The release date of Per Gessle’s new album, En vacker natt is getting closer (28 April). Space Station 12 shared the complete list of the signing session tour stops. There are 14 places where you can meet Mr. G.
There is a very personal interview with Per in Svenska Dagsbladet. They did the interview at BMG’s office in Stockholm. Per talks about music, songwriting, the new albums, the duets, Roxette, Gyllene Tider and his family. How he talks about his mother will bring you to tears.
The article starts with stating what we all know well, Per Gessle loves talking about music. He loves ’60s music even if he was only 6-7-8 years old when the best music was released. At the age of 10 he already owned 100 records and was looking for the ”hook” in the songs. He listened to The Beatles’ Dizzy Miss Lizzy 25 times in a row. He still had his Roy Orbison-style glasses when he started his first band, The Pepcis. They were only miming to songs of e.g. The Animals.
They are talking about that Måndagsbörsen show from 1981 where Per appeared in his red trousers, red tie and long blonde hair. Per says he remembers it like yesterday. He was damn nervous, because it was all live and it was scary back then. It was hard to do interviews, his generation was not so good at talking. But over the years he has become an analyst of himself because he talked so much.
Per says in the interview that they didn’t start Gyllene Tider only for becoming known. They wanted to reach out with their music. He doesn’t know whether they wanted expensive cars or be chased by girls. They wanted to stand there and play and be accepted.
Regarding why he recorded his upcoming albums in Nashville Per says Åsa calculated that he spent 420 hours in Skåne in Christoffer Lundquist’s studio and he felt that he needs something new. Then came Nashville in sight, even if he is not a real country guy. He thought he would make a fusion of Halmstad and Nashville. He had 14 songs with him and thought it was a little bit too many for one album. Then the idea was to make two records. En vacker natt (out on 28 April) and En vacker dag (out on 1 September).
In addition, Per had a couple of songs in English left and wanted to do duets with American country singers. He says he wanted to sing with Alison Krauss and ran into her in the elevator but she was so angry, something had happened, so Per didn’t dare to ask her. Then he called his friend Scott Borchetta, who owns Big Machine Records and is Taylor Swift’s manager. Scott suggested a duo, The Church Sisters because one of the sisters, Savannah Church sounds exactly like Alison Krauss. Per sent his demo “Far too close” to her and she immediately replied that she loved the song and came to the studio to sing. She was singing so well it took only 20 minutes to record it.
Per Gessle’s good friend, Roy Orbison Jr., son of the legendary singer suggested they should have Roy Orbison’s guitars on the album. So now it’s as if he blessed the recordings.
On the new album there are several songs about love. Per says it’s a topic he is always writing about. The difference this time is that he is getting older. He doesn’t want to write about love as if he was still young. “Några glas rosé” is for example a song he couldn’t have written 15 years ago. Per says melancholy, sentimentality and romance are grateful to write songs about.
To the question if he writes texts quickly he replies he does. If it doesn’t happen, then the text is not good enough. If he picks it up again three weeks later, he has lost his point of view, sees the text from the outside and may not understand what he meant before. So he doesn’t understand how Leonard Cohen worked for 5 years on writing “Hallelujah”.
In the song “Allt gick så fort” (= Everything went so fast), Per Gessle sings: ” De plockade upp en kvinna från vattnet / Strömmarna hade blivit för starka / Ett mini maximum / Allt gick så fort ” (= They picked up a woman from the water / The currents had become too strong / A mini maximum / Everything went so fast”). The text is inspired by an accident Per witnessed during a visit to France. Fortunately, the woman was rescued from drowning. This song is the album’s hub. Per says he read an interview with David Crosby who told he had five guitars in his bedroom and that all of them were tuned differently. Per tells Svenska Dagbladet that he has almost always played with classical guitar tuning, sometimes he turned down the E-string to D. Crosby and even Joni Mitchell did it a lot. Per wanted to write a text of different self and time concepts mixed with the harmonies of unusual guitar tuning.
In the interview Per also talks about the duets on the new albums. He says when singing a duet with a girl, it is perceived as if they sing to each other. Also in the country world with songs like “Jackson” and “Did you ever” with Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood where they constantly answer each other. Per has used this technique in Roxette but also that the guy and the girl are singing towards a common goal. When two guys sing, the text becomes completely different, like in “Småstadsprat” (duet with Lars Winnerbäck), when they don’t sing to each other, but to a third person, a girl.
Per tells Svenska Dagbladet that John Holm was one of those who made him start writing songs as a 14-year-old. John gave Per so much self-confidence, because he had such a strange voice and Per also has a strange one. When John played in Halmstad some time ago, Per went backstage and greeted him. Then this fall he played at Scalateatern in Stockholm and Per asked him if he wanted to sing a song on his album and John was in. Per says John Holm is someone who doesn’t really know how good he is.
Next year Gyllene Tider celebrates its 40th anniversary if, like Gessle, we count it from the time when the yellow EP was released in 1978. If there will be a tour to celebrate it, Per says they will tour for sure, but it’s not sure when. If it’s next year or the follwoing year. He really wants to play with Gyllene Tider, the world’s best powerpop band along with good old Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Regarding Roxette Per says the touring period is 100% over. Marie can’t manage it physically. Per tells Svenska Dagbladet that Marie now feels relatively good and they meet occasionally. She has just been in Spain and had a little sunbathing. Per says he won’t ever replace Marie with another singer. Roxette is Marie. But he can imagine playing some of his songs in one way or another. It would feel strange, for example, never to play “The Look” or “Listen To Your Heart” again.
