Marie interviewed on P4 Premiär

Swedish Radio programme P4 Premiär interviewed Marie during the presentation of her single in Stockholm last Tuesday.

Here is a transcript of the interview. We tried our best (Jud with a little help from Patrícia), just drop us a line if you would write things differently.

P4: How would you describe the artist Marie Fredriksson in year 2013?
Marie: Yeah… relatively fun artist. I have been working on this album for a loooong time…

P4: For how long?
M: well.. about 6 years. But I’ve been busy with Roxette for more than 2 years. I am so happy that the album is finally ready and with the single “Kom vila hos mig”, written by my husband.

P4: It’s a very nice song, but also a bit sad or a bit melancolic. Can you tell us what is it about for those who haven’t heard it yet?
M: What one feels inside.

P4: What is it about for you?
M: For me it’s about strength. It has given me a lot of strenght. When you think what I have gone through, I am very very happy about this song, it means a lot to me.

P4: After all you’ve gone through and now that you are healthy again, do you think it’s shocking to talk about cancer?
M: Yes, very much. It’s sad to talk about it again and again. I am now fine and healthy again for a looong time so let’s talk about other stuff.

P4: But what came out of this? what has changed?
M: Mainly, I got a stronger voice. I had a great voice before, but now it’s heavier. I am happy about that.

P4: Why do you think your voice changed?
M: Well, I don’t know. Probably age and of course what I’ve gone through. But why talk about that, it’s so long ago. I feel very well now.

P4: I gotta say that you are shining. One reads that people who have gone through such hard times are stronger. Do you think people realise what life is about after such experiences?
M: Yes, I think so.

P4: And your album is called “Nu!”. Are you good at living the present?
M: Oh yes, I am damn good at that haha! I love to live in the present, it feels very strong to live the present, it feels very powerful, it’s the best there is.

P4: Do you remember when you started back in the 80ies, how was Marie back then?
M: The first song that was  a success was “Ännu doftar kärlek”. I wrote it together with Lasse Lindbom. We were so lucky and we had so much fun. It was great to get that much success with the song.

P4: Was it your dream since you were a kid to sing on stage, become a singer?
M: Yes! I used to wake up the whole family in the morning singing kind of arias, aaaahhh aaaaaah. I woke up all my family with that, everybody was like “cmon, shut up now”. But I went on, singing a bit lower. I was crazy to sing.

P4: And when did you find out that you had such a strong voice?
M: I guess when I sang at choirs and with my sibilings. I used to sing so strong. We were 5 of us, my brother was the oldest and then 4 girls. But too bad one of my sisters died in a car accident, I was 4 years old, that was horrible. But one doesn’t really realise when one is so small.

P4: So now that you will release a new album and you will go on tour next year, how does it feel, how do you plan it?
M: Yes! it will be sooo much fun! I really look forward to it and to start rehearsing.

P4: You have never been a primadonna and there was never a huge circus around you, you are very down to earth…is that right?
M: Ah.. I don’t know, it’s just the way I am. I can’t be any other way. Of course, we were very big when we did all those world tours with Roxette and we got the 4 number 1 in the USA, it was great.

P4: You’ve been famous since the 80ies with “Ännu doftar kärlek”. Was it hard when you were sick? People wanting to know how you feel, etc?
M: No… , well, of course it was hard, but now I am fine, so I am very thankful for every day. I see life in a totally new way nowadays.

P4: And how is it going with painting?
M: Oh! I haven’t had much time lately! I love it, I already did 3 exhibitions, but I like to do different things. I have to be creative with music, art…

P4: What do you do when you are not creative? Is there anything you do that is not creative?
M: Well.. I write texts sometimes, always did so. But I have to have something to do. Even though I also think it’s important to take it easy, maybe look at birds outside or something, do something outside the house, but it has to be warm, not too cold, haha!

P4: If you had to choose the absolute Marie Fredriksson song of all timesy, which one would it be?
M: Sparvöga, it means so much for me. Lasse and I wrote a lot of songs together, but this one I wrote myself. I got this offer to write this song for this TV series called “Sparvöga”, it was inspiring. And I got a lot of self-confidence because it was a success. And then comes “Tro”.

P4: What is your driving force?
M: My family, they mean everything to me. Without them I probably wouldn’t sit here today.

