry works differently now. Anders says it will be a problem at festivals in a few years, because: who will be the headliner?
Jens asks the guys who they think have been good at cherishing their own catalogue. Per says it’s those who have the opportunity to tour a lot and have active publishing companies that put music in movies and TV series. It’s important to always try to make the songs actual. Either in their original version or in another context.
Jens asks what kind of relationship GT have with other big artists who tour this summer. Per says they are of course all awesome in different ways. The touchpoint with Gyllene Tider is that earlier they did a Swedish version of Patti Smith’s ”Ain’t It Strange” from her ”Radio Ethiopia” album. Odd choice, one could think today, but it was obvious for 5 teenagers from Halmstad in the ’70s.
Thanks a lot for sharing the magazine with us, Pontus Ljungsten!