Per Gessle about Gyllene Tider’s new single

Swedish Radio P4 Halland did an interview with Per Gessle about Gyllene Tider’s new single, Jag drömde jag mötte Fluortanten. Listen to it HERE! Reporter Camilla Hentschel and Per are dissecting the lyrics.

First they are listening to this part of the song:

Varje svartvit tangent / Spelade covers av Kent / Morfar Ginko han gungade i vimlet

Camilla asks Per about the rhyme ”tangent – Kent” and Per says it’s a clever one. They are discussing how differently they pronounce the word ”tangent” (= key, like on the keyboard) and Camilla is curious why Kent ended up in there. Per tells it’s like an abstract dream sequence and as in many of his songs, the lyrics are hopping from one scene to another. Each verse has its own profile. One verse can be written in ”me” form, the other in ”he” form. There can be different perspectives.

The other part they are listening to is:

Pö om pö blev vi vänner / Men av ren reflex blev jag ett måndags-ex

Camilla thinks it’s fantastic, because it’s like a journey. Little by little we became friends, then it turned into something more and out of pure reflex I became a Monday ex. Per says he tried to describe when the expectation is blown away by weak self-confidence. It’s a bit sad. The guy wanted so much and in the end he felt he became a Monday ex. That was it.

Sing along HERE!

 

Gyllene Tider interview in Aftonbladet – Scensommar magazine

Aftonbladet’s Scensommar magazine did an interview with Per Gessle and Anders Herrlin about Gyllene Tider’s last album and tour.

The reporter, Jens Peterson asks Per and Anders how it feels to come back to Ullevi with Gyllene Tider. Per says it’s grandiose and if there is something in music industry you have to learn it’s that you can’t take anything – e.g. success – for granted. Anders also thinks it’s fantastic and they feel honoured.

Per gets the question what is more fun and what is harder when he tours with Gyllene Tider vs. when he is out there as a solo artist. Mr. G says the most fun is that when they meet, it feels like time stood still. Everyone takes their own roles in the band. They come up with the same jargon and same type of jokes. Besides that, they play together in a very special way. If anyone of them would be changed in the band, the sound would be totally different. There isn’t anything worth to be mentioned as a harder thing, but Per is basically not a team player. He likes to work with his own compositions under his own terms. When there are 5 people in a band, it’s obvious that there will be compromises, but it didn’t affect the end result this time. Sometimes it’s good that someone puts Per in place, because he thinks he isn’t always right, even if it’s hard to believe. Haha.

Scensommar asks the guys if it is hard to pick songs for the setlist. Anders says not really, because they play together so seldom that it’s clear the concerts will be based on their old hits. There are a lot of songs tons of people expect to hear, then there will be new songs and they also dig deep in their catalogue. To the question how many songs they feel is obligatory to play, Anders replies appr. 20.

The reporter asks if they are tired of playing Sommartider. Per says he is not tired of it at all, but he can’t rehearse it anymore. Once they play it in front of an audience it’s fantastic. Anders’ advise is ”never underestimate hits!” It’s good to have an ace up their sleeve.

The new album is out on June 14th and the journalist asks how many new songs will appear on the setlist. Anders says they will run through the entire album on the rehearsals so that they can see what fits and how it feels. He says this album might be the best they have done. Per agrees with Anders and thinks the new album is fantastic. Their ambition was to get the feel of a band where everyone matured a bit while the years have passed, but without losing the pop nerve. It’s difficult, but Per thinks they succeeded.

The reporter asks why they recorded the album in France. Per says it’s perfect for bands to go away, live together, have breakfast, hang out, fool around, drink wine and create music together. He saw a documentary with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and liked the studio they played in a lot, so he researched a bit and it turned out the studio is in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, north of Marseille. First they sent Anders there last autumn to check it. He filmed there a bit and he was all positive about the studio, so they decided to go there in the spring of 2019. They started to work there the same day Morrissey left the studio. They found his vegan cookbooks in the guest toilet, Per says.

The reporter says when GT started touring, concerts were very different. He asks how the guys remember those days. Per says he remembers they were quite blonde. Haha. They were so young and lived in a colorful pop star bubble for years. They learned how to run a street race, they learned that they can’t live on the first floor at a hotel and that anything they leave outside their houses will be stolen (clothes, mails, number plates, etc.). Such things belonged to their everyday life in the early years. Concerts were short, but intense and folkparks were amazing. Anders adds the audience knew the lyrics already then. Better than they did.

To the question if this is really the last chance to see Gyllene Tider live, Anders replies that it feels so. They are all around 60 and life goes on. It feels good to end GT when they are still alive and everything feels to be on top and that they can do a phenomenal farewell tour.

Referring to Mick Jagger’s operation and that The Rolling Stones had to postpone their tour Jens asks if the guys have any health check before such a tour. Anders says they filled in a lot of papers about their state of health and went on medical checking. Even Göran was alive. Per ’s reaction to that is that it’s exciting.

The reporter is wondering why there are more veteran artists who attract audiences than younger artists. He mentions Bob Dylan, Sting, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Patti Smith among others. Per says it has to do with various things. On one hand, it takes time to come up with a song catalogue like what Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan have. On the other hand, there are hardly any stars of the same dignity these days. Music industry works differently now. Anders says it will be a problem at festivals in a few years, because: who will be the headliner?

Jens asks the guys who they think have been good at cherishing their own catalogue. Per says it’s those who have the opportunity to tour a lot and have active publishing companies that put music in movies and TV series. It’s important to always try to make the songs actual. Either in their original version or in another context.

Jens asks what kind of relationship GT have with other big artists who tour this summer. Per says they are of course all awesome in different ways. The touchpoint with Gyllene Tider is that earlier they did a Swedish version of Patti Smith’s ”Ain’t It Strange” from her ”Radio Ethiopia” album. Odd choice, one could think today, but it was obvious for 5 teenagers from Halmstad in the ’70s.

Thanks a lot for sharing the magazine with us, Pontus Ljungsten!

 

Per Gessle and Mats MP Persson on Kulturnytt – Swedish Radio P4

There was a 3-minute-long interview with Per Gessle and Mats MP Persson on Kulturnytt on Swedish Radio P4 today. The guys were talking about Gyllene Tider’s latest single and the recording of their last album.

Per says Jag drömde jag mötte Fluortanten is about an absurd dream which is about a past time and romance. With the new album, one of their most important aims was to show that they are a mature pop band and this is how the guys sound at the age of 58-60. They recorded the album in France and decided that they would play as much live as possible in the studio, to have the eye contact with each other and the fusion of 5 guys who work together in real time, not to create the sounds on computer. The songs, the arrangements and the lyrics have perspective. Per says it would be impossible for him to write Flickorna på TV2, När vi två blir en or Sommartider today, but he can write another type of pop music. Mr. G didn’t try to write classic single hits or very commercial songs, but wanted to show how GT sounds in 2019.

MP says in France they could take a little different turn in the arrangement and the whole recording session was much fun and very creative.

Per adds the biggest difference these days is that he mostly works acoustically. In the ’90s MP and PG made very advanced demos. When you work in a band, it’s good to leave the arrangement quite wide open. When Per plays a song on the acoustic guitar and sings, the melody and lyrics give an impression of what the song is about, so then it’s up to Göran on keyboards and Anders on bass and Micke on drums and of course MP too to interpret it. It’s a five-piece puzzle where everyone is important. It becomes a totally different song once Gyllene Tider plays it.

The album, Samma skrot och korn is out on June 14th, but you can already pre-order it (CD-hardbook, standard black gatefold 2LP, limited edition gatefold coloured 2LP) at the usual sites: Bengans, Ginza, CDON.

 

SvD’s interview with Per Gessle about aging and pop music

Andres Lokko from Svenska Dagbladet did an excellent interview with Per Gessle and it was published together with Staffan Löwstedt’s wonderful photos in SvD last Sunday. It’s the first time Per let journalists inside his apartment on Strandvägen, Stockholm, so the article also gives you a sneak peak at where family Gessle live when they are in the Swedish capital.

