New Per Gessle interview from Hungary

During the past months many interviews with Per popped up in several countries. Anyone in for a little Hungarian this time? Piece of cake. OK, if you’d like to skip the lesson, just read the summary in English below.

Lángoló Gitárok is a well-known Hungarian music blog. Ádám Magyar, one of the LG bloggers did a quite nice interview with Mr G, having some interesting questions to him. There is nothing really new for a hardcore Roxer in it, but still, I’m always happy to read anything Rox-related in Hungarian newspapers or on websites. And yeah, I could read about / listen to Per’s thoughts and views on music 24/7. I know there are many more out there sharing this feeling. 😉

rox_int_langolo_gitarokIn the interview, to the question what motivates him being constantly on stage Per replied he’s not constantly on stage, but is constantly working. He writes, re-writes and re-re-writes songs, planning or he’s just in the studio. Touring is another part of the creative work, but he really likes it, because it feels wonderful to stand on stage in front of tons of people who love what they’re doing.

To the question what inspires him when writing songs he replied writing songs is just natural for him, since he started writing already as a teenager. He could not live without writing, it’s an important part of his personality. Per is writing constantly, but it doesn’t mean he finishes all the songs or that the audience will get to hear all of his songs.

Per says today’s mainstream pop music is very one-sided and he blames it on the major record companies and radio stations. He thinks it’s much easier to follow in the footsteps of an already successful production than to do something fresh and innovative. His favorite songwriters are those who still try to move out of the ordinary frames, while writing great melodies and doing interesting albums. He says he loves well-written songs.

Of current music trends Per says sometimes things don’t come through, because he thinks those songs don’t speak to him. But that’s just the way it should be. Pop music should always reflect the actual era and so it does.

To Lángoló Gitárok‘s question, if he ever recognized the impact of Roxette on today’s music Per replied he is not used to think about it at all. Music works like you hear something, you find inspiration in it and then write something new.

Lángoló Gitárok asked Per what kind of music he is listening to nowadays. He says he is listening to different kinds of music. He returns to Joni Mitchell or 70’s pop songs quite often, but he also likes new stuff, such as Lana Del Rey, Röyksopp, José González, Nine Inch Nails and Daft Punk. He finds French bands usually very good. But according to Per, there are good songs of Katy Perry, Tove Lo or Ellie Goulding, too.

To the question what he thinks of the future of music Per replied pop and rock music have changed a lot in his life. When he was a child, music played a huge role in their daily lives, but today there is much more competition in the entertainment business. There is the internet, the fantastic computer games, etc.

The point is that the possibilities are endless and this is a huge difference compared to earlier times. Sometimes I feel that the role of music in everyday life in today’s society is not as dominant as it was decades ago. On the other hand, more people listen to music today than ever before, and it‘s amazing how much easier it is to access music. Of course, pop and rock music will live on, but who knows what role they will play in the future.

Per talks about his great memories from the tours. He says they are very lucky and grateful that they could attract so many people to their shows all around the world over the years.

To the question when he thinks he will retire from music he replied:

There are no such plans, as it has just started for me.

When asked about his free time, Per mentions he likes car sports, especially F1. He talks about his hotel being also an entertaining thing to deal with. He tells he’s interested in architecture and art in general.

But actually, I’m an incredibly boring person. I spend 99% of my time with my family and music.

Regarding travelling Per says he loves Europe and when he’s travelling he feels really European. Australia is a very good place, especially Melbourne. Brazil and Argentina are also super. His favorite cities are probably New York and London, he has a lot of his friends living there.

Lángoló Gitárok asked Per whether Chris plays local songs also in other countries or it was only Hungary where he played a local tune (Tavaszi szél) in 2011. Per explains Christoffer plays some local tunes every night. He says Chris is a great musician and learns extremely fast. He’d never be able to do what Professor Lundquist is doing.

Per mentions he was in Budapest only a couple of times so far and they only came to play here, but he saw that Budapest is a beautiful city and of course, he is excited to be there again.

Regarding the new album Per says it will be out in autumn and that they plan to make a classic Roxette album, but at the same time they want it to sound fresh.

Regarding further plans for the future Per says he will follow his gut feeling.

Thanx a lot for this interview, Lángoló Gitárok!

Roxette plays in Budapest 19th May. Tickets are selling very well, but there are still some available HERE.

PLECtionary update – the latest Gessle picks AIR HAIR!

The last time the PLECtionary got updated was eXXXactly 3 months ago today. Let’s celebrate it with adding some more picks to it!

