Per Gessle, a fan of order on Sverige!

Per Gessle was a guest of Farah Abadi on Sverige! on SVT. Farah starts the show by introducing Per as one of Sweden’s greatest pop legends. Right now he is in a period when a lot of exciting, unexpected things are happening around both Gyllene Tider and Roxette. This episode also contains a meeting with photographer Anders Roos, who for many years followed Per Gessle’s career closely and the electric guitar maker in the Scanian countryside, from whom musicians from all over the world buy guitars.

Farah welcomes Per and says it’s nice to have him in Malmö. Per says it’s nice to be here.

It was a bit difficult to get him on the program, because he is always so busy. Per says it’s a bit much right now, even for him. There is a lot going on. Farah asks him to tell us more. PG doesn’t know where to start. The Gyllene Tider movie premieres this summer. The Roxette musical has its world premiere in September in Malmö. There is a new album coming this autumn called Sällskapssjuk, off which Per has started releasing singles already. Then there is a Roxette tour that starts in the spring in South Africa. All these are completely different things. The Gyllene Tider film was probably a bit unexpected, because such movies are usually made when you have died.

Here they watch a short part of the movie where Per and his father are talking inside a car and when it ends, Farah asks Per if this is how it happened. Per says, no, not really. He always had quite a lot of support from his parents. Unfortunately, his father passed away in 1978, but he still felt supported to do what he wanted. He wanted to be in this pop bubble. It was a much nicer world than the real world.

Farah asks Per if he always has a song on his mind. PG says he usually jokes that he writes as little as possible. There is no reason for him to sit down at the piano between nine and five and try to write songs. He doesn’t work like that. He has to have an idea, usually a text idea or a temperature as he calls it. He is trying to find what he wants to say with the song. The best songs are the ones where music and lyrics are written basically at the same time.

Farah is curious what Per means by temperature. PG tries to explain that it can be sadness, joy, curiosity, loneliness or whatever it is about. It sets the temperature of the song. It also characterizes the melodies and the choice of chords and eventually how it should be arranged and produced.

Farah wants to know if Per feels like a song he has written is going to be hit. If he feels it right away. Per says he can feel that he likes it a lot, but if it becomes a hit, that time is long gone. He has always been a super bad hit picker. He was the one who didn’t want to include Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) on the Mazarin album. He thought it was a bit of a ’50s pastiche and it didn’t belong there. But everyone else was nagging about it, so it was pure luck that he bowed to it in the end.

Farah says in Per’s music there is a lot of love. PG reacts „sometimes”. Farah asks him if it comes naturally. PG says it’s often quite lonely, melancholy and a little dark blue in the lyrics, at least in the past few decades. When you get older, it’s more difficult to write about what these songs in the Gyllene Tider movie are about, (Kom så ska vi) Leva livet and all these tjoho songs. They are very difficult to write now when you are 65.

Farah knows Per has a great interest in rock photography. She is curious how a good rock photo is when it’s really good. Per thinks it’s when you see that the artist or musician is really inside their own world. There are great pictures of David Bowie and Springsteen. All of these classic images have captured the moments where there is something special going on in the room.

Farah says they met photographer Ander Roos and she wants to know if he is the one who has photographed Per the most. Per thinks it could be. He has been around the last few years a lot. In recent years PG has been very active with touring. Farah asks what their relationship looks like. Per says Anders is very easy to work with. He has become a bit of a fly on the wall. He is around in the dressing rooms and backstage, but Per doesn’t mind. Plus Anders doesn’t publish anything without asking first, which is a good trait. Haha.

Sverige! visited Anders in his studio. He says he has been photographing music since the ’80s. He listened to a lot of music and went to concerts. He wanted to take nice pictures of music and artists. The artist he has photographed the most is by far Per. Anders shows his all access passes from different tours.

