Posts Tagged Interview

Per Gessle on Swedish Radio about Kaj Kindvall

As we already informed you about it in an earlier article, Per could be heard on Swedish Radio P4 today.

During the first half an hour of the program Kajs spellista, Kaj Kindvall played some songs from the past he thinks still sound good today. Then came the interviews with several listeners, artists and colleagues. The interviews were done by Micke Cederberg who met Per for recording his thoughts on 6th December.

In the 2-minute-long interview with PG (starting at 1:05:19 at THIS link) he talked about his memories related to Kaj Kindvall and his programs and mentioned Kaj always had a significant role in his life as a radio host. At the time Per became an artist, Kaj was the host of Poporama (1974-1984), a radio program that was very important in Gyllene Tider’s history. Per talks about the story we could read I think in Att vara Per Gessle and could also hear it in older interviews that they, the guys from Gyllene Tider and their friends sent a lot of postcards to Kaj to ask him to play Flickorna på TV2 on the show. The only “mistake” they made was that all the postcards were sent from Halmstad, what Kaj saw and mentioned it on the radio, too. But they succeeded with that action after all. There is even a short cut of a call from those times when Kaj talks to Per on the phone about the song. Funny.

Per says Kaj’s other program, Tracks (1984-2011) also meant a lot to him as a solo artist, but also to Gyllene Tider and Roxette. Mr G mentions that Kaj has a really good radio voice that one can recognize immediately and he is a great host and one couldn’t miss any of his programs. Per wished him a nice life after retiring and not to forget to clean the dust off the gramophone every now and then.

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Per Gessle interview in Expressen

So now we know, it was Malin Roos from Expressen who did an interview with Per at the Göteborg Book Fair after the pop quiz and signing session, when Per went ”backstage” on 26th September. The interview is a fabulous and entertaining reading.

PG_Expressen_interviewAbout The Per Gessle Archives Per says it took a year to put together the collection, there are so many tapes in boxes and bags and old denim jackets. MP has done an awesome job, finding everything. But it’s not at all complete, there are certainly 70 songs left still. He says if someone is interested in songwriting, it’s fun listening to demos. For those who knows and like Per’s catalogue, it’s quite interesting, but for those, who are not interested in his thing, it’s completely useless, he laughs.

Malin Roos asks Per what he means when he claims it has never been more fun than it is now. Per replied there has been a big driving force in him to succeed in music, he really wanted to. Especially, when the international career started. He says it’s awfully hard to succeed internationally as a Swedish artist, but it was really important for him.

Now, when I start to get old and gray, I have a more relaxed approach. It’s not as important to win as when I was 30. Now I’m doing things more for myself. There is an incredibly lot of material I finished, but I have not even bothered to release. I have had so much fun when I played them in, it’s not as important for me that you hear it.

Per says he is not reading the reviews anymore. People usually tell him what a review says, but he doesn’t read otherwise.

To the question if he is difficult to work with he replied:

No, I don’t think so, but I’m pretty definite about what I want and don’t want to do, and therefore I’m bad at working with the wrong people. I’m pretty bad at customizing stuff. If someone gives me an order for “what they want”, so I do a pretty bad job, but if someone says “do what you want with this” so I probably do something very good.

According to Per, nowadays songwriters are “hired guns”. They have to please a management, a producer, an artist and a record label. He says he has never had to compromise this way. He is the most proud of Roxette that they managed to make their career based in Sweden and not moved to London, LA or New York, as everyone wanted them to do.

Regarding the Roxette tour, Expressen asked if they will top the number of countries (46) they played in during the last tour. Per said there will be at least as many countries. He says there are always new people around and on Facebook one can see that most of them are between the age of 25 and 40, which he thinks is remarkable, considering that he turns 80 soon. [Yeah, Per’s soon. 😉 /PP ]

The reporter asked Per about how many letters he got when he turned 55, since she read in the book he got 2000 when he turned 23. Per said there are different times today, he gets thousand greetings online. So the reporter said then Åsa doesn’t have to check the love letters anymore. Per replied:

No, not so much, but there are some strange letters coming in every now and then.

When Malin Roos asked him how is it growing old with the role of being a charmer or girls’ idol, he replied:

Hm, I don’t know, I’ve never seen myself that way at all. But of course, we are rock stars when we are abroad. If we are going to South America, it is 400-500 people who greet us at the airport. It is in a way unreal, but also a privilege.

Per tells Expressen he’s been lucky to work with his hobby. He has never had to make a decision about what to be when he grew up. He had so much success that he didn’t have to worry about things that ordinary (non-rock star) people have to care about. Like inspecting the car and stuff. Someone else makes it for him.

Malin Roos asked how many times Per has been caught by speeding. First he replied never, but then he remembered one occasion when he was driving a hired car to the studio in Skåne. He was more annoyed about the fact that he was caught in a Toyota and not a Ferrari.

Per was asked about Gabriel, too, if he also outsourced the ”job” of attending parents’ meetings. He said he is an active parent. He is not a rock star for his son, for God’s sake. His family’s life was more based on what he was doing, but when Gabriel was born, everything became different and he got other responsibilities. Of course, sometimes it was more difficult to deal with everyday things, but during the past 7-8 years, Åsa also gained much more own life. She works with design and has her own lamp collection among others. Per says it’s fun.

Expressen asked Per what he invests his money in besides expensive cars. Per replied he lives a pretty normal life. They have a hotel that costs a lot of money. Then there is art and photos.

To the question what is left to do for him what he hasn’t done yet he replied:

I would like to learn to make good pop music.

He says he is not ready and it feels like it’s just the beginning. He feels enormously triggered for each production and project he deals with. He says he’s hardly listening to guitar pop anymore, but he’s rather listening to modern pop music. E.g. Capital Cities “Safe and Sound”, Donkeyboy “Crazy Something Normal”, Ariana Grande “Problem”, Meghan Trainor ” All About That Bass”.

The only CD I have bought this year is Leonard Cohen’s new one, but I haven’t listened to it yet. I can’t find my CD player.

When Per was talking about his LP collection, Expressen asked him what he would save first when there is a fire in his house. He said then he would leave the vinyls and take a nice photo.

