Per Gessle on Musikplats about his upcoming Swedish album

Per Gessle was Fredrik Eliasson’s guest on Musikplats, Swedish Radio on Friday. Fredrik asked Per about his new single and upcoming album, as well as the Gyllene Tider movie and the Roxette musical. Listen to the interview HERE!

Fredrik asks Per to talk about his new song, Beredd, which is a duet with Molly Hammar. Per explains his upcoming album will be a duet album and he wrote songs that he thought were lyrically suitable to be duets. Molly is one of his favourites. Mr. G thinks she is an outstanding singer. She is completely unique and Per was so happy that she wanted to join. The song turned out damn good. According to PG, it’s magical to work with the kind of powers that many of his partners on this record have. But above all, Molly is superb.

Fredrik asks Per why he wanted to do a duet album. Per explains, if you do it right, when you do duets, the songs become even better. A good singer has such a strong personality and such strong power that you can take advantage of that in the composition. Time usually flies when you listen to a duet that is well done. Then there is another aspect. Purely musically, it will be exciting. You usually work with different registers and different tones. You might make a lot of modulations from a purely technical point of view in the composition and how you arrange everything. That’s also exciting. Sometimes it can happen that you bring in a singer and it falls flat, because the communication between the two in the duet is not happening. Now that hasn’t happened, because he has chosen very talented and competent singers. In this particular case, he got lucky with each partner and it worked well thanks to the artists he has chosen. He won’t reveal who they are. Fredrik was already going to ask who else is there. PG won’t tell, he says Fredrik has to wait a bit.

Fredrik is curious if it was difficult to bring them duet partners along. Per says he is a bit like „will I really dare to ask this person”, because you never want to be rejected. But no one has actually turned it down. It is also the case that nowadays you work a lot together, e.g. in songwriting teams. But this is not like that at all. These are Per’s songs. So he sort of brings in guests for his music and his lyrics.

Fredrik wants to know if Per sees these partners almost as an instrument in his music. Mr. G says, you could say that in this case, it’s a bit like that. It’s a test. When you first go in and record a new voice, it’s automatically a test and you never know if it will work. You do everything you can, which is in your power, trying to find the right keys, trying to write a text, a song that you think fits this particular individual. But you never know. Per says he doesn’t know what to call it. It might sound negative if he calls it an instrument, but it has absolutely only been positive.

Fredrik says the thing with duets is that they must end up somewhere, so that you have the feeling that one and one makes three. That’s how it is, Per says. Fredrik is curious if that is what Per is after, in this form. Per laughs and says he tries to do that with everything all his life, that one and one makes three. The text and the music makes three. His family, inserts Fredrik smiling. It’s been like that through Per’s whole journey. He tries to find partners and people around him who make him and what he does even better. His job is very much to try to find such people that he feels that he or she and Per communicate well and they convey something that makes things a little bit better than they might have been in the beginning. And then if they succeed, one and one will make three.

Fredrik says Per has a lot going on right now. Per should have become a juggler. Haha. Per says he is retired, for God’s sake. Haha. Fredrik says Per is far from quitting his job. Per says he has a hard time doing that. He is his job in a way. It’s probably a bit of a coincidence that a lot is happening around him and his music this year. It’s the Gyllene Tider movie this summer and the Roxette musical has it’s world premiere in September. It’s super exciting, he says.

Sommartider, that’s the title of the Gyllene Tider movie. Fredrik asks Per what was it like to see himself on the screen. Per says it was super weird. He hasn’t seen the movie yet, he has only seen some scenes and they are great. The script is fantastic. The concept is that the movie is about five guys in a small town who form a band and for some inscrutable reason try to enter Café Opera in clogs. The film is not a tribute to Gyllene Tider’s long 40-year career. It ends when Sommartider is released in 1982. So it’s about five small-town boys who meet and get to be part of a very strange fate.

Fredrik asks what Per thought when they came up with the idea that this would happen. Per says he was both flattered and horrified and he thinks that applies to all of them in the band. But at the same time, it’s a very special story that they have been part of and how it happened. They had actually only done six concerts in front of an audience when they became No. 1 with Flickorna på TV2. So they were all rookies. Then it went so fast and with the background they come from, it’s a very exceptional journey. So it’s clear that it’s very grateful to make a film out of it.

Here they play a little bit from the trailer for the movie. Fredrik asks Per if what we get to see is how it really was, if the feeling is there. PG says the feeling is absolutely there and that is the most important thing. It’s there how they meet, how they rehearse and how Marie comes into the picture.

