Per Gessle’s pre-premiere gig at Leif’s or a night to remember

A night to remember! Exactly. Per Gessle fortunately kept the tradition of doing a pre-tour show at Leif’s Lounge. When in the beginning of May I asked him in our interview about it, the only thing he could tell was that there ”could be” a gig like that. In the whole interview context it sounded more like a ”yeah, sure”, but still, the date was unknown. Then at the beginning of June there was a corporate gig at Hotel Tylösand and we kept our fingers crossed that there is still something else at the holy place for us, fans. And tadaaa, on 16th June THE gig was announced to be held on 27th June. Since the place is not too big, all who wanted to attend had to decide very fast and buy the tickets. There were 50 tickets released twice after the show got sold out and in the end 700 lucky and very happy people could get to experience this fabulous event last night.

We wouldn’t be hardcore enough if we didn’t start queueing already in the morning. For a gig that starts at 21:00 and the entrance opens at 19:00… Tough life. Haha. So a handful of fans gathered at the entrance of Leif’s Lounge and spent some time together while we could listen to Roxette, Gessle solo and Gyllene Tider music via the speakers in front of Leif’s. There were hours to kill and the marketing manager of Hotel Tylösand, Andrea Hanné realized quite early that there were fans waiting outside. So she came to us, brought us coffee and asked if we were OK with doing some social media content for Hotel Tylösand. Sure. That’s how we became a boomerang video on Hotel Tylösand’s Facebook page and Instagram account. Later Andrea got back to us and brought Leif postcards and VIP Leif tattoos for us as a present. Very nice of her. We appreciate Hotel Tylösand’s whole staff so much. They are always so nice to us fans.

While waiting we could see the stage being built during the day, BoJo arriving, the crew arriving, then the band. Åsa was also busy around the hotel. After 3 pm we could hear the sound of a Ferrari and ooops, Per came and brought Marie Dimberg. Mr. G waved at us and some seconds later got a little depression treatment from 2-3 people coming out of the hotel. I mean they asked him for a selfie in front of his Ferrari. He looked happy. Then he left and came back only after 5 pm for the rehearsal. From that we couldn’t hear much, but those who walked around could hear that they rehearsed Spegelboll. Spegelboll!!! So cool! We hoped it was to be played at the concert too.

We could see Per leaving agai after the rehearsal and we were ready to be let in. By 19:00, not more than 30 people were there in the queue. Some minutes after 19:00 the door opened and we could get in one by one in a line. The space was enough for appr. 15 people in the front row, so those who were waiting there during all day could stand at extremely fine spots. The stage was tiny, the instruments and mics and plecs all set to their places. The crowd was getting bigger and bigger and by appr. 20:30 the place got full. VIP guests had their places at the Chef’s table, the rest were either sitting on the side or standing as close to the stage as they could. The technicians, the good old team came to prepare everything at appr. 20:40. The fun part was with the setlist. Jakob Johnzén and Micke N-S were taping the setlist in front of all band member’s places and we could take photos of those. The stage was so low. When we checked them, we realized that Per got a different setlist. The first song on it was Här kommer alla känslorna and his included It Must Have Been Love, the others’ didn’t. That made us curious, but some minutes later Micke N-S came and cut out and taped Min plats as the first song, what was already on everyone else’s setlist and he cut out Här kommer alla känslorna and taped it to the end. Then we saw MNS counting the songs and he realized that there were 15 songs on Per’s list instead of 14. Then he checked which song was extra and he taped IMHBL not to be visible for Per on the list. It was really funny. Another thing we realized that Micke placed a photo of a guy on the gear holding boxes. Face towards the stage. We were wondering who he might have been and today it turned out he was a technician who died not too long ago. So in the picture and in soul he was there with guys and girls last night.

We expected a 10 minute delay in the start and the crowd was impatient, clapping and shouting for the band to come up on stage, but we had to wait until 21:22 to see them coming. Per Gessle and the band: Clarence Öfwerman, Christoffer Lundquist, Helena Josefsson, Magnus Börjeson, Ola Gustafsson, Malin My-Wall and Andreas Dahlbäck. 4 good old, beloved members and 3 new, soon to be beloved musicians. They came from the Spa area. The crowd went crazy and couldn’t wait for them to start playing. PG & Co seemed to be on a high, they were all smiles. First I paste the setlist here, then I go into details.

Setlist:

1. Min plats
2. På promenad genom stan
3. Juni, juli, augusti
4. Det hjärta som brinner
5. Första pris
6. Småstadsprat
7. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
8. Spegelboll
9. Gå & fiska!

Band presentation
10. The Look

Encore:
11. Dressed for Success
12. Joyride
13. Sommartider

Encore 2:
14. Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) / Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång

So the first song was the opening song from Per’s latest album, En vacker natt. Min plats sounded absolutely awesome in that cozy place, on that tiny little, intimate stage, played for those 700 people in the crowd. After the first song Mr. G talked a few words, greeted the international friends in the front row (fans were there from Germany, Poland, Hungary, Spain, the Netherlands, the UK, Finland, Sweden of course) and mentioned its the debut gig of this great band of 8.

Then they played  På promenad genom stan which also sounded phenomenal, including the crowds shalalala sing along. And here I have a personal touch, literally… After the song Per came to me and with a huge smile on his face he shocked me and put the acoustic plectrum he played into my hands. It was an out of the world experience for me, that’s for sure. What a fab thing to happen in a fan’s life. Much appreciated!

After my pulse got high, the band kept it up with Juni, juli, augusti. The crowd was happy to hear a Gyllene Tider song and of course, on a summer tour you can’t leave this one out. And then came another GT song, Det hjärta som brinner. The stage was so tiny for those 8 beautiful people that they (mostly Per, Chris, Ola and Magnus, sometimes Helena and Malin too) bumped into each other while moving on the stage, crossing each other’s ways.

After a short GT section it was time to bring back En vacker natt and the band played Första pris. Wow! What a crowd reaction to that one. I wouldn’t have expected that, but the crowd knew the lyrics and Helena got a heavy applause for this song and after it ended the crowd shouted ”Helena, Helena!”. She was so happy. But actually, after each song she looked very happy to hear the crowd reaction. Such a lovely lady!

Before another En vacker natt song, Småstadsprat, Per talked a bit again and said rumour has it he wrote a lot of songs about Halmstad. The part Lars Winnerbäck sings on the album version was sung by Helena. It sounded fab too. Here I have to mention Malin’s wonderful violin playing and Ola’s fantastic pedal steel guitar playing. They are so talented musicians. And they can play these instruments so softly on the ballads, while they are rocking out on the uptempo songs. Great to have them in the gang!

After this song, Per asked what about a bit ore Gyllene Tider and they went on with Ljudet av ett annat hjärta. The crowd was clapping like hell! Here I also highlight Andreas. He is just another fab musician. Playing the drums like nothing can stop him! Not only on this song. Great to have him in the gang too!

The next song… oh yeah!!! Spegelboll! It got on the setlist, so awesome! When the crowd realized what song it was, they went wild. Heavy sing along here too! Woohoo!

Some more  Gyllene Tider? Why not! Gå & fiska! was next and the crowd stayed wild. After the song Per thanked and said to the crowd they were really fantastic. Just like the band up on stage! And here came the band presentation. First Per introduced the one and only Helena, then Malin, Ola, Andreas, Clarence, Magnus (the Swedish sex machine) and ”last, but absolutely least”, Chris. A video of this presentation is coming soon on RoxBlog. 😉 Besides the 3 new faces it was so great to see all the good old musicians, still enjoying playing and giving their 120%.

After being introduced, Chris started playing the intro to The Look. The crowd went wild for that too, hearing the first Roxette hit during the night. Heavy sing along again and HERE in this video you can see how PG surprised Sandra, who was filming the crowd’s nanananana. Such a cool guy!

After The Look, the band left the stage. They didn’t tell a word, they were just waving to the crowd bye-bye. The crowd starting clapping heavily and it lasted for a few minutes until the band came back for an encore.