I can’t remember any German guy lying on the floor filming Per’s feet (mentioned in the Expressen article), but it would be fun to know what it was good for. 😉

 

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New Roxette material in 2015

The news regarding the BMI London Awards reached Musikindustrin.se. They asked Per about the gala, The Per Gessle Archives, his books and Roxette.

About the gala Per said it was a lighthearted event with the usual red carpet-walking and quick TV interviews where the subjects changed between Marie’s brain tumor and Miley Cyrus’s tongue. He tells the award for this year’s song, Daft Punk’s Get Lucky was well deserved. Getting 2 awards, one together with MP for more than 5 million plays of Listen To Your Heart and one for more than 5 million plays of It Must Have Been Love among other, much older songs with the same amount of airplays was good for the ego, Per says. But all other 5 million-air songs are fantastic.

Regarding the book fair in Gothenburg he says whenever he / they do an official appearance, The International Hardcore Fans always turn up.

It’s always nice, they are really wonderful supporters from around the world who are there for better or worse. So the book fair was a very happy event for me. Lots of people and good atmosphere.

And now some news for all those who don’t fancy the idea of another greatest hits album. Per confirms again:

Roxette has been in the studio and finished a bunch of singles that will be released next year. We also aim to put together a brand new album in 2015, but right now we are concentrating on the “XXX – The 30th Anniversary Tour” starting October 28 in Vladivostok. It ends, as it looks now, the summer of 2016. I believe my passport expires then.

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Interview with Per Gessle: “I wanted the books to show who I am, my style, my drawings, my silly notes and confused guide-lines”

PG BookFair01-1 We had the chance to ask Per Gessle some questions about the books (“Texter, klotter & funderingar” and “Songs, Sketches & Reflections”), so we went through the books and thought of some detailed ones. Per, who is currently busy with the Roxette rehearsals, nicely took the time to answer to all these questions. Here is the result!

Don’t forget to grab the books and check them out while reading for a complete experience. Or to buy them if you haven’t yet (or you may be lucky in… read at the bottom!)

RXB/J&PP: So let’s start from the beginning. When did you get the idea to make these books? Was it born at the same time as the box? What came first, the idea of releasing TPGA box or publishing the books?
Per Gessle: Hello.. It’s something that’s been in the back of my mind for a long long time. There are so many songs around, so many demos. It really is “a lifetime of songwriting”! Also I’ve got so many studio diaries that need some fresh air!!

Through our Facebook-site I’ve also noticed that many people are interested in the demos. That feedback was certainly important to me in my decision.

It’s been a great ego trip in spite of the endless hours of research that was needed to make (especially) the box happen, since the amount of material is so vast. Lots of people have been involved, primarily MP (finding & refreshing old tapes + recording & editing Sven’s and my conversation-pieces which took forever), Pär Wickholm (CD-box layout) and Benny Mårtensson (book layout). Without those guys it wouldn’t have happened. Not like this. I’m extremely pleased with the result.

The books are not simply some lyrics put together black on white with a few pictures but something much more personal, with comments, drawings and other things from your archives. What was your initial concept you had in mind? Did you have such design in mind from the beginning?
Yes. I didn’t want to do just standard lyric-books. I wanted them to show who I am, my style, my drawings, my silly notes and confused guide-lines. To write a song is a long journey and most of the time people only get to know the final destination.

Why did you decide to split them in two books, English and Swedish? Do you plan to release the English book outside of Sweden?
I’m sure both books will be available globally through Amazon etc. The reason for two separate books is that otherwise it would have been too thick. And I don’t want to compete with the bible. Or the complete edition of “Fifty Shades Of Grey”.

We also realized that some songs are missing from the books and some are missing your comments and only the lyrics are included. How did you decide on which songs to include and comment on?
I wrote down what I remembered and if there were any good stories or anecdotes connected with the songs. Some songs I don’t remember writing. Some lyrics didn’t make it due to copyright-reasons. “Tylö Sun” and “Skicka ett vykort, älskling” for instance. I don’t own the copyrights to those.

10624861_10152244866910178_591528627164385920_nEvery page on the books is different, some pictures are used more than once but each page has a different design. We know Benny Mårtensson did this part, but what was your involvement? Did you check every page or give hints to certain lyric pages how they should look like?
Yes. I wasn’t in favour of using the same pics more than once but Benny found that OK. A few of his pages I didn’t particularly like so he remade them. He’s done a fantastic job. A very talented guy. The original idea was just to mix the lyrics, my studio diaries incl drawings and combine them with a few comments about the songs. Then I realized that some of the original lyric-sheets looked really cool with coffee-stains and dead flies on them so we used a lot of those. The pics should not be the main thing. Just to spice things up a bit and make it even more personal and easy to look at.

One can read the books in (at least) 2 different ways: Either with or without the music to the lyrics. While reading the books without music one gets a deeper insight into your lyrics and realizes (once more) how great songwriter you are. Did you (re)discover parts of your lyrics that impressed you? Lyrics long forgotten where you thought “wow, did I write that?”? (or some you thought “what was I thinking?”).
Thank you. I’m happy you enjoy my work. My ambition writing lyrics has always been that they should be capable to stand on their own two feet. I think it’s crucial that you should be able to read a song lyric without getting too embarrassed. Both as the writer and as the reader. Sometimes I’ve screwed things up, sometimes it feels good when I bump into one of my lyrics.

We have both interviews in the Swedish book, but only the Sven interview in the English one. Both are great reading for fans or even non-fans and going through all the interesting things in the Tomas Andersson Wij interview, it would have been a good idea to translate it and include it in the English book as well. Why didn’t you decide for having it there?
I agree. TAW’s interview is great and should have been included in both books. If there will be a 2nd edition it will be translated and made available in English as well. The reason we didn’t include to begin with was that Tomas and I mostly talked about my Swedish work and thought it didn’t really interest that many people abroad. We were wrong.

In the Sven interview you say you try to avoid learning too much, because you are afraid of losing the unconscious. At the same time, working together with all those fantastic musicians, it’s impossible not to learn from them. How can you keep the balance?
Well, what I’m trying to say is that it doesn’t really work for me to “educate” myself too much and learn the classic and proper rules of music. I want to trust my gut feeling and if I need help (which I do all the time…, I know what I want but I don’t know how to get it…) I consult more “educated” people than me, Christoffer and Clarence for instance.

