MovieZine about the Gyllene Tider movie before its premiere and their interview with Valdemar Wahlbeck and Ville Löfgren

MovieZine had the chance to watch Sommartider long before its premiere. Alexander Kardelo wrote an article in the beginning of July. Even if he wanted to leave the real review to another colleague of his, he still wanted to take the opportunity to give a little love to a happy and invigorating feelgood film, because good Swedish films always deserve to be highlighted a little extra, he says.

Sweden’s answer to “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a very kind music film about a very kind band. No sex, drugs & rock’n’roll, just five happy guys whose energy rubs off on the audience, and whose songs we can all immediately hum along to.

The film is described as “the almost true story of Gyllene Tider”, so director Per Simonsson has been given a lot of creative freedom. With the band’s approval, humor, drama and a touch of magical realism have been added in well-chosen places.

Per Simonsson says:

The producers asked me: “Would you like to make a feelgood story about Gyllene Tider?” I come from the countryside, from a similarly small place as Harplinge. I played in a rock band myself and dreamed the same dreams. So, it would have been difficult for me to say no.

Many biopics lean more towards drama, but what I wanted to capture was the feeling in Gyllene Tider’s music and lyrics. There is subtlety and humor in everything that Per Gessle writes.

21-year-old film debutante Valdemar Wahlbeck takes on music icon Per Gessle, and sings all the songs himself. He tells MovieZine it was a long, but fun journey trying to find the right voice:

It’s a kind of ’70s rock… a slightly sexy voice with a rasp, close to the mic and a lot of emotion… A young and almost naive voice. At least in the late ’70s. Since then, his voice has developed, but then it was a voice with a hell of a drive and a will that is absolutely crazy.”

Alexander left the cinema with a smile, and a newfound respect for Gyllene Tider and their music. The songs that long ago burned themselves into the brain and Swedish people’s souls. Earworm hits about love and summer, about sailors and about going fishing. About being young, silly, naive, enchanted and in love. Funny rhymes and catchy melodies make you immediately open Spotify for another dose.

MovieZine met Valdemar Wahlbeck who plays Per Gessle and Ville Löfgren who plays Mats MP Persson. They asked the guys about their relation to Gyllene Tider, since they weren’t even born when GT was at their peak.

Ville says:

One had heard the biggest hits like “Sommartider” and “Flickorna på TV2”. But I had no idea of the huge song catalogue they actually represent. There are a lot of great songs. Especially now that you’ve become a bit of a nerd, you appreciate it in a completely different way.

Valdemar says:

Yes, I really agree with you. I think you make a mistake if you only listen to the hits of a band on Spotify. When you do that, you miss out on a hell of a lot of good music. As I’ve started listening more to Gyllene Tider and the songs I’ve never heard, I’ve gained a different understanding of both bands and records – the importance of a good album.

Ville majored in music in high school where he acted in a couple of musicals, but this is his first role in a movie. Valdemar was twelve when he started at the Cultural School in Halmstad. He has been doing various plays at amateur level, then he sang in a choir. In high school they wrote and recorded their own films. Then he got a car, and he could go to different locations with his team and camera equipment. It was great fun. Now he goes to the Ballet Academy in Gothenburg to become a musical artist. So it started as a hobby for him, and then he got a job like this.

MovieZine is curious how the guys got their roles.

Ville says:

It was through the school I went to. The casting company had heard that people speak quite similar to the Halmstad dialect in Karlshamn, where I come from. Then one day there was an advertisement in the school that they were looking for actors for a film about Gyllene Tider. I never thought it would go well. But it did, and I am incredibly grateful and proud of this opportunity.

Valdemar says:

I went to an open casting in Halmstad. Then there was a year of various casting processes, and you had to go up to Stockholm and meet the others… It was completely crazy. And after a year – “you get the role!” It was actually fun.

Alexander Kardelo from MovieZine asks Valdemar how it was for him to play Per Gessle and to meet him for the first time.