 

Marie_Fredriksson_2013_September_P4

Sven Lindström: “I thought the Roxette story deserved to be told”

I met Sven Lindström, the author of “Att vara Per Gessle” and the new book “Roxette – Den osannolika resan tur och retur” in Stockholm just right before the release party of the book. Sven told me about himself and especially about the making off the book. Enjoy the interview!  

JSven_L_Roxette_DORTOR_coverudith: To start with, could you tell us about you, how you started to write about music and what you’ve done so far?
Sven: I started as music journalist in Malmö for Sydsvenska Dagbladet, which is the biggest morning paper in the area. I became a music journalist back in 1983 and one of the first guys I interviewed was actually Per Gessle. We connected; I thought he was a fun guy. It was when Gyllene Tider were having a break due to military service and he was about to release his first solo album and he was starting a new chapter in his career.

Some years later I quit writing about music, I got fed up with doing nothing but reviewing concerts or albums, I wanted to keep this more as a hobby, so I went into advertising. I’ve been working as a copywriter since the end of the 80’s.

Some years later, Per called me up and wanted me to make an interview with Marie and him to be used as a press release for the Joyride album, so I met them in Per’s apartment in Halmstad in December 1990 and wrote the piece which was then given a magazine look where we tried to emulate the feeling of Rolling Stone interview.

And since then I’ve been working doing a lot of press releases, biographies, CD booklets, tour programs for Roxette and GT. So basically I am a music writer that tried to quit but didn’t really manage to. And I’ve published three books so far.

J: One of them is another Rox-related book, “Att vara Per Gessle”. How did that happen?
S: The idea came up at the after-show party at the last concert of the Room Service tour in Göteborg, it was Per who suggested that at 5:30 in the morning when most people had gone to sleep and the others who were still around were not terribly sober. He said, “You know, one day somebody will write about the Roxette story, why don’t you do it?”

I heard myself say “Yes, of course,” I didn’t realize what I had just said yes to, haha! So afterwards we decided to make a biography on his career and life, we wanted to do it very candid open and very interview based. But it took forever to do it because I worked with other stuff as well, so it was released in 2007 in the end.

J: And what can you tell about the third book “Han sitter där nere mellan Clapton och Hendrix – Jan Olofssons galna tripp genom pophistorien”?
S: It’s about a photographer from Malmö, Jan Olofsson. It’s a very funny story, a bit like Forrest Gump in the pop world of the 60’s. He met The Beatles in Hamburg in 1960, when he was just 16 and The Beatles had just arrived from Liverpool. And then he went to London and stayed there, working as a manager, photographer, record label boss, producer, club owner etc. Whenever something amazing happened, he happened to be there. It would make a great movie.

J: You are also the voice behind Nordic Rox. When did you join this radio program?
S: Nordic Rox started in 2006. There were quite a lot of people involved, like Pelle Almqvist of The Hives, Per and the ABBA expert Carl Johan Palm. I am not sure what happened before I joined, but around the time when “Att vara Per Gessle” came out at the end of December 2007, Per asked me if I was interested in taking over as the show’s host together with him, but that he would be more of the flagship of the show, and I would do the work, haha! So that’s how it started for me.

J: But you don’t travel to the US every time for the show, or?svens
S: No, I do it from Malmö. My kids have found me in the closet sometimes because it’s good acoustics there, so when you hear the “Hello, you are listening to Nordic Rox – good looking music” you now know where it was recorded, haha! I still do it from home, recording voice breaks with the regular Mac stuff like GarageBand and doing playlists of songs in iTunes. Then I send it to the Sirius XM headquarters in New York where they produce it into a proper show. I still haven’t really understood that it’s aired in USA, it’s amazing. A friend of mine who was once somewhere in California, was at a hotel with a few business people and he heard the program on the radio and called me “I am sitting here at a restaurant and they are playing something called Nordic Rox, is that you??” haha! So you see, it’s a small world.

J: But it’s great that you are able to spread Nordic music in the states, what is your favourite Nordic band right now?
S: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour from Denmark, I listen to them a lot lately. But there is a lot of good music coming from the Nordic countries, so I think Nordic Rox is a good call.