Valdemar Wahlbeck plays the role of Per. Fredrik asks PG how Valdemar found Per and the character. Per says he wasn’t at the auditions at all. Mr. G says when Valdemar was chosen and got the job, they met quite a lot and talked and he always came super excited and had a thousand questions about how it was, how Per did this, why Per did that etc. And Per answered as best as he could and what he remembered. So Valdemar must have brought that into his role in some way. Valdemar is from Halmstad, his father and family are from Halmstad, so he has this dialect that Per has. That also helps.

Fredrik says, the film takes place in the early years up to 1982, Sommartider is released and then, he is curious what happens next. If there will be a sequel. Per mentioned that Marie Fredriksson comes into the picture in the movie. So he is curious if there will be a movie about Roxette. Per says you never know, but there is nothing planned at all. One thing at a time and this is a really exciting thing. Per smiles and says, let’s see how it turns out.

Speaking of Roxette, Fredrik mentions that there is a very close connection between Roxette and Gyllene Tider. He refers to Per’s recent post on Instagram, where he states that Gyllene Tider was called Roxette internationally on the Heartland record. Per says, after the guys in the band, everyone but him did the military service in 1983, then they made a new album in English. Their first and only English album, The Heartland Café. That record came out under the title Heartland in the US on Capitol Records and then the band was called Roxette. So the first Roxette record is actually Gyllene Tider’s Heartland album. Per remembers that he was in Los Angeles in 1984 and found this Roxette album at Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard next to Roxy Music. That was pretty damn cool. Fredrik says then Per saw straight into the future. Haha. Mr. G says he was very impressed. Fredrik says, and imagine that it turned out the way it did a few years later. Per says it’s unbelievable.

Here they play The Look, Roxette’s first US No. 1 in 1989. Fredrik informs that Roxette’s music becomes a musical. Joyride – The Musical premieres later this year, but it’s not about Roxette. Per says the musical is based on a book called Got You Back written by Jane Fallon, who is a great English writer. It is a love triangle drama about a man who has a wife in London and a lover outside London. The ladies find out about the situation and they take revenge on him. That’s the story briefly.

Fredrik asks how it all came together. Per says they have been looking for a good script for many, many years. And this is the first script that has all the components to build a good musical on it. Then people have processed the script to get the songs in at different places and tested and discarded and inserted new ones. Right now they are at a slightly too long version, Per smiles, but it’s fantastically cool to be a part of that journey.

Mr. G says that both the film and the musical are completely untrodden ground for him. He is just like, „wow!”, „oh my God!”, how many people are involved. He was at the costume department and there are 370 different garments that are handmade and hand sketched, ’80s and ’90s style. It’s a hell of a job and they have fantastic skills. It’s a completely different world. So Per is super happy to be a part of this. The musical premieres on 6th September in Malmö.

Fredrik knows the question is almost impossible to answer, but he is curious, when Per browses the Roxette song catalogue, which is the one for Per, no matter if it’s been the biggest hit or not, but that’s been the most defining song in the catalogue, that has really taken him to a place, emotionally or in any other way. So simply, which song means the most to Per. PG says the one that has taken him to another place should of course be one of the great songs, It Must Have Been Love or Listen To Your Heart, but one song that he has always loved is a song that is actually in the musical as well. It’s What’s She Like?, which is on the Crash! Boom! Bang! album. He likes that song for different reasons. He likes the song composition, the lyrics, and Marie is as good as only she could be when she sings this song. So PG thinks that’s his favourite song. Fredrik thanks Per for stopping by and plays What’s She Like? at the end of the conversation.

In the program it turns out that Beredd is the song of the week. Congrats!

Photo from Fredrik Eliasson’s Instagram

Joyride the Musical – feel-good musical based on the songs of Roxette

The much anticipated Roxette musical, inspired by the pop duo’s music and with a plot taken from the Jane Fallon book Got You Back, now has a name – Joyride the Musical. It will be directed by Guy Unsworth and the world premiere will take place at Malmö Opera 6th September 2024. C’mon join the joyride! Tickets available now HERE!

An unforgettable rollercoaster ride filled with joy, humour, uptempo songs and power ballads – Joyride the Musical is a new feel-good musical featuring music by the legendary pop duo Roxette and a story based on the English bestselling author Jane Fallon’s book Got You Back.

Fashion designer Stephanie lives in London with her husband Joe. What she doesn’t know is that when Joe commutes weekly to his job as a veterinarian in Lincolnshire, he has a girlfriend, Katie. When the two women finally discover each other’s existence and meet, they decide to give Joe what he deserves…

The key roles of Stephanie, Katie and Joe are played by Eurovision Song Contest participant Jessica Marberger, West End musical artist Marsha Songcome and Alexander Lycke, international musical actor and frequent leading man at the Stockholm City Theatre.

