En vacker RoxBlog interview with Per Gessle

After Per Gessle’s new album, ”En vacker natt” was released, several questions popped up in my mind. I was reading and watching all the interviews with him, but many questions had no answers in any of them. So it was obvious there is a need for a RoxetteBlog interview and so I put all the Qs together and sent them in hope for answers.

We all know that Mr. G is faster than a shot from a gun, but while he is in the middle of a signing session tour, doing a lot of promo stuff and other interviews, you would think it would take much more time than just 2-3 days to have the answers. Not in his case! Yesterday I had the chance to meet him in Malmö and his answers were sent back to me before the signing session started. I was already prepared to ask him not be ”angry” with me because of those many Qs, but this way it was far much better. I could thank him in person! I told him I didn’t expect him to send the answers back so fast. He said it’s incredible that there are many interviews with him, but there are still this many Qs that weren’t asked by others. I told him I thought he might have felt tortured because of this. He said no, no. It’s a long interview, but he had a long flight and at least he had something to do while flying, so all fine. You must love him!

When you will read on, you might get the feeling that the long flight was coming to an end fast towards the last questions, related to the tour. On the other hand, all ”could be”-s sound rather ”yes” or ”partly yes” in my ears. Or… let’s see what happens! 😉

I’d like to thank D&D Management for their cooperation and of course, thanx a million to Mr. G for the answers. Very much appreciated!

So, now to the interview. Besides all the detailed info about the new album and the recording sessions, you will find out what Per thinks about Roxette’s future and you’ll have some hints regarding the upcoming tour as well. You’ll even read about a y.u.m.m.y. surprise release for the first time here! What can I say? Mahi Nana! Enjoy!

Patrícia Peres: – Hej Per! First of all, thank you very much in advance for taking your time to answer all nerdish Qs coming here! In each interview and in your posts it shines through that the ”En vacker…” project is a love project for you. How does it feel that you get so much positive feedback on the first album?

Per Gessle: – Hello Patricia, hope you’re doing fine. As always I’m very flattered that people are connecting in a positive way to my songs. You can never take that for granted. As you know, it’s been ten years since I did a Swedish solo album and so many things have changed. Not only in the ”real world” but also in the music industry. It can be really hard for artists my age to cut through the enormous amount of music and information that surrounds us. It’s pretty competitive out there. But I’ve been lucky this time. Hopefully the album will grow organically, more and more people will hear it and eventually it will be a part of their lives just like Mazarin became in 2003. That would be lovely.  And I’m really proud of the records.

PP: – There were no leaks, everything seemed to be in order regarding the release and there is much promo around the album. It’s a perfectly organized release. Do you think so too?

PG: – Yes, it’s all been handled beautifully by Her Majesty Queen Marie Dimberg together with her sausage dog Harry + Josef Hermansson and Lotta Eriksson at Space Station 12 together with media mastermind Liza Berthelsen together with Sanken, Sebastian and Johanna at BMG together with Bosse-the-radioguru together with the distribution folks at Sony. So many people are involved in this release and they’re all bringing positive energy to the project. I’m a lucky guy.

PP: – The albums are released on Space Station 12 in cooperation with Sony / BMG. What is the role of SS12 and what is that of Sony / BMG?

PG: – SS12 is the home office, BMG is handling marketing and Sony is responsible for physical products, like CDs and LPs.

PP: – The first album’s title is ”En vacker natt”, then there is the summer tour, ”En vacker kväll” and in September comes the second album, ”En vacker dag”. Is it intentional that the timeline is in reverse order (instead of dag -> kväll -> natt)?

PG: – Yes, when we were mixing the records I decided that was the only way to go. Backwards. I have this song ”En vacker dag” which opens the second album and since I wanted it on album nr 2 that dictated the titles of the two records.

PP: – Does the first album contain more ”night” songs and the second more ”day” songs? Or how did you decide which songs to put on which album?

PG: – Well, there are no big differences between the albums. They basically got the same vibe. They’re all from the same sessions. Same coffee machine. As always I’ve tried to make running orders that make each album as strong and vibrant as possible and also ”easy” to get into and listen to. The tempos and keys have to be right etc.

PP: – We know you see songs in colors. Can you tell what color the album has in your mind? Does the ”color coding” in the booklet mean the color of the songs?

PG: – No, the colour coding in the booklets was done by Pär Wickholm. He did an excellent job. He’s really talented. For me the album contains lots of nuances from the 60’s and 70’s, beautiful shades, not too bright. Just like the pictures on the albums. Or like old polaroids. It’s getting pretty sentimental here and there.

PP: – The album is quite melancholic. Could you tell us which song in music history you think is the most melancholic?

