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

CONTEST – Win a copy of “Gyllene Tider – Hux Flux – Hela Sveriges dagbok”!

Have you read our review of the latest GT book yet? You can read it HERE and you’ll see it’s worth having this book in your collection. Photographer Anders Roos was kind enough to offer us 2 copies for a contest. Both copies include a print signed by Anders!

In order to participate, answer the following questions correctly:

  1. How many Gyllene Tider books had Jan-Owe Wikström and Anders Roos created together before Gyllene Tider – Hux Flux – Hela Sveriges dagbok? 2
  2. Where did GT record their Hux Flux album? Name the studio! – Sweetspot Studio, Harplinge, Sweden
  3. What was the opening song on each setlist on the GT Hux Flux tour? – Gyllene Tider igen

Send an e-mail with your name, address and the correct answers to the questions to roxblog.contest@gmail.com until 23:59 CET, 21st December 2023. The 2 lucky winners will be announced shortly after. Good luck!

Contest terms and conditions:
– In order to participate, you have to send an e-mail to roxblog.contest@gmail.com with name, address and correct answers to the 3 questions. We will consider all e-mails we receive until 23:59 CET on 21st December 2023.
– 2 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 or more times will lead to your disqualification.
– Prizes won’t be paid out in cash. Prizes will be sent by registered mail only once.
– The 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 prizes.
– By taking part in the contest, personal data (first name, surname, e-mail address and address) will be collected. These data are needed in order to run the contest, particularly in order to match participation applications to their entries as well as to identify and notify the winners. This method of processing data is therefore required pursuant to Article 6 Paragraph 1 lit b of the GDPR to fulfil contractual obligations. The personal data collected will be processed and used by RoxetteBlog.com only to the extent that is required in order to run the contest. The personal data will be stored for the duration of the contest and – in order to process any claims relating to winnings and damages – for a maximum of 6 months afterwards and they will then be deleted. By participating you agree to all above mentioned and your name being published on this website as well as on social media channels in case you win.

Photo by Anders Roos

 

UPDATE on 22nd December: the winners have been picked and informed via email about their winning. Thanx, everyone, for taking part! The winners are Einari Laaksonen from Finland and Juan Carlos González López from Mexico! Congrats!

Gyllene Tider – Hux Flux – Hela Sveriges dagbok – RoxBlog review

When Anders Roos and Jan-Owe Wikström joined their forces in 2019 to create a Gyllene Tider book, we all thought that would be a last one. Of course, a last one, since it was related to the band’s farewell tour after 40 years. But… we are all lucky the Golden Guys have changed their minds 4 years later.

After the boys decided to record a new album in June 2022, Anders Roos joined them in the studio in Harplinge and started taking photos. He never stopped until the last chords were played on tour, so there is again a huge amount of wonderful pictures that are now presented to us in this so-called diary. Via these photos you get access to places you never see as a fan, i.e. backstage, tour bus, soundcheck, rehearsals, recordings, but you also get to see the band on stage from a different angle vs. what you see from the crowd. And who knows, if you were standing in the front, you might find yourself in the pics too.

Jan-Owe Wikström collected diary-like stories from the band, their family members, technicians, fans and other fun people around the guys. Most of them we never heard talking about their relations to Gyllene Tider. Everyone gets a separate little chapter. Band members add their thoughts in more than one chapter. The foreword is written by Per Simonsson who directed the upcoming film about Gyllene Tider.

The title says whole Sweden’s diary, but it’s not only Swedes talking. There are also fans from around the world, coming from South America and Australia even.

One chapter is written by me (got shortened of course, because I always write too much, you know that, haha), a bit of how I go from one concert to the other together with my friend, Sandra Knospe from Germany, what happened in Piteå and how I write about the concerts for RoxBlog.

In the book there is everyone from band members to fans, from manager to technicians, from artist colleagues to family members, literally, everyone. And everyone shares all their thoughts related to this band that means Swedish summer. The book is just as positive as a GT sommar is.

Happenings are covered from the album recording through the dress rehearsal at Halmstad Arena and the pre-premiere gig at Hotel Tylösand to all concerts on tour. Via the stories you go through the whole Hux Flux journey and it also turns out how it didn’t become a Pers Garage project.