Since the 2014 picks weren’t really used (check in the PLECtionary, why), it was evident Per needed new plectrums for the New Zealand – Australia leg of the tour. He shared a photo of his new guitar picks one day before the Auckland show. We could all agree on these were fitting NZ-Oz quite much and that they are hilarious with the funny texts on them.

Sandra Knospe decided to see the band live in Australia in February and during the concerts she attended she could collect all the latest Per Gessle plecs, as well as one Christoffer pick and one Micke N-S plectrum. After getting back home, she found the time to take the pics of all the beauties and tell the trivia she knows about them, so 8 plectrums are added this time to her already stunning collection. Check out the PLECtionary and look for the guitar picks No. 92-99!

There are plenty of the picks produced for NZ-Oz, so maybe there are enough left for at least the European leg of the tour. The designs are fitting Australia more, but of course we’re happy to catch them in Europe, too. 😉 (Update on 28th March: Per says there will be new picks for Europe.) 7 weeks left until the tour goes on! Woohoo!

Huge thanx for the updates, Sandra! We’re eXXXtremely happy that your collection is growing and growing!

 

6_PG_picks_2015_by_SK
Photo by Sandra Knospe

 

Per is talking about the plecs and more in this interview.

If you are interested in reading some more about Sandra’s collection, check out the interview with her.

 

Per Gessle in the Autoropa Racing Days video

You might remember Per sharing pictures of himself at a Racing Day at Ring Knutstorp, Sweden last September (pic 1, pic 2). Mr G mentioned back then:

Racing yesterday at Ring Knutstorp. Well, I actually didn’t race. Just a few laps on the track. I’m a coward.

So, the car was driven by someone else on the track and we were also joking a lot about him wearing that helmet or not in the end. I bet many would have been happy to be there and check Per’s LALALA LaFerrari from the inside. It seems some were lucky enough to sit in it for a little time.

Besides providing the visitors with the possibility to see tons of posh cars, there was a charity race for Childhood Cancer Foundation and 300000 SEK was collected for them. On a side note, Hugh Grant was also present and he was racing.

6 months after the event, Autoropa, the organizer of the racing days shared a short VIDEO summary of what happened at Ring Knutstorp that September day. They talked to Per, so he also appears in the video. Check him at 0:36 and 4:40. As you can see, the mystery is solved. Mr G did wear that helmet, even if it was maybe only for some seconds or minutes. Per says in the video that Åsa (who was btw driving the LaFerrari to and from Ring Knutstorp) drives a little faster on the roads than Per. Who would have thought? 😉

PG_racing_day_02        PG_racing_day_01

Stills are from the Autoropa Racing Days video

 

Photos from the event:

Autoropa FB page (photos)
Autoropa website (photos)
rignellskansljuvahem.blogspot.se (photos)
flickr.com (isakhuynh) photos 1; 2;
Aftonbladet (article and photos)

 

Have a “Gessle inspired weekend”

Any plans for March? Particulary, March 13 and 14? No? Then you could go and book a “Gessle inspired weekend” at Per’s Hotel Tylösand in Halmstad. Everybody who books a “Spa & Entertainment package” will get a special treat with a wine tasting of exclusive Gessle wines as well as do a tour around the hotel’s unique pop history landmarks – as is stated on the homepage of the hotel.

This is the complete program as listed on the site:

PROGRAM

WINE TASTING – Friday and Saturday 17.30 PM
The Per Gessle Selection is the brand for the series of wines that the Swedish super star and wine aficionado Per Gessle has launched with the help of some of the world’s most prominent wine makers. In this series there are champagne as well as red, white and non-alcoholic wines, and we will be served a selection of these during the tasting session.

THE POP TOUR – Friday and Saturday
On both Friday and Saturday there will also be a guided tour of selected pop history items on display at the hotel, led by music writer and Per Gessle biographer Sven Lindström, who guides us around Leif’s Lounge with its exhibition of unique Roxette and Gyllene Tider material from Gessle’s long music career.
Sven Lindström has written the authorised biography ”Att vara Per Gessle” as well as chronicling Roxette’s career and sensational comeback. Together with Per, he also hosts the weekly show Nordic Rox, presenting the best music from the Northern countries on Sirius XM satellite radio.

BOOK NOW!
Availability is limited, so book now for a weekend in March with a little bit more of everything.

