Helena Josefsson’s second solo album will be called “Kyss Mej” (Kiss me) and will be released in February 2011. The album was produced by one-and-only Christoffer Lundquist.
It has been an exciting journey to write this album. The first time in Swedish and the first time I made music in the computer. A new world has opened for me! Suddenly, I can show you more of what I hear inside my head without being limited by my piano playing. I dared to try everything possible.
The album is also about being a mother and how everything around you is changing then.
Since I’ve become a mother feels as if everything has started all over again. It is as if I was born to a new world. Now our new life has started and we have to learn everything once again. Can you love someone too much? How to become a family? And when should we catch up with everything? My little boy makes me so very happy every day!
A new single “Nån Annanstans, Nån Annan Gång” is being played on Swedish P4 radio. You can also here this song here.
Per keeps his nice habits and provides us newsbits and even photo/video material from the studios where Roxette’s brandnew album is being recorded. The first RX/PG album recording we can follow so close!
3 very successful days in the studio are finito. Home vids & pics at www.roxette.se very soon.
Christoffer Lundquist will celebrate his 40th birthday this Saturday January 16th. Right now he’s working with coleagues from Brainpool and an american director Shakina Nayfack on the new arrangements for songs from his Junk Opera, that will be premiered in New York soon. Works will finish January 23rd. Last week in January will Per Gessle and Clarence Öfwerman arrive to The Aerosol Grey Machine Studio to join Christoffer and start studio works for new Roxette album. Works will continue at least ’till midsummer when Roxette will probably move to Stockholm to mix new material. Per told in several inteviews that new album should be ready before Christmas 2010.
Kirsten and Judith met Clarence Öfwerman before the show in Munich on Saturday. In the following interview you will find information about the Night of the Proms, Clarence’s musical roots and family and much more..
Kirsten: So we heard the Olympia Halle is not standing anymore since yesterday.
C: Hm. Maybe not haha! It was fantastic.
J: Even better than Frankfurt?
C: Maybe the same, but the crowd was a bit wilder yesterday. Second and third in Frankfurt were excellent too. The first wasn’t that good. Stuttgart was the best so far, and the 2nd in Munich.
K: We are going to top it today. The balloons are ready to be used.
C: Balloons! We saw some of them yesterday as well, it’s great you are doing this.
J: It’s actually just 1 week left of NOTP, how do you feel about that?
C: Yeah, Dortmund next Sunday is the last one. It’s kind of sad, we’d like to go on forever.
K: Christoffer mentioned last week it’s quite long time away from your families.
C: Yes, that’s true, but at least we had the family come down to us a couple of times in between, so I think it’s ok. All in all it’s great, when you get into it it’s wonderful to be on tour.
J: What are you going to do through Christmas?
C: I will be home with my family and Santa Clause..
K/J: ..and Kalle Anka..
C: Yeah! Do you know that? Haha! Well yeah, it’s typical Swedish. Specially if you have kids.
K: How did you start making music, playing instruments? Your family is quite musical, too?
C: My father did kind of the same things that I do, he played piano, jazz, and got into producing Swedish artists and later from all around the world. He always said to me “don’t become a musician, it’s very difficult to make a living on it”, he thought I should study economy, because he actually wanted to do that but never succeeded. He once produced an album with Toots Thielemans and he came down to Rotterdam and they hung out one night together, which was great!
But I started to play in bands when I was a teenager anyway. I started playing guitar, then I met a guy who was a lot better than me playing guitar, so I switched to piano. I think that was around 73, 74. You weren’t even born then I think!
Then I started to play with different people in Sweden, as a session musician in the studio, later I started to produce some albums. Then I met Per in 86, and from then on it’s been Roxette all the way.
J: How did you meet Per?
C: I met him once a couple of years earlier, when I played with Ulf Lundell on his tour. We were in Halmstad and Ulf gave a birthday party after the show, the Gyllene Tider guys joined us, and then we were introduced. Anders and Göran and I became friends.
The idea to produce Per’s third solo came actually from Kjell Andersson at EMI. He told Per “Why not try Clarence”, because I did some productions before for EMI, like 2 or 3 albums, so I was the new guy around.
