Busy April 12th for Roxette and Per Gessle fans

12th April brings for us fans one surprise after another. First it was announced that Roxette’s 6th studio album, Have a Nice Day will be released as a limited edition 180g yellow double LP gatefold sleeve. It was released only on cassette and CD in 1999, but never on vinyl. Nice way to celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary, isn’t it?

Per Gessle looks back at the record as a definite highlight in the band’s career:

Song-wise I think ”Have A Nice Day” could be our best album ever, maybe the only one that turned out like I hoped it would. That’s probably because the five-year break allowed enough time for lots of songs to grow — I wrote some of my strongest stuff and Marie’s ”Waiting For The Rain” and ”Beautiful Things” are among the best things she ever made for Roxette. And then we also added some crucial new members to our core team.

We were testing a lot of different things on ”Have A Nice Day”, mixing guitar pop ditties with drum machine driven dance beats, also adding more strings than on any previous album. And we’re talking real string sections here. You can tell that it’s recorded by a band with a big budget — maybe too big.

It has many songs and quite a long running time, a fact which in hindsight might have hurt it a bit — the “too much of a good thing” syndrome. Maybe ”Have A Nice Day” always was a double album that somewhat reluctantly was squeezed into a single CD. That’s why I love the double vinyl album format in this re-release. “Have A Nice Day” has come home again.

Tracklisting:

Side A

  1. Crush On You
  2. Wish I Could Fly
  3. You Can´t Put Your Arms Around What´s Already Gone

Side B

  1. Waiting For The Rain
  2. Anyone
  3. It Will Take A Long Long Time
  4. 7 Twenty 7

Side C

  1. I Was So Lucky
  2. Stars
  3. Salvation

Side D

  1. Pay The Price
  2. Cooper
  3. Staring At The Ground
  4. Beautiful Things

PRE-ORDER the album HERE!

 

Then there is another limited release by Per Gessle, tribute to The Ramones, I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend on 12″ vinyl in 2 colours. Clear red limited edition (500 copies) and clear limited edition (500 copies). It will also be available as a bundle with both colours.

Per about the release:

Ramones was a huge inspiration when we started our first band “Grape Rock” in 1977. The unbelievable energy, the amazing guitar sound, the cool lyrics and the added touch of surf music floored us totally. Impossible not to fall in love with.

In 2002 White Jazz Records was about to make a Ramones tribute album and I was invited to participate. My choice of song was the brilliant “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”. I couldn’t stop there so I decided to do two more killer tracks outside the album at the same time. Just for fun. Hey Ho!

Tracklisting:

Side A

  1. I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
  2. Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment
  3. Sheena Is A Punk Rocker

Side B

B side is with engraving “Per Gessle” sign.

PRE-ORDER the album HERE!

 

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.

 

Lyrics for all the French LaLaLovers

Dr. Robot was kind enough to share the lyrics to LaLaLove’s French version, LaLaLove (LaLaL’amour). Merci beaucoup! Listen to the song HERE on the LaLaLove – The Remixes EP and sing along! Cooky Carter does make French sound cool, doesn’t she?

LaLaLove (LaLaL’amour)

We loved to drive a million miles
A fastback car and you and I
You craved the speed, I don’t know why
Some simple need to feel alive

Every heart is a weaver
Of dreams of la la la la love and devotion
When the two of us are put into motion

We run on la la la la love and devotion
I really loved ya
Ooh how I loved ya

Je m’souviens de toi, tellement bruyant
Un t-shirt gothique dans la foule
Tu n’étais jamais satisfait
Ce DJ nous a fait tomber amoureux

Every heart is a weaver
Quand nous deux sommes mis en mouvement

On marche à la la la l’amour et à la dévotion
C’est vrai, je t’aime
Oh comme je t’aimais

Chaque cœur est un tisserand
à la l’amour et à la dévotion
Quand nous deux sommes mis en mouvement
à la l’amour et à la dévotion

We run on la la la la love and devotion
C’est vrai, je t’aime
Oh comme je t’aimais

On marche à la la la l’amour et à la dévotion
C’est vrai, je t’aime
Oh comme je t’aimais

 

Words: Per Gessle + Martin Josefsson
Music: Per Gessle + Alex Shield
© Jimmy Fun Music 2018

 

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.