The title of the article is ”Per Gessle, how is it to be so old?” and it predicts they were talking about aging. But once you have access to the whole article (which was published in paper on Sunday and available for subscribers online), you realize it’s about much more than that.

Andres writes Åsa, Per’s wife proudly shows one of Per’s 60th birthday present when they enter, a Playboy pinball game from the ’70s with a kitschy cartoon Hugh Hefner in a bathrobe and with a pipe, of course, flanked by blondes in bikini. The 2-storey apartment is a virtual Fort Knox. Where the guys could enter is the airy office with a grand piano in the room and shelves along the walls with CDs and art books on them. Wherever they look they can see framed pop-historical photos. In the toilet there is a black and white Iggy Pop, for example.

Åsa serves coffee and tons of cookies. Andres writes no one touched the bakery but a bowl of English liquorice disappeared very quickly.

Andres asks Per how it feels to be so old and Mr. G replies with a little self-ironic resignation that it’s cool and totally OK. Andres (born in 1967) says when he started writing about music 30 years ago, Mauro Scocco, Orup or even Per himself seemed to be old. Now they seem to be the same age. Per reacts that you don’t even notice when it occurs, you just all become adults. Then the older you get, the least important the age is.

Talking about aging, Andres says it’s strange, but suddenly he has a new role as a music journalist. It can happen that one calls him when Little Richard dies and he can also be waken up in the middle of the night to keep a knowledgeable eulogy of any pop legend. Per says aging with pop music is what both he and Andres do in a way. When Tom Petty died, it was as if a close family member had passed away. He felt things would never be the same again. When your idols die while you have the chance to get older and you have experienced how, for example, Marie got sick and others close to you have passed away, it becomes even more difficult to accept that David Bowie or Pete Shelley from Buzzcocks dies.

Andres asks Per if it is stranger to turn 60 himself than to see his idols turning 60. Per says it’s surreal to think of himself as a 60-year-old. 50 was one thing, 40 was also weird. There are periods when there is nothing happening in the music industry or in your life, but then suddenly you wake up in the morning and realize so many things have happened. Not only with music, but social media exploded, streaming services took over and you suddenly find yourself in a whole new world. And that makes you feel even older. Per says he even notices it on his son. Gabriel is 21 now and he is dealing with his own music while he is studying at KTH. He asks Per a lot of things and Per tries to answer, but they come from 2 radically different planets. Gabbe listens to music as much as Per does or did in his age, but he doesn’t care at all about artists, producers, album covers – all that Mr. G thought was vital. When Gabriel and his friends are listening to Post Malone and suddenly Dylan’s ”Subterranean Homesick Blues” pops up, they don’t even raise their eyebrows. Music has become something that just flows forward. Per tells Andres when he grew up he always listened to P3 and ”Release Me” by Engelbert Humperdinck was followed by The Zombies ”She’s Not There”, ”Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” by The Beatles and then an Evert Taube tune. On the same channel. According to Per, it’s the diversity that makes music much fun and interesting. He bought ”Delilah” by Tom Jones at the same time as ”Last Train To Clarksville” by The Monkees and his brother had records by MC5. During those times wanting to let hair grow over the ears was super-important, almost revolutionary.

Andres asks Per if he feels stuck there. Per says, a little. At least with the hair. It’s not just about age. As an artist you have a requirement to always rush forward. If he thinks of David Bowie, he changed his look all the time, but sometime in the mid-1980s he finished with it and was just David Bowie and it was alright.

Andres asks if it is something Per strives for. Mr. G says change for the sake of change is not necessarily ideal. As an artist, the change must come because you have a need for it. For example, the reason he searched for Marie Fredriksson was that he felt limited by his voice. He has a strange love-hate relationship to it and felt that he could write better songs than how he could sing them. So he needed a change to be able to maximize it. That was the main reason for him to start Roxette. THAT was a natural change for him. Andres says that in such cases the bonus is that after a while it’s fun to hear your own voice again. Per agrees. The more he works acoustically, the more he is longing to play power pop with Gyllene Tider and the more time he spends in an electronic world with Mono Mind, the more he suddenly wants to play acoustically. He thinks these cycles he has invented himself to keep the whole spectrum alive.

Andres says when he hears Per’s voice he often thinks of British singer-songwriter Al Stewart. He had a huge hit ”Year Of The Cat” in the early 1970s. Per asks Andres if he knows that Al Stewart recorded one of his songs once. It has never been released though. It was ”Call Of The Wild” from the first Roxette album. Per has it somewhere on a cassette. Andres asks if Al’s version sounds exactly like Per’s original recording. Mr. G says, not really. But he has a bunch of Al Stewart songs on a playlist he listens to quite often and then he actually thinks it sounds a little like Per himself.

Andres tells the fact that Paul McCartney has stopped coloring his hair was bigger news than his latest album. It was the same with Tom Jones. Andres thinks they went into a new, perhaps their last phases. He asks Per if he sees his paths this way. Per says it’s not far from him to think this way, but he hasn’t got there yet. The last few years he has done so many different things that he didn’t have the time to take that step where he would try to see himself from outside. He says he still doesn’t know what he’ll be when he grows up. The GT reunion this year is not news to him, because he has known since quite a long time that he would devote this year to it and has started writing songs for the last GT album.

Andres remarks that GT for Per is like a band on stand by. Per says it’s nice to have it like that. GT always comes back on a project basis and after a short intensive period it’s over again. Andres says Per constantly wants to move forward, but GT is a pure nostalgia machine. PG says it’s true, but everytime the band came back, one of his conditions was that they release a new album too. It’s not that they need new hits, because people want to hear the old ones anyway, but to get together in the studio and do a creative work. They have extremely good relationships within the band, but they hardly ever spend time together. Per works with Mats MP Persson in the studio in Halmstad from time to time, Anders Herrlin was there with him in Nashville when they recorded his solo albums ”En vacker natt” and ”En vacker dag”, but the others he follows basically only on Facebook. But during an album recording, they immediately find their original roles. Per thinks they really need to find that chemistry to be able to go on a tour together. Should they not do it this way, there is a risk that five strangers will suddenly play pop music in front of 150,000 people. Instead of partying together in Mallorca for 2 weeks, it’s more efficient to record some new songs, Per tells Andres.

It’s 100% right that Gyllene Tider is a nostalgia machine, but Per sees the band in a more serious way. He thinks GT is a very good pop band in the same way as Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Now that they are 60, he wants to try to make pop music that is worthy and adult in the right way. They can’t do any ”När vi två blir en” songs anymore.

The guys are coming back to the aging topic again. Andres mentions that they are the first to experience that such things as the death of David Bowie can happen, that pop artists die of old age. He asks Per how he deals with it. PG says Keith Richards is 75. He saw ”Under The Influence”, a documentary about him on Netflix the other day and he just said “I’m no pop star anymore and I don’t want to be that”. He has been there since he was 17-18 and now he is a groomed old uncle and feels relatively good in his existence. He can’t be compared to anyone else.

To Andres, Carole King is an excellent example of how she in 1960 wrote ”Will You Love Me Tomorrow” for the teenage girls in The Shirelles, but when she 10 years later sang it herself, as a ballad at the piano, she transformed the text author Gerry Goffin’s words into a sad and grown love triangle. Per says a good pop song works like this. Also some of Per’s songs work like that. For example, when Lars Winnerbäck sang ”Honung och guld” with Per on tour, the song got a completely different meaning.

Per tells SvD that as time goes by, he tries to understand how he was thinking when he was writing nearly 40 years ago. To find out what he was looking for. He was also thinking about it when he wrote the new songs for GT. He dreams to find a tone of adult dignity, but in their chosen form of pop.