I actually didn’t like his previous solo albums, I hadn’t listened to them very much. I liked the early Gyllene Tider, and Marie. Marie was involved in the first song, “Neverending Love”, so we did that one just to try and see what happens. It was actually Pelle who told me to go for it and take this production job, because I wasn’t much into this Per Gessle type of music.
J: And you brought Jonas and Tommy along.
C: Yes, I had known them for a long time, so I always wanted to have them as a band in the album. So I told Per, I wanted Pelle, Jonas and Tommy. Per himself wanted Tommy as well, but he preferred other guys on drums and guitar. So we reached a compromise, and we kept Tommy to record “Neverending love”, which was a success. Then for the album Jonas and Pelle joined, as well as Alar Suurna as engineer.
J: Were you also oin tour with Rock Runt Riket?
C: Yes, in 87, with Ratata and Eva Dahlgren. Each of us, Jonas, Pelle and myself played with two bands each. I played with Roxette and Ratata. Pelle with Roxette and Eva Dahlgren. Jonas with Ratata and Eva Dahlgren. Jonas couldn’t play with three bands, and since Roxette was the newest band for him, he went for the other two bands.
J: What can you tell us about this tour?
C: Each artist played a bit longer than one hour. We also had a support act, Orup, who became successful after that. Then Eva Dahlgren, Ratata and Roxette played. It was about ten minutes break between the acts, so after Ratata I had to go and change my clothes and make me ready for Roxette. It was kind of strange.
J: The pictures from that time are also kind of…
C: Strange? Yeah, that’s true. 80ies. Specially Per and Marie looked strange. Eva looked very different to now.
K: It’s interesting you’ve all been in the same band for such a long time.
C: Yes, it’s very unusual. But it’s very good as well not to have new people coming and going. Christoffer joined in 96, so it’s also a very long time. The band changed a lot when he joined, to the better, of course. He is an amazing guy, he can play anything.
Judith and Kirsten met Christoffer Lundquist in Frankfurt before the show on Sunday. In the following interview you’ll find information about Christoffer’s career, love to music, touring with Per and Roxette and much more.
Judith: How did you start to play music, compose, get in to music?
Christoffer: My parents got me and my sister when I was 6 years old to play violin. And I hated that. I hated every second of it, and I never practiced, never did anything, was horrible, but I sort of discovered it was nice to play notes and find them for yourself, and make up little tunes, so when I was maybe 10 or 11 I skipped the violin and finally dared to tell my parents I didn’t want to do that anymore, and I got an old guitar from my aunt, who also introduced me to the Beatles. From then on I’ve done nothing but playing, try to write arrangements, I am a totally single-minded person, that’s the only thing I do.
J: How many instruments do you play?
C: I actually only play guitar and bass, you know, reasonably well, the rest is sort of just cheating, but since I buy so many instruments, I have the possibility to practice with them. I play a bit of decent flute, half-decent saxophone, clarinet, I got an oboe, that was fun for a year and then it was too hard, so I skipped that. I have so many different instruments in my studio, but they are all kind of keyboard instruments.
J: Was Brainpool your first band?
C: No, I had my own band when I was in high school, we played prog-rock, loooong 20-minute songs which I wrote and forced everyone else to play.
J: So when did you start to compose your own stuff?
C: Probably at the age of 10, when I got the guitar. That’s the reason for playing for me, to try to make your own music or play your own stuff.
J: Did you actually study music?
C: No, never, the three years of violin when I was 6 to 10 is all my music education.
J: And how did you get to Brainpool?
C: David Birde was a friend of mine from high school, he had Brainpool going, the bass player was to go and do this army service, so I just joined as a replacement for him. But it turned out that the four of us got along very well and we liked each other, so when his army was over, he was no longer welcome I am afraid, it’s a bit harsh, but it’s the way it was. That was I think 91. It took a few years until we got a record deal and released our first album.
J: How was it that Per discovered your music in first place?
