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.

Marie Fredriksson for Russian TV: Cancer is a new form of life inside of us

Marie Fredriksson gave a touching interview for programme about cancer done for a Russian NTV channel. Here are the quotes from Marie translated by Evgeny Perekopskiy and proofread by Celestte. This exclusive interview was shot during one-hour session at Marie’s house in Stockholm in December 2011.

WATCH THE WHOLE PROGRAMME (Marie’s part starts at 39:48)

Narrator:
A slim woman singing about changes in the microphone can actually grab the audience in venues with the capacity of 100 000 people. But when she tries to say the word “cancer”, she still feels insecure.

Marie Fredriksson

I couldn’t learn how to talk about it without worrying. I just sang the song “The Change”. Few people know that this song is about cancer. For some unknown reason I needed this meeting with cancer. It changed me totally. I started to listen to my inner voice, talk to my body. And the main thing is that I started to draw. (Marie laughs)

All that I feel and experience is in these drawings. By the way, this is Madonna (Marie points at her drawing). Not the singer, no. This is the Madonna that I imagine for myself. Who saved me from illness. Who rescued me.

The first drawings I created because of fear. I just wanted to understand what was happening to me. What the cancer was all about.

Narrator:
Looking like an alien, drawing alien subjects, for a while wonderfully Marie Fredriksson created her personal, alien theory of the origin of cancer.

Marie Fredriksson:

I started to think that cancer is somehow a new form of life inside of us. That people having those cells that then will become cancerous are born and live and then those cells wake up. And perhaps in the future people will be able to live with those cells.

Narrator:
In spite of the incredible story, from the scientific point of view, the singer of Roxette is right in many things. To transform cancer in chronic illness that won’t break off life is one of the directions of the modern scientific thought

Roxette will be on tour until August 2012; 50 concerts done, 80 to go!

Per Gessle reveals in an interview with Hallands Posten that “after Göteborg [concert #50], we still have 80 concerts to go”. The tour will go on until August 2012.  “As soon as we leave a city, the tour promoter wants to book us again, which is the best feedback one can get”, tells Per to Jan-Owe Wikström.

Per also comments on the success of “Radio” on the radio, “we’ve never been played on the radio as much as nowadays.” And it is specially thanks to Latin America, Russia and Eastern Europe, “where we are very successful.”

Per also says that he thinks Marie is in a great shape. “Last week in Locarno was the best I’ve seen of her since, right, the 90ies”, says Per.

As we know, the band is working on a new album, “2rism”. They have already recorded 5 songs and have booked more studios around the world.

“Charm School” has sold half a million copies, which indeed is great nowadays.

Some thoughts about the tour dates.

  1. So far they have done 50 concerts.
  2. Per says they still have 80 to go, and until August 2012.
  3. Of these 80, we know already 23 of the dates (July until December 2011).
  4. This means there are 57 (if the 80 is a fix number and not just estimation) dates still unknown.
  5. Conclusion: save the whole 2012 for more! 🙂

Thank you Thomas from Sweden for the link!

Interview with Christoffer Lundquist: “Music should have a lot of human quality and this means also mistakes”

We met Christoffer Lundquist in Prague some hours before the concert to talk about his solo album “Through The Window”, the award he received in May and the Roxette tour 2011. Take some time to read it and enjoy!

Judith: We wanted to ask you some questions about the album. First off, congratulations for this masterpiece!

Christoffer: Oh, thank you! This is very nice to hear.

J: The first thing we want to know is: did you really work 12 (!) years on this album?

C: It’s actually a total lie; it was not like that at all. I actually did this album very quickly. They wrote this on the press release because it took me such a long time for me to make a solo album at all, but I wrote all the songs for this album in summer 2008 in Gotland, where my family and I spend the summer. I have a moped so I drove with my guitar on my back to some very remote places with nice nature scenery and took also very long walks. I wrote all the songs in the nature three years ago.

What is true is that it took a long time to get the album released.

J: We thought that 12 years was a very long time…

C: Absolutely, I think music should be done fast, otherwise it gets boring.

J: Do you always write your songs on guitar?

C: Yes, I normally do. I think I only wrote one song for this album on piano,“The Raging hands Of Time”.

J: Looking at the credits in the booklet, we saw that you wrote the music to all songs, but the lyrics were written by Michael Saxell.

C: Yes, indeed. I am a horrible lyric writer; I try every now and then, thinking that I should be able to write some lyrics, but… no, it doesn’t work. I am so bad!