They started the section with Dressed for Success and it hit the crowd again. Sing along and the well-known clapping choreography worked totally fine. Not only on the song, but Per got so close to us we sometimes thought he would bump into us with his guitar. What a nice way it would be to end up in hospital. ”What happened?” ”Per Gessle hit me with his guitar…” Haha. It was incredibly great to see him playing so close to us. The distance between us changed from 1-2 meters to 5 centimeters!

After DFS came Joyride. Oh, Joyride! Balloons!!! Thank God Basia Konarzewska didn’t forget about bringing some, so the front row could start blowing them up. But blowing the balloons up after Dressed for Success…, really??? When it’s hard to breathe even. LOL. Whatever. We succeeded and for the right moment all balloons were ready to be released. There weren’t many, but it fit the tiny place and the crowd was happy to play with them and PG and the band were happy to see the balloons too.

One more uptempo in the encore section, this time GT. We couldn’t have left without hearing Sommartider. Hej hej! We had a blast during this song too and the band enjoyed playing it very much. All of them. We couldn’t believe they leave the stage again. Per thanked and pointed at the front row to thank separately. We love it!

The crowd didn’t want to leave Leif’s Lounge and shouted ”en gång till” all the time and we were clapping hard for 2-3 minutes. Then the gang came back on stage again for the second encore. Mr. G had a used tissue in his hands, probably he wiped the sweat off his face backstage (having no towel there) and he couldn’t do anything else with the tissue, but handing it over to MNS while getting the guitar from him. Haha. Poor guy. I mean MNS. Well, next time you just throw it away, Mr. G. Talking about a tissue, BoJo brought a mug of ginger tea up on stage before the concert started and gave it to Micke N-S. He put it on his counter and PG sipped it every now and then.

OK, back to encore No. 2, Per started playing Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) very slowly, then the band started again faster and it became yet another fab sing along happening. I wouldn’t have thought this song could be a great last song, but hey… first of all, we love mid- or uptempo songs as last songs, and as you know the lyrics, ”Att allting har ett slut / Att allt det vackra är kort” ( =That everything has an end / That all that beautiful is short). So true! Sadly. BUT, it didn’t really end like this, as the song suddenly became Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång. It was an even greater ending. Doobie doobie dum doh and the concert was over.

The crowd was wild, clapping hard, shouting woohoo. The band took a bow, took another bow, Per pointed at the front row again to thank for the cheering. All were happy, satisfied and we all had a blast for 70 minutes.

There were so many other tiny little details which I probably didn’t write about, but it’s impossible to collect them all. The world needs more of such concerts! It was such a fantastic night! Killer Mr. G, the Duracell bunny who never gets old, gives 150% on stage and leaves you breathless, a beautiful band giving all their energy creating wonderful music, a loud, all-the-time cheering crowd, fantastic mood both on and off stage, a great (just too short) setlist. What else could you ask for? Oh well, maybe Tittar på dej när du dansar? We need some Mahi Nana on tour, Per! 😉 We are sure the setlist gets longer and there are more gems to be included. We can live with a 2-3-4-hour long concert too, can’t we?

Next stop: the tour premiere in Helsingborg on 6th July. Can’t wait!!!

 

Setlist evolution (from left to right: Helena’s setlist, Magnus’ setlist, Per’s 1st setlist, Per’s 2nd setlist, Per’s 3rd /final/ setlist):

     

All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

 

Judith’s review:

Not many details to add after Patrícia’s review but still wanted to write down my thoughts and impressions after the gig.

What can I say?? This was an amazing tour warming up evening! If you don’t have tickets for the shows yet… go get them!
I expected maybe a bit more relaxed country and all I remember is jumping and clapping and dancing. Of course, the ‘real’ thing will be different but that was a great sneak preview.
I had a lot of favourite moments and actually loved all songs and arrangements. Some things to mention:
– nice På promenad! It felt great to hear so many people sing along this song. Nice arrangements on this one, it sounded a bit faster and pop-ier.
– the drums!! I have a thing for drums, specially live. And Andreas sounded fab! Very different to what we are used to. He gives a nice touch to songs we are used to hear with other beats. Later a fan told me that he has seen him play with Ulf Lundell and that he saw him break drum sticks at many shows. I did not see any broken one so I look forward to some awesome crazy drums during the tour!
– Första pris!!
– the band had so much fun. We had so much fun. It was great to see Helena again and get to know the new guys and girl. Ola as extra guitar when he is not on pedal makes it all rockier. I have seen him with Eva Dahlgren in 99 and 2013 and you may remember he was on Tack för musiken where Marie performed so I was looking forward to seeing him with Per. I thought he would be mostly on pedal steel but he did grab the guitar many times and ooohhh he is an amazing guitar player and he and Chris together wooow!! Malin and the violin sound incredible (Gå & fiska! Nice touch there.)
– when The Look started I felt weird and I could not help the tears, went on with Dressed. Missed Marie so much! Of course, I know it is a Gessle tour, it was more the feeling and thought of knowing that we probably won’t hear those songs again with Marie. But at the same time it felt good to listen to them again, Helena did a great job taking over some of Marie’s parts. Pure fun!! And we got to surprise them with the balloons (thanks Basia!).
I am sure I will remember more things but the best feeling to take away from yesterday: fun!!

Ps: Per asked on FB how much we can take because they have lots of songs to play. Oooh I can assure you we could do more than 4 hours!! Just try us out 😉

Videos:

Joyride
Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) / Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång

Per about the show:

Thanx everyone for an unforgettable evening at Leif’s Lounge. Superb crowd, fab band, lots of laughs, a few tiny mistakes to make you smile. All in all the best night you can dream up when it’s a debut gig with a new band!

This weekend we start working properly on the production (lights, set design etc) and promise to be ready, willing and able next Thursday at Sofiero. Hope to see you there!

Looks like we have too many songs in the setlist. How much can you take? Good to know….. /P.

 

Predicting unpredictable – what fans would like to hear during En vacker kväll?

Since beginning of the year you, dear Roxette Blog readers, have been voting for your favourite Gessle, Gyllene Tider and Roxette songs. In the late autumn it turned out this would be the first time ever when Per mixes all his three music careers during one concert. Now we all obviously cannot wait untill the first Gessle solo tour in 8 years starts in the majestic city of Helsingborg. Only 19 days till the gig #1, just 10 if you’re attending the pre-premiere concert at Hotel Tylosand.

What we always did before the new tour starts was choosing the best, most-desired songs from the vast music catalogues. Remember the Silver blue-case where we were lucky enough to get a song so many people voted for performed live by Roxette? We absolutely loved that moment and we still feel humbled by your support and the impact we did together. We are hoping some of your suggestions might help Mr G to prepare a setlist of his (and ours) dreams – the band has started rehearsing, so “our prayers are in good hands tonight”.

There have been 10 polls since mid-January, 70 days of voting dedicated to 8 solo albums as we’re convinced they should play pivotal part in the setlist, whereas two latter votings were done around Gyllene Tider and Roxette live catalogues from 2000s. Nearly 1,000 unique users took part in this, so thanks much for your time and dedication, we really appreciate that!

When it comes to the concert setlist, no one should be expecting big suprises, should we? Gessle / Roxette / Gyllene Tider’s latest concerts were always more about pleasing big crowds (is it bad after all?), not fullfiling fans’ desires to hear forgotten pearls. There wasn’t many Gessle’s solo tours in the past, but just by analysing Mazarin 2003 and En händing man 2007 we can make initial assumption where 2017 takes us.

Read more

Interview with Per Gessle in Kupé magazine

In the latest issue of Swedish Kupé magazine there is a short interview with Per Gessle. Actually, Nicolas Jändel, the journalist left Per’s thoughts in a first person narrative form, so it’s more like Mr. G telling his own story of what music means to him, he talks about songwriting, his new albums and the summer tour. HERE you can read the original text in Swedish. From this blog post we can see that the interview was done in April.

