FakusZarate YouTube user has made a compilation of some of the most funniest, craziest, interesting videos recorded by Per Gessle during the tour(s) in a remix called “Soo Christofferrr!”.
Summer hit 2011? Check it out! (and have a great laugh).
Helena Josefsson‘s second album “Kyss mej” was released in February. Almost at the same time, the documentary film “Jag är min egen Dolly Parton” about Dolly Parton, which featured her and other Swedish female artists, was premiered in the cinemas in Sweden.
We wanted to know more about Helena’s career so we interviewed her while she is in South America on tour with Roxette.
Helena: My family on my mother´s side is very musical, my grandfather (now 93 years old, still playing the violin!) played in orchestras, and my grandmother had a record store!
When I was 2,5 years, my mother let me take dancing classes, and from that day, that is my absolute favourite hobby! At the age of 7, I started singing in a girl´s choir, and started playing the piano. But I was no good student there, liked to make my own little songs better! The choir was an amazing experience, an angelic sound that cannot be made with adult voices- even though I try ;o). But it is so fantastic in a choir, every voice is as important, it is like one big body moving towards the same dynamics and expression…
In high school I had my first experience of playing and singing in a band. And I loved it – expressing myself through music – and the stage quickly gave me some space to be whoever I want to be. In college I chose an education with science and music – we sang in a choir. After the first half, my results in school got worse because I knew music was the main issue for me. I remember having five different bands running, and dancing up to five times a week. I remember getting up really early in the mornings, doing my homework, and on the school bus, since I lived in the countryside. I remember my older sister coming into my room, removing the book from my face as I had fallen asleep with it like that!
I have always been very ambitious, almost too much. Sometimes my stomach really hurt from stress, in this period, trying to be great in school even though my passion got all the time I had.
RXB: And how many instruments do you play?
H: The piano and the triangle
RXB: Hey, don’t forget the tambourine! You have released a couple of solo albums but also some with Sandy Mouche. When did you start to compose your own songs?
H: I think it really started around the age of , maybe, 14?
RXB: Can you tell us more about Sandy Mouche? How did you found the band? Are you still playing together?
H: Yes, we are recording our third album now! We have recorded six songs so far, and when we have fifteen, we will choose the best ones and release it.
My husband Martinique, I and Per Blomgren (drummer ) and his girlfriend went on a vacation together in Georgopouli, Greece in 2001. Martinique had written a song, he showed it to us there on the beach bar, it was “A Year”. We loved it! There on that beach, we decided to found a group together, and feeling the sand and the fact that we all had mouches on our left side of the chin, became “Sandy Mouche”.
Per and I had played a lot together in a band called Plastic Soul, and Martinique and Per´s girlfriend Hanna were in the same class.
RXB: Where do you get the inspiration for your songs? And what was the motivation to release first “Dynamo” and now “Kyss mej”?
H: I noticed, on the second Sandy Mouche album, that some of my ideas would be better for a solo project. As a band you have a big quality in being different persons
that really merge together musically, and that is something I want us to use. But I started trying to do other things that were more “produced”, the song “In The Sand” draws in that direction. Then the band identity can become an obstacle instead.
For example, you don’t want a drum kit in the song, but then the drummer can get bored. And what really gives “Sandy Mouche” our sound in the way that “Neons”, “Fairies and Elves” and “Spiderweb Suit” is something only we four can do together.
On the other hand, being a solo artist opens more possibilities, because I don’t have to compromise with anything.
RXB: You have written songs in English, Swedish, even some French. What language do you feel more comfortable with? Do you think language influences the lyrics? Like for example Swedish more personal, English more “fun”?
I was trying to record “Kyss Mej” with my own south-Swedish accent, but the whole voice changes depending on how you hold your mouth, throat and tongue! And in my case the voice got clearer and lighter in “Stockholm”-accent. The voice is such a funny instrument
RXB: And what about your favourite artists, artists who inspire you? What styles do you like?
H: I love Kate Bush, The Cure, Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, The Cardigans, Nick Drake, Nina Simone, Monica Zetterlund, Elis Regina (from Brazil), Astrud Gilberto, The Cranberries and so on…, choir music, birdsong!
But I can get a kick out of hard-rock, like metal, too. The energy in it!
RXB: Even though you worked with Per in his solo projects and went on tour with him a couple of times, you have joined Roxette for the first time now. What is the biggest difference between Gessle’s tour in 2009 – where you performed Roxette songs as well – and this tour? Of course, besides that now Marie is back.
H: The biggest difference must be that we are playing in more parts of the world, and that I am more a backing vocalist now, before I sang more.
RXB: What do you expect of this tour?
H: I expect to get a lot of inspiration, and time for reflections, own thoughts!
RXB: It’s quite a huge tour.. visiting all continents and being around for almost a year. How do you combine it with your family?
H: My husband is amazing!! And the audience pulls me up when I miss my family too much!
RXB: Are there any Rox songs you really like or prefer to play on the tour?
RXB: If I don’t remember wrong, you were studying to become an optician.. is that right? If so, can you tell us about that? It’s quite different to what we know of you so far..
