Marie interviewed on P4 Premiär

Swedish Radio programme P4 Premiär interviewed Marie during the presentation of her single in Stockholm last Tuesday.

Here is a transcript of the interview. We tried our best (Jud with a little help from Patrícia), just drop us a line if you would write things differently.

P4: How would you describe the artist Marie Fredriksson in year 2013?
Marie: Yeah… relatively fun artist. I have been working on this album for a loooong time…

P4: For how long?
M: well.. about 6 years. But I’ve been busy with Roxette for more than 2 years. I am so happy that the album is finally ready and with the single “Kom vila hos mig”, written by my husband.

P4: It’s a very nice song, but also a bit sad or a bit melancolic. Can you tell us what is it about for those who haven’t heard it yet?
M: What one feels inside.

P4: What is it about for you?
M: For me it’s about strength. It has given me a lot of strenght. When you think what I have gone through, I am very very happy about this song, it means a lot to me.

P4: After all you’ve gone through and now that you are healthy again, do you think it’s shocking to talk about cancer?
M: Yes, very much. It’s sad to talk about it again and again. I am now fine and healthy again for a looong time so let’s talk about other stuff.

P4: But what came out of this? what has changed?
M: Mainly, I got a stronger voice. I had a great voice before, but now it’s heavier. I am happy about that.

P4: Why do you think your voice changed?
M: Well, I don’t know. Probably age and of course what I’ve gone through. But why talk about that, it’s so long ago. I feel very well now.

P4: I gotta say that you are shining. One reads that people who have gone through such hard times are stronger. Do you think people realise what life is about after such experiences?
M: Yes, I think so.

P4: And your album is called “Nu!”. Are you good at living the present?
M: Oh yes, I am damn good at that haha! I love to live in the present, it feels very strong to live the present, it feels very powerful, it’s the best there is.

P4: Do you remember when you started back in the 80ies, how was Marie back then?
M: The first song that was  a success was “Ännu doftar kärlek”. I wrote it together with Lasse Lindbom. We were so lucky and we had so much fun. It was great to get that much success with the song.

P4: Was it your dream since you were a kid to sing on stage, become a singer?
M: Yes! I used to wake up the whole family in the morning singing kind of arias, aaaahhh aaaaaah. I woke up all my family with that, everybody was like “cmon, shut up now”. But I went on, singing a bit lower. I was crazy to sing.

P4: And when did you find out that you had such a strong voice?
M: I guess when I sang at choirs and with my sibilings. I used to sing so strong. We were 5 of us, my brother was the oldest and then 4 girls. But too bad one of my sisters died in a car accident, I was 4 years old, that was horrible. But one doesn’t really realise when one is so small.

P4: So now that you will release a new album and you will go on tour next year, how does it feel, how do you plan it?
M: Yes! it will be sooo much fun! I really look forward to it and to start rehearsing.

P4: You have never been a primadonna and there was never a huge circus around you, you are very down to earth…is that right?
M: Ah.. I don’t know, it’s just the way I am. I can’t be any other way. Of course, we were very big when we did all those world tours with Roxette and we got the 4 number 1 in the USA, it was great.

P4: You’ve been famous since the 80ies with “Ännu doftar kärlek”. Was it hard when you were sick? People wanting to know how you feel, etc?
M: No… , well, of course it was hard, but now I am fine, so I am very thankful for every day. I see life in a totally new way nowadays.

P4: And how is it going with painting?
M: Oh! I haven’t had much time lately! I love it, I already did 3 exhibitions, but I like to do different things. I have to be creative with music, art…

P4: What do you do when you are not creative? Is there anything you do that is not creative?
M: Well.. I write texts sometimes, always did so. But I have to have something to do. Even though I also think it’s important to take it easy, maybe look at birds outside or something, do something outside the house, but it has to be warm, not too cold, haha!

P4: If you had to choose the absolute Marie Fredriksson song of all timesy, which one would it be?
M: Sparvöga, it means so much for me. Lasse and I wrote a lot of songs together, but this one I wrote myself. I got this offer to write this song for this TV series called “Sparvöga”, it was inspiring. And I got a lot of self-confidence because it was a success. And then comes “Tro”.

P4: What is your driving force?
M: My family, they mean everything to me. Without them I probably wouldn’t sit here today.

 

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Sven Lindström: “I thought the Roxette story deserved to be told”

I met Sven Lindström, the author of “Att vara Per Gessle” and the new book “Roxette – Den osannolika resan tur och retur” in Stockholm just right before the release party of the book. Sven told me about himself and especially about the making off the book. Enjoy the interview!  