On the cover of the new album “En vacker natt” is a picture of Per’s sister Gunilla. Gunilla’s son found a box of 1960s pictures, including the picture as she stands and sings on a dock with just a glove like Michael Jackson. The entire album is dedicated to his sister. She died last autumn. Per’s mom died in 2013, his brother Bengt in 2014 and now his sister. Now Per is the only one living from his family.
Per says it has been difficult, especially when his mom died. She was 88 years old. His brother had lung cancer but he didn’t tell anyone, not even to the closest family. His sister also had cancer and they knew it would happen but not when. It’s tough, of course.
Svenska Dagbladet asks Per if it appears in any way in the lyrics. Per says he doesn’t think there’s a song about the grief, but he thinks he changed when everyone passed away. It became an old age issue for him and he reflected on things in a different way. When something is happening in one’s life, like a close relative passes away, sadness never leaves. It’s coming and going.
On the album cover of “En vacker dag” there will be a picture of Per’s mom on picnic in front of their old Volvo Amazon 1965. Per says he never heard her sister singing, but his mother sang a lot, she was a real loudmouth. Per tells Svenska Dagbladet that he met his mother a couple of days before she died and then she had pain in her back, but there was nothing more about it. The next day she called Per’s sister Gunilla and said she had a severe pain and then Gunilla urged her to press the alarm button because it is a bad sign of the heart with such pain. When the ambulance arrived, she told the drivers she would only finish the apple cake to her neighbor who had name day. Then she got a stroke or heart attack in the kitchen and they tried to revive her. Per thinks it was nice to die in the generosity, it fitted his mother.
The interview is closed with a thought about Per’s brother. The great legacy of him was all his records, thanks to them Per got dragged into the beautiful world of pop.
There is a fact sheet at the end of the article. There Per tells his wife Åsa is called Woody after a Woody Allen movie and his son Gabriel, 19, is studying computer programming at KTH. In an earlier interview Åsa said while laughing that Per always drinks filter coffee at certain times like an old aunt. Per laughs and says it’s not really true, but he sticks to his habits and always eats the same breakfast for example. He doesn’t mind that if he is on tour it will be a different kind of breakfast. But if he is at home, he wants the same bread, butter, ham, mustard and cheese.
Per is doing a radio podcast “Gessles nio i topp” on Swedish Radio and in the coming season he chooses “Nine songs you wouldn’t believe I loved”, “The nine most underestimated artists” and “The nine most forgotten artists”.
In the article appears a 3 min 50 sec long video of Per where he enthusiastically talks about 5 songs that mean a lot to him now:
Per Gessle’s first single off his upcoming album was released on 17th March. As you could see it in Mr. G’s video showing his brand new album, En vacker natt (out on 28th April), he also showed a physical Småstadsprat single which is for promotional use only, distributed to radio stations in Sweden. It’s a bit sad, mainly for collectors, that we are living in a ”digital single release only” world.
On the promo single’s back cover we can see who created the magical sounds on this track.
Per Gessle: acoustic guitar and vocals
Lars Winnerbäck: vocals
Clarence Öfwerman: piano
Christoffer Lundquist: acoustic guitar, contrabass, percussion and keyboards
Dan Dugmore: pedal steel guitar
Stuart Duncan: violin
Helena Josefsson: backing vocals
Lyrics and music by Per Gessle.
Produced by Christoffer Lundquist and Per Gessle.
Recorded in Blackbird Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.
Additional recordings were done at Tits & Ass, Halmstad (Technician: M.P Persson) and Shortlist, Stockholm (Technician: Anders Herrlin).
The single is released under Space Station 12, Per’s record label that has just celebrated its 1 year anniversary this week. All guests are now lucky owners of a Småstadsprat promo single.
Per wrote Småstadsprat on 5-6 May 2016 in Halmstad. This is what he says about the song:
I wrote Småstadsprat in Halmstad in the beginning of May last year when the sun started to shine seriously. It became one of the signature songs of how I wanted my new album to sound. I wanted Helena Josefsson on the choruses and then I met Lasse Winnerbäck at Sofiero in Helsingborg in July and asked him if he wanted to sing a bit too. He liked the song and joined in. The lyrics is about being young and in love and confused and disappointed at the same time. Everyday life in small towns.
Listen to the song on your favourite digital platform! Or if you are more into the live version, now you can choose from 2 beautiful live performances. The one you could hear on Skavlan and the other from the SS12 anniversary party.
21 March 2017 is for sure a day to remember for the rest of our lives. From the RXB team Judith and I had the honor of being invited to the 1 year anniversary party of Space Station 12, Per Gessle’s and Marie Dimberg’s record label. Much appreciated! The event was announced to start at 6 pm and last until 10 pm. It took place at Skyddsrummet, Stockholm.
We arrived at around 17:45, at the same time as Helena Josefsson, Christoffer Lundquist and Clarence Öfwerman. Marie Dimberg was welcoming the guests and a photographer took pictures of all who arrived in front of a black and white Space Station 12 background. We thanked Marie for the invitations and congratulated on the anniversary.
The musicians who were to appear on stage were 1 floor above the event area and were getting prepared for their performances. Per Gessle was among them, too. Some minutes after 6 pm Mr. G came down and also welcomed some guests. We had the chance to thank him too for the invitation and congratulate. He said he didn’t realize that already 1 year passed since they started this label. Time flies when you’re having fun. Thomas Evensson from TDR was taking some pics and Per kindly posed for them. Even for a group pic. Oh well, he said on Skavlan he gets depressed when he is out and no one asks for a selfie. Now he told us he will regret what he said for the rest of his life. Haha. Nah, he was really easy with it.