Valdemar says:

It was a little nerve-racking. I met him for the first time at Hotel Tylösand together with Per, the director, and our photographer. Meeting the king in Halmstad, it was quite special. He’s a rock star. But when you meet him a few times, you notice that he is a regular Halmstad guy, he has a Halmstad sense of humor and likes Halmstad. I’m from Halmstad myself, so it’s fun.

MovieZine wants to know if PG gave any hints on how to play him. Valdemar asked Per if he had any idea how he wanted Valdemar to portray him, but Per only said “it will be fine, do your thing and it will work out”. Valdemar has followed that advice.

Ville also met MP and says he is an incredibly nice man. Ville didn’t really dare to ask for tips. They mostly talked about music stuff, that’s what MP is most passionate about. He is a music nerd. A gadget nerd. Ville can recognize himself in that.

To MovieZine’s question regarding what the biggest challenge has been for the guys, Ville replies:

I haven’t had any major problems with the music, rather with the practical things. When you come to a film shoot for the first time and don’t really know where to go or who to ask. That was mostly what I found complicated. Keeping track of everything.

Valdemar says:

The challenge? Probably that it was such a big role. I knew it was Per Gessle and that it was the main role, but there was a lot of preparation. Everything from wearing a pair of shoes to singing like Gessle, learning lines from a thick booklet… It was a lot of work, although it has been incredibly fun. I walked around in cowboy boots for six months.

Alexander thinks that all five of the guys have a wonderful energy in the film. They really feel like a band, the interplay is clear and believable. He is curious about how the guys found this personal chemistry.

Ville says:

It came almost immediately. We got on very well with each other. We practiced quite a bit during pre-production, to get this band feel and the jargon between the members. Now I feel that we are good friends also in retrospect.

Valdemar says:

That was a good casting! It was lucky that they have cast everyone in Gyllene Tider as they are. There are slightly different basic features, but the basis is the same, I think.

“Sommartider” follows Gyllene Tider during the work on the first three records. MovieZine thinks there might be more to tell and Alexander asks the guys if they would come back for a sequel.

Ville:

It’s clear that a lot of things happened after, they split up and everything. But it’s hard for me to say, I’m just acting.

Valdemar:

It would be fun to play Per again! You have now settled into the role, the hard work is done. Now you can go back and take out your notes if a sequel comes up, so absolutely.

To the question what they think they will be doing in five years, Ville replies:

I’m really interested in music, guitar and hard rock. I would loved to start a band, play music and sing.

Valdemar says:

I educate myself to be an actor. So I hope I can work with that and earn a living. But you never know, there is strong competition. There are a lot of good Swedish actors, so let’s see how it goes. But it has always been one of my dreams to become an actor.

Valdemar describes Gyllene Tider and what made their songs so big:

First of all, it’s very good music. Then I think it’s a very good band. If you see them on YouTube, it’s a hell of a lot of fun. They are the band from Halmstad, they are a bit country folk and I think people appreciate something so different. They stood out with their clothes, style and music. And as I understand it, it was precisely that Per Gessle and Gyllene Tider liked the music they played. It was different from others at the time. Back then it was a lot of prog, but they played a bit more commercially. And they are nice guys. I think people like it. They are nice and genuine and have good songs. It’s been great fun to play such a role, which isn’t so tough all the time. They want to be tough, but they can’t, haha. I like that about them.

Ville’s favourite GT songs:

I like their slightly rockier songs, like “Marie i växeln” and “(Dansar inte lika bra som) Sjömän”… “Ska vi älska, så ska vi älska till Buddy Holly”. They are a bit more uptempo, with long guitar solos.

To the question what they carry with them as the funniest memory from the shooting, Valdemar replies:

The concert scenes.

Ville says:

We recorded several live shows, with 200 extras screaming their heads off.

Valdemar confirms they had amazing extras at all the gigs they had. Especially at Liseberg and at Annexet in Stockholm. They gave it their all, so the guys felt like rock stars.