J: You explained how “Att vara Per Gessle” happened, but how did you get the idea to write this book about Roxette?
S: The original idea was to make something out of the tour, but that idea changed in-between. I realized that the only book that had been written purely about Roxette came out in 1992, I think. So much has happened since then, everything that happened before the 2011 tour, and then how it progressed into 2012, I thought this had to be recorded and told. Of course, fans know about this and are totally involved, but the majority of people didn’t know the whole story. Some knew parts of it of course, but they didn’t really know the details of the struggle that went on, so I thought the story deserved to be told.

Read more

Marie Fredriksson about upcoming solo album: “You can expect a typical Marie Fredriksson style”

There have been some rumours going on about a new Marie solo album the past months and specially since the recording of “Tack för musiken” last week. I had the chance to ask Marie a couple questions about the album and other topics:

RXB: First of all, how was your summer? You did some appearances like with GT at Ullevi or at Madeleine’s wedding or now the recording of “Tack för musiken”…
Marie Fredriksson:
My summer was relaxing and sunny. And GT was a great evening! Sweden and GT at its best. Madeleine asked and it was lovely to play at her wedding. I think “Tack för musiken” is a great TV show and Niklas is a great host and a good ol’ friend of mine. I was very surprised and happy to see all of you in the front rows!

RXB: There have been rumours for a long time about a solo album, what can you tell us about it?
Marie: You can expect a typical Marie Fredriksson style. The album is in Swedish.

RXB: When did you start working on it and with whom did you record the album?
Marie: I started a long time ago but a world tour came in-between. The album is produced by Micke [Bolyos] and Christoffer Lundquist. We had Mr. Pelle Alsing on drums on a couple of tracks. Jens Jansson and Christer Jansson played drums too. Then Christoffer Lundquist played bass and guitar, so did Staffan Astner and Jokke Pettersson. Ola Gustavsson [who was at “Tack för musiken” as well] played guitar and pedal string. Micke played keyboards and did some programming together with Christoffer.

RXB: and who wrote the songs?
Marie: I wrote one song, Per [Gessle] wrote one song too and the rest are written by Micke, mostly together with different lyricists.

RXB: There were also rumours about a solo tour… so we are wondering if and when?
Marie: Definitely not during 2013. Maybe 2014, but nothing is decided yet, so I cannot tell you more at this stage. But I love to tour, it’s the best I know!

RXB: What are you doing nowadays when you are not busy with music?
Marie: I am painting, relaxing and having fun. I love to be close to my family.

We are very much looking forward to the album (and tour)!!

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.

Read more

Motivation is what drives Per Gessle

Hallandsposten made a long and interesting interview with Per in the garden of his house in Sandhamn. From the interview it turns out that Halmstad is the place where Per can get energy. He also mentions that Åsa is the best wife in the world and Gabriel is as interested in computer games as he was in The Beatles and all other music at the same age as now Gabriel is.

According to the article, first it was the answering machine, then the tape recorder and mini-disc, but today Per Gessle‘s most important “instrument” to record and collect his ideas is his iPhone. Later he is saving all his files to computer, too. Per’s mobile is full of cryptic names of draft files that later might become hits. The working name of e.g. Singel was ”Apelsin” (= Orange – this word appears in the lyrics). Talking about hits, there are more than 1000 Gessle songs registered at Stim (International Music Agency of Swedish Composers).

As Per says to Hallandsposten, in terms of percentage, the lyrics take much more time to write than music. It’s often verses, quotes or events he’s picking. For example, ”Tiden är en dåre med banjo” (= Time is a fool with a banjo) is a Charles Bukowski quote.

Regarding ”Anders och Mickes första band” Per says:

It was my way of showing that we are five in Gyllene Tider, not just me.

 

Of course, we all know Per likes playing with words, he’s creating awesome rhymes. He says to Hallandsposten that ”Det blir aldrig som man tänkt sej” is about disappointment and with the rhymes ”Du kunde knappast knäppa knappar och knyta knutar på en och samma gång – du stod på fyllan bakom hyllan som en Bob Dylan väntande på varm buljong” he could express exactly what he wanted.

Hallandsposten writes it was 37 years ago when Per got his first ever fan mail – from Katarina. He remembers the letter clearly and says if he writes a song he thinks is good and then anyone else likes it too, he’s proud. He says he always wanted to succeed with his art, so today he feels that there is nothing left to prove. Therefore, being No. 1 on the charts or commercial success are not that important anymore.