 

Per Gessle’s 60th birthday present for himself and the fans

Per Gessle turns 60 this Saturday and wanted to celebrate in style. He releases a new album on 12th January! We have already written about Mono Mind before, but so far it was a secret project. Now it’s no secret anymore!

Mono Mind, consisting of the fictional members Dr Robot, Cooky Carter, Bright Jones and Rain Davies, has released three singles overseas during the past year, high on club and radio charts in the US and France. In the United States, the success includes a prestigious six-week first place on the dance charts in radio industry magazine AllAccess and No. 1 on both iTunes Electronica and Amazon Electronica. In France, Mono Mind was nominated in 2 categories in the NRJ DJ Awards 2018, as “Group of the Year” and for “Club Hit of the Year”.

Now Mono Mind’s album will be released all over the world and finally it can be revealed that it’s none other than Per Gessle who is behind this entire secret project!

Here is what the popmaster says:

After basically living in a recording studio for almost forty years I tried to find new ways of creating pop music. I wanted to do something I’d never done before. A new challenge. Still pop, of course (that’s in my DNA!) but created and presented in a new manner.

I started fooling around with different gadgets working with my own voice, recording in different octaves and different keys just to see what might pop up. In the end of the day it’s all about the voices. We all focus on the voices when we listen to pop music.

We didn’t use vocoders or anything like that. Instead we found ourselves spending days, even weeks “hand-painting” and “drawing” my melodylines in the computer. For some songs we created my voice in a r’n’b-fashion, others got a touch of Nine Inch Nails-desperation.

In the end you couldn’t really hear it was me singing which was a blast and felt really refreshing. So off I went creating a new little colourful band, four characters with different personalities and different kind of temper, humour and looks to represent MONO MIND. How gorgeous! I had so much fun. Still do.

CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO TO FIND OUT WHAT PER SAYS ABOUT THE PROJECT!

 

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.

Per Gessle’s Roxette – PLECtionary update

Another year, another tour, another set of guitar picks. When it was announced that Per would go on a solo tour in 2018, one could be 100% sure there would be some new plectrums involved as well. Mr. G shared how the new set would look in August. The tour started on 7th October in Prague and ended on 16th November in Gothenburg. Many fans posted pictures of how lucky they were, catching picks at the shows. It was new that this year some could get hold of plecs covered by PG’s blood, since his power chord finger got hurt badly at 2 gigs (Linköping and Gothenburg). Don’t ever clean them, guys & girls! Haha.

You will find the 7 new picks added to the PER GESSLE’S GUITAR PICKS – PER GESSLE SOLO section and 1 pick has been added to the MIKAEL NOGUEIRA SVENSSON’S GUITAR PICKS section as well. Check out the PLECtionary HERE!

Pic from Roxette’s Facebook page

Huge thanks again for the updates, Sandra!

Per Gessle’s Roxette – Göteborg, Sweden – 16th November 2018 – #20

It’s over when it’s over. What can I do about it? Cherish this past tour forever. Unbelievable, but another tour has come to an end. Last night Per and his wonderful band performed in Gothenburg. The concert was held in Scandinavium, a big arena. This show had the most people in the audience during the tour. When I last time talked to BoJo some days ago he said they sold appr. 5000 tickets, but the number could be higher by the time we reached the date.

Inside the venue we could hear Roxette songs at the food & drinks area, then entering the arena we could see screens on both sides and of course, cameras as well. They were installed for the screens only, but who knows if the recording (if it was recorded) can be used for any possible future release. What surely will be used is the photos taken by Anders Roos who installed tons of cameras all around the stage again.