At appr. 7 pm a curtain was pulled away, so we could see the stage and go to the area where the performances were to happen. The stage was so tiny and low, the whole place so cozy! Of course, we, a small bunch of fans got in the front row, however it felt being too close to the stage. Everyone else was standing at least 5 steps behind us. Haha. It was funny. Then we also stepped back a bit, to have a better view of the not too high stage.
First Marie Dimberg went up on stage and she talked about Space Station 12, how they started it with Per. She talked very nicely about Mr. G and about their signed artists. She also mentioned their very good collaboration with BMG and she said they decided on a simple principle regarding what to release under SS12 and it’s that they release what they like. She also said there will be musicians on stage now who have their live debut, so she asked to applaud them. Then invited PG on stage saying even if Per doesn’t have his live debut now, he also loves being applauded. Haha.
So Per came up on stage to perform. He had Helena Josefsson (backing vocals), Malin-My Nilsson (violin), Clarence Öfwerman (keyboards) and Christoffer Lundquist (guitar) with him. Mr. G was playing an acoustic guitar while singing. He performed 2 songs, Tycker om när du tar på mej and Småstadsprat which he said we might have heard on Skavlan or whatever. Both songs sounded fantastic live and in this very much stripped-down-acoustic versions. Space Station 12 was live on Facebook during Småstadsprat, so you can watch a great video of it on their Facebook page.
Åsa was filming both songs too, so videos will surely appear on Per’s and Roxette’s Facebook pages shortly. After Småstadsprat Per told they leave the stage now and give the chance to SS12’s young artists to perform. After he left the stage we congratulated him on their wonderful performance. He thanked for it, but also said he was missing our banners in the front. We were wondering what kind of banners we could hold up for these 2 ballads and he said why not a tussilago sign. Haha. Yeah, OK. For the summer tour he gets it!
Before the next act, after some minutes break Marie Dimberg came up on stage again saying she wouldn’t sing, but please welcome Good Harvest. They performed 3 songs. All three were beautiful and one can melt hearing how the 2 girls’ voices blend! As Christoffer later mentioned, they both sound like one voice together. We are happy to see them on tour with Per this summer!
There came a little break again and Alex Shield was next to perform together with Charla K. They played Alex’s 3 songs, Charla’s debut single and a new duet that they mentioned were going to test with us, the audience. Everybody cheered afterwards, so we would say – thumbs up! We were all surprised how different Alex sounded live. He is a fantastic songwriter and now it turned out he is a great live musician as well. He and Charla K got the audience in a real party mood. It would have been fun if PG joined Alex on Good Fight as in the album version, but it didn’t happen. The song sounded cool live anyway.
We missed Fanny de Aguiar very much. It would have been fab to see and hear her live. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to perform and wasn’t present at the party either.
Even if Per was on stage only for 2 songs, he didn’t leave the concert hall. He was chatting with the guests and enjoying the performances of SS12’s artists while eating hot dog and drinking beer. Talking about beer, it seems that Per now is involved not only in the wine business, but the beer industry as well. There was a beer at the party, called Rocket Fuel which has Space Station 12 label on the bottle. The label says: ”Space Station 12 is an independent record label with the finger pointing at the future, always in love with great music. No matter what we release it will always be unique, interesting and something you certainly can’t live without. Just keep your ears open. And we love beer. Our favourite ones are made by Krönleins in Halmstad. Enjoy!”
Per was in a real happy mood, he even came to us asking if we were having a good time and we had a small talk. He is very proud of the acts they signed, he finds them real talented. And he is so right.
Among the guests, besides other artists, journalists, people from the music industry, TV, radio, wine people, we were happy to meet Pelle Alsing, Dea Norberg, Lasse Lindbom and see 2 members of the usual crew, Micke N-S and Peter Fredriksson. Christoffer said these events and performances are also good for them, because otherwise they don’t meet too often.
Regarding the summer tour, we got to know that besides Helena Josefsson, Christoffer Lundquist and Clarence Öfwerman, Magnus Börjeson will join and play the bass, woohoo and there will be a new drummer this time. We also heard a few times from different people that maybe they will also have a violin too… Is it July yet???
The party ended at 10 pm as it was stated in the invitation. Each guest got a SS12 bag when leaving. There were promo singles of SS12 artists inside – including Småstadsprat – and an SS12 badge. You can see this badge on the pics of Per as he was wearing one during the event.
All in all, it was really a fantastic event. We want to thank once again for letting us being part of this celebration. Good luck to Space Station 12 with finding even more exceptional artists to join the already fab team of signed musicians!
Per performing at the party. Pics by Patrícia Peres.
As you already know, Per Gessle appeared on Skavlan talk show tonight. From the video teasers (selfie; desert island) we saw on SVT’s website during the day we could be absolutely sure that the show was going to be much fun. The recording took place on 15th March and 2 hours before showtime Per shared a rehearsal video from his 14th March get together with the band and Lars Winnerbäck on his YouTube channel (GessleHomeVids), which we hope he will keep alive for a longer time and share even more content in the future.
The first 2 guests in Skavlan were Annika Falkengren (actual President and Group Chief Executive of the Swedish bank, SEB) and Jo Nesbø (Norwegian writer, musician). Mr. G was the third guest, his part starts at around 25:40. Before he entered the studio, some old concert and TV show footage was shown from Per’s early and later career (Gyllene Tider, Roxette, solo) and after he sat down, Fredrik Skavlan, host of the show was chatting with all 3 people, asking interesting questions.
