Biography about Marie Fredriksson out in autumn

As Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter wrote today, IMG_01762a biography about Marie Fredriksson will be published in autumn by Piratförlaget.

The initiative for the (auto)biography came from Marie Fredriksson herself and Helena von Zweigbergk, the author of the book, has been visiting Marie at her place for the past one and a half years to talk about her life. “She really wants to tell things in a very touching way. About her childhood, which was not always easy, about her illness and how she managed to come back so strong”, tells Helena von Zweigbergk to DN. “I think she is one of Sweden’s greatest singers. She speaks to you when she sings. It’s one of her special skills, to bring forward an emotional story in her music.”

Helena attended some concerts of Marie’s solo tour last year and talked to some fans about Marie, and followed Roxette to Australia during the 30th Anniversary tour.

It will surely be one of the highlights of the year!

Got tickets for a Roxette concert? Read carefully..

It’s crazy – at least for a fan like I am – how there are still people on this planet who don’t know about the illness Marie Fredriksson (lead singer/Roxette) suffered from, just recently I experienced that on Twitter, during the Auckland show. Yes, she had a brain tumour. And yes, she is healthy again. She had to fight a lot for several years, but she made it and she did even though she only had a 5% chance to survive. And now she feels good enough to perform again. Roxette just kicked off their second world tour since 2011. And no, her condition isn’t serious. So in case you got tickets for a Roxette show for the upcoming world tour, please take some advices:

bild-179-e14234933342681.) Don’t wonder about Marie not walking, dancing and jumping around the stage – she simply can’t. She suffers from long term effects which include problems with her right leg (yes, it might be that she struggles with it and touches it all the time), she can’t see properly on her right eye and has problems hearing with her right ear. She has problems walking due to the effects the tumour had on her body.

2.) In case Marie sings wrong lyrics or none at all – don’t worry. It’s only a line or two, she’s back faster than you can think about the correct lyrics yourself. Just let her sing what she wants to. She’s a survivor, a hero, true inspiration for everyone who is seriously ill.

3.) Don’t say that she shouldn’t be on stage in a condition “like that”. She is healthy, really. She is totally fine and all she ever wanted to do and wants to and probably always will want to do is being on stage, perform, sing for and with her fans, enjoy the audience’s response and be what she is: a performer. You have no right to say that she should stay at home, because being on stage is what makes her happy. You can clearly see that in her eyes.

4.) Don’t tell your friends that she looks much older than she is. She’s through a lot lot lot and you wouldn’t look much better if you had survived a 5% survival chance illness. You know – she had to learn reading, counting and TALKING again – not to mention singing. Just show some respect.

How you show her respect?

– Put away your smartphone, don’t wonder about her, don’t worry about her, just ENJOY the show, SING ALONG with her and most of all: show her that you are there for her, your full support and affection.

– Sing as loud as you can, shout her name and make the people around you do the same. Simple as that!

If you can’t, there is another option: If you only have negative things to say, say nothing at all.

Photo: Kirsten Ohlwein

2014 – two tours, a box, two books … and lots of good memories

I started to think about this article on the plane back home from two incredible concerts in Finland. It was still a month to go to finish the year but my guess was that the “Rox year” would be over at that point of time, meaning not many more events left. And December is a month of reflection for me anyway and many things happened in 2014, so let’s better start on time and enjoying going through the happenings of the year.

This time I chose to write the summary month by month.

PLECtionary_600x407January was the month of the plectrums. Or was it the year of the plectrums? You’ll see plecs have showed up a few times this year. The PLECtionary, done with the help of Sandra Knospe, opened its doors on January 12th, on Per’s birthday, and what a better way to open it than with an interview with him? Who would have known back then that we would end the year with more plecs (go on reading…)… Also Roxette’s official Facebook page reached 1 million likes and Roxette fans did a digital flash mob to celebrate and congratulate Roxette.