Nano started at 19:30 and thanked for the gigs where he could be the support act. He also thanked the job of the crew. The crew then was setting up for Per Gessle. One could see the technicians enjoyed preparing for the last gig, to make sure there is a perfect ending of the tour. They are the best!

Per & Co. entered the stage at 20:30 and rocked big time with the opener The Look. After TL, Per told the crowd it’s always, always fun to be in Göteborg. I have to agree with him. I only remember fab shows in this city. PG said it wasn’t so long ago when he played in Gothenburg. It was last year. He asked if we were there. He got a loud yes as a reply from the audience. Christoffer and Magnus also said into the mic they were there. Haha. Then Mr. G said it’s bizarre that he has been writing songs for more than 40 years. The most songs he wrote for Roxette, so he thought to dive deep into that catalogue and play a few favourites, but he also sneaked in some of his solo songs to be on the safe side. The crowd was cheering for him and he asked them to sing along.

MATAH sounded amazing in the arena and as I could get used to it during the tour, I heard the audience’s loud cheering for Helena. Well-deserved! Then Per talked about Capri 1993, that Roxette went there to record for 6 weeks. They had their families and friends there, as well as tons of journalists. They ate the world’s most expensive pizzas there and drank a lot of wine, but in the end it became a quite OK album. Per said he thought they would play one of the songs off that album and they performed CBB. After finishing the song, Helena and Per hifived each other, just like in Oslo the night before. The crowd was cheering for them. Per said, the title came from Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock. He said ”you didn’t know it, huh?”. He got a mix of ”no” and ”yes” from the audience, but the ”yes”-es sounded louder, so he said ”oh yes, you knew it”. Haha.

The photographers could stay in the pit for the first 3 songs, as usual. So by the time PG & Co speeded the tempo up again, they had to go. DFS kicked ass and then SGNO too. As much as I like the ballads on this tour, I just can’t get enough of the uptempo songs. The intro to SGNO was Ljudet av ett annat hjärta a la Chris. The audience was awesome at clapping along. This time when Christoffer’s hat fell off his head, Per picked it up and put it back on Christoffer’s head. It stayed on his head only until he jumped down from the little podium on which Andreas crashes his drum. The ending of the song was as amazing as always, with Chris and Andreas going wild. Per praised Andreas’s drumming after SGNO.

Mr. G said what a fantastic evening it is. The last time he had a fantastic evening, or better said a good day was in 1990. He said he woke up and found a note on his piano saying ”Hej, din tok, jag älskar dig” (Hello, you fool, I love you). It was left there by his then girlfriend, now wife, since he had to marry Åsa after such a cute note. After writing Joyride in the morning, it was still only 11 am, so PG had a little break and after lunch he wrote another song, SMT. Per was talking so much about Joyride that he even picked a white medium plectrum off his mic stand. The thing is that he plays the acoustic guitar (for SMT) with a thin red pick. We were wondering when he would change it. He was probably also distracted a bit by the fact that his power chord finger started bleeding again. Not as much as in Linköping, but it was visible. So one could get hold of some bloody picks this time again. 😉 While Chris and Malin-My were playing the intro in the front and Per was standing in the back, he might have realized he had the wrong pick in hand, but still hadn’t changed it. He was looking at his finger rather. Then Helena started singing and when Per came to the front, he was playing the guitar with the medium pick, then when he went towards the back of the stage, he threw the white medium pick away, towards his ginger tea-holding trolley and picked a thin red plectrum off his guitar, licked it to have it stuck to the finger (however, the blood would have done it, haha) and played on. Helena was singing beautifully, for which she got a huge applause from the audience again.

IGYC, the duet of Per and Helena was wonderful with Chris, Malin-My and Ola playing in the background. Per talked about his Nashville adventures and that they would play a song in English that the crowd surely knows in Swedish already. STT was beautiful and here and now I say it again that it MUST BE RELEASED on a live album!

