Per Gessle on Nordic Rox – March 2023

After a well-deserved beachtime, skipping one month of being on air on Nordic Rox, Per Gessle is back on the Spectrum with Sven Lindström. Mr. G is taking a break from recording to make this episode with Sven. He is in the studio at the moment. Also preparing for a big summer tour in Sweden with Gyllene Tider, but he says it’s great to be back on the show. Nordic Rox is where it’s at. Sven asks PG what kind of project he is working on right now. Mr. G says right now he is working on some solo material. There will also be a Roxette musical coming out late next year, so he is working on that one as well. There is a movie coming out about Gyllene Tider next summer, so he is keeping himself busy. No peace for the wicked, Sven laughs. Per says it’s good. He just released the PG Roxette album in October last year, so he is still releasing some singles from that one. Some promotion here and there. Sven says as soon as that one is out, they will play it on Nordic Rox. He asks Per when the EP will be available in stores. It’s out mid April and he is preparing some videos and stuff for that one as well.

The March episode has a special where the guys are focusing on a Swedish group called Atomic Swing. They are a great band that started out in the early ’90s. They were big in Sweden, big in Japan.

The first song the guys play is Sven’s band’s new single, Close To You. The only thing he has to say is „here’s Nordic Rox with some good looking music in the shape of Velvet Beat”. After the song is played, Per says Velvet Beat is a Malmö band.

The next track is Gold Rush, new music from Stella Explorer. Then comes Hey Princess by Popsicle. Per thinks it’s a beautiful song. A classic.

Next one is The Loneliest Girl In The World, one of the hits from the PG Roxette album, Pop-Up Dynamo! Sven says they talked about this song earlier, but he is curious how it came about. PG says he doesn’t know, but when he wrote it, he just felt immediately that it’s got a really catchy chorus. He says you feel that in your spine when you are writing songs, when it hits that a chorus is really going somewhere. So he felt immediately that this is going to be a very strong song. He didn’t have a title or any lyric at the time, but it turned out to be the first single off the album. Sven says Per could have written it for Gyllene Tider. They were making an album around the same time. PG reacts that it was a little earlier, but it is sort of the same style, he agrees. The big difference of course is when he works with GT, it’s a very organic band with five people playing all the time, while with PG Roxette everything is programmed. So it’s more like an ’80s-’90s synthesizer based production. Even though the music is quite similar, the end result is pretty different.

Next is Sergels Torg by Veronica Maggio. Sven says it’s always great here on Nordic Rox to grab the chance to polish up your Swedish with the help of Veronica Maggio. Per adds for those who haven’t been to Stockholm that Sergels torg is the big square in the center of town where you are sort of wheeling and dealing, underworld, dark web. Sven adds it’s a place where you can buy this and that.

The Atomic Swing special starts with the guys talking about the band. Sven asks Per if he remembers when they came out. They were formed basically when Roxette were travelling the world in 1992. Atomic Swing made it quite big in Sweden. Per remembers their breakthrough. He liked the band a lot and they sounded pretty different. Per thinks their sound was really fresh. Good songwriting as well and they are a great band with great singers and great arrangements. The first album was a massive success for them. Sven says they made it really big in Sweden and they also broke through in Japan and Australia. Sven thinks the singer, Niclas Frisk has got a special attitude. Nobody else sounds exactly like him and he is also a very good guitarist. Per agrees and says it was a complete band. A really good band and they looked cool too. The first song the guys play from them is Stone Me Into The Groove, their biggest hit from their debut album, A Car Crash In The Blue (1993). The band was definitely influenced by the ’70s, but still there are some new elements to it in their sound. They sound like the ’90s as well. Sven says it’s just like the way Oasis updated the ’60s, to make it into a ’90s thing.

Per thinks that what made Atomic Swing work was that they had good songs. The next one they play, Dream On is an even better song, he thinks. It was a big success for another Swedish artist called Jerry Williams, an old rocker from the ’50s. Atomic Swing made their own version and it’s from another album. They made three albums in the ’90s and split up in 1997, and then they were gone for like 10 years and they reformed to make The Broken Habanas in 2006. Dream On has a wonderful guitar and organ solo where they sort of overlap each other in a wonderful way. Per thinks it’s a great song. He loves the guitar sound and the Hammond thing as well. They used Hammond a lot in the production arrangements. It makes the whole production sound really big.

The next song is also sort of flirting a bit with the ’70s sound. The guys go back to Atomic Swing’s second album called Bossanova Swap Meet. It was released in 1994 and had a track called Soul Free. There is a great little flute melody in the intro. It’s nice. Per thinks flute is a very underrated instrument. You immediately think about Jethro Thull. The flutes were everywhere in the late ’60s, early ’70s and then boom, off they went.

The last Atomic Swing song they play is Lovin’ Out Of Nothing, which Niclas Frisk, the leader of the band wrote together with Swedish singer Titiyo. She released her version in 2004 and it became a big song. A couple of years later, Atomic Swing released their own version on their comeback album, The Broken Habanas. Titiyo’s version is quite different, but it’s a really good song. Per didn’t know that the Atomic Swing had recorded it themselves, but when he heard it, he immediately recognized it of course. Sven was looking for the word „atmospheric” to describe it. Per says why not, it’s a good word.

The guys go back in time to 1995. Sven asks Per what happened in 1995. PG says it’s a long time ago. He was on the Crash! Boom! Bang! tour with Roxette. Sven says in Stockholm, Sweden a young girl was recording her debut album. He talks about Robyn and plays Do You Really Want Me (Show Respect) from her.

Hollow Talk is next by Choir Of Young Believers, a Danish one man band. It was the theme song for The Bridge TV series. Great TV series, Per thinks. Sven also thinks it’s very cool and it turns out Per didn’t see the last two episodes, because for some reason they stopped showing it on the network. That’s what you call a cliffhanger, Sven laughs. Per says he has to do something about that. Haha.

The guys wrap up, thank the listeners for joining them and Cigarettes by Anita Lindblom is closing the show.

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

Thanks for your support, Sven!