I truly believe that I’d been a far less interesting songwriter if I didn’t follow my own set of rules and instincts. I don’t really know when I’m doing things “right or wrong” and that’s the whole idea for me. Follow that sweet smell of surprise. Read the rest of this entry »

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Interview with Dea Norberg: “I live and breathe music all the time”

pressbild 4_1We took the opportunity that we were spending some days in Stockholm end of September to set up a last-minute meeting with Dea Norberg to talk about her EP “Storm”, which was released on the 1st of October. We talked about the EP and the process behind it, but also nature, travelling and, of course, the upcoming Roxette tour.

“Storm” EP

RXB/Judith: Thank you for taking some time to meet us so short notice! You are going to release an EP next week, on October 1st. When did you come up with the idea of doing this EP?

Dea: As a singer you have your creative side too, the writing part has always been a little bit there for me, but I hadn’t really done anything on my own before. I actually released an album with a friend of mine in 1999, some of my old songs were there, but this EP is all on my own. That release was so long ago, so when fans came up to me asking me to sign that one, it felt like it was time to do something else, haha! This EP shows where I am right now.

We know the album will be released digitally, but will it be available physically too? [You will find information about where to purchase the album at the bottom of the article]

Yes! So far the physical can only be bought in Swedish music stores, so I am in contact with CDBaby, they sell worldwide, so I hope I can set it up so that everybody can buy it. I am doing everything myself, so I am also learning a lot with this release. It’s a big process. And I actually have a copy for you!

[we look at the EP, a very nice digipack with lovely pictures of Dea]

Åsa Elmgren, the make-up girl at the Roxette tour, did the make-up for these pictures. And I was lucky to be able to have a horse of a friend of mine for the photo session.

I just thought, you could take some CDs with you and sell them at the merchandise stand during the Roxette tour?

Actually, Per said “you should sell it on the tour” haha! I was like “Can I?” and he said “of course!” So that is super nice. But I am still not sure, I have to see how many I can carry with me and if it works out. It may be a bit tricky to take them in some parts of the world, with customs and all. But somehow it will be available for you all, either this way or via CDbaby.

Dea_cover_600Are you planning on doing a lot of promotion with the album?

I never had this need of “I wanna be a star” now, be out there in the spotlight. I like to be in the background, so I don’t have the ambition for this to become something huge. I also don’t plan to do any release party, I don’t have time now, I have to concentrate on the upcoming Roxette tour. But if someone listens to the EP and likes it then it’s fine. Like I said in a couple of radio interviews I did the last weeks, the main reason I made this was for the Roxette fans, who either came up to me with either the old CD or asked me if I would ever do something solo. So I will be happy if people listen to it and like it.

I just heard the song “Storm” so far, I liked the melody, it’s the kind of music I have been listening to a lot lately, kind of indie, very much about the instruments…

Yes, for me it’s about emotion. To create a little world, almost meditative, with music but still in the pop world. And indeed, the focus on the CD is more the music than the singing, you will see.

When did you record the album?

In April this year. The recording process was very quick, the producer, Andreas Dahlbäck, and I spent quite some time deciding where to go, but once the musicians were in the studio, it was just two days. The rest was mixing, finishing the small details and also lots of paperwork to be able to actually release it.

Have you been writing songs for a long time? Have you written the songs yourself?

Yes. I was always writing fragments, bits and pieces, when I was travelling, waiting at the airport or at the countryside. I also play piano, so it’s more like putting thousands of ideas together. I think I will try to do this more often now, I enjoyed the process.

Two of the songs, “Stay For A While” and “Have You Ever” were composed with Jens Frithiof, the guitar player on the album, back in 2008. I wrote “Storm” and “Say” this year. All lyrics were written by me.

I see that all four songs are in English, do you always write in English or also in Swedish?

I also have a couple of songs in Swedish too, but I gave all the stuff to the producer and he tried to find the central theme for the album, so these four songs made it in the end. Maybe those in Swedish will be released later. Read the rest of this entry »

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Per Gessle: Why ever stop when it’s still fun?

Scandinavia’s #1 music magazine, Gaffa (Jonathan Bengtsson) interviewed Per Gessle. They are talking about songwriting and The Per Gessle Archives. You can download the magazine in pdf from HERE. Article is on pages 32-33.

Photo © Fredrik Etoall

Photo © Fredrik Etoall

The article begins with stating Per is not even close to being tired. He has more to say than ever. He says:

Why ever stop when it’s still fun? This is my job, to make the best possible song out of the best possible idea. That’s what I can do and that’s what I’ve always been doing.

Gaffa’s reporter, looking at the title of the box – The Per Gessle Archives – A Lifetime Of Songwriting – thinks it’s a summary of Per’s career. Per tells him:

No no, this here is absolutely not a summary. It’s entirely a nerd project, something I do primarily by self-interest. But I would still like to say that the material in the box has a kind of pop value, something unique. It’s a cornerstone in what I do.

Per says he would never be able to create a song based on a groove and he would never be able to write a hip hop song. He says writing and creating a good pop song is fantastic. The pride, the joy he feels then is exceptional. They are also talking about what Per was listening to when he was a child, his record collection that played a crucial role in what Per has become.

About today’s pop music Per says it’s mainly about the management. There is no time to develop anything. They work with the same types of artificial sound, the same drum fills and effects and therefore all the tracks sound almost the same. One reason why he and Marie didn’t want to work in the US was to avoid sounding like everyone else. Per feels sorry for today’s young Swedish songwriters, because many of them become only “Hired Guns” of the industry.

The reporter says people often talk about music as a purifying, therapeutic tool and asked Per how it is with him. Per thinks all creative work is purifying in its own way. He wasn’t really inconsolable when he wrote Joyride and he was in a significantly lower mood when for example, he sat down to write Queen of Rain. But it still works the same way, purifying. He says he is not claiming that all he has done is autobiographical, but the starting point is always a feeling inside him, something that attracts him.