Anders explains it’s like being a bit of a sports photographer in a way, especially when taking photos of what happens on stage. It’s very much about capturing a moment. He shows one of his favourite photos on his mobile. It’s from Brottet in Halmstad. It was raining cats and dogs at the concert and he thinks it’s beautiful how the audience stands there in their raincoats and cheers. It captures something special. The raindrops almost look like icicles against the black sky.

Anders is asked what he looks for when taking rock photos. He wants to get as close as possible and capture the feeling and expression that he feels the artist has. Being it joy or anything else, on stage, backstage or in the dressing rooms. To be able to depict and tell what you can’t see.

Anders documents and photographs everything not only on stage, but at the studio recordings and takes press photos and photographs book covers as well. The first time he met Per was in 1986 when Roxette recorded their first album. It was in Stockholm and Anders and journalist Jan-Owe Wikström made a report with Roxette. A lot of things have happened since then. Since 2013 Anders has been around and actively photographed what Per does. PG didn’t remember him from 1986. A good friend asked Anders if he wanted to join Gyllene Tider on tour and take photos and of course Anders said yes. Then he got to know Per and the others in the band. He has the most contact with Per, through all the different projects they do. He is wonderful to work with, just like all the other band members. PG likes to do different projects. It’s a lot of fun working with them.

Anders has done many photo books as well. Nine books since 2013. He opens the Hux Flux book and explains some camera angles by showing some of his photos inside the book. The reporter asks Anders what he thinks those people will see who flip through these books 50 or 100 years later. Anders says they will see Swedish music history. These books can help tell a little of it. Then he feels proud.

Farah asks Per how it felt to see this report. PG says it was awesome, fun to watch. He has seen this picture from 1986 of Marie and him, but he never knew that it was Anders who took it until much later. So they met back in 1986.

Farah is curious if Per thinks it’s hard to be in so many pictures. Mr. G says, it depends. Not when you are on tour. He thinks it’s wonderful. It is usually his initiative that they become books. It is a memory of a specific tour and a specific project. He wishes there were more photos of recording Look Sharp! and Joyride and those amazing tours. There are videos, but there are quite a few. You can never take too many photos, he thinks.

Farah switches the topic and asks Per about Lena Philipsson and the new Roxette tour. She wants to know how this collaboration came about. Per recorded a new album that contains many duets. One of the duets is with Lena. Per has known Lena for decades. He co-wrote her breakthrough song in the ’80s, Kärleken är evig. PG had a song that suited Lena and she came to the studio in Halmstad. There and then Per was once again reminded of how good she is. Per has been thinking about what to do with the Roxette songs. He wrote almost all of them and he has been thinking for years how he could manage the catalogue in a good way. When Lena came to the studio, Per thought shit, maybe she could sing the Roxette songs with him. He chewed on the idea a little, then he contacted Lena a few weeks later in Stockholm. She was terrified when Per told her the idea. Farah asks if she said yes right away. PG says, no, she was rather shocked. She wanted time to think about it, but then she came back and thought it was a good idea. That is a damn good idea, Per thinks. Farah thinks so too.

Farah says Marie was the other half of Roxette and she is curious how it feels now that Lena will be standing by Per’s side. PG says it’s special, of course, but at the same time, it’s a different thing. It’s not like he has started a new band or a new duo with Lena. This is a journey that they are going to do to manage the Roxette song catalogue. Lena is hired to do that job. When Per puts that cap on, he sees it in a different way. It has never been relevant for him to start a new Roxette. With a new partner that way. Farah asks why not. PG replies it is something that Marie and he had together. It was a long journey, which had a very tragic end with Marie passing away. She got sick in 2002. It’s been a very long time. Now they are managing these songs. There is a huge world out there that still loves these songs. That alone is fantastic, Per thinks.

Farah asks Per whether it will be calmer or messier now than when it started. Per asks if she means in the dressing rooms or on stage. Farah means both. Per says they were quite calm before too. But it will probably be even calmer now. Farah says they are super professional. Per says they have become professionals along the way. Farah thought it was a bit messy back in the days, playing cards and drinking beer. Per says alcohol and he doesn’t work before a concert. Experience has taught him that. He is a control freak, so he likes when things are orderly. He needs order in his head too. Farah asks if Per has always been like this. PG says he was one of those people who had the records in alphabetical order already at the age of six.

