Per Gessle on Nordic Rox – January 2021

In the latest 2 episodes of Nordic Rox Per Gessle and Sven Lindström got back to playing Nordic music instead of Per’s top favourites. For the fans it unfortunately means much less talking and less insights, but in the January episode Mr. G added some info related to his songs, so I thought to share the transcript here.

The guys are in Per’s Stockholm apartment and Sven tells they have a stack of records in front of them. Per adds there are lots of vinyl singles and asks Sven if he likes his apartment. Sven looks around and tells there are a lot of guitars, lots of records and music books, so what’s not to like.

Per says there will be some Swedish songs on the show and maybe even a Danish song. Sven adds, there will be something new, something old, something borrowed. Per adds something blue. First they have the Sahara Hotnights. Per thinks they are a great band, but he doesn’t think they are around there anymore. Sven tells they took a break, but they made some excellent records while they were kicking. The song they play is Mind Over Matter. Per says he loves that one.

The guys also play Undressed by Kim Cesarion. Per thinks it’s an amazing song. He doesn’t know much about Kim, but he is a Swedish guy and this is a wonderful song. Sven asks what makes the song so special. Per thinks it’s just a great track. Great production and convincing music.

Adiam Dymott’s Black Cloud is also played from her self-titled album. Sven says it’s a Nordic Rox favourite. The guys can’t really agree on how to pronounce her name. Per says it sounds very French. Sven tells she is from Uppsala. The album is produced by Thomas Rusiak, who worked a lot with Teddybears and made solo records as well.

A song by Metro Jets is played too, The Morning Show. David Birde of Brainpool and Magnus Börjesson teamed up for Metro Jets. Magnus played bass in Roxette for many years and now he is in Per’s solo band as well. Per tells he has no hair, but he is a great guy. Haha. This song was the signature song of Hipp Hipp!, a Swedish TV comedy show.

Sven jokes and tells Per now a band called Roxette is coming up, he doesn’t know if Per knows them. Mr. G says he heard about them. The song they play is a demo Per did for 7Twenty7 which was recorded in 1997 and it was written for the Have A Nice Day album. It sounded very different on the album and the demo is like how it was supposed to be. Guitar-driven power pop. Sven says he always preferred this version. Per says he knows it, Sven likes simple stuff. Sven adds it’s because it’s less synthesizers and more guitars. Per explains that for the album they took a different direction, to use more synthesizers and technology. Live they performed it more like how the demo is.

Teknikens under by Wilmer X is played. Per tells they are a great band and explains that the title means „the wonders of technology”. He thinks it’s a wonderful track. Kjell Andersson was the A&R guy at EMI and he was the mastermind when Wilmer X went from the garage rock style to a bit more 80’s production. The song is produced by Dan Sundquist. Per says he loves Wilmer X. Lead singer Nisse Hellberg sings in a very strong Southern accent, which makes it impossible for Stockholm people to understand what he is singing, but that doesn’t matter. It’s got a great attitude and it’s just great songwriting.

The Hives is also on the show, Hate to Say I Told You So. Per thinks they are also a great band and wonders what happened to them. He hasn’t heard anything from The Hives for a long time. Sven says they are not as prolific now as they used to be, but they pop up every now and then.

Hang With Me by Robyn is also played. Per says Sven is the biggest Robyn fan he knows. Sven laughs and says he loves the Body Talk album. Per says he knows and as soon as he looks away, Sven sneaks in another Robyn song, which is nice. Sven says and when he looks away, Per sneaks in a demo from himself. Haha.

Per tells during the pandemic he felt very isolated in the Swedish West coast in his house, so he went into the studio and recorded stuff that he wrote in the 80’s and 90’s and had this grand ambition to play all the instruments himself. It was a stupid idea, he laughs. Then says no, it wasn’t, but after the fourth or fifth song he realized he wasn’t a very good drummer and certainly not a good bass player. So he took some help from some local guys. It turned out to be a great album, it entered the charts at No. 1 in Sweden. Sven picked the first song off the album, Nypon och ljung. Per says he can’t translate it into English, because he doesn’t know the English words for that. Sven says the whole album has a homely feeling. Even if now Per has a great bass player and drummer on the album, he plays the guitar which is all over it. Per says that’s why he wanted to play as much as possible, because he is not the best musician in the world, but he wanted to make it personal. When he plays the piano or the harpsichord or the mouth organ or whatever, it’s him. And that’s what he wanted to do. He didn’t want a fancy production. He picked songs that are still relevant for him at least lyric-wise. Some songs he wrote when he was 23-25. Those lyrics get a different meaning when it’s sung by him in his sixties. You change the point of view what the lyric is all about. Suddenly you get a touch of sentimentality, it’s different with the experience. So for Per it turned out to be an interesting summer. For Sven it’s like Per wrote the songs, now he sings them and in between life happened. Mr. G says he has written almost 1000 songs in his life, these are the registered songs, so when he digged into the archives there were so many songs he forgot about. Some songs he was surprised by and some songs felt like „shit, what was I thinking?”. He realized that he changed his style of songwriting. He made longer songs when he was younger, he edits songs more now when he is older. He is trying to be a bit more efficient nowadays. He thinks that goes with being a musician all your life. Per says that was the story of his life and asks Sven „how about yours?” Haha. Sven says it’s even shorter. They laugh. Sven says let’s listen to the song, which is 2 minutes 35 seconds of bliss. The album’s title, Gammal kärlek rostar aldrig is a Swedish saying, meaning old love never dies. Per took that title because most of the stuff on the album is old and it fits the album pretty well.

Blue Fun – The Robert Palmer Mix by Mikael Rickfors is played from 1984. Per thinks it sounds great and is really cool. He thinks Mikael is an amazing singer. Sven says you can hear it in this version of the song, but in the original version his voice is unfortunately drowned in echo. Robert Palmer just stripped everything down.

Sleeping In My Car in Asha Ali’s interpretation is also played. Per thinks it’s a great version. Sven tells it’s different from the Roxette original. Per says the original choruses are in major and Asha is doing it in minor style.

Melody Club’s Baby is also on the show. Per thinks it’s a very good song. He asks Sven if the band is still around. Sven doesn’t think so. Their Face The Music album was great, Per loved it.

Miles Away by one of Sweden’s best garage rock bands, The Nomads is also played. Sven says Per has just finished playing air guitar. Per admits it, you can’t resist when you hear this one.

I’ve Been Waiting For You by ABBA is on the show. That’s a pretty early track from 1975. Per says it was a good year for the roses. Sven says it has its musical vibe to it, you can almost sense Mamma Mia! is coming up. Per says he loves this track.

She Owns the Streets by The Raveonettes is on. Per says he played it a lot, he loves it. Sven says they are a superb cool Danish duo.

A next song is Inivisible to Her by Brainpool, one of Per’s favourite bands. Mr. G says he misses the original setting of Brainpool. They still exist, they pop up every three years or so, doing something. The setting with Janne Kask as the singer was amazing. Per thinks their Painkiller album was their big breakthrough. It’s a brilliant album produced by Michael Ilbert. Christoffer Lundquist plays the bass. Sven says Per has spent many years in Christoffer’s studio in Skåne. Per says he became one of Mr. G’s cornerstones in his musical life ever since they started in the late 90’s. Per realizes how time flies. 20+ years and Chris hasn’t shaved since 1999. He has got this Rick Rubin look, he says. Sven says he’s got his mad professor look. They laugh and agree that it’s really cool.

The guys threaten to come back whenever you least expect it with more good-looking music on The Spectrum.

Still is from the Bag of Trix comment videos recorded by Anders Roos.

Thanks for the technical support to János Tóth!