PG: – Oh, there are so many songs that mesmerize you and make you slow down a bit. ”Duncan” by Paul Simon. ”Let the wind carry me” by Joni Mitchell. ”Bird on a wire” by Leonard Cohen. ”Sweetheart like you” by Bob Dylan. ”Pancho and Lefty” by Townes van Zandt. Songs that change your life forever. Powerful stuff.

PP: – You listen to the songs uncountable times during the recording, mixing etc. phases. How does it work after everything is done and the album is ready to be released and you have to say a final OK? Do you listen to the album from A to Z? In what circumstances? How did it happen with ”En vacker natt”?

PG: – For these particular records I had the running orders pretty much in place before we began to mix so we decided to start mixing song nr 1 (Min plats) and go from there. But with every mix the big picture altered a bit and in the end you have made quite a lot of changes. Sometimes songs get a different vibe in the mix. You remember it to have a certain attitude or feel but maybe it doesn’t when you’re done with it! Maybe it feels short. Or too long. It’s all about the emotion. Since I still think in terms of ”albums” it’s important for me to find the perfect spot for every track so they ”help” and assist each other. For instance, I didn’t want ”Tittar på dej när du dansar” too early on the first album since I want to give the listener four or five songs before the first classic ”pop song” occurs.

PP: – When we interviewed you after Roxette’s ”Good Karma” release, you said you think 40 minutes is a perfect length for an album. Now we got a 32-minute-long record. What’s the case with this length?

PG: – Well, there were two options. To release one album that was 64-65 minutes long or to split everything in two parts. Personally, I think an hours worth of music at once is much too much so the choice was pretty obvious.

PP: – The opening song, ”Min plats” sets the tone of the album and you say without ”Allt gick så fort” this project wouldn’t have come alive at all. Then it’s surprising a bit that the first single is not one of these 2 songs you seem to find the most important on the album, but a third one. How has ”Småstadsprat” become a single?

PG: – I told my partners-in-crime I’m not really that interested in releasing singles at all. However if they (SS12+BMG) prefer any of the songs as a ”teaser” for the album I’m open to anything. The duet with LW made sense since it was a very media-friendly choice for Sweden and Norway. Everyone got curious. And it’s a good song, I love it. But then again, I love them all!! This is not a project built on hit singles, this needs more attention than that.

PP: – The single was released digitally only and there were some promo singles issued. Why no physical release? It’s not too collector-friendly.

PG: – I know. However, there will most likely be a physical release of ”Småstadsprat” in a couple of weeks. We should have done that to begin with. Our mistake. You live and learn.

PP: – Anyway, collectors are crazy to pay an unbelievable amount of money for this promo single on Tradera. It’s sold for much more than your Peter Pop and the Helicopters single. How about that?

PG: – People are crazy. But you have to love the kings and queens of Nerdom.

PP: – You mentioned in interviews that there is no radio bomb on the album. But Swedish radio seems to play ”Småstadsprat” heavily. How does it feel?

PG: – Well, I’m very happy about this of course. I didn’t expect that at all. Maybe it’s because it stands out. Nothing on commercial radio sounds like ”Småstadsprat”.

PP: – Will there be a 2nd single off the album? If yes, can we get to know which song it is?

PG: – Yes, there will be another one and it will most likely be ”Tittar på dej när du dansar”. It’s got a great summer vibe to it, don’t you think?

PP (& Kiwein): – After listening to the album so many times, it feels that it could easily be used as a soundtrack to a movie. Are there any soundtrack plans in sight?

PG: – No, but I would love that. I would start working on it within the hour! Let’s tune the guitar!

PP: – Which song do you think has the best title on ”En vacker natt”? Which one do you think makes one curious about the album?

PG: – Titles are very important to me. It’s the first impression you get from a song. I like all of them. They make me interested and curious. ”Några glas rosé” was a title I had played around with for a while. I love that one.

PP: – Now in the digital era, in the times of streaming, it’s known that more than one third of the listeners skip a song after 30 seconds on Spotify. From this point of view, which song would you suggest to start listening to, so that the listener gets to know what the album is about and maybe decides not to skip?

PG: – You’re right and it’s totally stupid and silly and mindblowing when you think about it. I don’t want to play that game. This is not music for that type of restless audience. The whole idea with these two albums is that you have to give them time and get into the vibe and let yourself be seduced by this particular musical universe. I think you should start with ”Min plats” where you get eight seconds of waves and seagulls as a bonus!

PP: – When you start singing on ”Enkel resa”, one immediately has the feeling that he/she could sing along, because the lyrics sound familiar. Then we realize it’s a bit of ”Blåa jeans (och röda läppar)”. Haha. I love your recycling habit and the way you do that! How did these lyrics came into sight for this project?

