Gomorron Sverige interview with Per Gessle

Per was one of the guests on today’s Gomorron Sverige on SVT. As he mentioned on his Instagram account: ”Early morning TV show. Really early. Really.” Haha. Poor guy, having some long and busy PR days this week.

If you are in Sweden, you can watch the show on SVT Play, if not, then you can watch it on YouTube (thanks to Gaby for recording it).

In 10 years, this is the first material Per releases in Swedish. To the question why Nashville, he replies he wanted to change the milieu a bit, not to record again in Skåne. He was thinking about recording in England or France, but suddenly Nashville popped up. Per thinks the combination of Halmstad and Nashville is perfect. He says he likes classic country, Neil Young, for example.

The host on the show says Per’s music is not really country, but Mr. G says there are country elements, for example, on Mazarin. Now he worked together with local musicians and all the instruments they used add the Nashville sound to the album, but at the same time he wanted the lyrics and his voice to be in focus.

Regarding the duet with Lars Winnerbäck, the hostess asks Per if it is a bit like looking for something new after Marie. Per says he just wanted to do something different. He likes to test different things all the time.

The host asks Per if this project is more about looking back than looking into the future. Per says in a way it is. He tried to write the lyrics from the point of view who he is today, even he writes about the same topics as usual, love, disappointment, longing, dreaming. The host asks if it is easier to write in his mother tongue, Swedish than in English. Per says it is.

They talk about the album cover of ”En vacker natt”. Per tells it’s his sister on the cover. She passed away last autumn. Her son found a box full of photos from 1965-66 and Per chose to put this picture of Gunilla on the cover. The pic was taken in Halmstad.

The hostess asks Per if losing his father, mother, brother and sister had any affect on his music. Per says of course it had in a way. Everyone who loses someone close is affected by the loss.

They are talking about the fact that a second album is out in autumn. Per says they worked fast and there was so much material, he decided to release 2 albums instead of one damn long album.

The hostess says the album looks like an old LP. Per says that was the idea behind the design. The cover also helps to create the milieu of the songs. And it will be released also on LP. The hostess asks why Mr. G thought it should be released on vinyl as well. He says mainly in Sweden, Spotify is huge in streaming music, but it’s a bit anonymous. There are no album covers, but pop or rock culture doesn’t exist without album covers. Nowadays Per still buys LPs and he is looking at the sleeves while listening to the songs on Spotify. He likes to have the lyrics in front of him when he is actively listening to music.

The hostess asks what Halmstad means to Per. He replies he has been travelling a lot around the world, but he always gets back to Halmstad. He likes Halmstad and he likes small town life. He of course likes Stockholm too, but he is more of a small town guy. Lars Winnerbäck is also a small town guy, Marie Fredriksson is also a small town girl.

The host asks about that one English song, ”Far Too Close” (duet with Savannah Church) on the album and they play a short snippet from it. Per says this is a homage to Nashville to have an English song as the last track on the album, a duet by a local country singer.

Per says the musicians in Nashville of course knew the songs ”Listen To Your Heart” or ”It Must Have Been Love”, but they thought Per’s music was strange. Per was happy about it and thought their cooperation would be exciting.

About how he wrote the songs Per says he always writes either on acoustic guitar or on piano. The host asks how long they rehearsed together with the musicians in Nashville. Per says they didn’t rehearse at all. He played the demos to them and explained some things, but then it was more like jamming. There were like 3-4 takes for a track, then they just put the whole song together. The pedal steel and the violin are very characteristic.

Per says his summer tour has its premiere in Helsingborg, but he couldn’t remember the exact date. Haha. First he said 7th July, then smiled and said or maybe rather 6th July. Yes, it’s the 6th. He won’t have Nashville musicians in the band, but Swedish guys and girls. They will play songs from Per’s whole career.

