There is a short interview with Per Gessle in the March 2018 issue of SAS Scandinavian Traveler inflight magazine. The interview was done before the Melodi Grand Prix (Norway’s entrant for the Eurovision Song Contest) appearance of Charla K with ”Stop The Music” and it still states that Per would release his new English album this spring, which we already know will happen in autumn.
Love how the intro is written by Anders Dahlbom:
”An obsession. That’s how Per Gessle describes his relationship to music. An unadulterated passion for pop music that has colored almost the entire life of this simple guy from Halmstad.”
Anders and Per talk about Mr. G’s childhood, how it all started and the funny thing is, here it’s stated it all began with the hair. When Per as a 6-year-old went to have his hair cut. The barber was a relative, Artur and he promised not to clip Mr. G’s hair that fell down over Per’s ears, but in the end, he cut the hair off. Per cried for weeks as his Beatles haircut was gone.
It wasn’t really about the hair, rather the loss of a way of identifying with the pop world. The haircut had become such an iconic symbol. I wanted to get into the pop bubble.
During his teenage years, Per tried to find his way to express himself. He tried to learn to paint, shot movies with friends and worked in a theater. At high school he made friends with another student, Peter who was a bass player in a band, Audiovisuellt Angrepp. Mr. G went to see them practice in March 1977 and he tells Scandinavian Traveler that it changed his life.
Seeing how they created music together completely changed my life. The sheer power of expression, volume and creativity. From that moment, I just wanted to play in a pop band – nothing else would do.
Mats MP Persson was the drummer in Audiovisuellt Angrepp and they quickly became good friends. They started making music together and the rest is history.
Scandinavian Traveler writes that ”the joy of playing with others has been an everpresent feature in Gessle’s music over the years, regardless of whether he is playing with old friends in Gyllene Tider, on a huge world tour with Roxette, or with a country music band as he did during last year’s solo tour. But away from this, for songwriter Gessle, music has been mostly a job for a lone wolf.”
I’m quite comfortable working alone, even if the process has become a little more different at this stage in my life. I work more with others today than before.
Anders Dahlbom and Per talk about ”Stop The Music”, the Melodi Grand Prix contestant song penned by Gessle, Alex Shield and Charla K.
I actually don’t know who submitted the song. It’s one of many songs we’d written together sending files back and forth. I really come from another, older pop school, but it’s fun, mostly because it’s possible to write in this way.
About the upcoming album Per tells Scandinavian Traveler that he has employed a similar team approach to song composing. Many of his Swedish lyrics from En vacker natt and En vacker dag have been translated by American songwriter Sharon Vaughn.
Talking about the European tour in autumn, performing songs both old and new – the joy of playing with others remains as strong today as it was back in 1977.
Many of the songs I wrote as a young man I couldn’t write today. But it’s awesome to be able to interpret them now with a new group of musicians. A pop song is never finished; it just stops at different stages.
Thanx a lot for keeping your eyes open and sharing your pictures of the magazine with us, Erina Kuznitsyna!