Here is a list of people who have added their diary notes to the book: Per Gessle, Micke Syd Andersson, Anders Herrlin, Mats MP Persson, Göran Fritzon, Dea Norberg, Malin-My Wall, Marie Dimberg (manager), Staffan Karlsson (Sweetspot Studio), Johan Olsson (Warner Music), Peter Fredriksson (stage technician), Valdemar Wahlbeck (actor who plays Per in the upcoming GT movie), Rolf Gustafsson (who recorded a lot of GT stuff in 1981 in Sjönelund – parts of it you coukd see on screen on tour during Leva livet), Helena Andersson (Micke Syd’s wife), 17-year-old Oliver wo sneaked in to both Halmstad concerts, Daniela Etchart Maluf (fan from Brazil), Brad Coverley (fan from Australia), Robert Ernlund (from the band Treat; GT’s first ever sound technician), Michael Viklander & Anna Ekedahl (fans from Sweden), Robert Kelber (lighting manager), Björn Nohlgren (organizer Nöjet AB), Kent Schubring (light technician), Rebecka Högstedt (fan from Sweden), Uno Svenningsson (artist, support act ont he GT tour 2023), Tobias Persson (comedian, actor; Join the Flumeride director), Johan Ilve (stage builder), Atli Egilson (security manager), Michael Sundelius (trailer driver), Patrícia Peres (fan from Hungary; RoxetteBlog), Gabriel Gessle (Per’s son), Lasse Lindbom (GT’s first producer), Micael Bydén (Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces), Gian-Carlo ”Calle” Grimaldi (production and stage manager), Tony Berg (Nightrider driver), Fredrik Arwidson (sound technician), Benjamin Ingrosso (artist), Fredrik Lilliestråle Stéen (friend, veteran), Eliza Roszkowska Öberg (fan from Poland who moved to Sweden), Liviu Nicolici (fan from Romania), Bo ”BoJo” Johansson (tour leader), Mikael Nogueira Svensson (guitar technician), Ana Slenc (merchandise manager), Christel Johansson & Åsa Florholm (fans from Sweden).

Editing the whole book must have been a challenging task, which photos to put next to which stories and how to design the pages. It turned out to be fab! The book looks really wonderful!

If you haven’t got your copy yet, you can search for this 240-page book at Bengans. You will receive an exclusive print signed by photographer Anders Roos if you order it from them. There are 10 different prints randomly attached. All prints are made of photos that can be found in the book.

You can also order the book at Ginza and you will of course find some copies at Hotel Tylösand too and in book stores around Sweden as well.

Photos by Anders Roos.

Gyllene Tider – Hux Flux – Hela Sveriges dagbok

What does a Bo Diddley model Gretsch guitar have to do with Gyllene Tider? Why is Benjamin Ingrosso starstruck by Per Gessle? How much does Gyllene Tider mean to Micael Bydén, Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces? What does Gabriel Gessle think of his father’s songs? Who moved a wedding, who left Australia, who has toured with Prince and who “dissed” Paul McCartney?

Never before has anyone come so close to Per Gessle, Micke Syd, Mats “MP” Persson, Anders Herrlin and Göran Fritzon in Gyllene Tider as in this photo-packed book.

Anders Roos started taking pictures already in connection with the “secret” album recording in Harplinge in June 2022 and Jan-Owe Wikström recorded the “diaries” from there and until the last chord sounded on Gyllene Tider’s eighth summer tour through Sweden, Norway and Finland.

But it is not only from the members’ own perspective, but also the families, artist colleagues, technicians, stage builders, staff around, the organizers, industry people and fans who all have their own stories to tell and relationship to the band that for decades planted power pop in the Swedish folk soul.

This is “Gyllene Tider – Hux Flux – Hela Sveriges dagbok”. And a little of the world. With a foreword by Per Simonsson who directed the upcoming film about Gyllene Tider.

The book will be published on 24th November, is bound in the format 215 x 280 mm and consists of 240 pages.

Pre-order it at Bengans and you will receive an exclusive print signed by photographer Anders Roos that you can frame! (There are 10 different prints randomly attached.)

You can also pre-order the book at Ginza.

