Per Gessle interview in Aftonbladet Söndag

In yesterday’s issue of Aftonbladet Söndag magazine there is a Per Gessle interview on 6 pages, including some killer shots of Mr. G. The interview is done by Monika Israelsson, the photos are taken by Maria Östlin.

Nashville, autumn 2016

This time Per Gessle ended up in Nashville, Tennessee, in T-shirt weather in October. Per tells Monika that if he needed a harmonica in an odd key, he would have just walked five minutes to find one in Nashville. Mr. G brought his closest gang with him and a bunch of demos. Per says he thought they should record acoustic sketches only and then bring in local musicians and see what they bring. He asked the owner of the studio if they could take a pedal steel guy and Dan Dugmore got there, an old hero. He was so good. The result is two albums, first out ”En vacker natt”. Strings and steel guitar provide a classic country sound, yet the white sand dunes and an empty beach appear (referring to Halmstad). On the album cover there is a girl in a headscarf, singing at the sea in winter.

Stockholm, April 2017

The photos were taken in Ölandsgatan in Södermalm, Stockholm. At one moment, when a car was getting closer, the stylist shouted at Per and the photographer to beware, but they weren’t stressed. It turned out the car didn’t want to hit them, just stop by and ask Per how Marie is. Per walks to the car, leans down and says she’s just fine. They chat a bit, then the car is leaving. Per looks happy and is joking there was no selfie asked. Though it happened yesterday. And the day before yesterday. Since Per was at Skavlan a few weeks ago and said that he “gets depressed if no one wants to take a selfie”, there are even more requests.

They walk back to the record company’s office and there Per says his existence basically depends on what people think about the things he does. The new albums are not mainstream radio compatible. Per says to Monika that when you are used to meeting the public, you will be disappointed if you don’t get the cheering. At a concert he then thinks: “Why don’t people scream like they do usually?”. But if they scream extra much, you feel “calm down, you all”. Haha. He says one is analyzing things to death.

Per keeps his private life safe and people don’t know much about him. This is how he wants it. He says he won’t ever be on Parneviks (Swedish show that features golfer Jesper Parnevik and his family as they welcome celebrity guests to stay at their mansion in Florida for a few days) or on Så mycket bättre (Swedish reality TV show in which each artist attempts to do their own version of another artist’s well-known songs, with each person getting an episode featuring all of their songs being performed by the other musicians). He doesn’t know what he could win with it. He is very pleased that ”Tycker om när du tar på mig” means something for people, but he or his life doesn’t need to mean anything to anyone. He doesn’t feel the need to show his home or his cars or where he buys bananas. Åsa and Gabriel are the same when it comes to such things.

Regarding himself being a small town guy, Per tells Monika that there is a difference in growing up in a big city and a small town, and there was even greater difference in the ‘60s and ‘70s. That small town mentality has colored him so much that it lies in his personality. He grew up in Furet district of Halmstad with his mother who was a teacher in porcelain painting and his father who was a plumber. He was a trailing child and a loner. He was more into lonely stuff, like painting and drawing. He always felt more like an outsider. His brother introduced him to rock music: The Beatles, The Kinks, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, who became a direct channel to another world, much more exciting than Furet.

Per tells Aftonbladet Söndag that he went to a tough high school. There were a lot of drugs, a gang that broke the seats in the bus. Being good at school was the worst thing one could do. His dad drove him to school because he didn’t want to take the bus.

He started to play in a band with Mats MP Persson. Per asks Gabriel if he knows what one misses when he doesn’t play in a band. There you have your friends and you can play together the same song and that sounds damn good. That thing is sensational. It brought him a kind of gratitude. He and MP started as a punk band that sounded terrible and developed into Gyllene Tider. Per was purposeful and he covered Halmstad with leaflets and sent cassette tapes to record companies. They succeeded when EMI offered a contract and they recorded their first album in 1979.

The early Swedish texts are like a highway into a teenager’s head and body. Over the years, the songs have become more thoughtful, but still they take off in everyday happenings, often including sadness. A fishing trip, a rainy morning on the beach, an old love on the bus. Per says he usually tries to keep a fairly high minimum level of texts. Sometimes a song is so contagious that the text doesn’t play an equal role in the context. But when the music is more naked and crisp, the lyrics become important.

Monika asks Per if he can really put himself in the lives of ordinary people, with his luxury cars and private jet. Per says he doesn’t write about townhouse life or a night on the subway. He thinks that just because you tell a story, it doesn’t mean it’s true. If that means something to someone, he has succeeded. Then whether  he has experienced it or not, it’s quite uninteresting.

To the question why he doesn’t write sorely or about politics Per replies he doesn’t think he has had any political substance to come up with. Besides that, he doesn’t think it would be interesting enough. He is more towards the dreamy stuff. He thinks all people are political in some way when in a society. Mr. G thinks it’s unacceptable not to vote, it’s a democratic right so it’s better to vote for anything in that case. But he doesn’t really know how to use it.

Monika asks Per about his musical self-esteem. Per sayst it started at minus 100, he thought he sang damn badly. He started singing in Gyllene Tider because no one else would. Now he has learned that this damn voice is an asset. Everything that stands out is good.

Per thinks of himself as a kind of director. He always choose to work with people who are much better than himself. That can help him to pursue any kind of vision he has. He knows something will be fine, but he doesn’t know how to get there. He has always thought Marie Fredriksson is the best in the studio when Per is there. Mr. G means he thinks he makes Marie take one more step.

Per met his wife, Åsa in the mid ‘80s. The early years were significant in their relationship. Gyllene Tider’s English album and Per’s second solo album flopped. When looking at Roxette and his actual life, it’s easy to think that it has always been so. But it has not. He was a ”has-been” when he was 24 and it was damn hard for him. He lived on Åsa’s salary from Vingresor and had no real master plan. When Roxette had its break-through, it was evident that Åsa, with her professional background took care of the gang’s trips. This way Per and Åsa didn’t spend much time apart, despite long tours around the world. She often documented with a cam. The films became raw material for the Jonas Åkerlund documentary, Roxette Diaries (2015).

Per’s voice is shining when he talks about the ‘90s, the years when Roxette had several songs on the Billboard charts in the US for 4 years in a row. Per remembers playing Joyride for 200 radio directors in the US. It wasn’t even released, but they came to them to congratulate on their next “number one”. If you’re lucky, you have this success once in your life. Back then Roxette was exactly what America wanted. Nevertheless, they were never completely in the heat. The US record company wanted them to move to the United States and they would replace musicians in the band. But Per and Marie said no. Per says it’s one of the things he is most proud of, that they kept their gang. They created the Roxette sound together.

When Per is listening to old songs today he can be knocked out. Marie’s voice is amazing, Per says he can feel “damn how good she sings”. He smiles and says back then he didn’t sense it, it was more like “sing better!”.

Monika and Per talk about the times when Marie got ill and that Mr. G among others thought it was the end of Roxette. He started to work with Gyllene Tider and did solo projects. Then in 2009 Marie and Micke came to Amsterdam and Per asked Marie to come up on stage to sing Listen To Your Heart. He thought people would die for it. Marie didn’t want to, but Per knew she wanted, so it took like 15 minutes to convince her and she said OK, let’s try it.

Per is grateful for the Roxette tours and albums during the past years, saying he felt something of a “brotherhood responsibility”. Today they talk regularly.

There is a deep melancholy in the music on Per’s new album. In recent years, Per has first lost his mother and then his brother and sister, who both passed away in cancer. Mr. G says when people die around you, you grow older sooner. There is a thoughtfulness and one is thinking more about everything. He says he has to stop himself so that he doesn’t only write about what has been, but about what is and the future too. When his sister died, her son found a box of old diapositives from 1966. It is Gunilla who stands by the ice and sings. Per has selected some of the pictures for the albums. It felt like they fit the record.

Per’s replies to special questions:

5x the last time I…

… cooked: ”Scrambled eggs. I’m miserable in the kitchen.”

… bought something extremely expensive: ”A dulcimer, a string instrument. Pretty expensive but very fine.”

… loughed out loud: ”Quite a lot of times last week, when I was watching Dag, the TV series.”

… felt ashamed: ”I’ve stopped doing that. No, in fact, I feel ashamed just now about this answer of mine.”

… took a selfie with someone: ” Yesterday in a car shop. Then you just have to be in for it!”

3x the coolest cars in the world:

  1. Ferrari Dino: ”Cars don’t have to be practical. And they don’t have to drive at 350 km/h, because you never drive that fast anyway. However, it’s important that they are beautiful.”
  2. Mini Cooper: ”Classic, the one Austin Powers drives.”
  3. Rolly-Royce Corniche: ”So incredibly beautiful car. This is the one of these 3 I don’t own.”

3x people about Per:

Marie Dimberg, manager: ”Per, like most other artists, is hard-working, creative, target-oriented and focused. What distinguishes him is his amazing songwriting that gave him three careers: Gyllene Tider, solo and Roxette. I don’t think there is a big difference between the private and public Per. He is immensely positive and thinks fast both inside and outside the job. And he is just as bad at keeping the time in both cases…”

Marie Fredriksson, artist: ”Per is extremely creative, focused, positive and cheering in the studio. This is how he is as a person. We’ve had so much fun together through all the years. We had a lovely dinner together just the other day. There were many memories that came up and it’s obviously nice with such a long friendship that it continues even outside the stage and the studio.”