To the question if he regrets anything he replies:

Well, it would in that case be a haircut or a doubtful choice of clothes (laughs). But mostly, I’m happy. Happy that I have always had the privilege to do, create and shape things myself. Without anyone interfering. And happy that I was born exactly when I was born. We live in a completely different time now, a time where pop music’s reason for existence is questioned. The primary task pop has and always had, is to reflect its contemporaries. For example, the ‘60s were coloured by all the youth revolts and the Vietnam War, but what do we have today? X-Factor, those talent shows, where you are striving to become famous for being famous.

Per already posted about it some time ago – I think when someone shared the reggae demo version of Never Is A Long Time on Roxette Official – that this demo was never meant to reach our ears, but someone had broken in the studio some years ago and stole demos, then spreaded them and they ended up on YouTube. Now we get to know from the article that the whole archives idea came from this happening. Mr G says to Gaffa:

One day we noticed that someone had broken in and taken demos and unique sound recordings, everything from Roxette to own stuff was gone. Months later, the material via an anonymous source was suddenly posted on YouTube. So now in a longer perspective, the whole thing was actually just a good thing, because when those old demo recordings turned up on the internet I noticed that there was a great interest, that the fans really appreciated hearing the process, the imperfections. So you could say that it’s thanks to that thief that this box is made at all.

The beauty box of gems is out on 24th September!

 

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A new book with a Per Gessle interview

hogman-per-gessle-1400pxI was surprised to see a new Roxette book appearing on the list when I was searching for something else at Adlibris today. Then reading the title I got even more excited. Cirkus Roxette är tillbaka: En intervju med Per Gessle (= Cirkus Roxette is back: An interview with Per Gessle) written by Åke Högman.

It’s an interview with Per originally published in 1999 in Café magazine. The book was published on 18th August 2014. You can buy the printed book (41 pages) or the e-book (17 pages) at Adlibris and the printed format at many other sites as well (even at Bengans and CDON). The difference in the number of pages between the printed and the e-book version is probably some more pictures or editing in the printed one.

The interview is about Per and his family, Hotel Tylösand, art, the music business, business in general, Roxette, Have A Nice Day album (which was released the year when the interview was done), Join The Flumeride, cars, champagnes and more.

When talking about Michael Hutchence and Kurt Cobain, the reporter asked Per if he had ever been on drugs. Per replied:

Nah… I haven’t been on drugs that way, so if I had answered yes then you would ask a next question, so it’s better if I say no. So the answer is no, that’s a good answer.

Then the reporter asked if it was the truth. He replied:

Well it’s totally true, yes, damn it, I never lie… no, but it’s a sensitive subject, not for me but for many others (laughs).

 

An interview with Per Gessle is not complete without talking about songs and / or songwriting.

For me there is still nothing better than when you just wrote a song or when you hear a great pop song for the first time. I still remember the first time I heard the Buzzcocks “Ever Fallen in Love” or “Two Tribes” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood and freaked out totally. There’s nothing else I’m passionate about the same way.

 

Some opinions about Per can also be found in the book. Marie Fredriksson says this:

A fantastic friend, but a very bad loser. He wants so badly to win. He played with my husband in an internal tennis tournament we had on Capri when we recorded Crash! Boom! Bang! and was sour for a whole day because he lost. Thank God he won the tournament in the end, so it was quiet in the house.

 

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Per Gessle’s golden wines

Mikael Mölstad from Allt om Vin interviewed Per Gessle. They were talking about Per’s passion about wines. Per drinks more expensive wines than many others, but it’s mostly because he can afford it. He believes that good wine experiences are available in most price segments anyway.

To the question about his first wine experience he replied:

Oj, it was when I started touring when I was around 20. Before that I drank almost nothing at all. This was in the late ’70s and I had read that Keith Richards drank Blue Nun, so I would of course try. I knew nothing about wines, but thought if Keith did something I should do the same. But oh, what a disappointment it was – it was just disgustingly sweet. The first real wine experience I had when I turned 30 and I got a Château Malartic-Lagravière 1982 from Thomas Johansson, our concert organizer. That wine opened a new world for me.

PG_wine_Allt_om_VinPer was asked about his greatest wine experience. He says it’s almost impossible to answer, but he would say his last great acquaintance, a Cheval Blanc 1986. He talks about he started with Bordeaux wines, then more Californian and Italian wines. He also became more curious about Burgundy. Per says, the older he gets, the less he likes New World wines. They are a little too sweet and have a bit too much alcohol.

About the best wine and meal experience he says there are some. He mentions a lunch in Verona with good pizzas and a champagne, Billecart Salmon Rosé. Another experience he mentions is a bottle of Ornellaia with caprese, prosciutto and classic Italian meals at one of his favorite taverns in Tuscany.

Per’s favourite everyday wine is his own Kurt & Lisa. A dream wine tasting he would love to participate in is a vertical tasting [where you have a number of bottles from the same winery, that are spread out over a number of vintages] of Château Petrus or Latour with some of his best wine friends.

To the question which wine region he would happily return to he replied he is very fond of Tuscany, so it is always his first choice. A wine region he is longing to visit is Napa Valley, for he hasn’t been there yet. Per says it would be great to experience some of his favorite Californian wines on site, such as Bond and Harlan Estate.

Mr G’s favourite red wine grape is Pinot Noir. He wants to learn more about Burgundy and he hopes soon to experience some great wines from there. Per’s favourite green-skinned grape is Chardonnay, blanc de blancs from Champagne or from Southern Burgundy.

Per tells Allt om Vin that some wines he buys from each year, e.g. Ornellaia and Solaia. Otherwise he gladly buys champagne. His last purchase was a Larrivet Haut-Brion. He prefers keeping older wines in his wine cellar and he likes to go back to wines from the ’80s and ’90s. Per says one can’t experience such wine tastes these days.

At the end of the interview Per says he is proud of making his own wine and then get to experience surreptitiously how people like it in a restaurant. Although he hasn’t trod the grapes, he still helped to create the blend. [Mr G treading grapes is definitely something we would love to see one day, isn’t it?]

On a side note next to the interview you can read besides some other well-known details that Per’s hidden talent is being a hell of a table hockey player.

The fabulous PG photo in the article is by Anders Roos.