JSven_L_Roxette_DORTOR_coverudith: To start with, could you tell us about you, how you started to write about music and what you’ve done so far?
Sven: I started as music journalist in Malmö for Sydsvenska Dagbladet, which is the biggest morning paper in the area. I became a music journalist back in 1983 and one of the first guys I interviewed was actually Per Gessle. We connected; I thought he was a fun guy. It was when Gyllene Tider were having a break due to military service and he was about to release his first solo album and he was starting a new chapter in his career.

Some years later I quit writing about music, I got fed up with doing nothing but reviewing concerts or albums, I wanted to keep this more as a hobby, so I went into advertising. I’ve been working as a copywriter since the end of the 80’s.

Some years later, Per called me up and wanted me to make an interview with Marie and him to be used as a press release for the Joyride album, so I met them in Per’s apartment in Halmstad in December 1990 and wrote the piece which was then given a magazine look where we tried to emulate the feeling of Rolling Stone interview.

And since then I’ve been working doing a lot of press releases, biographies, CD booklets, tour programs for Roxette and GT. So basically I am a music writer that tried to quit but didn’t really manage to. And I’ve published three books so far.

J: One of them is another Rox-related book, “Att vara Per Gessle”. How did that happen?
S: The idea came up at the after-show party at the last concert of the Room Service tour in Göteborg, it was Per who suggested that at 5:30 in the morning when most people had gone to sleep and the others who were still around were not terribly sober. He said, “You know, one day somebody will write about the Roxette story, why don’t you do it?”

I heard myself say “Yes, of course,” I didn’t realize what I had just said yes to, haha! So afterwards we decided to make a biography on his career and life, we wanted to do it very candid open and very interview based. But it took forever to do it because I worked with other stuff as well, so it was released in 2007 in the end.

J: And what can you tell about the third book “Han sitter där nere mellan Clapton och Hendrix – Jan Olofssons galna tripp genom pophistorien”?
S: It’s about a photographer from Malmö, Jan Olofsson. It’s a very funny story, a bit like Forrest Gump in the pop world of the 60’s. He met The Beatles in Hamburg in 1960, when he was just 16 and The Beatles had just arrived from Liverpool. And then he went to London and stayed there, working as a manager, photographer, record label boss, producer, club owner etc. Whenever something amazing happened, he happened to be there. It would make a great movie.

J: You are also the voice behind Nordic Rox. When did you join this radio program?
S: Nordic Rox started in 2006. There were quite a lot of people involved, like Pelle Almqvist of The Hives, Per and the ABBA expert Carl Johan Palm. I am not sure what happened before I joined, but around the time when “Att vara Per Gessle” came out at the end of December 2007, Per asked me if I was interested in taking over as the show’s host together with him, but that he would be more of the flagship of the show, and I would do the work, haha! So that’s how it started for me.

J: But you don’t travel to the US every time for the show, or?svens
S: No, I do it from Malmö. My kids have found me in the closet sometimes because it’s good acoustics there, so when you hear the “Hello, you are listening to Nordic Rox – good looking music” you now know where it was recorded, haha! I still do it from home, recording voice breaks with the regular Mac stuff like GarageBand and doing playlists of songs in iTunes. Then I send it to the Sirius XM headquarters in New York where they produce it into a proper show. I still haven’t really understood that it’s aired in USA, it’s amazing. A friend of mine who was once somewhere in California, was at a hotel with a few business people and he heard the program on the radio and called me “I am sitting here at a restaurant and they are playing something called Nordic Rox, is that you??” haha! So you see, it’s a small world.

J: But it’s great that you are able to spread Nordic music in the states, what is your favourite Nordic band right now?
S: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour from Denmark, I listen to them a lot lately. But there is a lot of good music coming from the Nordic countries, so I think Nordic Rox is a good call.

J: You explained how “Att vara Per Gessle” happened, but how did you get the idea to write this book about Roxette?
S: The original idea was to make something out of the tour, but that idea changed in-between. I realized that the only book that had been written purely about Roxette came out in 1992, I think. So much has happened since then, everything that happened before the 2011 tour, and then how it progressed into 2012, I thought this had to be recorded and told. Of course, fans know about this and are totally involved, but the majority of people didn’t know the whole story. Some knew parts of it of course, but they didn’t really know the details of the struggle that went on, so I thought the story deserved to be told.

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Marie Fredriksson about upcoming solo album: “You can expect a typical Marie Fredriksson style”

There have been some rumours going on about a new Marie solo album the past months and specially since the recording of “Tack för musiken” last week. I had the chance to ask Marie a couple questions about the album and other topics:

RXB: First of all, how was your summer? You did some appearances like with GT at Ullevi or at Madeleine’s wedding or now the recording of “Tack för musiken”…
Marie Fredriksson:
My summer was relaxing and sunny. And GT was a great evening! Sweden and GT at its best. Madeleine asked and it was lovely to play at her wedding. I think “Tack för musiken” is a great TV show and Niklas is a great host and a good ol’ friend of mine. I was very surprised and happy to see all of you in the front rows!