Since Annika is one of the guests, Fredrik asks Per what type of bank client Mr. G is. He says he is a weak banker. Then Fredrik goes on asking who Per was before he became a musician. Per says he can’t remember, it was so long ago, but he thinks he was a shy and lonely guy. Music became his life quite early. Already at the age of 6-7-8 he was listening to The Kinks and then The Beatles.
Fredrik asks Per what his father thought about him choosing music. Per says his father died in 1978, but he wasn’t fond of his musical efforts. He heard one song on the show Bandet går and thought Per was singing like shouting badly. Fredrik asks Per if he would have chosen this career if his father wouldn’t have died, but Per doesn’t know the answer. He says his mother always supported him. His dad died the same day a big article about Gyllene Tider appeared in Expressen.
They talk about Per being called a mom’s boy and that she and Per’s brother and sister died during the past 3 years. Fredrik asks Per what his mother would say was the peak in Per’s career. Per tells she lived with her mother for a long time and she witnessed all the weird things during the golden age of Gyllene Tider, like getting 3000 postcards or fans stealing the drying clothes from their garden. Then it was different with Roxette, it was more of a global thing. But he tells his mum was very proud of him.
Fredrik says people talk about Per as the boss. Per says he is more of a control freak. Fredrik asks if it has always been easy to work together in Roxette. Per replies ”piece of cake” and laughs. He says they started from nowhere and it was a fantastic journey with Marie. But of course, there were conflicts. Per always wanted to work and when they finished something he wanted to work again, but Marie didn’t think the same way. And probably Per’s control freakness also caused some conflicts. Fredrik asks if Marie has ever told it to Per and Per replies he read that in Marie’s book and laughs.
Fredrik Skavlan asks Per if he is a pedant. Per says he is. If Fredrik goes to his home he would for sure think a pedant lives there. All records are sorted on the shelves in alphabetic order, for example. He was like that already as a kid. He tells his friends think it’s fun to push some books in on the shelf when they visit him. Here Jo Nesbø says all guys put the records in alphabetical order but asks Per if he also puts the records in chronological order for one band. Per says no, he doesn’t do that. Jo says then everyone can calm down. Haha.
Fredrik says both Lars Winnerbäck and Per Gessle are introvert guys. He is wondering who talks most. Per laughs and says they sit silent. Then Fredrik asks Mr. G what small town talks (småstadsprat) Per knows about himself. He says he loves Halmstad and he really feels that Halmstad is proud of him. He says it’s always fun to fuel the car. Then Fredrik asks if he drives the cars Per has in his collection. It’s like having a horse inside the house. Per says of course he drives them. Mr. G talks about how it is to drive his Ferrari to the ICA (Swedish supermarket) to buy strawberries. He says he thought a Ferrari is a girl magnet, but it’s not at all. Everytime he leaves the shop, coming back to where he parked the car there are like 30 guys filming his Ferrari.
Per also talks about that since he was 20 he got used to the fact that people recognize him. He can’t leave his apartment without bumping into people who want to take a selfie with him. Actually, if nobody asks for a selfie, he gets very depressed. Then Fredrik comes close to PG and they pose for a selfie.
Fredrik asks Per what kind of car Annika’s husband should buy when they move to Switzerland and Mr. G suggest a 2-seated with no roof. Here Annika tells Per once she was sitting behind Per on a plane and Mr. G was reading a car magazine. His wife and son were sitting on the other side. She asks if it happens often. Per is kidding he is surprised Annika saw them travelling on the same class.
Then comes a little game. Fredrik asks his guests which 3 albums they would bring to a desert island where they would spend a long long time. Jo Nesbø asks Per who he prefers, John Lennon or Paul McCartney and Per chooses John Lennon. Jo and Per can agree on taking The Beatles’ Revolver album. Annika couldn’t really get first what revolver they are talking about, then out of the blue she suggests why not taking Julio Iglesias with them. LOL. Per’s facial expression is priceless. WTF? Haha. Then Annika goes on with Demis Roussos and Per can’t keep it to himself, he says he hopes it’s a big island. Haha. One must love his sense of humor. Per says the 3 albums he would take are Revolver, The Ramones’ first album and Joni Mitchell’s Ladies of the Canyon. Jo agrees on The Ramones’ as well, but he would take Rocket to Russia from them.
With this the PG talking part is over (at appr. 40 minutes in), but a fourth guest is coming, Susan Faludi, an American Pulitzer winner author and feminist. It’s worth watching this part, too, because Per stays there in the studio and is listening to Susan’s stories, paying a lot of attention.
Then at appr. 53:20, at the end of the show Per performs his new song, ”Småstadsprat”, a duet with Lars Winnerbäck. Lars is of course there as well. In the band you can see Clarence Öfwerman, Christoffer Lundquist, Helena Josefsson and some new faces, Ola Gustafsson, Malin-My Nilsson and Martin Höper. How they perform Småstadsprat live is pure awesomeness! Just magical! H.e.a.v.e.n.l.y.!
What a wonderful and interesting show it was! We would love to have more of this, wouldn’t we?
SVT Nyheter Halland did an e-mail interview with Per Gessle about the new albums and his upcoming summer tour. In the interview Per says one of the great benefits of being a little older and have gained experience is that he learned to relax and not to take everything so bloody serious anymore. He thinks it has never been as much fun to play music as now.
For Per the big challenge is to put something together on stage this summer and to be able to surprise even himself. He has never done anything like this before, mixing his various careers.
