So tomorrow is the day when the annual interview with Per Gessle will be broadcasted in “Konsekvens” programme on P4 Halland. Don’t miss it and turn on the radio at 5.00 pm Swedish local time.
Posts Tagged Per Gessle
Kirsten and Judith met Clarence Öfwerman before the show in Munich on Saturday. In the following interview you will find information about the Night of the Proms, Clarence’s musical roots and family and much more..
Kirsten: So we heard the Olympia Halle is not standing anymore since yesterday.
C: Hm. Maybe not haha! It was fantastic.
J: Even better than Frankfurt?
C: Maybe the same, but the crowd was a bit wilder yesterday. Second and third in Frankfurt were excellent too. The first wasn’t that good. Stuttgart was the best so far, and the 2nd in Munich.
K: We are going to top it today. The balloons are ready to be used.
C: Balloons! We saw some of them yesterday as well, it’s great you are doing this.
J: It’s actually just 1 week left of NOTP, how do you feel about that?
C: Yeah, Dortmund next Sunday is the last one. It’s kind of sad, we’d like to go on forever.
K: Christoffer mentioned last week it’s quite long time away from your families.
C: Yes, that’s true, but at least we had the family come down to us a couple of times in between, so I think it’s ok. All in all it’s great, when you get into it it’s wonderful to be on tour.
J: What are you going to do through Christmas?
C: I will be home with my family and Santa Clause..
K/J: ..and Kalle Anka..
C: Yeah! Do you know that? Haha! Well yeah, it’s typical Swedish. Specially if you have kids.
K: How did you start making music, playing instruments? Your family is quite musical, too?
C: My father did kind of the same things that I do, he played piano, jazz, and got into producing Swedish artists and later from all around the world. He always said to me “don’t become a musician, it’s very difficult to make a living on it”, he thought I should study economy, because he actually wanted to do that but never succeeded. He once produced an album with Toots Thielemans and he came down to Rotterdam and they hung out one night together, which was great!
But I started to play in bands when I was a teenager anyway. I started playing guitar, then I met a guy who was a lot better than me playing guitar, so I switched to piano. I think that was around 73, 74. You weren’t even born then I think!
Then I started to play with different people in Sweden, as a session musician in the studio, later I started to produce some albums. Then I met Per in 86, and from then on it’s been Roxette all the way.
J: How did you meet Per?
C: I met him once a couple of years earlier, when I played with Ulf Lundell on his tour. We were in Halmstad and Ulf gave a birthday party after the show, the Gyllene Tider guys joined us, and then we were introduced. Anders and Göran and I became friends.
The idea to produce Per’s third solo came actually from Kjell Andersson at EMI. He told Per “Why not try Clarence”, because I did some productions before for EMI, like 2 or 3 albums, so I was the new guy around.
I actually didn’t like his previous solo albums, I hadn’t listened to them very much. I liked the early Gyllene Tider, and Marie. Marie was involved in the first song, “Neverending Love”, so we did that one just to try and see what happens. It was actually Pelle who told me to go for it and take this production job, because I wasn’t much into this Per Gessle type of music.
J: And you brought Jonas and Tommy along.
C: Yes, I had known them for a long time, so I always wanted to have them as a band in the album. So I told Per, I wanted Pelle, Jonas and Tommy. Per himself wanted Tommy as well, but he preferred other guys on drums and guitar. So we reached a compromise, and we kept Tommy to record “Neverending love”, which was a success. Then for the album Jonas and Pelle joined, as well as Alar Suurna as engineer.
J: Were you also oin tour with Rock Runt Riket?
C: Yes, in 87, with Ratata and Eva Dahlgren. Each of us, Jonas, Pelle and myself played with two bands each. I played with Roxette and Ratata. Pelle with Roxette and Eva Dahlgren. Jonas with Ratata and Eva Dahlgren. Jonas couldn’t play with three bands, and since Roxette was the newest band for him, he went for the other two bands.
J: What can you tell us about this tour?
C: Each artist played a bit longer than one hour. We also had a support act, Orup, who became successful after that. Then Eva Dahlgren, Ratata and Roxette played. It was about ten minutes break between the acts, so after Ratata I had to go and change my clothes and make me ready for Roxette. It was kind of strange.