Marie started her long-awaited solo tour on February 19th in Helsingborg, which went on for two months until April 19th. Marie gave a total of 19 concerts all over Sweden. Many people had the chance to meet Marie during this tour, either in meet & greets organised via contests or directly with the management or after the shows or hotels. We have reviews for all of them, for which we also got many “thank yous” from the band and Marie herself. This tour left a big impact on me and many other fans, many things happened during these two months and probably shaped me a little bit more, like all important events in one’s life. Some things were good, some bad, but what I will always keep in my heart and mind are Marie’s looks to the audience, her smiles, her strength and the willpower never to give up. And the fact that fans, supporters, can be ONE when we want to. Those paper hearts will be a symbol for ever. And who doesn’t feel like standing up when “Mellan sommar och höst” starts to sound? Here we collected messages from fans to thank Marie and the band for the tour. IMG_01762

March and April were mostly all about Marie’s tour. We interviewed Marie and Jokke Pettersson, who played guitar on Marie’s tour. Kirsten had met Jonas Isacsson in 2013 and wrote a very nice article about him. April also saw the releases of a special limited edition of “The Look” 7″ vinyl to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the single reaching #1 in USA and “The Per Gessle Archives” 7″, both released for the Record Store Day in Sweden. Thanks to Roxette’s management we were able to give away a copy of each of these special releases. Also in April we got to know that Per would release the box “The Per Gessle Archives” containing tons of demos later in September and that the volumes would be gradually digitally released before reaching the release date. And when we thought we could start saving a bit again… the next Roxette world tour was announced! And almost without noticing that so many years have passed by… Roxette Blog turned 5.

In May, Per revealed that, in addition to the box, two books would be released in Autumn: “Songs, Sketches and Reflections” containing his English texts and “Texter, klotter och funderingar” with the Swedish ones. “You Don’t Want Love”, a single by Finnish DJ Heikki L. featuring Per was released this month. We also started a poll to find out which songs Roxette fans would love to hear live during the upcoming tour. The poll ran until September and the results were published October. Our interview with Christoffer Lundquist, done during Marie’s tour, was published.

The first two volumes of Per’s box “Demos & Other Fun Stuff” were digitally released June and we could get an idea of the treasures this box would contain. The video (directed by Jens Jansson) for Per’s cover version of “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” finally saw its light. Roxette’s official Facebook page reached 1,5 million likes. Per collaborated with another DJ, Kill FM from Sweden, and wrote the lyrics and composed the melody (topline songwriting it is called, as Per explained) to “Don’t Go Dark“, which is sung by Helena Josefsson. The PLECtionary was updated with some more plecs and we gave away one 2010 Roxette plec, a GT plec and a PG plec. And last but not least, Per finally got his LaFerrari!

On July 23rd Gyllene Tider‘s live DVD was released, just one year after the amazing tour in Sweden. The DVD entered at number 1 on Swedish DVD charts and remained there for three weeks in August. Towards the end of August Per was busy signing thousands of pre-ordered boxes.

TPGA_box_final_designIn September we could finally hold the box and the books in our hands. And even get them signed by Per at the Göteborg book fair; many fans travelled to Göteborg to be able to hear Per speak about songwriting and get the box and the books signed. We also got two books signed by Per for a contest. A non-alcoholic wine (white and rosé – this one only available at Per’s hotel) was added to the The Per Gessle Selection; its initial name was Klunk, but had to be changed due to copyright issues to Fru Nordin (a better name if you ask me!). The website The Per Gessle Archives was launched just on time for the release and volumes 3 and 4 of “Demos & Other Fun Stuff” were also digitally released early this month.

Dea Norberg, who is doing backing vocals for Roxette on tour since 2012, released the EP “Storm” on October 1st and we took the chance to interview her in Stockholm. We also interviewed Per about the books and the box and published the poll results. The top 3 of the poll were: “A Thing About You”, “Almost Unreal”, and “(Do You Get) Excited”. None of these (nor the top 10) could be heard during the first leg of the 30th Anniversary tour, which started in Vladivostok on the 28th but some new tracks were added to the set list: “Real Sugar”, “The Heart Shaped Sea” and “Queen Of Rain”. And we are always happy with new songs! Per and Mats MP Persson attended the BMI London Awards to receive Million-Air Awards for “Listen To Your Heart” and “It Must Have Been Love” for being played more than 5 million times each. That makes quite a lot of years of the songs being played non-stop!

In November Roxette visited Estonia, Lithuania and finished the tour in Finland. Early this month the European Tour 2015 with 28 dates was announced, so no time to get bored! The ticket sales were a bit more stressful than others, but all in all one can say that most people got what they wanted.roxette

In December, three more shows in Europe and one at the Sydney Opera House were added to the tour. The Per Gessle Selection champagnes were released as well as Kurt & Lisa 2011. And last but not least, the 2014 plectrums were added to the PLECtionary thanks to Per (and Sandra), who sent a bunch of plecs to Sandra and we also got the chance to give away 10 of them (remember you can still participate until January 2nd, 2015!).