J: Did you also try to write the lyrics for this album, too?

C: Yes, I actually did try to write lyrics with my wife. We sat down together, thinking that we’ve been together all our lives and have lots of things to tell, about the world, experiences, etc. so we should be able to write something good. We did it for a couple of days but then we read what we had written and looked at each other and realized we could not use this at all. No talent.

J: How did you get to work with Michael Saxell?

C: Initially, I was going to work with a French artist; I produced her album for some time ago. I sent her some songs and she promised to send some lyrics back. But the time went by and she never sent anything, after almost six months she said she was sorry but couldn’t do it.

I was devastated because since I can’t write lyrics myself, I really need somebody to do that, and I really believed in the songs I had composed. So I sent some songs to Michael, whom I had just met briefly before when I helped him mix an album in my studio. I sent four of the songs to him, just acoustic guitar demos with some “lalala” melodies which should be the sung part and four lyrics came back the next day.

J: That was fast!

C: Yes! I was very surprised, so I sent him the rest of the songs. He was travelling around in Canada at that time and he left everything he had planned to do aside and sent me one song every day. For me that was a gift. The melodies were all finished, and he managed to write the lyrics to fit the music just perfectly and also to catch the meaning and the mood of the songs I had in mind.

So in a way I feel a bit like I wrote them, because they are very natural to me and what I actually wanted.

J: So you mean that there was no song where you felt like “nah… I actually had something else in mind”?

C: Amazingly no, there wasn’t! I haven’t changed a word in any of the songs. What is even more amazing to me is that both music and lyrics were done separately. I gave him the finished music and melody of the sung parts and he just fit these nice lyrics to the melodies. Perfect.

And I must confess we have already written the next album. I wrote 15 more songs and I am going to record them during the Roxette tour breaks. It worked the same way as with this album: I wrote the songs, sent them to Michael and he added lyrics to them.

J: A new album? Can you tell us more about it?

C: OK, now I really have to tell you about the next album because I believe it’s such a great concept. The lyrics are more in the center; it’s like a song cycle, like Schubert did or a couple of people in the 60ies. There is a thread through the whole album, there are historical situations which happened at a significant place, but the lyrics are about just one person in these situations, from a very human point of view. The stories are quite sad, tragic. A guy does something because that is his job, and it has consequences for some many people. The lyrics are however not condemning, they are beautifully written.

Read more

Per Gessle on radio interview: “We are preparing new songs”

Per Gessle was interviewed on KFM radio, Cape Town. You can listen to the interview here.

Per talked about how he met Marie, that they’ve never been together as a couple, and goes very fast through Roxette’s career.

He also revealed that this tour will go “waaaay into next year” and that they are “preparing new songs meanwhile travelling because if you are on the road like this, this becomes your life style”.

Thank you Barry Mieny via Twitter!

Interview with Helena: “I expect to get a lot of inspiration, and time for reflections, own thoughts!”

Helena Josefsson‘s second album “Kyss mej” was released in February. Almost at the same time, the documentary film “Jag är min egen Dolly Parton” about Dolly Parton, which featured her and other Swedish female artists, was premiered in the cinemas in Sweden.

We wanted to know more about Helena’s career so we interviewed her while she is in South America on tour with Roxette.

Roxetteblog: Let’s start with some background, how did you start to play music, get in to music? Did you study music?

Helena: My family on my mother´s side is very musical, my grandfather (now 93 years old, still playing the violin!) played in orchestras, and my grandmother had a record store!

When I was 2,5 years, my mother let me take dancing classes, and from that day, that is my absolute favourite hobby! At the age of 7, I started singing in a girl´s choir, and started playing the piano. But I was no good student there, liked to make my own little songs better! The choir was an amazing experience, an angelic sound that cannot be made with adult voices- even though I try ;o). But it is so fantastic in a choir, every voice is as important, it is like one big body moving towards the same dynamics and expression…

In high school I had my first experience of playing and singing in a band. And I loved it – expressing myself through music – and the stage quickly gave me some space to be whoever I want to be. In college I chose an education with science and music – we sang in a choir. After the first half, my results in school got worse because I knew music was the main issue for me. I remember having five different bands running, and dancing up to five times a week. I remember getting up really early in the mornings, doing my homework, and on the school bus, since I lived in the countryside. I remember my older sister coming into my room, removing the book from my face as I had fallen asleep with it like that!

I have always been very ambitious, almost too much. Sometimes my stomach really hurt from stress, in this period, trying to be great in school even though my passion got all the time I had.