J: The pictures from that time are also kind of…
C: Strange? Yeah, that’s true. 80ies. Specially Per and Marie looked strange. Eva looked very different to now.
K: It’s interesting you’ve all been in the same band for such a long time.
C: Yes, it’s very unusual. But it’s very good as well not to have new people coming and going. Christoffer joined in 96, so it’s also a very long time. The band changed a lot when he joined, to the better, of course. He is an amazing guy, he can play anything.
Per Gessle gave another interesting interview in Swedish for Lotta Brome from P4 Extra the last week. In this short talk he releaved that the new Roxette album should be released before Christmas 2010 and that Roxette is in the middle of recording at the moment. He also admitted that Marie is extremly motivated and sings ‘bloody fantastic’. They also decided for simplicy and pureness while recordings and a lot of duets.
After I have seen 14 shows of this hilarious Night of the Proms tour it’s time to write a review about the last eight weeks, starting with my first show on October 23rd in Antwerp, Belgium. It is not only colder outside but also warmer inside of me. I am feeling exhausted, empty and happy at the same time. I don’t feel like writing at all, but with writing everything down I can share my experiences with all of you. Not only the performances changed during these last weeks – especially Roxette’s – but also my point of view has changed a lot. I got a lot more relaxed, especially during the last shows and seeing so many shows helped me to really get the Night of the Proms feeling itself. If I had to choose which show was the best I would certainly pick the second Frankfurt show, not only because of the balloons. But altogether if someone asked me to choose from the Belgium/Dutch or German shows I’d always pick Belgium/Netherlands, maybe I’d even pick Antwerpen. The Belgian shows were extremely good and the audience was much more into it than the German audience which seems to be a bit too old to have a party.. ! So if you want to see a Night of the Proms show next year or whenever, go to Antwerpen. You will love it. My review starts with the five Belgian/Dutch shows I have seen (and drove more than 2500 km):
210 km to Düsseldorf, another 230 km to Antwerpen = 440 km
We arrived early since we wanted to have some time for shopping. Well – the city isn’t what you call beautiful so it wasn’t worth it at all. At the Sportpaleis we meet some fans who are already waiting for the doors to open. I remember a Brazil guy, Ivan and some Russians. Well – if you know who you are leave a comment here so I can add your names. Unfortunately all we got were seating tickets, faaaar away from the stage. Unfortunately not far away enough to not notice Marie’s problems during Wish I could fly. Sharon den Adel rocked the house before Roxette and I really liked the Belgian audience. On this first show Marie and Per appear on stage together – out of the blue, practically speaking. While Per just has to make one step Marie has to find her way to the microphone. Seeing this my first thought is: “Hmm, why did she agree to do it like this?” She can barely see something and has problems to walk over. It’s obvious. Wish I could fly starts and I am really nervous. Marie sings “Halfway through the night” three times in a row and I feel totally sorry for her. Nothing I can do from that far off. All I can do is hope that she doesn’t care and she really sings the rest of the song quite ok. My friend and I are worried about her in the break but she proves us wrong. She totally rocks her socks off during the second set. She’s great on The Look and Joyride and she sings so good on It must have been love and Listen to your heart. Yet – I feel like I need to support her. Unfortunately we have to go back to Düsseldorf in the night and arrive late (or early) at 3 am. We could have been there earliert but we waited for Roxette at the backstage entrance and I was really happy that Per decided to come to us after the show. We were not many, maybe around 10. He told us that Marie has a sore throat and doesn’t feel well. He signs stuff, everyone gets a photo and we chat a bit. When he left (with the words: “We’re here tomorrow. Same songs, different lyrics”, I won’t ever forget it, haha) everybody was happy. We didn’t even notice that Marie passed by while we were talking with Per. So, arriving in Düsseldorf I decided to go back to Antwerp the next day. Not to let me entertain. No, just to support Marie. I didn’t even have a ticket and I just drove 230 km without knowing if I could get in in the end. Fortunately I could..
