Per Gessle on Nordic Rox – July 2022

The July episode, the 507th show of Nordic Rox on Sirius XM was dedicated to a dynamic band from the ’90s, Brainpool. They are one of the best bands ever to come out of Sweden, Per thinks.

Sven and PG kick the tracklist off with ShitKid’s Baby Roulette. Then comes Beguiled by The Hellacopters and it’s followed by Effortless by Sabina Ddumba from her Homeward Bound album.

Pay The Price by Roxette comes next and Sven says the songwriter happens to be sitting here. PG laughs. Mr. G tells the song is from their Have A Nice Day album from 1999. He remembers they spent much time in Marbella, Spain recording the album. They had a new co-producer, Michael Ilbert who was also the engineer. He made a big mark on this production. It sounds cool and quite different from the previous albums. Pay The Price has always been one of Sven’s favourites from this period. It sounds energetic and poppy and still you can hear it’s a Roxette track. Per likes it too, he thinks it’s great. HAND was like a comeback album for Roxette. They took four years off after the Crash! Boom! Bang! album Marie got her second child, Per did some solo stuff and worked with his Swedish band as well. They recorded loads of songs for HAND and PG thinks it’s a pretty strong album. They had some great singles on there as well, but Pay The Price is what we call an album track.

Troglodyte by Viagra Boys is the next song, a teaser from their upcoming album that will be released this summer. They were on a soldout US tour right now. Per thinks they are cool, hasn’t heard them before.

It’s time for the Brainpool section in the program. They are a band from the south of Sweden. They were supporting Roxette on the Crash! Boom! Bang! tour. Sven tells they sent demos to different music publishers and record companies, also to Jimmy Fun, Per’s label and PG picked them up. Per laughs and says that’s why they were support act for Roxette. They were signed to Per’s publishing company and they helped them to get a recording deal with Sony. The debut album was called Soda and it’s a terrific album according to Per. It was produced by Michael Ilbert. Per just loves this band. They have a great drummer, Jens, a great guitar player, David and a great bass player, Christoffer who eventually became a member of Roxette. Per has been working together with Christoffer since 1997 or so. Janne, who was the lead singer has got a hig-pitched voice. They have such tremendous energy and great songwriting, as well as amazing arrangements, very much due to Christoffer’s abilities. He is a great arranger. His favourite musician of all time is Brian Wilson from The Beach Boys and you can hear that in the way they do their arrangements. Per tells he could go on talking about Brainpool all day. Every Day was the first song Per has ever heard of them, so the guys play this one. Sven says it’s such an explosion. Per adds it’s got its punk and new wave attitude, but it’s still a pop song. It’s pretty soft, but it’s heavy at the same time. After the song Sven asks Per if he would be able to play this fast. Per asks „on what instrument? Citar?” The guys are laughing. It sounds fast, but it’s not that fast, PG says. Sven is curious how the demo sounded to this song. Mr. G tells it sounded like this. Not as polished though, but it had the same attitude and energy. It’s such a great song, he thinks. Sometimes you hear all these artists and bands having this attitude and energy, but the song is not there. But Brainpool had great songs as well. Sven adds it’s so much ’90s, the melody, the ’60s style and the sort of grunge punk thing.

The second album of the band was Painkiller. That was the big breakthrough for them in Sweden, especially with their song Bandstarter. It was a big hit on the radio. Sven is curious if they made any mark outside Sweden. Per tells not really. They were the support act for Roxette on the European tour leg, but unfortunately, nothing really happened. Painkiller is also a great album according to PG. It’s a little bit more mainstream, but still very cool. According to Sven, there is more of the classic rock tempo on this album. Per tells they were one year older then vs. the first album, so a little more mature. They were 23 instead of 22, they grew up. The guys are laughing.

Sven and Per play another song from the same album, Invisible To Her. It’s one of Per’s favourites, he thinks it’s wonderful. This is the closest thing to a ballad that you can get from Brainpool. It has a beautiful melody. Per was really sad when Janne, the lead singer left the group. He was also one of the main songwriters and it wasn’t the same after. His voice had that characteristic Brainpool touch to it. He became a doctor, by the way.

After the Brainpool session, the guys pick Andreas Johnson’s Glorious. A great track according to PG. Carnival by The Cardigans is next, from their second album, Life. They are a great band with beautiful sound. It was an interesting period for them. They broke through in Sweden first, then in Japan before they became big elsewhere in the world with Lovefool.

Next comes a Swedish song and then Lies by Peter Bjorn and John.

Daniel Norgren’s I Waited For You is the last song. He is an artist Per have missed, so he asks Sven to tell him a bit about Daniel. He debuted with an album in 2008. Sven missed that one too and the second as well, but he caught on in 2010 with the album Horrifying Deatheating Bloodspider. Because of the title Sven thought he must listen to this one. He is laughing. Per thinks Daniel has got an amazing voice. Sven tells he is a singer songwriter, rooted in ancient, pre-war blues. He is really convincing. He is mixing that old influence with a new attitude. Per thinks IWFY is beautiful and he’s got a new Swedish favourite here.

Anita Lindblom’s Cigarettes is closing the show as usual.

Stills are from a 2017 interview.

Thanks for your support, Sven!