Mats MP Persson, band member in Gyllene Tider: ”My first impression of Per was that he was a real artist, translating Leonard Cohen’s and David Bowie’s lyrics into Swedish, and he had a tape recorder with microphones that could be used to play and record. He also had great visions. I thought it was really exciting and once we started doing covers with Per’s translated lyrics, for example, Doctor Feelgood. We did everything on our own and called us Graperock, if I remember right…”

3x this is how I wrote the song:

(Dansar inte lika bra som) Sjömän (Gyllene Tider, 1980): ”One summer I was weighing mushrooms. There were over three hundred girls and two guys. When we had nothing to weigh, we sat in our Ford Transit, where I wrote the text and then we made a song of it in the evening. Just because I could. In a way it was like solving crosswords.”

Allt gick så fort (En vacker natt, 2017): ”This song wrote itself. I was in France on a beach, a woman was picked from the water. I don’t know what happened to her afterwards. It became a catalyst for the fact that life goes fast.”

Neverending Love (Pearls of passion, 1986): ”I wrote a song for Pernilla Wahlgren, Svarta glas. Then I accidentally heard that her brother Niclas had recorded it and that was not the idea. I made an English text instead and recorded it with Marie.”

There are captions next to the photos in the article including Per’s thoughts on Roxette was the second pop group ever to play in Beijing. The concert in 1995 was met by both criticism and praise. When they played It Must Have Been Love, there was a banner in the audience saying ‘one world one unity’. One felt they became their longing for a Western life. The whole band went out and cried afterwards.

Another caption says that despite his worldwide success, Per Gessle remains a small town guy. He has never left Halmstad. By many, he is still perceived to be private – and that’s exactly how he wants it.

In a third caption it’s written that Gyllene Tider’s first hit wasn’t obvious. Per says they were told that the first single must have a certain pace to make it disco comaptible. But just then Frank Zappa happened to have a hit with Bobby Brown and that was very slow. So some discos in Stockholm started playing Flickorna på TV2, which had the same pace. Slowly but surely people began to recognize it. An organic hit, that’s the best kind.

The article closes with Monika’s thoughts that among the memories flowing from Per, names, places, anecdotes, she can’t find the right moment to ask why Per makes new records and gets out on exhausting tours when he has millions on his bank account. But eventually it becomes irrelevant. It is clear that Per Gessle lives and breathes music.

Great interview! Thanks for that, Aftonbladet Söndag!

Per was asked to draw a portrait of himself. Of course he made a Leif drawing. Haha.

 

Update on 3rd May: Aftonbladet shared the article online for subscribers.

Marie Fredriksson interview from 1984

Another fab interview popped up in Elisabeth Elle Sandberg’s archives. Some weeks ago she shared an interview she did with Per Gessle in 1985 and now it’s Marie’s turn. Elisabeth did an interview with her in 1984, probably on 15th May, just some days before Marie’s 26th birthday. How awesome it is! Thanks a lot again, Elisabeth for sharing such gems with the world!

The interview starts with the intro telling that Marie Fredriksson has recently released her single ”Ännu doftar kärlek”. It is a ballad that Marie has written together with Lasse Lindbom. On the back side there is a song written by Per Gessle, ”Tag detta hjärta”. What happens in the future will depend very much on how the single is received. The upcoming LP is released when it feels timely, possibly in August.

Marie tells Elisabeth that it was planned that the LP would be released this spring. They wanted to wait a bit, so they had time to write some more material. She says she will go to the studio again in June and record 3-4 songs that they have written now. Possibly they release another single in summer and it depends on how it goes with it. She will probably record a video and it will be very exciting.

Marie also talks about the fact that most of the material on the LP she wrote together with Lasse, but there are also some songs that she herself has written both music and lyrics to. Martin Sternhufvud also made a song that will be included on the LP which is damn good and Marie is very proud of. Per wrote a song that is the B-side of the single. Marie also worked together with Björn Holmgren, who is a director in Halmstad. He is very good at writing and has written some children’s plays. On the LP there is a song he wrote the text to and Marie wrote the music.

Miss Fredriksson tells Elisabeth that she is happy that Lasse and she have been able to write so well together. They didn’t know it, just tested it for fun and it worked damn well. Everything is exactly as Marie imagined, but she says they have to see if it sells. You’ve done what you could, you’re only human. But if people don’t want to buy it, you have to do something new. Marie thinks the mmost important is that she is satisfied and she 100% is.

Elisabeth asks Marie if she can make a living on music. Marie says it’s OK. She was on tour with Gyllene Tider and she got paid. She managed to have her apartment in Halmstad. Later in the summer she will tour with Lasse Lindbom Band. She will be there as a guest, just as she was on the Gyllene Tider tour. In autumn, when her LP is released, she will go on tour and will go with Lasse and they will have the same band. Marie says they should not work as Dan Hylander and Py Bäckman, but Lasse does his songs and Marie hers. There will be two performances, so the audience get double value for their money. Then they do the end together. After that she decided to go on a bigger tour. It will be her first thing, which she is in charge of. The musicians will be Pelle Andersson and Pelle Sirén from the X-models. They are not known, but very talented. Probably Janne Bark as well, but it is not decided yet. Even Backa Hans (Eriksson, Elisabeth’s comment) who have played with Lundell and perhaps Göran Fritzson from Gyllene Tider. It’s a great mix that feels very fresh, and there are some new people.

Elisabeth asks about the band Marie played with last summer. Marie says unfortunately she doesn’t play with them now, but it was fun and they are thinking about doing some gigs together this summer, maybe in August. They have some contacts in Kungsbacka and Falkenberg, who would like them to come back. But with them she does only covers, no own songs.

Elisabeth is curious about how it feels to be on tour with Gyllene Tider. Marie says she had a blast and it was really fantastic. It was very fruitful for her. This spring she learned a lot about stage experience and how to talk to the crowd. She performed one song as a guest. They were on tour for 5 weeks and they became like family, so it was sad when the tour ended. And it’s not only the band, because Gyllene Tider you meet every now and then as they also live in Halmstad, but also the crew who take care of everything from sound to lights, they won’t see each other for a long time.

Marie is asked what she thinks about Swedish female rock singers? For example, Py Bäckman and Anne-Lie Rydé. According to Ms Fredriksson, Anne-Lie Rydé is really good. Py Bäckman is a wonderful text and music writer. Her latest LP is very good. She has also written a text for Marie and she is now making music to it. Marie says she saw Anne-Lie Rydé when she was in town last  time. She is very good on stage. But Marie likes Py Bäckman’s depth. Elisabeth asks about Efva Attling and Eva Dahlgren and Marie replies that she liked Eva Dahlgren’s latest LP ”För väntan”. Marie thinks Efva Attling is very professional on stage. Marie says if she goes to a concert or is listening to an album, then she wants to feel something.

Talking about Swedish male singers Marie says Mikael Rickfors is very good. He sings very well and writes good songs. Marie thinks that Mikael Rickfors and Lasse Lindbom are the best male singers in Sweden. She listens closely to the voice and the feeling in it.

Elisabeth asks Marie if she remembers her first gig. She does and it was very interesting. No one has ever asked it so far. Marie’s first performance was horrible. She was 7 years old and was singing for many people. There was her mom and a lot of old ladies. It was kind of a celebration, some sew meeting. “Oh, then little Marie could sing”. She was singing Rönnerdahl. She was standing there in a nice dress. She did not look at the audience, but at the floor all the time while she was singing, so the ladies didn’t hear a damn thing of what she sang. She was so nervous and afterwards she started crying, came home and was completely broken.

After that, Marie was singing in a lot of children and youth choirs while she went to school. She often sang in churches. Then she went to learn music program at a college for two years, where they sang a lot. Then she started singing jazz. Marie will never forget the first time she sang to a thousand people. It was with Strul, which was the support act to Eldkvarn. It was the first time they had a really big audience. Earlier they had crowds of 400-500 people. When they walked up on stage, everyone cheered when they started to play. It’s probably the best memory she has of Strul. Then there was an occasion when they played for 450 people with several other bands at Kattegattskolan. They played last and it went so well they got to do more than one encore. Marie thinks it was in 1977. These are wonderful memories and Marie is grateful.

Marie ends the interview with saying one shouldn’t be giddy with success. You must be able to be with ordinary people, otherwise you can’t write. If she becomes a diva, it won’t work. Then she couldn’t write. You must live the everyday life to get inspiration for new songs. Marie thinks that one person is not worth more than others just because she made an album. She thinks it’s important to think this way. You should be just like you were before.

Interview_with_MF_by_Elisabeth_Sandberg

 

Per Gessle interview from 1985

A fab interview with Per Gessle was done by Elisabeth Elle Sandberg on 9th February 1985. Elisabeth, who was 18 when she did the interview at Per’s apartment in Halmstad, decided to make it available online after 31 years. Great decision, I must say. What an interesting reading after all these years knowing what Per achieved in his solo career and with Gyllene Tider, as well as with Marie in Roxette. Awesome! Thanks a lot, Elisabeth!

Elisabeth starts the article with placing the interview in a time perspective. In 1983 Per released his first solo album, Per Gessle. The following year, in February, 1984 came Gyllene Tider’s English album, The Heartland Café, which did not sell particularly well. During this interview in 1985 Per started working on his second solo album, Scener. Gyllene Tider broke up about a month after this interview and Per and Marie formed Roxette in 1986.

On the day of the interview Per was in the process of looking for images that would illustrate the lyrics of his second solo album. He says it’s really hard. The only image he found good was a picture of his mother. Elisabeth asks if there were no pictures of himself and Per said he wouldn’t dare using them.

Elisabeth asks Mr. G why he is doing a solo album when he is fine with the band, Gyllene Tider. Per says he doesn’t have a good answer to the question, but it’s good to change the environment sometimes. However, there is less reason to make a solo album now than before, because Gyllene Tider’s music is closer to him than it was before. But after doing The Heartland Café album he decided that the next one should be a solo album.