H: Yes, my sister is an optician. The Party Crasher tour was tough because my son was so young, and I was feeding him at night, I got very tired. I thought that maybe I need another job that is easier to plan. But I realized quickly that musician is my right element!
RXB: By reading your lyrics and reading about the “squirrel-action”, I get the impression you are a person who is very connected to nature. Are you vegetarian? What is nature for you?
H: I am selectarian, eat meat sometimes if it is game, but mainly fish! Yes, I love nature, and children too. I hope my music and voice can do good in some way.
RXB: And last but not least, can you tell us a bit more about the Dolly Parton film? Is there more to come?
H: We made a tribute to her, and it was filmed. The photographer decided to follow us for five years, and it became a movie, and yes, a record and concerts will follow!
Helena performing Stars with Roxette in Cordoba, Argentina (April 7th, 2011)
Posted March 11: Malin Ekstrand, whom you have seen singing backing vocals in Roxette’s Summer tour last year, has recorded an EP called “Nära” which is out today on iTunes, Amazon and other digital music stores.
“The music: Open, Warm, Loving, Personal, Happy, Laid Back, Intimate, Elaborated, Playful, Soft, Ingenious.
I am just like anybody with thoughts and ideas, right and wrong. The difference is that I write it down, using music. My life, so far, has been very exciting and I have had many positive surprises.
In addition to my lovely man and my two wonderful children I also enjoy having music as a close friend. Music has always followed me, but in different shapes and genres: pop, rock, funk, soul, jazz, musicals and that mixture of everything that is a genre of its own. All of it has enriched my life and helped me develop. I have been given the opportunity to explore music as a pianist, a solo artist, a choir singer, a teacher, a creator and as a listener. The music in my life changes, as do my goals and myself. My next goal is to always believe in myself.
A good friend said: If a song has come to you it is selfish not to pass it on. These five songs have come to me, you can have them.
Update March 30: Malin’s team now offers an additonal purchase possibility:
For those of you living in parts of the world where iTunes or other download services can’t deliver Malin’s EP “Nära” to you – here is finally a store that we set up especially for you!
“On Air” is the first single out of Christoffer Lundquist’s first solo album “Through The Window” (release date: May 4th) and can be already bought online on a Finnish website Meteli.net (store not known to us..).
If you have Spotify and are in Sweden, check it out here!
Update March 28th: Here are some promo pictures of Christoffer and the album cover in better quality!
As previously reported, Christoffer Lundquist is going to release a solo album in the following months. Warner Music Sweden AB has sent out a press release today with some information about the album:
– Album release is set for May 4th – two days after Christoffer is going to receive the “Sir George Martin Music Award” in Palladium, Malmö.
– Title: “Through The Window”.
02. On Air
03. The Raging Hands Of Time
04. Tiny Penelope
05. Full Moon
06. By A Garden Wall
07. A Clearing In The Forest
08. Cloudberry Way
09. Through The Window
10. Everybody Prop.8 Breakdown
11. Everything About This Life Is Garbe D In Mystery
12. Early Morning Street
13. Not A No-no
15. Angel Blue
– Cover: seems to be taken from/in the studio.. with some wild animals and plants in addition
– It has taken Christoffer 12 years to finish the album, which might not be surprising given that Christoffer’s studio Aerosol Grey Machine has always been taken by other artists. So the only hours the studio was free and he could work on the album were between 4 and 6 in the morning. And Christoffer needed some sleep as well.
– Christoffer has recorded, mastered and mixed the album himself. He also plays all instruments, except for the drums.
And about the award:
George Martin about the award and Christoffer: “When I was his age I was in the middle of producing Sgt. Pepper for The Beatles but nobody took any notice of me until much later. I wish to cheer him with his success and wish him well for his future!”
Here is once again the promotion medley uploaded by Warner.
Christoffer released an EP called “Major & Minor Songs” which contained 4 tracks in 2005. You can read a review by Tomasz here.
You can listen to some snippets of Christoffer Lundquist’s new album on youtube.
Christoffer informed on Facebook that the album will be out on April 28th. The backing vocals in the album are done by Hanna Ekström.
it will be released on the 28th of april I think. Someone asked who was on backing vocals: Her name is Hanna Ekström, she’s from a small village close to my home. And her father is the schoolteacher of my oldest daughter! She’s on …facebook:http://www.facebook.com/hanna.ekstrom1
Thanks you everyone for the kind comments!
One of our readers sent us a link to an interview with Magnus Börjeson which was broadcasted on Nordic Rox (program on US radio station SIRIUS XM) some days ago.
In this nice interview Magnus talks about his career and some of his music productions and projects are played as well:
And much more! Enjoy!
Helena Josefsson (currently on tour with Roxette, backing vocals) is taking a break in the tour and won’t be in the next two concerts (Ukraine and Belarus). The reason for that is that she is attending the premiere of a documentary film about Dolly Parton she is in.
The documentary, directed by Jessica Nettelbladts, is called “Jag är min egen Dolly Parton”, which Helena co-starrs with Nina Persson, Cecilia Nordlund and Lotta Wenglén, as well as music producer Gudrun Hauksdottir. The film is about the friendship and dreams of these five women, about women being in the middle of a career and longing for cihldren. And, of course, about Dolly Parton as a role model.