RXB: There have been rumours for a long time about a solo album, what can you tell us about it?
Marie: You can expect a typical Marie Fredriksson style. The album is in Swedish.

RXB: When did you start working on it and with whom did you record the album?
Marie: I started a long time ago but a world tour came in-between. The album is produced by Micke [Bolyos] and Christoffer Lundquist. We had Mr. Pelle Alsing on drums on a couple of tracks. Jens Jansson and Christer Jansson played drums too. Then Christoffer Lundquist played bass and guitar, so did Staffan Astner and Jokke Pettersson. Ola Gustavsson [who was at “Tack för musiken” as well] played guitar and pedal string. Micke played keyboards and did some programming together with Christoffer.

RXB: and who wrote the songs?
Marie: I wrote one song, Per [Gessle] wrote one song too and the rest are written by Micke, mostly together with different lyricists.

RXB: There were also rumours about a solo tour… so we are wondering if and when?
Marie: Definitely not during 2013. Maybe 2014, but nothing is decided yet, so I cannot tell you more at this stage. But I love to tour, it’s the best I know!

RXB: What are you doing nowadays when you are not busy with music?
Marie: I am painting, relaxing and having fun. I love to be close to my family.

We are very much looking forward to the album (and tour)!!

Interview with Micke N-S – ”I decided to play the drums after meeting Pelle Alsing”

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Mikael Nogueira Svensson is the most well-known member of the crew among fans. Many people know him as Micke N-S, the guy behind the iPhone, taking the panorama pics we can see on Roxette Official and on Gyllene Tider’s Facebook site. We know his face and sometimes fans are chatting with him at the venues, but still, we don’t know too much about Micke, just that he is doing a fantastic job as backline technician.

He took his time between Gyllene Tider’s Örnsköldsvik show and 2nd Halmstad gig and was happy to share some more information about himself & his work and told us some interesting and funny stories, too.

 

 

PP: – On a Swedish drum workshop website I read this: ”Workshop leader is Mikael Nogueira Svensson, one of the most experienced and hired drum technicians in Sweden.” When did you start your work as a drum / guitar technician? What came first: drums or guitars?

MNS: – I started around 1997 with some local acts in the middle of Sweden, Dalarna. First it was only drums. The guitar bit of it came in the picture in around 2002, when I ran a rental company in Stockholm and had to go on tour with a band and also help the guitar player. And basically, it’s more common in Sweden that the techs help the guitar player more than the drummer.

PP: – Do you like working with drums or guitars more? Or does it depend on the person whom you are working with?

MNS: – It’s totally up to the artist I work for, so it doesn’t matter at all if it’s drums or guitars. But I toured with Prince between Roxette tour legs, which was more of a challenge, because then I did keyboards and piano for him.

PP: – Even keyboards and piano. Great! By the way, have you ever been studying music? Or you just learned to play the instruments by yourself?

MNS: – I’ve been studying at Stockholm Conservatory of Music for 3 years. But the fun part of it is that I decided to play the drums when I was a child, after meeting Pelle Alsing backstage in Gävle on the Joyride tour. And now I work for them.

PP: – Really? That sounds cool! What was Pelle’s reaction, when you told him you decided to play the drums because of him?

MNS: – Can’t remember. Nothing special I guess.

PP: – Oj, Pelle… Any other instruments you play besides the drums and guitar?

MNS: – I can only play the drums, can’t play the guitar. I only know a few chords. But I guess I can set up a guitar better than most of the guitar players out there…

PP: – You’re kidding! I thought it’s evident that you can play the guitar. Hats off then! Besides Roxette and Per Gessle you worked together with many other artists on tour (e.g. Peter Jöback, Carola) or played the drums for (e.g. Rod Stewart and the producer of U2). Who is the one whom you enjoyed to work together with the most?

MNS: – First, I didn’t play the drums for Peter or Carola. I was a tech for them. I played the bass on a singback performance with Peter Jöback once at the Swedish football gala. I kind of like to work with artists who are very aware of everything. It’s a give and take. I like to make it nice for them and they appreciate it. If it’s an artist who doesn’t care about anything, I don’t like it. You get no positive feedback then.

05_Micke_N-SPP: – You are now on tour with Gyllene Tider. How different is it to work with them vs. Roxette?

MNS: – There’s no difference, except that I sleep at home from Sunday till Tuesday. We are the same crew and everything is the same.

PP: -Who is the easiest to work with in GT?

