Interview with Per Gessle: “We’re talking about recording shows for a DVD-release”

We got hold of Per Gessle during the rehearsals for the coming Roxette performance at Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling’s wedding this Friday and Saturday and asked him about the new Roxette album, the upcoming tour and Per’s online activity. Here is the interview!


RoxetteBlog.com: We would like to start with questions about the recordings. How does the production of a Roxette album compare to an English solo album – apart from Marie’s input? Does it take longer to record and prepare? Do you have a bigger focus on commerciality? Do you get special requests from EMI or do you only show the finished product?

Per Gessle: Every record I’m involved with gets basically the same preparation. I’m sure it has a lot to do with me writing most of the stuff. I’ve always loved top-40 pop and great rock music, so being “commercial” has never been a big issue for me. If a song is good, it tends to be “commercial” in my book. I love a somewhat intelligent lyric, a brilliant melody line, exciting chord-progressions and a fitting production. If you can achieve all of that, you’re most likely to wind up with a “commercial” record.

EMI? I usually (not always) discuss my demos with Kjell Andersson at EMI Sweden. He signed me to EMI back in 1979 (!) and he’s a good sport, he knows when I’m getting lazy… but we always deliver the finished “product” to EMI and get no artistic input from them whatsoever.

RXB: Did the sound change – with new ideas – during the recording sessions this year, compared to the sound you originally planned/recorded during NOTP?

PG: No, not really. When Marie and I decided to make a new Rox-album last year, we inmediatelly went for a “classic” one. We haven’t worked together for many years, so musically the main thing we have in common is the love of the old Roxette-sound… that’s where we came from. Hopefully, I can write some decent songs, Clarence & Chris can provide superb production as always and Miss F. will deliver her beautiful voice. You’ll be the judge if it worked out!

RXB: OK, we will let you know if it worked out, but we are sure of that! Let’s move on to the tour and Roxette live. You are going to play for Princess Victoria and Daniel’s Wedding, how did it happen?

PG: Åsa and me have been friends with them for many years. They’re very nice people.

RXB: The six tour dates for Roxette in 2010 promise to be the first round of something bigger, maybe the “never ending tour”. In the past you said a Roxette tour needs a certain number of dates to be lucrative – which won’t work with a few dates here and then. How do you handle that now?

PG: Nobody knows if it’s possible for Marie to do a two-hour show, so we’ll do something like 70 minutes this summer. It’s all a test.

If you told me 18 months ago that these upcoming shows were gonna happen, I wouldn’t have believed you! It’s unbelievable that Marie is back on track. And she sounds terrific!!! So… if things go well, it might lead to a “proper” tour next year when the new album is released. I, for one, would love that. But it’s really up to Marie to decide.

RXB: Could you tell us about the rehearsals? Have you looked at the list of song suggestions from fans for the summer tour? Could you tell us if you already tried any of the Top-10 songs or if we can expect some of them? (Let’s help Roxette to make their playlist! or Facebook)

PG: Of course, we checked that list out. It’s really exciting!!! Quite surprising choices, I must say. We’re rehearsing right now and have tried a few of them, let’s see what happens down the road…

RXB: Are there finally plans for some live DVD release(s) and to record this summer tour? It’s a pity Roxette shows can only be found on the dead VHS format!

PG: I know, it’s such a shame. We have to work on that! Yeah, we’re talking about recording some upcoming shows for a DVD-release. Maybe something more, private pics, docu-stuff… Time will tell.

RXB: You spoilt us with entertaining videos from NOTP and the studio – of course without showing any song fragments, yet. In what form could we expect to see these making-of videos when the album is out? Deluxe album edition, future DVD release or just on the web…?

PG: I don’t know, I like the idea of communicating regularly with people who are interested in what I do, that’s basically it. There are so much more material lying around that hasn’t been shown yet. Eventually it will be released… One way or another. I’ve toyed with the idea of releasing 500 demos on the net!