According to Per, the school of composing that he works in doesn’t exist anymore. Definitely not in modern electronic dance or pop music. It’s a bit like when Paul McCartney sits down and plays ”Martha My Dear”. No one writes music like that today, but he has it in his DNA. When Per started playing, the first thing he learned was Swedish songs. He and his friend Peter Nilsson were Sweden’s first troubadours employed by the city council. Swedish social democracy at its best, Andres reacts. That music school mixed with Simon & Garfunkel and artists like Bernt Staf and John Holm meant a lot to Per. That song tradition is in his DNA.

Cover photo and all photos in the original interview article are by Staffan Löwstedt.

© Svenska Dagbladet, Andres Lokko, Staffan Löwstedt

Interview with Per Gessle by Variabeln

Carl Fredrik Lööw from Variabeln did an interview with Per. He asked Mr. G how a typical day looks in his life. PG said there is almost no typical day. It depends on what he is working with or where he is. When he is in the studio then he usually starts at 10 am and is there until midnight roughly. If he is on tour, then there is a lot of travelling and then a concert in the evening. If he is at home, he usually sits in the office for a few hours and answers mails and keeps everything running. He manages his, Roxette’s and Gyllene Tider’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts which is fun and doesn’t take much time. And then he writes songs from time to time. It’s a rather messy and varied life but it suits him.

Carl asked Per when he started to play the guitar and if he can play any other instruments. PG said he started writing lyrics when he was 14 but couldn’t play any instruments so he saved the melodies in his head. Then he learned to play guitar when he was 16. His first guitar was a nylon-stringed Spanish that he got from his mother. Then came the punk when he was 17-18 years old and then he bought his first electric guitar. Gyllene Tider was formed when he was 19. Mr. G also told Carl that nowadays he plays a little piano, but he is not very good at it. When he writes songs he usually uses both guitar and piano. It’s easier to keep track of the keys on the piano.

Carl’s next question was if Per has always loved music. Per replied he has. He remembers his first favorite songs. “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” by The Beatles and “Til The End Of The Day” by The Kinks. He was 6-7 years old then and there was something magnetic in pop music. He liked everything. The amazing clothes, long hair on guys, vinyl records and album covers, tough electric guitars, cocky pop bands. He has been completely swollen by pop romantic since then.

To the question what his favorite song is Per replied there are so many great songs so it’s hard to choose a special song. But just the day the interview was done he liked “Moonshadow” by Cat Stevens. He thinks it’s from 1972.

Carl asked how long Per has owned Hotel Tylösand and Mr. G said Björn Nordstrand and he bought the hotel in 1995. Time flies.

Carl also asked what Per is interested in besides music. PG said he likes cars and follows F1 with great interest. He usually goes to see a race or two every year. Of course, he is a fan of Ferrari.

Then there are 4 quick questions:

  • V: – Chips or chocolate? PG: – Chocolate. Though it has to be milk chocolate, I don’t like dark chocolate.
  • V: – Training or watching movies? PG: – Watching movies. I should train more but …
  • V: – Guitar or singing? PG: – Oh, how difficult. It’s super cool both. But I like to sing, especially in the studio.
  • V: – Be free or work? PG: – Work of course. I’m lucky because my work is my hobby.

 

Interview with Per Gessle by Diario Popular

Sebastián La Mastra from Argentinean newspaper Diario Popular did an interview with Per Gessle about Mono Mind and songwriting and Per told some anecdotes and talked about his admiration for the Argentine crowds. Read the interview in Spanish HERE!

In the interview Per talks about how it all started with Mono Mind and tells it’s a little more groove oriented than what he did so far, but without losing his writing style. Almost everything was done on the computer. It has become a tool to try different ideas with different collaborators. Per hopes to continue with Mono Mind for many years. He has many plans, as always, and the possibility of performing live shows is on the table. Mr. G says he would love to perform in South America and Argentina, it’s just about making things work financially.

About songwriting Per tells it’s easier to write mid-tempo songs or ballads than uptempo ones. Those 3-chord gems are hard to make at his age. You have to have the ability to keep yourself “simple” and that’s hard to do when you have written as many songs as Mr. G. He always tends to complicate his music. He hates that.

PG says the songs he writes are not about him, but they are written by him, therefore he is there somewhere. But at the same time, everything is fiction. He is a writer, he’s not making confessions.

The reporter asks Per what the funniest and most emotional memories are during his long career. Per tells the story of his trousers got broken on stage in Mexico back in the days and their 1995 Roxette concert in Beijing.

If he wasn’t a singer-songwriter, he would have loved to work in another artistic field. Maybe as an architect or interior designer or art director. Who knows.

Per mentions It must have been love and Queen Of Rain, Sleeping In My Car and The Look as his favourite songs. He also tells that all those years of touring with Marie were incredible, she is an incredible singer. Per says he was lucky.

To the question how he would define himself Per replied “lazy, lazy worker” and he shares his biggest dream, “peace and love on planet Earth”.

The guys talk a bit about Baladas en español. Per remembers that when choosing which songs to record, he only picked songs for Marie to sing. Except Vulnerable, which is interpreted by PG. The songs sounded great in Spanish, without knowing what they were about. It was a very strange experience, but at the same time fun. Per says he knows only “Hi, a beer please” in Spanish. To the question if he records anything in Spanish again, Per replies he doesn’t think so. But you never know. That’s what makes life interesting. Anything can happen.

The reporter asked Per to tell about his memories with Roxette in Argentina. He says South America and particularly Argentina have always been their favorite places to perform. They didn’t expect that kind of affection the first time they went. The crowds were so loud and they knew the lyrics. If only they could go back and perform to Argentine fans.

 

Per Gessle and Micke Syd Andersson on TV4 about the GT farewell tour

Per and Micke Syd appeared as guests on TV4’s Nyhetsmorgon and were interviewed by Jenny Strömstedt about the upcoming Gyllene Tider farewell tour. Watch it HERE!

When Jenny welcomed the guys, she noticed that they were wearing black clothes and asked if it is kind of grieving the ending of the band. Per and Micke Syd said nah, they are tough. Haha. Micke Syd said they were Sweden’s kindest pop band in the 80’s, so they are working on becoming tough.

Jenny asked what the fans think about the fact that it’s going to be Gyllene Tider’s last tour. Per replied that there are a lot of reactions. Micke Syd started singing Här kommer alla känslorna, but Per told him it’s not a GT song. Micke Syd said but it fits. Mr. G continued answering that GT means so much to a lot of people and it’s awesome. Micke Syd joined in and said fans say for example that their songs are the soundtrack to their lives. They grew up with Gyllene Tider. Per said it’s mainly their 80’s songs that he wrote when he was 19-22 years old. Back then he wouldn’t have thought they would be on a 40th anniversary farewell tour.

Then a short part of Parkliv tour film was shown and after that Micke Syd told the story that even if they beeped out the sound when Per told the phone number of Micke Syd’s mum’s hairdresser salon in the film, fans could read Mr. G’s lips and Micke’s mum got angry by constantly getting tons of calls after that. Jenny asked what the fans wanted. Micke Syd said ”talking to me” and Per joked ”having their hair cut”. Haha. Jenny asked how it worked with the fans back then. Both Micke and Per said they all lived with their parents and it was quite strange when fans were hanging around their houses. They were stealing washed clothes for example. Per said when he turned 21 he got 3400 mails, so his mum’s house was full of them. They also mentioned they had to check in at hotels on different names,picking different names each time. But of course, over the years it got calmer and the guys in GT also grew up and could handle it better. Jenny said that everyone tells about GT that they are like everyday people and so nice. The guys agree that they are nice.

Jenny mentioned that back in the days there were 2 big bands, Gyllene Tider and Noice in Sweden. They talked about the differences and Per said Noice was a big town band, while GT was a small town band. Micke Syd said this fact also determined that they had different mentality.