Farah wants to know how Per and Åsa met. When it really kicked in, Per was on a date with another girl. They were supposed to meet secretly and the date took place in Åsa’s apartment, because they were friends. Then it turned out that Per fell a little in love with the hostess instead. He thinks it was in 1984. It’s been a long time. It was 40 years ago. Shit, now he realizes he has to celebrate that. Haha. Farah is surprised Per hasn’t thought about it. PG says he thinks it will be in autumn. Good that Farah reminded him. Farah says she wants to see picture evidence later. Haha.

40 years is a long time. Farah is curious if they are arguing. PG says they do. Farah is wondering if it is because Åsa puts the things in the dishwasher higgledy-piggledy and Per wants them in order. PG confirms it’s a constant dilemma. Farah thinks it doesn’t really matter, but Per says it does. Farah asks why and Per replies because you want the dishwasher to be in order. Farah is curious if Per is freaking out when Åsa has filled the dishwasher and he opens it. PG says he doesn’t get pissed because he is used to it. He knows it is like that. Farah supposes Per takes a deep breath before he opens the dishwasher. PG confirms and demonstrates „now it’s time again. Oh shit…”

Farah says a friend once told her that the best things in life are absolutely free. Love and having kids, for example. But the next best things are insanely expensive. PG agrees with that. He doesn’t come from a particularly rich family. They didn’t have much money when he was growing up. It’s clearly more fun if you have grown up and can afford to buy what you are interested in.

Farah has heard that Per is a rank collector. PG doesn’t consider himself a rank collector at all. He doesn’t really collect anything. It’s just lots of things that end up there. Haha. Farah asks how many guitars he has. Per says maybe a hundred. But he doesn’t collect them. He says if you collect guitars, you think „I have to have a 1958 Gibson Les Paul Special”, but he is not like that. They just end up there. You test them and you think it was nice and then you buy it.

Here comes a report with one of Sweden’s most skilled guitar builders, Johan Gustavsson. Most of his very high quality guitars are bought by musicians and collectors in the US. He thinks a good guitar should inspire you to play better. Per hasn’t bought any guitars from him, he doesn’t know why, but he repaired some guitars for him.

While Per is playing air guitar, he says it was lovely to see this report, Johan is a lovely guy. Farah asks PG if he gets guitars for free. Per says he doesn’t, not these days. But in the ’90s on the Joyride tour they were promoting Rickenbacker guitars and they got some custom-made Rickenbackers that they ordered. Marie got a white one and Per got a black one.

Farah is curious what Per does in his spare time. He watches a lot of movies. He is interested in movies, but he also watches them to get ideas and angles on life and stories. Films are great. He usually likes slender films from the past.

Farah is wondering if she calls Per on a Tuesday he is sitting at home in his pyjamas watching movies. PG says he is not in pyjamas, but he probably watches movies in the evening. Farah is surprised Per is not wearing pyjamas. She asks if he wears soft pants at home. Per laughs and says no. He doesn’t own sweatpants. He is probably sitting like he is sitting here now in the TV studio. Farah is even more surprised that Per is wearing jeans at home. PG says he is going strong in his jeans.

Farah asks Mr. G if he goes to the grocery store and sees an offer, slippers for 99 bucks, and decides to buy 2. Per laughs and says he almost never goes to the grocery store. Farah thinks a lot of people would stop him. Per tries to avoid it. He thinks when you have to do things like going to the post office or the grocery store, you have to be in a special mood. You have to be prepared for selfie time and stuff like that. That’s perfectly fine, but most of the time you might not feel like it that particular day.

Farah understands that Per has a great life, but she also feels a little sorry that Per can never be ordinary. He can’t just sit in a café or on an outdoor terrace or lie on a beach or just be. Per says he can do that if he wants. It’s not as dangerous as it sounds, but he is always on his guard. He has a good life and he is super proud of what he has accomplished. He is also grateful for that, so he is not complaining at all.