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Marie Fredriksson ”still singing the shit out of most people”

A 2-page Roxette article was published yesterday in the Sunday MailU on Sunday, Brisbane, Australia. It also contains interview parts with Per. He talks about Marie’s illness and recovery, how she gained her energy back, the Amsterdam show in 2009 where Marie joined him on stage during his solo tour and how she called him to do a new Roxette album after that.

Per about Marie’s illness and recovery:

I remember there was one particular moment when I felt this is the worst day of my life. We went to see some friends in the South of Sweden, and some kids came up – and this is when Marie had her treatment, she was all swollen up and had no hair – and they asked for my autograph and they didn’t recognise her. I could see how disappointed she was that nobody recognised her anymore – that was a horrendous moment for both of us. To be part of that and see that and see how she went through that and came back to being on stage and still singing the shit out of most people, it’s just amazing. So, I’m a big fan. She is an Amazon. She is so strong. We didn’t know if she could actually do the tour. On the contrary, it became rehab for her, so to speak, getting all this energy from the crowd.

Mr G also talks about the past, how they got to know each other with Marie, how the story of Roxette began and how they reached the international breakthrough. To the question what he sees when he looks back on his life he replies:

Basically, when I look back on my life, if you say years like 1985 or 1996, I always think about what album I was releasing, or touring, so I always think of my life as records.

In the article they mention Per’s successful career with Gyllene Tider and Marie’s solo records. They also talk about how to write hits. To the question what successful songs have in common Per replies:

It’s a good question. For a song to become a hit record, to attract loads of people, there must be something that is magnetic about it. On the other hand, there are so many hit songs out there that I don’t understand how they became hits.

If you want to read the complete article, you can click here. You can buy this single issue (20th July, 2014) for 0.89 EUR.

Sunday_Mail_Roxette_article_20140720

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2-hour-long show with Per Gessle on Swedish Radio P3

Halla_P3_Per_GessleThis morning there was a 2-hour-long program with Per Gessle on Swedish Radio P3. Listen to it HERE! He was today’s guest of Linnea Henriksson’s show, Hallå P3. The whole show is based on questions from listeners either via phone call, SMS or e-mail. Anyone could send questions to Per or call the show and ask him personally. How cool is that! The net time with Per without the music and news is more than an hour, so it is really worth a listen if you couldn’t catch it during the day. If you can’t really deal with Swedish language, here is a summary of what he was talking about.

Linnea asked him if it is possible for him to go out in town as a private person or there is always someone recognizing him. He said most of the time when someone recognizes him, he only gets positive energy.

People were asked on the streets to tell who they could see on the picture. They recognized Per, told what he is doing and many of those people even started singing his songs. Someone told she also thinks immediately about Marie anytime she sees Per. While listening to people’s comments, Per was constantly giggling. Lovely!

He was asked about some of his songs, Billy among them, about which he told it was inspired by happenings in his life. It’s a long song with long verses which is not too typical of him. Regarding songs like Tycker om när du tar på mej he told his lyrics about love are mainly about his dear wife. Yeah, we know it, but hearing it from him from time to time is still wonderful. Besides this he said he is a writer, so he also makes things up in his lyrics, of course. Funny that about Gå & fiska! now he said he probably wrote it in Malaysia when he was on holiday. I think we already heard a United States version of the story.

Regarding writing in Swedish and in English he told that over the years it became quite natural writing in English, too. One learns to think in English and it became better and better with time.

An old Roxette fan asked where the name Roxette comes from and Per told the story of choosing the title of Dr. Feelgood’s song, as well as the story of everyone thinking Roxette was Marie and he was her assistant.

Someone asked Per if he would do something totally different, a totally different musical project. He explained it’s not only Gyllene Tider and Roxette in his life, but he also did soundtrack for Small Apartments and now he is also involved in EDM, which is quite new to him. The listener said he was thinking about something for the older public maybe, like more acoustic stuff. Per said he is planning to do an acoustic album (and if I understood right, an acoustic tour, too).

Regarding taking part in Så mycket bättre (“So Much Better”; a Swedish reality TV show on TV4 where the basic premise is that each artist attempts to do their own version of another artist’s well-known song) he said it’s definitely not his cup of tea.

To the question how it feels playing in Halmstad he replied it’s always special. It’s nostalgic and romantic at the same time. His whole Mazarin album is about Halmstad, for example. Playing in Ullevi in 2004 was of course magical, but the whole 2004 Gyllene Tider tour was wonderful.

About an ordinary day of his he said he is working a lot, writes songs, spends a lot of time in the studio, he is handling Roxette’s Facebook page and he is doing some interviews. He is not the kind of person who is looking for tranquility.

Before the 2013 GT tour he did some acoustic versions of old GT songs (I guess some of them are demos we will get on The Per Gessle Archives in September) and one of them was played exclusively in the show. It’s Honung och guld from the album Puls. It starts at about 39:40 and ends at about 43:02. It’s an awesome version of this beautiful song. Be sure you are listening to Per’s killer voice and fab guitar playing!

He mentions Pugh Rogefeldt, John Holm, Ulf Lundell and even ABBA meant a lot to him from the early Swedish pop era.

He tells that he is an LP guy, he grew up with vinyls and loves physical releases, but nowadays music is spread all over iTunes and Spotify and of course, he is also listening to music via these possibilities. Still he thinks an album cover is very important. He told about the brainstorming for the Look Sharp! sleeve: superstars, journalists around, limousine, front page picture, fake ads, newspaper style.

He shares that he is incredibly unstructured when he has meetings, but one always has to follow his gut feeling not only when he has a meeting, but also when writing songs.

Mr G talks about his first jobs: distributing newspapers, weighing mushrooms (he was the only guy among appr. 300 girls) and playing as a troubadour in old people’s home and hospitals for eight months in Halland. He learned a lot from this latter one also about what is it like playing and singing in front of 5 people. När alla vännerna gått hem he wrote e.g. during those times. He also mentioned that once they brought a man out of coma. They played music in one of the hospitals and the man suddenly started moving.