Per told that the band broke up in 1985 and since then they have always been doing something together on project basis. Like in 1996 or 2004 or 2013. The guys said they have a unique sound and when they play together it’s fantastic. They can’t put their finger on what it is about that uniqueness, but it’s like them 5 become 1 then. Per said when he plays GT songs with other musicians, they don’t sound like Gyllene Tider at all. There is a special style they have in GT and it shows up only when they 5 are playing together.

Jenny asked what the roles are in the band and if Per is the boss. Per said nah, he comes always as the last. Micke Syd told things are changing, but there are of course things that haven’t changed in the band. They also talked about how they play a song from 1980 these days. Micke Syd said they become young again on the inside despite the fact that he will soon turn 60. Per’s reaction to that was ”60?! Shit!” Haha. Jenny asked if it is the same feeling to sing about love now, when they are a little bit older. Per said when you sing a song you also act. Of course, when there is a song you wrote when you were 19 and sing it when you are suddenly not 19 anymore the song becomes different, it gets another meaning.

Per said GT is loved by so many people and one can’t take that for granted. It’s awesome to look back on their 40 years history. Micke Syd said there are so many memories related to their songs one can also see that on fans’ faces on the concerts.

At the end of the interview Jenny asked the most important question, if the guys can guarantee that this will really be a last time they go on tour again. Micke Syd nodded and Per replied ”it feels like that”. Jenny said it was quite a diplomatic answer.

 

Per Gessle about Mono Mind on Musikplats Stockholm

After Per Gessle got back from the US to Sweden this week, Fredrik Eliasson from Swedish Radio P4 Stockholm immediately did an interview with him to be broadcast yesterday on Musikplats Stockholm. Listen to it HERE!

The interview was about Mono Mind and before it was on air, they played I Found My Soul At Marvingate. Cool to hear it on the radio!

Fredrik introduced Mono Mind as Mr. G’s secret project that got out of the closet recently. Then he welcomed Per as Dr. Robot and Per said in a slightly changed voice that ”yes, I’m here” (trying to imitate Dr. Robot’s voice, but it didn’t work well without the computer distortion, haha). Fredrik wished a belated happy birthday to Per and asked how it was to celebrate his 60th. Per said it was quite intense for 2 days with a very few people. He said his wife is very social and he is the opposite, so he just sat in a dark corner and it went fine. Haha.

The guys talked about Mono Mind’s debut album that it was released on Per’s birthday. Mr. G shared the info that he started releasing singles in 2017 and the first single was Save Me A Place. He said no one knew he was behind the project and the song suddenly became No. 1 on the dance charts in the US and kept the position for 6 weeks. It was much fun to achieve this at his age and with an anonymous project.

Per talked about the characters and that he wanted to change his voice and how it worked in the studio when he was sitting there with Christoffer Lundquist for weeks. It’s not vocoder or any other gadget you can hear, but they created the new voice on the computer themselves. Each song took appr. 2.5 days to create. It was very exciting.

Per said the idea was to create some kind of modern pop music and pop music nowadays is made on laptops. So he wanted to try to mix it with his classic songwriting and it has become a new chapter in his career. Fredrik asked Per about Nashville where he went rather acoustic and Per said Mono Mind started already before Nashville.

Before they played Down by the Riverside, Per said it’s one of his favourite songs. He thinks Dr. Robot’s voice is the best on this one.

The guys then talked about Helena Josefsson. Per said she has a fantastic voice and it fits Dr. Robot’s voice very well and it brightens up all songs.

Per said Mono Mind is still like a playhouse for him. The album was released on 12th January and on 11th he was thinking shit, if it was really a good idea to reveal this project. What if people don’t like it? He would be a bit sad. And what if people like it? How to go on with it? And then there were questions if he goes on tour with Mono Mind. But how to do it? It can be something similar to how Daft Punk or Pet Shop Boys tour, but who knows. The only sure thing is that Per wants to continue working with Mono Mind and develop the whole project, the characters and their stories. One can do anything with such characters.

Per talked about the market for this type of music. He said there are a lot of competitors out there and you need much luck to succeed. He can’t see the same journey with Mono Mind as they had with Roxette, but it’s much fun to record and talk about it anyway. Fredrik jokes with ”are there any exchange students around?”. Haha.

As a last question, Fredrik asked Per which song he is the most satisfied with on Mind Control. Mr. G was thinking for a while, then he said In Control. They had some magical hours when they recorded that song. He likes its construction, the changes in it that don’t usually happen in dance music. There is a kind of progressive rock 1972 in it, Barclay James Harvest style. He thinks it’s magnificent music coming from him and laughs. After the interview they played In Control.

 

Massive birthday celebration of Per Gessle’s 60th on TV4

TV4 already did a short phone interview with Per Gessle on 11h January. Per said that he was in the US, working a bit on Mono Mind, his new project under which he released an album the next day, on his birthday. Mr. G said he would be celebrating his 60th birthday in Florida. Åsa organized a surprise party for him. The program leader asked what the most heart-warming moments in his career are if he looks back and Per said there are so many, but Roxette’s greatness at the end of the 80’s and in the 90’s is sure one of them. He said he is fortunate that he can work with his hobby and to the question if he likes getting older he replied that he still feels quite young and he still doesn’t know what he will become when he grows up.

Then on 12th January TV4 shared a video report about 5 times Per Gessle made whole Sweden sing along. With Gyllene Tider, Roxette and as a solo artist. The video is based on footages from some concerts during the past 40 years and earlier reports, as well as some photos from the past and PG walking on Tylösand beach recently and some years ago. Watch it HERE!

Nice to see Mr. G on TV so many times, but the main thing came on Nyhetsmorgon on his birthday. TV4 invited Per for a longer interview in the morning show. Watch it HERE! The interview was recorded some days before. The reporter, Anders Pihlblad and Mr. G talked about Per’s career, aging, success, future and his actual project, Mono Mind.

Anders first asked Per how it feels turning 60. Per said it’s surreal in a way, 60 is very much. At the same time it’s awesome, because he is reminded that thanks to his age he has been through so many things and lived a lot. Anders is curious if Per has ever worried about his age. Per says kind of. He realizes that time goes by and he sees for example that a lot of his friends or relatives have health problems when they are getting older and this is how they are reminded of getting older. Then he thinks that he is not 58 anymore. It was tough for him to lose his mother, brother and sister after one another in a short period of time. But nothing stands still and you have to learn to live with it. It’s hard to understand though, but you have to find your place in life. The Earth is actually still spinning. When people close to you die you feel emptiness and all people are handling it differently. Per says he partially uses his songwriting for that.

Anders and Per talk a bit about the book Att vara Per Gessle in which Per’s mother and his siblings also talked about Mr. G. Anders asks Per how it feels to have all this documented. Per says it’s awesome. He says that he learned it over the years that documenting as many things as possible is important. For example tours, recordings, projects. Nowadays it’s getting easier with mobile phones. They already recorded a lot of backstage videos and album recordings, as well as took photos during the 80’s. The quality of those materials is catastrophic though, but it’s of course much fun to have them anyway.

Anders reads a short part of the book. It’s when Per’s mom tells about Mr. G’s dolls. Per says he had a little Barbie doll collection. He has always been into style and design and it probably comes from his mother, because she was always good at such things. She was kind of a female Ernst, fixing everything. (Ernst Kirchsteiger is a Swedish interior designer, also program leader on TV4. – PP) So Per learned a lot from her and he likes when everything is in order and likes nice things. His mom was always quite modern and supported him even when his conservative father – who died in 1978 when Per was 19 years old – said he should have get a proper job. His mother bought his first guitar for example and encouraged him to play and sing. She thought it was fantastic that Per was creating his own world and wrote songs. So she was Mr. G’s first and biggest fan for sure.