When the guys are asked about what they prefer to see when they go to the cinema, Ville says:

It’s a bit mixed. The movies I watched when I was a kid I can rewatch as many times as I want, like “Star Wars” and Disney cartoons. But also “Inglourious Basterds” and stuff like that. There are very good movies.

Valdemar says:

It’s just like with songs. What am I craving for today? It is very entertaining to watch “Iron Man” or “Avatar” with cool effects and worlds. But with the film school I have seen many classics. “The Seventh Seal” is a movie I really like. I don’t know why, but I’ve seen it 4-5 times. One of my absolute favourite films is “The Big Blue”. I don’t know why. It’s kind of spiritual in a way. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.

Photo: Nordisk Film Sverige

Gala premiere of the Gyllene Tider movie

Sommartider – the almost true story of Gyllene Tider premiered on 17th July in Swedish cinemas. One day before there was a gala premiere organized in Halmstad, at Röda Kvarn cinema. RoxetteBlog got an invitation from Nevis Productions to be present. Much appreciated, thank you once again!

The preparations started early and everyone in Halmstad city centre who passed by could see something big was going to happen. The old Gyllene Tider bus that was used in the movie, was standing very close to the cinema and everyone stopped by to check it and take photos with it.

In front of the cinema building all posters were changed to the Sommartider movie poster and huge photo walls were set up with the movie title and sponsors on them. Golden balloons and a mirror ball decorated the entrance. Instead of red carpet, yellow carpet was used – how matching and stylish! To save it from the rain, it was covered with foil during the day, which got removed only very close to the opening time.

Fans and Halmstad people started gathering behind the cordon that was set around the entrance at around 17:00. We could see the five actors going into the direction of The Gyllene Tider Experience exhibition. They went there to check it out and for some photos to be taken there with them.

The gala premiere screening was set to start at 18:30, the doors to open at 18:00, but probably because it was a very packed gala, guests started to arrive from 17:30. And guess(le) who was the first to be there! Haha. The Gessle family – Per, Åsa, Gabriel, Gabriel’s girlfriend – arrived first together with Marie Dimberg. They all looked very happy and enthusiastic. Åsa was wearing a leopard print dress and the rest of the family was wearing black. They looked wonderful and were shining like the stars. They walked the yellow carpet very fast and entered the cinema.

Then came the actors – Valdemar Wahlbeck (Per), Ville Löfgren (MP), Phoenix Parnevik (Micke) /dressed matchy-matchy with Micke, wearing the same T-shirt/, Lancelot Hedman Graaf (Anders) and Xawier Kulas (Göran) – with their families, as well as MP, Anders, Göran and Micke, also with their families. It was so lovely to see Micke’s parents too, who have always been big supporters of their son and the band.

Then Per Simonsson, screenwriter and director of the movie arrived on the yellow carpet, as well as Ella Tiritiello (she plays Marie Fredriksson) and all other actors from the movie.

The producers, Nevis Productions were there, of course – Anni Fernandez, Moa Westeson, Cindy Hanson.

Christoffer Lundquist, Clarence Öfwerman, Magnus Börjeson, Sven Lindström, Mats Olsson, Jonas and Bea Åkerlund, Anders Roos (he of course brought his camera too), Jan-Owe Wikström and Staffan Karlsson were also among the guests.

Hotel Tylösand and Tres Hombres Art were represented by Elisabeth Haglund (former managing director of Hotel Tylösand), Jonas Karlén (managing director of Hotel Tylösand), Lars Nordin (founder of Tres Hombres Art beside PG) and Rosie Gottlander (Tres Hombres Art gallerist).

While the other guests were arriving, the press did short interviews. We could, for example, see Per Gessle being interviewed by SVT outside the cinema. Lots of photos were also taken – of the original Gyllene Tider band, the movie band, both bands together, the original band members and their matching guys from the movie, Per with his movie parents and his young self Valdemar, Per and the director of the movie – so many Pers – haha. The movie gang, the original band and the producers. Per & Åsa original + Per & Åsa from the movie. So many compositions, so little time. It was fun to see the whole photo session.