RXB: Do you have plans to re-launch www.roxette.se with more content and multimedia (e.g. videos, song streaming, tour agenda/history…) with the tour/ new album? As much as we enjoy your activity on services like Snowfish or Facebook, one would expect Roxette content at the one and only official site…

PG: I guess so, but I like the Snowfish-idea so I’ll stick to that for a while.

RXB: Why do you think we – the fans – are still longing for new Roxette songs after all these years?

PG: I don’t know. Like I said earlier, I’ve been doing this professionally for 31 years. I’m very grateful someone is still interested in my humble work. I’ve been very lucky to run into the talents of lots of people… Marie, Clarence, MP, etc…. It’s been a great trip. A great trip indeed.

RXB: Per, thanks a lot for your time!

PG: My pleasure.

Judith, Kirsten, Tomasz and Sascha @ RoxetteBlog.com

Pictures taken from Snowfish.com

Gessle-book gets cover

Amazon.co.uk published the very simple cover of “Per Gessle: Per Gessle Albums, Per Gessle Songs, Roxette, Roxette Albums, Roxette Songs, Roxette Video Albums, Songs Written by Per Gessle” book.

Meanwhile Amazon.de added description of one of books which seems to be different than these two on Amazon.co.uk – “Songs Written by Per Gessle: It Must Have Been Love, Listen to Your Heart, the Look, Joyride, the Centre of the Heart, How Do You Do!” has 156 pages.

Purchase includes free access to book updates online and a free trial membership in the publisher’s book club where you can select from more than a million books without charge. Chapters: It Must Have Been Love, Listen to Your Heart, the Look, Joyride, the Centre of the Heart, How Do You Do!, You Don’t Understand Me, Silly Really, Wish I Could Fly, Pratar Med Min Müsli, Real Sugar, Dressed for Success, Sing Along, Anyone, Queen of Rain, Stars, the Big L, Sleeping in My Car, Spending My Time, Milk and Toast and Honey, Neverending Love, Fading Like a Flower, Kix, Do You Wanna Be My Baby?, En Händig Man, Juni, Juli, Augusti, Soul Deep, Salvation, Vulnerable, I Like It Like That, C’mon/jo-Anna Says, Dangerous, Almost Unreal, Här Kommer Alla Känslorna, Goodbye to You, Always Breaking My Heart, One Wish, Run to You, I Want You to Know, I Want You, Sommartider, Tycker Om När Du Tar På Mej, June Afternoon, She Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, På Promenad Genom Stan, a Thing About You, Church of Your Heart, Reveal, Fingertips ’93, När Alla Vännerna Gått Hem. Excerpt: “A Thing About You” ” A Thing About You “, written by Per Gessle , is the only single from Swedish pop duo Roxette ‘s 2002 compilation album The Ballad Hits . The song featured on BBC Radio 2 ‘s playlist. Charts This song was a medium-sized hit in Europe. It reached the top 20 in Sweden, and the top 40 in Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Germany. While peaking just outside the top 75 in the UK. Track listing References (URLs online) A hyperlinked version of this chapter is at “Almost Unreal” ” Almost Unreal ” is a song performed by Swedish pop duo Roxette . The song featured on the soundtrack to the Super Mario Brothers movie and was released as a single in 1993. It was written by Per Gessle . “Almost Unreal” peaked at #7 on the UK Singles Chart , and performed well in most other countries. However, one exception was the US, where it only reached #94 in the US and became the duo’s penultimate single to make the US …

Does it mean there are three books not two?

Gessle: “Crown Princess has an extremely good taste”

Per Gessle has officially confirmed that Roxette will play on Victoria’s pre-wedding party on Friday, June 18th, Expressen reports. “Crown Princess has an extremely good taste, Per Gessle comments to Expressen.