Farah says it’s almost time for school graduations. Sommartider is a song that is definitely sung there. She wants to know how it feels. It’s like many other things with his music, Per has to pinch his arm. It is amazing that there will be new generations who will embrace this music and love it. It gets a place in their new life somehow. When he is in Stockholm, they live in a street where a lot of student vans come and then they often sing Sommartider. When he is there and hears it, he usually runs and hides. He certainly doesn’t want to be found there when they sing Sommartider.

Farah thanks Per for coming and PG thanks for the invitation.

Stills are from the program.

Per Gessle interview in Dagens Nyheter – ”I hope the movie inspires kids to start a band”

Hanna Mellin from Dagens Nyheter did an interview with Per Gessle about the Gyllene Tider movie.

“Sommartider – Filmen om Gyllene Tider” premieres in cinemas on 17th July and tells the story of the band that became a Swedish pop sensation. Newcomer Valdemar Wahlbeck sings as and portrays Per Gessle, whose childhood and youth are depicted in the film. Per has seen the film several times, but was initially somewhat suspicious of the idea.

Now it feels exciting, but when we first sat down and talked about the fact that there would be a film about the story behind Gyllene Tider, I was quite skeptical – no one in the band wanted to make any kind of tribute film to ourselves. But, “Sommertider” is more about me, how I met guitarist Mats Persson and the film ends when the song “Sommartider” is released.

Hanna is curious how it feels to join artists like Elton John, Amy Winehouse, Johnny Cash, Aretha Franklin and more and get a feature film about himself.

What felt odd at first was that it is about my childhood – of course it will be very personal and private. But, I don’t have a big problem with that, because what is being told is basically true. When I read the script for the first time, I just felt “wow”, this is fantastic – although of course the film takes some creative liberties, not least when it comes to the chronology. What I hope above all is that “Sommartider” inspires kids to start a band, that the film conveys the fellowship to sing and play music together. It is truly life changing.

To the question how involved Per has been in the film, he replies:

Not much, but I have answered a lot of questions and helped with the soundtrack. The songs are played by the Roxette band and Valdemar Wahlbeck, who plays me, sings himself. I’ve been involved in selecting the songs and I think the band does them very well, as you know, simple things are often the most difficult. I’ve mostly been a sounding board.

Hanna wans to know if Per joined the shootings and she thinks it must be pretty surreal to step into your own life on set.

Above all, it was an experience to go back in time by seeing all the details, props and environments from the late 1970s and early ’80s. It was very nice to experience the work that was done with it in the film. The film also contains a lot of drama and depicts the tragic accident in Blekinge before a Gyllene Tider concert in 1981, where three people lost their lives. Of course, I also had to answer some questions about that.

Hanna asks if Per’s family has seen the movie and how they reacted.

My wife has seen it, she was very moved. But, what I hope for is, as I said, that it can give something to others. There was an alienation in me when I was young and music became in many ways my escape and my reality. Many people can probably identify with it and maybe they get strength and energy from this film, which has a happy ending.

Hanna asks the last question to get to know if for Per as an artist there are things that bother him when he watches music movies. E.g. if someone fakes singing or holds an instrument completely wrong.

Yes it does! Not least, I think that the music industry becomes a cliché on film sometimes. Record company people often become villains so that the artist can be the hero. And when you cut in the music, when a crash cymbal appears when it shouldn’t – I don’t like that. But I can also be bothered by, for example, key changes when I listen to the radio. One can be clearly a fachidiot.

Photo by Fredrik Etoall

Interview with Per Gessle in Halmstad NU

Per Brolléus did an interview with Per Gessle for Halmstad NU, Halmstad’s new local monthly newspaper.

Per Brolléus thinks Marie would have said Per is an idiot if he doesn’t do this. He asks PG what he thinks.