PG: – I re-wrote that lyric from 1982 so it fit MP’s chords that eventually became ”Enkel resa”. I’ve always liked some parts of the words and the quotation-style but not until now have they made sense to me. Something was missing and I finally grabbed it. Probably thanks to MP’s weird chord progression.

PP: – One could sense it and in your ”song by song comments” you confirmed that ”Första pris” and ”Far Too Close” were originally written for Roxette. When did you write them, for which Roxette album?

PG: – Both were written for ”Good Karma” but we never worked on them for several reasons. The ”original” version of ”Första pris” is called ”The Finest Prize”.

PP: – How much did you change the lyrics of ”Första pris” when you decided to do it in Swedish? Have you recorded an English demo to it?

PG: – I tried to capture the same lyrical idea about a woman and a man living in their own universe. Content and strangely unaffected by life’s rewards. Yes, there are several English demos recorded.  Tits & Ass have been on fire with this one!

PP: – Talking about Roxette, we are happy that you mention in interviews that Marie is fine. Good to have some news about her every now and then. In interviews you say that the touring period with Roxette is 100% over, which we have known since April 2016, but you also mention here and there that you don’t think you will record together again. Why do you think it won’t happen in the future?

PG: – I don’t think it will happen because of Marie’s situation. She can’t really be involved in the process of making Roxette records anymore and without her taking a major part it’s no point for me to make those recordings. Roxette is the two of us working together, not me, Chris & Clarence making records with Marie just singing on them.

PP: – Back to the album and the songs, you said it took only 20 minutes to record Savannah Church on ”Far Too Close”, because she was singing so well. Which song took the most time to record and why?

PG: – Everything went really fast. The only song that was a little tricky was ”Några glas rosé” since it doesn’t have any obvious chorus and five verses. There’s always a chance you’ll find it tiresome and long when you have a song structure like that. But we managed to work it out, making a key change for the violin solo and edit the ending section of the song. The original recording was much longer.

PP: – Mahi Nana is the new Sha la la! ”Tittar på dej när du dansar” is probably the most liked ”En vacker natt” song by those who have always been a Per Up-(or at least Mid-)tempo Gessle fan. Sha la la and Na Na Na Na Na are well-known singing phrases, but Mahi Nana is a bit like Inganakee leo yo. One starts wondering, how does such an expression come to your mind?

PG: – On the T&A-demo I’m actually singing ”na na na na…” but in the studio I suggested that Helena-The-Wizard should sing something else so I came up with ”Mahi Nana”. It sounded weird and catchy at the same time. I googled it and I found someone somewhere with that name but I thought that was kind of nice. Glad you like it!

PP: – Which ”En vacker natt” song had the strangest or funniest working title?

PG: – I don’t do working-titles that often. But ”Tittar på dej när du dansar” was called ”Kärlek låter så här” and „Mahi Nana” for a couple of hours…

PP: – You often say you’ve been lucky enough to work together with people who you get on well with and can learn from, even musically. What’s the greatest thing you’ve learned during the Nashville project?

PG: – I was reminded of how much fun it is to play ”real” instruments together. I’ve spent so many years programming in the studio so this was a blessing just to sit down and play together. That’s where I come from and it was really refreshing to experience again.

PP: – What was the biggest compliment you got from the musicians in Nashville?

PG: – Oh, I was really flattered that they liked the songs so much. I wasn’t expecting that at all. I thought they all would come in and ”do their job” like any sessionplayer. But they told me they found my music special and beautiful and that they never played on anything like it before. That made me smile and grab another donut!

PP: – You had the chance to use Roy Orbison’s guitars on the album. It must have felt amazing. What do you think, which song Roy Orbison would like the most on ”En vacker natt”?

PG: – Oh, he could have done a wonderful version of ”Far Too Close”.

PP: – Your mom, sister and brother have passed away during the past 3 years. Does this Nashville project make it easier for you to process the loss?

PG: – Hard to say. Life goes on, doesn’t it? But, of course, you change a bit as a person when your family disappears. I’m sure I’ve changed too. I don’t know in what way but I’m sure it has happened. That’s what life does to you.

PP (& Tomasz): – ”En vacker natt” is dedicated to your sister, ”En vacker dag” to your mother. Knowing your brother introduced you to the music world, it’s a bit surprising he is not mentioned next to your sister maybe. Or are these albums more like ”dedication to women”?

PG: – No, the second album is dedicated to both my mother and my brother.

PP: – In one of the interviews you mentioned that your mother sang a lot. Did she have a nice voice? Did it ever happen that you sang together?

PG: – She had a nice voice but she always sang silly songs. Just like parents do. And no, we never really sang together.

PP: – Which is the song Åsa likes the most on the album?

PG: – Oh, I don’t know. She seems to like all of them, she plays it all the time on her iPhone and in her car.