Per Gessle on “Halv tre med Lotta Bromé” on Mix Megapol

Per Gessle was Lotta Bromé’s guest on radio Mix Megapol on 18th October. You can listen to the interview HERE.

Lotta welcomes Per in the studio and mentions that it was exactly a year ago when Per was on this show, October 2022. She finds it fun that PG always releases new music in October. Per laughs and says it’s a coincidence of course. He releases music all the time. Lotta knows it and says she was sitting here in the studio all Easter waiting for Per to come, because he promised to come back then when he was on the show last time. She had eggs and stuff, but PG didn’t come. Per laughs and says something came in the way. Lotta says it was Gyllene Tider. She asks how the tour was.

Per says it was fantastic. The GT tour was magical and Gyllene Tider is a wonderful little pop band. They have always been touring regularly with odd intervals. These days, it feels like there is almost no one left who makes that kind of music anymore. So all of a sudden, they kind of represent a bygone era. They felt it for the first time this year. It didn’t feel like that at all when they toured in 2019. Lotta asks if it was a farewell tour again this summer. PG says it wasn’t. He doesn’t think you should paint yourself into a corner. Only Micke thinks so. Per laughs. So Lotta is curious if another GT tour is coming. Per doesn’t know, but it’s always fun to play together with the guys.

Lotta thinks GT has a very mixed audience. PG confirms it. It’s mostly those who have been there before, but it’s a fantastic mix of all sorts and they have been lucky enough to have managed to build up a song catalogue that is still attractive to a lot of people.

Lotta says it must be fun to get to a younger audience as well and that there are people who only now discover the music that has been around for so long for us. Per confirms it’s cool. The case is that the majority of those who listen to almost all music he makes, it’s music that they have gotten married to, they have divorced, they have graduated and stuff like that. There is so much going on in their lives and the music represents so many life events. It becomes a kind of soundtrack to everything that people have been through. It’s cool to be a part of it.

Lotta asks Per if he himself should pick one GT song that meant the most to him, what song would that be. PG finds it difficult to pick one and Lotta says he can’t cheat and say a Roxette or PG Roxette or Per solo song. It has to be a GT song. So after thinking, Per says a song that was some sort of a stepping stone to something new is Det är över nu. It was the first time that they really sounded the way they always wanted to sound. They got a new producer and it was recorded in 1995. Per had been out for 7 years with Roxette and got more routine through Roxette, so that all of a sudden when GT got back together in 1995, they sounded damn good.

After they play Det är över nu on the radio, Lotta mentions that Per will be on stage tonight. PG explains that there will be a tribute concert to Pugh Rogefeldt at Cirkus. It’s Per, Tomas Ledin, First Aid Kit and other artists on stage. Lotta asks Per why Pugh meant so much to him. Mr. G says Pugh has been with him his whole life. Pugh’s first concert Per saw was when he was 14, in Halmstad’s folk park. Pugh played there with his band Rainrock. Per remembers that Pugh had a bandana on his head and a long ponytail and after a few songs he took off this scarf and then they saw he was completely bald. He looked like Kojak. The Halmstad audience had never seen anything like that before, so they were shocked. Afterwards PG and his friends went to the Esso Motor Hotel where the band lived. They waited for the band there at the reception. Lotta asks if they dared to say hi to the band. PG says they didn’t dare to talk to them. Lotta asks if Per had the chance to tell Pugh about this when they met. PG says he did.

The first time Per and Pugh met was when Gyllene Tider recorded their second LP. It came out in 1981 and Pugh came to the studio to read the stanza “mina damer och herrar, det är gyllene tider för rock’n’roll”, the intro to the song Gyllene Tider för rock’n’roll. It’s unbelievably big for the guys in GT that he did it. Then he went on tour with Gyllene Tider in 2004, on the biggest GT tour. Pugh was a special guest.

Lotta says people always talk about Pugh as the father of Swedish rock. His first album was Ja, dä ä dä! and he wrote lyrics in Swedish. PG says not only that he wrote in Swedish, but he actually created his own language. The second record was called Pughish and there he sings in his own language. Per has always been interested in lyrics and he thinks there are similarities between Pugh’s lyrics and John Lennon’s lyrics. There are these nonsense, odd lyrics, e.g. I Am The Walrus. That’s very attractive to Per. Especially Pugh’s early records, which are a little more fuzzy and a little more unstructured are incredibly attractive to PG.