Per tells Nicolas that during Roxette times they were standing on stage in front of 50-60,000 people in the crowd. Per says he can’t think of anything that could beat that feeling, but he would still play if there were only 20 people coming. Mr. G says it’s gonna be fun to be on tour again. The tour starts on 6th July and when they will be standing backstage before the premiere in Helsingborg and hear the noise in the crowd, they will feel the energy and will be excited to go up on stage and give their best. Per says he doesn’t know how to describe that moment, but it might be similar to when cows are let out to grass for the first time during the year.

Per says all his Swedish solo albums are holy things and the songs are his babies. Now he wanted to write in Swedish again and record at a new place after spending more than 400 days in Christoffer’s studio during the past years. He decided for Blackbird Studios in Nashville. Per had the basic material ready, but wanted to go to Nashville with an open mind. Mr. G says when you have musicians like Dan Dugmore in the room and he is playing, you have to cry, it feels so great. It’s the same with the duets. Having another artist in the song gives another perspective. Per mentions he has duet songs with Lars Winnerbäck and John Holm. There are similarities between Mr. G and John Holm, e.g. they both have strange voice.

Per tells Nicolas he worked a lot on the lyrics, as usual. The texts are in focus for him and are still about the same big questions as when he was young. Disappointment, love, sorrow and dreams, but from another point of view now, when you can no longer write about the first love.

The meaning of music hasn’t changed for Per, it’s still extremely important for him. He can’t even imagine life without music. Music can make people dance or cry. It brings people closer to each other. He can’t see any other art having the same effect. Per tells the story when he and his friend were troubadours and played at nursing homes for old people. Once they found themselves in a room where only two patients were present. They were both sleeping, but Per and his friend started to play anyway. They played until a nurse rushed in and kicked them out. Right before they left the room, one of the patients woke up. It turned out he was in coma for months. Music can be so great.

Mr. G says Sommartider was the first real summer hit, then came some more. In the ‘80s it was natural to write summer songs and play them in parks. It was about writing major songs that make people sing along. He says it was similar with Roxette’s Joyride, The Look or Listen To Your Heart, the songs which have big choruses.

PG photo in the article was taken by Andreas von Gegerfelt.

 

En vacker kväll poll #10 – Roxette

What’s good always must come to an end. Per Gessle and his majesty band have already started rehearsing to the summer tour, so this poll comes right in time to see which Roxette classics you would love to hear in Mr Gessle’s interpretation. You had already one occassion for during the man from Roxette Party Crasher Tour, but now for the first time he will perform both Swedish and English songs from his whole  career. Dreaming of Per’s “Watercolours in the rain” version? Just vote.

PS. I know Vaulnerable wasn’t performed live, it’s not on that list, but that one would be of a suprise to please a lot of fans!

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 12-12-2014 22:45:38
end_date 16-06-2017 13:59:59
Poll Results:
En vacker kväll poll #10 – Roxette
Total Answers 745
Total Votes 206

En vacker kväll poll #9 – Gyllene Tider

It’s less than a month till the EVK tour premiere in Helsinborg (6th of July, baby!). You have already voted for your favourite songs off Per Gessle’s 8 solo albums, but would it be a real Swedish tour of Gessle if there wasn’t any Gyllene Tider song there? You well know the answer. Obviously, voting for each album doesn’t make much sense as of now, so we came up with idea of mixing 2004 and 2013 Gyllene Tider concert playlists to see what songs you love the most.

As there are so many Gyllene Tider songs to choose from – this time you can vote for up to 5 songs. Let us know your choices!

The last poll covering Roxette vast catalogue pops up tomorrow!

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 10-06-2017 08:45:38
end_date 16-06-2017 12:59:59
Poll Results:
En vacker kväll poll #9 - Gyllene Tider
Total Answers 915
Total Votes 227

Per Gessle gig at Hotel Tylösand

Just having a look at Instagram before going to bed my heart almost stopped when I saw Per Gessle performed at Hotel Tylösand tonight. OMG! He played for the Atea Bootcamp 2017 guests in Solgården, so it was an open-air performance. In the band we can see Helena Josefsson, Christoffer Lundquist, Magnus Börjeson, Clarence Öfwerman and Pelle Alsing.

We don’t know the complete setlist and the running order, but these songs were played for sure (as you can see in the instavids):

  • Det hjärta som brinner: 1; 2; 3; 4;
  • Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång): 1; 2;
  • Dressed For Success: 1; 2; 3;
  • På promenad genom stan: 1; 2;
  • Gå & fiska!: 1; 2; 3;
  • Band introduction
  • Christoffer’s intro to Joyride: Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
  • Joyride: 1;
  • The Look: 1;
  • Sommartider: 1; 2;

Per informs they played 9 songs. These seem to have a big chance to be included in the summer tour setlist as well. Let’s see what happens! Is it July yet???

Some pics from the happening you will find here: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; Per played his guitar picks made for the 2015 Australian tour leg of the Roxette XXX Anniversary Tour.

Still is from this video.

 

Spending My Time is the Listen To Your Heart of Joyride

Did you know? 2 extremely important Roxette songs were written on this day 27 years ago. Yeah, Per Gessle, the 8th wonder songwriter wrote Joyride and Spending My Time on the same day. Isn’t he a genius? I mean, look at these 2 songs. Both of them are masterpieces and he could just come up with the power pop song in the morning and the big ballad in the afternoon. He is second to none!

Per says about Joyride:

When I wrote this one Roxette was sitting on top of the world. Three number ones in the US already and more to come. It felt like nothing could go wrong, I was full of self-confidence and every song felt so easy to create.

My wife (then girlfriend) left a note on my piano saying in Swedish: ”Hej din tok, jag älskar dej!”, which means ”Hello you fool, I love you!” It just had to be a chorus.

The writing process went very quickly. So fast I actually wrote ”Spending My Time” together with MP Persson the same afternoon. Hallelujah!

On The Per Gessle Archives you can listen to 2 demos of Joyride: first a less produced, acoustic Joyrider recorded on 22 May 1990 at T&A and a lot more produced Joyride recorded on 23 May 1990 at T&A. Listen to Per and Sven Lindström talking about the demos HERE.

Per about Spending My Time:

The music to ”Spending My Time” was cowritten with my old chap MP Persson. We finished writing it the very same day that I wrote ”Joyride”. Must’ve been May 1990.

I liked the idea of writing a lyric that starts in the morning and ends at night. This was my humble attempt. Great vocal performance by Marie and a super production from Clarence made this one a winner for Roxette.

On The Per Gessle Archives you can listen to the demo to Spending My Time recorded on 24 May 1990 at T&A. Listen to Per and Sven talking about the demo HERE.

Per adds:

I knew we had a great song (MP and I wrote this one together) but the demo always sucked!!! I couldn’t sing it very well, I don’t know why. It was always meant for Marie. She did a tremendous job delivering it. I’m sure it would have become a Top 5 song in the US if EMI wouldn’t have scrapped the entire company and sacked 122 people in the middle of marketing this one. People loved it but radio never got the chance to catch up. The Music Business. You win some, you lose some.

Stills are from the official videos to Joyride and Spending My Time

    

Pics are from ”Songs, Sketches & Reflections”.

Per’s quotes are from his book ”Songs, Sketches & Reflections” and the demo conversations from The Per Gessle Archives, as well as the PG about songs section on RoxBlog.

En vacker kväll poll #8 – En vacker natt

Now there has been enough time for you all to listen to En vacker natt non-stop and know which songs you would like to listen from the album. So it’s time for the last (solo) poll!

The album is so great (and so short) that it would actually be possible to play it in its entirety every night during the tour. A la Bruce Springsteen with his The River tour or U2 with The Joshua Tree tour this year… what do you think? Quoting from our recent interview with Per … so may there is some hope 🙂

 

PP: – You mentioned in an interview and well… we also know that you’re a fan of short concerts. You would keep the show around 100 minutes. Can we expect a varying setlist from night to night?

PG: – Could be….