230 km from Düsseldorf to Antwerpen, 230 km back to Düsseldorf, another 210 km back home = 670 km
I was lucky! Evgeny already had tickets for Antwerp but couldn’t go because of his Visa problems. His friend Emil sold me Evgeny’s ticket. If I didn’t say thank you until now: Thank you! So I didn’t have to worry about a ticket. My friend couldn’t join me so I was alone this time – just to meet some friends in Antwerpen. I arrived early (14.00) and only a few people were there. Since I had a standing ticket for this night I knew everything would be more exciting than the night before. And since there was a huge catwalk in Belgium and The Netherlands we even had to decide whether to stand on the left or the right. Usually the left side was always Marie’s and the right side Per’s. Soon a lot of people stood on the left of the entrance so we decided to try it on the right. Good choice – we made it to the front row and could stand next to each other and in the end it turned out that there’s no left or right anymore. Both standing quite in the middle of the stage everybody could see Per AND Marie, left or right – it didn’t matter (except one wanted to catch Per’s guitar picks). My decision to come back was the right to make. Again – on Wish I could fly both appeared together and Marie had to make another 10 steps to the mic, this not working at all. Again – she had problems with the text but everyone around including me screamed and sang with her, helped her through this song and we showed our support with all we had. During the ballads I kind of had the feeling that she was looking for help in the audience. She looked at us all the time, it was like she was trying to read the text from our lips. Well, we did our best. Even worse – her voice was just not there. We felt so sorry for her. She must have been totally ill that night but we could see she was fighting like hell and we loved her even more for this. Still – I couldn’t stop worrying and I couldn’t enjoy the Roxette performance at all. This was the worst of all 14 shows I have seen. I fellt sorry for Marie and hoped the several thousand people in the Sportpaleis weren’t too disappointed, especially since I knew she can do much better and she proved it only some weeks later. Unfortunately the most videos on YouTube you find when you search Roxette and Night of the Proms are from this night. Bad luck… or Murphy’s law. Whatever you want to call it.
600 km in total
This show didn’t turn up in my personal “schedule” until three days before the concert. Well – we decided to just go there to “have a look” and to give some presents to the band and Per – one of these being the Roxopoly game. Well – unfortunately I checked ebay right in time and found tickets for that night. Too cheap to not buy it (15 Euro) and we decided to join the show. But more important were our presents and we had no idea how to hand them over since we didn’t find a particular backstage entrance. I had luck again: my seat was next to the stage entrance for the artists and after the show was over I waited for the band and asked if they could come out to get some presents. They could – and it was damn relaxed that night. We were only around 5 fans, we had all the time in the world to talk and when I showed my Roxopoly to Christoffer he helped us to make Per come out so that I could give it to him directly. Well – the rest you see on the video on YouTube.
The show itself was much better than three weeks earlier. Marie’s voice was back, she looked a lot more confident on stage and she even improvised during The Look, bringing the Hey Jude “Na na na na” up for the first time. We loved it. The sound wasn’t very good, maybe because they divided the venue in two parts and the voices just vanished in the “empty” part of the venue. Who knows..! Hard to rate this show, wasn’t the best, wasn’t the worst. The audience was so-so, too. So in the end it was worth the trip because of our presents and just because of that road trip feeling – we love to drive hundreds of kilometres not knowing what will happen when we arrive. But the three of us were happy – both going and coming back home: saturday morning around 4 am. Read the rest of this entry »
For those of you who didn’t catch the latest broadcast of Per Gessle’s “Party crasher tour” gig from Cirkus, there is a good news – the performance will be repeated once again in the shorter version on December 30th at 11.00 am local time on P4 Skaraborg. It is unknown which songs will be included in this show and if there is a chance for something new.
Judith and Kirsten met Christoffer Lundquist in Frankfurt before the show on Sunday. In the following interview you’ll find information about Christoffer’s career, love to music, touring with Per and Roxette and much more.
Judith: How did you start to play music, compose, get in to music?
Christoffer: My parents got me and my sister when I was 6 years old to play violin. And I hated that. I hated every second of it, and I never practiced, never did anything, was horrible, but I sort of discovered it was nice to play notes and find them for yourself, and make up little tunes, so when I was maybe 10 or 11 I skipped the violin and finally dared to tell my parents I didn’t want to do that anymore, and I got an old guitar from my aunt, who also introduced me to the Beatles. From then on I’ve done nothing but playing, try to write arrangements, I am a totally single-minded person, that’s the only thing I do.