After entering the cinema, everyone could pick up a glass of champagne and popcorn or chocolate and a coke was there in the drink holder next to each seat. Every seat was occupied.

Before the movie started, Nevis Productions briefly talked about the project, how it started and how long it took to realize it. Then they invited the director and the movie band to join them in front of the screen and introduced them to the guests.

The movie started at around 18:40. And hey, what an amazing movie it has become! I enjoyed every second of it! As a hardcore fan, you know a lot of details about the band and Per’s life, so you surely watch it with different eyes than anyone else. As the title says, it’s the almost true story of Gyllene Tider. That is so fitting, because even if not everything is according to the real timeline and not everything happened exactly the way it is pictured in the movie, it contains all the important elements from both PG’s and the band’s life. Anything that is changed is still so fitting. As Per says, the feeling is there and that’s the most important. I agree. The story is built in a very entertaining, exciting and enjoyable way.

I remember that last year, when Gyllene Tider performed their pre-premiere gig at Leifs Lounge (29th June 2023), Per thought it would be great to show us who the actors would be in the movie, so he called the five guys up on stage before the last song. It was an amazing surprise. There came five young boys who looked very fitting for the roles. They were introduced to us and stayed on stage for the closing song, Sommartider. They already looked like a tight gang back then.

The shooting started in August 2023 and now almost one year later, it must be so rewarding for all involved to see the end result and hear that the film is praised by cinema audiences all around Sweden. Many could see the movie at pre-screenings and now I can imagine that whole Sweden is spending their juli and augusti in the cinema. Gyllene Tider is a national treasure and I’m quite sure that all Swedes are curious about their story in film.

It’s not a documentary, but a feature film about five small town teenage guys who, against all odds, succeeded in making it. It’s about when GT started the band and when they broke through. Hardcore fans could be the most skeptical about the fact that not everything happened the way you can see it in the movie, but I must say that it’s not disturbing at all. The essence is in there and the story line is built with respect and keeping in mind what elements are needed in a movie to be enjoyable from the first to the last picture. A feelgood movie it is, very much. There are a lot of gags, you must laugh out loud – especially Göran (Xawier Kulas) is very entertaining, but there are moments when you’ll probably have tears in your eyes. At least I had three moments like that: when Per’s father passes away, when the fatal accident happened in Kristianopel and when Marie and Per play together and you get to feel that sparkle that started it all for Roxette.

I’m absolutely stunned by all the actors – all five guys who play the band did an incredibly amazing job. They absolutely convey the feeling of how GT became such a tight band. They dreamed big, worked hard for their success and they have reached the stars. With that strong base they built 45 years ago, it’s no surprise they are still around. They called it quits once in the ’80s, they wanted to finish it all with their farewell tour in 2019, but no. They can be away for years, but come back anytime. The audience needs them, that positive, summery feeling they represent.

I have to highlight Valdemar Wahlbeck’s acting AND singing. He is such a talented guy! It might have been his first movie, but I’m sure it wasn’t his last one. And he is not only good at acting. His singing is special as well. You can feel he put his whole heart into Per’s character.

Actually, I can tell that Ville, Phoenix, Xawier and Lancelot are also very good at playing their characters. The casting was a long process, but it was all worth the waiting for the perfect people.

Ella Tiritiello, who plays Marie, is also very much in character. Not only her look, but the way she is acting reminds me very much of Marie.

I won’t start to add my opinion about each and every character. Everyone who got a role in this movie is at the right place. They did a fantastic job.

OK, just one more story line – how Åsa and Per got together. It’s not exactly the way it happened and it happened only in 1984 (while the movie ends in 1982), but how it’s depicted is very loveable and strengthens the feeling of why they are still together and in love. Because love is all, right?

I also praise screenwriter and director Per Simonsson. He created a compact history of the beginnings of Gyllene Tider in 1 hour 40 minutes and handled it with full respect, great sense of humor and dramatic sense.

Hats off to the stylists as well and to the cameramen and really, to all involved.

