Per Gessle interview for German media – “Marie will always be a legend”

Spot on news agency in Germany did an interview with Per Gessle related to the Bag of Trix release. Vol. 3 is out today!

On “Bag of Trix” you release rediscovered Roxette songs. What can the fans expect?

PG: “Bag of Trix” is a compilation of previously unreleased songs, most of them from the 80’s.
There are also alternative versions of published songs and songs that were simply lost when switching to streaming. But the songs are definitely worth listening to, I am really satisfied with this album!

Have you found any songs that you would no longer stand behind?

PG: Regarding some songs I think to myself: they weren’t that good. But there isn’t a song that I regret because they were all fun to make. When I listen to Roxette songs from the 80’s, I sometimes think that some of the lyrics were not the best. But I was still young then and not yet able to express what I wanted. And besides that, as soon as Marie started to sing, it almost didn’t matter what she sang.

How does it feel for you to release new albums by Roxette without Marie?

PG: Even if I’m releasing the album without her, she’s still part of it. She’s part of every song. I try to think positively and not let my grief drag me down, because then I wouldn’t be able to continue working on our joint projects. She was seriously ill for so many years – since 2002 – and at some point you get used to the idea that one day she will no longer be with us. It is now almost a year since she passed away and I am trying to look ahead. It didn’t deter me from going through our collection. To hear the songs that I recorded with Marie makes me proud in a special way. A lot of the songs are incredibly good and Marie was a great singer. She was just magical. She made my songs a lot better than they actually were. I think that while listening. We worked together for so many decades which is why I wrote most of my songs especially for her. For me as a songwriter, the way she performed was the greatest gift. When I hear her sing, I always have a smile on my face.

How do you deal with being asked repeatedly about Marie Fredriksson?

PG: She was part of my life since I was 19 and was like a sister to me. That’s why she’s always there and I remember her all the time, for example when I hear a Roxette song. She means so much to so many people and that’s why I like to talk about her. She deserves it, she was a wonderful person. She will always remain a legend and inspire many young people.
I have a lot of contact with her family. I know her husband Mikael very well. We keep in touch and see each other regularly.

You have been a successful musician on stage for several decades. Are you taking it easy now?

PG: I like to be busy. I still write songs, I write all the time. My wife says I work all the time. In Sweden I regularly publish music – including songs in Swedish. But I’m still working on English songs. I’m in the studio several days a week and if it weren’t for the pandemic I would definitely go on tour.

Could you imagine going on tour alone under the name Roxette, if it’s possible to tour again after the pandemic?

PG: I would never revive Roxette with a new female singer. But of course I like to play the songs at gigs, which is why I want to work with female singers in the future. That would of course not be Roxette, but after all I wrote the songs and thirty years of my life consisted of Roxette.