Per Gessle – the book fair pop quiz sound recording

PG_book_fair_20140926
Pic by Patrícia Peres

You surely remember last year’s Göteborg Book Fair either you could personally be there or not. On 26th September Per, in between 2 signing sessions, took part in a very entertaining pop quiz that was led by Sven Lindström. Another participant of the quiz was the other lonely boy, Nisse Hellberg. 4 months after the event, the book fair team decided to share the sound recording of that seminar, so now everyone can enjoy it. A short summary of the day as chapter 1 you could already read here at RoxBlog in this article and 1/3 of the seminar you could already watch as a video summary in this RoxBlog article. The seminar was of course in Swedish, but it is worth listening to it even if you don’t speak the language. How these guys love music shines through their talking. Always! Oh and you can also hear how Per loves to win. Because he won. Of course.

Hopefully, chapter 2, i. e. the interview Jan Gradvall did with Per on 28th September will also be uploaded as a sound recording at least. Until then, enjoy this little pop quiz!

 

Any Per Gessle birthday party today?

Another year passed and Mr. G became 20454 days old today. Wishing a splendido birthday to Per! The past year was again full of fun, joy and treats in many forms and most importantly, we got some more gorgeous & cool music from him. Cheers to another busy year!

Do you have any plans about how to celebrate Per’s birthday? You can choose more than 1 from the list below. If you choose ”Other”, we would be glad to read about your plans in a comment.

 

PG_1_year_20150112_rs
These photos in the collage were shared by Per during the past year at the uncountable number of Facebook pages he is handling. We are ready for even more pics until his next birthday, aren’t we?
How do you celebrate Per's birthday?

 

 

 

Per Gessle on Swedish Radio about Kaj Kindvall

As we already informed you about it in an earlier article, Per could be heard on Swedish Radio P4 today.

During the first half an hour of the program Kajs spellista, Kaj Kindvall played some songs from the past he thinks still sound good today. Then came the interviews with several listeners, artists and colleagues. The interviews were done by Micke Cederberg who met Per for recording his thoughts on 6th December.

In the 2-minute-long interview with PG (starting at 1:05:19 at THIS link) he talked about his memories related to Kaj Kindvall and his programs and mentioned Kaj always had a significant role in his life as a radio host. At the time Per became an artist, Kaj was the host of Poporama (1974-1984), a radio program that was very important in Gyllene Tider’s history. Per talks about the story we could read I think in Att vara Per Gessle and could also hear it in older interviews that they, the guys from Gyllene Tider and their friends sent a lot of postcards to Kaj to ask him to play Flickorna på TV2 on the show. The only “mistake” they made was that all the postcards were sent from Halmstad, what Kaj saw and mentioned it on the radio, too. But they succeeded with that action after all. There is even a short cut of a call from those times when Kaj talks to Per on the phone about the song. Funny.

Per says Kaj’s other program, Tracks (1984-2011) also meant a lot to him as a solo artist, but also to Gyllene Tider and Roxette. Mr G mentions that Kaj has a really good radio voice that one can recognize immediately and he is a great host and one couldn’t miss any of his programs. Per wished him a nice life after retiring and not to forget to clean the dust off the gramophone every now and then.

PG_in_front_of_Swedish_Radio

PLECtionary update & CONTEST!

When we first got to see the 2014 editions of Per’s guitar picks on the producer’s Instagram account (pic 1, pic 2), we got very excited. They all look so hot ’n’ cool! Then the tour started and besides being extremely happy about seeing our most beloved band live again, we expected to see the new picks live, too. During the Russian leg of the tour fans were posting pictures of plectrums they could catch at the concerts and we could see that besides some new ones, most of the picks they could obtain were from 2012. We could think the amount produced of the new plecs was so few vs. Per’s pick-throwing habits that he ran out of those 2014 picks very fast. But it wasn’t the case.

You probably remember Per’s post on Roxette’s Facebook page some days ago. He shared the PLECtionary again, with this text:

A nice collection. But where are the pix from 2014????? /P.

Haha… Yeah… We’d been also wondering, because we saw a lot of 2014 picks appearing e.g. on Tradera, already before the tour started and we were quite sad about the fact that they ended up in traders’ hands, while we couldn’t see too many of them on Per’s mic stand on tour and he played even less of them.

The producer shared the info after we asked them and they saw the PLECtionary that the picks are quite exclusive, not too many of them were produced. That was also confirmed by Mr G and Micke N-S. 100 pieces were made of each 2014 picks, except for the Rox-Jet plec, of which 400 exist. Per already mentioned it in the guitar pick interview that they should slow down a bit and produce less picks for a tour. Now it seems they sticked to that idea of keeping the picks more exclusive.

There was another thing Per mentioned in the plectrum interview and this is how the actual update of the PLECtionary is possible. When talking about Sandra’s collection, he said:

She deserves the best. The best and the complete. I consider it a mission to help her find Plectrum-Nirvana.