Have fun voting (you can choose up to 3 songs but it is still hard – they are all so great!):

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 17-05-2017 09:27:26
end_date 24-05-2017 22:30:00
Poll Results:
En vacker kväll poll #8 - En vacker natt (2017)
Total Answers 525
Total Votes 225

 

 

Jan Gradvall’s podcast interview with Per Gessle

Jan Gradvall in his podcast tries to find out what drives Per Gessle, what his secret is and what happens if you analyze Gessle’s songs in depth. Jan is trying to do it via analyzing ”Allt gick så fort”, which is one of Per’s most personal songs he has ever written and can be found on the new album, ”En vacker natt”.

Per says it’s the central song on the album. He tells 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 thought it’s cool. Mr. G experimented a lot with traditional tunings, but then he googled David Crosby’s tunings and found out there are a lot of variants and found one which was very odd. So Per tried some new tricks, playing his old chords in a new way, creating completely new sounds.

”Allt gick så fort” is very text-oriented. It starts with an accident Per witnessed during a visit to France. Per says it’s a song that kind of writes itself. It matures through a whole life and suddenly it feels ready to be written down.

Jan asks Per what he is singing about when it’s in the lyrics that he was 8 years old. Per says the lyrics tell a whole life in a way. The text starts with an unknown person, but then suddenly, you sing about yourself, when you are a child and then it’s about when you are 18 and in love for the first time. In between there is another person seeing the whole thing from another angle, in the middle of his life, in the middle of his career and realizes it all went so fast. Per says the song was written very fast, but the guitar tuning was tricky. Jan asks how exactly that tuning is done. Per says when he wrote the song he went to Halmstad, to MP’s studio to record a demo. It went very well with all that new tuning. Then he went to Nashville to record it properly, but he had no clue how he did that in Halmstad, so they had to use his demo.

The whole Nashville project was different to whatever Per has done before and it’s not like today’s pop music when everything is done on computers. Per wanted to try something new. It became a completely organic album. It’s not an album for everybody. It’s for a certain audience. Per thinks many can identify with it, but many will think it’s too slow or the violin is too whiny. But it doesn’t matter. For him it was important to make this record. He wanted the lyrics and his voice to be in focus. The fantastic musicians in Nashville added a lot to it, Dan Dugmore with his pedal steel playing or Stuart Duncan with his violin playing.

Jan finds the expression ”I sin icke dansande generation” (= in his non-dancing generation) fantastic and he asks Per how he came up with this. Per says when you are sitting and chatting you realize that your generation is a non-dancing one. He finds the rhymes and songwriting exciting.

Jan mentions there are many returning symbols in Per’s lyrics on the new album, like sea, beaches, nature. Per says he has always used symbols like flowers, sea, winds, things you associate with images when you are listening to a song. It somehow makes the listener be part of the song. They recognize the smell, the taste, the feeling.

Jan and Per talk about Per’s family, that he has lost his mom, brother and sister during the past 3 years. When his sister, Gunilla died, her son found a box of 25-30 old diapositives from 1965-66. Even Per appeared on some of them. Mr. G chose a pic of Gunilla, standing and singing probably in Tylösand, to be on the album cover. Per thinks the colour of the diapositive fits the album very well.

Per tells Jan that Anton Corbijn was in New Orleans, shooting Arcade Fire when Per was in Nashville and so Anton came over and took some fantastic pictures of Per. First Per thought one of those should be on the cover, but after her sister’s diapositives were found he changed his mind. This way it is more personal and even more unexpected. The second album ”En vacker dag” will have a 1965 pic of Per’s mom on the cover, with a picnic table just behind the family’s Volvo Amazon.

Jan asks Per if losing his relatives has affected Mr. G in a way that it can be heard on the album. Per says yes and no. It of course has affected him, but none of the songs are directly about this. ”Allt gick så fort” might sound like that a bit, but the rest of the songs were written last spring after Roxette stopped touring. Some of the songs were left-overs and were re-written, but most of them are newly written.

Jan and Per talk about an earlier interview from the Son of a Plumber times and Jan remembers Per told him that his father died when Gyllene Tider broke through and Per wrote ”När alla vännerna gått hem” after his dad died. Per says it’s true and of course what happens in your life has its effects on you. These two albums he has made now he couldn’t have done 10 or 15 years ago. You must have a certain experience, a certain security, a certain courage to be able to do it. You have to find your style, your language, your strength to be able to do it.

Jan tells Per he feels that when Per sings on this new album, he is more ”naked” and asks if it is conscious. Per says he wanted to put the lyrics in focus.

Jan says the album sounds in a way very much Nashville, but also very much Halmstad. Per was travelling around the world, but always came back to Halmstad. Per says the older you get the more you go back to your roots, where you come from. It’s like when sometimes he is sitting and checking songs on Spotify and sees billions of them and he goes back to listen to songs he likes from 1967. And yes, there is a Nashville sound on the album, but at the same time, it’s Per’s stlye.

Mr. G says he wanted an album that is text-oriented and very simple, acoustic. First they just thought they shouldn’t record it in Sweden. They thought about studios in England and France, then Nashville popped up and Per liked the idea of a fusion between Tennesse and Halland. A little country has always been there in Per’s solo music. Neil Young’s “Harvest” stlye. They had no plans at all when they left Sweden for Nashville. First Per played the acoustic guitar and sang a bit, then they asked the studio if they could help to find local musicians. There are two world famous pedal steel players, Dan Dugmore and Paul Franklin. Dan Dugmore is the one who plays the pedal steel on Per’s album. When he listened to Per’s songs he wrote down numbers instead of chords. How Dan played changed the songs. Since they wanted to save time, they recorded 3-4 takes and then edited them later while mixing.

The same day Dan Dugmore came to the studio, Stuart Duncan came too to play the violin. When Per heard him playing he said wow. Everything became better and better, like the intro to ”Småstadsprat”. Then they needed a harmonica player, so Mickey Raphael plays on 3-4 songs.

Jan asks what Per thinks why his melodies are so special that they are attractive even to those who can’t speak Swedish. Per thinks they are beautiful, that’s why the albums are titled “En vacker natt” and “En vacker dag” (“A beatiful night” and “A beautiful day”). At least that was his ambition. Jan asks where Per’s melodies come from. They come from the ‘60s, but also from the Swedish traditional music. Here Per talks about his adventures with his friend, Peter as troubadours who played at nursing homes for old people. Per played the guitar and sang, Peter also played the guitar and the flute. They played everything they could and it included a lot of country as well. As troubadours, once they had to play at an old people’s nursing home in a new place in Halmstad. They entered a big table tennis hall and there were two men lying in there, they were not moving at all. They didn’t know what to do, there was no personnel around, so they just sat in the middle of the hall and started playing some songs, Proud Mary or something. Suddenly a nurse came and asked what the hell they were doing. They said they were just playing songs. A lot of doctors rushed in and then it turned out that one of the men there was in coma and he woke up to the sound of Per and Peter playing music. The day after it turned out that they shouldn’t even have to be there, at that place, but he will never forget that day. One can see that music makes miracles.

Pic from Jan Gradvall’s Instagram.

 

Per Gessle about the bright and dark side of life

On the release day of ”En vacker natt” (28 April), an interview with Per Gessle was published in Hallandsposten.

Jan-Owe Wikström asks Per about those great musicians (David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Prince) who passed away last year. He asks Per if he ever met them. Mr. G met Bowie before a concert in Lyon, but they just greeted each other, never talked. Cohen he never met and Prince either, even if Roxette played on the same gala when MTV Europe opened in Berlin. But as soon as Prince moved, there were 18 people around him. Per says he was in Prince’s studio though, Paisley Park in Minneapolis shortly after R.E.M. had been there to record. Everything was white and in the middle stood a giant bird cage. They even saw Prince’s private apartment above the studio and it was just as you imagined Prince. A heart-shaped bedroom, much purple and a sliding roof over the whole apartment.