He took part in the official banns of marriage ceremony, where Victoria and Daniel received gifts and presents from invited guests e.g. Sweden’s Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. The ceremony took place on Sunday afternoon, May 30th. Gessle came to the castle with a large silver package. When Aftonbladet’s reporter asked what’s inside, Gessle just laughed and answered “It’s a puppy“. Per Gessle was very happy when he came out of the castle afterwards and told Expressen that the dainty sandwitches were very good. He did not want to reveal any other details around the performance, since it would be no fun.

Sources: Expressen.se, Svenskdam.se, Aftonbladet.se

Are you The next big thing?

This is a newsletter that every registered person on Snowfish.com should have gotten. The contest has started on May 25th.

Are you The Next Big Thing?

Snowfish is proud to present a new and unique music competition where everyone can be a winner – artists and music lovers alike. We call it The Next Big Thing!

For Artists!

As an aspiring artist you can sign up for the competition using your existing Snowfish-account. The goal is simple: promote yourself by uploading music, videos, images, and by publishing blog posts and interacting with fellow artists and community members. The more traffic you attract to your site, the higher your score will get. The top 10 scoring artists will be chosen to face off at an amazing live concert event at Kungsträdgården, Stockholm on the 10th and 11th of September, 2010…where The Next Big Thing winner will be crowned.

Get your music on Spotify!
Play at the Way out West festival in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Perform onstage in the Next Big Thing summer tour.
Become a finalist and compete for a recording session with a famous producer, touring hookup, music gear and much more…

For Music Fans!

Whats great about The Next Big Thing competition is that we focus equally on music fans and their ability to recognize and promote the best talent. Sign up as a Jury member and you will play a huge role in the outcome while competing for free prizes and the chance to become one of the top 10 best talent spotting jury members who get to pick the winner at an amazing live concert event at Kungsträdgården, Stockholm on the 10th and 11th of September, 2010!

Win a VIP-pass to the Way out West-festival in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Promote your favorite artists, get on the top scoring jury charts, get free stuff!
The top 10 jury finalists will be the ones who pick the winner at an amazing live concert event at Kungsträdgården, Stockholm on the 10th and 11th of September, 2010.

snowfish.com
thenextbigthing.se

Swedish musical about the 80ies to feature Gyllene Tider songs

According to an article on BLT, Philip Zandén is going to direct the musical “Älska mig i natt”, which is going to follow the concept of Mamma mia! but with Swedish hits from the 80ies.

The show is to feature about 30 songs of artists such as Orup, Gyllene Tider, Eva Dahlgren or Lisa Nilsson.

The premiere should be in the beginning of January 2011 at Chinateatern in Stockholm.

Gessle, Ulvaeus and Ledin behind “Next Big Thing” contest

According to DagensIndustri, pop legends Björn Ulvaeus, Tomas Ledin and Per Gessle are behind a new project which they hope will become Sweden’s biggest music competition – a kind of “Idol” on the web. It drew my attention that artists and songwriters can make money online, says Per Gessle to Dagens Industri.

Behind the contest called “Next Big Thing” is Snowfish.com – the company owned by famous Swedish stars. Anyone who does not already have a record deal can participate in this competition and the idea is that the audience will be a jury and will vote for the winner. It is still unclear if only Swedish citizen will be able to participate in it.

With 100,000 opened accounts, we estimate that around 25,000 are going to be the artists and the rest will be a jury, says Niklas Holmstén, Snowfish CEO. Advertisment revenue is estimated at about 10,000,000 SEK and compensation for the artists will be calculated basing on the number of listeners.

The idea is supported by e.g. Telia Sonera, Spotify, Sony Ericsson and Musikbörsen.

Source: DI.se

Per Gessle answers to questions from fans

Q from David Di Troia: Hey Per!
What are the stories with these songs?

Taken From BMI:
ONLY YOU – Is it really as bad as you made it out to be? Was it meant for TWATG?