Per’s Nashville project has already become a unique phenomenon for Mr. G. He thinks it’s among the most personal and best he has done and so of course he would like people to listen to it. Per belongs to the album generation so he still thinks in making an LP. He had 14 songs with him in Nashville. Normally, 2-3 tracks are off automatically, then you still have a reasonably long record. But it went so well in Tennessee, all pieces fell into place surprisingly quickly and he finished his 14 songs in time. Instead of hanging in the bar, Per remembered he had 2 awesome ballads in English that could fit to do duets with American country music singers. A serious challenge! He called a few friends in the industry and found 2 wonderful singers who were available and it became the icing on the cake of his Nashville-adventure.
However, the length of 16 songs was about 65 minutes and it felt too long for a single album. The options were a double album or two separate records. He decided for the 2nd option and put the English tracks as last ones on each record. Both albums have roughly the same temperature and contain beautiful, gently produced music.
About John Holm Per says he is a real hero. Although they ran into each other a few times over the years, he met him properly first in Halmstad last winter when John played there. Then Per saw him again on one of his Stockholm gigs when John was really in top shape. That was the time when Mr. G asked John if he wanted to cooperate on Per’s new album and John wanted to. So Per sent him his demo and they recorded the song in Skåne and had a few magical hours in the studio. John has a great and generous personality and he is one of the most expressive singers Per knows. According to Mr. G, John Holm does not really know how good he is.
Per says to SVT he’s been singing a lot with Helena Josefsson on his solo albums over the years and he will still do the rest of his life if he may. Many of his songs are written for several voices so it felt quite natural to expand the palette of more than Helena. The idea of ??singing with the other singers felt new to Per and it also gives the lyrics a different perspective. Lars Winnerbäck is an awesome songwriter and performer who is admired by Per, so he was really happy when Lars wanted to cooperate. Per has known Linnea Henriksson for a while and she is an absolutely adorable person and singer with her blue tones and some light jazz funds. All the duet partners on the album changed the songs’ overall identity. It’s exciting and unpredictable according to Per.
Per tells SVT that inspiration and experience can easily go hand in hand. He feels more free than ever when he writes nowadays. He tests different odd guitar tunings, he is fiddling more in the studio, he takes his time to write more verses than he needs, he lets his gut feeling decide most of the time. He feels, slowly but surely, that he doesn’t need to prove much for himself anymore. He thinks he became kinder to himself. He doesn’t have a hit list in sight, no record label to make happy, no major commercial requirements to live up to. He has been so very fortunate in his life that his music reached out to so many and it’s really something one can’t take for granted. It has created a sort of peace in Mr. G.
About the tour and setlist Per says he is – as we all know – a great advocate of short concerts. There will of course be many kill-your-darlings, because he was going to keep the show around 100 minutes. Including hits that encourage spontaneous dancing.
Per says about consulting song choice with fans on social media sitesthat it’s really lovely with all the feedback and all proposals that come in all the time. Everyone seems to have their own favorites. Honung och guld. I Like It Like That. Varmt igen. He says they will test a lot of songs when they start rehearsing and see where they end up.
About the pre-concert playlist Mr. G says he already started to put one together and promises it will be fab. Willie Nelson and Townes van Zandt have to be on the list and little Roy Orbison too. They use Roy’s guitars on the Nashville project. Per knows Roy Obison’s son, and he came to the studio with a couple of lovely old Gibsons he thought would be fine and bless their Nashville dream.
Even if the release date of Per’s first single off the new album, En vacker natt is set to 17th March, Swedish Radio P4 already played the song today. In the radio program, Eftermiddag i P4 Dalarna Med Emma och Martin the hosts talked about Mr. G’s new albums and then aired Småstadsprat, a duet with Lars Winnerbäck. The talking about Per starts at 51:40, the song starts at 52:25! The total length of the song is 3:39, on the radio you can hear a bit more than 3 min, so there might be some surprise sounds still on Friday. Aaaaaaaw! The song makes me even more curious about the complete album!
Don’t forget to watch Skavlan on SVT on Friday at 21:00 CET! There will be an interview with Per and he will also perform Småstadsprat together with Lars Winnerbäck. What a treat!
Swedish Radio (Kulturnytt P4) tried to reach Per Gessle after yesterday’s great news about his 2 new solo albums. They write that Per is now in Nashville and they interviewed him via e-mail.
Swedish Radio asked Per what made him want to do duets with Lars Winnerbäck, Linnea Henriksson and John Holm. Mr. G says often cooperates with Helena Josefsson when he is making his solo albums. This time she is there again and is doing backing vocals on almost all songs and sings one song in duet with Per. Per says Helena is incredibly talented and always lifts his songs to the sky. Their voices are a perfect match. But when Mr. G started writing last summer, he started thinking about male duet partners. A regular duet can bring a different angle to the text. When a guy and a girl sings it sounds in a certain way, but when 2 guys or 2 girls are singing, it becomes something totally different. Interesting.
Per says he has many things in common with Lars Winnerbäck. Small-town background and quite similar taste in music even if Mr. G is older. Per always liked Lars. They met at Sofiero in Helsingborg when he was on tour last summer and Per asked if he wanted to sing a duet. Thank God he wanted.
Besides Helena Josefsson there were other musicians involved: Christoffer Lundquist, Clarence Öfwerman and Anders Herrlin. They were also there in Nashville to record the songs.
The autumn album will contain duets with Linnea Henriksson and John Holm. Per says John Holm was one of those who made him start writing his own songs when he was fourteen, so it’s a personal highlight in Per’s life to record with John Holm. According to Per, John Holm is still a unique singer and personality.