With Swedish hillbilly IHAPIMH I went live on our Facebook page. PG said it’s the only song he wrote for flutes, so that’s why there are 2 flute girls on stage. He said they are outstanding. And he is so right!

Then came the intro talk to IMHBL. Per said he sent the band 96(!) songs to rehearse for the tour. Magnus said they learned to play 102! They overdelivered. Haha. Per said it’s fake info. He said he was thinking about skipping one song, because there are so many others, but then came Magnus and actually, he has only 3 favourite songs. One of them is ”Livet är en fest” from Nationalteatern, the other is ”Happy Nation” from Ace of Base and the third one is what they are going to play right now. Magnus said to the crowd ”thank me later!” Haha. The crowd loved IMHBL. It would have been a big mistake not to include it in the setlist.

OppNox and TBL, the always ass-kicking section in the set! It was a blast last night too! The crowd was clapping along loud and they were shouting too. Then Per asked the audience if they remember the ’90s. He got a loud yes as a reply. He also asked Magnus. Magnus said he was born in 1991, so he rather remembers 1997, 1998 and 1999, then the ’90s was over, so he can’t remember more. Haha. They then played FLAF from the Joyride album. It’s fantastic how much this song has changed in Helena’s performance since the very first show of the tour. She’s such a talented artist and singer! To make any song her own. Hats off!

DMS is always a highlight at each show. What Christoffer is doing during this song is amazing. Every time! He is second to none! This is usually one of the songs when a possible DVD comes to my mind. MUST BE RELEASED! 😉

Per started the band presentation with saying he has a wonderful band with him and it’s now their second tour together. The crowd gave each band member a huge applause. After PG finished his part, Magnus and Chris said into the mic, but who is that in the middle who is always introducing only 7 people out of 8 on stage. Chris said: ”Song, guitar, … technical features … and especially many many very very good songs, Per Håkan Gessle!” At the technical features part Per was showing with his hands ”so-so” and the crowd was laughing. Haha.

Then Mr. G said ”let’s see if you recognize this one!” and he started the teaser to HDYD. How I love this! The crowd was not too loud in singing along, but most of us in the front were singing quite loud, so Per let us sing for quite long on the last gig. He was satisfied, we were satisfied. And then we could party to his version. Haha. The party went on during Dangerous. And oh no, is it really coming to an end? Now only the 2 encores left. Impossible how fast time flies!

The crowd was loud, clapping and shouting, so Per and the band came back on stage, PG thanked the crowd and said what a fantastic evening it is. They performed QOR, one of Per’s favourite Roxette songs and of course Helena was cheered after the song. Then it was time for a little Joyride. How Chris and Per were teasing each other in the intro part was again much fun! During the song both Chris and Ola got on their knees and were playing their guitars like that. It was so cool! Helena sat on the edge of the stage in front of us and animated the crowd from there. She’s so good at that (too)! She had a tambourine in her hands and rocked using it. At the end of the song she put it on her head, like a crown. Looked so great! Haha. Then off they went.