To the question what he is interested in besides music he replied he never played golf in his life and never took a swim at Tylösand beach. When he was a child, they usually went to Frösakull’s beach. He said he is interested in music (yeah, besides music, he is interested in music, surprise, surprise), in art and he likes taking walks.

Per says MTV Europe meant a lot to them during the ’90s and also mentions all the videos cost millions those days.

To the question which songs changed his life he replied a lot of songs are changing your life, but for example, Refugee from Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers was one of the songs that changed GT’s and his own life, too. He also tells the story when he was a little child (1966-67) he played with his friends and they used cue sticks and mimed to songs of The Monkees, e.g. to I’m A Believer. The first time he saw David Bowie’s Life on Mars? video was also fantastic.

Linnea asked him which song he would choose to play on the radio and Per chose to play David Bowie’s Space Oddity for his son. He mentioned Gabriel is a computer nerd and once he surprised Per by sitting next to the piano, playing this song (if I understood it right).

To the question what is different for them when they play on the same tour, the same songs each time Per replied each night is different. They play 100% live and anything can happen. His ambition is to make each night as good as possible. He also explains there is nothing better than standing on stage in front of a huge crowd, playing live for them and hear them singing along your songs confirming they like what you are doing.

Regarding the upcoming Roxette tour he says their tours have always been based on their hits, but they also play some unexpected songs or new ones. Now he is writing Roxette songs again and they will start rehearsing in autumn.

All in all, it was a great show! I must add that Linnea can bring out the nicest smile of Mr. G! Marvellous pics they shared today on P3’s website, on Roxette Official and on Per Gessle Official.

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New EP or full-scale album by Roxette

Roxette_tp_white_bgAs you could hear it with your own ears in the Australian radio interview with Per, he started writing new songs for Roxette a couple of months ago and they will go to studio in August to record new material before they start rehearsing for the tour in September.

Now Per reveals in an interview with The New Zealand Herald that they are planning to do an EP with 4-5 songs. However, being the hit machine he is, there might be a new studio album coming! That’s what he says:

We’re talking about doing an EP, four or five songs. At the same time, knowing me, I write a lot and if everything goes well, it might as well be a full-scale album.

Fingers crossed for a full album!

 

Besides this, he tells what the secret behind one of pop’s most enduring relationships is:

It helps that we never had a romance. We’ve known each other all our lives and it’s like a brother-sister relationship. When Marie got ill in 2002, it was a nightmare for all of us. I’m so pleased that she’s still alive. To be able to do these tours again is just amazing.

We are all so pleased, too! Bring on the new album and the tour!

 

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Marie interviews before Gävle and Västerås concerts

Gefle Dagblad (GD) & Vestmanlands Läns Tidning (VLT) did e-mail interviews with Marie before the concerts in Gävle and Västerås.

GD.seStefan Andersson from GD asked Marie about the tour and Marie said it’s been better than she ever dared to hope for. The special memory she will take with herself from the tour is the audience’s immense response. To the question which her most beloved song is now she replied “Sista sommarens vals”. The reporter asked her if she would perform “Sparvöga” och “Ännu doftar kärlek” if the audience would be crying out for them. She said they don’t even have to cry out for these songs.

GD asked Marie about how it is working so closely with Micke. Miss Effe said:

“Wonderful! We’ve been working together for so long now, both in the studio and live. He’s an awesome musician and songwriter.”

Regarding her plans for summer she informed she’ll go on vacation and have a rest. Recovery after the tour.

To the question when we will see Roxette again she replied soon, she hopes. Also mentions that her favourite song from The Look era is Dangerous, because it’s so great to perform it live.

She also said that it’s an honor that they are among the first ones in The Swedish Music Hall of Fame.

Regarding Gävle, she remembered Roxette performed there in Folkets Park, in 1987 and it was great one for them.

 

 

vlt.seSylvia Kadri from VLT asked Marie about how tough the tour is and if there are any tricks to get into shape before the concerts. Marie said they play mostly during the weekends so she recovers herself during the week. Walking, sleeping and eating well. And she gets an enormous energy from the band and the audience.

To the question how cancer changed her life Marie replied she takes everything easy and tries to avoid any kind of stress. She is grateful that she lives and feels joy in so many things that she previously took for granted. She said as an artist she changed like it takes longer time to write music, but her voice has matured and gotten a different depth. To the question what she is doing to keep herself healthy she replied she takes it easy. Eating, sleeping and spending time with family and friends are very important.

The reporter asked her what is inspiring her nowadays. Marie said the nature. She loves sitting in her garden and listening to the birds this time of the year.

Regarding what music she is listening to she said Joni Mitchell remains important in her life and Jimi Hendrix is always with her. Rufus Wainright is a new inspiration for Marie.

She didn’t want to talk about her big dream projects, but the future is more about resting than hectic tour life. Now she is looking very much forward to summer.

 

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Short interview with Marie before Borås concert

MF_Xtra_BorasMarie Fredriksson’s tour goes on tomorrow. Next stop is Borås. Xtra Borås did a short interview with Marie which you can read here and even download it in pdf. No real news in it, but it’s always nice to read any kind of interview with her.

She says she is very happy that she can do this tour. It feels great to be back. Last time it was in 1992 when she played in concert halls before this tour. She also says most people are used to her voice in Roxette, but it’s a different feeling when she is singing in Swedish. After her illness, her voice became deeper and she thinks there’s a stronger presence in it, which she enjoys. She’s always lived in music and it’s still such a big part of her.

Tomorrow’s concert is Marie’s first ever in Borås. But there is a link between Borås and Roxette. Dean Cushman, the exchange student we all know the story of was studying computer science at the University of Borås and found Roxette’s music there.

Xtra Borås asked Marie what’s left to achieve in her long and successful career. Marie said she hopes she can keep on doing what she loves the most so long as possible and she hopes that the audience is with her for a long time. Marie says she finds inspiration in everything: the silence, the garden, at the sea and in everyday life. Her favourite song off ”Nu!” is “Sista sommarens vals” now.

The last question to her was what she is Xtra happy about right now. She replied:

The spring sun! It’s so nice that winter comes to an end now.

 

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Interview with Marie about the tour: “I am overwhelmed by the response of the audience”

IMG_01762We have had the chance to interview Marie Fredriksson via email during the short tour break and before the tour goes on this Friday in Borås.