2014-1_rs_SK
Photo by Sandra Knospe

And how awesome the way is how he is helping her! He sent the missing 2014 guitar picks to Sandra in a mail not much after he posted about the PLECtionary. Wow! I mean W.O.W.!

Santa Per or Gessle Claus, call him as you wish, he is the most fantastic and most fan-friendly artist in the whole wide world! And he really knows how to make the fans the happiest people in the universe. I can only confirm it.

I don’t even have to mention how Sandra was jumping of joy when she saw Per’s mail in her mailbox. She also wants to thank Mr G for the awesome gift, so here is a message from Sandra to Per:

A truly unexpected and special Xmas present!! What a treat!! Not only that I finally can add a set of these beauties to my collection, but also I’ve got lots of Xmas presents for my Rox-friends now. A big thanks to the generous and kind donator! Hallelujah! You rock, Per!

He ROX, indeed! And Sandra, too! Thanx a million for all your efforts and work with the updates again! We’re extremely happy for you and glad to see your collection is growing.

Since Per sent more picks to Sandra and let her share them with her Rox-friends, she also thought about giving a chance to a wider group of Roxers to get these rare picks. Huge thanx for offering them for a contest, Sandra!

Besides adding the 2014 picks (No. 86-91), the PLECtionary has also been updated with some info regarding quantities produced of picks where it is known and since the latest update, the misspelled, rare Woddy plec (No. 10) could also be added to Sandra’s collection.

Read the trivia from Sandra at the new picks to get to know why Per doesn’t really use those plectrums on tour! What will we see on the mic stand in 2015? Will there be a new production with the same designs or will there be some completely new layouts? Are there still so many 2012 picks left that Per will use them until he runs out of them? The answers are not known at this point. Let’s see what happens next year!

 

CONTEST!!! Here is your great chance to get hold of a ROX-JET / PER AIR HAIR – CAPTAIN GESSLE guitar pick (No. 91)! In order to participate, answer the following questions (correct answers are added next to the Qs on 3rd January):

  1. How many Rox world related guitar picks are there altogether in the PLECtionary at the moment? – 150 (143+7)
  2. How many different 2014 guitar picks were designed for the XXX anniversary tour? – 6
  3. What is written on the front and back of plec No. 10? (Please, spell it how you see it, otherwise we can’t accept your answer. 😉 ) – Text front: HEJ DIN TOK JAG ÄLSKAR DIG; Text back: WODDY

 

Send an e-mail with your name, address (so we can send the guitar pick in case you win) and the answers to the questions to rxbcontests@gmail.com until 23:59 CET on 2nd January 2015. The 10 lucky winners will be announced a few days later.

Good luck!

Contest terms and conditions:
– In order to participate, you have to send an e-mail to rxbcontests@gmail.com with your name, address and the answers to the 3 questions. We will consider all e-mails we receive until 23:59 CET on 2nd January 2015 with complete information.
– 10 winners will be picked randomly among those who have participated and sent the correct answers.
– You can only participate once, any attempt to participate twice will lead to your disqualification.
– Prizes won’t be paid out in cash. Prizes will be sent by standard mail only once (so basically, if the envelope gets lost, we won’t be able to send a replacement).
– Winners will be announced on this website, on our Facebook page and will also be notified per e-mail. You’ll be required to reply to the e-mail confirming your address.
– Roxetteblog.com will not enter into any correspondence regarding the result of the contest and is not liable for any damages, loss or expenses that may result in connection to the prize.
– All submitted data will only be used for the purpose of the contest and in case you are one of the lucky winners, to send you the prize.

 

Update on 3rd January:

The 10 lucky winners are:

Rosina Marmion – Uruguay
Agata Giunta – Italy
Gaby Hildebrandt – Germany
Jorge Diaz – Argentina
Nikolett Zentai – Hungary
Ilya Volkov – Germany
Kersti Liivamäe – Estonia
Helen Franklin – England
Mariana Gumuzio – Spain
Remco Verhaaf – The Netherlands

The winners have been informed via e-mail and were announced on our Facebook page, too.

The Per Gessle Selection champagnes and 2011 Kurt & Lisa are out

In June this year Per announced on Facebook that The Per Gessle Selection would grow by three bottles of champagne. The bottles were supposed to hit the stores (or Systembolaget) in November. We have been looking forward to this “release” and finally the champagnes are here including very cool stickers.

The Pleaser  – a blend of grape varieties 40% pinot noir and 60% chardonnay – is available at Systembolaget for 308 SEK.

The Convincer – a rosé blend of  50% pinot noir and 50% chardonnay – is available at Systembolaget for 325 SEK.