PG & THE Band came back for the 2nd encore. Per thanked once again and he put his hand on his heart to emphasize how he wanted to absorb all the love they got from the crowd. Then he said: ”A Friday night in Göteborg! That would be a good song title actually.” Haha. They played LTYH after this and it sounded wonderful. The crowd’s sing-along was the loudest at this song. Great! Before they played the very last song, Per said it’s a special night, because this is the last concert on the European tour. He thanked the band and also the crew for their fantastic job, he thanked Live Nation that made the tour possible and also thanked the people that came to the shows and he mentioned those separately who came to several shows. Then he switched to English and said: ”Thank you very much, you know who you are! Thank you!” And he showed thumbs up and looked at those fans in the front row. He is so amazing! Ojojoj! The bittersweet goodbye was getting closer. TSHTSG, the closing song that probably became everyone’s favourite earworm during the tour in this new arrangement. Another MUST BE RELEASED (on CD and DVD) song! Just saying! 😉 Since I somehow wanted to thank Per and the band for the whole tour right there at the last concert, being fortunate enough to have seen 15 shows out of 20, I prepared signs in English and in Swedish saying: ”Thanx for a wonderful tour!” & ”Tack för en underbar turné!”, both having 2 red hearts added in the bottom. I was there at the gig with 2 of my friends (Sandra, who saw 16 shows on this tour and Tomasz, also from RoxBlog) and we decided to hold up these signs when the greatest earworm part starts in TSHTSG, namely the ”tütütütürütü” part, sung by Helena and Malin-My. So we held up the signs then and kept them up in the air until the end of the song. I loved seeing the smiles on their faces. They showed thumbs up and thanked, even Per thanked. Before the bows, Jakob (Christoffer’s technician) came up on stage and brought a big bunch of red roses and gave it to Per. Per thanked it and put it on the stage while they were taking the bows. Jakob stayed there with the gang and he also took a bow. Happy band, happy crowd, perfect night! The band was waving to the crowd and went off stage, Per threw some more plecs from his mic stand and then picked up the flowers and waved goobye. Off he went. The crew was fast dismantling the stage. While they were doing their job, we held up our thank you signs for them too. They laughed.

After the concert we were lucky to meet the band and Per and BoJo, so we could thank them for the tour in person too. They also loved the whole journey. When I told Per how I loved the whole thing, he said ”Yeah, it was good!” I said ”Good? It was perfect!” Haha. I love how after more than 40 years of successful songwriting and performing he still can’t really handle compliments. That humble smile on his face was a PERfect ending for me of this tour. THANK YOU ALL!

Now fingers crossed for a fat tour photo book full of beautiful pictures, a live CD and a DVD! AND an announcment of any PG-related tour in the not too far future! GT40, anyone? 😉

Setlist:

1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

Per after the show:

EUROPE BYE BYE. Yep, this tour ended tonight in style with a most magnificent concert at Scandinavium in Gothenburg. If you were there I’m pretty certain you had a good time. We certainly did!!!!

I have to pinch my arm all the time convincing myself this awesome band actually is playing my songs. My Gosh, they’re so good, I’m not worthy! I’ll cherish this tour forever!!

Thanx also to the adorable crew who’ve been with me working on so many different projects over the years. You’re the best! Couldn’t have made it without you!

And…last but not least… thanks to all of you who supported PER GESSLE’S ROXETTE + this tour from Day One + came onboard to give your love + support (+ voices) to make it happen. Big bold promise: new adventures ahead!!!! No rest for the wicked! Keep it up! Lots of love from P.

All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

 

Per Gessle’s Roxette – Oslo, Norway – 15th November 2018 – #19

We reached the second to last show on this tour so fast. Unbelievable! In Oslo we found the longest queue waiting for the doors to be opened at the venue. One line was waiting for the balcony seats, another line for the standing area. Both lines were really long. The doors opened a bit after 7 pm and you could see most people were heading either to the balcony or to the bars, so we could easily reach the front row downstairs, in front of the stage.

Sentrum Scene is a cosy venue. It was full already at 8 pm, even if the concert started only at 8.30 pm, without a support act. And what a concert it was! Who would have thought that this would be the gig that beats all the shows before?! Norway! You showed how to do it! Awesome sing-along crowd and a most fabulous band headed by PG in toptoptop shape!

The Look was a blast already! Not only Per and the band were rocking on stage, but the audience also rocked big time. Loud sing-along, clapping, shouting. One could feel it would be an awesome show. After TL, Per told the crowd it’s so nice to see so many people and that it was quite long ago, the last time he played in Oslo, he can’t even remember. He asked if anyone remembers and someone shouted 1995. Could be. During his talking, the crowd was cheering him all the time. Amazing!

