Per Gessle on Nordic Rox – January 2023

Sven Lindström and Per Gessle had their first chat of the year on Nordic Rox. They wish a happy new year to each other. They ask each other how they are doing. Both feel good and Per adds he survived Christmas and New Year’s Eve… in style, he thinks. Sven had a moment of silence. He thought that would say everything about whether he survived or not. Per says „we weren’t at the same party”. They are laughing.

They think it’s good to be back on the show. This time they plan to turn up the amplifiers till 12, sometimes up to 13.5. The featured band on this episode is The Nomads. Per thinks they are a great, wonderful band. This tradition in punk pop music is just the best there is. Sven says they are kicking some serious ass and they have done that since the early ’80s and still do.

The guys kick off with a wee warm-up here in the shape of Troglodyte by Viagra Boys. They remember The Troggs [English garage rock band] and think they were a great band. Per’s favourite Troggs singles were I Can’t Control Myself and Love Is All Around. „I go for the ballads, you know me, Sven.” PG starts singing Anyway That You Want Me here and Sven says, „OK. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Reg Presley [singer in The Troggs] says hello.” They are laughing.

Holiday Inn by Adiam Dymott is next from her debut album. Mr. G thinks that’s a great album and they played quite a few songs from there over the years. I Miss You, John Denver, Pizza, almost every track. Then comes Sugar, the new single of Tribe Friday.

Sven says they have a kick in the ass section waiting for you out there in the shape of The Nomads and they will play four of their highlights from their illustrious career. But before that, some more songs from the Nordic countries. Smile by Atomic Swing comes next. It’s a great ’90s track, one of their biggest hits.

Headphones On by PG Roxette is next, then Between The Lines by Sambassadeur. Per likes this one, he has never heard that before. It’s a great track. Mr. G thinks she has a great voice and he likes their style and the arrangement. Sven says Per mentioned another track while listening to this one, it was like an indie version of Kiss Me by Sixpence None The Richer. But that’s a little bit more sophisticated and this one is more indie style. Charming, they think. Speaking of charming, the guys get back to Headphones On. It’s the new single of PG Roxette. Per asks Sven if he likes it. Sven thinks it’s cool. PG thinks it’s nice. He is honoured to have the old Roxette lead guitar player, Jonas Isacsson around. He is playing a guitar solo on this one. It’s so rare to record guitar solos these days, he adds. Sven thinks it’s desperately needed. Per thinks so too. Sven asks Per if Jonas was happy for getting the chance to let loose. Mr. G says he is always happy when he gets a chance to play guitar solo. Every guitarist is. „Did you try it, Sven?” Sven says as soon as they are ready, he is going to pick up his guitar and fire away. Haha.

Mando Diao has a new single, Fire In The Hall. Sven asks Per what he thinks about that. PG thinks it’s OK. He thinks Mando Diao has its ups and downs and this is somewhere in the middle for him. But it’s always interesting to hear what they are going through. This song is from the EP Primal Call, Vol. 2.

The excellent new single from Stella Explorer, House Arrest is the next song. The guys think it’s a very, very cool track. They like it a lot. Per thinks this one is also from an EP. It’s very popular to do EPs these days, a shorter version of albums. Sven asks Per if he knows what EP stands for. Mr. G knows it of course, Extended Play. Those things were important to learn back in the days. Per thinks it’s actually good nowadays when you have the streaming services that you can release 4 songs instead of 12. He will always go for releasing albums, but a lot of people are complaining and you can tell by the streaming numbers as well that people are getting bored after four or five songs. He is laughing. Sven says that was a challenge that The Soundtrack Of Our Lives always took up, releasing double albums in the streaming area.

Sven and Per get down to an amazing band that they both like a lot, The Nomads. Sven says they are taking the elevator down to the garage now, the Swedish garage scene. The Nomads kicked off in 1981 and they went ahead of any band in Sweden, against the stream. They kicked off almost alone the Swedish garage rock scene. Per thinks without The Nomads there wouldn’t have been The Hives, for instance. The Nomads were never really a mainstream band. They toured a lot and toured and toured and toured. They are actually still around and it’s amazing. They always kept that garage rock spirit and never really lost their drive or energy. It’s really cool. The guys kick off with Rat Fink A Boo-Boo, showing the listeners a bit what they are all about.

Continuing The Nomads homage, Per says in 2013 they released an EP called Loaded Deluxe and he thinks we should listen to Get Out Of My Mind. This is one of his favourite Nomads tracks.

Then it’s time to slow the tempo down and play not a ballad, but as close to a ballad as what you can find in The Nomads catalogue. The Way You Let Me Down, also taken from the Loaded Deluxe EP is next. It is produced and co-written by a guy called Chips Kiesbye. He is like a household name in Swedish circuit since he produced so many artists for many, many years. And he also started out himself in heavy influence by the new wave era in the late ’70s, in the band called Sator. He tried to polish The Nomads up and the guys think he succeeded.

Sven mentions he wrote a book that came out a couple of weeks ago. It’s about a very narrow subject, the Ramones in Sweden. They played 2263 shows, 18 of them in Sweden. The whole book is about those 18 shows and what the Ramones meant for the Swedish scene. Sven also interviewed Per, for example and he interviewed The Nomads as well. They were heavily influenced by the Ramones. They were actually supporting the Ramones on some shows in 1990 and 1991. They told Sven that once upon a time in a show there Joey Ramone was wearing a Nomads T-shirt, which they of course were incredibly proud of and sometimes he also dedicated the track Pet Sematary to The Nomads while they were playing. During one of the tours in 1990 in Sweden, during the soundcheck, The Nomads went out and played Chinese Rock. Immediately, both Johnny and Joey Ramone were by the stage with a look like you can’t play that track, it’s ours. Written by Dee Dee Ramone. Haha. The guys wrap up this Nomads special with Miles Away from their Solna album.

Get The Moon Up by Daniel Norgren is next. Leaves by Children Of The Sün comes next. Per thinks this is an amazing song. This amazing band is quite new, PG has never heard of them before. When Sven heard them, he immediately thought about Jefferson Airplane around 1969, crossing over to Led Zeppelin between their first and second album. Mr. G says he thought it was reminding him a little bit of the early Heart, which was sort of very influenced by Led Zeppelin, but at the same time when he heard this girl singing, he thought they sound a little bit like ABBA. The guys couldn’t stop talking, they drew in all influences they could hear. It’s fun and it’s very special, they think. Children Of The Sün, they have to remember that name. Great band.

With this, Sven and Per wrap up the first episode of 2023 and promise to be back with more good-looking music. Anita Lindblom’s Cigarettes is closing the show, as usual.

Selfie from Per’s archives (2014)

Thanks for your support, Sven!