PP: – Now you are in the middle of a signing session tour, which came a bit as a surprise to us, as you already signed 3600 CDs for those who pre-ordered the album. It’s now harder to buy an unsigned ”En vacker natt” CD than a signed one. Haha. Why did you decide to go on a 1-month-long tour with 14 stops?

PG: – I think it’s quite nice to meet all those people that are interested in what I do. And also, I think it’s a good idea to support the physical format a bit. Here in Sweden Spotify and the streaming services have got 94% of the market so someone like me should wave the flag for the LP and the CD a bit since it’s my preferred choice of presenting music. And yes, I think we’ve shipped around 20.000 physical records and I’ve signed just over 4000 of them. Phew! Could be worse. Could be that nobody was interested!

PP: – When it turned out, many fans decided on meeting you on this little tour. People come to Sweden from several countries to get their signed copies directly from you. How does it feel?

PG: – Lovely. You’ve all spoiled me!

PP: – And after all the signings, how is your hand doing? Can you still play the guitar without any problems?

PG: – Of course, the in-stores are like going to the gym for the hand!

PP: – Will there be a signing session tour in autumn too, when the second album, ”En vacker dag” is out?

PG: – I don’t know. Time will tell. It all depends on how the summer tour feels and the common reaction to the second one.

PP: – Oh and not to forget about the vinyl! Bengans informed the ”En vacker natt” vinyl had been delayed. It almost didn’t make it to the shops until the signing session started. Not the limited edition though. It’s still not on stock. What’s the problem with the vinyl production this time?

PG: – I don’t know. I think nobody expected this kind of interest in my LP. A first batch of vinyl has arrived now but the red vinyl is still a couple of weeks down the road.  It’s a shame but the good thing is that it looks (and feels) FAB!!!

PP: – The tour is getting closer and closer! I have to mention that we are grateful that the complete tour schedule was shared at once (except for the 2 concerts in Finland that were added later, in February). It makes a fan’s life a lot easier, because this way we can start planning early and add as many shows to our to-attend list as we can. So thank you very much for that!

Will you keep the tradition of having a pre-tour show at Leif’s? If yes, is there an exact date set yet?

PG: – Could be….

PP: – Our polls show it won’t be easy for you to put a setlist together. And mixing your 3 careers makes it even tougher. When do you start rehearsing? Will you have a separate session with the new band members?

PG: – We start rehearsing in June. I’m gonna decide what to play in a couple of days. It’s tricky. But lots of fun.

PP: – How Ola Gustafsson, Malin My-Wall and Andreas Dahlbäck came into sight? Did you know them before or someone suggested them to you?

PG: – No, I didn’t know them but had heard of them. I was looking for certain players and these three were my first choices. They’re amazing all of them.

PP: – You mentioned in an interview and well… we also know that you’re a fan of short concerts. You would keep the show around 100 minutes. Can we expect a varying setlist from night to night?

PG: – Could be….

PP: – Can we expect any surprise guests on tour? Besides a maybe obvious Lars Winnerbäck.

PG: – Could be…

PP: – Your support acts will be the amazing Good Harvest and Strandels. Why exactly them? Will both acts play before all your shows or will there be concerts where only one of them will play?

PG: – Both of them are great. I think they will be there every night. Hope so.

PP: – Is Micke N-S working hard on your new guitar picks yet?

PG: – Could be…

PP: – Gyllene Tider is rumored to go on tour next year. We hope it will happen. A 40th anniversary is worth celebrating! So this summer there won’t be many GT songs on tour or …?

PG: – Hmmm….

PP: – Talking about a 40th anniversary, will you see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on their 40th anniversary tour?

PG: – No plans yet.

PP: – Thank you very much for your time and see you on tour! Awesome that you keep us busy all year in 2017!

PG: – My pleasure. And don’t forget that a Mazarin vinyl-LP will be out just in time for the tour. I couldn’t resist…

 

Per Gessle – En vacker signing session in Malmö

Per Gessle is in the middle of his signing session tour and today he had 2 stops on his list. First he signed his new album, En vacker natt in Hässleholm (from 12:30 according to the schedule, but he was there already before 12:00). HERE you can read about that session (Hässleholm) and see a short video of the signing session.

The next stop was Malmö. Per was scheduled to be there from 16:00 to 18:00, but he arrived already at 15:15. He entered Folk å Rock in great mood. Met the organizers and disappeared upstairs. Olle Berggren, the journalist who interviewed Per, came also well before 16:00. They probably discussed how things would be on stage from 16:00. The stage was rearranged in the meantime to have 2 seats for Per and Olle and a table with water and a rose. Lovely. 2 microphones were set, the ones you have to hold in your hands. The whole interview can be watched HERE! Starts blurry, but it gets better after some seconds.