MNS: – I would say it’s equal. Everyone demands a certain kind of professionalism and everyone is just as kind as the other. But I’ve known Micke Syd for the longest time, so he is kind of the same ”father” figure for me as Pelle Alsing.

PP: – You are taking care of Per Gessle’s guitars, Micke Syd’s drums and also Anders Herrlin’s bass guitars, as well as many other things before, during and after the GT concerts. Which is the toughest part of your job now and what do you like the most?

MNS: – I wouldn’t say that I take care of many other things than Per, Micke and Anders. Actually, I only take care of them (their gear). And if you think that something is not connected to them, it is. No one would think about it, but it’s kind of boring to change strings every day.

02_Micke_N-SPP: – Every day??? That must be boring indeed. When do you have to be at the venue on a concert day? What’s the daily routine? What are the first tasks and what is the last thing you do after a gig ends?

MNS: – I’m the last to arrive, at around 11 am. The stage is built the day before by the second unit crew. The riggers and light crew set up everything from 8 am on a concert day. Then I start building the drums, which takes about 1 hour including tuning, head change and miking the drums. After that I set up Per’s VOX rig and Fender amps of Anders. Then it’s lunch. After lunch I set up my tech world [see photo] and connect everything to the sound desk. Around 2 pm we do line check with the crew. Then we remove all the things in front of our risers, so Linnea and her band can set up.

 

 

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PP: – You do soundchecks in the early afternoon with or without the band, but you are also checking the sounds before the concert starts. Were there any difficulties during this tour that you had to solve very quickly before a concert started to make everything work in the end? Or all is going smoothly during these soundchecks?

MNS: – There was no problem so far. Knock on wood.

PP: – I remember there was a moment in Karlstad, when Per looked at you and showed he has problems with his guitar. They were just coming back to the stage for the 2nd extra with Sommartider. You had to come up the stage and change the guitar settings from silent mode to normal, while Per was playing the guitar. It was hilarious. Are you and Micke Syd teasing him a lot with this since then? (At least in Örebro I saw you and Micke Syd were teasing him and showing the guitar was then set to normal mode.)

MNS: – Hahaha! Shit happens to everyone. And actually Syd is not talking about the guitar, he is just teasing me, because Per makes fun of me holding the guitars for so long. He’s fooling me and decides to wipe his face once again and have another drink. So I have to stand there and look like a fool. Sometimes I walk back before he can take the new guitar.

PP: – Now that’s too funny. Anyway, which is your personal favourite among Per’s actual guitars – Cherry Gibson, Blonde Gibson, Black Gibson or the Black Acoustic – and why?

MNS: – I like the Black Gibson, because it’s the easiest to work with. But I bought the Blonde for Per during the Roxette tour and that one has grown in my mind and feelings. (Also in Per’s, I guess, since it’s used for more songs now.)

04_Micke_N-SPP: – Between the support act, Linnea Henriksson and the GT gig we see you on stage with a red plec saying ”Tänk att få sätta på” (part of the lyrics of Flickorna på TV2). Lookin’ good. Is it your personal plec? Is it an own design?

MNS: – It’s my personal tuning pick. It’s one gauge thicker than what Per plays with. It’s more comfortable and more accurate to tune with. I have had own tuning picks since Roxette started the tour. Purple ones.

PP: – We know that for the Roxette tour you had many ideas regarding plecs and Pelle’s drumkit with the star was absolutely your idea. How much have you been involved in designing this year’s plec collection and drumkit?

MNS: – I have designed all of them. Per gave me a few lines he wanted to see on them and I did the rest. The drumkit setup is designed by me. The front head design is Gyllene Tider’s official tour shield, not my design, but I made a few changes to it. It’s 3D, if you look closely at it. Peter, who printed and helped out with the Roxette drumkit, also did the graphic work and printing for this and the Leif on the small kickdrum.

PP: – Talking about ideas, we could see one of your greatest in the Roxette live concert film, namely the small cam on Per’s guitar. Awesome camera angle. Can we expect anything like this in the coming GT live film?

MNS: – No, but I pitched the idea for the show designer to add the GoPro wide angle cameras in the production inside the drumkit. But that is shown every night, so it’s nothing new.

PP: – Back to your past. Have you ever played in any band? Are there any plans that you want to leave backstage and come into the spotlight one day or it’s not your cup of tea at all?

MNS: – I was playing in a band during my years at the Conservatory of Music. We did a reunion in 2009 and played for 2 weeks in St. Anton ski resort. But there are no other plans and it’s nothing I want to do.

PP: – Do you already know what’s next, whose backline are you going to be after the tour ends? Or do you take a good rest and have some free weeks?