The Improver is a cuvée produced in partnership with Blanc de Blancs producer Pierre Peters from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger in Cotes du Blancs and consists of 15 different vintages – even back to 1988. Only a few hundred bottles (the initial information was 500) have been produced. The champagne will be sold at Hotel Tylösand – no further information regarding how to buy it otherwise though.

Besides these three champagnes, Kurt & Lisa 2011 is available at Systembolaget since early December as well. Rumour has it that it’s the best so far (so just watch out when you buy it, some stores still have the 2010 and want to sell that one before putting the new one on the shelves. I was even told at one of the stores early December that the year doesn’t matter, that I should get the 2010 because they are the same……no comment). The sticker has been updated with a new colour too.

And last but not least, I finally had the opportunity to drink Fru Nordin white and I must say – well done! The non-alcoholic wines I had tasted so far were rather dry and acid. This one is milder, but it tastes more like wine and fruty. Very yummie. The WineAgency has also published a recipe for a white wine glögg – without alcohol, that is. Check it out! You may get inspired.

So if you live in Sweden (or happen to be there) head to Systembolaget and grab some of the Per Gessle Selection bottles for the upcoming Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties! Welcoming 2015 with one of these champagnes will surely be special (seems I was in Sweden too early this month).

Skål!

Fru Nordin Vitt
Fru Nordin Vitt
The Pleaser
The Pleaser
The Improver
The Improver
The Convincer
The Convincer
Kurt&Lisa 2011
Kurt & Lisa 2011

 

 

 

 

Per Gessle about Kaj Kindvall

Kaj Kindvall is a Swedish radio host since 1970. He hosted music programs (Tio i toppen, Poporama and Tracks among others) that played an important role in Swedish music history. In 2003 he got a Swedish Grammy, the jury’s honorary award for his work at the radio and spreading pop music.

His last program after working for more than 40 years at Swedish Radio is on 27th December, at 18:30 CET on P4. It will be a summary of the past 40-45 years and besides his colleagues and listeners, artists will also talk about what “Tracks” and Kindvall himself meant to them over the years. Per Gessle will also talk about his thoughts and memories related to Kaj and his programs. The part with Per was probably recorded last Saturday, when he visited the radio’s studio.

So tune in on 27th December to listen to him!

PG_in_front_of_Swedish_Radio

CONTEST: Win a signed Per Gessle book!

PG_books_signedXmas (or XXXmas? 😉 ) is around the corner, so we thought it’s the best timing to announce our next contest. Huge thanks to Roos & Tegnér (publishing company) for offering Per’s 2 books for us to give away. Since we were there at the Göteborg Book Fair, we had the chance to make both books signed by the man himself. Besides Mr G’s artistic autograph, you’ll find a tiny message in the books, too.

2 winners will be picked. One of them wins the English book (Songs, Sketches & Reflections), the other the Swedish book (Texter, klotter & funderingar). We will do our best to mail the books as soon as possible, so that they can land under 2 Christmas trees in time.

 

In order to participate, answer the following questions (you will find help in the interview about the books we did with Per a month ago):

  1. Which books Per didn’t want to compete with, so he decided to publish 2 books instead of 1 thick book?
  2. Who did that interview with Per which can be found in both the English and the Swedish book?
  3. What does Per say, why doesn’t he want to talk too much about his own songs?
  4. Name at least 2 songs of other artists that have brilliant lyrics according to Per!

Send an e-mail with your name, home address (so we can send the book in case you win) and the answers to the questions to rxbcontests@gmail.com until 23:59 CET, 3rd December 2014. The 2 lucky winners will be announced a few days later.

Good luck!

Patrícia and Judith and the rest of the RXB Team.

Contest terms and conditions:
– In order to participate, you have to send an e-mail to rxbcontests@gmail.com with name, address and answer to the
4 questions. We will consider all e-mails we receive until 23:59 CET on 3rd December 2014.
2 winners will be picked randomly among those who have participated and sent the correct answers. The 2 books will be picked randomly for the 2 winners.
– You can only participate once, any attempt to participate twice will lead to your disqualification.
– Prizes won’t be paid out in cash. Prizes will be sent by
standard mail only once (so basically, if the package gets lost, we won’t be able to send a replacement).
– Winners will be announced on this website, on our Facebook page and will also be notified per e-mail. You’ll be required to answer the e-mail confirming your address.
– Roxetteblog.com will not enter into any correspondence regarding the result of the contest and is not liable for any damages, loss or expenses that may result in connection to the prize.
– All submitted data will only be used for the purpose of the contest and. in case you are one of the lucky winners, to send you the prize.