Jan-Owe asks Per if Bowie was his greatest inspiration. Mr. G replies that musically he doesn’t know, but Bowie is definitely the artist who has meant the most to him, because he came into Per’s life when he was the most influenceable, at the age of 13-14. Per says Gunilla was Elvis, Bengt The Beatles and he was Bowie.

Jan-Owe asks Per about how it has affected him, losing his brother Bengt, his mother Elisabeth and his sister Gunilla in a short time. Per says it’s clear that you get a new view of life, to appreciate the moment, to take care of your loved ones. He tells Bengt had lung cancer, but didn’t tell anyone. Per thinks he was on tour when Gunilla visited Bengt in the hospital and after leaving, she got a phone call that Bengt had died. Per says you come to a time in life when you know more people who die than who are born, which obviously makes you think.

To the question if he believes in God and a life after this, Per replied he has not really decided. Sometimes maybe. It would have been nice to have a strong faith and both his mom and Gunilla were very religious. Gunilla even educated herself to be a priest, but started working at hospice instead. Per says he doesn’t belong to anywhere yet, but who knows. He is thinking, maybe when you grow older, you become more religious.

Jan-Owe asks Per, while they are sitting in Per’s house in Halmstad, drinking coffee and eating sandwiches, if he thinks the roots become more important when such serious things, mentioned above, happen in life. Per thinks even if he is a restless soul, that’s probably the case. He travelled around the world, but still always ends up in Halmstad. And that’s nice because everything is so much easier there. It’s closer to nature, it’s calmer…

Jan-Owe asks Per if what’s happened has affected his songwriting. Mr. G tells there are no lyrics that are directly related to it. But one is certainly affected by such happenings. Per says he doesn’t believe it was better before and it doesn’t necessarily have to be negative to get older, in case you are healthy. On the contrary, he is using that experience in his writing artistically and creatively.

Jan-Owe says he saw a survey which showed that those between 60-75 are the most satisfied with life. Per agrees. He says you have your family, have peaked in your career and are hopefully happy with what you’ve done in life. You have nothing left to prove. Per is soon there and could therefore make such a record that builds more on moods than single songs. A blank paper. Acoustic, Swedish, lyrics-oriented and country-influenced without being country.

Per tells Hallandsposten he is the most proud that, after almost 40 years in the music industry, he has done something he has never done before. If people like it, he doesn’t know, therefore he wants to wait before he decides which songs to play on tour.

Song by song comments – En vacker natt

”Min plats”: It was one of two key songs on the album, because when those 2 were ready, I had the pillars. It just felt like having it as the opening song.

”Första pris”: One of the songs which weren’t written for this album but for Roxette, which we never recorded. A little blue tone in the duet together with Helena Josefsson. I almost literally translated the English text.

”Småstadsprat”: It wasn’t meant to be a duet at all. But then we started talking about how rare duets between boys are. If it’s between a girl and a boy, you sing to each other, but boy / boy – then you sing towards a common goal like here with Lasse Winnerbäck.

”Enkel resa”: A fun and odd song. Sometimes I try to encourage MP (Mats Persson) to write songs which he does amazingly well. And he does it every ten years… Here he comes with exciting basslines that I added a melody to.

”Allt gick så fort”: The other central song on the album. I read an interview with David Crosby who told he had five guitars in his bedroom and he tuned them quite oddly. So I started googling and found an odd tone with which the guitar became a completely new instrument. But when we were to record in Nashville, I couldn’t take those grips again so we had to use the demo.

”Tittar på dej när du dansar”: The most poppy song on the album. I tried to avoid having such songs, but at least one is needed for the energy. A little odd, built from two songs in one and one of the few with electric guitar.

”Några glas rosé”: The hardest song to write because it has no chorus and has a narrative text that needs much space. Something like “Billy” without chorus.

”Far Too Close”: Written for Roxette from the beginning and because we had time left, it became the ultimate homage to Nashville, letting a Nashville girl, Savannah Church sing the finale.

Photo from PG’s Nashville archives

 

En vacker RoxBlog interview with Per Gessle

After Per Gessle’s new album, ”En vacker natt” was released, several questions popped up in my mind. I was reading and watching all the interviews with him, but many questions had no answers in any of them. So it was obvious there is a need for a RoxetteBlog interview and so I put all the Qs together and sent them in hope for answers.

We all know that Mr. G is faster than a shot from a gun, but while he is in the middle of a signing session tour, doing a lot of promo stuff and other interviews, you would think it would take much more time than just 2-3 days to have the answers. Not in his case! Yesterday I had the chance to meet him in Malmö and his answers were sent back to me before the signing session started. I was already prepared to ask him not be ”angry” with me because of those many Qs, but this way it was far much better. I could thank him in person! I told him I didn’t expect him to send the answers back so fast. He said it’s incredible that there are many interviews with him, but there are still this many Qs that weren’t asked by others. I told him I thought he might have felt tortured because of this. He said no, no. It’s a long interview, but he had a long flight and at least he had something to do while flying, so all fine. You must love him!

When you will read on, you might get the feeling that the long flight was coming to an end fast towards the last questions, related to the tour. On the other hand, all ”could be”-s sound rather ”yes” or ”partly yes” in my ears. Or… let’s see what happens! 😉

I’d like to thank D&D Management for their cooperation and of course, thanx a million to Mr. G for the answers. Very much appreciated!

So, now to the interview. Besides all the detailed info about the new album and the recording sessions, you will find out what Per thinks about Roxette’s future and you’ll have some hints regarding the upcoming tour as well. You’ll even read about a y.u.m.m.y. surprise release for the first time here! What can I say? Mahi Nana! Enjoy!

Patrícia Peres: – Hej Per! First of all, thank you very much in advance for taking your time to answer all nerdish Qs coming here! In each interview and in your posts it shines through that the ”En vacker…” project is a love project for you. How does it feel that you get so much positive feedback on the first album?

Per Gessle: – Hello Patricia, hope you’re doing fine. As always I’m very flattered that people are connecting in a positive way to my songs. You can never take that for granted. As you know, it’s been ten years since I did a Swedish solo album and so many things have changed. Not only in the ”real world” but also in the music industry. It can be really hard for artists my age to cut through the enormous amount of music and information that surrounds us. It’s pretty competitive out there. But I’ve been lucky this time. Hopefully the album will grow organically, more and more people will hear it and eventually it will be a part of their lives just like Mazarin became in 2003. That would be lovely.  And I’m really proud of the records.

PP: – There were no leaks, everything seemed to be in order regarding the release and there is much promo around the album. It’s a perfectly organized release. Do you think so too?

PG: – Yes, it’s all been handled beautifully by Her Majesty Queen Marie Dimberg together with her sausage dog Harry + Josef Hermansson and Lotta Eriksson at Space Station 12 together with media mastermind Liza Berthelsen together with Sanken, Sebastian and Johanna at BMG together with Bosse-the-radioguru together with the distribution folks at Sony. So many people are involved in this release and they’re all bringing positive energy to the project. I’m a lucky guy.

PP: – The albums are released on Space Station 12 in cooperation with Sony / BMG. What is the role of SS12 and what is that of Sony / BMG?

PG: – SS12 is the home office, BMG is handling marketing and Sony is responsible for physical products, like CDs and LPs.

PP: – The first album’s title is ”En vacker natt”, then there is the summer tour, ”En vacker kväll” and in September comes the second album, ”En vacker dag”. Is it intentional that the timeline is in reverse order (instead of dag -> kväll -> natt)?

PG: – Yes, when we were mixing the records I decided that was the only way to go. Backwards. I have this song ”En vacker dag” which opens the second album and since I wanted it on album nr 2 that dictated the titles of the two records.

PP: – Does the first album contain more ”night” songs and the second more ”day” songs? Or how did you decide which songs to put on which album?

PG: – Well, there are no big differences between the albums. They basically got the same vibe. They’re all from the same sessions. Same coffee machine. As always I’ve tried to make running orders that make each album as strong and vibrant as possible and also ”easy” to get into and listen to. The tempos and keys have to be right etc.