MNS: – I do all the pre-work for the Swedish / Norwegian talk show, Skavlan at our national TV station (SVT). I take care of the acts playing there when it comes to all backline work and logistics. It can be any artist: Foo Fighters, Take That, Alicia Keys or a local act. Funny thing is that Sinéad O’Connor asked me if I could get her a guitar for her performance. The only one who I knew he had a guitar Sinéad wanted was Per. So I called him and borrowed his guitar for that show. He told me to say hello to her, since earlier they met in another TV show (where she ripped a photo of the Pope).

You can watch Sinéad O’Connor’s performance in Skavlan show here. She was playing Per’s Gibson Les Paul Jr. /PP/

PP: – One last question came into my mind when I looked at your cover picture on Facebook – Bruce Springsteen throwing the guitar to his technician. Cool one! Who is the artist you would love to work with if you had one wish and why?

MNS: – Foo Fighters, because it’s good music and they are nice guys.

PP: – Fingers crossed for you to work with Foo Fighters then. Thank you for your time and for the fun stories. See you on a next Gessle-related tour!

MNS: – Thank you for coming to the shows. We are nothing without you. And who knows. There might be something in the future, or not…

 

Pics with PP watermark are © Patrícia Peres, pic w/o PP is © Mikael Nogueira Svensson

 

Interview with Micke Syd: “It’s the way we deliver the songs and the communication with you that create this good vibe, I think it’s very unique.”

We met Micke Syd in a café in Södermalm, one of the nicest districts of Stockholm, the Monday after the Stockholm concert. The weather wasn’t as nice as the previous days, but still allowed us to sit outside for “fika”, the Swedish word for “drinking coffee”. After a bit of chit-chat about our stay in Stockholm, travelling here and there to go to concerts and how Micke Syd is feeling today (“better today, yesterday I was totally KO!” he told us) we started with our interview.

Judith: So let’s start with some background. How did you get into music and when did you start playing drums?
Micke: I think I’ve always wanted to play drums. I remember when I was 5 or 6 and my parents had parties at home and played music and danced, I had a metallic ashtray and I played with knitting needles on it, just for myself, following the rhythm of the music. I don’t know why! (says with a smile). Then I got a drum kit for Christmas when I was 12 or 13, so I learnt to play myself. When I was in 9th grade I had some music lessons for some months but I learnt the rest myself. Then I started to play with Anders and a friend named Martin and the rest you know.

J: and did you have any favourite drummer or inspiration?Micke Syd 2
M: I think I had when I was younger; I always liked all those good drummers who had a personal sound when they play. A beat is a beat, but there must be that special something.
The thing is, you can be technically very good and fast but that doesn’t mean that it’s good.  So, of course, Ringo Starr or Charlie Watts were some of my inspirations. When you hear them play, just one beat, you know it’s them playing, it’s their personality coming through the drum sticks.

J: I think there are just a few drummers you can put in that category, I just got into Bruce Springsteen lately. I sometimes like to concentrate on an instrument when listening to an album, mostly it’s the drums or guitar. So I am amazed the way Max Weinberg plays.
M: Max Weinberg is fantastic. The feeling you get from him is very strong and precise. Love it.

J: It reminds me in a way you play, very much defined strong beats, very fast and catchy as well. And that’s one of the things I love about Gyllene Tider. You hear the difference if you are not playing the drums. You have a very much defined strong beat and you totally miss it when somebody else plays GT songs.
M: Thank you! I think this is the biggest thing with us in Gyllene, we have a totally own sound. All the 5 of us need to be there for this special thing to happen. And the fact that you hear when it’s me playing is the key. It comes with age, I know that I am never gonna be playing faster than *beep*, but I know that I can play ME.  Like MP plays himself, or Anders and Göran and Per. And that is the formula that makes us so special. It’s important to know who I am when I play. And what happens with me and the others in the band. And this is the kind of drummers I like and what I like to hear in other bands too. I am rather old now so I don’t listen to songs that way anymore, but sometimes you just have to. Like for instance, Paul McCartney’s drummer – have you seen him live?

J: Yes, just a month ago!
M: that is great to hear. Did you notice the drummer? Abe Laboriel Jr. His father is a legendary bass player; you can check him on Youtube. Abe Jr. is a huge guy, he also sings and has a very soulful voice and he plays fantastic drums. We could do the same beat on the same drums and it would sound totally different. Just because of the way we do this. And that’s all about music. Find who you are and play the best you can.

J: How did you create the drum parts for the new songs? I understood that Per sent you the demos, which are basically guitar and some keyboard, and that’s all. Was it on the fly in the studio or did you prepare yourself?
M: that’s one thing that was so magical about “Dags att tänka på refrängen” and the difference to when we did “Finn fem fel”. Per had written like he always does, on guitar and him singing, maybe some rhythm pattern or keyboard. He sent the songs bit by bit in spring I think, and I decided for myself to just listen to the songs once this. Sometimes when you listen to them more often, you listen to the chords, you may think ‘I have heard it before’, and you get a wrong input or idea about the song. Then you also start to think how you will play things. So I just listened to them once and left them. I think that one of the best things with us is that when we are together things just happen, we just do it. Of course, I have my box of fills and my beats and rhythm, you will probably hear the same or similar on more than one song. But it’s my way of doing it. So this time we just played.