Anders says Per was his first big idol. Per says ”wow!”.  Anders says he brought some stuff from his collection. Per says ”shit!”. Haha. Anders shows the first LP he bought and it was Gyllene Tider’s ”Moderna Tider” that came out in 1981. Per says everyone felt that it was a great record, but they expected to sell like 10000 copies. They sold 140000 in the end. Per says it was awesome and they were so young back then. They were suddenly superstars, but also very uncertain and didn’t know much about anything. They did only 6 shows in public before they became No. 1 with ”Flickorna på TV2”. Per says they learned quite soon that as soon as you become successful it also has it’s backlashes that some wouldn’t want to deal with you anymore because they think you became too commercial. It was the same with Roxette and that also happened to ABBA in the 70’s. One has to be persistent, have the self-confidence and move forward.

Anders shows ”The Look” maxi single. Per looks at the cover and says ”tough guy and girl”. Haha. He says that Roxette had a fantastic journey. Roxette was huge during the first 10 and the last 10 years, but actually it’s still huge. The songs live on.

Anders shows a picture from 1988. Per smiles and says ”shit!” again. He appears in the pic and Anders is there too. He was interviewing Mr. G back then when Roxette had their tour premiere. Per says he looks like he wanted Anders to understand what he was saying, his gestures show that. Anders says then he asked if they would hit other countries too and Per replied they will hit the world. And some months later they became No. 1 in the US. Per says he can’t remember he was that optimistic, but he remembers he printed T-shirts with the text ”Today Sweden – tomorrow the world” and the Roxette logo. So he was determined and focused. He tells that they always wanted to work under their own terms. When they broke through in the US, their American record label wanted them to move there and work from New York or Los Angeles, but they didn’t want to. They wanted to keep their Swedish team and work from Stockholm. This is how they could keep their very own sound.

 

Anders and Per talk about Marie that she had to retire from touring. Per says she lives a quite private life nowadays, but they talk once in a while. It’s very sad what happened, but they had a wonderful journey together with Roxette.

Anders says it feels like Per is still curious and is trying out new things. He asks Per if he is satisfied with his success. Per asks back if one can be satisfied with his own success. He doesn’t know. He likes the creative work and write when he feels like it. The whole creative journey is very attractive for him and of course he wants as many people as possible to listen to his songs and sing along.

Anders wishes Per a fantastic birthday and Per thanks and says it was nice being there.

Then later during the morning show there was another report with Per about Mono Mind. Anders tells a bit about the project, that it has 4 fictive band members and they are releasing an album on Per’s 60th birthday and it’s actually Per Gessle behind this project. Watch it HERE!

There is manager Wicked Pete talking first and Harriet, the dog appears too, as well as Dr. Robot dancing in the crowd. Then Per starts talking and says he felt he wanted to record songs in a different way. He felt his voice limited his possibilities, because as soon as he starts singing everyone knows it’s him. So he tried out different manners, singing in various octaves and wrong keys, changed on computer. This way he found a new voice which is quite technical and maybe not too easy to recognize. It was exciting to record the songs this way and new ideas came up during the recordings. Then there were so many songs that he thought it could become an album.

The guys are talking about the 4 characters and Anders asks Per which one is him. Per says it’s Dr. Robot, the one who sings. He has a very similar personality to Per’s. Mr. G tells in pop history there are a lot of projects with fictional characters. He for example didn’t know David Bowie in 1973. Back then everyone was a figure, a character. Per says the fun thing is that a fictive band like Mono Mind can do anything.

Anders asks about the future, about touring with Gyllene Tider, as Per Gessle or with Mono Mind. Per laughs at the thought of Mono Mind touring. He says MM got 2 nominations on the NRJ Radio Awards in France and they were thinking as a fictive band how they could accept an award if they win. Haha. He also mentions that he would like to see the band members appear in a Family Guy episode. Why not.

 

Mono Mind interview with Per Gessle à la RoxetteBlog

Together with the Mono Mind press release 2 days ago, there was the opportunity to ask 5 questions from Per about his latest project. 5 might be even too many for most journalists, but too few for a fan who already has more than 30 in her mind. Fortunately, some of my relevant questions were answered in an earlier Instagram Q&A and the „Per Gessle presents Mono Mind” videos include quite some details too, so I could reduce the number of questions. But not to 5, no way. Haha. I thought Per knows anyway that I like novels, so I sticked to sending some more questions hoping for at least as many answers. He is fast, the answers are just in! And they are detailed. Enjoy!

Patrícia Peres: – Hi Per! First of all, thank you very much for the opportunity regarding the interview. What a fab birthday gift, a new album under a new project! Pure awesomeness! As far as I know, the songs were recorded years ago. (Not sure if all of them though.) Why did you decide to wait for so long with the release?

Per Gessle: – Hey Pat! Thank you. I started fooling around with this idea in 2014, spent weeks and weeks trying to find out how I could create different sounds with my voice. I did all this work together with Christoffer Lundquist in his fancy studio way down south. Why did you try to change your voice, Per? Well, that’s a very good question, Pat.

PP: – Haha. Thanks for asking in my name. Since the number of questions was limited, I didn’t want to use some which I thought journalists would ask anyway. But of course I’m very much interested in why you wanted to change your voice.

PG: – The thing is that the voice is the main thing you listen to in pop music. I felt a bit tired of my own tool and wanted to dream up something new and fresh. I tried out different manners, singing in various octaves and „wrong” keys to see if something special happened. We tried to out different gadgets in the computer and eventually found a way to stretch/ shorten the words, vowels and consonants and create different styles of melodies. We basically „drew” the melody lines by hand. I didn’t really sing it the way it sounds. Exciting, heh? It took forever, don’t try it at home.
Most of the stuff on the album was finalized 2016 and 2017. „LaLaLove” was recorded 2018. I wanted to start with at least three singles before I put together the first album. The big moment for this project was, of course, the six weeks at the Number One spot on the MediaBase Dance chart in the US with „Save Me A Place” in the late summer of 2017. That’s when I realized I had something special going on.
My ambition with Mono Mind has always been to create a „classic” album, that’s why you have instrumentals like „Away Away Away” and „Lap Dancing” in there to glue things together. Also, I wanted to use the same lyrics in different songs to see what happened and how they worked in various environments. It’s all been a magic carpet ride for me. Every song has created a new urge for another one.
Musically I wanted to create songs à la PG but made in the computer. We certainly used some guitars and keyboards from the outside but I wanted the production to sound electronic. Funny thing is I did most of this stuff while working on the Nashville albums which are TOTALLY DIFFERENT. Two sides of the same coin? The dark side of the moon? Fascinating.
And when I finally found the sound I liked I created the four characters. They were not there from the beginning. If you think about it… the history of pop is filled with „characters” with fake names; The Ramones, David Bowie, Marc Bolan, Alice Cooper. It made sense to me to create my own little circle of friends. Four cool names, looks, voices and opinions. It’s been very exciting to visit the Mono Mind quarters from time to time. And, of course, I had to invent Wicked Pete, their manager who takes all the money. He’s been all over me sometimes.

PP: – Amazing to hear so many details about how it all started and the way to what it has become! What is the main thing that you think differentiates Mono Mind from any other EDM band?

PG: – Mono Mind is not really about EDM. Mono Mind at this point is about combining classic pop music with electronica. That’s what’s been going on on the first album. However, next recordings might be different. It all depends on who I’m working with. I want to stay open to anything. I might lose the robot voice eventually. But right now I’ve been into putting together computerized pop and computerized voices with my style of writing which, as you know, is based on the 60’s and 70’s songwriting tradition. The EDM elements you are referring to must be from some remixes that’s been done. Some of them have been wunderbar, others have been crap. You haven’t heard those. Lucky you.

PP: – Yeah, the remixes might have misled me, but also I’m not a pro when it comes to defining genres. What can you tell us about your laboratory co-workers besides the wonderful trio of Helena Josefsson, Christoffer Lundquist and Clarence Öfwerman?