I can’t stop writing about the movie without mentioning the music. All Gyllene Tider songs that appear in the film are sung by Valdemar and arranged by Clarence Öfwermand and Christoffer Lundquist. In the band playing – besides Clarence and Christoffer – you can hear Magnus Börjeson on bass and Magnus „Norpan” Eriksson on drums. Listen to the two soundtrack albums: songs and music!

The magic that Gyllene Tider’s music creates is undeniable. I just loved it when e.g. När vi två blir en came or other GT songs, the audience started clapping along. And when the movie ended with Sommartider, haha, there was even more clapping. The gala premiere ended in a standing ovation. Well deserved!

Oh! I almost forgot about the cameos! The two most obvious are Per’s and Anders Herrlin’s, but Göran and Micke also appear, as well as Micke’s wife, Helena and Per’s son, Gabriel. I’m sure there are more. You have to be very attentive to catch them on the screen. Haha.

All invited guests got a Sommartider armband upon their arrival on the yellow carpet, so that they could enter the after party at Hotel Mårtenson. After the movie ended, we walked to the hotel which is very close to the cinema. Our armbands were checked and we got drink tickets at the entrance. Inside there was already a DJ and most people were gathering around the bar. You could also eat sausage with bread and mashed potato.

There were two other screenings that night. One started at 21:15, the other at 21:30. The director and the five guys who play the band in the movie surprised the audience and introduced themselves at the beginning of those screenings. Micke Syd joined them as well.

Then everyone got to the hotel and there was a neverending „congratulations” storm. For Valdemar I think it took more than an hour to get to the bar from the entrance and the distance was just maybe 15 metres. Haha. I could also catch him to tell that I really loved the movie and as a Gessleist, I also loved the way he formed the character of Per. He was very happy to hear that.

Everyone was happy and proud. By all rights!

After a while, Micke Syd decided to add a little extra to the party, so he brought his iPad and collected the movie band. They went up on stage and performed three GT songs: Tylö Sun, Ljudet av ett annat hjärta and guess what – Sommartider. Haha. It was very cool! For Sommartider, even Per Simonsson joined the gang.

Per was also in the room when Micke entered, but once he realized what was in sight, he immediately left the room. Let’s say, he didn’t want to take the stage from the guys. LOL. Later I had the chance to talk to Per and he asked how I liked the movie. Loved it! He said, of course, you liked it, because you are a fan. I told him especially because of the fact that we are fans and we know all the details, what happened when and how, we could be the ones who might not like it. BUT, it’s impossible not to like it. The differences are not disturbing, the story line is very good, so it’s a success. If even fans like it, everyone else will like it. I think.

Since the actors are very very young people, the DJ rather played contemporary music and they partied hard, but there was a GT session as well, also besides the 3 songs that Micke performed with the guys.

It was a fabulous event from beginning to end. The party ended at appr. 1:30 am and when leaving, the guests got a Sommartider bag that included a Sommartider frisbee, as well as chips and some cosmetics.

The movie is a hit! Make sure you watch it if you are in Sweden this summer! Talking to the producers, it will probably appear on some streaming platform later, so that fans from around the world can also enjoy it. Can’t wait! Until then, I will watch it once more while I’m still in Sweden. Yeah, it’s THAT good!

All pics in the article by Patrícia Peres

Sommartider – the Gyllene Tider movie is praised by cinema audiences

Filmstaden members were given the chance to see a preview of Sommartider, the movie that tells the almost true story of Gyllene Tider before its premiere on 17th July.

The film tells the absurd story behind the legendary Swedish band Gyllene Tider, which has become one of the biggest pop sensations of our time. Per is the ambitious outsider at high school in Halmstad who finds a community and friends for life through music with MP, Micke, Anders and Göran. Despite all setbacks, the band fights purposefully and in the early eighties has its big breakthrough with its effective choruses and passionate lyrics about life in a small town.

Filmstaden’s members gave Sommartider a rating of 4.3 out of 5 and 93% of everyone who saw it would recommend the film to a friend. The rating and comments below are taken from the evaluation of 1139 respondents who attended the Sommartider preview.

