Per Gessle on Nordic Rox – October 2022

The October episode of Nordic Rox on Sirius XM was a special one with three guys on The Spectrum. Anton Corbijn joined Per and Sven for a nice chat. He was in Stockholm to open a new exhibition at Sotheby’s. Sven introduces Anton as a world famous photographer, visual designer and director of legendary music videos, as well as award-winning feature films that have captivated millions of fans for decades.

Before the three guys start talking, we can listen to Good Samaritan by The Hives first. Here Sven has some issues with pronouncing the word Samaritan and they laugh, because Sven says Samatarian. Per tells Sven is from Malmö in the South, so he is a little bit off. Sven agrees and says it’s a handicap, but he is trying to get over it. Haha. Then comes Poetic by Seinabo Sey, which Per thinks is a beautiful track. It’s taken from the album Pretend. Mono Mind’s All Over Your Body is next. Sven asks Per what kind of group that is, Mono Mind. PG replies it’s a very good group and it’s Helena Josefsson who is singing and Per is writing. Sven tells this is another one of Per Gessle’s many projects. Per finds it quite cool.

Here Anton joins the guys and he comes with a list of 5 songs that can easily change tomorrow. He says he put it together after he woke up with a bit of a hangover, which is very rare for him to have a hangover. Per says „welcome to the club!” The guys are laughing. Anton says it was actually nice to concentrate on and make a list of five songs for Nordic Rox.

Sven asks Anton about when he got to know Per. Anton tells it was in the ’90s when they made a video in Positano, Italy in 1999. Per tells they did a Roxette video for Stars, then for Salvation. Anton tells Per can’t really remember the Stars video because he was hardly in it. Per says he felt overweight, so he did a kind of cameo appearance in the beginning and then he ran off. He was the bum lying in the doorway. Per says that was his fat Elvis days. The guys are laughing. Anton says he thought Per didn’t want to be on HIS video, so he took it personal. Per says „yeah, we’ve been fighting ever since, Anton”. The guys are laughing again. Per and Anton worked together later too. Anton says it was Per’s 3-4 solo albums. Per tells they started off in Rome with the Mazarin album in 2003. Anton took some amazing pictures of him. Then they went on to do Son Of A Plumber in London and Skåne in Sweden. The cover was taken in a record store in London. Then they went to Lisbon to do En händig man in 2007. Per asks Sven what else he wants to know. Sven tells he wants to know why Anton chose Buffalo Stance by Neneh Cherry as the first track on his list. Anton says since they are talking about Nordic songs and Neneh is from here, he recalls the song as being so innovative in terms of sound and Neneh has such a presence on TV. Anton has great memories of her. He photographed her and actually everybody on the list he put together.

After the song Per tells they have a great guest from Holland, this mighty photographer and personality that we all love and cherish, Anton Corbijn. The next song is Jojo by Winona Oak and Sven has to admit he has never heard anything from her. Anton says it’s a wild card, but he became familiar with her music and really loved it. It’s very open, minimal and Winona’s voice carries it. Anton got into contact with Winona through a magazine in LA for which he shot a lot of pictures of young talents. Winona was one of them. Per tells the song was written by Joakim Berg from Kent and Gustav Nyström who is the producer as well. Per thinks Winona’s got an amazing voice and she’s got a great personality.

The Anton Corbijn special goes on with a track from Iceland. The song picked is from Björk’s first album, Debut. It’s Human Behaviour. It was such an alien appearance of Björk with her voice and visuals and it’s mindblowing, Anton thinks. She’s a beautiful force to be reckoned with. Sven is curious if Anton has a certain style of music he likes when he is listening to music. AC: „Yeah, I have style, man! I put the record on a player and I press play!” The guys are laughing. Anton says he is quite eclectic. He likes Nina Simone, Miles Davis and of course he sometimes also plays the bands he works with. He loves the Bee Gees, for instance. There is a lot of music that he maybe doesn’t work on, although he shot the Bee Gees a few times, but it’s hard to find an act that he hasn’t shot. Sven asks Anton if there is anyone on his list who he hasn’t shot yet, but he really wanted to. Anton says Pharoah Sanders just passed and he would have always liked to photograph him. But age catches up and when he has exhibitions, now there are a lot of people he puts on the wall who are no longer with us. That’s the way the cookie crumbles. Sven is curious what Anton thinks is so special about Björk. Her voice is amazing, that’s an instrument. Human Behaviour is a great title because we are all dealing with human behaviour these days in a negative way. Anton loves the cover, the visuals were always strong and Björk is an inventive person.

Sophie Zelmani’s Going Home is next. Per personally thinks it’s a brilliant choice, he loves Sophie Zelmani. Anton takes photos of her many times, he did three albums with her. He first met Sophie in the late ’90s and he kind of fell in love with her after seeing her video and thought he had to photograph this girl. He somehow persuaded the record company to introduce Anton to her. Anton is very happy they did, because it’s a privilege to know her and to listen to her music. It’s kind of velvety, it makes you feel warm. She has a very beautiful voice and is a real talent. Per thinks all her early albums are amazing and so is the production by Lars Halapi. It’s very sparse with lots of air and it makes a lot of space for this amazing voice Sophie has. Sven agrees that it’s indeed atmospheric.

Sven quotes Monty Python. „Now for something completely different” comes Anton’s last song he picked. Anton says he thought that after all these female voices we need some Viagra Boys. He thinks it’s a very funny name, it gets your attention straight away. It’s a kind of punky band, but quite melodic. They are Swedish, but the singer is American. Anton photographed them too. The song he picked is Sports and he thinks both the song and the video to it are so funny. It’s very dry kind of humor they have. They mention all the sports and that’s the song. Per likes it too and thinks they have never played them on the show, but Sven corrects him that they did. He can’t blame Per for not remembering, because they played zillions of songs.

The guys thank Anton for coming to the show and play three more songs, Bad Life by Sigrid & Bring Me The Horizon, Got To Go by Damn! and Get Jealous by ShitKid.

Anita Lindblom’s Cigarettes is closing the episode, as usual.

Stills of Per and Sven are from the Bag of Trix comment videos recorded by Anders Roos.

Anton Corbijn still is from this interview.

Thanks for your support, Sven!