The direction and adaptation for the stage of Klas Abrahamsson’s original script are made by English director Guy Unsworth, who recently directed Miss Saigon in Oslo.

Guy Unsworth says:

It’s a new way to experience the music. I think it will be a perfect evening for those who love musicals but also for those who love Roxette.

It’s a real ‘joyride’ through the complexity of life and love.

Roxette’s Per Gessle has been involved in the project from the start.

My immediate feeling is that Roxette’s music is perfect for a musical, a rich bunch of songs with lots of familiar melodies. The mix of our legacy and Jane Fallon’s brilliant story feels like a match made in heaven. I look forward to this exciting project.

Joyride the Musical, musical in two acts. World premiere 6th September 2024 at Malmö Opera’s Main stage. Plays through 29th December 2024. Performed in Swedish with English lyrics. Swedish and English surtitles. Duration 3 h including interval.

CREATIVES

MUSIC & LYRICS Per Gessle
BOOK Klas Abrahamsson
Based on the novel Got You Back by Jane Fallon
DIRECTED & ADAPTED by Guy Unsworth
MUSICAL SUPERVISOR Joakim Hallin
CONDUCTOR Joakim Hallin
SET DESIGN David Woodhead
COSTUME & MASK DESIGN Torbjörn Bergström
COREOGRAPHY Miles Hoare
LIGHTING DESIGN Ulrik Gad
SOUND DESIGN Avgoustos Psillas
VIDEO DESIGN George Reeve
MUSICAL ARRANGEMENTS Joakim Hallin, Clarence Öfwerman, Christoffer Lundquist

CAST

KATIE Marsha Songcome (US Kerstin Hilldén)
STEPHANIE Jessica Marberger (US Caroline Gustafsson)
JOE Alexander Lycke (US Patrik Martinsson)
NATASHA Sara Lehmann (US Sienna Sebek)
GARY Oscar Pierrou Lindén (US Rasmus Mononen)
MEREDITH Sanna Martin (US Emilie Larsson)

ENSEMBLE

Marcus Elander
Kerstin Hilldén
Michael Jansson
Caroline Gustafsson
Patrik Martinsson
Fredrik Sjöstedt
Erik Gullbransson
Sienna Sebek
Rasmus Mononen
Emilie Larsson
David Lindell
Emmie Asplund
Joel Zerpe
Steffen Hulehøj Frederiksen
Robin Lake
David Auxoilte
Oliver Gramenius
Hanna Carlbrand
Emma Kumlien
Leila Jung

Malmö Opera Orchestra
US = Understudy
PUBLISHER/AGENCY Nordiska ApS/Jimmy Fun Music

Read more in Swedish HERE!

Observations by Etoall – the exhibition opening at Hotel Tylösand

The vernissage of photographer Fredrik Etoall’s exhibition at Hotel Tylösand was held today. 44 of his amazing photos of Roxette, Marie Fredriksson, Per Gessle and Gyllene Tider are on display between 1st July and 31st August.

Tres Hombres Art organized a fab opening for the exhibition where Rosie Gottlander from THA asked him questions about how he got to work with Roxette and Fredrik talked about the sessions he had with Roxette, Marie, Per and GT. Rosie asked Fredrik to ask something from Per, so Per came up on stage and Fredrik asked him why he chose him to work together with. Mr. G talked very nicely about Fredrik and his art. The appreciation is mutual.

When we asked Fredrik about his photos and these sessions, he talked very enthusiastically about them. Especially about the session he did with Marie for the Nu! album and the one with Per for PG Roxette.

How he catches the inner essence of the artists he takes pictures of is really amazing. You as a fan already saw quite much of his work, but you have to get yourself his book, Observations by Etoall to see photos you have never seen before – from the Travelling session, from GT’s 2013 session or solo photos of Marie and Per in poses you never imagined your idols could strike. Wonderful job!

The books you could buy at Hotel Tylösand were signed. Both the limited editions in the box and the standard version as well. Fredrik kindly posed for pictures with the guests and appreciated all the nice words the visitors said to him. He deserves all the recognition. An awesome artist he is!

Per took his time and stayed for a while. He also talked to some guests, signed stuff the visitors asked him to sign and posed for pictures. Göran Fritzon was also there at the beginning, Anders Herrlin also appeared and Micke Syd attended the vernissage too. They all were very kind to the guests, having small talks, taking selfies and signing stuff.

If you are in Halmstad, make sure you visit the exhibition and don’t forget to buy the book. It’s really worth it!

All photos in the article by Patrícia Peres.