While writing such an article you get the feeling that it’s “only” 12 months, but when you go through all the events you realise that everything is possible in this deja-vu and that 12 months is a long period of time. Once again, another year full of events and surprises and great memories one can only be thankful for.

What will 2015 will bring? Here are some open questions! Will we finally find out more about Per’s collaboration with David Guetta? How will the setlist and stage for Roxette’s 2015 concerts look like? How will the song Marie wrote for a film be like? And how will Roxette’s new material be? in which format (EP, album, …)? Will more dates be added to the existing Australia and Europe tour legs? And when will the dates for 2016 be announced? And what about new plecs?

Thank you for reading us one more year! And to the RoxBlog Team: it’s a pleasure working with you! Thank you for your work.

Cheers to a great 2015!

Update 3-1-2015: Article updated with the BMI awards piece of news after Per noted I had forgotten it 😉

Music Against Cancer – a successful charity auction supported by Roxette

As we reported about it earlier, Marie and Per supported Musik Mot Cancer, a non-profit organization to raise money for Barncancerfonden Väst (children’s cancer foundation) and the children’s department of the hospital in Norra Älvsborg. They signed 3 guitars and some other Roxette and solo project related things. The end of the auction was on 16th November, on Music Against Cancer Day. Anyone could bid on all items from all around the world. The organizers first hadn’t planned with fans from abroad, but it soon turned out for them that there were many who wanted to bid mainly on items related anyhow to the Rox World. Musik mot cancer was very fast replying to all the questions regarding the auction and they also translated a huge part of their website into English to help foreign Roxers understand what was going on and how they could bid on guitars and stuff.

The closure of the auction was organized as an event in Trollhättan, Sweden, where the guests could see all the items on display. The final bids could be taken in person, too, but the online platform was also available until the end of the auction. For a very long time it seemed that the guitar signed by both Marie and Per would be the one with the highest bid, but in the end it was Peter Lemarc’s guitar. Its final price was 25 000 SEK.

The second highest final price was that of the Roxette guitar, 20 000 SEK. Interesting info is that the winning bid for the Rox guitar (besides the guitars signed by Håkan Hellström and In Flames) came from Folke Pettersson, from Lilla Edet. He says he comes from a musical family, but he was bidding mainly because he finds the cause very important. The guitar signed by only Per was auctioned for 9 000 SEK, the one signed by only Marie for 7 000 SEK.

From the total of 83 items on auction 16 was related anyhow to the Rox World. Musik mot cancer collected 270 000 SEK to help the fight against cancer. 17% of this amount of money comes from items signed by Marie and Per. What a fantastic result! The final prices for each item you can check HERE.

Congrats to the organizers! Wishing them as much success with their future projects as they had with this one! Huge thanks to Marie and Per for supporting such a great cause and to all the participants who with their bids helped to raise this much money!

 

Marie_guitar_Per_guitar

Photos by Musik mot cancer

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.

roxette

 

Music Against Cancer – signed guitars from Roxette

Musik Mot Cancer (Music Against Cancer) is a non-profit organization. Their purpose is, on a voluntary basis, to raise money for Barncancerfonden Väst (children’s cancer foundation) and the children’s department of the hospital in Norra Älvsborg. They collect autographs on instruments and other things from musicians and put them up for auction together with the photo of the artists holding the signed item.

Yesterday they met Marie and Per and got a guitar signed. The guitar, together with this photo, will be auctioned until 16th November, Music Against Cancer Day. The event will take place in Folkets Hus Kulturhuset in Trollhättan, Sweden between 14.00-20.00 on 16th November. Check out Musik Mot Cancer’s website and Facebook page for the details! Here is the event page on Facebook.

Photo taken from Musik Mot Cancer's Facebook page
Photo taken from Musik Mot Cancer’s Facebook page

 

Update on 23rd October:

There seem to be 2 more guitars besides the one signed by both Marie and Per. One is signed by Marie only and another by Per only. See picture below. According to the website, signed instruments will be available on the website, too, for online auction from 24th October that lasts until 16th November and winners will be announced at the event mentioned above.