For those who can’t speak Swedish, here is an English summary of what they were talking about. Olle Berggren welcomed the Swedish King of Pop, Son of a Plumber and they started chatting about Nashville. First about the hat that appears on some pictures in the booklet of ”En vacker natt”. Per says it was Anton Corbijn who took the pictures and they went in a hat shop and they just bought it. Hats can be different, like there are the ones Clarence Öfwerman is wearing, but this type of hat fits country more. Olle asks if Per will wear a hat on tour too, probably not.

Olle asks why Per decided to record in Nashville. Per tells the first thing they were thinking about was leaving Skåne (which sounded funny, given that Malmö is also in Skåne) after he spent 420 days in Vallarum in Christoffer’s studio during the past 10 years. It sounded crazy, so they thought they should do the recordings somewhere else this time. They thought about France and England, but then suddenly Nashville came in sight and they thought shit, they have to record there. There is a natural fusion between Halmstad and Nashville.

Per says his old albums contain a certain country sound too. The old Neil Young style or Lee Hazelwood. They talk about Per’s album from 1983 that it already had this American style. Then the discussion goes on about pedal steel that it’s also not a new thing in Per’s life. They even used it on Roxette tours. This time pedal steel came in when they were in Nashville and started working with local musicians. He played the guitar and sang, but then there was the idea that pedal steel could be used e.g. instead of keyboards or so. Olle asks if it was OK for Clarence. Per says yeah, he went to sit in the back and sleep. Haha. Per says Dan Dugmore, who plays the pedal steel, is fantastic. Stuart Duncan plays the violin. Stuart worked together with Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. When Stuart played, they thought they should skip the guitars and use the violin instead. So instead of guitars and keyboards it became pedal steel and violin. It makes a very big difference.

Talking about Alison Krauss, Olle says he heard Per wanted a duet with Alison. Per says he wished. His friend, who has an own record company said he could have Alison in the studio, but she is a bit tricky. So then they signed Savannah Church who sounds exactly like Alison Krauss. Olle says Savannah is very young. Per says yes, a bit younger than him, she is twenty-something. Olle says Savannah has a fantastic voice and they sounds very good together, like Per sounded so good with Marie together. Per says Marie was all the time fantastic. He says Savannah sang so clearly that they finished recording her part in 20 minutes. He asked Savannah if she ever sang false and Savannah couldn’t understand the question. Haha.

Regarding the tour, Per says he already met the band and designers and people ask about the setlist, what they will play on tour. But he has no clue yet. First he wanted the album to be released and now he has a band including a pedal steel player and a violin player. So there might be something like what we could hear on Skavlan, the live version of ”Småstadsprat”. They talk about Lars Winnerbäck. Olle asks who could replace him on tour when he is not there. Per jokes it could be Micke Syd.

Per says the whole album would be easy to play live. It’s very organic. Olle asks if there are any plans after the summer tour, besides releasing the autumn album. If a little club tour is in the plans maybe. Per says nothing is decided yet. He says it happens easily when you are on tour many times, you play your hits all the time and he has a huge hit catalogue. But he also has the need to try new things and that’s the easiest for him in the studio. Olle asks if Per writes songs also out of a project, being just inspired, without any project in sight, but Per says it doesn’t work for him. He likes deadlines.

Olle asks Per about Gyllene Tider’s 40th anniversary tour, if it happens next year. Per says nothing decided yet, but there are plans. Olle asks Per about the future, if he still sees an international career in his life. Per says he doesn’t know. He will go on writing both in Swedish and English. He tells Olle that for his own sake he has been zig-zagging among his 3 careers so far, doing something with Roxette, then with Gyllene Tider, then solo, to keep himself interested and also the crowds interested. Mainly in Sweden, which is a small country. People might get tired of you. As they say, how could we miss you when you won’t go away. So Olle thinks Per has plans to make an English album in the future. Per says could be. Olle says everyone knows when Per says could be, it means it will happen. Per says let’s see what happens, but he is always open to suggestions.

The last thoughts are on Per going back to Halmstad after the session and do another signing session tomorrow (in Ullared). He thanked for all and left the stage.

After the interview, the signing session started upstairs. It wasn’t too fan-friendly, since people had to be queueing on the stairs and had no chance to see Per until they got up to the top of the stairs. Per was standing behind a counter in a corner, which also made it difficult to take pictures with him for example. And the guy who organized the whole thing seemed to be more stressed than fans, as he was grabbing the stuff out of our hands to put them in front of Per, trying to make it faster. Oh well… Haha. I haven’t counted, but I think there were more than 100 people in the queue. Everyone got the autographs on whatever they wanted. En vacker natt CD, vinyl, older PG CDs, vinyls, books and even guitars. A guy from Germany came with 4 or 5 guitars to have them signed by Per. It was fun. Mr. G smiled all the time, he enjoyed the session and didn’t seem to be tired at all. Where does this guy gets the energy from? Haha. After the queue ran out of people, Per went into the office and probably signed some more stuff for the shop. He left the building at appr. 17:30.