Yes, well, that’s exactly what she had said. Just like that. She had declared me an idiot forever.

The guys are about half an hour into the interview and PB says PG has “written a song text” through his answers to all his questions about the tour, about Lena, about why, about feelings, about whether he knows this works and about the rest of the year before Roxette leaves for South Africa and Australia in February-March next year.

There is one thing that Mr. Gessle no doubt wants to be very clear about – the endless love for Marie. If she is not in every single answer, she is still there as a kind of sounding board or a little bird that nods or shakes its head. She is constantly present, even though it has now almost been five years since she passed away in December 2019.

Either you do it or you don’t. There are no other options if it’s supposed to be Roxette, sound like Roxette and be called Roxette.

That there comes a tour doesn’t feel very strange to Per Brolléus who “grew up” with Per Gessle, Gyllene Tider and Roxette. Per Gessle gives people what people actually want – without sacrificing his own artistic ability or, for that matter, his status. And now people obviously want Roxette. But, this would never have been relevant if it wasn’t for the duet album that Per has recently made.

Lena had agreed to make a song with me and when we recorded it, she knocked me out. Completely. Damn, what a voice she has!!!

Although Lena Philipsson never got to play in the same division as Gessle in the ’80s and, for example, never got to go on Rock runt riket (the 1987 tour with Roxette, Ratata and Eva Dahlgren and a new talent called Orup as support act), but Per and Lena’s paths have crossed a number of times.

We come from the same era and I have written a few songs for her, including the lyrics to Kärleken är evig. And I know her as a damn good artist. But when we got into the studio… Well… Knockout. That voice!!!

After the knockout in the studio in Stockholm, Per invited Lena for dinner in Halmstad. There was food and wine and finally he asked the question: Do you want to go on tour with Roxette? And the answer from Lena? Per laughs and says:

She was shocked and got a few days to think it over. She probably  thought I was crazy. But…, it was not about Lena replacing Marie, i.e. trying to sound like Marie, but Lena being Lena and she would lend her artistic talent to the songs.

And she said YES, says Per in a long exhale.

She ticks all the boxes. She’s got it all, although of course she’s never done a world tour and stood in front of 10,000 wild fans in Sydney. But she has IT. Of course, I did a Roxette tour in Europe with Helena Josefsson, a fantastic singer who has been with me for ages. But she is made for that kind of setup as it was then. Stripped down arrangement with seated audience in an acoustic setup. Now it’s something else and Lena fits in there magically well.

The gang that Per takes with him is pretty much everyone who was there when it started in the late ’80s and onwards.

Jonas, Clarence and as many as possible from the old gang are there. Damn, Roxette should sound like Roxette should sound. And it should be as much Roxette as you can get.

We tested some songs, Lena and I. It sounded fantastic. An own voice, an own feeling.

And now Lena PH is having an international breakthrough at the age of 59. Per laughs and says:

Well, it’s absolutely wonderful.

Regarding the pilot tour he says:

Yes, I want to test the concept. I want to be 100% sure that it works before it becomes something much bigger.

So Australia and South Africa are just the beginning?

We’ll see. Offers are absolutely pouring in, but before I say yes, I really want to feel it first. When we released the news about the tour and about Roxette with Lena, the systems exploded, which is of course great fun.

He pauses for a few seconds, laughs at…

She gets paid quite well too.

Halmstad’s biggest star through the ages has a fully packed calendar: duet album, movie, musical, world tour.

I have videos to make for the songs from the duet album, then it will be exciting when the GT film premieres on 17th July. And then comes the musical at Malmö Opera, which premieres in September.

Per has no direct responsibility in the musical, calling himself a sounding board, but as a reporter Per Brolléus feels that he is not being completely honest here.

I’m involved in the song order and I’ve been down in Malmö and listened. Well, musicals are not my cup of tea, you know, when it gets so perfect. Because for good musicians it never becomes really good, you know what I mean?

Per Brolléus gets it. He was forced to go to some musical about Oklahoma as a child and has never gotten over that shock, so he understands it exactly.