He chose to cover Vandrar i ett regn. It came out on a live record called Ett steg till in 1975. That was recorded at Halmstad Theatre – among other places – where Per saw Pugh and Rainrock and Janne Lucas and Ola Magnell.

Lotta says Pugh was truly an idol. Per says he had great vibes and he looked cool. Mr. G says he made a video for Vandrar i ett regn and Ebba, who directed this video, has managed to find a lot of cool pictures of Pugh from the past. He looked damn cool.

Lotta says Per doesn’t wear a bandana. Per laughs and says he doesn’t have any. Too much hair to put under, Lotta says. Per laughs and then they play Vandrar i ett regn.

Lotta asks when was the last time Per met Pugh. Mr. G says he met Pugh in person at his last concert. He performed at Cirkus in Stockholm in 2019. Per was there with Clarence Öfwerman, Roxette’s producer. They were sitting in the first row of the gallery and at one song Pugh went out into the audience and sang the song. He caught sight of Per, walked up to him and then he hugged Mr. G. It made Per so happy, because they never had that kind of a relationship, but he just hugged PG. He was happy to see Per.

When Mr. G had recorded Vandrar i ett regn, it ended up with Pugh, so he listened to it and thought it was great that Per recorded it. It was only a couple of days before he passed away, so it also feels great that he got to hear it and Per got a response to it.

Lotta is curious how often Per makes covers. It’s not that often. However, PG likes covers as an artist, because you can use them to tell a little about where you are coming from. They did that with Gyllene Tider early on. They played, for example, ABBA’s S.O.S., Mott The Hoople, The Beatles, a bit of everything by Tom Petty. Roxette played a bit of Blondie and a bit of The Birds. One of Per’s favourite records is David Bowie’s Pin-Ups album, which is a fantastic collection of Bowie’s ’60s favourites. Lotta adds that Bryan Ferry has done some great covers too. Per agrees.

So, Per thinks covers are fun, but he doesn’t make covers that often. You have to prioritize your own songs.

Lotta wants to know how many times Per was asked to be on Så mycket bättre. [It’s a Swedish TV reality show in which participating musicians perform their own version of well-known songs by other artists. /PP] Many times, Per replies. Lotta is curious why Per doesn’t take part in it. Per says from what he understands, you have to go away for 6 weeks and live with other artists. It sounds like a nightmare. They are laughing. Lotta says that Per is touring a lot and asks if it is OK to live with the guys in GT then. PG says it’s true he is away on tour a lot, but there are no cameras all the time.

Lotta says the last time they also talked about getting older and people passing away. Then Per also talked about the importance of nurturing relationships. PG says you have to make the most of what you have. He says you start to become like your parents, throwing out clichés like this about how you should behave when you get old. Per laughs. Lotta says she is very happy that Per came here today and nurtures their relationship. Haha.

Last time Per was on the show he had many things coming up. There was the PG Roxette album, the Gyllene Tider record, then a tour. PG says there will be a lot of stuff happening next year as well that he can’t really reveal yet, but he thinks he will have to do it before Easter. Haha.

What he can tell is that a Gyllene Tider movie will premiere next summer. The shootings end this week. Then next autumn the Roxette musical will premiere in Malmö.

Lotta asks Per about contemporary music. She is curious if Per heard anything lately that he liked. There aren’t too many new songs that Per gets hooked on, but there are occasional artists who are exciting. Weyes Blood, for example. He says now he is like his parents again and laughs. Mr. G says when he really needs to listen to music, he often goes back to the music he grew up with. He doesn’t need a new Joni Mitchell, because he has Joni Mitchell and he doesn’t need a new Tom Petty, because he has Tom Petty. He knows so much music and he has such a huge music collection that it’s enough for him. So it’s not that easy to knock on his door and get in with a new song.

Lotta asks Per to pick an old song they should play then. PG chooses American Girl by Tom Petty.

Lotta says it’s always a pleasure to see Per and a warm welcome back at Easter or even earlier. Per thanks for it and says he’ll be glad to come back.

Stills are from THIS video.