Per Gessle on Nordic Rox – April 2021

The April show of Nordic Rox on Sirius XM was broadcast last night. Sven tells they are recording this episode in Per’s apartment in snowy Stockholm. Per corrects Sven that it’s not his apartment, it’s his office and studio. Sven says it looks like an apartment, there are lots of guitars, sofas… then Per asks if he can see any bed anywhere or a bathroom or kitchen. Sven thinks it’s obscured by all the guitars. Haha. Mr. G says this is the place where they make all the powerful decisions in the pop business and he writes all the songs. When he is in Stockholm, this is where he works. Sven tells that right behind him there is a piano. Per says he plays the piano a lot and writes most of his songs on acoustic guitar and piano, trying to make sense.

Sven asks Per what he has been up to lately. Mr. G says he’s been in the studio since May 2020, recording an English album and it’s pretty much done by now. He is doing some mixing and there are 2 tracks more to finish, but otherwise it’s going great and he is very pleased. Sven asks if it’s out this year and Mr. G replies „hopefully, yes”. It’s been a crazy year with the pandemic going on, so he tried to keep busy and forget about the real world.

The guys kick off with ABBA’s I’ve Been Waiting For You from the ABBA album. Per thinks this is the best record of the band. It’s very 70’s pop before the disco thing happened, before it got a little sophisticated production-wise. Hardcore pop music from the mid 70’s. SOS, Mamma Mia and So Long are also on this album.

Then comes Gyllene Tider’s Det kändes inte som maj. Per translates the title, It didn’t feel like May and says you have to practice your Swedish to understand the lyric. It’s from the last album GT did in 2019. Sven says it was GT’s farewell album and the band also did a farewell tour in the summer of 2019. He asks whether it’s definite or there is a door open for another farewell tour. Haha. Per says the world is full of doors, but for now Gyllene Tider is a closed chapter. 4 decades are good enough for anyone.

The next one is Per’s favourite The Cardigans song, My Favourite Game.

Komeda’s Boogie Woogie / Rock ‘N’ Roll is the next song. Per says he never heard this one before and asks Sven where he heard it. Sven says it was a totally insane beer commercial of Spendrups. They made some crazy TV advertising in the late 90’s with comedian Robert Gustavsson. Sven just felt he got to find this song. Per thinks it’s a cool one.

I’m in the Band from The Hellacopters is next. Sven loves this band, he thinks they have a unique sound. They are quite poppy, but hard-hitting with the guitar sound. Per thinks they are a great band with great musicians and great attitude.

Frida Öhrn’s cover of Fading Like A Flower comes next. It’s a classic song by Roxette. Sven asks if Per wrote this song in the office where they are sitting. Mr. G says he didn’t have this office yet in those days. FLAF came out on the Joyride album as the second single in April 1991. It spent the summer climbing up and it became No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 at the end of August. Per says it’s so depressing it didn’t reach the top spot. Sven asks Mr. G if he knows which song kept it out of the No. 1 spot. Per says he hopes it was something good. His guess is The Bangles, but Sven tells it was Bryan Adams, (Everything I Do) I Do It for You. Mr. G says he likes Bryan Adams, but it’s not his favourite song from him. He adds „I’m sorry, Bryan”. Haha. Back to Frida’s cover, Per says he knows the producer, Alex Shield and he informed Per they would do a cover of FLAF. Per thought it was a good idea. It’s got a timeless melody and Alex is a great producer and Frida is an amazing singer. Mr. G thinks this version sounds really cool and it gets a lot of airplay in Sweden.

The Raveonettes’ Endless SLeeper is next. Per thinks they are a magnificent band.

Land of 1000 Dances from Namelosers is also played from 1965. It’s a Wilson Pickett classic. Per says when you’re talking about Swedish pop music, everyone is talking about Namelosers’ version of this song. Sven adds it’s one of the first times they used fuzzbox on a Swedish pop recording. Per thinks it sounds great. Sven asks Per if he knows why they were called Namelosers. Mr. G doesn’t know. Their name was Beatchers (similar to The Beatles, trying to make a word play), but there was a band from Gothenburg called Beachers and they were pissed off because of the other band’s name. There was a pirate radio station in Öresund, Radio Syd and they stepped in to help the Beatchers find another name and arranged a competition. Someone came up with Namelosers and that was it. Per says it’s a great name for a band.

Listen To Your Heart’s brand new live version is next from Per’s Late Night Concert – Unplugged Cirkus performance. Per says he got invited to do an unplugged TV show. Because of the corona thing everything is closed down and the TV wanted to do a show in a very beautiful theatre in Stockholm without any audience. So Mr. G took part of his band with him, they rehearsed 10-15 songs here in his office and took it down to 9 songs from his Swedish stuff, some Roxette stuff and some from Gyllene Tider. Among those songs was LTYH which he thinks is really cool to do acoustically, because it sounds very different from the Roxette version. It’s a classic Roxette song, so they just did a very low key version. Per thinks it’s nice. It wasn’t meant to be commercially released, but everyone loved that TV show, so he decided to put it out on streaming services. It’s coming out on vinyl and CD as well. [So this episode was probably recorded early or mid January 2021. /PP]

Trouble Sleeping from the The Perishers is next. They are one of Per’s favourite bands of the early noughties. Mr. G thinks it’s such a great song, wonderful stuff. The guys say there were so many fabulous Swedish bands in the 90’s and in the noughties.

Sindy’s Next to Nothing comes next. Per thinks it’s fun music.

Brainpool’s Bandstarter is wrapping up the show. Per thinks they are an amazing band, they have so many great songs. Nowadays they play more of a progressive style, but this was the heydays when they did pop music. Sven asks Per if he thinks he could trick them into playing 2-minute songs again. Per laughs and says he doesn’t think so.

Sven closes the show by saying they need to get out of the studio. Per adds „let’s go out in the snow!” Haha.

As usual, Anita Lindblom’s Cigarettes is closing the program.

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

Thanks for the technical support to János Tóth!