J: How many instruments do you play?
C: I actually only play guitar and bass, you know, reasonably well, the rest is sort of just cheating, but since I buy so many instruments, I have the possibility to practice with them. I play a bit of decent flute, half-decent saxophone, clarinet, I got an oboe, that was fun for a year and then it was too hard, so I skipped that. I have so many different instruments in my studio, but they are all kind of keyboard instruments.
J: Was Brainpool your first band?
C: No, I had my own band when I was in high school, we played prog-rock, loooong 20-minute songs which I wrote and forced everyone else to play.
J: So when did you start to compose your own stuff?
C: Probably at the age of 10, when I got the guitar. That’s the reason for playing for me, to try to make your own music or play your own stuff.
J: Did you actually study music?
C: No, never, the three years of violin when I was 6 to 10 is all my music education.
J: And how did you get to Brainpool?
C: David Birde was a friend of mine from high school, he had Brainpool going, the bass player was to go and do this army service, so I just joined as a replacement for him. But it turned out that the four of us got along very well and we liked each other, so when his army was over, he was no longer welcome I am afraid, it’s a bit harsh, but it’s the way it was. That was I think 91. It took a few years until we got a record deal and released our first album.
J: How was it that Per discovered your music in first place?
C: He had just started this side of Jimmy Fun Music which was going to release other music, besides Per’s own. We were one of the first bands to send him some demos, just by chance, that’s just the kind of music Per likes. Besides that, our singer, Janne, he sounds a little bit like Per, a little bit of this childish voice if you like, a bit high pitched, so he just fell for it. Back then Per used to listen to all the demos which had to do with Jimmy Fun, later he got a bit tired of it, and didn’t care so much, but in the beginning he was really into it.
J: So it was actually his decision to publish your music.
C: Yes, his and Ben Marlene, the guy he had hired to run Jimmy Fun Music. So yes, we were the first band he signed.
J: Tell about your first album, Soda, which songs were included?
C: You normally collect the best songs from many years and put them on the first album, so that’s the way it worked with us. The second album was a bit more difficult because we had to write the same amount of good quality songs in a shorter period of time.
J: How did you write the songs? Did you compose them all together?
C: Janne and David wrote most of the songs, I helped with a couple of them, and then I was mostly into the arrangement and producing.
J: The style throughout the albums changed quite a lot.
C: Yes, that was because we got easily bored. Once we had done something, we wanted to try something else, different.
J: Indeed.. you started with some kind of punk and..
C: …and ended up with rock operas! Haha! That’s a huge change, I agree.
J: I actually got the first CD when you went on tour, during C!B!B!, you might not remember, it’s 15 years ago, some fans were waiting outside of the hotel for Roxette to come out, and you came out, all of you four, we stared to talk with you, you looked quite surprised we even knew who you were. How did you experience the touring with Roxette?
C: Well, we came from nowhere and in a couple of months we were suddenly playing to 15000 people in Barcelona, so we were just “aaaahhh!”. It was an amazing adventure. We soon realized it was amazing and fun and learnt a lot. But at the same time nobody really wanted to hear us, of course, I mean, that’s the way it is with support acts. We also realized that after a while, some of the hard-core Roxette fans sort of started to like us, so that was nice. We got a better reaction in some countries. But I remember a gig in Prague, where they had particularly big tickets, and “Roxette” was written on them with large printing, after we had played a couple of songs, people started to raise their “Roxette tickets” .. but well, it didn’t matter, we just played even faster and louder.
J: But I still remember in Barcelona some people sang along. My sister and I had spread your CD … We had lots of fun.
C: Yes, I remember that. That was fun, to find small groups of people at the shows who actually listened and sing along. I remember the gig in Barcelona, we didn’t get much reaction from the audience in general, but Spain is different, you know, so I remember I was playing, I just took a couple of steps to the left and then everybody stood up, I was like “WHAT?”, that had never happened before. Haha!
J: I remember there was even a fanclub, started by a Swedish girl called Annika.
