Per Gessle on Nordic Rox – March 2021

The March show of Nordic Rox on Sirius XM was recorded in the very white and freezing Stockholm. During the program, Per tells that every year when the snow falls for the first time in Sweden, people are so surprised. Sven adds Stockholm is the capital of short memory. They laugh. PG says it’s just a nightmare going outside, everyone is so confused.

The first song Per picked on the show was Oh Mama by Lili & Sussie. It was No. 1 in Sweden in 1987. For some reason Mr. G just adores this song. He is very much into the 80’s, just as a lot of people these days. The 80’s are coming back, he says. There is the 80’s inspiration e.g. in The Weeknd’s music. Oh Mama is typical 80’s with that typical drum sound. It was written by Tim Norell who played in and wrote for the band Secret Service. It was an instant hit. Before and after this song Rick Astley was No. 1 on the charts.

Hate To Say I Told You So by The Hives is next. Per thinks it’s such a great band. The first time he heard about them was this particular song which reminded him of the MC5. Per thinks it’s an amazing punk song, it’s got this punk energy in there. Sven agrees, he thinks it’s a bit of garage, a bit of punk. According to Per, Howlin’ Pelle is one of the most amazing performers in the world. Sven saw them at the Malmö Festival and when they came out for the encore, Howlin’ Pelle just embraced the whole audience and said: ”Malmö, you have received The Hives.” Per says he is a character.

Paint by Roxette is the third song the guys play. Mr. G says it has always been a favourite in certain markets. E.g. in Brazil, Paint was always a showstopper when they toured there. So Per is delighted that Sven picked this song.

Lonesome is also played by Pale Honey.

The guys played two songs involving Ola Håkansson. Per thinks he is one of the main characters in Swedish music scene ever. He started out in a band called Ola & The Janglers in the 60’s. Per loved them. Then when that band collapsed, Ola started working as a producer and started another band called Secret Service and had their breakthrough in 1979 with Oh Susie. In the 70’s, Secret Service was the 2nd biggest music export of Sweden after ABBA. Per loves this Secret Service style of pop music. Sven says it’s sort of timeless even though it’s produced in 1979. Per likes its soft production, the soft drums. He says when the 80’s came, everything became more edgy, more digital. Come And Stay With Me is a cover of a Jackie DeShannon song. Sven tells when the 60’s were over, a lot of pop stars had trouble surviving, but Ola went into a dance band and then came out with a new career. Now he is a big record label boss, he is the head of TEN Music Group. Probably their biggest artist is Zara Larsson, but they signed Icona Pop as well. He’s still got a great ear for pop music, Per thinks, even thuogh he is even older than Mr. G. Haha.

Show ’em Good by Cocktail Slippers from Norway is next. A bit of garage pop, Sven says. They were signed by “Little Steven” on Wicked Cool Records. Per thinks it’s a great song.

Woman & A Child by Mikael Rickfors from 1991 came next. Mikael was in a Swedish band, Bamboo in the 60’s. The Hollies came to Sweden and Bamboo were their support. Later when Allan Clarke left The Hollies, Mikael got the job. He was with The Hollies for a couple of years, but he has also done some amazing solo albums over the years.

Per thinks Agnes is a great singer. She had a big hit some years ago, Release Me. Now they included Fingers Crossed which is the most played song on Swedish radio right now. It sounds really cool according to Per.

Burning Down The House by Tom Jones & The Cardigans is next. Per thinks it’s an amazing track. It’s a Talking Heads song. It was released on Tom Jones’ Reload album in 1999 and he was in Malmö to record with The Cardigans at the Tambourine Studios. Sven heard people say that they went down together to a meat restaurant in Malmö, where lunch guests could have spotted Tom Jones having a steak. Per laughs at the fact that Sven emphasizes it was a meat restaurant, because it’s not like Tom Jones is generating an ”I’m a meat-eater” image. Sven laughs and says he just did that connection with that testosterone bomb. Per says then Sven would never say that Tom Jones and The Cardigans went to eat at a vegetarian restaurant. Sven says no, it doesn’t work. Haha.

The Park by Sambassadeur was played. Per never heard that one before. According to Sven it’s a great pop track and he thinks he got the tip from her daughter who liked them. They are not that new, but Sven says it’s a bit tricky to pick up new songs. They grew up with the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s stuff, 90’s as well, but it’s a bit trickier to keep up these days. Per agrees. Sven asks him how he keeps up and how he gets new music. Mr. G says he wishes he would spend more time doing that. In the early 70’s, when he grew up, basically every record that was released you knew about. Maybe you haven’t heard it, but you knew about it. Back then Per read the New Music Express and Melody Maker from England. Now he read somewhere that nowadays 30-35,000 songs are released a day on Spotify. It’s impossible to keep it up. Per gets tips from people he knows, but otherwise he feels a bit handicapped when it comes to this.

Mr. G says he and Sven tried to blend things up, playing old stuff and new stuff for the listening pleasure. Sven tells there is a new song that wasn’t easy to pick up, now that they complained earlier that it’s not easy to pick up new music. It’s Mono Mind. Per tells this coming song is exclusively played on Sirius. It’s called All Over Your Body. Per thinks it’s really cool and is written by him. Haha. Sven tells Mono Mind is one of Per’s multiple projects that’s been going on for seven years now. Per tells the debut album was released in 2019, so it’s not that long ago. He says, ”Time flies, Sven, but not that fast. I like you anyway!” Haha. AOYB is sung by Helena Josefsson and Per is doing backing vocals. He just likes this style of music, like so many other styles of music. He is very versatile when it comes to his musical taste. He thinks it sounds great on the radio, but it’s not a commercial release yet.

Again, Anita Lindblom’s Cigarettes is closing the program.

Still is from the Bag of Trix comment videos recorded by Anders Roos.

Thanks for the technical support to János Tóth!