To Hallandsposten’s question regarding what is driving Per, he replied:

Motivation. If I would lose it, no more melodies or chords would come to my mind. I wouldn’t be so open to ideas and wouldn’t take down what is out there.

 

Hallandsposten also asked how Mr. G can manage all the things he is doing at the same time: music, hotel, wine and even handling several social media sites. Per says:

If it wasn’t me doing it, then someone else would. And then I still should check it. So why not doing it myself? After all, it’s fun.

 

 

Per Gessle_Hallandsposten_photo_by_Jari_Valitalo

 

Original article © Hallandsposten; GT photo © Jari Välitalo

Celestte Williams contributed to the article.

 

Marie Fredriksson in ”Tack för musiken”

It’s nice to hear so many news about Ms Effe being very active nowadays. Today it has been announced that Marie will appear in Niklas Strömstedt’s ”Tack för musiken” (= Thanks for the music) show.

The show provides an exclusive and unique picture of Sweden’s most famous artists. Niklas and his guests are talking about music, memories, anecdotes from the artists’ career and also singing songs during the program that is recorded in Maximteatern, Stockholm. Other famous guests related to the participating artists are also attending the show, so we might see Per in the part with Marie as well.

The third season of this program starts in December on SVT, but recordings with Marie are on 27th August.

If you want to be in the audience, apply for tickets asap by sending an e-mail to Joanna Nilsson (Audience Manager): tackformusiken@titan.se. Provide your name, phone number, e-mail address, number of tickets you need and the name of the artist you want to see. Tickets cost only 70 SEK, payable in cash at the entrance. Who comes first is served first!

 

Marie_Fredriksson

 

 

Gyllene Tider’s Parkliv today

SVT1 broadcasted a 55-minute-long Gyllene Tider nostalgia trip at 22:00 CET on 6th June. The documentary – Gyllene Tider’s Parkliv today – was teased as you can watch Parkliv (1981) ”together” with the guys and it indeed felt like watching the old docu together with them. They were sitting in a studio and while they were chatting with each other and with Annika Jankell, Parkliv was on in the background. They were watching it on a screen in the studio and it also appeared in the corner of the TV to make it possible for all viewers watching it at the same time. Unfortunately, the documentary is only available in Sweden. Click here for watching it.

 

GT_Parkliv_idag_01_

 

The whole docu is very cosy. Everyone is chatting, drinking water or wine, eating crackers and laughing a lot. The guys are joking with each other about how they looked like back in 1981, how Per was singing, how Micke Syd was playing the drums, etc. They are humming some tunes and playing air guitar and air drums while watching Parkliv. The make-up girl comes in every now and then and is adjusting make-ups (not only Per’s).

 

GT_Parkliv_idag_02

 

The guys are telling anecdotes like the story of Per saying the phone number of Micke Syd’s mother’s hair salon in Parkliv (where there is a long beep), but girls read Per’s lips, so they were calling the saloon all the time and drove Micke Syd’s mother crazy with that.

Looking at the 1981 crowd Micke Syd is inviting you, guys and girls, who can see yourselves in Parkliv to post them a photo on Gyllene Tider’s Facebook site.

Annika is also trying to make a comparison between the girls falling for Gyllene Tider and the ones falling for e.g. One Direction or Justin Bieber. Interesting topic, but c’mon! Where will these latter boys be in 30 years…? 😉

 

GT_Parkliv_idag_03

 

© All screenshots are from the documentary

“Gyllene Tider’s Parkliv today” is broadcasted again at 13:55 CET and 01:05 CET, 9th June on SVT1.

 

Thanx for the cooperation to Celestte Williams.

 

1.5-hour-long interview with Per Gessle

Kristoffer Triumf (Värvet) made a long long long long long interview with Per on 30th April, 2013. This is 100% interview, containing no music in between. Värvet, an amateur radio channel is known for making such interesting interviews with popular Swedish people, talking about their working life and being human. It’s in Swedish, but one has to get used to it: if you’re a fan of Roxette / PG / Ms Effe / GT, you have to practice your Swedish every now and then.

Click here for the interview. You can even download it.