 

Update on 4th December:

The lucky winners are: Caroline Wiltz Delorme, Mexico (Swedish book), Mathew James, UK (English book). The winners have been informed via e-mail and were announced on our Facebook page.

Per Gessle interview in Expressen

So now we know, it was Malin Roos from Expressen who did an interview with Per at the Göteborg Book Fair after the pop quiz and signing session, when Per went ”backstage” on 26th September. The interview is a fabulous and entertaining reading.

PG_Expressen_interviewAbout The Per Gessle Archives Per says it took a year to put together the collection, there are so many tapes in boxes and bags and old denim jackets. MP has done an awesome job, finding everything. But it’s not at all complete, there are certainly 70 songs left still. He says if someone is interested in songwriting, it’s fun listening to demos. For those who knows and like Per’s catalogue, it’s quite interesting, but for those, who are not interested in his thing, it’s completely useless, he laughs.

Malin Roos asks Per what he means when he claims it has never been more fun than it is now. Per replied there has been a big driving force in him to succeed in music, he really wanted to. Especially, when the international career started. He says it’s awfully hard to succeed internationally as a Swedish artist, but it was really important for him.

Now, when I start to get old and gray, I have a more relaxed approach. It’s not as important to win as when I was 30. Now I’m doing things more for myself. There is an incredibly lot of material I finished, but I have not even bothered to release. I have had so much fun when I played them in, it’s not as important for me that you hear it.

Per says he is not reading the reviews anymore. People usually tell him what a review says, but he doesn’t read otherwise.

To the question if he is difficult to work with he replied:

No, I don’t think so, but I’m pretty definite about what I want and don’t want to do, and therefore I’m bad at working with the wrong people. I’m pretty bad at customizing stuff. If someone gives me an order for “what they want”, so I do a pretty bad job, but if someone says “do what you want with this” so I probably do something very good.

According to Per, nowadays songwriters are “hired guns”. They have to please a management, a producer, an artist and a record label. He says he has never had to compromise this way. He is the most proud of Roxette that they managed to make their career based in Sweden and not moved to London, LA or New York, as everyone wanted them to do.

Regarding the Roxette tour, Expressen asked if they will top the number of countries (46) they played in during the last tour. Per said there will be at least as many countries. He says there are always new people around and on Facebook one can see that most of them are between the age of 25 and 40, which he thinks is remarkable, considering that he turns 80 soon. [Yeah, Per’s soon. 😉 /PP ]

The reporter asked Per about how many letters he got when he turned 55, since she read in the book he got 2000 when he turned 23. Per said there are different times today, he gets thousand greetings online. So the reporter said then Åsa doesn’t have to check the love letters anymore. Per replied:

No, not so much, but there are some strange letters coming in every now and then.

When Malin Roos asked him how is it growing old with the role of being a charmer or girls’ idol, he replied:

Hm, I don’t know, I’ve never seen myself that way at all. But of course, we are rock stars when we are abroad. If we are going to South America, it is 400-500 people who greet us at the airport. It is in a way unreal, but also a privilege.

Per tells Expressen he’s been lucky to work with his hobby. He has never had to make a decision about what to be when he grew up. He had so much success that he didn’t have to worry about things that ordinary (non-rock star) people have to care about. Like inspecting the car and stuff. Someone else makes it for him.

Malin Roos asked how many times Per has been caught by speeding. First he replied never, but then he remembered one occasion when he was driving a hired car to the studio in Skåne. He was more annoyed about the fact that he was caught in a Toyota and not a Ferrari.

Per was asked about Gabriel, too, if he also outsourced the ”job” of attending parents’ meetings. He said he is an active parent. He is not a rock star for his son, for God’s sake. His family’s life was more based on what he was doing, but when Gabriel was born, everything became different and he got other responsibilities. Of course, sometimes it was more difficult to deal with everyday things, but during the past 7-8 years, Åsa also gained much more own life. She works with design and has her own lamp collection among others. Per says it’s fun.

Expressen asked Per what he invests his money in besides expensive cars. Per replied he lives a pretty normal life. They have a hotel that costs a lot of money. Then there is art and photos.

To the question what is left to do for him what he hasn’t done yet he replied:

I would like to learn to make good pop music.

He says he is not ready and it feels like it’s just the beginning. He feels enormously triggered for each production and project he deals with. He says he’s hardly listening to guitar pop anymore, but he’s rather listening to modern pop music. E.g. Capital Cities “Safe and Sound”, Donkeyboy “Crazy Something Normal”, Ariana Grande “Problem”, Meghan Trainor ” All About That Bass”.

The only CD I have bought this year is Leonard Cohen’s new one, but I haven’t listened to it yet. I can’t find my CD player.