Still is from the TV show

 

Per Gessle – Småstadsprat video

Per Gessle’s first single off his upcoming album was released on 17th March. A duet with Lars Winnerbäck. We already knew it on 7th April that a video will also be released to Småstadsprat, as Per Gessle posted about it on his Facebook page:

Yepp. Småstadsprat-video klar. Grymt cool. Kommer strax. /P.

Translation: Voila. Småstadsprat-video clip signed, sealed and delivered. Very nice indeed. Out before you know it. /P.

We all hoped to see Per himself in the video, but we were also kind of sure there would be more tussilagos in it than PG. The video was published on 21st April. It’s a cartoon created by Emil Gustafsson Ryderup. Even if it doesn’t contain any PG images, it turned out to be beautiful. Beautiful but so sad at the same time. It fits the lyrics and the melody perfectly.

As Emil told Göteborgs-Posten, first he said no to doing a video for ”an artist”, because he was too busy. Then it turned out it would have been a video for a Per Gessle song and he got anxious. He says:

He is one of the Swedish music geniuses, one of the absolute greatest and that’s when anxiety kicked in that I missed it. Gessle has definitely been in the frontline of our country’s music history. He has always been around in a certain way and I have to admit that sometimes in the dark times of my life I have listened to “It Must Have Been Love”.

Thanks to Emil’s employers, he could get 3 weeks off for making the video. It was an intensive period for him, to interpret the lyrics into his drawings. He says it’s a story of love that doesn’t disappear, about those who leave a small town and those who do not. He had a style in mind inspired by the ‘50s and ‘60s and UPA animation studio. A bit of “Mr. Magoo” style, but still with Emil’s character in it.

At the beginning, Emil sent some still images and a synopsis to the record company and he got green light to go on with it. Emil says it was more like he gathered the ingredients for a cake and hoped it would turn out right in the end. For example, he made the backgrounds last. All involved were satisfied with the result and the video is now out in public. Emil tells Göteborgs-Posten that he is quite pleased and that Per Gessle said yes to Emil Gustafsson Ryderup is fun and feels great. He is very happy that he managed to do this in the end.

Congrats and well done, Emil! The video can be watched on Per’s YouTube channel, HERE.

Per Gessle – Småstadsprat promo single

Per Gessle’s first single off his upcoming album was released on 17th March. As you could see it in Mr. G’s video showing his brand new album, En vacker natt (out on 28th April), he also showed a physical Småstadsprat single which is for promotional use only, distributed to radio stations in Sweden. It’s a bit sad, mainly for collectors, that we are living in a ”digital single release only” world.

On the promo single’s back cover we can see who created the magical sounds on this track.

  • Per Gessle: acoustic guitar and vocals
  • Lars Winnerbäck: vocals
  • Clarence Öfwerman: piano
  • Christoffer Lundquist: acoustic guitar, contrabass, percussion and keyboards
  • Dan Dugmore: pedal steel guitar
  • Stuart Duncan: violin
  • Helena Josefsson: backing vocals

Lyrics and music by Per Gessle.

Produced by Christoffer Lundquist and Per Gessle.

Recorded in Blackbird Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.

Additional recordings were done at Tits & Ass, Halmstad (Technician: M.P Persson) and Shortlist, Stockholm (Technician: Anders Herrlin).

The single is released under Space Station 12, Per’s record label that has just celebrated its 1 year anniversary this week. All guests are now lucky owners of a Småstadsprat promo single.

Per wrote Småstadsprat on 5-6 May 2016 in Halmstad. This is what he says about the song:

I wrote Småstadsprat in Halmstad in the beginning of May last year when the sun started to shine seriously. It became one of the signature songs of how I wanted my new album to sound. I wanted Helena Josefsson on the choruses and then I met Lasse Winnerbäck at Sofiero in Helsingborg in July and asked him if he wanted to sing a bit too. He liked the song and joined in. The lyrics is about being young and in love and confused and disappointed at the same time. Everyday life in small towns.