Per is talking about everything from how he’s writing songs, what kind of music he is listening to via the Roxette tour, Gyllene Tider’s new album to how he’s managing all the social media sites and what he’s sharing there (song of the day, videos he makes in the studio with his iPhone, old video clips, etc.). There are some thoughts about how music and ”artists” have changed during the past years.

We also get to know that Per is walking 8-9 km in 1 hour 15 minutes each morning and probably that’s why he’s so fit. When he’s on holiday or when on tour, he’s visiting the gym. He tells he weighed himself before and after a gig and lost 2.5kg during one concert. He’s also talking about how much time he’s spending with his appearance.

Kristoffer asked him if he’s a feminist. Per asked back what it means. Kristoffer explained and Per said he is. They are also talking about how eccentric Per is and what eccentric means at all.

Per says Knallpulver (the only instrumental song on Gyllene Tider’s new album, Dags att tänka på refrängen) was inspired by a garage band. Then he made the demo in his hotel room in Curitiba.

We already heard it in some interviews, but he said it again regarding how to choose singles that he’s not too good at it. He didn’t really believe in Wish I Could Fly, for example. He finds it exciting to see why people like certain songs, so on Facebook he’s asking questions about which songs fans like and why.

Per, as a fan is also telling 2 anecdotes of meeting Tom Petty.

He’s talking about his childhood, tells no one knew how to pronounce ”Gessle” correctly – his grandfather’s name was Johansson and his father changed it to Gessle.

They are talking about how much of a businessman he is and how much he is involved in the daily operation of Hotel Tylösand. Per has 7 cars now and is not using public transportation (bus or subway) in Sweden (surprise, surprise…).

Kristoffer asked Per who he thinks Kristoffer should make an interview with. Per suggested Marie. So, we hope for a Marie Fredriksson interview on Värvet.

After the interview Mr. G went home for lunch, eating char (röding -> fish) with his family.

VARVET_61_Per Gessle 1 by Kristoffer Triumf.jpg  VARVET_61_Per Gessle 2 by Kristoffer Triumf

Per in the studio (a smile would have been nice 😉 )           Per leaving the studio after the interview

Pics by © Kristoffer Triumf

 

 

Gyllene Tider report on TV4

Jesper Börjesson, TV4’s reporter visited Gyllene Tider in Tylösand, Halmstad on 10th April. They were talking shortly about Gyllene Tider’s history, their regular lives and this summer. The report includes screens mainly inside Hotel Tylösand, parts of Parkliv 1981 and parts of Man blir yr video. You can see some pages of Jesper’s Gyllene Tider scetchbook as well from 1981. Nice report, but just like the new album – Dags att tänka på refrängen – it was too short.

You can watch the report if you click here.

GT_TV4_27042013

 

Brazilian Q&A with Roxette team

Brazilian fan page www.roxettebrasil.net has done 11 Q&A sessions with people working with/for/as Roxette during the World Tour – including Marie Fredriksson, Dea Norberg, Calle Brattberg, Danne Persson, Peter Fredriksson, Jakob Johnzen, Anders Molund, Mikael Svensson, Tumppi Haaranen, Sven Lindstrom (who took his time to answer those question not as others ;-), Ulf Brynte and last but certainly not least – Bo Johansson.

If you had problems with remembering who did what during the tour (expect Marie and Per singing), so this guide will take you through all other people that need to be remembered. And for those who didn’t know – Marie reveals who “Moje” is.

Long and touching article about Roxette on DN

This is an article you cannot miss to read!

If you don’t speak Swedish, try using Google Translator. It’s really worth the reading. And have a tissue at hand, for the tears.

The reporter met Roxette in South America and writes about the tour, Marie’s story, Marie and Mikael, how Per and Marie met, Roxette’s past and present and fans. With comments from the band members, Marie Dimberg and Mikael.

 

 

Per: “I start packing very late”

The German Abendzeitung München interviewed Per Gessle about “Travelling” – not the album, but indeed travelling. The questions are quite interesting (and so are his answers) so we decided to give you a short translation.

Per Gessle, you are in sunny Stockholm right now. How long?

Per: Not very long. Very soon I leave to my other house on the west coast of Sweden and meet my mother and my brother. We will be together during Easter. Then I am off to South America. For five weeks.

And where have you been the first three months of 2012?