J: And it worked out amazingly, because the album is great and you really seemed to have fun, some songs sound even like having been recorded live.
M: I think one of the good things was that we started out with “Det blir aldrig som man tänkt sej” because it’s a very powerful song and because we had already played it 32 years ago, but we still remembered it. Now when we rehearsed we even did songs from the EP “M”, like “M” which we never played back then, so we just said ‘let’s see if we can play it’ and we could. So songs are somewhere here in the brain, and when we get together it all comes back.

J: So what happened after “Det blir aldrig…”
M: We recorded this song in two or three takes and that was the beginning of the creative thing going. The first day we did a lot of takes, everything went so fast we didn’t even have time to think and I think that was the good thing, we simply played.

And many times what we played then became the arrangements, so you could say that we did the arrangements for the songs in real-time. And when you do that, often the stuff that comes out is amazing and the way it should be.

And for me this is very important too, I have to keep the tempo, I have to know what is happening to put the beats and the fills so it melts with the rest, so I like when it’s flowing, it shouldn’t stop, it should be like a dance. The parts between the verse and the chorus should be together with some nice … something. So when we do it like this, that fast, it just happens, this is nothing you can talk about. And it’s so special to be in a band where we have such a communication that is not verbal, it’s totally something else.

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Motivation is what drives Per Gessle

Hallandsposten made a long and interesting interview with Per in the garden of his house in Sandhamn. From the interview it turns out that Halmstad is the place where Per can get energy. He also mentions that Åsa is the best wife in the world and Gabriel is as interested in computer games as he was in The Beatles and all other music at the same age as now Gabriel is.

According to the article, first it was the answering machine, then the tape recorder and mini-disc, but today Per Gessle‘s most important “instrument” to record and collect his ideas is his iPhone. Later he is saving all his files to computer, too. Per’s mobile is full of cryptic names of draft files that later might become hits. The working name of e.g. Singel was ”Apelsin” (= Orange – this word appears in the lyrics). Talking about hits, there are more than 1000 Gessle songs registered at Stim (International Music Agency of Swedish Composers).

As Per says to Hallandsposten, in terms of percentage, the lyrics take much more time to write than music. It’s often verses, quotes or events he’s picking. For example, ”Tiden är en dåre med banjo” (= Time is a fool with a banjo) is a Charles Bukowski quote.

Regarding ”Anders och Mickes första band” Per says:

It was my way of showing that we are five in Gyllene Tider, not just me.

 

Of course, we all know Per likes playing with words, he’s creating awesome rhymes. He says to Hallandsposten that ”Det blir aldrig som man tänkt sej” is about disappointment and with the rhymes ”Du kunde knappast knäppa knappar och knyta knutar på en och samma gång – du stod på fyllan bakom hyllan som en Bob Dylan väntande på varm buljong” he could express exactly what he wanted.

Hallandsposten writes it was 37 years ago when Per got his first ever fan mail – from Katarina. He remembers the letter clearly and says if he writes a song he thinks is good and then anyone else likes it too, he’s proud. He says he always wanted to succeed with his art, so today he feels that there is nothing left to prove. Therefore, being No. 1 on the charts or commercial success are not that important anymore.

To Hallandsposten’s question regarding what is driving Per, he replied:

Motivation. If I would lose it, no more melodies or chords would come to my mind. I wouldn’t be so open to ideas and wouldn’t take down what is out there.

 

Hallandsposten also asked how Mr. G can manage all the things he is doing at the same time: music, hotel, wine and even handling several social media sites. Per says:

If it wasn’t me doing it, then someone else would. And then I still should check it. So why not doing it myself? After all, it’s fun.

 

 

Per Gessle_Hallandsposten_photo_by_Jari_Valitalo

 

Original article © Hallandsposten; GT photo © Jari Välitalo

Celestte Williams contributed to the article.

 

Gyllene Tider’s Parkliv today

SVT1 broadcasted a 55-minute-long Gyllene Tider nostalgia trip at 22:00 CET on 6th June. The documentary – Gyllene Tider’s Parkliv today – was teased as you can watch Parkliv (1981) ”together” with the guys and it indeed felt like watching the old docu together with them. They were sitting in a studio and while they were chatting with each other and with Annika Jankell, Parkliv was on in the background. They were watching it on a screen in the studio and it also appeared in the corner of the TV to make it possible for all viewers watching it at the same time. Unfortunately, the documentary is only available in Sweden. Click here for watching it.