It was a lovely session with the interview and the signing part, also a great meeting occasion for fans from Sweden and from abroad (Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Russia, Italy, Hungary, The Netherlands, Denmark). Besides the fans, there was Sven Lindström at Folk å Rock. We could chat with him a bit too. I asked him about the Swedish Radio podcast, sequel of Gessles nio i topp which was to be out this spring. He said they have recorded everything, it’s under production now and it’s out in summer. And there is even more to come soon! Sounds exciting!

And what’s also exciting is that a RoxBlog interview with Mr. G is on the way! Probably out tomorrow. Stay tuned! 😉

   

Interview and signing session stills by Patrícia Peres.

Per Gessle – En vacker natt signing session tour

The release date of Per Gessle’s new album, En vacker natt is getting closer (28 April). Space Station 12 shared the complete list of the signing session tour stops. There are 14 places where you can meet Mr. G.

 

·         27 April (Thursday) – Göteborg 19:00-21:00 Bengans (Stigbergstorget 1)
·         28 April (Friday) – Halmstad 17:00-19:00 Akademibokhandeln (Storgatan 28)
·         29 April (Saturday) – Stockholm 13:00-15:00 Bengans (Drottninggatan 20)
·         4 May (Thursday) – Västerås 17:00-18:00 Skivbörsen (Smedjegatan 15)
·         6 May (Saturday) – Hässleholm 12:30-14:00 Skivlagret (Tingshusgatan 10)
·         6 May (Saturday) – Malmö 16:00-18:00 Folk å Rock (Skomakargatan 11)
·         7 May (Sunday) – Ullared 12:00-14:00 Gekås (Danska vägen 13)
·         12 May (Friday) – Gävle 17:00-18:00 Alla Tiders Skivhandel (Norra Skeppargatan 13)
·         13 May (Saturday) – Borlänge 13:00-15:00 Skivbutiken (Kupolen)
·         19 May (Friday) – Uppsala 17:00-18:00 Skivcentrum (Vaksalagatan 14)
·         20 May (Saturday) – Örebro 11:00-12:00 Bananamoon Records (Klostergatan 7-9)
·         20 May (Saturday) – Karlstad 14:00-15:00 Akademibokhandeln (Järnvägsgatan 14)
·         27 May (Saturday) – Norrköping 11:00-12:00 Vaxkupan (Drottninggatan 25)
·         27 May (Saturday) – Linköping 14:00-16:00 Bengans (Nygatan 31)

 

You can order the album online at these sites: Bengans CD; Bengans vinyl; Bengans RED vinyl; Ginza CD; Ginza vinyl; CDON CD; CDON vinyl. CDs are signed until the stock lasts. Let’s see who will be the lucky one getting that last signed CD which Per made special with a Leif drawing.

 

Update on 15th May: the signing sessions on May 19-20 are cancelled.

Update on 24th May: the signing sessions on May 27 are cancelled.

 

Marie Fredriksson signing session at NK in Stockholm

When the news about yesterday’s signing session came out, most of us were really surprised. No one thought there would be such an event, taking into consideration how Marie talks about it also in her book what difficulties she has with writing after her illness. Many were worried about her, thinking that a signing session would be too tiring for her and it probably was in a way, but you could see she really enjoyed it. She was smiling during the whole session and anyone talked to her while she was signing, no matter whether in Swedish or in English, she had some nice words to everyone.

MF_signing_session_Sthlm_NK
Photo by Patrícia Peres

The session was to start at 1 pm. Some hardcore fans started queueing quite early, even before 10 am to be the first ones in the line. By 12 there was already a very long queue. Helena von Zweigbergk arrived at 12:45 and Marie a bit before 13:00. Marie came with Micke and he helped her to get down the stairs that led to the little podium. She walked so fine down the stairs. We shouted woohoo when she arrived and she was happy to hear it and see so many people there.

On the podium there was a small table with flowers in a vase on it, 2 chairs and a Xmas tree next to the table. First Marie was sitting on the left to let Helena sign the books first, but after a little accident of a fan knocking over the vase they changed places. It was just a little water coming out of the vase and it wasn’t a real issue. Marie took it easy, just smiled and even helped to wipe it off.