The “VIP” film premiere took place yesterday in Stockholm. The official premiere is on March 11th in Folketsbio cinemas in Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö and many other cities across Sweden.
Our reader Erik Johansson attended the premiere yesterday and comments “the film is in Swedish with no subtitles, so a lot of you will not understand that much, but there is really a lot of feelings going on.. and there were many times when tears came through”. He absolutely recommends the film.
Update March 12th: The four ladies performed one of the songs from the documentary live at SVT’s Skavlan yesterday. You can see the performance here.
Christoffer Lundquist is the first winner of Sir George Martin Music Award. In the jury’s statement we read: “With burning ambition to musical perfection Christoffer Lundquist transformed Vollsjö to a Scanian Abbey Road!”
Christoffer Lundquist is producer, musician and composer and he has produced over 100 albums for the Swedish and international artists. He has also been a member of Brainpool and also toured with Per Gessle and Roxette for the last 10 years.
Sir George Martin Music Award was set up one year ago in connection with the Beatles former producer’s visit in the southern Sweden to receive a honorary doctorate from Musikhögskolan in Malmö.
The prize is 100,000 SEK and will be handed at the official gala at Malmö’s Palladium on May 2nd, 2011.
It has been an exciting journey to write this album. The first time in Swedish and the first time I made music in the computer. A new world has opened for me! Suddenly, I can show you more of what I hear inside my head without being limited by my piano playing. I dared to try everything possible.
The album is also about being a mother and how everything around you is changing then.
Since I’ve become a mother feels as if everything has started all over again. It is as if I was born to a new world. Now our new life has started and we have to learn everything once again. Can you love someone too much? How to become a family? And when should we catch up with everything? My little boy makes me so very happy every day!
A new single “Nån Annanstans, Nån Annan Gång” is being played on Swedish P4 radio. You can also here this song here.
Source: EMI Music Sweden
The first single from Helena’s second album is “Nån annanstans nån annan gång” which in English goes for “Another place another time”. The single is a digital release and you can listen to it here on the site a little further down to your left. Play it, download it, have fun! The song will be available very soon for digital download and when it is the “buy it” button will take you to the right place.
Kirsten and Judith met Magnus Börjeson a few hours before the concert in Halmstad to talk about his career as musician and how he sees Roxette at the moment. We picked him up at the station and sat down at the station café to chat. It was actually us who wanted to know more about him, but he started asking about us:
Magnus: So where are you from? Germany?
Judith: I come from Spain, live in Austria.
M: So when you are not Roxette fans, what are you doing for a living?
J: I work as project manager in a bank.
M: And you?
K: I am a journalist.
M: For a newspaper..?
K: Yes, for a local newspaper, sports mainly.
M: Where is that?
K: North of Frankfurt.
J: What are you doing, when you don’t work with Roxette or Per?
M: I do music, that’s all I do. Haha! In different shapes and kinds, I do a lot of music for films and TV commercials, that’s what I’ve done the last couple of years.
J: Could you explain us how did you get into music?
M: I started playing when I was a kid with my neighbour, we played in his basement. Then I had a band at school. I had a lot of bands, I had a band called Beagle in the early 90ies, we had two albums out, that’s the first time we really had a record deal.
K: I saw the videos from that time, they are funny.
M: Yeah, we did a lot of videos. It was the age of the video. And yes, they were fun. I had a lot of hair then.
K: It looks better now anyway.
M: haha, thank you! I think so too. That was like my first real major thing. We signed with Polar, which was ABBA’s record company. We were at ABBA’s manager’s to sign the deal, everything was very intense. It was really fun for a couple of years. Then it wasn’t fun anymore, so we quit.
K: Can you really make a living from music?
M: yes, I do. I’ve done since then. It’s a lot of work; I’m into a lot of things. But I cannot imagine doing anything else, I have always wanted to do this since I started playing, so I couldn’t think of anything else to do. That would be horrible.
J: How many instruments do you play?
M: I play bass and guitar, and some keyboards. I started playing drums when I was a kid, that was my first instrument.
J: So you mentioned you don’t do anything else but music, meaning you also compose your own stuff?
M: yes, that’s what I do when I am not touring or doing something with other artists. I compose a lot of music for films.
J: Do you prefer to play live or studio?
M: Well, both. I love to play live, I think it’s funny, you can show off a bit, be a rock musician, haha! But I work a lot in the studio as well, I have my own little studio at home, so I work there every day and I enjoy that immensely too.
K: You mentioned music for films, can you tell us about this film you presented in Cannes?
M: We’ve been working long on this project. We first made a short film, which you can find on YouTube. It was about six drummers breaking into an apartment and starting to play songs. We did that in 2000, with a couple of friends of mine who made short movies at that time. And then a French production company suggested we should make a feature film about this. So we started about four years ago and we just finished before Cannes, where we presented it. It’s called “Music for one apartment and six drummers” and it’s going to have its premiere in Sweden and France this December.
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