Regarding Linnea Henriksson Per says he had an uptempo song he thought Linnea could sing the chorus on. But after a few weeks in Nashville, he realized that it did not fit into the project, so he put it on hold. But then he had another song that screamed for Linnea’s blue tones and it became so fine. Per is very happy and proud that Linnea wanted to cooperate.
Per says to his great surprise, he had studio time left when they were done with the 14 Swedish songs. Then he thought he could do duets in English with country-girls too. He had two quite newly written songs that he thought would be great to record in the Nashville environment. He called some friends in Nashville’s music industry and got tips on 2 talented girls, Savannah Church and Jessica S. who suddenly appeared and rounded off this incredibly exciting project.
To Swedish Radio’s question regarding how Per would describe the album he said he have tried to make very beautiful songs, arrangements and productions. Stripped down, but efficient. He went started the project with no limits and rules, he didn’t want to sound a certain way or do anything in a format which is now unfortunately characterizes the entire music industry. He wanted the local musicians to be part of and create the songs’ design. Per let them play on almost all songs to see what happens, then they edited it all afterwards and took away what they thought didn’t fit.
Per’s solo projects in Swedish are always quite text-oriented. So it is this time. Perhaps more than ever.
Each song has its own story, it’s about being young and getting older. To look back but also dare to look ahead. Happiness, but also disappointment. About things don’t always turn out as planned or as expected. I have lost my mother, brother and sister in the last three years and it has certainly put its weight on the lyrics and my life in general. But life goes on.
To Swedish Radio’s question if there will be duets on stage, Per replied who knows. He has the habit from Roxette.
The first album, En vacker natt, will be out on April 28th. The first single “Småstadsprat“, a duet with Lars Winnerbäck, will be released on March 17th.
The second album, En vacker dag, will be released on September 1st.
As we could already read it in press releases, a film about Badrock (“Filmen om Badrock”), where Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle performed as Roxette for the first time, will premiere in Swedish cinemas on 7th March. So far we didn’t know what exactly the film would contain, but this morning TV4 had an interview with Björn Skifs (he is behind the whole Badrock idea) and they showed some parts. AND… AND… AND… besides Badrock concert material from the ’80s in Borgholm and backstage moments where we can see Marie, Per, Roxette, we get to see Marie looking back at those times and hear her talking about her experiences. How absolutely fantastic is that!
In the TV4 cut you can hear Per on Öland Radio in 1987 saying he and Marie created a group called Roxette and they would first perform at Badrock. Then you see Marie talking, as natural as only she can be, in her stylish black leather jacket. She says, ”Like Lovers Do” at the beginning was a big song for Roxette and she was incredibly nervous to perform it. Everything was so new, but it was an awesome experience.
HERE you can watch a video where you can see Marie with your own eyes. Watch it mainly from 3:07. 😉
Let’s see if the film is out later on DVD as well or if it will be broadcast on TV. And if it contains much more than what we could see in this short video. Would be cool!
Thank you, Carola Lindberg for watching the TV this morning and that you let us know about it!
2 more dates are added to Per Gessle’s summer tour. Both dates are in Finland, at the end of August. This means the tour won’t end in Eskilstuna on 19th August and there will be a total of 21 concerts in the end. At least known at this point.
The 2 extra dates are Vasa 25th August (capacity of the stadium is 4000) and Borgå (Popkalaset festival) 26th August.
Teater Halland got green light from Per Gessle to use his music in their upcoming musical “Halland Love Stories”. The approximately 2-hour-long (plus break) musical’s premiere is set to 2nd March 2018 on the Main Stage of Teater Halland in Varberg and then they will tour with it in other theaters of Halland and neighbouring regions in Sweden. There will be 4 actors in the musical.
The theater plans to ask the audience, those living in Halland to tell them their own love stories and from this collection, to Mr. G’s songs they will create a musical which will be a celebration of love.
According to the theater’s director, Anna Sjövall, Per thought it sounded like a very funny and nice idea. The musical will consist of Per’s Swedish songs and it will be a bit like Mamma Mia!
SVT talked to Per about the project and he said many of his songs are somehow rooted in Halmstad and the west coast so it felt nice that the theater thought of him. To the question which of his solo songs Per could relate spontaneously to the theme “Halland Love Stories” he replied:
“På promenad genom stan” or “För bra för att vara sant” are very much home for me. There are several songs on my new album (out in April), which also belong to Halmstad. Small town genes never disappear.
Per says he quite often receives international inquiries on various musical projects and ideas. It will certainly happen “down the road” when everything feels right. To the question if he has ever thought about writing a musical Mr. G replied:
No, but I’m still young.
SVT asked Per what songs he listened to more than once this year so far. Per says Linnea Henriksson’s new song “Säga mig” is very good. Bon Iver’s latest album is wonderfully weird. Mr. G says that after his trip to Nashville he ended up in an old-fashioned country-coma. Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson and such. Adorable. Alex Shields’ “New York City Ways” has been hot in the kitchen since Christmas, but he is biased there, as he was involved in writing it.
The demand to see Roxette’s complete Borgholm gig(s), recorded on 25th-26th July 1989 is h.u.g.e. There is an evergreen discussion among Roxers since the ’90s and we just can’t conclude what might have happened to the recorded materials.