MATAH was beautiful and the audience was not afraid to cheer Helena and applaud her. Then Per started talking about Capri 1993, but while he was doing that, he started fighting with the plaster on his power chord finger. It looked quite healed, but certainly, the plaster must have been irritating, so it had to go. After he could get it off, he threw it towards Magnus, who picked it up from the stage, walked to Per and threw it on him. It was much fun! Then Mr. G mentioned the 6-week-long recording in Capri and they performed CBB. One must love it when the whole crowd sings along. And so loud! When they finished the song, Helena and Per hifived each other and people in the crowd were clapping and shouting. Per said, if anyone wonders, the title came from Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock.

After the photographers left the pit, Åsa came and she was filming a lot from the pit, from the sides of the stage, she filmed both what was happening on stage and also the crowd a lot. Then it was time to party, which with this crowd was even better. DFS was the next song and then came SGNO. The whole audience was clapping loud and Chris played In The Hall Of The Mountain King as the intro to the song. The ladies and gents did an ass-kicking performance and the audience was very much a part of it. This is the song where most of the times something extra happens during the gig. This time the supercool extra was that Christoffer’s hat fell off stage towards the end of the song, but Åsa caught it and gave it to Per. Per put it back on Christoffer’s head, but when Chris went to the back, to Andreas, he put it on Per’s head. Haha. Mr. G kept the hat on his head until Chris and Andreas finished the song in their most rocking style. Then Per put the hat on Christoffer’s head while he was still on his knees. Then Per ”styled” his own hairdo a bit with a huge smile on his face. That smile was actually there during whole night.

              

PG then talked about his good day in 1990. Åsa was there sitting in front of him, filming it. He said he woke up one day and found a cute note on his piano saying ”Hej, din tok, jag älskar dig” (Hello, you fool, I love you). He had to marry his girlfriend after seeing this note. It was lovely to see Mrs. Gessle’s reactions, how she was smiling when Per talked about her. After writing Joyride in the morning, PG had a lunch break, ate Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes and then he wrote another song, SMT. It was also wonderful and Helena got a huge applause from the audience.

IGYC sounded beautiful, just like STT. Before the latter one Per talked about Nashville. The crowd enjoyed both songs so much, they clapped loud and cheered the musicians up on stage. Per showed thumbs up to them after STT.

Swedish hillbilly IHAPIMH was much fun to hear again. Then Per said he suggested  84 songs to the band to rehearse. Magnus said it was 92. Per said Magnus has 3 favourite songs, I think he mentioned 2 from Norwegian artists/bands and then IMHBL, which he didn’t want to play on tour. The crowd was singing along during the whole song and they were very loud.

OppNox and TBL kicked ass! Then Mr. G asked Magnus about the ’90s. Magnus said it’s hard to remember the first half of the ’90s, because he was born in 1991, but he remembers the second half. He remembers something regarding Per and him and Paul Waktaar and Magne Furuholmen from 1998. Per couldn’t remember anything. And they went on with FLAF, which also became a loud sing-along session.

Then it was DMS’s turn. Fabulousness again! And you could see Christoffer’s shirt might not survive the last gig of the tour, since it’s more and more torn.

The band presentation let the crowd cheer and applaud every band member. Per said they are wonderful people, almost all of them. Haha. After Mr. G finished the introduction, Chris said they are 8 on the stage, but Per introduced only 7 of them, so he went on: ”Song, guitar and especially many many very good songs, Per Gessle!” Then came the teaser to HDYD. We were singing, but Per took over quite early. Anyways, both HDYD and Dangerous were ass-kicking too. It was hard to see the whole gang leaving the stage after that.

The crowd was so loud stomping, shouting, clapping that PG & Co didn’t have any other choice than to come back on stage a few minutes later. Helena was singing QOR perfectly and Joyride was much fun not only to sing-along, but also to see what’s going on on stage. Duracell bunnies all around! Helena sat on the edge of the stage in front of us and was animating the crowd all the time.