– An incredibly fun feel-good film with fantastic music!

– A piece of Swedish pop history told in a lovely and warm way with a twinkle in the eye. A genuine feel-good film!

– A film with humor, depth and everything in between, add that it is well acted. A pearl!

– So very warm and funny! Really caught the magic of playing together with others. Feeling inspired!

– A Swedish summer film that must be seen immediately, a fantastic biography film about the pop band Gyllene Tider and Per Gessle’s legacy.

– Inspiring! Like travelling back in time and becoming young again.

– Went there with mediocre expectations, went home with a fantastic feeling in my body. The film made both me and my 17-year-old son happy to the core!

– It was very good, can’t wait to see it again.

The movie premieres on 17th July at Filmstaden. Cinema tickets are released on 26th June. Buy your tickets HERE!

Stills are from Nordisk Film Sverige’s videos (PG, MS)

Per Gessle interview in Dagens Nyheter – ”I hope the movie inspires kids to start a band”

Hanna Mellin from Dagens Nyheter did an interview with Per Gessle about the Gyllene Tider movie.

“Sommartider – Filmen om Gyllene Tider” premieres in cinemas on 17th July and tells the story of the band that became a Swedish pop sensation. Newcomer Valdemar Wahlbeck sings as and portrays Per Gessle, whose childhood and youth are depicted in the film. Per has seen the film several times, but was initially somewhat suspicious of the idea.

Now it feels exciting, but when we first sat down and talked about the fact that there would be a film about the story behind Gyllene Tider, I was quite skeptical – no one in the band wanted to make any kind of tribute film to ourselves. But, “Sommartider” is more about me, how I met guitarist Mats Persson and the film ends when the song “Sommartider” is released.

Hanna is curious how it feels to join artists like Elton John, Amy Winehouse, Johnny Cash, Aretha Franklin and more and get a feature film about himself.

What felt odd at first was that it is about my childhood – of course it will be very personal and private. But, I don’t have a big problem with that, because what is being told is basically true. When I read the script for the first time, I just felt “wow”, this is fantastic – although of course the film takes some creative liberties, not least when it comes to the chronology. What I hope above all is that “Sommartider” inspires kids to start a band, that the film conveys the fellowship to sing and play music together. It is truly life changing.

To the question how involved Per has been in the film, he replies:

Not much, but I have answered a lot of questions and helped with the soundtrack. The songs are played by the Roxette band and Valdemar Wahlbeck, who plays me, sings himself. I’ve been involved in selecting the songs and I think the band does them very well, as you know, simple things are often the most difficult. I’ve mostly been a sounding board.

Hanna wans to know if Per joined the shootings and she thinks it must be pretty surreal to step into your own life on set.

Above all, it was an experience to go back in time by seeing all the details, props and environments from the late 1970s and early ’80s. It was very nice to experience the work that was done with it in the film. The film also contains a lot of drama and depicts the tragic accident in Blekinge before a Gyllene Tider concert in 1981, where three people lost their lives. Of course, I also had to answer some questions about that.

Hanna asks if Per’s family has seen the movie and how they reacted.

My wife has seen it, she was very moved. But, what I hope for is, as I said, that it can give something to others. There was an alienation in me when I was young and music became in many ways my escape and my reality. Many people can probably identify with it and maybe they get strength and energy from this film, which has a happy ending.

Hanna asks the last question to get to know if for Per as an artist there are things that bother him when he watches music movies. E.g. if someone fakes singing or holds an instrument completely wrong.

Yes it does! Not least, I think that the music industry becomes a cliché on film sometimes. Record company people often become villains so that the artist can be the hero. And when you cut in the music, when a crash cymbal appears when it shouldn’t – I don’t like that. But I can also be bothered by, for example, key changes when I listen to the radio. One can be clearly a fachidiot.

Photo by Fredrik Etoall

Per Gessle on Musikplats about his upcoming Swedish album

Per Gessle was Fredrik Eliasson’s guest on Musikplats, Swedish Radio on Friday. Fredrik asked Per about his new single and upcoming album, as well as the Gyllene Tider movie and the Roxette musical. Listen to the interview HERE!