 

Småstadsprat

Jag trodde inte att det var sant
Att du kommit tillbaks med samma namn
Det var bara småstadsprat

Jag trodde aldrig på allt ståhej
Att det första du gjorde var att fråga om mej
Det var bara småstadsprat

Ny tussilago
Vid den väg du går
Ny tussilago
Kommer varje vår

Om du hör att jag blivit svår
Att jag har funderat på hur du mår
Det är bara småstadsprat

Om du hör att jag slutat le
Att jag har förändrats och hamnat bredvid
Det är bara småstadsprat

Ny tussilago
Vid den väg jag går
Ny tussilago
Kommer varje vår

Lyrics + Music: Per Gessle

© Jimmy Fun Music

 

Listen to the song on your favourite digital platform! Or if you are more into the live version, now you can choose from 2 beautiful live performances. The one you could hear on Skavlan and the other from the SS12 anniversary party.

Enjoy!

 

Per Gessle interview and single performance on Skavlan

As you already know, Per Gessle appeared on Skavlan talk show tonight. From the video teasers (selfie; desert island) we saw on SVT’s website during the day we could be absolutely sure that the show was going to be much fun. The recording took place on 15th March and 2 hours before showtime Per shared a rehearsal video from his 14th March get together with the band and Lars Winnerbäck on his YouTube channel (GessleHomeVids), which we hope he will keep alive for a longer time and share even more content in the future.

The first 2 guests in Skavlan were Annika Falkengren (actual President and Group Chief Executive of the Swedish bank, SEB) and Jo Nesbø (Norwegian writer, musician). Mr. G was the third guest, his part starts at around 25:40. Before he entered the studio, some old concert and TV show footage was shown from Per’s early and later career (Gyllene Tider, Roxette, solo) and after he sat down, Fredrik Skavlan, host of the show was chatting with all 3 people, asking interesting questions.

Since Annika is one of the guests, Fredrik asks Per what type of bank client Mr. G is. He says he is a weak banker. Then Fredrik goes on asking who Per was before he became a musician. Per says he can’t remember, it was so long ago, but he thinks he was a shy and lonely guy. Music became his life quite early. Already at the age of 6-7-8 he was listening to The Kinks and then The Beatles.

Fredrik asks Per what his father thought about him choosing music. Per says his father died in 1978, but he wasn’t fond of his musical efforts. He heard one song on the show Bandet går and thought Per was singing like shouting badly. Fredrik asks Per if he would have chosen this career if his father wouldn’t have died, but Per doesn’t know the answer. He says his mother always supported him. His dad died the same day a big article about Gyllene Tider appeared in Expressen.

They talk about Per being called a mom’s boy and that she and Per’s brother and sister died during the past 3 years. Fredrik asks Per what his mother would say was the peak in Per’s career. Per tells she lived with her mother for a long time and she witnessed all the weird things during the golden age of Gyllene Tider, like getting 3000 postcards or fans stealing the drying clothes from their garden. Then it was different with Roxette, it was more of a global thing. But he tells his mum was very proud of him.

Fredrik says people talk about Per as the boss. Per says he is more of a control freak. Fredrik asks if it has always been easy to work together in Roxette. Per replies ”piece of cake” and laughs. He says they started from nowhere and it was a fantastic journey with Marie. But of course, there were conflicts. Per always wanted to work and when they finished something he wanted to work again, but Marie didn’t think the same way. And probably Per’s control freakness also caused some conflicts. Fredrik asks if Marie has ever told it to Per and Per replies he read that in Marie’s book and laughs.

Fredrik Skavlan asks Per if he is a pedant. Per says he is. If Fredrik goes to his home he would for sure think a pedant lives there. All records are sorted on the shelves in alphabetic order, for example. He was like that already as a kid. He tells his friends think it’s fun to push some books in on the shelf when they visit him. Here Jo Nesbø says all guys put the records in alphabetical order but asks Per if he also puts the records in chronological order for one band. Per says no, he doesn’t do that. Jo says then everyone can calm down. Haha.