As a last question, Per Brolléus asks Per Gessle, hand on heart, if there could be a test concert with Roxette at Tylösand this winter before they leave for the pilot tour.

It can happen. You never know.

But, honestly…!

Well, it’s quite good to test things before…

Halmstad NU can hereby reveal: there will be a test gig in Tylösand sometime in February 2025. Remember where you read it first.

All interview text is written by Per Brolléus for Halmstad NU in Swedish. Here it is a translation by RoxBlog.

Thanks for the hint regarding the article, Oliver Zimmermann!

Interview with Per Gessle and Lena Philipsson in Aftonbladet

Aftonbladet joined Per Gessle and Lena Philipsson on their promo day and Anna & Hans Shimoda did an interview with them about their upcoming adventures. HERE you can read the original article in Swedish.

The other week the news hit like a bomb; Per Gessle, 65, brings new life to Roxette with Lena Philipsson, 58, at the microphone. The tour starts in Cape Town in South Africa on 25th February and Aftonbladet is the only newspaper to have met both an excited Per Gessle and a somewhat surprised Lena Philipsson.

Per says smiling:

It happened when we made the duet “Sällskapssjuk” for my new album that I thought that “Lena is not that bad”.

Brain tumor

Pop icon Gessle has long considered what to do with Roxette’s impressive song catalogue. Classics such as Fading Like A Flower, The Look, It Must Have Been Love and Joyride had to be put in the dustbin when Per Gessle’s friend and bandmate Marie Fredriksson passed away in 2019 in the aftermath of the brain tumor she was diagnosed with in 2002.

Per says:

In recent years, I’ve been thinking about whether I should do anything at all with Roxette. I’ve been thinking about how to best manage the legacy and Roxette’s song catalogue live. There were two ways, not to do anything with it at all or to try to find a way that fits as well as possible. It was not an easy decision.

Gessle continues:

When I worked with Lena, I felt that she is very talented as a frontwoman, she has a lot of experience, comes from the same era as me and is a fantastic singer. We also have a history together, I was involved in writing her breakthrough song “Kärleken är evig”.

I gathered all my courage and asked her, thinking that she would probably fall off her chair, and she almost did.

‘Only way to do it’

Stepping into Marie Fredriksson’s shoes is of course not easy, but Per points out that it is about managing Roxette’s music.

The only way for Lena to do it is to do it her own way.

Lena Philipsson is sitting on the couch next to Per Gessle and looks sometimes at Per, sometimes at the floor.

When I was asked to do “Sällskapssjuk”, I of course said yes and Per wondered if I would sing it in Stockholm or if I would come down to Halmstad. I went down to be in Pers hoods. A few days later, a message arrived in which Per wrote that he wanted to meet and that he would ask a crazy question.

Aftonbladet is curious about what Lena thought then.

I felt that “Yes, it worked”. But I thought that maybe there could be another song together or a tour, but I didn’t expect this.

She continues:

I was about to fall off my chair, but I immediately started thinking about what the fans would think about it and how it might turn out. I’m good at identifying the problems, but of course I feel incredibly honoured.

Will it sound familiar?

I feel like I’m an invited guest here, I’ll let Per decide. I won’t get into the artistic side that much. But my feeling is that I want to sing the Roxette songs as they should be.

Per turns to Lena:

Stick to your own way.

Lena says:

Yes, I do have my voice, but I don’t feel that I should do my thing and screw up everything. I want it to feel like the original.

Have a favourite song

Lena Philipsson says there is one Roxette song she is particularly looking forward to singing – a favourite:

There are so many good songs, but I have to say “Dressed For Success”, it’s so much Roxette for me and it’s really Marie’s song.

Lena Philipsson points out that she is not afraid of being compared to Marie Fredriksson.

No, then I would never have said yes. The comparison will of course be made anyway. But I have to dare to take it, otherwise I would have had to say no. I care about doing a good job and want the Roxette fans to feel satisfied.