RXB: It’s your first solo tour since 2000. How does it feel to be on the stage again singing your own songs?
Marie: Fantastic! I have looked forward to it!

RXB: Regarding the setlist that you put together for this tour. Is there any song that you rehearsed that you now think you should have included in the setlist?
Marie: No, I’m very happy with this setlist.

RXB: And, on the other hand, is there any song that you included in the setlist but you were not sure if it would work?
Marie: It’s always exciting trying old songs with new musicians and I was just happy with the result after our rehearsals.

RXB: I think it is very brave (and rare) to start a concert with such a stripped down acoustic song – how come you chose to play this version of “Så stilla så långsamt” and to play it as first song?
Marie: It was something that Micke suggested. I think it turned out very well.

RXB: How do you feel to the reaction of the audience to songs like “Så länge det lyser mittemot”, “Efter stormen” or “Mellan sommar och höst”, with the audience standing up and dancing along?
Marie: Of course, it makes me incredibly happy – it’s a wonderful feeling to see this from the stage. I am overwhelmed by the response of the audience and I couldn’t imagine how positive they react to all the songs!

RXB: More than half of the shows are done now, only 7 left. How do you feel about the tour so far? Are you going to change anything for the upcoming “second leg” of the tour?
Marie: It’s amazing how quickly time flies when you’re having fun.. I will do my best to really enjoy the rest of the tour but I don’t think we’ll change anything…

RXB: What is your favourite song on this tour?
Marie: It’s hard to choose a favourite song, it changes a bit from concert to concert. 

RXB: Everybody thinks the tour is amazing and that it should be available on DVD or at least CD. Any plans for that?
Marie: No plans for a DVD, we’ll see about a live CD…

RXB: Many fans are travelling from all corners of the world to see you live, what do you think about that? Did you expect to see so many “familiar faces”?
Marie: I am so grateful for the support from the international fans – it’s moving and overwhelming and to be honest – I didn’t expect such a huge turn-up. Thank you all!

RXB: Your husband Micke and nephew Jokke are playing with you in this tour. How does it feel to be able to share your passion for music with your family?
Marie: Michael and I have been on tour before (1992 & 2000) and to add Jokke to the band was a great decision! It’s wonderful to create music with them.

RXB: You also look very proud when Jokke plays the solos… he said in an interview with us that he had waited his whole life to play with you. How is it from your point of view?
Marie: I’ve seen him grow up to become a brilliant musician and of course he makes me incredibly proud!

RXB: Looking at the future, we heard about a possible jazz album and a biography. Could you tell us something about that already?
Marie: It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and will do when the timing is right. You’ll be the first to know…

TDR also got the chance to email-interview Marie, check it out here.

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Interview with Jokke Pettersson: “The tour has been super great so far!”

We met Jokke Pettersson, one of the two guitar players in Marie’s band during the current tour, in Växjö some hours before the show. As we’ve always tried with other band members and Rox&Co related musicians, we wanted to know more about Jokke and his career and his multiple bands. Enjoy!

Judith: Thank you for your time for this interview. We would like to get to know you a bit better, IMG_0025_so to start with, could you tell us how you got into music?

Jokke: Sure! I started playing drums when I was 7 years old. My father borrowed an old drum kit from a friend and just asked me if I wanted to try. It was kind of easy for me to learn some easy grooves and I thought it was fun to play right away. I think it is very important with music, you have to think it’s fun from the beginning, if it feels too difficult you will just quit sooner or later.

So I tried that and I liked it but since I’ve always been kind of a song writer, I wanted to express melodies and that’s hard on a drum kit. I taught a friend to play drums instead and I borrowed an old electric guitar and an old amp from a friend. I only used borrowed stuff in the beginning haha! We started to practice in my bedroom the two of us, he just played drums and I learnt some riffs. It was much fun, one of the best moments ever. We did that for about three years, it was an amazing time.

So I got started with electric guitar when I was 10 or 11, but I wasn’t serious about it until I was about 13. Then I started to practice seriously on the guitar, took some lessons and started my first band.

What were your favourite bands and your inspiration when you started?

I was a hard-core metal fan back then. I still am but in a different way, I love all kinds of music today. Back then I was really into Nirvana, Green Day, Metallica, Pantera, all that crazy stuff. I really loved the volume, the energy and the guitars.

Later, I got into progressive rock, bands like Dream Theater. I really wanted to push myself and I really wanted to find harder music to learn. This kind of music is harder to play and it meant I had to practice a lot more to make it sound like something.

I checked some YouTube videos before the interview and listened to some tracks by Karavan. They feel more like rock-blues to me. How did you get into this style?

Yes, when I started at the Swedish high school I went to a music school and started to listen to other music like jazz and blues, R’n’B and all that. So I kept on working on that.

I mentioned Karavan before, but you are also member of a band called Kayser. The two bands sound very different… Can you tell us about them?

Yes, I play in Kayser (www | FB | spotify) and Karavan (www | FB | spotify). And they are very very different, indeed!

Kayser is a trash-metal band that plays groovy American influenced trash like some of the bands that I listened to when I grew up. We just released an album with Kayser. A few years ago we did a few tours with that band and we have released two albums before this one. That’s been kind of my baby for many years. We put it on ice for a few years and now we are back. It feels amazing!

Karavan is me and some friends having a band, we are also working very hard with it releasing albums and touring with different artists. I sing in that band but sometimes we bring over artists from the United States to play with us. We toured with Hunter Perrin, who was the guitar player for John Fogerty for many years, he also has his own music, so we toured Scandinavia with him two times. And last November (2013) we toured with Camaron Ochs, a country artist from Nashville, so we played some country. Hunter Perrin is more rock’n’roll. Karavan’s own music is a kind of blues rock, Rolling Stones influenced.

Are you the songwriter in both bands?

We all write the songs, in both bands. It’s just the classic band where everybody comes up with demos, ideas and composes or writes music and lyrics.
We are currently writing songs for a new album with Karavan. I am doing that in between this tour on the days off and then I am in the studio recording.

It sounds like a lot of music going on at the moment!