MF_PG_Rox_guitars_Musik_Mot_Cancer

Update on 25th October:

Links to the auctions:

Starting price for all 3 guitars is 1000 SEK. One has to register on the website for bidding. Anyone can bid from around the world, but mainly in case you are not from Sweden, I suggest you contact the organizers, since I’m very sure they will not deliver the guitars at their own expense. Check it with them before you would bid. Contact them HERE.

Update on 2nd November:

Musik Mot Cancer added some more items signed by Marie and Per. 2 Marie and 2 Roxette CDs, a Roxette DVD, one of Per’s books and a TPGA box. You can also bid on these items, just click Gå till Auktionen här at the website and then scroll down.

Update on 13th November:

Article in 7 dagar

Per Gessle and MP at the BMI Awards

The 2014 BMI London Awards took place at the Dorchester Hotel (Park Lane) tonight. The invitation-only gala recognizes the UK and European songwriters and publishers of the past year’s most-played BMI songs on American radio and television. As Per posted about it earlier today, he and Mats MP Persson were there to receive the Million-Air Awards for Listen To Your Heart and It Must Have Been Love for the songs being played more than 5 million times each. Per has been prepared for this event since at least a year ago, when he posted a pic of him and MP from the 2005 gala. 5 million plays! Sounds fab, doesn’t it! I mean it’s really huge! Just to make it easier (or harder) to imagine, 5 million plays of LTYH means appr. 50 years if it were constantly played and 5 million plays of IMHBL means appr. 41 years. Amazing!

In the meantime, LTYH video is heading for 40 million views on YouTube, while IMHBL is heading for 45 million. Millions here and there and everywhere. Hats off! Before the gala, Per posted both videos (1, 2) on Roxette Official with these words:

OVER five million radioplays in the US. Happy. Proud. Thanx everyone for listening! /P.

BMI_2014
Check the photo on BMI’s website!

Per says in a short BMI interview:

I hope we’re good role models for the new generation.

 

One more short PG interview has been uploaded by BMI on 27th October. Check it out by clicking HERE.

 

BMI Awards
MP, Marie and Per at the BMI Awards gala in 2005. Pic from BMI.

1 million plays earlier, It Must Have Been Love got the BMI Million-Air Award for 4 million plays in 2005. Marie and Per were there at the gala. You’ll find some pics here. You can watch a video with Per from that year about how he started and another about how he writes.

Listen To Your Heart got the award for 4 million plays 3 years later, in 2008. Here you will find a pic and here a video with Per and MP. Per says:

It’s great! I mean this is for 4 million airplays. It’s the second time I’m part of it. This is for Listen To Your Heart, last time it was for It Must Have Been Love. It’s just amazing! Amazing! I have to pinch my arm. It’s just great!

 

Photos from the event:

Photos on Roxette Official and PER GESSLE OFFICIAL: 1, 2, 3, 4,

rexfeatures.com photos

contactmusic.com

entertainment.ie

tipsimages.it: 1, 2, 3

monstersandcritics.com: 1, 2, 3

musikindustrin.se article

 

Marie Fredriksson writes music for a movie

MF_by_Pernilla_Pettersson
Photo of Marie by Pernilla Pettersson

You remember Marie Fredriksson‘s Sista sommarens vals video, don’t you? It was directed by Emil Jonsvik. Why am I mentioning this video now? It’s because today the director posted a photo of Marie on his Instagram profile saying that she is writing music for his new movie. It sounds quite exciting!

I’ve contacted Emil to ask some details about this project, but he kindly replied it’s a bit too early to share more info. He could only tell that Marie wrote 1 song for the movie and the film will represent Sweden in China at the beginning of November and it is planned to be premiered in Sweden early 2015 and after that worldwide.

Title of the movie is Krigarnas ö (The Name of The Game) and it’s a drama. Story:

On an idyllic archipelago island Peter will spend a few days together with his daughter Sandra in an attempt to catch up on lost times. They have barely met since the tragic suicide of his son five years earlier and Peter has been struggling to accept the loss of his own child. When on the island Sandra meets a group of youngsters who entice her with both friendship as well as romance but she soon finds herself deeply involved in a dangerous game, a game they call the Warrior. They give each other missions and dares that have to be completed in order to receive the desirable title – Warrior. Peter, who discovers what they are up to, cannot afford to lose Sandra but chooses to not bring this to the attention of the police and keeps it from friends and the daughter’s mother. When the daughter disappears deeper and deeper into the game he feels as if there is no other choice than to strike back and join their game with dire consequences to follow. Peter is determined – he will come home with his daughter and is prepared to go far for the one that he loves the most.