The tour takes place in South Africa and Australia, but if all goes well, it could be any size, according to Gessle.

What we are doing now as a pilot thing. We will see how it feels and if it turns out as I believe and hope, there are no limits to what we can do.

Interview by Anna & Hans Shimoda, photos by Andreas Bardell for Aftonbladet

Per Gessle on RIX MorronZoo

Per was a guest on RIX FM’s morning show RIX MorronZoo on 7th May. You can listen to the podcast HERE!

PG enters the studio at 8:06 am and program leaders Laila Bagge and Roger Nordin feel honoured to have him on the show. They introduce Per as the superstar, the car collector, the podcaster, the summer boy, the hitmaker, Sweden’s sharpest songwriter. Per thanks for the warm welcome. Roger wants to know what Per thinks about early mornings. PG says he can hear it from his voice (he has this hoarse morning voice). Roger thinks Per looks lively and fresh.

The hosts say it’s starting to be Per’s season, summer soon, but they are wondering what he is doing during winter. Writing songs, Laila says. Roger asks PG if people spontaneously sing to him when they pass him in town. Per replies, „no, thank God.”

Laila mentions that she was at Per’s house when he was very, very young and asks Per to tell about it. It was more than 20 years ago. Mr. G tells the story that Laila’s ex husband, Anders Bagge got in touch and wondered if they could write a song together. Per almost never does that, writing a song together with someone else, because he likes to work by himself. But then he said of course and invited Anders to his home and he came to say hello with Laila. Then either Anders and Laila ended up at some party in the evening, so Anders cancelled the job the day after. Laila is still wondering how one can book time with Per to write a song and then cancel it. PG says Anders was a little tired. Roger asks Per if it isn’t good to write music when you are a little hungover. Per says it can be good. Laila says that instead of writing a song, they went to see all of Per’s cars and that was nice.

Regarding writing music with others, Roger is curious if it is hard to tell the others if you feel that it didn’t turn out well. He asks PG if he is afraid of conflicts. Per says he doesn’t think so. Writing songs for him is kind of a private process. He wants to do it for 30 seconds and then he wants to do something else. Then he goes back to it. He is not sitting like they are sitting here now. So Roger says it’s not like Per goes to an office and writes three hits. Haha.

Laila says Per is about to release a new album. Roger asks PG what he is up to now. Per says there is a lot of stuff going on. Last Friday he released a single in Swedish with Lena Philipsson. It’s the title track of his upcoming LP, Sällskapssjuk. It’s out this fall. It consists of many duets with various Swedish artists. Roger is curious what those artists said when Per called them and asked if they wanted to join. If there was anyone who said no. PG says he didn’t call them, he sent emails. Haha. He says it has been a very cool process. This song was actually recorded a year ago, so some time has passed. It was very cool. For every duet he has done, the style of the album has changed a little. It’s a really cool album, he thinks. It’s among the coolest records he has been a part of.

Then there will be a tour as well, in a year. That’s a completely different thing. Roxette is going on a tour together with Lena Philipsson. Laila asks Per what made him feel that Lena should join them on this tour. Per says he has been thinking for many years how he should manage the Roxette songs. He came to the conclusion that there are really only two ways to go. Either you leave it at that or you continue in some way. And it’s not so easy to continue, of course. If Marie had existed, they would certainly have been out on tour. When Per worked with Lena and recorded Sällskapssjuk, he thought shit, she ticks all the boxes. She is a great singer, she is great on stage. She is experienced and they come somewhat from the same generation. So Per asked her and of course she was terrified. Per invited her to his home and they sat by the piano and tested some Roxette songs. It was magical, he thinks.

Roger asks Per if he discovered Lena’s greatness already in the ’80s when he wrote Dansa i neon for her. Per says it wasn’t him, he wrote Kärleken är evig. Roger says sorry and asks if they will perform Kärleken är evig on tour. PG says no, they will perform only old Roxette songs.

Here they listen to Sällskapssjuk.