Fredrik asks Per to talk about his new song, Beredd, which is a duet with Molly Hammar. Per explains his upcoming album will be a duet album and he wrote songs that he thought were lyrically suitable to be duets. Molly is one of his favourites. Mr. G thinks she is an outstanding singer. She is completely unique and Per was so happy that she wanted to join. The song turned out damn good. According to PG, it’s magical to work with the kind of powers that many of his partners on this record have. But above all, Molly is superb.

Fredrik asks Per why he wanted to do a duet album. Per explains, if you do it right, when you do duets, the songs become even better. A good singer has such a strong personality and such strong power that you can take advantage of that in the composition. Time usually flies when you listen to a duet that is well done. Then there is another aspect. Purely musically, it will be exciting. You usually work with different registers and different tones. You might make a lot of modulations from a purely technical point of view in the composition and how you arrange everything. That’s also exciting. Sometimes it can happen that you bring in a singer and it falls flat, because the communication between the two in the duet is not happening. Now that hasn’t happened, because he has chosen very talented and competent singers. In this particular case, he got lucky with each partner and it worked well thanks to the artists he has chosen. He won’t reveal who they are. Fredrik was already going to ask who else is there. PG won’t tell, he says Fredrik has to wait a bit.

Fredrik is curious if it was difficult to bring them duet partners along. Per says he is a bit like „will I really dare to ask this person”, because you never want to be rejected. But no one has actually turned it down. It is also the case that nowadays you work a lot together, e.g. in songwriting teams. But this is not like that at all. These are Per’s songs. So he sort of brings in guests for his music and his lyrics.

Fredrik wants to know if Per sees these partners almost as an instrument in his music. Mr. G says, you could say that in this case, it’s a bit like that. It’s a test. When you first go in and record a new voice, it’s automatically a test and you never know if it will work. You do everything you can, which is in your power, trying to find the right keys, trying to write a text, a song that you think fits this particular individual. But you never know. Per says he doesn’t know what to call it. It might sound negative if he calls it an instrument, but it has absolutely only been positive.

Fredrik says the thing with duets is that they must end up somewhere, so that you have the feeling that one and one makes three. That’s how it is, Per says. Fredrik is curious if that is what Per is after, in this form. Per laughs and says he tries to do that with everything all his life, that one and one makes three. The text and the music makes three. His family, inserts Fredrik smiling. It’s been like that through Per’s whole journey. He tries to find partners and people around him who make him and what he does even better. His job is very much to try to find such people that he feels that he or she and Per communicate well and they convey something that makes things a little bit better than they might have been in the beginning. And then if they succeed, one and one will make three.

Fredrik says Per has a lot going on right now. Per should have become a juggler. Haha. Per says he is retired, for God’s sake. Haha. Fredrik says Per is far from quitting his job. Per says he has a hard time doing that. He is his job in a way. It’s probably a bit of a coincidence that a lot is happening around him and his music this year. It’s the Gyllene Tider movie this summer and the Roxette musical has it’s world premiere in September. It’s super exciting, he says.

Sommartider, that’s the title of the Gyllene Tider movie. Fredrik asks Per what was it like to see himself on the screen. Per says it was super weird. He hasn’t seen the movie yet, he has only seen some scenes and they are great. The script is fantastic. The concept is that the movie is about five guys in a small town who form a band and for some inscrutable reason try to enter Café Opera in clogs. The film is not a tribute to Gyllene Tider’s long 40-year career. It ends when Sommartider is released in 1982. So it’s about five small-town boys who meet and get to be part of a very strange fate.

Fredrik asks what Per thought when they came up with the idea that this would happen. Per says he was both flattered and horrified and he thinks that applies to all of them in the band. But at the same time, it’s a very special story that they have been part of and how it happened. They had actually only done six concerts in front of an audience when they became No. 1 with Flickorna på TV2. So they were all rookies. Then it went so fast and with the background they come from, it’s a very exceptional journey. So it’s clear that it’s very grateful to make a film out of it.