C: Yeah! There was also a girl called Nadja, yes, I think that was the name, from Germany.. or maybe Austria? It was really crazy in Sweden for a year or two, a lot of young girls, like 14-year old girls who fell in love with Janne. It was a bit like Gyllene Tider but on a smaller scale. Btw, the first concert I ever went to was a Gyllene Tider concert, during Moderna Tider, I remember I listened to it in secret because I thought it was a big embarrassing, a bit girly music, and I liked heavy important prog rock, but there was something about his voice you couldn’t resist, couldn’t not listen to it, that hit me.
J: What happened then with Brainpool?
C: It was mainly, the three of us who are still in the band, we drifted apart from Janne, so to say. It’s not that we weren’t friends, but we didn’t have that much in common, didn’t spend that much time together. The three of us are like brothers, so I guess that was the reason, he felt it wasn’t fun anymore. I don’t think he coped very well with the fame and success thing, he just didn’t like it so after a couple of years he felt like he didn’t want to do that anymore.
But we continue, it’s still fun, even though it’s more a hobby band now.
J: Do you still meet and play?
C: We try sometimes, let’s make a new album, but we need time and money and we are busy with many other things, to support ourselves. But we will again, one day, I’m sure. The Junk rock opera is very much alive. The American director who did the show in LA with it, two years ago, is coming to my place in January, we’ll write some new songs for it and develop it. They’ve done like 30-40 shows and now he knows what he feels is missing in the plot, so he’s going to tell us “we need to change this here,” or “this character is not clear enough”, so we are going to record some new music in January. I am really looking forward to it. After that we’ll start working on new Roxette music.
Jan Gradvall* and Björn Nordström, two authors of “Tusen svenska klassiker” (Thousand Swedish classics) – a new bible for all those who love Sweden and are interested in its music, were interviewed lately by Sven Lindström and Per Gessle on “Nordic Rox” at American Sirius Satellite Radio.
Norstedts, the publishing company, got the rights to publish this interview on its website and now you have a chance to listen to 7-minutes programme. And yes, the news title was taken from Per Gessle’s opinion 🙂
* Yep, he was the guy behind the liner notes in RoxBox as well as the author of forthcoming book on another Swedish band – kent.
We were informed that AllMusic.com published quite favourable review of Gessle “Party crasher”. Suprisingly, the album seems to be released in Canada on Sony BMG Music lable. We do not know if it is the same version as it was published in United Kingdom or is it something different.
Thanks to roxtexanet at TDR for information.
As we informed previously, the broadcast of Per Gessle’s concert in Cirkus, Stockholm, due to technical difficulties, was moved from October 24 till November 14. Now the concert is available over the internet and we were informed that this is a compilation of two-day recordings, so listen to it carefully!
The Daily Roxette interviewed Per Gessle in Arnhem in the Netherlands. Read about Roxette’s new album and Per’s future plans here.
Presidency of the Council of the European Union (commonly referred to as presidency of the European Union) is the responsibility for the functioning of the Council of the European Union which is rotated between European Union member states every six months. There is no single president but rather the task is undertaken by an entire national government, hence that state influences the direction of European Union policy during its term.
You might ask why I pasted this information from Wikipedia. As you are probably aware, on 1 July 2009, Sweden took over the Presidency of the EU and all the most important conferences/meetings with European politicians, scientifists and NGO workers are held in the Kingdom of Sweden at the moment. I had a chance to attend in one of these conferences. This wouldn’t be interesting to publish here at all as long as I wouldn’t have received an interesting CD album called “Swedish Pop Music” in the welcome-package. Afer all what’s the most popular thing that we associate with Sweden? Music, that’s for sure.
And guess who’s there? Per Gessle with “Silly really” among such stars of Sweden’s independent music stage as Lykke Li, Frida Hyvönen, Fever Ray, Kleerup, The Soundtrack of Our Lives or Benny Anderssons Orkester (yes, it’s Benny A. from ABBA). As for me, I wouldn’t expect Gessle’s song to appear on such compilation with these artist – don’t get me wrong, but Per was some kind of too commercial to be on this album. But it did happen! 🙂
There are (or better: were) 20,000 such albums and the production cost around 240,000 SEK. They were going to be distributed among all those people who attend UE conferences in Sweden this half of year. It’s an interesting way to promote Sweden and even better – interesting way to promote Per Gessle all over Europe – stright on the high level of diplomacy! 😉