Observations by Fredrik Etoall – Roxette, Marie Fredriksson, Per Gessle, Gyllene Tider

An art book including photos of Roxette, Marie Fredriksson, Per Gessle and Gyllene Tider taken by the amazing photographer Fredrik Etoall will be published on 30th June. Observations by Fredrik Etoall – Roxette, Marie Fredriksson, Per Gessle, Gyllene Tider comes in two versions, one standard textile bound book with 176 pages. The second version is the same book delivered in a nice box including a signed art print by both Fredrik Etoall and Per Gessle. The signed and numbered box set is a limited edition of 500 copies, covered with Fancy Linen.

Mr. G says:

I first met Fredrik during a photo session with Roxette at the Scandic Grand Central in Stockholm in January 2012. Marie understandably was very tired and impatient, but that didn’t stop Fredrik from taking some of the finest and most personal pictures ever taken of our band.

I’ve had the privilege to continue working with him on various projects, and nowadays regard him as a good friend. He’s the kind of guy who’s fun to bounce ideas with. And he always speaks his mind. A good quality.

During our two-day session to nail the visual identity for the PG Roxette album ”Pop-Up Dynamo!”, the idea of a photo book with Fredrik’s fabulous images of Roxette, Marie, Gyllene Tider, and myself took shape. I loved it immediately. Fredrik’s craftmanship, artistry, and sensibility hits you on every page. If I could only use two words to describe his work, it would be “timeless quality”. I’m pretty sure you’ll agree.

You can pre-order the book at Bengans. HERE you can see details of the standard book and HERE the box set. The weight is appr. 1 kg. Dimensions: 230 x 320 mm.

The book is published by Tres Hombres Art that will also organize an exhibition of Fredrik Etoall’s photos at Hotel Tylösand from 30th June.

Roxette, Per Gessle and Gyllene Tider are now represented by Monza Music Entertainment

Monza Music Entertainment is now being launched – a merger of several of the Nordics’ leading management companies. Some of the Nordics’ top management joins the new music company Monza Music Entertainment. In its own three-storey farmhouse in Vasastan, Stockholm, the newly started company aims to help artists and producers in their careers – with long-termism as the main watchword. Behind the initiative are Andreas Håkansson (former A&R Director, Warner Music) and Tomas Jernberg (former partner, Dimberg Jernberg Management), a strong team and a number of external partners.

Monza Music Entertainment is a merger of the management companies Autonom Management, Dimberg Jernberg Management, Tiny Monsters and Monza Music Management, which will run publishing and management activities with the whole world as a market.

With both offices, social spaces and music studios under the same roof, Monza hopes to minimize the distance between the creative and operational work – and in that way create a more efficient collaboration model.

Tomas Jernberg, Managing Director says:

Monza wants to be the company that provides the conditions for artists, songwriters and producers to fulfill their visions all the way from creation to meeting their audience. We are a team consisting of management, A&R/Creative, Brand Partnerships, Digital Content Creation and project management. Our ambition is to establish a really strong alternative in the Nordic music industry, with the world as a market.

Niklas ‘Pankan’ Bergson, Manager & Partner says:

I started Autonom together with Per Hägglund 13 years ago because we felt that we wanted to be an independent management entirely on the artist’s terms. When Per decided to write and produce music full-time, I felt that I wanted to find a new context to take it further. When I met Andreas and Tomas, I felt that we had the same view on how to develop and build an interesting and modern management, where we can meet the challenges of the new era and have the opportunity to take advantage of and develop our artists without losing our basic idea.

Marie Dimberg, Manager & Partner says:

In an industry that has undergone enormous changes during the almost 40 years I have spent in it, the management role has been established, grown and greatly changed in recent years. The need for strong and professional management has never been greater as more and more artists and music creators become their own small labels and brands. To be able to grow and offer competence in all areas and bring in new people with new ideas, the idea of a management house like Monza felt obvious both to Tomas Jernberg and me. ‘Develop or die’, as it is called. Together with a number of competent people with varying experience, we see the future and intend to stick to the first mentioned – develop!

Monza Music Entertainment currently represents the following artists, songwriters and producers:

Management: Love Antell, Christopher (Dk), Peder Elias (No), Florence Valentin, Per Gessle, Gyllene Tider, Molly Hammar, Hederos & Hellberg, Maia Hirasawa, Hurula, Peter Jöback, Elias Kapari, Loney Dear, Nause, Roxette, Nicole Sabouné, Sakarias, Thåström, Titiyo, Bruno K. Öijer.

Publishing: John Alexis, A36, Cherrie, Harm Brothers, KJ, Pontus Persson, Ricky Rich & Dani M

More names are expected to be added shortly.

Photos by Fredrik Etoall.

Read the press release in Swedish HERE!