PP: – We know you see songs in colors. Can you tell what color the album has in your mind? Does the ”color coding” in the booklet mean the color of the songs?

PG: – No, the colour coding in the booklets was done by Pär Wickholm. He did an excellent job. He’s really talented. For me the album contains lots of nuances from the 60’s and 70’s, beautiful shades, not too bright. Just like the pictures on the albums. Or like old polaroids. It’s getting pretty sentimental here and there.

PP: – The album is quite melancholic. Could you tell us which song in music history you think is the most melancholic?

PG: – Oh, there are so many songs that mesmerize you and make you slow down a bit. ”Duncan” by Paul Simon. ”Let the wind carry me” by Joni Mitchell. ”Bird on a wire” by Leonard Cohen. ”Sweetheart like you” by Bob Dylan. ”Pancho and Lefty” by Townes van Zandt. Songs that change your life forever. Powerful stuff.

PP: – You listen to the songs uncountable times during the recording, mixing etc. phases. How does it work after everything is done and the album is ready to be released and you have to say a final OK? Do you listen to the album from A to Z? In what circumstances? How did it happen with ”En vacker natt”?

PG: – For these particular records I had the running orders pretty much in place before we began to mix so we decided to start mixing song nr 1 (Min plats) and go from there. But with every mix the big picture altered a bit and in the end you have made quite a lot of changes. Sometimes songs get a different vibe in the mix. You remember it to have a certain attitude or feel but maybe it doesn’t when you’re done with it! Maybe it feels short. Or too long. It’s all about the emotion. Since I still think in terms of ”albums” it’s important for me to find the perfect spot for every track so they ”help” and assist each other. For instance, I didn’t want ”Tittar på dej när du dansar” too early on the first album since I want to give the listener four or five songs before the first classic ”pop song” occurs.

PP: – When we interviewed you after Roxette’s ”Good Karma” release, you said you think 40 minutes is a perfect length for an album. Now we got a 32-minute-long record. What’s the case with this length?

PG: – Well, there were two options. To release one album that was 64-65 minutes long or to split everything in two parts. Personally, I think an hours worth of music at once is much too much so the choice was pretty obvious.

PP: – The opening song, ”Min plats” sets the tone of the album and you say without ”Allt gick så fort” this project wouldn’t have come alive at all. Then it’s surprising a bit that the first single is not one of these 2 songs you seem to find the most important on the album, but a third one. How has ”Småstadsprat” become a single?

PG: – I told my partners-in-crime I’m not really that interested in releasing singles at all. However if they (SS12+BMG) prefer any of the songs as a ”teaser” for the album I’m open to anything. The duet with LW made sense since it was a very media-friendly choice for Sweden and Norway. Everyone got curious. And it’s a good song, I love it. But then again, I love them all!! This is not a project built on hit singles, this needs more attention than that.

PP: – The single was released digitally only and there were some promo singles issued. Why no physical release? It’s not too collector-friendly.

PG: – I know. However, there will most likely be a physical release of ”Småstadsprat” in a couple of weeks. We should have done that to begin with. Our mistake. You live and learn.

PP: – Anyway, collectors are crazy to pay an unbelievable amount of money for this promo single on Tradera. It’s sold for much more than your Peter Pop and the Helicopters single. How about that?

PG: – People are crazy. But you have to love the kings and queens of Nerdom.

PP: – You mentioned in interviews that there is no radio bomb on the album. But Swedish radio seems to play ”Småstadsprat” heavily. How does it feel?

PG: – Well, I’m very happy about this of course. I didn’t expect that at all. Maybe it’s because it stands out. Nothing on commercial radio sounds like ”Småstadsprat”.

PP: – Will there be a 2nd single off the album? If yes, can we get to know which song it is?

PG: – Yes, there will be another one and it will most likely be ”Tittar på dej när du dansar”. It’s got a great summer vibe to it, don’t you think?

PP (& Kiwein): – After listening to the album so many times, it feels that it could easily be used as a soundtrack to a movie. Are there any soundtrack plans in sight?

PG: – No, but I would love that. I would start working on it within the hour! Let’s tune the guitar!

PP: – Which song do you think has the best title on ”En vacker natt”? Which one do you think makes one curious about the album?

PG: – Titles are very important to me. It’s the first impression you get from a song. I like all of them. They make me interested and curious. ”Några glas rosé” was a title I had played around with for a while. I love that one.

PP: – Now in the digital era, in the times of streaming, it’s known that more than one third of the listeners skip a song after 30 seconds on Spotify. From this point of view, which song would you suggest to start listening to, so that the listener gets to know what the album is about and maybe decides not to skip?

PG: – You’re right and it’s totally stupid and silly and mindblowing when you think about it. I don’t want to play that game. This is not music for that type of restless audience. The whole idea with these two albums is that you have to give them time and get into the vibe and let yourself be seduced by this particular musical universe. I think you should start with ”Min plats” where you get eight seconds of waves and seagulls as a bonus!

PP: – When you start singing on ”Enkel resa”, one immediately has the feeling that he/she could sing along, because the lyrics sound familiar. Then we realize it’s a bit of ”Blåa jeans (och röda läppar)”. Haha. I love your recycling habit and the way you do that! How did these lyrics came into sight for this project?

PG: – I re-wrote that lyric from 1982 so it fit MP’s chords that eventually became ”Enkel resa”. I’ve always liked some parts of the words and the quotation-style but not until now have they made sense to me. Something was missing and I finally grabbed it. Probably thanks to MP’s weird chord progression.

PP: – One could sense it and in your ”song by song comments” you confirmed that ”Första pris” and ”Far Too Close” were originally written for Roxette. When did you write them, for which Roxette album?

PG: – Both were written for ”Good Karma” but we never worked on them for several reasons. The ”original” version of ”Första pris” is called ”The Finest Prize”.

PP: – How much did you change the lyrics of ”Första pris” when you decided to do it in Swedish? Have you recorded an English demo to it?

PG: – I tried to capture the same lyrical idea about a woman and a man living in their own universe. Content and strangely unaffected by life’s rewards. Yes, there are several English demos recorded.  Tits & Ass have been on fire with this one!

PP: – Talking about Roxette, we are happy that you mention in interviews that Marie is fine. Good to have some news about her every now and then. In interviews you say that the touring period with Roxette is 100% over, which we have known since April 2016, but you also mention here and there that you don’t think you will record together again. Why do you think it won’t happen in the future?

PG: – I don’t think it will happen because of Marie’s situation. She can’t really be involved in the process of making Roxette records anymore and without her taking a major part it’s no point for me to make those recordings. Roxette is the two of us working together, not me, Chris & Clarence making records with Marie just singing on them.

PP: – Back to the album and the songs, you said it took only 20 minutes to record Savannah Church on ”Far Too Close”, because she was singing so well. Which song took the most time to record and why?

PG: – Everything went really fast. The only song that was a little tricky was ”Några glas rosé” since it doesn’t have any obvious chorus and five verses. There’s always a chance you’ll find it tiresome and long when you have a song structure like that. But we managed to work it out, making a key change for the violin solo and edit the ending section of the song. The original recording was much longer.

PP: – Mahi Nana is the new Sha la la! ”Tittar på dej när du dansar” is probably the most liked ”En vacker natt” song by those who have always been a Per Up-(or at least Mid-)tempo Gessle fan. Sha la la and Na Na Na Na Na are well-known singing phrases, but Mahi Nana is a bit like Inganakee leo yo. One starts wondering, how does such an expression come to your mind?

PG: – On the T&A-demo I’m actually singing ”na na na na…” but in the studio I suggested that Helena-The-Wizard should sing something else so I came up with ”Mahi Nana”. It sounded weird and catchy at the same time. I googled it and I found someone somewhere with that name but I thought that was kind of nice. Glad you like it!

PP: – Which ”En vacker natt” song had the strangest or funniest working title?