Roger says Per is a living legend. He explains how to say living legend in Swedish. Roger says Per works more than ever. There is a musical in progress with Roxette music and it premieres on 6th September and then there is a film about Gyllene Tider that premieres this summer. And then there is the duet album. And then there is this Roxette project together with Lena Philipsson. Laila says one would think you take it easier and do things calmly when you get a little older and just enjoy it. Roger wants to know if Per will ever stop working. Per says this is really a bit much that is happening now.

Roger says there is a big trend right now that artists and bands want to live forever with the help of avatars. There is ABBA, there is Kiss. They will be on stage forever with the help of this new technology. Roger asks Per what his plans are with Gyllene Tider, if he is working on something like that. PG says, no. Then maybe Roxette, Laila asks. Per says, no, he doesn’t know. It feels a bit far-fetched, he thinks.

Roger says they thought to check how much Per knows about his own music. He says the intro quiz is very cool, but now they thought to run an outro quiz with PG. So he gets to hear the last second of some fantastic Gessle songs and he gets a Cosmopolitan for every correct answer. Because it’s Cosmopolitan day today. Here comes outro number one. Laila says it wasn’t easy, but Per knows the answer, it’s Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång. Roger finds it cool that Per wrote a song about Cole Porter. PG says he saw a movie with Jack Lemmon called Save The Tiger, a fantastic film. Per thinks Jack Lemmon won an Oscar for his role. There is a scene where someone asks him if there is something he missed that hasn’t happened in his life and he looks into eternity and says, I want that girl in a Cole Porter song. PG thought shit, that sounds good.

Here comes outro number two. Per doesn’t really have that, but he says it sounded like a good guitar sound. Roger shows what song it was, Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång). Roger loves how Per sings „här kommer alla känslorna på en och samma gång”. Per doesn’t really know why it became like this, it just happened. He even heard that Bert Karlsson thought it was elaborate, but it wasn’t.

So Per has one Cosmo so far and here comes outro number three. PG immediately says it’s Leva livet. Roger says maybe we will hear this song in the GT movie. Per says, absolutely.

There is one last outro, a guitar ending again. PG says it’s Tycker om när du tar på mej. So Per has three Cosmopolitans. He says that’s enough, it’s only Monday. Roger says they will drink it in Tylösand in summer.

Roger asks PG some quick questions too. Per has to choose between two things.

Listen To Your Heart or The Look? Per says, „shit pommes frites”. He likes The Look.

Halmstad or Stockholm? He says that’s hard too. He likes Halmstad. But he likes Stockholm too.

Ferrari Testarossa or Ferrari 212 Inter? Per takes the Testarossa. It’s his childhood. The other one is so very old, even he is not that old. Per loves Ferrari, Roger says.

Grit your teeth or break up? Grit your teeth, Per says. Laila says you see a clear difference in the answers of different artists or actors. There is an age limit where people start saying break up, because nowadays you have to break up. Laila’s whole generation is grit your teeth.

Per Gessle competes as an artist in Melodifestivalen or Per Gessle competes in Hela kändis-Sverige bakar? PG says his wife would have loved to see him bake, but both are totally unlikely. But he is absolutely in love with the baking show. Roger says they will sign Per up for that then. Haha.

Speed camera or speed bump? Per hates both equally. Roger says there is this rumor about the speed bumps in Tylösand and asks PG if it’s true. Per says no. Laila doesn’t know about this rumor, so Roger explains it’s about these speed bumps that Per demanded to be removed in Tylösand, because the cars were damaged. But that wasn’t true.

Champagne or beer? PG picks champagne.

Halmia or Halmstad BK? Per picks Halmia.

Roger thanks Per for stopping by the studio this morning. PG says it’s always a pleasure. Roger plays a morning applause on the computer and tells Per to make sure he takes some time off this summer too. Laila will possibly come by and check out Per’s cars. Per says welcome and Laila promises she won’t be hungover this time.

Stills are from RIX MorronZoo’s instastory.