RXB: And how many instruments do you play?

H: The piano and the triangle 🙂

RXB: Hey, don’t forget the tambourine! You have released a couple of solo albums but also some with Sandy Mouche. When did you start to compose your own songs?

H: I think it really started around the age of , maybe, 14?

RXB: Can you tell us more about Sandy Mouche? How did you found the band? Are you still playing together?

H: Yes, we are recording our third album now! We have recorded six songs so far, and when we have fifteen, we will choose the best ones and release it.

My husband Martinique, I and Per Blomgren (drummer ) and his girlfriend went on a vacation together in Georgopouli, Greece in 2001. Martinique had written a song, he showed it to us there on the beach bar, it was “A Year”. We loved it! There on that beach, we decided to found a group together, and feeling the sand and the fact that we all had mouches on our left side of the chin, became “Sandy Mouche”.

Per and I had played a lot together in a band called Plastic Soul, and Martinique and Per´s girlfriend Hanna were in the same class.

RXB: Where do you get the inspiration for your songs? And what was the motivation to release first “Dynamo” and now “Kyss mej”?

H: I noticed, on the second Sandy Mouche album, that some of my ideas would be better for a solo project. As a band you have a big quality in being different persons
that really merge together musically, and that is something I want us to use. But I started trying to do other things that were more “produced”, the song “In The Sand” draws in that direction. Then the band identity can become an obstacle instead.

For example, you don’t want a drum kit in the song, but then the drummer can get bored. And what really gives “Sandy Mouche” our sound in the way that “Neons”, “Fairies and Elves” and “Spiderweb Suit” is something only we four can do together.

On the other hand, being a solo artist opens more possibilities, because I don’t have to compromise with anything.

RXB: You have written songs in English, Swedish, even some French. What language do you feel more comfortable with? Do you think language influences the lyrics? Like for example Swedish more personal, English more “fun”?

H: Yes, I agree! For example, when I use French, I feel it helps the music get more romantic, because you don’t follow the words and their meaning, it is more like a “sound”.

I was trying to record “Kyss Mej” with my own south-Swedish accent, but the whole voice changes depending on how you hold your mouth, throat and tongue! And in my case the voice got clearer and lighter in “Stockholm”-accent. The voice is such a funny instrument 🙂

RXB: And what about your favourite artists, artists who inspire you? What styles do you like?

H: I love Kate Bush, The Cure, Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, The Cardigans, Nick Drake, Nina Simone, Monica Zetterlund, Elis Regina (from Brazil), Astrud Gilberto, The Cranberries and so on…, choir music, birdsong!

But I can get a kick out of hard-rock, like metal, too. The energy in it!

RXB: Even though you worked with Per in his solo projects and went on tour with him a couple of times, you have joined Roxette for the first time now. What is the biggest difference between Gessle’s tour in 2009 – where you performed Roxette songs as well – and this tour? Of course, besides that now Marie is back.

H: The biggest difference must be that we are playing in more parts of the world, and that I am more a backing vocalist now, before I sang more.

RXB: What do you expect of this tour?

H: I expect to get a lot of inspiration, and time for reflections, own thoughts!

RXB: It’s quite a huge tour.. visiting all continents and being around for almost a year. How do you combine it with your family?

H: My husband is amazing!! And the audience pulls me up when I miss my family too much!

RXB: Are there any Rox songs you really like or prefer to play on the tour?

H: I like Joyride, Silver Blue and Opp Nox the most:) But I hope we will play more from the new album soon!

RXB: If I don’t remember wrong, you were studying to become an optician.. is that right? If so, can you tell us about that? It’s quite different to what we know of you so far..

H: Yes, my sister is an optician. The Party Crasher tour was tough because my son was so young, and I was feeding him at night, I got very tired. I thought that maybe I need another job that is easier to plan. But I realized quickly that musician is my right element!

RXB: By reading your lyrics and reading about the “squirrel-action”, I get the impression you are a person who is very connected to nature. Are you vegetarian? What is nature for you?

H: I am selectarian, eat meat sometimes if it is game, but mainly fish! Yes, I love nature, and children too. I hope my music and voice can do good in some way.

RXB: And last but not least, can you tell us a bit more about the Dolly Parton film? Is there more to come?

H: We made a tribute to her, and it was filmed. The photographer decided to follow us for five years, and it became a movie, and yes, a record and concerts will follow!

Helena performing Stars with Roxette in Cordoba, Argentina (April 7th, 2011)