Elisabeth asks if the next GT album will be more full of hits and Per replies that the main difference is that it will be in Swedish again. Another difference will be that he won’t write more than 1/3 of the album and gets the others write too. He thinks that if there is a reason for them to continue to play together, they must move on and everyone should contribute to the creative side, so it doesn’t become 12 Per Gessle tunes. There would of course be songs similar to Sommartider, but he hasn’t written so much yet. The idea is to make it a more danceable up-tempo album.

Elisabeth asks if Per thinks the fans will come back and Per says he hopes so, but he sounds a bit uncertain. Per says they are probably the oldest band at this level in Sweden and the audience they had in 1980-81 are four years older now. At that age musical taste changes quite a lot. According to Mr. G, each artist is just as big as their last song (The Heartland Café album sold 30 000 copies). They have, after all, a fairly large audience still and if they make a good album, he thinks they can be huge again. Per was surprised that The Heartland Café was selling so much anyway, because many people didn’t have a clue that the album was released, but that’s only because it was in English.

Per says Teaser Japanese sold quite well as a single, but he thinks it was totally wrong, a stupid thing. Mr. G says it was his fault that they did an English LP. He just wanted them to invest in Europe, but one shouldn’t throw out 300 000 SEK on an LP that no one wants to buy. Instead, one should record a single and test it. If it doesn’t work, one should make another single. Now he thinks the whole year they worked on The Heartland Café was a waste of time.

Mr. G says the fans bought the album Puls in autumn of 1982 and it is much to ask that they wait for a new Gyllene Tider album. They will release a new single after his solo album. It’s a bit useless to compete with himself. He says a song is finished and its title is “30 skäl” [this is the song Anna recorded in 1986 – PP]. Per says it’s very danceable and is possibly out sometime in July-August.

Per says his songwriting is changing all the time. The biggest change was in 1982 when he bought a piano. Elisabeth asks if it was hard to bring the piano up the stairs (since there were a lot of stairs to reach Per’s apartment) and Per laughs and says “they said” it was. The piano was built exactly in 1900 and he found it in a shop in Falkenberg. Since he bought it, he started to write music using the piano and it allowed him to write differently.

Per thinks it’s great to read his old lyrics. He doesn’t write the same way anymore. He doesn’t know why. Today it would be really hard to write a song like (Dansar inte lika bra som) Sjömän. Blå December was an attempt to write a short story, a narrated story in pictures.

Per says he started writing English lyrics when he was 13-14. He couldn’t play any instruments, so he just wrote the lyrics. He started playing the guitar in 1976.

To Elisabeth’s question regarding what Per thinks about Swedish music he replied that it’s exactly the same today as when Gyllene Tider had their breakthrough. There are great artists like Ulf Lundell, Dan Hylander, Eva Dahlgren and others who survive, but nothing new appears. He believes that a new generation of 17-18-year-olds will do great things soon. The record companies working with them will be great. Today the record companies are run by older people. The record company Stranded woke up now with bands like Ratata.

Per says many people wonder how he can write songs for Herreys och Pinks, but after all, those are the most-selling artists in Sweden and Per makes a living from writing music.

Elisabeth asks Per which producer he would choose for his next solo album or Gyllene Tider’s next album. Per thinks Gyllene Tider needs a producer more than himself. His solo albums are much clearer than Gyllene Tider’s. He thinks there are tons of good producers, but perhaps above all two. One of them is Trevor Horn, who is a tech pro. He produced Owner of a Lonely Heart by Yes. He is fantastic. The other is a guy called Robert “Mutt” Lange, who did The Cars’ latest LP. Per was stunned when he heard The Cars’ latest LP. That’s exactly what they should have done long ago, but they don’t have the resources.

Per says it’s so ridiculous that the record company still wants to have a new album in English. But they can’t spend more time on it, because then it will be the same thing again. Abroad they are competing for airplay time with all other Capitol artists such as John Waite, Tina Turner and David Bowie. And it is impossible.

To the question if he is interested in writing soundtracks or musicals, Per replies that he would like to do soundtracks and also instrumental music, it would be fun, but about musicals he thinks they are so boring.

Elisabeth asks Per if he remembers the first time he was standing in front of an audience. Mr. G says he was always singing Staffan Stalledräng. He and a guy called Peter Nilsson worked as troubadours and were singing at hospitals. There he learned how to sit with a guitar and sing for people. He says it was useful and helped when they played with Gyllene Tider. But he thinks he is still nervous. But that’s just because people have other requirements today in any context. Per says if you are at a family party, people always want you to sit down at the piano, sing and play. Stuff he hates, because he can’t. He can barely play the piano.

To the question which concert he was fascinated by, Per replies that there are several. Bruce Springsteen when he was in Sweden last. It was an incredible concert. He is just like an artist should be. He captivates his audience. Then Joni Mitchell when she was in Sweden. Per says he saw David Bowie on his recent tour in France. Randy Newman alone with a grand piano is the best there is. Staffan Scheja and Björn J:son Lindh are also beautiful. Per says there are so many ways to experience a concert, however, actually he doesn’t like to go to concerts. It’s rare that he goes to one and almost never at Scandinavium, because it’s so boring.

He is asked if he goes out to dance and his reply is he does. If he likes dancing? He says it depends. He thinks it’s fun to dance sometimes, it depends on what mood you are in. He tends to go out in Halmstad, but he doesn’t go out to dance only, but to eat.

Regarding what he produced so far Per says Rita & The Rip-Off. He would really love to produce more, but it’s hard when you work with yourself. This new album he is doing he produces it together with Lasse Lindbom. He thinks it’s good for all bands, no matter how much experience they have, to have a producer. You need an objective person all the time. If you work for a long time with your material, you become snowed in what you are doing. Producing other artists would be fun. Per thinks he is pretty good at it and he laughs. Then he goes off and gets more coffee saying he always drinks so much coffee. It’s part of his plans to produce more. The problem is that he likes working in Halmstad. He finds it boring to stay at a hotel in Stockholm.

Elisabeth asks Per what he would like to be able to do what he still can’t do. Per says he would like to be a better musician than he is. He would also like to be able to read music. No one he knows can do that. When one is working with other musicians, often older musicians, it’s an incredible advantage to be able to write and read music. When Per hears or knows what he wants in a song, he is humming it out. He thinks it’s a handicap. He would also like to be able to sing better, to have a larger vocal range. He went and took singing lessons four times, but he says he is not one of those who can do it, for example, every Tuesday. It’s rare that he is home. Mr. G says he had season ticket for Drott’s matches, but he saw only one game during the season, because he wasn’t home. He says it’s useless this way and he can’t have anything definite.

Elisabeth asks Per if he plays football and Per says they play soccer every Monday in the summer, he and some neighbors. He says it’s funny. He played football when he was little and he always found ball sports fun. He is also playing badminton quite often.

The interview ends with a question about what Per is doing now and he replies he is trying to get an agent in Los Angeles, and it goes pretty well.

PG_Elisabeth_Elle_Sandberg

 

Gyllene Tider’s DVD entered the charts at No. 1!

Gyllene Tider’s Dags att tänka på konserten DVD was released on 23rd July and so it’s the first week we can see it on Sweden’s DVD charts. Entered at No. 1! Fantastic news!

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Here is a little charts history with all the other GT DVD’s.

 

GT_25_DVDGT 25 LIVE! En scen vid en plats i en stad (2004)

Released: 24th November 2004

Entered the charts: 3rd December 2004 at No. 1

Weeks on the charts: 40

No. 1: for 9 weeks in a row

Certificate: double platinum

 

GT_Karaoke_hits_DVDKaraoke Hits! (2004)

Released: 23rd July 2004

Entered the charts: 8th October 2004 at No. 9

Weeks on the charts: 20

No. 1:

Certificate:

 

GT_Atertaget_DVDÅtertåget (1996)

Released on DVD: 28th July 2004 (VHS release date: 17 November 1997)

Entered the charts: 6th August 2004 at No. 1

Weeks on the charts: 10

No. 1: for 4 weeks in a row

Certificate:

 

GT_Parkliv_DVDParkliv! (1981)

Released on DVD: 29th September 2004

Entered the charts: 8th October 2004 at No. 3

Weeks on the charts: 5

No. 1:

Certificate:

 

In case you haven’t ordered your Dags att tänka på konserten DVD yet, you can do it at these links: Bengans, Ginza, CDON.

 

Update on 7th August: DVD is still at No. 1, for the 2nd week in a row.

Update on 14th August: Still No. 1, for the 3rd week in a row.

Update on 21st August: DVD is at No. 2 this week.

 

Gyllene Tider – Dags att tänka på konserten – DVD is out!

We had to wait a year to be able to relive the sommartider of our lives, but now here it is! Gyllene Tider’s Dags att tänka på konserten was released on 23rd July. I would say it was worth the waiting. Even if it’s ”just” a DVD (I mean no Blu-ray around – who knows why…), the quality is great and what we can see on the DVD is simply fantastic. It contains a complete concert (24 songs, 1 hour 36 minutes), a documentary (1 hour 6 minutes) and 3 videos. Photos on the cover and in the DVD booklet are by Anders Roos. He’s the photographer who took those amazing shots for the Alla tiders Gyllene Tider book, which was written during the tour.

 

Concert

The stage scenes are from Skövde, but the crowd scenes are mixed from 2 concerts. Besides Skövde, some crowd cuts are from Eskilstuna, so if you were there at the last 2 concerts of the tour, there is a high chance you will see yourself.