PG: – I don’t do working-titles that often. But ”Tittar på dej när du dansar” was called ”Kärlek låter så här” and „Mahi Nana” for a couple of hours…

PP: – You often say you’ve been lucky enough to work together with people who you get on well with and can learn from, even musically. What’s the greatest thing you’ve learned during the Nashville project?

PG: – I was reminded of how much fun it is to play ”real” instruments together. I’ve spent so many years programming in the studio so this was a blessing just to sit down and play together. That’s where I come from and it was really refreshing to experience again.

PP: – What was the biggest compliment you got from the musicians in Nashville?

PG: – Oh, I was really flattered that they liked the songs so much. I wasn’t expecting that at all. I thought they all would come in and ”do their job” like any sessionplayer. But they told me they found my music special and beautiful and that they never played on anything like it before. That made me smile and grab another donut!

PP: – You had the chance to use Roy Orbison’s guitars on the album. It must have felt amazing. What do you think, which song Roy Orbison would like the most on ”En vacker natt”?

PG: – Oh, he could have done a wonderful version of ”Far Too Close”.

PP: – Your mom, sister and brother have passed away during the past 3 years. Does this Nashville project make it easier for you to process the loss?

PG: – Hard to say. Life goes on, doesn’t it? But, of course, you change a bit as a person when your family disappears. I’m sure I’ve changed too. I don’t know in what way but I’m sure it has happened. That’s what life does to you.

PP (& Tomasz): – ”En vacker natt” is dedicated to your sister, ”En vacker dag” to your mother. Knowing your brother introduced you to the music world, it’s a bit surprising he is not mentioned next to your sister maybe. Or are these albums more like ”dedication to women”?

PG: – No, the second album is dedicated to both my mother and my brother.

PP: – In one of the interviews you mentioned that your mother sang a lot. Did she have a nice voice? Did it ever happen that you sang together?

PG: – She had a nice voice but she always sang silly songs. Just like parents do. And no, we never really sang together.

PP: – Which is the song Åsa likes the most on the album?

PG: – Oh, I don’t know. She seems to like all of them, she plays it all the time on her iPhone and in her car.

PP: – Now you are in the middle of a signing session tour, which came a bit as a surprise to us, as you already signed 3600 CDs for those who pre-ordered the album. It’s now harder to buy an unsigned ”En vacker natt” CD than a signed one. Haha. Why did you decide to go on a 1-month-long tour with 14 stops?

PG: – I think it’s quite nice to meet all those people that are interested in what I do. And also, I think it’s a good idea to support the physical format a bit. Here in Sweden Spotify and the streaming services have got 94% of the market so someone like me should wave the flag for the LP and the CD a bit since it’s my preferred choice of presenting music. And yes, I think we’ve shipped around 20.000 physical records and I’ve signed just over 4000 of them. Phew! Could be worse. Could be that nobody was interested!

PP: – When it turned out, many fans decided on meeting you on this little tour. People come to Sweden from several countries to get their signed copies directly from you. How does it feel?

PG: – Lovely. You’ve all spoiled me!

PP: – And after all the signings, how is your hand doing? Can you still play the guitar without any problems?

PG: – Of course, the in-stores are like going to the gym for the hand!

PP: – Will there be a signing session tour in autumn too, when the second album, ”En vacker dag” is out?

PG: – I don’t know. Time will tell. It all depends on how the summer tour feels and the common reaction to the second one.

PP: – Oh and not to forget about the vinyl! Bengans informed the ”En vacker natt” vinyl had been delayed. It almost didn’t make it to the shops until the signing session started. Not the limited edition though. It’s still not on stock. What’s the problem with the vinyl production this time?

PG: – I don’t know. I think nobody expected this kind of interest in my LP. A first batch of vinyl has arrived now but the red vinyl is still a couple of weeks down the road.  It’s a shame but the good thing is that it looks (and feels) FAB!!!

PP: – The tour is getting closer and closer! I have to mention that we are grateful that the complete tour schedule was shared at once (except for the 2 concerts in Finland that were added later, in February). It makes a fan’s life a lot easier, because this way we can start planning early and add as many shows to our to-attend list as we can. So thank you very much for that!

Will you keep the tradition of having a pre-tour show at Leif’s? If yes, is there an exact date set yet?

PG: – Could be….

PP: – Our polls show it won’t be easy for you to put a setlist together. And mixing your 3 careers makes it even tougher. When do you start rehearsing? Will you have a separate session with the new band members?

PG: – We start rehearsing in June. I’m gonna decide what to play in a couple of days. It’s tricky. But lots of fun.

PP: – How Ola Gustafsson, Malin My-Wall and Andreas Dahlbäck came into sight? Did you know them before or someone suggested them to you?

PG: – No, I didn’t know them but had heard of them. I was looking for certain players and these three were my first choices. They’re amazing all of them.

PP: – You mentioned in an interview and well… we also know that you’re a fan of short concerts. You would keep the show around 100 minutes. Can we expect a varying setlist from night to night?

PG: – Could be….

PP: – Can we expect any surprise guests on tour? Besides a maybe obvious Lars Winnerbäck.

PG: – Could be…

PP: – Your support acts will be the amazing Good Harvest and Strandels. Why exactly them? Will both acts play before all your shows or will there be concerts where only one of them will play?

PG: – Both of them are great. I think they will be there every night. Hope so.

PP: – Is Micke N-S working hard on your new guitar picks yet?

PG: – Could be…

PP: – Gyllene Tider is rumored to go on tour next year. We hope it will happen. A 40th anniversary is worth celebrating! So this summer there won’t be many GT songs on tour or …?

PG: – Hmmm….

PP: – Talking about a 40th anniversary, will you see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on their 40th anniversary tour?

PG: – No plans yet.

PP: – Thank you very much for your time and see you on tour! Awesome that you keep us busy all year in 2017!

PG: – My pleasure. And don’t forget that a Mazarin vinyl-LP will be out just in time for the tour. I couldn’t resist…

 

Per Gessle – En vacker signing session in Malmö

Per Gessle is in the middle of his signing session tour and today he had 2 stops on his list. First he signed his new album, En vacker natt in Hässleholm (from 12:30 according to the schedule, but he was there already before 12:00). HERE you can read about that session (Hässleholm) and see a short video of the signing session.

The next stop was Malmö. Per was scheduled to be there from 16:00 to 18:00, but he arrived already at 15:15. He entered Folk å Rock in great mood. Met the organizers and disappeared upstairs. Olle Berggren, the journalist who interviewed Per, came also well before 16:00. They probably discussed how things would be on stage from 16:00. The stage was rearranged in the meantime to have 2 seats for Per and Olle and a table with water and a rose. Lovely. 2 microphones were set, the ones you have to hold in your hands. The whole interview can be watched HERE! Starts blurry, but it gets better after some seconds.

For those who can’t speak Swedish, here is an English summary of what they were talking about. Olle Berggren welcomed the Swedish King of Pop, Son of a Plumber and they started chatting about Nashville. First about the hat that appears on some pictures in the booklet of ”En vacker natt”. Per says it was Anton Corbijn who took the pictures and they went in a hat shop and they just bought it. Hats can be different, like there are the ones Clarence Öfwerman is wearing, but this type of hat fits country more. Olle asks if Per will wear a hat on tour too, probably not.

Olle asks why Per decided to record in Nashville. Per tells the first thing they were thinking about was leaving Skåne (which sounded funny, given that Malmö is also in Skåne) after he spent 420 days in Vallarum in Christoffer’s studio during the past 10 years. It sounded crazy, so they thought they should do the recordings somewhere else this time. They thought about France and England, but then suddenly Nashville came in sight and they thought shit, they have to record there. There is a natural fusion between Halmstad and Nashville.

Per says his old albums contain a certain country sound too. The old Neil Young style or Lee Hazelwood. They talk about Per’s album from 1983 that it already had this American style. Then the discussion goes on about pedal steel that it’s also not a new thing in Per’s life. They even used it on Roxette tours. This time pedal steel came in when they were in Nashville and started working with local musicians. He played the guitar and sang, but then there was the idea that pedal steel could be used e.g. instead of keyboards or so. Olle asks if it was OK for Clarence. Per says yeah, he went to sit in the back and sleep. Haha. Per says Dan Dugmore, who plays the pedal steel, is fantastic. Stuart Duncan plays the violin. Stuart worked together with Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. When Stuart played, they thought they should skip the guitars and use the violin instead. So instead of guitars and keyboards it became pedal steel and violin. It makes a very big difference.