The discussion started again during the last days of December when Sandra Knospe came up with the idea to organize a flashmob to show how many of us want the complete Borgholm gig on DVD. The plan was to post one or more screenshots of the live scenes that are already available of the Borgholm shows. The idea was of course supported by tons of us Roxers. Sandra created a cool ”WANTED – Complete Borgholm gig on DVD” background pic on which anyone could insert their own preferred Borgholm live stills. Those who were more into completely ready stuff either reposted others’ pics or posted the well-known What Do We Want meme generated by Zoltán Dúl stating ”Who are we?” ”Roxers!” ”What do we want?” ”The full Borgholm-gig on DVD!” ”When do we want it?” ”For Christmas 2017!” Clear messages on both types of pictures.
We had been waiting impatiently for the time (2nd January) to come when we could all ”spam” Roxette’s Facebook page with our pics. If you check posts by others on the page, you’ll see that quite some Roxers joined the flashmob. We all love such happenings.
Later we got a little spam back from Mr. G. He shared some Memory Lane Monday pics on all the Facebook pages he is handling. At the same time, we could realize he saw the flashmob posts, but all he ”reacted” on them was sharing the old RXB article that collected those live materials which should be released one day, as well as posting the official video to Dangerous with the text ”Summertime at the Borgholm Castle. /P.” Oh. Yeah. THAT’s the summertime we would like to know more about. 😉
3 years ago Per posted on Roxette’s Facebook page that they were ”having discussions with EMI (Warner) about re-releasing all VHS/DVD Rox live + documentaries from the past. How about that? Maybe a huge box set? Rox channel on YouTube? Guess the hardest part is to find the stuff in the vaults….” A week later Mr. G was excited to post another update telling ”Hope to get most of the live VHS & DVD releases from the past out in the open (in top quality) for your insatiable eyes and ears to enjoy. It’s a little messy in the archives at the moment due to the huge EMI/Warner-merger but I’ve got new batteries in my flashlight! We’re on the case, promise.”
To help the team what to look for in the archives, Tomasz collected all possible live performances worth to release in an article.
It seems that the mess still couldn’t be sorted out completely, however, according to the rumor TDR shared there will be a DVD box including ”Sweden Live! (Norrköping 1988), Look Sharp Live (various 1989), Live-Ism (Sydney 1992), Crash!Boom!Live! (Johannesburg 1995) and Room Service (Stockholm 2001) from the Telenor webcast” without extras.
Last June when we interviewed Per, he still couldn’t tell us details about the DVD project. All he could share was his thought that ”the first things that should be made available are all those old live VHS-tapes and DVDs that’s not around anymore”.
Since most people nowadays don’t even have a machine to play VHS, it’s always nice to see old materials being released on DVD. Blu-ray is in this case out of the question, as those old tapes are probably not of real high quality for a BD release. But ”just” re-releasing old stuff is a bit sad. We are sure there is more to include.
Back to the original topic, Borgholm. What happened to the live recordings? Has there ever been a complete recording? Of both Borgholm shows and rehearsals maybe? Or was it just some footage we could already see in this or that video and on Look Sharp Live VHS? Nah… with such technology back then, shot by an American crew it’s impossible. There must have been a complete recording. Or if not complete, there is surely much more than what we could see so far. But where is that material hiding? Deep down in a cellar? Is it lost? Did the tapes get burnt? Or? Just for the record, we are happy with any raw cut material as well. It would look sharp as an extra in the DVD box. 😉 Haha.
After the lullaby hits by Baby Roxers in 2016 there seems to be a Rox metal project in 2017.
GS Productions is a Russian independent music label. In November they announced an official metal tribute to Roxette and they called for participants. They say they have an official permission from Roxette and that all information about the compilation will be announced on Roxette’s website. There we can’t see anything yet, but GS Productions posted on their Russian social media site (vk.com) the final list of metal bands participating in the project and which of them covers which Roxette song. Joyride and Fading Like A Flower seem to be very popular, since these 2 songs appear twice, each covered by 2 different bands.
Metal Priest (Germany) – “Joyride”
The Nameless Cult (Russia) – “Sleeping In My Car”
DEOS (United Kingdom ) – “It Must Have Been Love”
Dominia (Russia ) – “Wish I Could Fly”
Seduced By Suicide (Brazil) – “How Do You Do!”
Nightmare Council (USA) – ”Things Will Never Be The Same”
The Great Crusades (USA) – “Fading Like A Flower”
WOLFHEART (Brazil) – “The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye”
Strigampire (Canada) – “Dangerous”
A Sorrowful Dream (Brazil) – “Spending My Time”
Ole Alexander Myrholt Project (Norway) – “Stars”
Catamenia (Finland) – “Joyride”
Somnent (Italy-USA) – “Crash! Boom! Bang!”
Depressive Mode (Turkey) – “Salvation”
Anfel (Russia) – “Fading Like A Flower”
Arrant Saudade (UK.Chile.France) – “Listen To Your Heart”
Revelation (Belarus) – “So Far Away”
There is a teaser on YouTube that includes the titles of Roxette songs and the above mentioned metal bands next to the hits. However, in this video there are 2 additional bands and tracks vs. what GS Productions posted on their site. The additional 2 songs are Almost Unreal (From Autumn) and Milk and Toast and Honey (Paid Charons Fare).
The release date is set for 1st September 2017. The compilation’s cover design can be done by volunteers as GS Productions states and the best one will be chosen by Roxette. Hm. Let’s see what happens.
Well, it wouldn’t be the first time Roxette songs get metal arrangement. There was that Swedish Hitz Goes Metal project in 2011 where The Look, Listen To Your Heart, Joyride and Sleeping In My Car were covered and 2 years later on Vol. 2 (Japanese release only) there was Dressed For Success. Not sure how often any Roxer listened to these versions though.