It was awesome to see her in such a great mood. She was happy to see everyone, but when she saw the real familiar faces to her, she was smiling even brighter. Fans came from all around the world. Besides Sweden of course, there were fans from Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, Spain, Norway, Austria, Hungary, Poland, the Netherlands, the UK and 2 people came even from Australia. Wow! Some couldn’t reach Stockholm yesterday because of storms. Ferries and trains didn’t come or didn’t arrive in time to the Swedish capital, so some who wanted to, unfortunately couldn’t attend the session. Some fans brought only 1 book, others brought 7-8 to have them signed for those fans who couldn’t attend the session.

Marie got tons of presents and flowers. Mainly white and red roses. She loved it! She couldn’t grab all the flowers of course, but Marie Dimberg was there to help her and she took all the flowers and gifts. Helena also got some flowers and she was glad about it, too.

Those who still didn’t have Marie’s biography, Kärleken till livet could buy it at NK. A shop assistant was bringing the books around, along the queue. The security team of NK was very nice and their system worked well and smoothly. They let fans go to the podium 1 by 1 to the signing stage and it was Ms. Dimberg who told them when they could let someone inside the cordoned off area. Sometimes even Marie told the security guy: “Nästa!” (“Next!”)

As it was stated on the event’s Facebook page by the organizers, we could take pictures of Marie, but not with Marie. Everyone understood it and was behaving well. Many were taking photos, so actually, even if one of course couldn’t sit or stand next to Marie, they could have pictures with her while she was signing their books, smiling at them, etc.

Those who wanted to have their names written in the book besides Marie’s autograph and Helena’s signature, got it written by Helena. Marie was so cute when grabbing the books to sign. If the book wasn’t open at the page where she wanted to sign it, she insisted on turning the pages. Haha.

Micke wasn’t there waiting until the end of the session, but Marie’s daughter, Josefin stayed there to wait for Marie. After the session ended at 2 pm, after everyone got their books signed, we applauded Marie and when she got off the stairs of the podium and she showed she was happy she could make it coming down the stairs we shouted woohoo and applauded her again. Watch THIS short set of videos. She’s just awesome! She really is.

You know Marie is no fan of Facebook at all. She made it clear several times, mentioned it in her book and also in the TV4 interview one could watch in the morning. So if a post comes from her – of course it’s not she writing the post itself, but D&D Management typing her words – it’s much appreciated. She wanted to express her happiness, so she thanked everyone for coming. A picture of approximately one third of the flowers was posted both on her Facebook page and on Roxette’s page with these words:

“Tack alla som kom till dagens signering – från när och fjärran! Och tusen tack för alla vackra blommor och presenter – mycket glad!” / “Thanks to everybody who came to the book signing today – from near and far. And a thousand thanks for all the beautiful flowers and gifts – very happy!” Marie Fredriksson

It was a wonderful one hour with Marie and we were all so happy about seeing her enjoying it too. Her smiles are priceless!

 

Photos:

bayart.se
Instagram: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15;

 

 

Marie Fredriksson NK signing session – Important details!

As you already know, there will be an exclusive signing session with Marie Fredriksson and Helena von Zweigbergk at NK in Stockholm on 5th December. The session is 1-hour-long, it starts at 1 pm.

Organizers of the event informed on the official Facebook event page about the following:

This is an event organized by NK book store.

People with books purchased elsewhere will have to wait until the end of the session and Marie will possibly have time to accommodate these signings as well. However, there is no guarantee for this. Photos can be taken of Marie but not with Marie.

We are all very happy that Marie has agreed to do this session and we’ll want to make this as smooth and pleasant as possible for everybody.

Please respect the rules and be patient while queueing. Good luck, everyone! Enjoy meeting Marie & give much love to her!

If you don’t have the chance to travel to Stockholm and you couldn’t order a signed copy from Adlibris, Bokus is offering 100 copies of Marie’s biography, Kärleken till livet signed. They deliver abroad as well.

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Per Gessle at the Göteborg Book Fair – Chapter 2

The second day for Per at the book fair was yesterday. The seminar he took part in started at 1 pm, but fans were already waiting for him since 10 am. We were continuously filling the rows and listened to all the authors who came before Per. One of the writers was funny, he told he was the book fair support act for Mr G.

PG_IMG_9879Per arrived with Miss Dimberg and Anders Roos at about 1 pm. PG already got stopped by fans who asked him to give them autographs even before the seminar. When Per got to sit on the stage before the conversation, he was drumming on his legs and whistling. He refused to use the microphone which they could have fixed on his head, but used a standard microphone.

Many-many people were curious about Per, but the stage area was so small that a lot of people couldn’t sit down. The seminar ended appr. 10 minutes earlier than planned, probably because they saw the signing session would last longer for that many people.