What I felt when watching the concert was that I was there in Sweden again, on a summer night, being part of a loud crowd, seeing 5 energy bombs on stage. And it left a constant smile on my face during the whole show. Judging by what I saw, Skövde concert must have been one of the Top5 most energetic gigs. From the 2nd song the crowd was more reactive and I must say it’s amazing to see everyone doing the coreography Micke Syd shows during Min tjej och jag. When you are in the crowd in the front you can’t see such things and it must feel so great to see this reaction from your crowd when you are on stage.

Another fantastic thing to see is young and old (let’s say from 15 to 70) singing along to old and new GT songs. It’s unbelievable what music, THIS music can do to people.Too cool!

Camera angles are great, too. Grumpy Productions did a fab job. You might remember the posts (1; 2) on Gyllene Tider’s Facebook page about the camera techniques they used in Skövde. Looking good!

I left it for last, but it’s definitely one of the most important points: T.H.E. S.O.U.N.D. I.S. P.U.R.E. A.W.E.S.O.M.E.N.E.S.S.! Hats off to Christoffer Lundquist who did the mixing! So now we are in need of a live CD! Anyway, wasn’t it the case that we get one? Hm.

Documentary – Gyllene Tider sommaren 2013

It’s the same that was broadcast on TV4 last December. A fantastic one! You can read my review of it if you click HERE. Love to have it on DVD.

Videos

Man blir yr and Det blir aldrig som man tänkt sej are the official videos we already saw. Regarding Allt jag lärt mej om livet (har jag lärt mej av Vera), even if I didn’t really expect that it would be an unknown video, something new, it would have been a nice surprise if it weren’t the Humorgalan performance from May 2013.

 

One more thing I must add is that towards the end of the concert part I felt the same I felt at the end of each gig last summer: I don’t want this come to an end! But the good thing with the DVD is that you can play it as many times as you wish. This one is definitely something I’ll play several times in my life.

If you haven’t bought / ordered your copy yet, do yourself a favour and get yourself this DVD. If you attended any of the concerts, the reason why is to relive those magic moments. If you couldn’t attend any of the shows, you’ll have the chance to jump and sing along in front of your TV now. Here are the links from where you can order the DVD: Bengans, Ginza, CDON.

 

GT_DVD_front  GT_DVD_back

Gyllene Tider to release a live DVD in July

gt live
Gyllene Tider DVD “Dags att tänka på konserten” cover

Warner Music announced today the release of Gyllene Tider’s live DVD, “Dags att tänka på konserten”

The DVD will contain 24 songs from last year’s tour and some specials: the TV4 documentary, exclusive backstage scenes and three videos to songs out of “Dags att tänka på refrängen”. The DVD will hit the stores on July 23rd.

The press release includes a thank-you note from the band: “GT would like to thank our wonderful fans who once again kept this little Halmstad band alive. Without you nothing would be possible. See you again!” (hopefully soon!!).

If you want to recall which songs GT played during the tour, check our concert reviews here.

 

Update June 28:

Here is the content of the DVD:
Concert:
01. Det blir aldrig som man tänkt sej
02. Juni, juli, augusti
03. Det hjärta som brinner
04. På jakt efter liv
05. (Dansar inte lika bra som) sjömän
06. Man blir yr
07. Marie i växeln
08. Min tjej och jag
09. Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
10. Tuffa tider (för en drömmare)
11. Kung av sand
12. Flickorna på TV2
13. (Hon vill ha) Puls
14. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
15. Ska vi älska, så ska vi älska till Buddy Holly
16. (Kom så ska vi) Leva livet
17. Tylö Sun
18. Billy
19. Det är över nu
20. När vi två blir en
21. Gå & fiska
22. Sommartider
23. Dags att tänka på refrängen
24. När alla vännerna gått hem

Documentary: Gyllene Tider sommaren 2013
Videos:
01. Man blir yr
02. Det blir aldrig som man tänkt sej
03. Allt jag lärt mej om livet (har jag lärt mej av Vera)

Smooth entrance during the Roxette tour? Vote now!

roxette_goes_on_tour_2014The fact that Roxette goes on tour at the end of this year made all Roxers incredibly happy. There were rumours about it since long, but the time to announce some dates had just come last week. And the list of tour dates will be longer than just those 13 shows in Russia, Estonia and Lithuania, that’s for sure.

It might sound insane (oh no, it IS insane), but yes, discussions about queuing in front of venues and how to get to the front row already started… We are used to waiting tremendous amount of hours in front of venues and tons of us are used to run-run-run to the front row after the entrance is open. It’s really funny to read conversations on Facebook already now about how to organize the entrance by the fans themselves. We are fond of the numbering system, but what could we do with it, if there is no control over the lining up and when the doors are open, everyone is just running like hell? Should we ask local Roxers to be there at the venue early and ask the security guys to let us in some minutes earlier than the rest of the crowd? Or should we contact the local security team some days before the concert actually takes place? But they might not be used to any systems like this, so they wouldn’t care about the fans too much. What should we do then? I admit it: this is crazy to discuss it this early! And it’s half a year before the tour starts… We’re getting more and more fanatic it seems. 😉 At the same time, if something is going to be decided officially by the organizers, it needs a lot of time and negotiations to organize everything in advance for the whole tour. Wishful thinking it might be.

 

Atli (Show Security Sweden) at a Gyllene Tider concert in 2013
Atli (Show Security Sweden) at a Gyllene Tider concert in 2013

Since last year’s Gyllene Tider tour, where we experienced how calmed down and smooth the entrance could be if a well-prepared and cooperating security team is in charge, there is no discussion among Roxers about such things without mentioning Show Security Sweden. You might remember our article about them. The team did an outstanding job during the whole tour in Sweden, even at the biggest venue with the biggest crowd (Ullevi, Gothenburg). They paid attention to the numbering system, took control over the lining up and let us in only some minutes before the normal entrance. No running, no danger, no being nervous, just a smooth walk to the stage. Of course, they needed cooperating fans, but when you can see they absolutely know what they are doing and are fully in charge, plus their aim is the same as ours: to have a great concert experience without any troubles, then you can only wish they or a company with the same targets would be in charge at all of the future shows we attend. It was already nice to see them at Marie’s Stockholm concert. Why not having such system on Roxette’s tour? We know it’s almost impossible and maybe not the most effective to bring so many security guys from Sweden to all over the world, but maybe it would be enough to have a great team of supervisors like Atli or Malin, who can coordinate the local security teams. If I’m right, it was the same at the GT shows. We saw different faces among the security guys, so they surely worked together with local teams in different cities of Sweden. And it worked amazingly well.

 

We know it’s not our business who is chosen as security company, but it would be great if Live Nation would consider the possibility of implementing this working numbering system or something similar on the upcoming Roxette tour to make the entrance more secure and smooth and this way, the concert experience even better for both the band and the fans. Because as Micke Syd mentioned in the interview Judith did with him during the tour last year:

I think it’s just making the concert experience a lot better. We feel it too if you have been queuing for hours and then you are frustrated because of all the stress to get to the front row. If you are relieved of all that you can just relax and enjoy. And then we also have more fun.

So, how about a poll? Let your voice be heard and vote below! We are curious about your opinion. Voting is anonymous.

Would you like Management / Live Nation & a security team to organize a smooth entrance during the upcoming Roxette tour?

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After you voted, you can share the poll on Facebook or on Twitter by one click to the share button below, so even more Roxers could vote and share their opinion. Thanx for your help in advance!

The RoxBlog Team

Gyllene Tider’s energetic company gig

© Dagligvaruleverantörers Förbund (DLF)
© Dagligvaruleverantörers Förbund (DLF)

Yesterday (better said today) at about 0:45 am CET, out of the blue there was a post on Roxette Official written by Per that Gyllene Tider gave a 1-hour-long concert at Berns in Stockholm. My first thought was: WTF? I’ve just come home from there and now they are playing in the city? Then I realized it must have been a company gig. And it was. GT’s first ever. The association they played for is Dagligvaruleverantörers Förbund (DLF). The firm held its annual meeting at Berns and they also celebrated their 45th anniversary. They mentioned on their Facebook page GT was a world-class entertainment and those were truly golden times yesterday (“Det var verkligen Gyllene Tider igår.”). Lately we can be sure it is worth working at a huge Swedish company or association. Earlier Roxette on an Oriflame meeting and now this.

 

 

Per himself shared the setlist on Roxette Official (still nothing on GT’s FB site, however, there are surely many GT fans who are not reading the posts by Roxette):

1. Juni, juli, augusti
2. Det hjärta som brinner
3. Puls
4. (Dansar inte lika bra som) Sjöman
5. Marie i växeln
6. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
7. Ska vi älska, så ska vi älska till Buddy Holly
8. (Kom så ska vi) Leva livet
9. Tylö Sun

Extra:
10. Gå & fiska!
11. När alla vännerna gått hem

”Extra extra due to the extremely loud noise from the very generous crowd”:
12. Sommartider

 

We could only see some photos on Instagram from this event, but thank God someone shot a video, too and shared it on YouTube. You can see how energetic (Kom så ska vi) Leva livet was. Wow! They played only half of the amount of songs they played on tour, they didn’t have any rehearsals, only a quick sound check before the show, but the guys performed just like in a fully packed arena last summer. As Per says, these songs are in their DNA. True. They need a tour again!!! We need it, too!

 

 

Thanks to Miss Dimberg, there is also a photo and a video (part of Puls) posted by Per on Roxette Official. DLF associates, I hope you know and appreciate how lucky you are!

 

Is there a Per Gessle solo coming?