Somehow we could sense it wasn’t just a random post by Per yesterday when he shared the whole lot of the podcast series of Gessles nio i topp. Now we can see it was because there is a Christmas edition! Woohoo! Per and Sven sat together and had some Xmas fun their own way. They say they did it because of the very successful first season of Gessles nio i topp. Listen to the podcast HERE!
Per actually dislikes Christmas songs, but even in his career one of the biggest hits started out as a Christmas song. It Must Have Been Love (Christmas For The Broken Hearted) came out in 1987 and it became a gold record in Sweden. But the song became a worldwide hit only after it appeared in the movie Pretty Woman.
Mr. G’s Top9 Xmas songs:
9. Sjömansjul på Hawaii (1945)
8. The Who – Christmas (1969)
7. David Bowie and Bing Crosby – Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy (1982)
6. Wizzard – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday (1973)
5. John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band – Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (1971)
4. Slade – Merry Xmas Everybody (1973)
3. The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale of New York (1987)
2. Joni Mitchell – River (1971)
1. Charles Brown – Please Come Home for Christmas (1960)
The only Swedish Christmas song Per thinks is quite good is Sjömansjul på Hawaii from 1945. The music played on Hawaii guitar is quite cool, he thinks. Next song on Per’s list is The Who’s Christmas. One can find it on the double album, Tommy. Per says he is fascinated by that album and he can still listen to it from A to Z. The 7th best is Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy performed by David Bowie and Bing Crosby. The single became one of Bowie’s best selling in his career. Since Bowie hated Little Drummer Boy, he didn’t want to sing it and this way it was Crosby who sang that part and Bowie sang Peace on Earth which was written and added to the song especially for Bowie and Crosby. Per suggests you watch the video of the TV show. He understands why it became such a classic hit.
Song No. 6 is I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday by Wizzard, one of the best British glam rock bands. Per tells when Gyllene Tider got a contract at EMI in 1979, Lasse Lindbom was the producer and they made a Christmas album, Glitter, Glögg & Rock ‘N’ Roll with various EMI artists. 24:de December was GT’s debut song and Per also wrote Swedish lyrics to the Wizzard song and it became Om Jag Bara Fick En Elgitarr Till Jul performed by Lasse Lindbom Band on the album.
5th fave Christmas song is Happy Xmas (War Is Over) by John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band. Per still has the original single in his collection. The coolest glam rock single according to Mr. G is Merry Xmas Everybody by Slade. Per thinks one of the most known Christmas songs is Fairytale of New York by The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl. Joni Mitchell’s River is magical music. And the No. 1 Christmas song is a fantastic one from 1960, Please Come Home for Christmas from Charles Brown. Even Eagles and Jon Bon Jovi did covers of this song.
It turns out Sven likes Christmas, he thinks it’s wonderful. Per asks if it isn’t sad that Christmas starts already in September nowadays and Sven says yeah it’s strange that Christmas songs start playing when birds are still singing. Per says he thinks Christmas is terrible nowadays, but he remembers it was nice when he got e.g. records for Christmas like Patterns by Ola & the Janglers in 1966. It’s an awesome album, he thinks.
Besides hearing some lovely ho-ho-ho’s, we get to know that the guys continue with their podcast on Swedish Radio in spring 2017. Awesome news!
Santa thought it’s nice to surprise you all with a little retro contest. You surely remember that 25 years ago Roxette was honored by being featured on a Swedish stamp. The “Rock och Pop” theme stamp was released by the Swedish Post on 5th October 1991 in 3.6 million copies (source: a Swedish stamp site).
Per said at the time:
We’re not even dead. We thought it was a joke at first. I know ABBA was a stamp in 1982, but it’s not something that happens every day. It’s nice to have the entire Swedish nation licking your back.
Some months later he said:
That was a kick, of course. It was almost like being knighted, I guess. I have used them a lot. I used to send cassettes to my record company with them. They can’t refuse the music that way.
The stamp was also released in a special booklet featuring Roxette on the cover and including 6 stamps(2 Roxette, 2 Lena Philipsson, 2 Jerry Williams)and 3 postcards(1 Roxette, 1 Lena Philipsson, 1 Jerry Williams).
Now this booklet is what you can win! We have 3 of them to give away! In order to participate, answer the following questions correctly:
What was the face value of the 1991 Roxette stamp? – 2.50 SEK (we also accepted 250)
Which Roxette studio album was released in 1991? – Joyride
Was there any Roxette tour in 1991? – Yes. Join the Joyride! World Tour 1991/92
Send an e-mail with your name, address (so we can send the booklet in case you win) and the correct answers to the questions to firstname.lastname@example.org until 23:59 CET, 21stDecember 2016. The lucky winners will be announced a few days later. Good luck!
Contest terms and conditions:
– In order to participate, you have to send an e-mail to email@example.com with name, address and correct answers to the 3 questions. We will consider all e-mails we receive until 23:59 CET on 21stDecember 2016.
– 3 winners will be picked randomly among those who have participated and sent the correct answers.
– You can only participate once, any attempt to participate twice or more times will lead to your disqualification.
– Prize won’t be paid out in cash. Prize will be sent by registered mail only once.
– Winners will be announced on this website, on our Facebook page and will also be notified per e-mail. You’ll be required to answer the e-mail confirming your address.
– RoxetteBlog.com will not enter into any correspondence regarding the result of the contest and is not liable for any damages, loss or expenses that may result in connection to the prize.
– All submitted data will only be used for the purpose of the contest and in case you are the lucky winner, to send you the prize.
Update on 22nd December 2016: The 3 winners are: Lana Sachse, Yonita Marto and Travis Wilhelm. They were notified via e-mail.