 

GT_Parkliv_idag_01_

 

The whole docu is very cosy. Everyone is chatting, drinking water or wine, eating crackers and laughing a lot. The guys are joking with each other about how they looked like back in 1981, how Per was singing, how Micke Syd was playing the drums, etc. They are humming some tunes and playing air guitar and air drums while watching Parkliv. The make-up girl comes in every now and then and is adjusting make-ups (not only Per’s).

 

GT_Parkliv_idag_02

 

The guys are telling anecdotes like the story of Per saying the phone number of Micke Syd’s mother’s hair salon in Parkliv (where there is a long beep), but girls read Per’s lips, so they were calling the saloon all the time and drove Micke Syd’s mother crazy with that.

Looking at the 1981 crowd Micke Syd is inviting you, guys and girls, who can see yourselves in Parkliv to post them a photo on Gyllene Tider’s Facebook site.

Annika is also trying to make a comparison between the girls falling for Gyllene Tider and the ones falling for e.g. One Direction or Justin Bieber. Interesting topic, but c’mon! Where will these latter boys be in 30 years…? 😉

 

GT_Parkliv_idag_03

 

© All screenshots are from the documentary

“Gyllene Tider’s Parkliv today” is broadcasted again at 13:55 CET and 01:05 CET, 9th June on SVT1.

 

Thanx for the cooperation to Celestte Williams.

 

1.5-hour-long interview with Per Gessle

Kristoffer Triumf (Värvet) made a long long long long long interview with Per on 30th April, 2013. This is 100% interview, containing no music in between. Värvet, an amateur radio channel is known for making such interesting interviews with popular Swedish people, talking about their working life and being human. It’s in Swedish, but one has to get used to it: if you’re a fan of Roxette / PG / Ms Effe / GT, you have to practice your Swedish every now and then.

Click here for the interview. You can even download it.

Per is talking about everything from how he’s writing songs, what kind of music he is listening to via the Roxette tour, Gyllene Tider’s new album to how he’s managing all the social media sites and what he’s sharing there (song of the day, videos he makes in the studio with his iPhone, old video clips, etc.). There are some thoughts about how music and ”artists” have changed during the past years.

We also get to know that Per is walking 8-9 km in 1 hour 15 minutes each morning and probably that’s why he’s so fit. When he’s on holiday or when on tour, he’s visiting the gym. He tells he weighed himself before and after a gig and lost 2.5kg during one concert. He’s also talking about how much time he’s spending with his appearance.

Kristoffer asked him if he’s a feminist. Per asked back what it means. Kristoffer explained and Per said he is. They are also talking about how eccentric Per is and what eccentric means at all.

Per says Knallpulver (the only instrumental song on Gyllene Tider’s new album, Dags att tänka på refrängen) was inspired by a garage band. Then he made the demo in his hotel room in Curitiba.

We already heard it in some interviews, but he said it again regarding how to choose singles that he’s not too good at it. He didn’t really believe in Wish I Could Fly, for example. He finds it exciting to see why people like certain songs, so on Facebook he’s asking questions about which songs fans like and why.

Per, as a fan is also telling 2 anecdotes of meeting Tom Petty.

He’s talking about his childhood, tells no one knew how to pronounce ”Gessle” correctly – his grandfather’s name was Johansson and his father changed it to Gessle.

They are talking about how much of a businessman he is and how much he is involved in the daily operation of Hotel Tylösand. Per has 7 cars now and is not using public transportation (bus or subway) in Sweden (surprise, surprise…).

Kristoffer asked Per who he thinks Kristoffer should make an interview with. Per suggested Marie. So, we hope for a Marie Fredriksson interview on Värvet.

After the interview Mr. G went home for lunch, eating char (röding -> fish) with his family.

VARVET_61_Per Gessle 1 by Kristoffer Triumf.jpg  VARVET_61_Per Gessle 2 by Kristoffer Triumf

Per in the studio (a smile would have been nice 😉 )           Per leaving the studio after the interview

Pics by © Kristoffer Triumf

 

 

Interview with Favela team: We are happy with the result

FavelaDo you remember when we asked you to send us your questions to the Favela production team responsible for the latest Roxette documentary and concert? So here’s the outcome…

About Favela:

Most of the fans haven’t heard about you until you started working with Roxette, however, Favela was founded in 2008. We know you have done a live broadcast from Kent’s release party in New York. Have you done any productions for other artists before? If yes, which ones?
We are a relatively small production company which works very widely but has a passion for music. Except the Kent production that you mentioned, music wise we have produced/directed for Sissel Kyrkjebö: Live at Dalhalla, Hellacopters: Live at Debaser, Glasvegas – “Shine like Stars”, Madrugada: Live at Spektrum Oslo. We have as well done live productions at Way Out West and Where the action is with Swedish artists such as The Hives and Mando Diao as well as international acts as Foo Fighters, Queens of Stoneage, Dirty Pretty Things and many more.