You might remember our last year article about Gyllene Tider becoming the sponsor of IS Halmia and you already know Per is a major sponsor of Halmia since many years. When Roxette became active again, the girls had Roxette as their sponsor, then in 2013, when GT released a new album and went on tour, it was Gyllene Tider printed on their official jersey (already 2 months before their new album, “Dags att tänka på refrängen” came out).

The girls are dressed for success again! Maybe it has nothing to do with any upcoming tours or any new albums and we don’t know what that surprise could be on 26th April, but nice to see this year it’s GESSLE [heart] HALMIA on the jerseys. Heja Halmia!

Halmia_jersey

IS Halmia jerseys over the past years. Last photo with GESSLE [heart] HALMIA is by iaisaksson.

PS: IS Halmia should use the link to Per’s official website instead of what they are using now at the Sponsors. Not that there is any news on gessle.com since last year. No complaint though. We love having Mr G on Facebook each day instead. 😉

 

Per Gessle’s complaint sent to Radio Halland

pg_radio_halland

Per was a guest on Swedish Radio, P4 Halland this morning. They were talking about a letter Mr G sent to the radio 35 years ago (23rd February, 1979). You can also watch videos shot during the interview. Video 1, Video 2, Video 3.

The letter is about Radio Halland not playing Gyllene Tider often enough, just playing dance bands. He says they wrote quite a lot of letters like this. Radio Halland was special for them, since GT is from Halmstad and they thought the local radio should support local bands more. Per says he didn’t get a reply to that letter back then, he also forgot about it until 20 years later, when one day he entered the building of Radio Halland and saw it at the reception on the wall framed. He remembers they even sent postcards under fake names to have the chance to appear in Poporama (an old radio show).

Per says it was a tough time to make themselves heard, because just like now, the Swedish music industry was very Stockholm oriented. They had to use all the tools they could.

To the question when was the last time he wrote such a letter he laughed and said he stopped doing it now. By the way, some months after this letter had been written they got a contract from EMI Stockholm.

Photo of THE letter by Göran Fritzon
Photo of THE letter by Göran Fritzon

 

Per says he has always been doing what he loved, writing songs and playing them. He knew it from the very beginning that writing songs for others was not really his thing. He always wanted to play his songs himself.

To the question what was the biggest thing in his career when he is looking back he says it’s Roxette and the 4 Billboard No. 1’s. He says they were pioneers with their tours, touring in South America in the 90’s and also in China. If he thinks about Sweden only, Gyllene Tider is of course still enormous and performing in Ullevi was fantastic, but also their gig in Halmstad in 1995 was magical, then the Återtåget tour in 1996 and playing in Örjans vall in 2004.

As usual, Per says again it’s never clear which song will become a hit or what response you’ll get regarding a song. You have to find your own style and you have to be satisfied with your songs yourself, create them according to your own taste.

Regarding autographs Mr G says he didn’t even have an autograph back in the days, just look at the letter he wrote to Radio Halland, he hadn’t even signed it. Sometimes he did sign Marie’s autographs in the past, at the beginning. George Harrison also signed the others’ autographs in The Beatles he says.

Regarding what he still wants to do before he dies, Per says he wants to work and is looking forward to a new big and long Roxette adventure. Marie is on her solo tour now, but it’s a plan to do more Roxette. To the question if we can see him on stage with Marie during her tour he says he doesn’t think so.

 

 

 

Exclusive interview with the Man, the Myth, the Legend – ”I keep them proud and polished in my archive. They’re all part of my family tree.”

© Patrícia Peres
© Patrícia Peres

If anyone had told me in the past that one day I’d have the chance to do an interview with Per Gessle, I would have surely told them they were insane. But life proves, you should dream also those dreams you don’t dare to dream! Getting myself together after the positive shock, I must say that it continuously gets confirmed that I’m a fan of the most amazing and most caring Artist in the Universe and the fastest on Planet Earth! Well, what else could I expect from the Son of The Fastest Plumber in the West?

It’s an interview done via e-mail to keep Mr G’s quotes correct. Per, thanx a million again for spending your precious time with this! It’s much appreciated and you definitely made me feel being the luckiest, happiest and most grateful person on the Globe. Also thanks heaps to D&D Management for their cooperation!

The interview is about the customized plecs, info about the customizing process, stories connected to the picks, some details about the phrases on the plectrums, Per’s thoughts about the picks in general and how he is using them etc. So everything you wanted to know about the plecs and more! Don’t forget to check the PLECtionary again, because some ”Trivia from Per” can now also be found at the picks he talked about.

Now the intro is over. Go and read the real deal, Roxers! Enjoy!

 

Base pic © Sandra Knospe
Base pic © Sandra Knospe

Patrícia Peres: – First of all, thank you very much for taking your time and I hope you won’t get tired by all the plec questions, but we, Roxers are very curious about any tiny detail about these precious little items and stories related to them. We got very positive feedback from the fans and we are very happy that you also like the PLECtionary. Sandra did a fantastic job with it and we are very grateful to her that she made it possible to see all the picks at one place. She has an amazing collection! How does it feel that there is such a dedicated fan of your plecs?

Per Gessle: – It feels, of course, most rewarding. I encourage every form of extreme and meaningful hobby, like collecting rare snakeskin-boots or grey square Russian cars.

PP: – Haha. Rare snakeskin-boots! Now that you say it… When and how did it all start for you? I mean having your own customized plectrums. What was your very first idea to print on a guitar pick and which became the first customized PG-plec?

PG: –  Oh, I can’t remember. In the old days it was very rare that you’d find customized picks. I think I hooked up as soon as I heard it was possible. It’s a great way of sharing a joke and showing off your humble personality!

PP: – Do more plecs exist besides the ones you can see in the PLECtionary?

PG: – No, I think everything is covered in the article. It’s a shame in a way but the sad and plain truth.

PP: – Have you kept at least one of each of your plectrums over the years?

PG: – Yes, I think so. I’ve looked for the ones Sandra is missing but can’t find any extras. Only the ones I keep in my archive. If I find more of them I will of course give them to her. She deserves the best. The best and the complete. I consider it a mission to help her find Plectrum-Nirvana.

PP: – Wow! I’m 1000% sure Sandra is gonna be extremely happy to hear this! I was just about to ask if you have those plecs she is missing.

PG: – Yes, like I said, I keep them proud and polished in my archive. Clarence pops in once in a while to sniff them. He likes the smell of vintage success.

© Patrícia Peres
Jonas Åkerlund’s plec photos in Hotel Tylösand
© Patrícia Peres

PP: – How should we imagine where you keep your plecs? Are they in a box in a drawer or maybe in a big glass bowl in the hall or they are just lying anywhere around your house / apartment? OK, knowing how pedantic you are, this latter one is surely not applicable.

PG: – Oh, they are kept in a red Ferrari-box in a metal cupboard in my office. Next to the diaries I always write when I’m recording. I try to keep my life tidy and in order. My cupboards are holy ground. If you open them things will never be the same.

PP: – Ferrari-box, metal cupboard, diaries. Aaah, sounds like holy ground indeed. When it comes to brands, are you more into Dunlop or Fender guitar picks? Or does it matter at all? What kind of plecs were you playing the guitar with before you started customizing the picks?

PG: – It never mattered. It’s the feel that decides. On stage I have a softer pick for the acoustic guitars, in the studio I rarely use picks at all when I play acoustic. I don’t like my picks to be very thick. Then the sound becomes too hard, too rough. I lose the touch.

PP: – So no thick picks for Gessle. OK. Is it always your actual guitar tech – earlier Falken, now Micke N-S – who is in charge of making the plectrums designed and produced or did it work in a different way in the past?

PG: – Yes, in the past I ordered them myself. The Party Crasher-one (with the sleeve on it) I ordered myself from Australia. Nowadays, MNS is taking care of business. I tell him what kind of slogans or messages I want and then he comes up with zillions of suggestions and colours etc.

PP: – How does the whole customizing process work? Micke N-S mentioned in the interview I did with him during the GT tour that you usually give him a few lines you want to see on the plecs and he does the rest. Is it totally up to him how the design (plec colour, font type) will look like in the end or does he send it over to you several times during the development phase to check and confirm if you’re OK with it?

PG: – Yes, he comes up with layout suggestions most often based on the current tour logo etc. It can, for instance, be the same logo on my picks as Pelle’s got on his bass drum. I guess you’ve noticed. I know I have.

Scan of an old interview (source unknown)
Scan of an old article (source unknown)

PP: – Haha. Well, you can’t have all the stars just for yourself. Regarding the phrases we can read on the picks, there are some quite obvious ones, like ”HELLO YOU FOOL I LOVE YOU” or ”HOW DO YOU DO!”, but other phrases are rather filled with humor, which is even more fun. For example, there are those early plecs with the catchy money reference: ”MONEY NEVER SLEEP$” or ”ANOTHER DAY ANOTHER DOLLAR” or ”CASH BOOM BANK”. I think I also read ”WE ARE IN THI$ ONLY FOR THE MONEY” somewhere, however, I’ve never seen a plec like that. Did it exist?

PG: – No, I’ve never heard of that one. It’s a bad phrase, too clumpsy, not my style.

PP: – True. It doesn’t sound too Gessleish. What was that about the money those days?

PG: – The ”money-picks” came from an idea to harass the Swedish media who always considered me / us to be too commercial and never could read between the lines. ”Money never sleeps” came from the ”Wall Street”-movie (a quote by Gordon Gekko), ”Another day, another dollar” was a phrase our American lawyer used all the time. It’s always rewarding to try to make fun of reporters, I think every artist agrees on that. Come to think of it, most humans probably do.

