Per Gessle on Nordic Rox – January 2024

Per Gessle and Sven Lindström wish you a happy new year with the January episode of Nordic Rox. PG is curious if Sven had a great New Year’s Eve. Sven thinks so and wants to know if Per had a great one. Mr. G says he can’t remember his NYE, but it was probably good. Haha. Obviously, they had recorded this show much before.

The guys chose to kick off Nordic Rox 2024 with a trip to their brothers in Denmark. Danish band The Raveonettes has it’s special this time. It’s one of Per’s personal favourite band, he thinks they are really cool. Sven thinks they had a base in the States for a couple of years and were produced by pop legend Richard Gottehrer. Per adds Richard produced so many amazing records over the years, e.g. The Go-Go’s debut album and also My Boyfriend’s Back by The Angels. [Here Per sings a line: My boyfriend’s back and you’re gonna be in trouble.] That’s a wonderful song, he thinks. Richard formed a record label Sire Records with Seymour Stein. He also produced I Want Candy by The Strangeloves. Sven says they are going to end up talking more about Richard Gottehrer than they speak about The Raveonettes and that’s an insult, so they are going to restrain themselves and get the show started.

The first track on the program is a brand new song, All Day Long from a Swedish band, The Royal Concept. The next one is Unseen Footage From A Forthcoming Funeral by Nicole Sabouné. A good and long song title it is, according to Per. It’s written by Nicole and Ola Salo from The Ark. A good track.

Then comes Fool by Roxette. Sven jokes that Per is sitting right beside him trying to remember this song. Mr. G laughs and says it’s from the Room Service album, which they recorded in 2000 at the old ABBA studio in Stockholm, the Polar Studios that doesn’t exist anymore. It was the last album they did before Marie got ill in 2002. Per remembers it fondly. It was a great album, a fun album to make. Still sounds good today, Sven adds. PG says they worked with an amazing engineer and a mixing guy called Ronny Lahti, who he has been working with so many times ever since. He is still around and he is just doing amazing work all the time. He made this album sound terrific, Per thinks.

Before The Raveonettes special is coming up, there comes a favourite track of Per. The guys play the Deportees who made a song together with Sarah Klang, who is one of PG’s favourite Swedish singers. This song, Lost You For A While is just amazing according to Mr. G. It’s fom the Deportees’ latest album People Are A Foreign Country. The band is from the north of Sweden, but they are… Sven finishes the sentence: „they are good anyway”. Per laughs: „You said that, I didn’t”. The guys are laughing.

The next song is Dead Of Night by the Dead Express from the album Brain Damage from 2019. It sounds amazing according to Mr. G. Garage rock always makes you get your vibes together, Sven says.

Now the guys get down to The Raveonettes. A great little band, according to PG, quite heavily influenced by The Jesus and Mary Chain. You hear that once in a while. Per thinks they are really cool and they have done some great songs. They kicked off in the early noughties. Sven and Per play one of the tracks from the first album called Whip It On, just to give a taste of what to expect. Attack Of The Ghost Riders.

The second Raveonettes song is Per’s favourite, She Owns The Streets. It’s from a later album called Observator, released in 2012. Mr. G shares the info if you don’t know it, The Raveonettes is a duo consisting of Sune Rose Wagner on vocals and guitar and Sharon Foo on vocals and guitar. One guy and one girl. Sven says they have an amazing background. They were recording stuff and then they heard about the Rolling Stone editor David Fricke that he was going to visit a Danish music festival and they decided to go there to play the festival in order for him to see them and possibly write about them, which he did. That sort of opened a few doors for them. They got Richard Gottehrer, the pop legend to produce them. Per thinks it’s a great band and he longs for listening to She Owns The Streets. Sven says it’s a slightly different area they are moving into, some hazy, wonderful pop dreamy stuff. Per loves that song. It sounds like a mix between the surf sound and Link Wray. They could be in any Quentin Tarantino movie. Sven agrees and says they could as well cover for The Everly Brothers if they got sick and somebody had to go on the road to replace them, especially in this upcoming song Here Comes Mary. It’s taken from their second full length album called Pretty In Black. It came out rather early in their career, in 2005. Per thinks it’s a great album produced by Richard Gottehrer. It’s amazingly Everly Brothers sound alike, the harmonies are sort of similar.

The last song from The Raveonettes is from an album Per can’t pronounce, Pe’ahi. That’s Hawaiian for you, Sven says. It’s a big surf break also called Jaws, the Jaws beach, Sven informs. He has been there, just looking, not surfing. He did surf on Hawaii 10 years ago or so, but that was absolute beginner’s surf. Per asks Sven if he was on the water. Sven says yes and laughs, because Per looks so impressed. PG laughs too and says he is stunned and shocked. PG thinks this last song, Endless Sleeper is a good example of what The Raveonettes is about. It’s sort of darkish, Doorsish combined with surf music. A very interesting and creative combination. The intro always makes Sven think of Break On Through by The Doors.

After The Raveonettes special Per sneaks in another song of his. It’s just because it was just released. This is the B side of a vinyl single that PG made a couple of weeks ago. It was an homage to a very big Swedish artist called Pugh Rogefeldt, who unfortunately died a couple of months ago. The B side is in English, so that’s why he thought it was cool to play it on Nordic Rox. It’s a song he always liked. Per recorded it the first time in 2006. It was released 2007 in Swedish, but then PG did an additional version a couple of years ago in English. The single is available on Spotify and everywhere, but Per’s intention was to make a vinyl single anyway. He likes vinyl singles. Sven says they are still having a market, but if you are going to buy a vinyl album today, you really have to fork it up. Per agrees, it’s very expensive, but it’s worth it. Mr. G belongs to that generation who really miss the album sleeves. The face of the music is the cover, don’t forget that. Sven says they are sitting in Per’s library and there are some vinyl albums here, but he doubts that it’s all of Per’s collection. PG says it’s most of his collection. He got rid of a couple of thousands albums a couple of years ago. Gifts from record labels and friends and stuff, records that didn’t really mean anything to him. So he kept only the stuff that he really likes, which is about 1500-2000 albums. Sven asks Per if they are going to follow him down into his grave. Per laughs and says most likely, he thinks so. Then, like in 3000 years, they are going to dig up the grave and find the vinyl albums and Per’s teeth. Sven says it’s an interesting thought. The guys are laughing. The song they play is If I Knew Then (What I Know Now).

The next song is Bang-A-Boomerang by ABBA, then comes Primitiv by Wilmer X, Nothing Out There by Alberta Cross and Shoreline, a great song by Broder Daniel from Gothenburg.

That wraps up Nordic Rox and the guys say goodbye. Cigarettes by Anita Lindblom closes the show, as usual.

Still is from a Sirius XM video recording a couple of years ago.

Thanks for your support, Sven!