About working together with Roxette:

How did your cooperation with Roxette start? We know you were also responsible for two Roxette videos: “Way out” and “Speak to me”. Is this correct?
It all began with Mattias Holmer, now producer at Favela. He filmed Per Gessle’s Party Crasher Tour at Cirkus in Stockholm 2009. The idea started in his head the day Marie walked on stage. We started to talk about the project in the beginning of 2010. After that we have done the videos for “Way out” (partly shot during sound-check in South Africa) and “Speak to me” and two electronical press kits – for the Charm School and Travelling albums.

Read more

#gtsommar Exclusive Swedish radio interview with Per and Micke

Per and Micke did an exclusive 11-minute interview for the Swedish public radio last Friday. They talked about how they come to work together and recording of the new album. Per revealed that Gyllene Tider has discussed a comeback from 2008, but there was always something that stopped them from doing this. On the new album they will try to repeat “the classic GT sound” so to speak, with a lot of Farfisa organs in the background. Per is not sure when the album goes out, but he hopes it would be April. The first single is not really ready yet and they haven’t chosen it yet, but there will be in fact a tune called “Singel”. They plan to include two ballads on the album max, according to Per. Speaking of double meaning of the title, Per also mentioned that they have recorded a song called “Dags att tänka på refrängen” as well.

Lyssna: Hela intervjun med Gyllene Tider

Brazilian Q&A with Roxette team

Brazilian fan page www.roxettebrasil.net has done 11 Q&A sessions with people working with/for/as Roxette during the World Tour – including Marie Fredriksson, Dea Norberg, Calle Brattberg, Danne Persson, Peter Fredriksson, Jakob Johnzen, Anders Molund, Mikael Svensson, Tumppi Haaranen, Sven Lindstrom (who took his time to answer those question not as others ;-), Ulf Brynte and last but certainly not least – Bo Johansson.

If you had problems with remembering who did what during the tour (expect Marie and Per singing), so this guide will take you through all other people that need to be remembered. And for those who didn’t know – Marie reveals who “Moje” is.

A mini-documentary about Roxette’s 2012 tour

A mini-documentary about Roxette’s 2012 world tour and “the special relationship between the band and the fans” as Colin van der Bel of TDR describes on his blog. It was recorded on June 29 in Amsterdam and Per Gessle and other band members were interviewed for that occasion. A must-watch!

ROXETTE 2012 – FANtastic! from Colin van der Bel on Vimeo.

Gessle for FrontiersLA.com: I look through what I have and let my imagination run wild

Per Gessle has been interviewed by FrontiersLA.com recently, just before Roxette’s very first gig in LA. Here’s the most interesting quote regarding the song recorded for “Travelling” album.

There’s a song on the new album called “Excuse Me, Sir, Do You Want Me To Check On Your Wife.” What’s that about?
You tell me. [Laughs] I wrote that song because it was something someone said to me in a London nightclub.

What was your response?
“No, she’s doing fine.” [Laughs] That’s always been the way I write. I pick up things people say and write it down. When the time comes to write songs, I look through what I have and let my imagination run wild. Writing songs is very much like putting a puzzle together. You use things that have happened to you and things that haven’t happened to you.

Per also did a phoner with 89.3 KPCC radio station – here‘s the brief summary of that talk.

Patrícia Peres contributed to the article

Gessle for Aftonbladet: we must decide what to do with Roxette

While Roxette was in New York, Per Gessle met Per Bjurman, journalist of Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet. Gessle hasn’t revealed anything new, but there are some facts that we should take into consideration thinking about Roxette and Gyllene Tider’s future. Those are the most interesting quotes from him.

The tour has been the world’s weirdest rehab, Marie’s in a top form again. What we’ll do in the future depends on how she reacts for not playing.

It is a bit special with the US. Knowing how much radio airplay we still get over here, we should’ve sold out Madison Square Garden, but like twenty years ago, we play in a theater. People here recognize the songs very well, but not us as artists. They are constantly singing at our gigs.

We’ve talked about it [Gyllene Tider’s reunion] every year since 2009 and yes, we are “on speaking terms”. We have been there all the time, we just think differently.

But nothing is set, so I cannot confirm it. First we must decide what to do with this band [Roxette]. Above all, it is all about Marie. This tour has been the world’s weirdest rehab she’s started and the question is how it affects her to take two years off. Maybe it’s better for her that we continue to play, I do not know. These are difficult questions.