C: He had just started this side of Jimmy Fun Music which was going to release other music, besides Per’s own. We were one of the first bands to send him some demos, just by chance, that’s just the kind of music Per likes. Besides that, our singer, Janne, he sounds a little bit like Per, a little bit of this childish voice if you like, a bit high pitched, so he just fell for it. Back then Per used to listen to all the demos which had to do with Jimmy Fun, later he got a bit tired of it, and didn’t care so much, but in the beginning he was really into it.
J: So it was actually his decision to publish your music.
C: Yes, his and Ben Marlene, the guy he had hired to run Jimmy Fun Music. So yes, we were the first band he signed.
J: Tell about your first album, Soda, which songs were included?
C: You normally collect the best songs from many years and put them on the first album, so that’s the way it worked with us. The second album was a bit more difficult because we had to write the same amount of good quality songs in a shorter period of time.
J: How did you write the songs? Did you compose them all together?
C: Janne and David wrote most of the songs, I helped with a couple of them, and then I was mostly into the arrangement and producing.
J: The style throughout the albums changed quite a lot.
C: Yes, that was because we got easily bored. Once we had done something, we wanted to try something else, different.
J: Indeed.. you started with some kind of punk and..
C: …and ended up with rock operas! Haha! That’s a huge change, I agree.
J: I actually got the first CD when you went on tour, during C!B!B!, you might not remember, it’s 15 years ago, some fans were waiting outside of the hotel for Roxette to come out, and you came out, all of you four, we stared to talk with you, you looked quite surprised we even knew who you were. How did you experience the touring with Roxette?
C: Well, we came from nowhere and in a couple of months we were suddenly playing to 15000 people in Barcelona, so we were just “aaaahhh!”. It was an amazing adventure. We soon realized it was amazing and fun and learnt a lot. But at the same time nobody really wanted to hear us, of course, I mean, that’s the way it is with support acts. We also realized that after a while, some of the hard-core Roxette fans sort of started to like us, so that was nice. We got a better reaction in some countries. But I remember a gig in Prague, where they had particularly big tickets, and “Roxette” was written on them with large printing, after we had played a couple of songs, people started to raise their “Roxette tickets” .. but well, it didn’t matter, we just played even faster and louder.
J: But I still remember in Barcelona some people sang along. My sister and I had spread your CD … We had lots of fun.
C: Yes, I remember that. That was fun, to find small groups of people at the shows who actually listened and sing along. I remember the gig in Barcelona, we didn’t get much reaction from the audience in general, but Spain is different, you know, so I remember I was playing, I just took a couple of steps to the left and then everybody stood up, I was like “WHAT?”, that had never happened before. Haha!
J: I remember there was even a fanclub, started by a Swedish girl called Annika.
C: Yeah! There was also a girl called Nadja, yes, I think that was the name, from Germany.. or maybe Austria? It was really crazy in Sweden for a year or two, a lot of young girls, like 14-year old girls who fell in love with Janne. It was a bit like Gyllene Tider but on a smaller scale. Btw, the first concert I ever went to was a Gyllene Tider concert, during Moderna Tider, I remember I listened to it in secret because I thought it was a big embarrassing, a bit girly music, and I liked heavy important prog rock, but there was something about his voice you couldn’t resist, couldn’t not listen to it, that hit me.
J: What happened then with Brainpool?
C: It was mainly, the three of us who are still in the band, we drifted apart from Janne, so to say. It’s not that we weren’t friends, but we didn’t have that much in common, didn’t spend that much time together. The three of us are like brothers, so I guess that was the reason, he felt it wasn’t fun anymore. I don’t think he coped very well with the fame and success thing, he just didn’t like it so after a couple of years he felt like he didn’t want to do that anymore.
But we continue, it’s still fun, even though it’s more a hobby band now.
J: Do you still meet and play?
C: We try sometimes, let’s make a new album, but we need time and money and we are busy with many other things, to support ourselves. But we will again, one day, I’m sure. The Junk rock opera is very much alive. The American director who did the show in LA with it, two years ago, is coming to my place in January, we’ll write some new songs for it and develop it. They’ve done like 30-40 shows and now he knows what he feels is missing in the plot, so he’s going to tell us “we need to change this here,” or “this character is not clear enough”, so we are going to record some new music in January. I am really looking forward to it. After that we’ll start working on new Roxette music.