Here you can watch the trailer to the movie. Looking very much forward to the film and hearing that one song of Marie!

Our earlier interview with Emil about the shooting of Sista sommarens vals you can read here.

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.

 

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

Happy Birthday, Marie!

37The best singer of them all turns 56 today! The Roxetteblog team wishes Marie Fredriksson a wonderful day with family and friends.

For us, her birthday is reason enough to go back some years. (Photo: Kirsten Ohlwein/Kiwein)

You’ll find more videos on an article we wrote about Marie in June 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

Marie in 1982:

Marie in 1983:

Marie in 1984:

Marie in 1988:

Marie in 1993:

Marie in 1995:

Marie in 2001:

Marie in 2009:

Marie in 2013:

Interview with Christoffer Lundquist: “When you have the chance to work with such great people it’s very hard to say no”

Chris1We met Christoffer Lundquist in Göteborg before Marie’s concert in this city. The last time we met Christoffer was June 2011 in Prague and a lot has happened since then, so we thought it was about time again to sit down and chat about all the Rox-related projects he has been involved in as well as his solo and Brainpool projects.

Enjoy!

Judith: Thank you for your time! It’s been a long time, we met in 2011 last… You’ve been very busy since then!

Christoffer: Sure, a pleasure as always. And yes, lots of things going on.

Let’s start with Marie’s album. How did you get involved with it?

Micke and Marie started working on some of the songs a long time ago, some of them even 10 years ago. They asked during Roxette’s tour if I wanted to be part of recording the vocals because we did that with Roxette and we had lots of fun and it worked out very well. So that’s how it started, and then I got more and more involved. We recorded about half of the album in my studio, for the other half we used mainly what Marie and Micke had recorded themselves and built on those.

So how did you arrange the recordings? Did all the musicians come to your studio in Skåne?
Micke and Marie spent about 10 days in my studio the first time. Then they came to the studio a second time for five days. We also had Jens for a few days recording drums for some tracks. And then the rest we worked out together the three of us.

In an interview Micke told us that there are demos for most of the songs, but that we wouldn’t want to hear those, haha! Did they change a lot from demos to final?
Haha! Oscar is singing in some of them, actually. And I can’t really remember how much we changed. We built on some of the demos so the original kind of ended up on the album, but other songs were done from scratch in the studio, I don’t remember the demos to those. In that case we just heard the demo maybe once or twice and then we did the rest more or less on the fly. In some cases there were ideas on the demos that we wanted to keep, on other cases we started from scratch.

Marie and Micke worked with other song writers, were they involved in the recordings too?
Not really. They were not involved in the recording but more in the background and working with Marie on the lyrics. That was the most difficult part because lyrics are a huge part of Marie’s career and now that she doesn’t write many songs herself, she really needs lyrics that she can feel as if she had written them. That’s really tricky; it’s very personal, especially for Marie because she’s such an emotional singer. She cannot just sing something; she always sings texts that really mean something. So there were lots of attempts that didn’t work, we had new lyrics coming in all the time and every now and then we were like “Yes! This works!” It’s a tricky process because all of the song writers are very great writers; it’s hard to turn them down, someone writes a great text and you have to say “no sorry”, not because it’s not good enough, but because it doesn’t feel right for Marie, and you don’t want to hurt people… But Micke and Marie handled all that, it was their friends and colleagues, I was just standing by.

Did you use many new or interesting instruments this time, besides the sitar?
That was Micke’s or Marie’s idea, I cannot remember. They had that line on the demo “dididididi” (imitating the sound of the sitar at the beginning of the song) done with a cimbalo or something like that, but they wanted to find something more unique. It’s funny because that kind of guitar is used in a Swedish hit called “Jag vill ha en egen måne” by Ted Gärdestad. It was a huge 70ies hit and the artist is great, so it is also a bit of a hint to that song too. We used many of the other instruments as always, we just tried them out and used what we felt worked out. Micke played the church organ as well on “Jag undrar vad du tänker på”.