Per: It was an exciting year until now. We have been to Australia. In Southeast Asia. In China. We have never played in Shanghai before. Now I also look forward to South America, although we have been there last year already. But this time we are going to different places. Venezuela, Peru, Argentina, Brasil.

How do you cope with a jetlag?

Per: Good question! You never really get used to the different time zones. It’s not a problem to perform, that’s not exhausting. It’s the opposite. It gives me a lot of energy. It’s travelling, that’s exhausting. The airports, waiting all the time, the long flights and that your inner clock is confused all the time. Australia is 10 hours ahead, in Southeast Asia it’s still seven. That’s much. You need several weeks to get used to that. And now it’s the opposite direction. But hey – that’s life. And it’s fantastic. I can’t really complain.

So you don’t know any tricks to cope with tiredness?

Per: You have to listen to your body. You need your sleep. Especially, when you have to go on stage. Then you really have to be in good shape. I hate medicine. That’s why I never take any sleeping pills on long flights. During the last tour I just slept and ignored all those tips, that you have to stay awake until a certain moment.

What’s happening with you when you’re travelling? How does it change you as a human being?

Per: The world ist damn huge and there’s a variety out there which is just unbelievable. If you come from Shanghai to Stockholm you wonder where all the people are. But if you come from a small town like Halmstad, where I was born, to Stockholm, this town feels too big. Travelling changes your perspective. People around the world have different attitudes and opinions. In China and Scandinavia the politics are completely different. Or compare Lima in Peru with Hongkong? You have to learn how big the world is. And when I travel a lot I really appreciate Sweden a lot more. It’s very clean here, the air isn’t polluted. And then there’s the climate. Well, yes. Not really. Only from May to October. These months are really wonderful. Then there’s a west wind in my hometown, you feel the salt of the sea. Winter is big joke here. So I don’t really care when I am travelling in January.

You like the weather in Sweden?

Per: Not really. Only from May to October. These months are really wonderful. Then there’s a west wind in my hometown, you feel the salt of the sea. Winter is big joke here. So I don’t really care when I am travelling in January.

Where do you sleep best?

Per: At home, of course. We always sleep in great hotels. But they are never as good as the bed at home. In hotels you sometimes wake up and ask yourself where you are, where the bathroom is. I can’t sleep in planes. I don’t really like flying. It’s not that I am afraid, but I don’t feel very well being up in the air.

What do you do in the plane when you can’t sleep?

Per: The plane is a good place to read. At home I barely have time for that. But in the plane I always have books with me. At the moment I read the biography of Bernie Ecclestone. I am a huge fan of Formula 1. On flights I also hear a lot of music. It’s cool that you can take so much of your favourite music with you on an iPod.

Is there anything you always have to have with you?

Per: Nowadays it’s of course a computer that you always carry around. And I actually always have an instrument with me. Mostly a guitar. But I am guy who always starts packing very late. A few hours before I have to go. Even when I am away for a month. My wife always does that one month in advance. I don’t. I have my favourite jeans, my favourite shoes..

You are kind of a hotel expert and own a hotel on your own in Tylösand. When is a hotel a good hotel?

Per: It depends on what you want. For me the first impression is important. The people who work there have to be very friendly. You should feel welcome from the beginning. If you like Spas, that’s important. If you like good food, then the restaurant is important.

And you?

Per: My wife likes Spas. I prefer the studio to work out. I think the staff is important. And a non-smoking room. It’s horrible to come into a room where people have smoked. If that happens I always change the room. I don’t need a big suite. I hate it, when they upgrade me to the “Präsidentensuite” (I really don’t know the English word right since I am in a hurry, it’s the biggest suite in a hotel). I don’t want to play tennis in my hotel room. I always close all the doors and stay in my bedroom. If you’re alone you really don’t need more than one room.

Interview with Per Gessle on Swedish radio P4

Per Gessle was interviewed today in the Swedish Radio P4 show “P4 extra med Lotta Bromé”.

In the approximately 20 minute long interview Per explained about live on tour, about him being quite picky about certain things, playing with Barbies, “Travelling” and much more. You can listen to the interview – in Swedish of course – on SR’s website here.

Roxette Café has uploaded it on mp3. And Roxette.RO has done a short translation to English of the interview.