When Per was talking about his LP collection, Expressen asked him what he would save first when there is a fire in his house. He said then he would leave the vinyls and take a nice photo.

I can’t remember any German guy lying on the floor filming Per’s feet (mentioned in the Expressen article), but it would be fun to know what it was good for. 😉

 

New Roxette material in 2015

The news regarding the BMI London Awards reached Musikindustrin.se. They asked Per about the gala, The Per Gessle Archives, his books and Roxette.

About the gala Per said it was a lighthearted event with the usual red carpet-walking and quick TV interviews where the subjects changed between Marie’s brain tumor and Miley Cyrus’s tongue. He tells the award for this year’s song, Daft Punk’s Get Lucky was well deserved. Getting 2 awards, one together with MP for more than 5 million plays of Listen To Your Heart and one for more than 5 million plays of It Must Have Been Love among other, much older songs with the same amount of airplays was good for the ego, Per says. But all other 5 million-air songs are fantastic.

Regarding the book fair in Gothenburg he says whenever he / they do an official appearance, The International Hardcore Fans always turn up.

It’s always nice, they are really wonderful supporters from around the world who are there for better or worse. So the book fair was a very happy event for me. Lots of people and good atmosphere.

And now some news for all those who don’t fancy the idea of another greatest hits album. Per confirms again:

Roxette has been in the studio and finished a bunch of singles that will be released next year. We also aim to put together a brand new album in 2015, but right now we are concentrating on the “XXX – The 30th Anniversary Tour” starting October 28 in Vladivostok. It ends, as it looks now, the summer of 2016. I believe my passport expires then.

roxette

 

Interview with Per Gessle: “I wanted the books to show who I am, my style, my drawings, my silly notes and confused guide-lines”

PG BookFair01-1 We had the chance to ask Per Gessle some questions about the books (“Texter, klotter & funderingar” and “Songs, Sketches & Reflections”), so we went through the books and thought of some detailed ones. Per, who is currently busy with the Roxette rehearsals, nicely took the time to answer to all these questions. Here is the result!

Don’t forget to grab the books and check them out while reading for a complete experience. Or to buy them if you haven’t yet (or you may be lucky in… read at the bottom!)

RXB/J&PP: So let’s start from the beginning. When did you get the idea to make these books? Was it born at the same time as the box? What came first, the idea of releasing TPGA box or publishing the books?
Per Gessle: Hello.. It’s something that’s been in the back of my mind for a long long time. There are so many songs around, so many demos. It really is “a lifetime of songwriting”! Also I’ve got so many studio diaries that need some fresh air!!

Through our Facebook-site I’ve also noticed that many people are interested in the demos. That feedback was certainly important to me in my decision.

It’s been a great ego trip in spite of the endless hours of research that was needed to make (especially) the box happen, since the amount of material is so vast. Lots of people have been involved, primarily MP (finding & refreshing old tapes + recording & editing Sven’s and my conversation-pieces which took forever), Pär Wickholm (CD-box layout) and Benny Mårtensson (book layout). Without those guys it wouldn’t have happened. Not like this. I’m extremely pleased with the result.

The books are not simply some lyrics put together black on white with a few pictures but something much more personal, with comments, drawings and other things from your archives. What was your initial concept you had in mind? Did you have such design in mind from the beginning?
Yes. I didn’t want to do just standard lyric-books. I wanted them to show who I am, my style, my drawings, my silly notes and confused guide-lines. To write a song is a long journey and most of the time people only get to know the final destination.

Why did you decide to split them in two books, English and Swedish? Do you plan to release the English book outside of Sweden?
I’m sure both books will be available globally through Amazon etc. The reason for two separate books is that otherwise it would have been too thick. And I don’t want to compete with the bible. Or the complete edition of “Fifty Shades Of Grey”.

We also realized that some songs are missing from the books and some are missing your comments and only the lyrics are included. How did you decide on which songs to include and comment on?
I wrote down what I remembered and if there were any good stories or anecdotes connected with the songs. Some songs I don’t remember writing. Some lyrics didn’t make it due to copyright-reasons. “Tylö Sun” and “Skicka ett vykort, älskling” for instance. I don’t own the copyrights to those.

10624861_10152244866910178_591528627164385920_nEvery page on the books is different, some pictures are used more than once but each page has a different design. We know Benny Mårtensson did this part, but what was your involvement? Did you check every page or give hints to certain lyric pages how they should look like?
Yes. I wasn’t in favour of using the same pics more than once but Benny found that OK. A few of his pages I didn’t particularly like so he remade them. He’s done a fantastic job. A very talented guy. The original idea was just to mix the lyrics, my studio diaries incl drawings and combine them with a few comments about the songs. Then I realized that some of the original lyric-sheets looked really cool with coffee-stains and dead flies on them so we used a lot of those. The pics should not be the main thing. Just to spice things up a bit and make it even more personal and easy to look at.