PP: – ”ART FOR ME IS JUST SHORT FOR ARTHUR”. Knowing you are very much into art, it’s too funny to read something like this from you. Is there any special story behind this phrase?

PG: – Yes, it’s a quote from Keith Richards. I thought it was pretty cool at the time. It’s very old. I wouldn’t use it today.

PP: – All the plecs are real gems, even if they only have the text ”ROXETTE – PER GESSLE 2011” on them. But there is one which we don’t know too much about. It says: ”TEDDE GOES 50! – WITH LUV FROM THE GESSLES”. Can you tell us who Tedde is?

PG: – He’s a dear friend to me and my family. We gave him a Les Paul as a birthday-gift and of course he needed his own guitar pick! Doesn’t everybody?

PP: – So now Tedde plays that Les Paul with another pick. Different number of plectrums were designed in the past and nowadays for one tour. Do you have lucky numbers? Or how do you decide on how many different picks to produce for one tour(leg)?

PG: – No, I suggest a few lines or slogans and then suddenly MNS comes up with 25 different suggestions. He likes things plenty. I think we should slow it down a bit in the future.

PP: – Talking about luck, do you have any plec you consider as a lucky charm? Do you believe in such things at all?

PG: – No, I only try to hit the right strings with them.

PP: – And you do it so right. At least most of the time. By the way, how many pieces of each plec are produced nowadays? Was it the same amount per plec in the past?

PG: – No, the editions are much bigger nowadays. We use them as giveaways a lot, I throw a lot of them out to the crowds. In the past it was more of an internal thing. Like those hidden messages on the vinyl records. ”Don’t forget you’re a rocker” etc.

PP: – Which is the all time favourite plec of yours and why?

PG: – They’re all part of my family tree. No personal favourites. Sorry.

PP: – I can completely understand you. Is there a guitar pick of yours you like the least? We know, for example, that you don’t really like baby blue plectrums, as you gave some of them to Chris to play with.

PG: – It’s not really true, I like blue plectrums. The thing is that I prefer lighter colours (white, for instance) because when you play, often in the dark on the stage, it’s really hard to know / see what you do with black picks. I’ve hit the wrong strings far too many times because of this. It makes you feel silly. And it sounds shit.

PP: – Now I’ll pay more attention to the shitty sounds next time you are playing the guitar with a dark plec on a future tour. The plecs related anyhow to Åsa are usually the nicest or coolest ones. E.g. the latest ”WOODY – VEM FAN ÄR VERA?” is one of your funniest picks ever. The design with that marbled blue base colour and that silver print looks fab! What is Åsa saying about the Woody / Åsa picks? I bet she likes them a lot.

PG: – She ordered them. I had nothing to do with those. It’s something she and MNS came up with.

PP: – Ahaaa, now that’s really cool! Well done, Fru Nordin! She was also the one who made the ”Ta mej… nu är jag din! / Åsa” plec produced as a surprise for you. Can you tell us a bit more about it? How many plecs like this were produced?

PG: – Oh, I dunno. There are always some goofy ones like that on every tour. It makes us smile.

© Patrícia Peres
© Patrícia Peres

PP: – Thanx to you, I’m a lucky owner of one of those misspelled ”WODDY / HEJ DIN TOK JAG ÄLSKAR DIG” picks. Which year is that from exactly? What’s the story of it and what was your first reaction when you saw the misspelling? Rumour has it, you gave these plecs to MP to use them. How come?

PG: – Can’t remember. It certainly wasn’t me who ordered them, I know howh too spel.

PP: – Yeah, sure you do! Was there another production of these plecs with correct spelling?

PG: – No, I don’t think so. We were poor in those days, one edition was enough to crash the budget.

PP: – Talking about MP and also Chris, did you encourage them to have their own customized plecs or was it them (or maybe their technicians) who came up with the idea to have their own picks?

PG: – Yep, it was their guitar guys who came up with those picks. It’s not really neither MP’s nor Chris’s cup of tea to order personalized plectrums. Trust me.

PP: – I trust you, Sir. Were there ever customized Marie Fredriksson plectrums back in the days when Marie was also playing the guitar? I remember a TV show – I think it was in Argentina – when the hosts found 2 ”HELLO YOU FOOL I LOVE YOU” picks after your playback was over. So that means Marie played the guitar with the same customized plec you played it with. Was it always the case?

PG: – Yes, I believe so. She used anything. Or wait. Maybe she had one of her own. It rings a bell. Let’s keep it ringing for a while….

PP: – Oh! It sounds exciting! Anytime the ringing is over and you find it out, just let us know. Sandra mentioned the gauge of the plecs you used in the early years was heavier than nowadays. Micke N-S said in the interview with him that he is using one gauge thicker plec than what you are using, because it’s more accurate to tune with. What makes you decide on what gauge to use? We can see you use the thin plecs for the acoustic guitar, but what about the medium and heavy ones? Does it make any difference to you?

© Per Gessle (or Micke N-S? - pic taken from Roxette Official)
© Per Gessle (or Micke N-S? – pic taken from Roxette Official)

PG: – Yes, I hate thick ones. It makes your playing very clumpsy and too ”masculine”. I like medium gauge for electric and light for the acoustics on stage. I’m a delicate guy! A ballet dancer. You know that.

PP: – A ballet dancer? Dunno, but a left leg stomper for sure and a delicate guy indeed. When you post pictures of the plecs on Facebook, fans get very excited and you can see many comments regarding how much we want to have them or how awesome they look like. You even mentioned in your 2012 Xmas message on roxette.se that ”… loads and loads of autographs signed, letters written, stamped and sent, guitar picks urgently needed by all of you. How does it feel that we are so crazy about these tiny little picks of yours?

PG: – I think it fits the Roxers really well to spend quality time on stuff like that. I can fully identify with it. Groove is in the heart.

PP: – And we stomp on a stoop when we hear your pop loop. Now this might be a stupid question, but take into consideration that I’m not a pro when it comes to how to use plecs properly. What happens to the plec when you lick it? I think you did it the most often at the Snowpenair concert in Switzerland, kind of once in every 5 minutes. No clue whether it has anything to do with the cold or it makes a better sound or it just sticks more to your fingers.

PG: – It sticks to the finger. Normally (not necessarily at Snowpenair) you’re very sweaty everywhere (including your hands) so you tend to drop the pick if it doesn’t stick. It has happened a lot.

PP: – Ah, OK. Thanx for the clarification. Do you chew on plecs while writing songs or doing demos? I mean chewing like others chew on the end of pens.

PG: – No, I never use picks when I write. I actually never use picks at all playing acoustic guitar at home or in the studio, I only use my nails to get the right feel. On stage however, you need a pick to get the volume.

PP: – We often comment on Facebook that it would be great if you could include your plecs in the merchandise. Do you plan to include them in the future?

© Patrícia Peres
© Patrícia Peres

PG: –  Well, yea. We try to come up with new things for the store all the time so custom made guitar picks, why not? We had guitar picks with the Gyllene Tider-cartoons on for sale last summer, didn’t we? In a tiny black box. I have a few of those in the cupboard.

PP: – Yes, that special pick collection is very cool. I have one of that tiny black box on my holy shelf, too. Well, OK, the more difficult to obtain the plecs, the more precious they are for us. I remember a chat where someone said he got a plec from you in Karlstad and asked how much you think that plec would worth in 20 years. You replied: ”The question is what Karlstad is worth in 20 years.” That’s a good one. There are people (mainly not fans, but traders) who are selling your plecs at a ridiculously high price on eBay, Tradera etc. and of course there are fans who are buying them. What do you think about this fact?

PG: – It’s like you say, the more rare an item is the more people want it. I don’t really have an opinion on this, some people sell, other people buy. The wheels keep on spinnin’!

PP: – Talking about catching picks at the gigs, you throw much more plecs these days than earlier (and definitely much more plecs than towels). During the GT tour Micke N-S even put an extra plec holder on the mic stand after some gigs to have 18 picks there instead of 12. Do you throw more just to make more fans happy or is it just cool throwing the plectrums and you do it automatically?

PG: – I throw them because I know a lot of people want them. And like I said earlier, MNS orders so many of them I might as well distribute them myself.

© Per Gessle
© Per Gessle

PP: – Keep throwin’ them! The adhesive tape on the guitar is of great help to have some plecs always at hand. Does it happen often that a plec falls out of your hand and you can’t pick another one quick enough during a song, so you have to play the guitar with your fingers / nails? OK, your nails are surely touching the strings as the nail polish almost disappears by the end of a show.

PG: – It happens but not that often anymore. I lick ’em!

PP: – Yeah, now we know lickin’ is of great help, too. There was a video you posted after Brisbane show in 2012, where Christoffer’s hand and guitar were covered with blood. Ouch! It has also made it to the Roxette Blu-ray. Did it ever happen that your fingers got hurt badly while playing the guitar?

PG: – Oh yea, many times. For me the most common injury is that I crash my right arm very hard into the body of the guitar when I try to look cool and do a massive sexy move hitting some adrenalin-droolin’ power chord. Oh, it hurts. It hurts to be alone. The plan’s gone wrong like a runaway train going down.

© Patrícia Peres
© Patrícia Peres

PP: – OK, Mr G… I can imagine all Gessle Girls are now sliding down a dream when you are mentioning your massive sexy moves in the same sentence as adrenalin-droolin’. Ehm… Come back to the original topic, PP… Last summer we saw a girl in Tele2 Arena at the GT gig picking up a Woody plec from the floor. She just found it there and the concert hadn’t even started. Do you usually throw plecs during the soundchecks, too? Checking how it works at the certain venue or how far you have to throw the plecs?

PG: – I was probably aiming at Pelle or someone who was running late for the soundcheck.