Fredrik says both Lars Winnerbäck and Per Gessle are introvert guys. He is wondering who talks most. Per laughs and says they sit silent. Then Fredrik asks Mr. G what small town talks (småstadsprat) Per knows about himself. He says he loves Halmstad and he really feels that Halmstad is proud of him. He says it’s always fun to fuel the car. Then Fredrik asks if he drives the cars Per has in his collection. It’s like having a horse inside the house. Per says of course he drives them. Mr. G talks about how it is to drive his Ferrari to the ICA (Swedish supermarket) to buy strawberries. He says he thought a Ferrari is a girl magnet, but it’s not at all. Everytime he leaves the shop, coming back to where he parked the car there are like 30 guys filming his Ferrari.

Per also talks about that since he was 20 he got used to the fact that people recognize him. He can’t leave his apartment without bumping into people who want to take a selfie with him. Actually, if nobody asks for a selfie, he gets very depressed. Then Fredrik comes close to PG and they pose for a selfie.

Fredrik asks Per what kind of car Annika’s husband should buy when they move to Switzerland and Mr. G suggest a 2-seated with no roof. Here Annika tells Per once she was sitting behind Per on a plane and Mr. G was reading a car magazine. His wife and son were sitting on the other side. She asks if it happens often. Per is kidding he is surprised Annika saw them travelling on the same class.

Then comes a little game. Fredrik asks his guests which 3 albums they would bring to a desert island where they would spend a long long time. Jo Nesbø asks Per who he prefers, John Lennon or Paul McCartney and Per chooses John Lennon. Jo and Per can agree on taking The Beatles’ Revolver album. Annika couldn’t really get first what revolver they are talking about, then out of the blue she suggests why not taking Julio Iglesias with them. LOL. Per’s facial expression is priceless. WTF? Haha. Then Annika goes on with Demis Roussos and Per can’t keep it to himself, he says he hopes it’s a big island. Haha. One must love his sense of humor. Per says the 3 albums he would take are Revolver, The Ramones’ first album and Joni Mitchell’s Ladies of the Canyon. Jo agrees on The Ramones’ as well, but he would take Rocket to Russia from them.

With this the PG talking part is over (at appr. 40 minutes in), but a fourth guest is coming, Susan Faludi, an American Pulitzer winner author and feminist. It’s worth watching this part, too, because Per stays there in the studio and is listening to Susan’s stories, paying a lot of attention.

Then at appr. 53:20, at the end of the show Per performs his new song, ”Småstadsprat”, a duet with Lars Winnerbäck. Lars is of course there as well. In the band you can see Clarence Öfwerman, Christoffer Lundquist, Helena Josefsson and some new faces, Ola Gustafsson, Malin-My Nilsson and Martin Höper. How they perform Småstadsprat live is pure awesomeness! Just magical! H.e.a.v.e.n.l.y.!

What a wonderful and interesting show it was! We would love to have more of this, wouldn’t we?

Still is from the TV show

 

Listen to Per Gessle’s new song, Småstadsprat!

Even if the release date of Per’s first single off the new album, En vacker natt is set to 17th March, Swedish Radio P4 already played the song today. In the radio program, Eftermiddag i P4 Dalarna Med Emma och Martin the hosts talked about Mr. G’s new albums and then aired Småstadsprat, a duet with Lars Winnerbäck. The talking about Per starts at 51:40, the song starts at 52:25! The total length of the song is 3:39, on the radio you can hear a bit more than 3 min, so there might be some surprise sounds still on Friday. Aaaaaaaw! The song makes me even more curious about the complete album!

Don’t forget to watch Skavlan on SVT on Friday at 21:00 CET! There will be an interview with Per and he will also perform Småstadsprat together with Lars Winnerbäck. What a treat!