The gang came back for a 2nd encore after a very short break. Micke N-S brought Per his guitar and Mr. G was teasing him with getting further and further to the other side of the stage to make MNS walk more before he took the guitar from him. Haha. Per thanked the crowd for the fantastic evening. Then it was LTYH and TSHTSG. Magnus was swinging a lot during these songs, but also the whole band seemed to enjoy themselves very much.

If I have to mention one thing I didn’t like, I say the lights. The spotlight was many times on someone else vs. the one who was singing. Otherwise the whole gig was TOP! I was thinking hard about my priority list regarding the concerts I saw on this tour. I had Hamburg on top of my list so far, but last night it changed. Oslo is the winner! Let’s see what happens in Göteborg!

Setlist:

1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

Per after the gig:

OSLO ALRITE! Yea, amazing gig tonight. Thanx a million to all you wonderful people in the audience. So loud, so proud!! Really beautiful! Could be the best gig so far on this European Tour??? Maybe? Crazy tight band, very relaxed and yet really really powerful. Have to love this! Norway, a treat to be here! See y’all next time. Love from P&Co.

All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

 

Finnair campaigns with Per Gessle

Finnair announced their new campaign with Per Gessle. The largest airline of Finland will continue their award-winning “Hear the Taste” campaign and they are launching it for their long-haul flights in Sweden. “Hear the Taste” concept aims to improve the taste of food served on flights through soundscapes. It’s a scientific fact that sound affects how food tastes.

Tommy Myllymäki, Finnair’s signature chef (38; Cook of the Year 2007) created a 3-course menu for business class and each course will have its own soundscape. Finnair relies on Swedish expertise regarding music, that’s why Per Gessle is also involved. Snippets from “The Look” will be used in the campaign.

Check out THIS video with Per and Tommy in the studio and check out THIS video to see how it all worked in Finnair’s previous campaign.

If you fly Finnair and have the opportunity to hear the taste, let us know how it is. 😉

UPDATE on 18th November 2018: Finnair made all 3 soundscapes available.

The menu:

Update on 11th March 2019: Finnair wanted to offer Hear the Taste experience also on the ground. So, there is a Roxette soundscape made to enhance the flavours of chocolate.

Use headphones for an optimal experience!

 