PG: – They’ve been crucial to the project. Especially in the beginning. Dr Robot’s unique voice wouldn’t have happened without Chris. I also wanted to use a female voice here and there to soften things up a bit and Helena is da shit! She makes a perfect Cooky. Also, I’ve been working with quite a few people from all over Europe and the US. Lots of stuff are not included on the album. Some things didn’t work out.

PP: – From your career so far I think Good Karma is the closest to Mono Mind. What was the difference in the process and cooperations of recording MM songs vs. GK songs? Or the difference to any other earlier project of yours.

PG: – GK was a Roxette album which was pretty complicated to create due to Marie’s illness. For me, Mono Mind is VERY different. And if I’m gonna be frank, the MM album got much better songs.

PP: – Your latest album lengths were quite short. Now with this release you get back to a length that is over 50 minutes. That’s really cool! Why did you decide for a longer album this time?

PG: – I have so many versions of various Mono Mind songs lying around. My first idea of the CD was over an hour long. But I skipped two songs (that I love) and put them on the double vinyl instead. I hate it when CD’s become too long.

PP: – Which was the very first song you wrote especially for Mono Mind?

PG: – „In Control”.

PP: – Now that’s really interesting. This is the song that has become an instant top favourite for me off the album, right after the first listening. Is there any song you wrote for another project of yours, but it has ended up as a Mono Mind song and is now on the album?

PG: – Yes, „Couldn’t Believe My Luck” was written for Roxette but was never recorded. And „Shelter From The Storm” (from the vinyl album) was written in the 80’s. The rest are Mono Mind originals.

PP: – Which song on Mind Control would you suggest a non-electronica fan to listen to for sure that you think it would engage the listener and would start to like EDM music?

PG: – Like I said I don’t consider MM to be an EDM-act. If you listen to „Tell Him I Said Hi!” or „Mile-Melter” or „Couldn’t Believe My Luck” or „In Control” for example, I don’t think the first three letters that pop up in your head will be E and D and M.

PP: – Before I get on your nerves with those 3 letters, I promise I’ll never use them again regarding Mono Mind. On the vinyl there are 2 extra songs. How did you decide which ones not to include on the CD & digital release?

PG: – „Shelter From The Storm” is amazing but very long so I kept it away from the CD. „Have Another Go” felt similar in style to „Love Is Loud” so one had to go.

PP: – Your Mono Mind lyrics also have that PG trademark on them. It’s amazing that no matter in what genre you write songs, it shines through. How can you keep your own basic style in such different projects?

PG: – That’s the whole idea. To mix my style of writing with new ingredients and other collaborators’ visions. It’s not that complicated. You have to have your antennas out, though. You have to like the final result. Sometimes I didn’t and those songs will not be released. Mono Mind will always be, first and foremost, my vision.

PP: – When you turned 50, you turned towards disco and released Party Crasher. Now when you turn 60, you come up with a whole new electro project. What do you think you’ll be dealing with when you’re 70?

PG: – Hahaha. Heavy metal? Haven’t got a clue. As long as I think I create interesting things (for myself, that is….) I will have a go. Ten years is a long time. Maybe we’re all dead and gone by then and will be singing „Love Is All” upside down on a cloud.

PP: – Oj… Don’t even joke with that, Per! I mean not with heavy metal. I would love to hear your growled vocals one day. Haha. I know I had the option for 5 questions only and I’m well over it, but let me ask one more. Is there any chance we will get to hear the demos to the songs with your non-distorted voice one day?

PG: – No, there isn’t any. I didn’t make any demos for this one. There is an acoustic version of „Couldn’t Believe My Luck” (or at least half of it…) but that’s it. The rest was made in the studio. And in bits and pieces on my iPhone.

PP: – No demos? Wow. Now you really surprised me. Good luck with the album release and I wish you a bright future with Mono Mind, as well as a fabulous 60th birthday!

PG: – Thank you. And thanks for your great support. Appreciate that.

 

Fun personal interview with Per Gessle in Schweizer Illustrierte

Sandra Casalini from Schweizer Illustrierte did a fun interview with Per, asking mostly not the usual questions. Here is the English translation to it. Enjoy!

SI: – Per Gessle, was it always clear to you that you would continue solo after the end of Roxette?
PG: – Marie could hardly move during the last Roxette tour, so the only right decision was to “bury” the band. It was her wish that I carry on alone. But I wanted to do something completely different than Roxette.

SI: – What?
PG: – Songs in Swedish. Also because I lost my mother and siblings within a short time, I wanted to do something private for myself. When I travelled to Nashville to record the songs, everything changed: now it’s become an English album.

SI: – What kind of everyday life would you urgently need to change from an environmental perspective?
PG: – Everything! I fly too often, I drive too often – in fact, I’m very careless.

SI: – By what percentage would you have to reduce your workload to be massively happier?
PG: – Zero. Of course, there are days when I don’t find it funny to be asked for a selfie every few steps, which is the case in Sweden. But it’s part of my job. Communication with the fans is important.

SI: – Are you on social media?
PG: – Not privately, but I manage Roxette’s Facebook page and the Twitter account with 1.5 million followers.

SI: – Have you ever had a nickname?
PG: – In my first band I got the nickname “Gellner” missed. Why? One of the first newspaper articles about us said that this was my name – no idea why!

SI: – When you were a child, what did your mother always tell you?
PG: – “Cut your hair!” I always wanted long hair. My uncle was a hairdresser and I cried every time I had to go to him.

SI: – When did you last do something handmade?
PG: – I write notes to my wife every day: “I’m going for a walk.” or “When’s dinner?”

SI: – In other words, have you ever written a song for someone special?
PG: – When writing a song, you always start with something personal, that can also sometimes be a person. But during the process, you keep getting farther off, so in the end it’s often fiction.

SI: – What kind of background image does your mobile phone display have?
PG: – A picture of me and my wife dressed up for a Halloween party. I look scary – and more!

SI: – What music should be played at your funeral?
PG: – “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” by Monty Python.

SI: – Do you have a tattoo?
PG: – No. I always thought I should stay original.

SI: – What act of you do you think people will still talk about long after your death?
PG: – Nothing is forever and that’s good. Of course, when you’re doing music, you hope that some songs will survive for a few years. But new generations come with different musical tastes.

SI: – The best song you have ever written?
PG: – “It Must Have Been Love” – I managed that pretty well.

SI: – Which of your qualities do you want your son to inherit from you?
PG: – I don’t think he should have my qualities. My greatest quality as a father is being open to what he is and what he wants. Gabriel is studying computer science. I am very proud of him.

SI: – The best advice you have ever received?
PG: – To follow my gut feeling. That’s what some people told me at the beginning of my career. You have to have something to rely on. For some it is a religion or a political party. I think trusting yourself is the best.

SI: – Do you remember your first love at school?
PG: – (Thinks for a while.) Ah yes, I remember. I was seven or eight. But I won’t reveal her name.

SI: – Who is your best friend?
PG: – My wife. We’ve been married for 25 years and have been together for 33 years.

SI: – That is long. How do you do that?
PG: – We want it to work. That’s a conscious decision, that we meet again and again for each other.

SI: – What gift have you been happy about for the last time?
PG: – A signed photo of musician Tom Petty who died in 2017. He gave it to a journalist who knew that I was a fan. He wrote, “See you one day.” Unfortunately, I received it only after his death.

 

21 questions to Per Gessle in Aftonbladet Söndag

There is a 2-page Per Gessle article in Aftonbladet Söndag’s 2nd September 2018 issue. Nina Jakobson asked Mr. G 21 interesting questions and he answered them in his entertaining, Gessleish way. Here it is in English.

1. Two albums last year and one this year. How many songs do you actually have in you?
– I’ve had a good flow for many years. As long as it feels important and is fun, I’m rolling on. I’m still very curious musically. That’s enough for quite a long time.