This album is very different to the other Marie albums, you can hear a lot of country and other styles that Marie hadn’t touched before. Did Marie and Micke already come with this in mind? How much of it is your influence?
Yes, that was not my influence, actually. The second track, “Det bästa som nånsin kan hända”, was almost finished when I heard it, for example. I hardly added anything to that one, one or two guitars maybe. That has the most country flavor I think. I just realised this when I listened to Marie’s previous albums to prepare for this tour that there are such different styles in the other albums, almost every album has its own style. And that is very much Marie, whatever the feeling at the moment is. So how do you like the album and the current style?

I think it’s great. Marie loves guitars… and you can hear that on the album. This album is one of her best. I had always wished she would do something like this.
Oh, great to hear. And yes, she loves electric guitars! We also had Staffan Astner on the album, he has this flashy style and Marie loves that. Whenever he goes crazy with the guitar she is like “Yes! Perfect!”

You could see that on Äntligen tour and on the current tour when she looks at you or Jokke and completely enjoys the solos!
Haha! It’s great to play that too.

So let’s move to another of the projects, mixing of Roxette live album/DVD/Blu-ray.
Yes, and it finally came out! Believe it or not, haha!

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Where have the official Roxette videos gone?

Tonight Per posted a non-official video of ”June Afternoon”, because he couldn’t find the official one on YouTube. Weird, because he shared it several times during the past years and we watched it many times for sure, so there is something strange happening here. Now we could find the official JA video only on other sites, e.g. on Dailymotion.

Official videos available on emimusic’s channel (with actual views) are:

  • It Must Have Been Love – 34 074 356 views
  • Listen To Your Heart – 31 078 061 views
  • IMHBL_LTYH_YT_emimusicJoyride – 8 352 248 views
  • The Look – 7 460 461 views
  • Dangerous – 6 347 994 views
  • One Wish – 160 404 views

Roxette VEVO channel has the following clips (with actual views):

  • Wish I Could Fly – 2 907 618 views
  • She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio) – 1 763 301 views
  • Queen of Rain – 1 128 350 views
  • Way Out – 258 114 views
  • It’s Possible – 229 435 views
  • No One Makes It On Her Own – 120 789 views

 

But where are all the others??? Well, it seems that the videos are being moved to another channel or the channel is changing, because many videos got private settings now. (Other bands, Iron Maiden, Blur and Daft Punk among others are facing the same issue it seems. Thanx for letting us know, Tina Engmann.) Hopefully, Warner Music will be able to solve it, because if emimusic channel deletes all the remaining Rox videos – even the 2 most popular ones with more than 30 million views each – it won’t be too funny. No clue if there is any chance to keep the statistics and the view counts. As far as I know, they can only be kept if the video stays where it is and has the same code / link.

By the way, I couldn’t even find e.g. Per Gessle’s ”Silly Really” official video on YouTube anymore. Probably, it’s the same situation.

Marie Fredriksson’s YouTube channel is still working, but there you can only watch ”Sista sommarens vals” and the PR videos for Nu! and the tour. And of course, Per’s home video channel is still there.

Until it gets – hopefully – solved, you can go to the Roxette channel on Dailymotion to watch 42 official videos and to the Per Gessle channel to watch 5 official videos.

 

Fan book – a ”thank you” present for Marie

Astrid Lenhard, one of the die hard Roxers had the idea of making a book for Marie. A bit more than a month ago she asked fans to send her one page designed by themselves if they want to join in. The idea sounded awesome! Many fans decided to create their own page, saying thank you to Marie, writing some lines, including pictures of themselves or even with Marie. Astrid created the design of the book itself and besides summarizing the idea, also saying thanks to Ms Effe and including the list of fans who joined, she designed a beautiful cover. ”Vad vore vi utan dig” (= ”What would we be without you”). Exactly. What would we be without our beloved Marie?

Astrid had the plan to hand it over to Marie in Luleå or Umeå. And she succeeded in it. In Umeå she met Marie before the last concert during the tour and had the chance to give her the book. Marie was very happy about it and liked it a lot.

Vad_vore_vi_utan_dig          Astrid_and_Marie

Cover of the book © Astrid Lenhard                        Astrid handing over the book to Marie © Astrid Lenhard

 

Astrid also put together a wonderful video where you can see how the book looks like, page by page. Thank you very much again for the fab idea, Astrid!