Talking about Alison Krauss, Olle says he heard Per wanted a duet with Alison. Per says he wished. His friend, who has an own record company said he could have Alison in the studio, but she is a bit tricky. So then they signed Savannah Church who sounds exactly like Alison Krauss. Olle says Savannah is very young. Per says yes, a bit younger than him, she is twenty-something. Olle says Savannah has a fantastic voice and they sounds very good together, like Per sounded so good with Marie together. Per says Marie was all the time fantastic. He says Savannah sang so clearly that they finished recording her part in 20 minutes. He asked Savannah if she ever sang false and Savannah couldn’t understand the question. Haha.

Regarding the tour, Per says he already met the band and designers and people ask about the setlist, what they will play on tour. But he has no clue yet. First he wanted the album to be released and now he has a band including a pedal steel player and a violin player. So there might be something like what we could hear on Skavlan, the live version of ”Småstadsprat”. They talk about Lars Winnerbäck. Olle asks who could replace him on tour when he is not there. Per jokes it could be Micke Syd.

Per says the whole album would be easy to play live. It’s very organic. Olle asks if there are any plans after the summer tour, besides releasing the autumn album. If a little club tour is in the plans maybe. Per says nothing is decided yet. He says it happens easily when you are on tour many times, you play your hits all the time and he has a huge hit catalogue. But he also has the need to try new things and that’s the easiest for him in the studio. Olle asks if Per writes songs also out of a project, being just inspired, without any project in sight, but Per says it doesn’t work for him. He likes deadlines.

Olle asks Per about Gyllene Tider’s 40th anniversary tour, if it happens next year. Per says nothing decided yet, but there are plans. Olle asks Per about the future, if he still sees an international career in his life. Per says he doesn’t know. He will go on writing both in Swedish and English. He tells Olle that for his own sake he has been zig-zagging among his 3 careers so far, doing something with Roxette, then with Gyllene Tider, then solo, to keep himself interested and also the crowds interested. Mainly in Sweden, which is a small country. People might get tired of you. As they say, how could we miss you when you won’t go away. So Olle thinks Per has plans to make an English album in the future. Per says could be. Olle says everyone knows when Per says could be, it means it will happen. Per says let’s see what happens, but he is always open to suggestions.

The last thoughts are on Per going back to Halmstad after the session and do another signing session tomorrow (in Ullared). He thanked for all and left the stage.

After the interview, the signing session started upstairs. It wasn’t too fan-friendly, since people had to be queueing on the stairs and had no chance to see Per until they got up to the top of the stairs. Per was standing behind a counter in a corner, which also made it difficult to take pictures with him for example. And the guy who organized the whole thing seemed to be more stressed than fans, as he was grabbing the stuff out of our hands to put them in front of Per, trying to make it faster. Oh well… Haha. I haven’t counted, but I think there were more than 100 people in the queue. Everyone got the autographs on whatever they wanted. En vacker natt CD, vinyl, older PG CDs, vinyls, books and even guitars. A guy from Germany came with 4 or 5 guitars to have them signed by Per. It was fun. Mr. G smiled all the time, he enjoyed the session and didn’t seem to be tired at all. Where does this guy gets the energy from? Haha. After the queue ran out of people, Per went into the office and probably signed some more stuff for the shop. He left the building at appr. 17:30.

It was a lovely session with the interview and the signing part, also a great meeting occasion for fans from Sweden and from abroad (Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Russia, Italy, Hungary, The Netherlands, Denmark). Besides the fans, there was Sven Lindström at Folk å Rock. We could chat with him a bit too. I asked him about the Swedish Radio podcast, sequel of Gessles nio i topp which was to be out this spring. He said they have recorded everything, it’s under production now and it’s out in summer. And there is even more to come soon! Sounds exciting!

And what’s also exciting is that a RoxBlog interview with Mr. G is on the way! Probably out tomorrow. Stay tuned! 😉

   

Interview and signing session stills by Patrícia Peres.

Vote for Per Gessle on Rockbjörnen!

Nomination period started for this year’s Rockbjörnen (music prize awarded by Aftonbladet annually). They have Per Gessle in the drop down menu for the best male live artist. And we of course have a new Per Gessle album, so it’s easy to choose the Swedish song of the year, too. Please, fill in at least the live male artist of the year, fans of the year and Swedish song of the year boxes at the voting link. You can surely fill in other boxes, too. As per this year’s breakthrough artist (Årets genombrott) you can always check out the artists signed at Per’s record label, Space Station 12 and vote for them.

Vote HERE each day until 9th July!

If you can’t speak Swedish, we help you which boxes to fill in and how you can proceed with your voting:

  • Årets manliga liveartist = Male live artist of the year: Per Gessle
  • Årets svenska låt = Swedish song of the year: Småstadsprat – Per Gessle & Lars Winnerbäck (this song has probably the highest chance to win, since it’s the first single and it’s played on Swedish radio heavily, but of course, you can choose any other song off ”En vacker natt”)
  • Årets bästa fans = Fans of the year: Per Gessle fans
  • Årets genombrott = Breakthrough artist of the year: Good Harvest or Fanny de Aguiar or Alex Shield or Charla K

After filling it in, click on ”Nästa” (= ”Next”) and fill in your name (first name & surname), e-mail address, mobile number, year of birth (födelseår) and whether you are female (kvinna) or male (man) or other (annat), then reply to the control question (e.g. 2 + 2 = 4). If you want to receive info and offers from Aftonbladet, leave the tick in. ”Tillbaka” means ”Back”, ”Rösta” means ”Vote”. It’s simple as that.

For a little Rockbjörnen history check out our article from 4 years ago.

 

Per Gessle at the TV4 gala supporting UNICEF

Last night Per Gessle performed at the gala organized by TV4, supporting UNICEF. UNICEF works to give every child, everywhere, a fair chance in life. This year’s program, ”Världens kväll för alla barn” hit a record with 10 thousand more new “World Parents” in Sweden (monthly donors) than last year, resulting in 27505, collecting more than 33 million crowns for the good cause.

There was a 2-hour-long gala on TV4 where several Swedish artists performed. During the day, Team PG posted a rehearsal pic where we could see Per and the gang rehearsed together with Linnea Henriksson.

Before the show, Linnea Henriksson and Live Nation Sweden shared a pic of Per and Linnea on the red carpet. Expressen asked Per about what he expects from the gala and Mr. G said he would expect a fun and emotional evening and that a lot of money would be collected. He also mentioned it’s really great to work with Linnea Henriksson.

Expressen also shared a pic of Per and Åsa on the red carpet. They both look fab and they are such a lovely couple.

Per and Linnea performed “Småstadsprat” together at the gala. It did sound different to the album version or any live versions we could hear so far (with Lars Winnerbäck or Per alone). The band played beautifully and Helena’s tussilagos sounded wonderful too. Check out the performance HERE (or if you are in Sweden, you can watch it on TV4’s website as well)!

Still is from the video. Thanx Gabriela Demichelli for recording it!

 

En vacker kväll poll #7 – Party Crasher

After finally updating the website and moving it to a new server, we can go on with the polls. After this it will only be Per’s new album En Vacker Natt left, plus all the other projects. You can find the results of all polls so far on this special page.

Until then you may want to read all the amazing interviews Per has given the past weeks and that Patrícia has nicely summarised (thanks!!). Search in “Per Gessle” category to find all of them. And of course, keep on buying and listening to the new album!!

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 01-05-2017 09:27:26
end_date 08-05-2017 09:30:00
Poll Results:
En vacker kväll poll #7 - Party Crasher (2008)
Total Answers 409
Total Votes 180