Per Gessle’s Roxette – Helsinki, Finland – 12th November 2018 – #18

The Helsinki gig last night was actually a delayed concert. The Per Gessle’s Roxette tour would have reached Finland already on the 3rd November, in Espoo, but the date had been rescheduled 2 months before, end of August and the venue had also changed to the culture house in Helsinki. You could exchange your tickets for the rescheduled date. I remember I was very disappointed, because I had already booked everything (flights, accommodation /non-refundable, why not… 2 month before the date nothing can go wrong…/) just 2 or 3 days before the announcement was published. It was my decision to book everything the way I did, so no one to blame for it. Then I thought, oh whatever, I could still add the new date (12th November, Helsinki) to the list of shows I could attend, a bit more losing on other flights I had also already booked for the Swedish shows after the original Finland date and the Oslo-Göteborg leg of the tour, it would still be worth booking. Then a long long long long long ”discussion” with Ticketmaster started regarding exchanging the tickets. First of all, when you don’t live in Finland, it’s very difficult to reach them. No direct phone number, no direct e-mail address. So you turn to social media, send them a message on Facebook and get an automatic reply including a phone number. Winning! Then you call them, but the number doesn’t work. You try to contact them on social media again, but all the time you just get the automatic message with the same content. Then for the xth time when you write, they get back to you and ask ”How did you hear about this? Did you receive a message of the reschedule? Did you have any instructions? There is no information in the event info.” Facepalm. THEY sent out the e-mail about the change with almost no information on how to exchange the tickets and they don’t know anything about it. Awesome. Some more messages exchanged and we finally get to the point. They realize that the date had indeed been rescheduled so they suggest me to reach the nearest outlet. Hello! I live in Hungary, bought my ticket online, the nearest outlet is hundreds of kilometers away from me. Any other suggestion in the 21st century? Oh yes, you finally get an e-mail address to which you have to send your order number and they exchange the ticket. Great! All discussed regarding the seat I had for Metro Arena in Espoo. That was the very first ticket I managed to buy right at the very first minute the ticket sales started. Front row middle. They assure that I can get the same seat in the new venue. Fab! Then I send the e-mail with my order number. Days pass, no reply… I get back to them on Facebook. Any news? Yes, I should receive my new ticket shortly. Great. I get an e-mail one day later with the new ticket. In the 4th row. Aha. Back to them on Facebook telling them there might be a misunderstanding, they promised to exchange the ticket for the same front row middle seat as I had for the original venue. And that shouldn’t be a problem, given the new venue is even wider than the originally planned arena. Sorry for the inconvenience they say and send new ticket 1 more day later. To the very side of the front row. I know, I know… First world problems, but once you agree on something I hate it when they don’t keep their word and think you’re stupid or something. I tell them it’s still not the same ticket. They say that’s the best they can offer. I then realize Helsinki doesn’t want to cooperate with me and tell them I would rather ask for a refund then. I thought then they might change the ticket to the one we agreed on, but no, they said OK, they send my money back. Oh cool. See the best lesson on how to lose a customer. You would think it happened only to me, but no. Once the event was rescheduled, they didn’t show the seatmap on the website, you could only see the ”best available ticket” option which was 3rd row. Those who live in Finland and went to an outlet to exchange their tickets they said that the first 2 rows in the middle were greyed out. So Ticketmaster simply kept those tickets reserved for who knows whatever reason. Similar issue we had in Stockholm regarding the seatmap. No seatmap available, only best available ticket option and since the very first minute the tickets went on sale in March many fans were checking the website daily, even several times daily to see when they would release the front row tickets in the middle section. It happened only a few days before the concert. Who understands that? Anyways, I’m just a marketeer, not a sales person, but I would certainly change the customer care system and some other things in the business model at Ticketmaster.

Sorry for the long intro. Longer than what I’ll be able to write about the show itself. 😉 The doors opened for the concert in Helsinki at 7 pm and the gig started at 8 pm. There was no change in the setlist, so the gang entered the stage and started to play The Look. The crowd left their boogie shoes at home, they all remained seated. Actually, 2 girls stood up, but the security team then asked them to sit down. Still, one could feel the audience had much fun listening to Roxette’s evergreens and Per’s solo gems. They were clapping very loud and singing along too. You could clearly hear them doing so during IMHBL. This is also a way one can enjoy a gig and still show a high level of enthusiasm. It was only during Joyride when slowly but surely everyone stood up and from then on they didn’t sit back and waited for PG & Co to get back on stage for the 2nd encore. Yaaay!

The stage was very low and it was also very close to the front row, you could reach the band members who by the way were in top shape. Lots of smiles and interactions among the ladies and gents on stage. Åsa joined Per for the Finland trip and she also recorded some parts of the gig. DFS is already online on GessleHomeVids. Hope to see some more footage. Evgeny recorded TSHTSG.

Now only 2 shows left! Get your tickets if you haven’t seen this wonderful gang on tour yet! 😉

Setlist:

1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

Per after the concert:

HELSINKI. Yes, this band is still groovin’ better and better for every gig!!! Thanx everyone for showing up this cold and rainy Monday night. You certainly brought a lot of sunshine!!! No blood on stage this time (hahaha) + got a couple of days off before Oslo on Thursday so my finger will surely mend. See y’all there!!!! Cheers, P.

Pic in the article by Samu Reijonen.