BEING WITH YOU
ONLY WHEN I DREAM
LOUD CLOTHES
HOLIDAY
LIBERAME AMOR – Is this the Spanish version of you Don’t Understand me?
HOLD ON MY HEART – Written for another Artist?
DEPUIS LA N…UIT DES TEMPS – Written for Another Artist?
FEMALE GODDESS – Lou Bega, really?
HAPPY NEW YEAR – Written for SOAP or PC?
Cheers
Dave

PER GESSLE OFFICIAL

Hey David, yea “Only you” is actually terrible. BWY OWID LC HOL are pretty decent ones. I/We might use them some day. HOMY was recorded by some European boyband, can’t remember their name. I like that song too! It might pop up somewhere else.

Q from Marcos Dolmance: Dear Per, there are lots of people waiting for Roxette to play again in Argentina, we’ve been following you since we were just teenagers, couldn’t go to your shows because we were too young, so we hope for at least one more visit. Please take it into acount. Regards from Buenos Aires.
PER GESSLE OFFICIAL

Yep, would love to come back to South America. Let’s see what happens down the road. Cheers, P.

Q from Aline Trevisan: Per, have you been to Lady Gaga show?
PER GESSLE OFFICIAL

No, such a shame I missed it. I like her Paparazzi-song. And Jonas’ videos

Q from Wendy Collaer: Check it out =) The Baseballs – The Look
PER GESSLE OFFICIAL

Christoffer likes it!

Gessle to present classical rock photos

Per Gessle loves classical rock photos. This summer he will present works of his most favourite photographer – 71-years-old American Henry Diltz at Tres Hombres Art Gallery in Tylösand Hotel. This man has taken the most legendary photos of The Doors, Neil Yound, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Eagles, Joni Mitchell or Jimi Hendrix.

The opening will take place on July 2nd and the exhibition will continue till August 30th. One of Henry Diltz galleries exists in New York, two in California and now – one more in Sweden at Tylösand Hotel. “This year it was my own choice. Henry Diltz has taken some photos for Roxette’s “Tourism” and even for one of my solo album [En händig man promo session in Los Angeles]. He’s one of my real favourites,” tells Per Gessle to Expressen. He goes on explaining that Henry Diltz is a photographer who was “on the right place in the right time”, and even though he might not be one of those big artists, he has made a documentary of an important part of rock story, “that’s why Henry Diltz never was in these price categories as many of his colleagues,” informs Per, and explains an anecdote about how he realised, a few months after he had taken some pictures for his cover, that he had never got an invoice for the session, and how he only charged him 500 dollars for it.

His classical, hand-made and signed photos at Tylösand gallery cost 10,000 SEK and more.

Source: Expressen.se

Gyllene Tider’s first time on stage.

32 years ago.
Gyllene Tider – Live at Medborgarhuset (Bio Reflex) in Getinge

May 12, 1978, Friday at 7.30 pm
Tickets: 10 SEK [just 20 were sold, other people were allowed to enter for free]

The band:
Per Gessle
Mats Persson
Micke “Keef” Andersson (aka “Syd” in the later years)
Janne “Bas” Carlsson

Total time: 70 minutes

Per Gessle: This is we who are Gyllene Tider! (microphone wasn’t on)

1. Rebel, rebel (var blev du av?) [early version of “Åh Ziggy Stardust (var blev du av?)”]
2. Jag vet [Swedish version of Dr. Feelgood’s “I can tell”]
3. Pornografi [Per dedicated this one to Curt H-son, king of pornography]
4. London [7-minutes long ballad]
5. Min vän
6. Barbacka [heavy rock song]
7. Bobbos boogie [song about Magnus Uggla]
8. Det blåser upp till storm [11-minutes long; Per on his only solo on Gibson-guitar]

PG: We are going to end up this gig with one long track, probably too long, written by Tommy Steele.

9. Syndafloden [12-minutes long with 6-minutes long intrumental part inspired by Pink Floyd’s compositions]
10. Gloria [with both English and Swedish lyrics]

PG: Mats Persson on guitar, on drums our B52’s Micke “Keef” Andersson, on bas Janne Carlsson and my name is Rutger Backe.

RB was Halmstad’s BK’s goal shooter – Rutger Backe, though Per supported Halmian, the other Halmstad’s football team.