Besides Per Gessle undoubtedly Christoffer Lundquist is my favorite artist from Sweden. I started to know more about him from the latter days of Brainpool when he assumed a more active role in the band from Lund. Actually “Junk a Rock Opera” became my favorite and the best album they made, ever.
One day, wasting some precious time on the iTunes Store, I got a beauty surprise – “A Christoffer Lundquist EP“. There were only four songs, so I asked myself why not to give it a try? The album was released under the extinct Junk Music AB in 2005 an it’s called “Major & Minor Songs EP”. Let’s see.
The opening track is “Happy new year”. Maybe the song matches the most the Brainpool sound but until 1:40 when you start to listen a very familiar sound – Christoffer’s guitar. Then you start to listen to synths like in “Mazarin” and beautiful guitar sounds as in the outro of “Late, later on”.
The first impression was strange, because the EP doesn’t have the sound I was expecting to listen, I mean… like “God bless free Radio” or “Designer dreams” from Brainpool and “Happy new year” has the sound and atmosphere of … “Son of a Plumber”, yes! Sort of acoustic and organic music with a very 70s sound.
“I would fain fly” has to most “up to date” sound of the EP. It’s an amazing story of love with all the tips that I used to enjoy in a good pop song. Simple lyrics, harmonical vocals and a sweet guitar melody – when you have this music’s algorithm, you have a hit. And “I would fain fly” is it!
The track #3 “Let’s Talk” follows the same plot, an extraordinary acoustic and simple pop love song “…so let’s talk you and I till the wondering sky kiss the night goodbye…” Sometimes it reminds me the voice of Peter Hammill, when he sings “Refugees”.
The ending track is “Take out for one”, a sweet American ballad like “Since I don’t have you”, with Christoffer singing in a higher tone and with a very 50’s piano rhythm.
I really enjoyed this EP and “I would fain fly” in particular. Christoffer has finished to record his first full length solo album right now and as he said “it is ready and waiting to be released”. So I do hope to see it on the shelves very soon.
You can listen the EP here: Christoffer Lundquist – Major & Minor Songs > Spotify (album:0IRoJNaY655DcuCK1Zf2Lm) or buy it here iTunes
Brandur Enni is a singer and a songwriter from the Faroe Islands, located in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. But he decided to start his career in Sweden – for instance he took part in Swedish Melodifestivalen the last year. A few weeks ago Brandur was in Sundsvall to record a music video for his first single “Sometimes truth needs a lie” off the forthcoming album – in the old mental hospital at Sidsjön lake.
Bandur’s album will be released in October and was produced by Christoffer Lundquist in his studio in Scania.
According to Sydsvenskan’s article and web report, Christoffer Lundqvist, the man behind Per Gessle’s latest albums, is currently working on a new cd with Mulle kindergarten’s children’s choir from Lund in Scania. All lyrics were written by children themselves and the album will be released just before Christmas. All profits will be transferred to help “Sponsor a child” organisation in Peru.
On the other hand, Per has informed us today that Christoffer is busy mixing the live double LP and the DVD (Live from Stockholm). It will be two different things, so most likely there will not be any song from May 9th on the live album.
Roxette.ro presents an interview made by the fans for the fans. Taken from the website:
We had a breakfast with two members of Per’s band which tour with him in Party Crasher tour. This happened in Prague the day after the concert. We spent an hour and a half in the company of Christoffer and Magnus; Pelle was there but he didn’t participate at the interview, we just ran into him there at the restaurant. You can see all the pictures from the interview at the Gallery section in the left menu, or just click HERE. They clarified some of the music industry aspects, they gave us details about Per that we didn’t knew. We smiled all the time, we walked very happy and enthusiasts from that meeting. We have prepared only 15 questions for the interview , but they were so kind to explain to us what is like to tour with Per. We hope you like it. You can download all the interview here: http://roxette.t2.sk/audio/WS330049.WMA
thanks to Tono from Slovakia.