Here they play a little bit from the trailer for the movie. Fredrik asks Per if what we get to see is how it really was, if the feeling is there. PG says the feeling is absolutely there and that is the most important thing. It’s there how they meet, how they rehearse and how Marie comes into the picture.

Valdemar Wahlbeck plays the role of Per. Fredrik asks PG how Valdemar found Per and the character. Per says he wasn’t at the auditions at all. Mr. G says when Valdemar was chosen and got the job, they met quite a lot and talked and he always came super excited and had a thousand questions about how it was, how Per did this, why Per did that etc. And Per answered as best as he could and what he remembered. So Valdemar must have brought that into his role in some way. Valdemar is from Halmstad, his father and family are from Halmstad, so he has this dialect that Per has. That also helps.

Fredrik says, the film takes place in the early years up to 1982, Sommartider is released and then, he is curious what happens next. If there will be a sequel. Per mentioned that Marie Fredriksson comes into the picture in the movie. So he is curious if there will be a movie about Roxette. Per says you never know, but there is nothing planned at all. One thing at a time and this is a really exciting thing. Per smiles and says, let’s see how it turns out.

Speaking of Roxette, Fredrik mentions that there is a very close connection between Roxette and Gyllene Tider. He refers to Per’s recent post on Instagram, where he states that Gyllene Tider was called Roxette internationally on the Heartland record. Per says, after the guys in the band, everyone but him did the military service in 1983, then they made a new album in English. Their first and only English album, The Heartland Café. That record came out under the title Heartland in the US on Capitol Records and then the band was called Roxette. So the first Roxette record is actually Gyllene Tider’s Heartland album. Per remembers that he was in Los Angeles in 1984 and found this Roxette album at Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard next to Roxy Music. That was pretty damn cool. Fredrik says then Per saw straight into the future. Haha. Mr. G says he was very impressed. Fredrik says, and imagine that it turned out the way it did a few years later. Per says it’s unbelievable.

Here they play The Look, Roxette’s first US No. 1 in 1989. Fredrik informs that Roxette’s music becomes a musical. Joyride – The Musical premieres later this year, but it’s not about Roxette. Per says the musical is based on a book called Got You Back written by Jane Fallon, who is a great English writer. It is a love triangle drama about a man who has a wife in London and a lover outside London. The ladies find out about the situation and they take revenge on him. That’s the story briefly.

Fredrik asks how it all came together. Per says they have been looking for a good script for many, many years. And this is the first script that has all the components to build a good musical on it. Then people have processed the script to get the songs in at different places and tested and discarded and inserted new ones. Right now they are at a slightly too long version, Per smiles, but it’s fantastically cool to be a part of that journey.

Mr. G says that both the film and the musical are completely untrodden ground for him. He is just like, „wow!”, „oh my God!”, how many people are involved. He was at the costume department and there are 370 different garments that are handmade and hand sketched, ’80s and ’90s style. It’s a hell of a job and they have fantastic skills. It’s a completely different world. So Per is super happy to be a part of this. The musical premieres on 6th September in Malmö.

Fredrik knows the question is almost impossible to answer, but he is curious, when Per browses the Roxette song catalogue, which is the one for Per, no matter if it’s been the biggest hit or not, but that’s been the most defining song in the catalogue, that has really taken him to a place, emotionally or in any other way. So simply, which song means the most to Per. PG says the one that has taken him to another place should of course be one of the great songs, It Must Have Been Love or Listen To Your Heart, but one song that he has always loved is a song that is actually in the musical as well. It’s What’s She Like?, which is on the Crash! Boom! Bang! album. He likes that song for different reasons. He likes the song composition, the lyrics, and Marie is as good as only she could be when she sings this song. So PG thinks that’s his favourite song. Fredrik thanks Per for stopping by and plays What’s She Like? at the end of the conversation.

In the program it turns out that Beredd is the song of the week. Congrats!

Photo from Fredrik Eliasson’s Instagram