Yes indeed! Also because like I said Kayser just released our new album a few weeks ago. And the tour with Marie. It’s been a very busy month. It just feels great, I am very greatful for that.

I read reviews about Kayser’s latest album “Read your enemy” (on Spotify)  and they are all very positive.

Yes, it’s been great to get this response. Of course, you sort of know that you’ve done something good, because you believe in yourself and what you’ve done, but we didn’t expect these reviews and feedback. We simply had no expectations, all these reviews are amazing. We feel like “Yes! We made it!”

Are you planning to tour with any of the bands?

We are planning a tour with Hunter in July in Scandinavia, perhaps some shows in Germany. We are also planning a tour with Camaron Ochs again around August. Two months of touring in Summer, and then maybe we are going to tour with Camaron in the United States, it’s not set yet, we are still working on it. And then we plan a tour with Kayser in September.

It looks like a busy schedule in the future too!

Yes, it’s going to be interesting! Three or four months of touring with 3 different bands. Very exciting! I am really looking forward to it!

When you talk about a tour with Kayser, do you mean in Scandinavia or also in Europe? I saw that you did some gigs in Germany some years ago...

Yes, with Kayser we will hopefully set up a tour in Europe. Our audience is mainly in Europe, specially countries like Germany and Belgium. On May 24th we are actually going to Athens for a show! Maybe US in the future but it’s a bigger project.

You are actually working in 3 projects (Kayser, Karavan, Marie’s tour) in parallel. How do you combine them and manage not to get confused?

That’s been a bit of my life for the past 10 years or so, lots of things going on with different bands. That’s keeping me busy, it feels just great.
I think if you have a good planning everything works out. Of course, it could come a time when everything just collides with each other, just thinking of it makes me stressed, but I will keep on doing this for as long as possible.

Of course, music-wise Karavan, Kayser or this tour are very different. I also realised that you use totally different guitars on this tour and with Kayser, for example. But what do you think is the biggest difference audience-wise?

There’s such a different emotional experience. There is a special energy when playing metal music live, fans are dedicated almost in a brutal way, and by that I mean also that fans are sometimes beating each other while we are rocking with our metal music. Metal fans are crazy, haha!

Marie’s fans are very humble, they listen to the music and just have a good time. That makes it a great experience to play in this tour. It’s great to see people loving her songs.

So let’s stay with Marie’s tour. How did Marie ask you to join the tour and what was your reaction?

Well, we talk sometimes on the phone. So she called me and asked “Do you wanna go on tour?” I was like “Oh yes! I’ve been waiting for this moment my whole life!” I love Marie’s solo stuff, I’ve been listening to these songs since I was a kid.

jokkeVYou mention that you’ve known Marie’s songs all your life, but how did you prepare for this tour?

They sent us a list of about 20-30 songs that Marie wanted to play or felt like playing, so I focused on those. The day before the first rehearsal a few more songs came in with the request to try those out too, so I just learnt to the songs.

Somewhere in my head I knew the songs because I’ve been listening to them my whole life, but it’s a different when you have to play them. I wrote down some notes and practiced a little bit every day just to be ready. Listened a lot!

What were your expectations for this tour?

I tried not to have any expectations because it’s more exciting if you don’t. I new it was going to be a great time.
I’ve known Marie my whole life, and I’ve known Micke for many years. I had met Christoffer and Pelle before and I knew they are amazing people. Marie trusts them very much as musicians and as people, so I knew it would be great. I had never met Surjo before but he turned out to be a great guy and a fantastic bassplayer!

It’s really been super great so far! I am really happy, it’s an amazing band, everybody is very nice and we are having a good time. And we sound very good together…

Yes you do! And you and Chris on guitars sound terrific.

Yes! We are very different guitar players, but when you mix that its really fantastic. It feels great.

Speaking about guitars. How many do you have?

I have about 10. As far as the economy allows it haha. I don’t buy guitars for fun though, only if I want to have a special sound then I buy a specific guitar, so I use all my guitars in my projects. I have some V-guitars that I use with Kayser, with Marie I use my Fender guitars because the sound works very well with Marie’s songs, and then I have two acoustic guitars. I have everything I need to be able to work with my bands, that’s the most important for me.

Coming back to the tour. We have seen the first three concerts and then the concert in Malmö yesterday and we were like “wow! What happened to the band?” It feels like you all found your place and interact a lot more. What can you tell about this?

Yes, absolutely. It’s funny because after most of the concerts we are like “this was probably the best gig” and then next evening “this was probably the best gig” haha! The first show was very special for everybody; we were all very focused and nervous in a different kind of way for the premiere show. And then show after show you start to move around a bit more, you feel more comfortable, that is something that happens naturally, it’s nothing you talk about, it just happens because we are playing a lot together. It feels very very good.

The tour started in Helsingborg, which is also your hometown. Did that one concert feel extra special?

Ah! That was a very nervous moment for me. Everybody was there, the whole family, our relatives from Denmark, people that I hadn’t met for many years, lots of friends. Plus it was the first show! Now I am a bit more relaxed but I still get a bit nervous before the show starts, I think this is important, that turns into adrenaline in the end.

Did Marie have any influence in your liking music and wanting to be a musician?

Absolutely. We talked a lot about music when I grew up. I saw Roxette live back in 91-92, we travelled to watch them play with my family, I was 6-7 years old. I saw them on TV, so she inspired me. I wanted to be like her so I worked as hard as I could to get here. She’s very much of an inspiration for me. And also as a person she is very special. Humble, generous, sweet, nice, she’s amazing!

And now touring together is just amazing. We have lots of fun together; it’s great in every way. It’s hard to express in a different way, it’s awesome!

You mentioned that you bring in artists from the United States to play with your band Karavan, and you are now touring with Marie. Are there any other bands or musicians you’d like to play with?

Tricky question! I’d really love to play with the Allman Brothers Band, John Fogerty, Pantera! Haha! I like so many bands so it’s hard to choose.

And last but not least, what are your plans for the next years?

Besides the tours that I mentioned I will just keep on working very hard with my bands. That’s the plan for the next years! Music 100%.

After thanking him for his time, Jokke rushes to have dinner the band and crew and then to deliver one of the best concerts of the tour so far!

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