Per’s interviewer was Jan Gradvall. They talked about songwriting, specific songs, as well as rhymes. He talked about his childhood room, what posters were on the walls (e.g. Hep Stars), there was a gramophone player and there were also some Barbie dolls. The family moved a lot and e.g. in 1968 they lived in Simlångsdalen. Per said his best friend was pop music. ”Tragical, but true.” Watch the short video of this part of the interview HERE.

They talked about how productive and busy Per is. He is doing many projects at a time, but when one ends, he feels like: ”Tack, nästa projekt.”, looking forward to the next project. The archives are just the summary of one chapter in his life.

After the seminar, there was a signing session next to the stage. There were so many people queueing with the Per Gessle books in their hands. Unfortunately, the last 5-6 people were asked to go to the other signing place, at the Roos & Tegnér stand, because they were running out of time and the signing at the stand had to start at 2.30 pm, but there Per really took his time and draw a great amount of Leifs in many books and boxes.

Ah, there was one new info during the interview: the Roxette rehearsals start this week. Bring on the tour!

Thanx for all your time and for the fabulous weekend, Mr G!

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Per with Jan Gradvall at the seminar; Per signing the books next to the stage at the seminar place; Per signing the books at the Roos & Tegnér stand

All pics in the article © Patrícia Peres

 

P.S.: Seeing this post of Per on Roxette Official after the happenings at the book fair, you could feel he had a bit of inspiration. Good luck with The Look 2! 😉

Feel like writing something like this today! /P.

Per Gessle at the Göteborg Book Fair – Chapter 1

As you already know, Per attended the book fair in Gothenburg today (26th September). Some fans were already there at the Roos & Tegnér (publishing company) stand to wait for him and buy the books before he arrived. When I arrived to the stand at about 2 pm and bought the Per Gessle books, one of the R&T guys, Christer asked me where I’m from. Told him I’m from Hungary, then he said with a big smile on his face: ”You know that… Ah, of course, you know…” Haha. Yes, it was quite evident I knew Per would sign the books at the stand at 3 pm. It was a lovely waiting time, meeting and chatting with familiar Roxer faces and having a little wine tasting. They offered us Per’s Fru Nordin white wine to taste. Benny Mårtensson, the designer of the PG books was also there. He did a great job, that’s for sure. Sven Lindström, Pär Wickholm and Jan Gradvall were there, too. It was first Nisse Hellberg who signed his book at the stand from 2 pm.

Per signing his books at the Roos & Tegnér stand
Per signing his books at the Roos & Tegnér stand

Mr G arrived to the stand with Miss Dimberg and Anders Roos (from the publishing company; photographer of the Alla tiders Gyllene Tider book) almost exactly at 3 pm. He took his place at the signing desk and started signing the books for those who were queueing. He was in a great mood, smiling all the time and joking with those who asked him if they could take a pic together or if he couldn’t understand the name of the one who asked him to sign the book. When I told him the books are awesome, he told they are cool and he could find only 5 mistakes in them. So, count them when you start reading, guys! 🙂 He also mentioned that there will be (a) Roxette concert(s) in Sweden most probably in summer, 2015. Sounds good for our souls.

The signing session lasted for about half an hour, then Per disappeared before getting on stage for the pop quiz seminar with Sven Lindström and Nisse Hellberg at 5 pm. The seminar was quite an entertaining one. They were talking about songwriting, lyrics, bands, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Sven prepared a tough quiz for the guys with pop songs from different eras. After listening to a short part of the songs, Per and Nisse had to say which song they heard, who’s song it was and from which year. You can imagine it was a tough quiz if even Per couldn’t tell all the details of each song. But of course, he doesn’t like to lose and he did his best to win. PG : NH – 6 : 2. When Sven forgot to give Per points, he was ”fighting” for those points. Lovely. He enjoyed the music so much he was even humming the tunes and ”dancing” with his head and legs. Watch it with your own eyes in THIS short video. The audience was also very helpful when The Lonely Boys couldn’t find out which song was heard. I can imagine Per going home after the book fair and checking all the songs he couldn’t recognize.

The quiz should have lasted until 5.45 pm, but everyone was having fun, so it ended almost at 6 pm. We could have enjoyed it for even more hours. After the seminar, Per and Nisse were signing their books outside the congress hall. Until then Åsa arrived as well. She looked wonderful and was very nice to all of us fans, as usual. The signing session lasted again for about 30 minutes and after that Per went ”backstage”. Probably, for an interview. Then Elvis left the building and so did we.

This guy always makes me feel like I had the best day of my life when I meet him. It happened today as well. Chapter 2 on Sunday!

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Per, Sven and Nisse doing the pop quiz; Per at the seminar; Per signing his books after the seminar

All pics in the article © Patrícia Peres

 

Articles and stuff related to PG at the book fair:

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Bokmässan photos on flickr