PP: – It must have been Micke Syd then. When it comes to throwing distance, do you pay attention to it before the concert starts? Do you try throwing your plecs into the crowd at venues where the distance of the crowd from the stage is quite long (e.g. China)?

PG: – Yes, it doesn’t really matter. I don’t have a system, I just throw them. Or I don’t. If the feeling’s right those picks have to go.

PP: – Was there any memorable moment for you regarding your throwing the plecs? Maybe 10 fans jumped on each other just to catch your pick or anything else?

PG: – No, not really. Most of the time it’s hard to see from the stage where they land. I try to throw them up in the air so I don’t hit anyone in the eye. Or in the mouth. Or, God forbid, what would happen if I make a scratch on a smartphone?

Screenshots are taken from Gyllene Tider's "Man blir yr" video
Screenshots are taken from Gyllene Tider’s “Man blir yr” video

PP: – Trust me, if you would scratch any fan’s smartphone with your plec, that smartphone would become one of the most precious items of that fan’s collection. Oh, and that throwing moment at the end of Man blir yr video looks so hot! How many times did you have to record it to be this perfect?

PG: – It’s a first take. Of course.

PP: – Of course, silly me! Until now I asked you about YOUR plecs and those related anyhow to the Rox World, but I’m curious about the coolest guitar pick you have ever seen in your life. Could you describe it? Whose plec was it?

PG: – We have a great collection of Jonas Åkerlund’s photos of guitar picks at Hotel Tylösand. All of them are fab! Nikki Sixx’s ”Fuck The Fucking Fuckers” is pretty spot on, don’t you think?

 

© BandGuitarPicks.com
© BandGuitarPicks.com

PP: – Haha. A fab one, but let’s say I prefer your phrases on a pick. I’m not a Mötley Crüe type of girl. As a last question: do you have plectrums from any of your idols? Tom Petty or David Bowie maybe? Or from any other guitar players? If yes, how did you get them and where do you keep them? If no, would you love to have a pick of theirs one day?

PG: – I don’t actually. A Dylan-pick or a T.P.-pick would be nice. Or from Nick Lowe. But I don’t lose any sleep over it.

PP: – That’s nice to hear, but in case insomnia is reaching you because of this, I suggest you go to their concerts and stand in the front row. You might get lucky! Thank you very much again for taking your time. Can’t wait to see your next set of plecs (coming hand in hand with a next tour) and update the PLECtionary with them!

PG: – That makes it two of us! Cheers!

 

Update on 2nd February, 2014: Per shared 2 pics of a box in which he keeps plectrums in the guest bathroom. Check out pic No. 1 and pic No. 2.

 

Interview with Sandra Knospe – ”I would rather get my ass burned before I would leave any of them behind in case of a fire.”

00_coverFrom the title you might guess that the interview is about the plectrums. 😉

While we’ve been working on the PLECtionary, I did an interview with Sandra and she happily shared some more details about her passion, the guitar picks, as well as some further nice stories related to these precious little things. Enjoy!

 

Patrícia Peres: – First of all, huge thanx for your hard work with this PLECtionary. It’s awesome to have all plecs’ photos and knowledge at one place. How did it all start for you? Which is your first memory and which was your first plec?

Sandra Knospe: – You’re welcome. It was fun to do it.  I love going through the plecs once in a while. It all started in Helsingborg 1996 at the second Gyllene Tider concert from the Återtåget tour. That was also the day when I got my first plec. I found it after the show, somewhere on the dirty ground. I saw Per throwing the plecs away during the gigs and I was just curious if I could find one. I knew chances were low. It was like searching a needle in a haystack together with all the other fans who knew that there might be something to find on the floor that’s worth to pick up. And it felt like a triumph when I finally succeeded, it was kinda thrilling. I was surpised to see that it was customized. I didn’t know that before. That made it even more interesting, of course. But back then I did not really start collecting in the way I do it today. I was just happy that I found it. The wish to make my collection as complete as possible came later in 2003 when I received an envelope from Per with 10 different plecs including real rare ones from 1989 and 1991. So I had a few different ones thanks to him and also from the Rox tour 2001 and Mazarin tour 2003 which I attended as well. I liked the design and little phrases on them and I wondered how many customized plecs by Per exist at all and wanted to find out how they looked like and from which tours they were. So I started some investigations. From then on the hobby turned into a passion.

PP: – So the first plec you got 17 years ago. Wow! How many picks do you have actually? How many of them are Per’s plecs and to whom are the others related?

SK: – Oj, need to count… Without the doubles it’s 114 different plecs (and 3 of them in different gauges). 71 from Per plus 2 from him which are not customized, 17 from MP, 4 from Christoffer plus 1 from him which is not customized, 4 from Micke N-S, 1 from Jakob Johnzén, 12 T&A studio plecs and 2 plecs of which the origin I don’t really know. One of these two could be a tech plec as well and the other one is dedicated to someone whose name is Tedde. No idea about it really, but on the other side it says ”WITH LUV FROM THE GESSLES”. So I guess it comes from Per at least. All together (including the doubles) it’s 224.

PP: – Who would have thought that there are so many plecs related anyhow to the Rox World. I know the whole collection is very close to your heart, as one day when a friend asked what you would take with you in a hurry if there would be fire in the house, you replied: ”The plecs, the plecs!” But which is the most precious item if you can choose only one? What is your story behind it?

1_SK_300x170SK: – Urmmm… I would rather get my ass burned before I would leave any of them behind in case of a fire. A fav plec? Hard to say, it even changes from time to time. Maybe the ”LOOK SHARP! / IT’S ONLY PLAYBACK” plec, because it’s probably the oldest one. Even if mine is not in top condition. I got it from a friend with the right connections. But then again, it could also be one of the plecs that have a more sentimental value to me, like the plecs Per sent me in 2003 that made me start collecting more purposeful. They are indeed very special to me. Tough question. So many goodies, really can’t decide. Sorry.

PP: – I can totally understand you. I can’t choose any favourite either, as all of them are beauties. Is there a pick you don’t like at all? Maybe because of the design or anything else.

SK: – I wouldn’t say there is a pick that I don’t like at all. I’m maybe not so much into the latest GT picks with the record and the cassette on one side and the GT emblem on the other. That might be because I am not a fan of pictures on plecs. I like it simple. A cool phrase is better than anything else. The ”WOODY / VEM FAN ÄR VERA?” pick for example is a great one. Great colour of plec and print and a cool note on it. Simply perfect.

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Year 2013 in review: busy times for fans!

Some time ago I started making a year-of-music summary for myself, go through memories of concerts I went to, albums I bought.

And doing that I just realised that this year was a busy one for Roxers, even more than 2011 and 2012 I would say. Did we ever have Gyllene Tider, Roxette, Per and Marie release something the same year before? And not to forget the books about Roxette and Gyllene Tider!

But let’s go step by step.

Gyllene Tider announced the release of a new album and summer tour in January, so they got us planning our summer holidays already early in the year. Some months later, in April, the album “Dags att tänka på refrängen” was released and reached #1 in Sweden. The singles off this album were “Man blir yr” and “Dags att tänka på refrängen / Singel”.

The summer tour comprised 19 concerts and was a success, which was documented in the book “Alla tiders Gyllene Tider” by Jan-Owe Wikström and Anders Roos. The book hit the stores in November. We could also watch a teaser of the upcoming GT DVD on TV4 in December. The compilation album “Soldans på din grammofon” was released just on time to warm-up for the tour and for people to go through the not-forgotten songs and lyrics. At least we got some nice extras with it!

For the first time, queuing and getting to front row for hardcore fans was uncomplicated thanks to the security guys at Show Security Sweden.

Per released the “Small Apartments” soundtrack in March/April both on CD and vinyl. Three more wines were added to the Per Gessle Selection: a Sommartider rosé and white wine that made the Gyllene Tider tour evenings funnier and Kurt&Lisa bottles were redesigned and filled in with wine from a new year.2013_2

Roxette released their very first live DVD and Blu-ray “Live – Travelling the world” in December. Fans could see a kind of preview already in December 2012 on Swedish TV. Sven Lindström released his book “Roxette – Den osannolika resan tur och retur” about Roxette’s journey in August. Roxette also gave the only concert of this year on 6th of April in Switzerland.

“Look Sharp!” turned 25 years old, SR radio celebrated that with a documentary full of interesting stories told by Per, Marie, Marie Dimberg, Clarence, Anders and some more Roxette related names.

Marie surprised us with a new album in Swedish: “Nu!” which was released in November. But that’s not all. Besides releasing the first single “Kom vila hos mig” in September, a tour for 2014 was announced in October. In August Marie recorded “Tack för musiken” – which could be seen on SVT in December. The second single “Sista sommarens vals” was released in November together with a very nice video directed by Emil Jonsvik.

The album “Souls” by Magnus Lindgren also features a song by Marie: “On a Sunday“.

And last but not least, Marie sang for Princess Madeleine on her wedding! Millions of people around the world could see the performance which was aired all around the globe.

Rox&Co related friends were busy too: Martin Sternhufvud released “Från ingenting till någonting” in March, Sandy Mouche released “Glory and Grace” in April and Brainpool released the single “The Last Christmas” in November and Marie Dimberg was chosen the most influential woman in Swedish music industry by MusikIndustrin.

On the social media/internet front we got three new official pages on Facebook: The Per Gessle Selection, Gyllene Tider and Marie Fredriksson. Per kept us very busy with many comments about his songs and old demos on Roxette Official as well as with videos and everything possible about the GT tour, wine and the studio sessions that started in October. Roxette Official reached 900.000 likes as well.

