Per Gessle on Nordic Rox – April 2023

Per Gessle and Sven Lindström welcome you on the April episode of Nordic Rox. The guys are situated in sunny Halmstad. Per says it’s a sunny day and it’s really beautiful on the West Coast of Sweden.

Sven says they are in a perfect mood for presenting another special show featuring a group from Helsingborg, The Sounds. Per thinks The Sounds is a great band, they had quite a big success in the States as well. Sven informs they made an album and single called Living In America, and it eventually got them there. They toured the States a lot.

Before that, why not kick off with The Hives? Per thinks it’s a good idea, so they play Tick Tick Boom by The Hives. Not to be mistaken by any other band, Sven says. Per thinks it’s a great, great band. The song is from The Black And White Album. The second song is House Arrest by Stella Explorer. Another interesting track, Sven says. Per thinks she is great and he likes that song a lot. She is doing some really interesting stuff. This song is taken from the Dorkay House EP.

The next song is Run To You by Roxette from the Crash! Boom! Bang! album in 1994. Sven says that was the follow up to the Joyride album, if we are not counting the Tourism live thingy. Per says Tourism came in 1992. Sven asks if Per would say that the Crash! Boom! Bang! album was the proper follow up to Joyride. Mr. G says in a way it was. It was a follow up in the sense that it was another studio album. Tourism, the one in between, was basically recorded in hotel rooms and some live shows and this and that, all over the world while touring. Hearing a track like Run To You today, Sven is curious what triggers Per’s mind when he hears it. PG says first of all, he is always knocked out by Marie’s singing abilities. She was an amazing singer and she made his songs so much better than they actually were. She had this ability to make everything come alive. Great, great singer. Per thinks it’s a cool song, a great arrangement. They had a little problem with this one in the studio and he got stuck a bit with the production, but their bass player at the time came up with this idea to build the arrangement around acoustic guitars instead. So it changed shape a bit, but it turned out nice. It was a big hit for them in certain countries in Europe and Australia. Sven says it still sounds good. Per thanks for saying it.

The guys go down to Malmö and play Ray Wonder from the ’90s. We Got To Be Good To Each Other by Ray Wonder feat. Nina Ramsby is next. Then comes a new single by The Black Angels & The Raveonettes, My Tornado. It’s a track The Raveonettes had on their debut mini album, Whip It On, 2002. Sven thinks it’s a cool collaboration, The Black Angels being from Austin, Texas and The Raveonettes from Denmark. A 20-year-old track getting a new life. PG also thinks it’s cool and it sounds great.

Here comes this episode’s special, The Sounds. They are from Helsingborg and were formed in 1999. They have been working really, really hard since their debut in the early noughties. The guys play the title track from their debut album called Living In America. It didn’t immediately break them in the States, but it became a pretty big song, their big breakthrough in 2002. They started touring and really working hard for many years. Per says Maja Ivarsson is the name of the lead singer. Sven says she is terrific. Per thinks she is wonderful on stage, a great front person and a great singer as well. Sven agrees.

Mr. G says The Sounds is one of those bands that has been touring and touring and touring. They did so many shows supporting other bands like the Foo Fighters, No Doubt, and especially in the States they have been touring year in year out. Sven says they are a superhard-working band. Their second album actually brought them to the States for real. They recorded this album called Dying To Say This To You in Oakland, California with Jeff Saltzman. That was really the start of major touring. They played 200 shows in 2006. That’s a lot. Sven asks „how can you get away with that?” Per says „you have to be very young”. Sven says you can hear that they became incredibly tight as a band. He thinks this second album is super cool and sounds really good. Per agrees and they play the next song, Painted By Numbers, which is a great track.

Mr. G says The Sounds is a great band, they are cool, especially live. Maja Ivarsson is a great performer, a great singer and she is really wonderful to watch and listen to. Sven says she is an absolutely terrific rock’n’roll woman. Per introduces the next song, which is from The Sounds’ third album, Crossing The Rubicon. This one came out in 2009 and the first single is called No One Sleeps When I’m Awake. It’s got this really heavy sound to the production and it sounds really amazing still. Sven adds that Per especially likes the snare drum. PG says the snare drum sound is pretty heavy, he likes that. Sven loves the intro, the guitar intro is fantastic.

The guys move on with the fourth and final The Sounds song in this special. The band’s next album, Something To Die For came out in 2011. The track Sven and Per picked from that is The No No Song. PG thinks it’s a really great track and it’s got all The Sounds trademark. Sven says it’s got all The Sound sounds. Haha. The energetic guitar and the synthesizer doing this melody thing. Per thinks it sounds really cool.

Sven introduces the next song, Tuesday Afternoon. He thinks the word Beatlesque is what he is looking for. Per says this is a great band from the early ’90s in Sweden called Stonecake. They came and went. They managed to squeeze in this song in the pop history of Sweden. It was a big hit in Sweden. Sven says this was the first track they made more or less and they never became bigger than this one. Per says it’s a great song, you can hear their inspiration from The Beatles or from Smashing Pumpkins or The Move from the ’60s, Roy Wood’s The Move. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, but it’s a very catchy chorus. It was a big song and Per doesn’t know if it was number one in Sweden, but it was definitely a top five song. Sven says a million dollar chorus is waiting for you right here.

Year of Love by Jenny Hval is next. She is a Norwegian girl. She is one of Per’s current favourites. She is just amazing. She did an album last year called Classic Objects and this is the first song from that album. PG suggests checking her out if you get the chance. He spells her last name, Hval.

The guys play Blue Fun (The Robert Palmer Mix) by Mikael Rickfors. It’s the title track from his 1983 album. This one he sent to Robert Palmer in the Compass Point Studios. Per says Robert Palmer did a great mix of this song. It wasn’t on the original album. It was on a 12-inch single. Sven thinks it came out in 1984. Per doesn’t really know why they sent it to Robert Palmer and why he even bothered to work on this. Mr. G says Micke Rickfors used to be a great Swedish singer, but he also used to be the singer from The Hollies. A terrific singer. Sven thinks the studio version, the Swedish mix of Blue Fun is quite horrible. It’s a lot of echo and 6000 instruments playing at the same time. But it’s a great song, Per thinks. It’s really terrific. Sven thinks Robert Palmer just took basically everything down and then took a couple of things up, which made it so incredibly simple and dry. It’s really hard-hitting and Micke sings so well here.

This wraps up the show. The guys thank the listeners for joining them and as usual, Cigarettes by Anita Lindblom is the closing track.

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

Thanks for your support, Sven!