Source: Jan-Owe Wikström, Gyllene Tider, Stockholm 1997, pages: 26-30

The most expensive houses in Sweden in 2010

13 out 20 the most expensive houses in Sweden are located in Djurholm area in Stockholm. Number 5 on the list is Per Gessle with his 520 m2 villa in Halmstad. The house is worth over 24,000,000 SEK now. He bought this property in 1993 for 950,000 SEK, but he and his wife have done a lot of extensive and expensive renovations since then. Per Gessle is also the one of those who gain the most thanks to Property tax refrom from 2008. Swedish government reduced the property tax till only 0,75% of property’s value (not more than 6,000 SEK per year). Due to this fact Gessle does not have to pay over 123,000 SEK of property tax per year anymore.

Source: E24.se

“Gessle over Poland” audio bootleg

So here it comes. Afer one year of preparations and waiting we have finally managed to end up our works on yet another bootleg from “Party crasher tour” – to be honest – one of the funniest Roxette fan experiances in the 21st century.

After more or less professional recordings from Prague, London, Amsterdam and Stockholm (with Marie) as well as live tracks on amazing double album “Gessle over Europe”, it’s time for Warsaw. Per Gessle and his band came to Poland to play just one concert in Stodola rock club in Warsaw on April 22nd. In fact Poland was the only country on the tour list where Roxette/Gessle have never played live before. Some sources say that there were around 1,000 people in the audiance, but on the other hand I was informed about 700 tickets sold. Who’s right, who’s wrong? Who really cares?

Back to the topic. It’s a bootleg and it’s a compilation. So the quality differs from song to song constantly. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not so good, but that is how it works when you use five different recording sources. Give Slawek Sztul – he made it all possible (‘na na na’ on “The look” is his! 🙂 and Blanka ‘Blunek’ Pentela – she has designed all the covers for “Gessle over Poland” included in the set – a big hand. I cannot forget about Ela ‘Blue_girl’ Krysinska – thank you for your help and contribution. It was amazing to work with you guys!

Here’s the set list:

Stodola, Warsaw, April 22nd 2009
01. Sound Of Music / Dressed for success
02. Drowning in wonderful thoughts about her
03. Stupid
04. The party pleaser
05. Wish I could fly
06. She doesn’t live here anymore
07. 7twenty7
08. I have a party in my head (I hope it never ends)
09. Late, later on
10. Listen to your heart
11. Do you wanna be my baby
12. Opportunity nox
13. Doesn’t make sense
14. Church of your heart
15. Dangerous
16. Joyride

Encore 1:
17. C’mon
18. Are you an old hippie, Sir?
19. The look
20. It must have been love

Encore 2:
21. (I’m Nnot your) Steppin’ stone
22. Queen of rain

DOWNLOAD (bootleg + covers)

“Gessle over Poland” DVD bootleg will follow shortly. The audio stays the same, but you will get the footage to ALL SONGS. Prepare your Torrents!

Per Gessle’s personal Facebook site to be closed?

At least you can conlude this from what Per has written on his personal Facebook site recently:

Roxette? Son of a Plumber? Gyllene Tider? Try PER GESSLE OFFICIAL on Facebook! This page will close down eventually. Cheers, P.

This page was created in November 2009 by Per Gessle himself. Since March 2010 there is PER GESSLE OFFICIAL SITE, where you can follow Per’s songs of a day and other thoughts. No changing in Twitter or Snowfish accounta at this point.

NOTP on German TV – part 1.

In the first part of “Night of the Proms 2009” from Hannover “Wish I could fly” as well as Deluxe Music TV id with Per Gessle and very short interview with Man himself were broadcasted today. Tomorrow at 7 PM CET the second part will be shown and most likely we will be able to watch “The look” and “Joyride”.

If you would like to catch tomorrow’s show, check this site out. And if someone has recorded the programme in high quality, just feel free and post a link for downloading in comment section 🙂