2. Which song are you most proud of?
– In a way I’m proud of all finished songs I have written. Otherwise I wouldn’t have finished writing them. Most end up in the trash bin. The other day a song from En händig man, TomTom popped up. It’s a good one. Min plats from En vacker natt tunred out to be as I had hoped. Tycker om när du tar på mig is nice. What’s she like? from Roxette is special. Hjärta utan hem from Gyllene Tider makes me happy. Gyllene Tider is a fantastic little band.

3. And is there any song you’re a little less satisfied with?
– Some songs have definitely not improved over the years. But when they were written and recorded, they felt like future classics!

4. What is the leitmotif in your music?
– Melodies. Always strong melodies.

5. What is the difference between singing in English and Swedish?
– There are two completely different expressions. English is easier to sing. It sounds better. There is even greater difference in writing in English than in Swedish. In your native language, you can express yourself “heavier” and more precisely.

6. You are the idol of many, but who is yours?
– My wife! I have no real idol anymore. When I was young, I had quite many: John Lennon, Elizabeth Taylor, Ronnie Peterson, the Monty Python gang, Uncle Melker in Saltkråkan.

7. How was singing with Nick Lowe?
– Incredible. He came to Stockholm and I had the honor to spend a few days with him. Besides working in the studio, we played music, drank wine and talked about dirty tour memories.

8. What would you have done if you were not a musician?
– I wanted to be an architect when I was little. But then I heard Get It On from T. Rex.

9. When is it the hardest to be you?
– I’ve been lucky enough to work with what I love, that is, songwriting and music. So it’s not that difficult to be me compared to many others. Possibly, when I put too high demands on myself and my environment. I do it sometimes. It’s tricky to break that pattern.

10. If I were to move in with you, what’s the first thing that would bother me?
– That everything is in order and is very organized. It doesn’t fit everyone. Some get stressed by it.

11. What is your most unknown talent?
– I like cleaning.

12. Who would play the main role in the movie about your life?
– Micke Syd.

13. Who would sing the soundtrack?
– Marie Fredriksson and Helena Josefsson. They are the best I have worked with. I love when girls sing my songs. There is some sort of feminine fragility in many of my songs that comes out so well then.

14. What do you do when you are not making music?
– Watching movies, reading car magazines and thinking.

15. Why do you have so many cars?
– It would have been a shame if they were left unsold.

16. What do you do when nobody sees you?
– I’m always visible. It feels so.

17. Do you get starstruck? When?
– Earlier more than now. When I met David Bowie, I barely dared to speak. But it was in 1983. I have since then noticed that all performers, artists, actors and sportsmen/women I like, strangely enough, are very ordinary people. They work hard and determined and have talent, luck and timing. Most of them are very open and nice.

18. What’s your favorite swearword?
– Fuck.

19. When did you use it last?
– Recently when I realized that the squirrels chewed up our cushions and towels out in the garden. Squirrels are sweet but my Chip and Dale quota has been filled for a long time.

20. What gives you goosebumps?
– Music. Sometimes I can end up in some sort of music coma and bury myself in Leonard Cohen, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell for hours. Goosebumps are lovely.

21. What would you do if you were God for a day?
– Clean up a little.

 

Mono Mind live Q&A on Instagram

Mono Mind decided to do a ”live” Q&A on Instagram and announced it 2 days before the happening. It wasn’t a real instalive thing though, but you could type in your Qs in the Mono Mind instastory and they picked the ones they wanted to answer. In written form. So no live video with MM characters or real life members and distorted or non-distorted voices. It was much fun anyway. Mainly after Mr. G posted THIS pic on Instagram, right at the time the whole thing went ”live” at 19:00 CET. So you could be sure it was Per himself answering the questions. Not that from the style of the answers and the wording you wouldn’t know. 😉 Cool thing!

Here is the complete Q&A:

Q: – Do you plan any live promotion?
A: – YES, that would be lovely, wouldn’t it? Cooky cookin’ on stage and the other lads beefin’ things up!

Q: – When will other band members join Helena in the videos?
A: – Well, it isn’t really Helena in the video, it’s Cooky! They look similar don’t they?

Q: – How did you choose your pseudonyms? What do they mean?
A: – They don’t really mean anything! They are just great names. Don’t you like them?!

Q: – How did it feel that SMAP reached No. 1 on different charts just for the music itself, no one knowing who behind the band are?
A: – Isn’t it lovely that music can have a life on its own? Mono Mind believes that a great song is always gonna stay a great song!

Q: – If Madonna’s 60th b’day is a song, what would it be?
A: – Oh, we love Madonna! We can’t really believe she’s turned 60! A song? We’ll send out LaLaLove any day!

Q: – How important do you think lyrics are in EDM songs?
A: – Our idea is that a good lyrical really makes the song better in any genre. It’s as simple as that!

Q: – Any plans on releasing a full album?
A: – Yes! We have an album in the can. Hopefully, it can be out before we get the chance to change our minds! We do that all the time…

Q: – Do you plan to shoot more videos?
A: – Yes, hopefully we’ll do a videoclip for every single we release. Sometimes we’re gonna use humans, sometimes it’s cartoons. They look lovely, don’t you think!

Q: – How do you look for the DJs who are making your remixes?
A: – Well, we try to use our network and also listen a lot to what’s happening on the remix scene. There is so much talent out there it makes you dizzy!

Q: – Why ”Mono Mind”?
A: – Well, the project started out as ”one man’s vision” but then expanded into something else. But we kept the name!

Q: – Who writes the songs? Dr Robot maybe?
A: – There are quite a few people who have been involved in MM so far. That’s the whole idea. The Doctor is like parmigiano on the pasta!

Q: – I love your group! Will you be touring?
A: – Well, nothing is planned yet but we would love to tour. We think the world needs Mono Mind more than Mono Mind needs the world. Or is it the other way around?! We need to release more songs first, though. But, short answer: Si, Si!

Q: – Any physical releases?
A: – That’s a very good question! We’re talking about it. Mono Mind is definitely a vinyl group. Si si!

Q: – How did this project come to life? Tell us how you decided to start MM, please?
A: – It’s a very looonnngggg story. We will reveal everything in the Mono Mind book 🙂 or in the Mono Mind musical 🙂 or on Netflix 🙂

Q: – ABBA or Roxette?
A: – HAHAHA. Dr. Robot fell to floor and grabbed after his Voulez-vous T-shirt!

Q: – Your laboratory is in Sweden, but you started spreading your music in the US. Why did you start from there?
A: – It’s the land of opportunities, dear you!

Mono Mind finished the Q&A at appr. 20:10 CET with this bye-bye note: ”That’s all folks! Thank you for all your questions! Until next time, loves!”

Follow Mono Mind on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, check their videos on YouTube and most importantly, listen to them on the usual digital platforms (Spotify, Deezer, iTunes, etc.) and sing along. Enjoy!

Exclusive interview with Per Gessle: ”Boogie shoes are allowed!”

We are all very excited about Per’s upcoming tour and also the new album. Both we at RoxBlog and fans are very curious about some details, so we put together a few questions and sent them to Mr. G after the news came out.

RXB: – Hi Per! The question was never IF, but WHEN you would hit the road again. We’ve been wondering if it’s high time for another Gyllene Tider celebration, but you first teased and now suprised us with a European tour called ”Per Gessle’s Roxette”. Would you mind telling us more about how the idea was born?

PG: – Hello! Yes, the idea came up during the rehearsals for the summer tour last year. The band sounded very special and it just occurred to me that it would be interesting to play Roxette songs with these amazing players and their instruments. I suddenly had violin, pedal steel, dobro and several  wonderful voices available. I hope my gut feeling was correct. I’ll know when we get together after the summer.

RXB: – In 2009 you were called ”the man from Roxette” in all materials, now it’s more direct, potentially better marketing-wise ”Per Gessle’s Roxette”. Some fans think it sounds quite controversial, like you would set up your own ”Roxette tribute band”. Have you hesitated choosing that name?