Per Gessle & Lars Winnerbäck – pic from PG’s Instagram

 

Per Gessle to appear on SVT Skavlan

Per will be one of the guests of this Friday’s TV  talk show Skavlan, which will be broadcast on SVT and NRK at 21:00 CET.

According to SVT, Per will be interviewed and will also perform  ‘Småstadsprat’ – the first single off ‘En vacker natt’ which is out this Friday – with Lars Winnerbäck. The show will be recorded tomorrow.

The show will also be streamed on SVTplay. Usually, Skavlan can be seen everywhere (no geo block).

Per Gessle about the new albums and duets – interview by Swedish Radio P4

Swedish Radio (Kulturnytt P4) tried to reach Per Gessle after yesterday’s great news about his 2 new solo albums. They write that Per is now in Nashville and they interviewed him via e-mail.

Swedish Radio asked Per what made him want to do duets with Lars Winnerbäck, Linnea Henriksson and John Holm. Mr. G says often cooperates with Helena Josefsson when he is making his solo albums. This time she is there again and is doing backing vocals on almost all songs and sings one song in duet with Per. Per says Helena is incredibly talented and always lifts his songs to the sky. Their voices are a perfect match. But when Mr. G started writing last summer, he started thinking about male duet partners. A regular duet can bring a different angle to the text. When a guy and a girl sings it sounds in a certain way, but when 2 guys or 2 girls are singing, it becomes something totally different. Interesting.

Per says he has many things in common with Lars Winnerbäck. Small-town background and quite similar taste in music even if Mr. G is older. Per always liked Lars. They met at Sofiero in Helsingborg when he was on tour last summer and Per asked if he wanted to sing a duet. Thank God he wanted.

Besides Helena Josefsson there were other musicians involved: Christoffer Lundquist, Clarence Öfwerman and Anders Herrlin. They were also there in Nashville to record the songs.

The autumn album will contain duets with Linnea Henriksson and John Holm. Per says John Holm was one of those who made him start writing his own songs when he was fourteen, so it’s a personal highlight in Per’s life to record with John Holm. According to Per, John Holm is still a unique singer and personality.

Regarding Linnea Henriksson Per says he had an uptempo song he thought Linnea could sing the chorus on. But after a few weeks in Nashville, he realized that it did not fit into the project, so he put it on hold. But then he had another song that screamed for Linnea’s blue tones and it became so fine. Per is very happy and proud that Linnea wanted to cooperate.

Per says to his great surprise, he had studio time left when they were done with the 14 Swedish songs. Then he thought he could do duets in English with country-girls too. He had two quite newly written songs that he thought would be great to record in the Nashville environment. He called some friends in Nashville’s music industry and got tips on 2 talented girls, Savannah Church and Jessica S. who suddenly appeared and rounded off this incredibly exciting project.

To Swedish Radio’s question regarding how Per would describe the album he said he have tried to make very beautiful songs, arrangements and productions. Stripped down, but efficient. He went started the project with no limits and rules, he didn’t want to sound a certain way or do anything in a format which is now unfortunately characterizes the entire music industry. He wanted the local musicians to be part of and create the songs’ design. Per let them play on almost all songs to see what happens, then they edited it all afterwards and took away what they thought didn’t fit.

Per’s solo projects in Swedish are always quite text-oriented. So it is this time. Perhaps more than ever.

Each song has its own story, it’s about being young and getting older. To look back but also dare to look ahead. Happiness, but also disappointment. About things don’t always turn out as planned or as expected. I have lost my mother, brother and sister in the last three years and it has certainly put its weight on the lyrics and my life in general. But life goes on.

To Swedish Radio’s question if there will be duets on stage, Per replied who knows. He has the habit from Roxette.

The first album, En vacker natt, will be out on April 28th. The first single “Småstadsprat“, a duet with Lars Winnerbäck, will be released on March 17th.

The second album, En vacker dag, will be released on September 1st.

Photo by Anton Corbijn