 

Miracles, thankfulness, a whole new world and much affection from both sides

It’s over! 19 shows in 2 months – the solo tour of Marie Fredriksson is finished. But there are many things that feel neverending – all memories and feelings we shared on this tour stay forever. We were the first crowd that made people stand up in Luleå – at least that’s what they (the media) say.

Starting with the first show in Helsingborg mixed feelings are around – some say it was one of the best shows just because it happened, just because Marie was on stage, performing her own songs, some others missed her talking but very well knew that she seemed to be very nervous that night. In fact, Marie got more and more relaxed from show to show and it felt great to be part of that. We were there for her only, to support her and show the rest of the audience why we were there. Most of the people in the audience didn’t join our cheering and supporting and it felt like they even had problems clapping their hands. At the beginning of the tour we didn’t quite know how and if to stand up and how long. In the end we just did and nobody cared about the reactions of the Swedish people. And yes, in the end it was totally clear we would already stand up during “Kom Vila Hos Mig”, which was the second song of the set. Once, Jokke had told us that Marie feels much better when she knows we are there from the beginning and supporting her to the fullest and so it became like a secret agreement to stand up during the 2nd song. We never stopped it again since then, we kept it till the end. Sometimes we just shared a look with other fans, making a move to stand up and then we stood.

It’s hard to choose THE best show since everybody probably has their own favourite night, moment, memory – for me, in Jönköping Marie seemed to be very relaxed, talked a lot, cared less about everything else and just enjoyed herself (and maybe us). In Göteborg the audience was the loudest and the best – it was nice to see that it in fact IS possible to get people stand.

Malmö will be in the heads forever, just because Marie didn’t feel well and struggled with her leg. Oh, many would have loved to help her that night. But to see that she never gives up, never ever, that she is just going on, fighting, being strong – it shows a lot to everyone and provides a lot of strength to everyone. No, she didn’t want a chair, no, she didn’t want to stop, so she came back on socks after the break and gave her best.

These are the moments when suddenly it’s totally clear why she is such an inspiration for so many people. She is a fighter, always smiling, always going strong. And just, when everyone thought that she is somehow making it on her own (but of course with a lot of help and support of her husband!) she tells us to help her again when the next Roxette tour is on. So it happened after the last show in Umeå. First she promised that we see us soon again and then she said: “You have to help me again.” Ah, yes, we will, we so will, that’s what we try to do all the time and that’s exactly what is my personal story with Marie which I adore for 23 years now.

I remember the first show of the Night Of The Proms concerts in Antwerp. I sat in the audience, far away. The lights went down, Marie came up sitting on a stool, walking shyly to the microphone and sang. They started with  “Wish I could fly” and she must have had a little blackout back then. She repeated the first line of the song three times. I was shocked, it wasn’t the Marie I remembered. I was shocked for about 20 seconds and then it was totally clear: I wasn’t there for my own entertainment, I was there to support her and it made me buy so many tickets that I saw 16 shows in total in the end. The motivation is still the same – support, support, support, nothing else.

But back to this year, back to “Nu!” – we experienced a lot of miracles again, we got a lot of thankfulness of the band and found a whole new world ourselves. There was so much affection from both sides that it will keep us going until the next tour.

We heard a lot of wonderful new veIMG_9168rsions, Så stilla så långsamt, Bara för en dag or Den Sjunde Vågen – just to mention only a few. Every concert had its special moments. Every concert seemed to feature at least one crazy fan that decided maybe 10 hours before the show to come and support Marie, to never let this energy stop. Almost every concert brought some surprises – be it roses, lights, signs or just loud cheering. And every concert was a part of a true miracle.

If only Marie knew how many lifes she has saved throughout the years and how many lifes she turned to the better, she wouldn’t believe it. So it feels more than right to give something back, yes, exactly, to give something back. It feels good to know that it’s possible at all.

And there is one memory that stays forever – the little talk some fans had after the last show in Umeå. We finally realized that we never really thanked Micke for being the one in a million. We knew there wouldn’t be a chance to do so very soon and felt a bit sad. We said that we at least hope that he knows that we know what he is doing and the we very well appreciate it.

Last but not least we take all the wonderful memories of this tour with us – be it meetings (see mine in Umeå with Astrid), great concerts which can’t be forgotten, bad beers after the shows and a lot of nice people on the way.