One can read the books in (at least) 2 different ways: Either with or without the music to the lyrics. While reading the books without music one gets a deeper insight into your lyrics and realizes (once more) how great songwriter you are. Did you (re)discover parts of your lyrics that impressed you? Lyrics long forgotten where you thought “wow, did I write that?”? (or some you thought “what was I thinking?”).
Thank you. I’m happy you enjoy my work. My ambition writing lyrics has always been that they should be capable to stand on their own two feet. I think it’s crucial that you should be able to read a song lyric without getting too embarrassed. Both as the writer and as the reader. Sometimes I’ve screwed things up, sometimes it feels good when I bump into one of my lyrics.

We have both interviews in the Swedish book, but only the Sven interview in the English one. Both are great reading for fans or even non-fans and going through all the interesting things in the Tomas Andersson Wij interview, it would have been a good idea to translate it and include it in the English book as well. Why didn’t you decide for having it there?
I agree. TAW’s interview is great and should have been included in both books. If there will be a 2nd edition it will be translated and made available in English as well. The reason we didn’t include to begin with was that Tomas and I mostly talked about my Swedish work and thought it didn’t really interest that many people abroad. We were wrong.

In the Sven interview you say you try to avoid learning too much, because you are afraid of losing the unconscious. At the same time, working together with all those fantastic musicians, it’s impossible not to learn from them. How can you keep the balance?
Well, what I’m trying to say is that it doesn’t really work for me to “educate” myself too much and learn the classic and proper rules of music. I want to trust my gut feeling and if I need help (which I do all the time…, I know what I want but I don’t know how to get it…) I consult more “educated” people than me, Christoffer and Clarence for instance.

I truly believe that I’d been a far less interesting songwriter if I didn’t follow my own set of rules and instincts. I don’t really know when I’m doing things “right or wrong” and that’s the whole idea for me. Follow that sweet smell of surprise.

Read moreInterview with Per Gessle: “I wanted the books to show who I am, my style, my drawings, my silly notes and confused guide-lines”

Per Gessle and MP at the BMI Awards

The 2014 BMI London Awards took place at the Dorchester Hotel (Park Lane) tonight. The invitation-only gala recognizes the UK and European songwriters and publishers of the past year’s most-played BMI songs on American radio and television. As Per posted about it earlier today, he and Mats MP Persson were there to receive the Million-Air Awards for Listen To Your Heart and It Must Have Been Love for the songs being played more than 5 million times each. Per has been prepared for this event since at least a year ago, when he posted a pic of him and MP from the 2005 gala. 5 million plays! Sounds fab, doesn’t it! I mean it’s really huge! Just to make it easier (or harder) to imagine, 5 million plays of LTYH means appr. 50 years if it were constantly played and 5 million plays of IMHBL means appr. 41 years. Amazing!

In the meantime, LTYH video is heading for 40 million views on YouTube, while IMHBL is heading for 45 million. Millions here and there and everywhere. Hats off! Before the gala, Per posted both videos (1, 2) on Roxette Official with these words:

OVER five million radioplays in the US. Happy. Proud. Thanx everyone for listening! /P.

BMI_2014
Check the photo on BMI’s website!

Per says in a short BMI interview:

I hope we’re good role models for the new generation.

 

One more short PG interview has been uploaded by BMI on 27th October. Check it out by clicking HERE.

 

BMI Awards
MP, Marie and Per at the BMI Awards gala in 2005. Pic from BMI.

1 million plays earlier, It Must Have Been Love got the BMI Million-Air Award for 4 million plays in 2005. Marie and Per were there at the gala. You’ll find some pics here. You can watch a video with Per from that year about how he started and another about how he writes.

Listen To Your Heart got the award for 4 million plays 3 years later, in 2008. Here you will find a pic and here a video with Per and MP. Per says:

It’s great! I mean this is for 4 million airplays. It’s the second time I’m part of it. This is for Listen To Your Heart, last time it was for It Must Have Been Love. It’s just amazing! Amazing! I have to pinch my arm. It’s just great!

 

Photos from the event:

Photos on Roxette Official and PER GESSLE OFFICIAL: 1, 2, 3, 4,

rexfeatures.com photos

contactmusic.com

entertainment.ie

tipsimages.it: 1, 2, 3

monstersandcritics.com: 1, 2, 3

musikindustrin.se article