PG: – No, I think it’s a great name since it’s exactly what it is. This is my personal version of Roxette. I play Roxette-songs I’ve written, music that still is such a big slice of my life. In the perfect world Marie would have been by my side to sing and perform  but that won’t happen anymore. I have to live with that. You do too. The options I have are to perform the songs without her or not perform them at all. I chose the obvious one.

RXB: – In the press release it’s mentioned that this tour’s idea was ”blessed” by Marie. Have you been in discussion with her about your plans regarding this tour?

PG: – Of course.

RXB: – It’s no secret 2009 was a success music-wise with fans being positively suprised by the setlist, band and the whole atmosphere, but it was more challenging in financial terms. You even mentioned in one of the interviews that you were forced to finance the tour yourself. Has this experience influenced planning of this tour in any way?

PG: – No, I’m a musician, songwriter and an artist. My mission is to play, write and perform. Sometimes you make records that sell well and get lots of airplay and streams and you make money. Sometimes your music doesn’t work commercially.  Same with tours. You win some, you lose some. That’s the name of the game. That’s how the music biz works.

RXB: – What can a fan expect? Would that be 100% of Roxette (we still hope for your live take on ”Vulnerable” and ”A Thing About You”) or will it be more balanced setlist with songs also from your long English solo career including ”The World According to Gessle”, ”Party Crasher”, ”Son of a Plumber” and ”Small Town Talk”?

PG: – I don’t know at this point but most of the songs will most certainly be Roxette-songs. I’ll probably sneak in a couple from the new solo album as well. Time will tell.

RXB: – How would the concerts in 2018 differ from the tour in 2009 – except of you being 25-year-old this time (18 back then)?

PG: – Hahaha, I don’t know yet. Different players, different point of views.

RXB: – How final is the current tour plan? Are there any further dates in additional countries in the can?

PG: – Could be more gigs poppin’ up.

RXB: – Do you consider taking this tour outside Europe – to South America or Australia maybe?

PG: – Maybe. I’d love to play South America, Asia, Oz, South Africa, New Z, Canada and the US as well. Time will tell.

RXB: – What was your role in deciding where to play or was it all in the hands of touring agencies?

PG: – The tour is put together by Live Nation. They’re doing a great job. We all strive for the same thing; to play where it’s possible.

RXB: – Many concerts are seated. Was that your clear intention with this tour? Does it mean we get more ballads this time?

PG: – No, it’s because my audience is getting older and many of them prefer seats. If you want I’m sure you can stand up. Boogie shoes are allowed!

RXB: – In 2009 you said the ”Party Crasher Tour” was the best gift for yourself on your 50th birthday. Is the 2018 tour another self-made present for your next birthday?

PG: – No, I don’t think in those terms. Quotes like that just pop out of my mouth when I talk to the media.

RXB: – Do you consider ”Per Gessle’s Roxette” being a one-off project or something you could do in the coming years more often?

PG: – I will continue to play my Roxette-songs as long as  I can. It’s who I am and where I want to be.

RXB: – In autumn you are not only touring Europe, you also release your first English solo album in 10 years called ”Small Town Talk”. First you planned to have an English song on each of the 2 ”En vacker…” albums. Was it during the recordings when it came to your mind to rather release a ”complete” English version some time later?

PG: – I got really positive reactions from BMG Europe re the Swedish albums so I decided to go for an English version as well. The hardest part was to translate the lyrics since they’re quite personal and almost impossible for me to re-write. I got help from Sharon Vaughn out of Nashville to make new interpretations on a few of the tracks. She’s amazing and has been a big help.

RXB: – The first thing we realized when the tracklist for ”En vacker dag” was available was that the English duet was missing. Will that missing song with Jessica Sweetman see the light of day on ”Small Town Talk”?

PG: – Time will tell.

RXB: – We know already that you do a duet with Nick Lowe on the forthcoming album. Helena Josefsson is of course in the picture as well. You posted a selfie with Linnea Henriksson the other day. Does it mean there will be an English version of ”Känns som första gången”?

PG: – Time will tell.

RXB: – Which songs from the 2 Swedish albums will land on the English one?

PG: – Time will tell.

RXB: – It’s your sister on the cover of ”En vacker natt” and your mother on the sleeve of ”En vacker dag”. Will you have the same family vibe for ”Small Town Talk”?

PG: – No. STT will have little old me on the cover.

RXB: – Oh, and before we forget – any plans to release the 2017 ”En vacker kväll” tour on DVD / Blu-ray in the nearest future?

PG: – Yep, there will be an amazing DVD from the Halmstad-gig very soon. It looks and sounds great.

RXB: – And what about releasing past Roxette gigs we mentioned here several times?

PG: – Yes, there will be old Rox live shows out this year as well. No rest for the wicked.

RXB: – Thank you very much for your time and see you on tour!

PG: – Cheers.

Per Gessle interview in Scandinavian Traveler magazine

There is a short interview with Per Gessle in the March 2018 issue of SAS Scandinavian Traveler inflight magazine. The interview was done before the Melodi Grand Prix (Norway’s entrant for the Eurovision Song Contest) appearance of Charla K with ”Stop The Music” and it still states that Per would release his new English album this spring, which we already know will happen in autumn.

Love how the intro is written by Anders Dahlbom:

”An obsession. That’s how Per Gessle describes his relationship to music. An unadulterated passion for pop music that has colored almost the entire life of this simple guy from Halmstad.”

Anders and Per talk about Mr. G’s childhood, how it all started and the funny thing is, here it’s stated it all began with the hair. When Per as a 6-year-old went to have his hair cut. The barber was a relative, Artur and he promised not to clip Mr. G’s hair that fell down over Per’s ears, but in the end, he cut the hair off. Per cried for weeks as his Beatles haircut was gone.

It wasn’t really about the hair, rather the loss of a way of identifying with the pop world. The haircut had become such an iconic symbol. I wanted to get into the pop bubble.

During his teenage years, Per tried to find his way to express himself. He tried to learn to paint, shot movies with friends and worked in a theater. At high school he made friends with another student, Peter who was a bass player in a band, Audiovisuellt Angrepp. Mr. G went to see them practice in March 1977 and he tells Scandinavian Traveler that it changed his life.

Seeing how they created music together completely changed my life. The sheer power of expression, volume and creativity. From that moment, I just wanted to play in a pop band – nothing else would do.

Mats MP Persson was the drummer in Audiovisuellt Angrepp and they quickly became good friends. They started making music together and the rest is history.

Scandinavian Traveler writes that ”the joy of playing with others has been an everpresent feature in Gessle’s music over the years, regardless of whether he is playing with old friends in Gyllene Tider, on a huge world tour with Roxette, or with a country music band as he did during last year’s solo tour. But away from this, for songwriter Gessle, music has been mostly a job for a lone wolf.”

I’m quite comfortable working alone, even if the process has become a little more different at this stage in my life. I work more with others today than before.

Anders Dahlbom and Per talk about ”Stop The Music”, the Melodi Grand Prix contestant song penned by Gessle, Alex Shield and Charla K.

I actually don’t know who submitted the song. It’s one of many songs we’d written together sending files back and forth. I really come from another, older pop school, but it’s fun, mostly because it’s possible to write in this way.

About the upcoming album Per tells Scandinavian Traveler that he has employed a similar team approach to song composing. Many of his Swedish lyrics from En vacker natt and En vacker dag have been translated by American songwriter Sharon Vaughn.

Talking about the European tour in autumn, performing songs both old and new – the joy of playing with others remains as strong today as it was back in 1977.

Many of the songs I wrote as a young man I couldn’t write today. But it’s awesome to be able to interpret them now with a new group of musicians. A pop song is never finished; it just stops at different stages.

 

Thanx a lot for keeping your eyes open and sharing your pictures of the magazine with us, Erina Kuznitsyna!