For RXB it was a year to be proud again. We interviewed the following nice girl and guys: Marie, Micke Bolyos, Micke Syd, Micke N-S, Martin Sternhufvud, Emil Jonsvik, Sven Lindström, Favela team (Blu-ray) and we made 14 fans happy with meet & greets and other contests. Our busiest month was November with 26 articles, we wrote 206 articles in total. And once again we broke our own number of visitors record and we reached no less than 26.000 likes and we wrote 766 posts on our FB page.

And last but not least, we shared beautiful memories of fans about the Roxette concert in Switzerland, meeting GT in summer and the GT book release party, as well as showed how the magic friend power works when it comes to do something together: the thank you messages to GT from all over the world after the tour and the Roxette poster flashmob in December.

Thank you for reading us one more year! We will be celebrating our 5th anniversary next year and we already have many ideas how we can celebrate this big time!

And with this said there is just one last thing to mention: cheers to a wonderful 2014!

RXB Team

Photos: Per drinking wine: Anders Mellden. Marie and Emil Jonsvik: Pernilla Pettersson. Marie Dimberg: Jonas Ekströmer. Meet & Greet in Gävle: Thomas Evensson.

 

Long interview with Per Gessle in Livets Goda

As Per already informed us some time ago, Livets Goda did a very long and veeery nice interview with Mr G. The December issue contains 16 pages of Per Gessle: awesome interview, 20 important songs, some wine tasting and hot photos of Per. Interview by Anders Enquist, photos by Erik Dahlström.

The magazine is available in Sweden at the newsstands from 10th December, but you can also have your own copy even if you don’t live in Sweden. Here you can buy the pdf version online for 50 SEK. (You can pay even via PayPal.) It is really worth it!

The interview is mainly about Per’s career in the music business, stories about how Gyllene Tider and Roxette started out, his solo projects, the 80’s when he met Åsa (he says it was the best thing that happened back then), The Look, the US, It Must Have Been Love, the Billboard, EMI, later years, Roxette comeback, GT comeback, how he became interested in wines, so briefly, kind of the whole story of his life so far. There are not too many real news in the interview, but it’s always nice to read Per Gessle’s thoughts and what he is saying about different songs, for example.

Per_Gessle_Livets_Goda_2013

THERE IS SOMETHING NEW: Per would like to record an acoustic album with some of his old songs.

Great news! 😉

You surely remember Mr Gessle was talking about the Top20 songs he was setting up for this article in Livets Goda. These are not his all time fave songs, but the ones meaning a lot to him. Here is the list:

1. Nina Simone: Wild Is The Wind
2. Heart: Love Alive
3. Air: Le Femme D’argent
4. Caitlin Rose: For The Rabbits
5. Big Star: September Gurls
6. The Young Rascals: How Can I Be Sure
7. Fleetwood Mac: That’s Alright
8. John Holm: Den Öde Stranden
9. The Beatles: Hey Jude
10. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Refugee
11. David Bowie: Lady Grinning Soul
12. Lorde: Royals
13. The Tornados: Telstar
14. Docent Död: Solglasögon
15. Divinyls: Pleasure And Pain
16. Joni Mitchell: Rainy Night House
17. Kenny Rogers: Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town
18. Frank Sinatra: It Was A Very Good Year
19. Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra: Summer Wine
20. The Buzzcocks: Ever Fallen In Love

 

Some probably think that I’m a super-capitalist who is just sitting there and earns a lot of money on nothing, while others think I’m a talented pop craftsman who knows far too much about pop music, a nerd … I don’t know …

There are many things I’m not talented in, but I’m good at melodies and writing songs. That’s what I can do, so I need people who are doing all the other stuff I can’t.

 

He also mentions in the interview that he always thought Marie is the world’s best singer since they met for the first time.

Per’s 5 favourite Roxette songs which are lesser-known (with his comments):
1. I’m Sorry – Great chorus, a hit in Brazil.
2. My World, My Love My Life – A damn good song.
3. It Takes You No Time To Get Here – Some country text and feeling.
4. Opportunity Nox – Our best pop wallop.
5. Sleeping Single – Marie sings amazing. She makes the album.

 

I have no idea why Roxette is still so big. Maybe it’s because of the songs, maybe there is a certain timelessness in many of the songs’ melodies. But why exactly us? Maybe it’s my Swedish poor self-confidence that makes me unable to respond to it …

Regarding the next Roxette tour he says that first Marie goes on tour, but sooner or later there will probably be a major Roxette tour. Bring it on!

 

Interview with Micke Syd: “It’s the way we deliver the songs and the communication with you that create this good vibe, I think it’s very unique.”

We met Micke Syd in a café in Södermalm, one of the nicest districts of Stockholm, the Monday after the Stockholm concert. The weather wasn’t as nice as the previous days, but still allowed us to sit outside for “fika”, the Swedish word for “drinking coffee”. After a bit of chit-chat about our stay in Stockholm, travelling here and there to go to concerts and how Micke Syd is feeling today (“better today, yesterday I was totally KO!” he told us) we started with our interview.

Judith: So let’s start with some background. How did you get into music and when did you start playing drums?
Micke: I think I’ve always wanted to play drums. I remember when I was 5 or 6 and my parents had parties at home and played music and danced, I had a metallic ashtray and I played with knitting needles on it, just for myself, following the rhythm of the music. I don’t know why! (says with a smile). Then I got a drum kit for Christmas when I was 12 or 13, so I learnt to play myself. When I was in 9th grade I had some music lessons for some months but I learnt the rest myself. Then I started to play with Anders and a friend named Martin and the rest you know.

J: and did you have any favourite drummer or inspiration?Micke Syd 2
M: I think I had when I was younger; I always liked all those good drummers who had a personal sound when they play. A beat is a beat, but there must be that special something.
The thing is, you can be technically very good and fast but that doesn’t mean that it’s good.  So, of course, Ringo Starr or Charlie Watts were some of my inspirations. When you hear them play, just one beat, you know it’s them playing, it’s their personality coming through the drum sticks.

J: I think there are just a few drummers you can put in that category, I just got into Bruce Springsteen lately. I sometimes like to concentrate on an instrument when listening to an album, mostly it’s the drums or guitar. So I am amazed the way Max Weinberg plays.
M: Max Weinberg is fantastic. The feeling you get from him is very strong and precise. Love it.

J: It reminds me in a way you play, very much defined strong beats, very fast and catchy as well. And that’s one of the things I love about Gyllene Tider. You hear the difference if you are not playing the drums. You have a very much defined strong beat and you totally miss it when somebody else plays GT songs.
M: Thank you! I think this is the biggest thing with us in Gyllene, we have a totally own sound. All the 5 of us need to be there for this special thing to happen. And the fact that you hear when it’s me playing is the key. It comes with age, I know that I am never gonna be playing faster than *beep*, but I know that I can play ME.  Like MP plays himself, or Anders and Göran and Per. And that is the formula that makes us so special. It’s important to know who I am when I play. And what happens with me and the others in the band. And this is the kind of drummers I like and what I like to hear in other bands too. I am rather old now so I don’t listen to songs that way anymore, but sometimes you just have to. Like for instance, Paul McCartney’s drummer – have you seen him live?

J: Yes, just a month ago!
M: that is great to hear. Did you notice the drummer? Abe Laboriel Jr. His father is a legendary bass player; you can check him on Youtube. Abe Jr. is a huge guy, he also sings and has a very soulful voice and he plays fantastic drums. We could do the same beat on the same drums and it would sound totally different. Just because of the way we do this. And that’s all about music. Find who you are and play the best you can.

J: How did you create the drum parts for the new songs? I understood that Per sent you the demos, which are basically guitar and some keyboard, and that’s all. Was it on the fly in the studio or did you prepare yourself?
M: that’s one thing that was so magical about “Dags att tänka på refrängen” and the difference to when we did “Finn fem fel”. Per had written like he always does, on guitar and him singing, maybe some rhythm pattern or keyboard. He sent the songs bit by bit in spring I think, and I decided for myself to just listen to the songs once this. Sometimes when you listen to them more often, you listen to the chords, you may think ‘I have heard it before’, and you get a wrong input or idea about the song. Then you also start to think how you will play things. So I just listened to them once and left them. I think that one of the best things with us is that when we are together things just happen, we just do it. Of course, I have my box of fills and my beats and rhythm, you will probably hear the same or similar on more than one song. But it’s my way of doing it. So this time we just played.

J: And it worked out amazingly, because the album is great and you really seemed to have fun, some songs sound even like having been recorded live.
M: I think one of the good things was that we started out with “Det blir aldrig som man tänkt sej” because it’s a very powerful song and because we had already played it 32 years ago, but we still remembered it. Now when we rehearsed we even did songs from the EP “M”, like “M” which we never played back then, so we just said ‘let’s see if we can play it’ and we could. So songs are somewhere here in the brain, and when we get together it all comes back.

J: So what happened after “Det blir aldrig…”
M: We recorded this song in two or three takes and that was the beginning of the creative thing going. The first day we did a lot of takes, everything went so fast we didn’t even have time to think and I think that was the good thing, we simply played.

And many times what we played then became the arrangements, so you could say that we did the arrangements for the songs in real-time. And when you do that, often the stuff that comes out is amazing and the way it should be.

And for me this is very important too, I have to keep the tempo, I have to know what is happening to put the beats and the fills so it melts with the rest, so I like when it’s flowing, it shouldn’t stop, it should be like a dance. The parts between the verse and the chorus should be together with some nice … something. So when we do it like this, that fast, it just happens, this is nothing you can talk about. And it’s so special to be in a band where we have such a communication that is not verbal, it’s totally something else.

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