PG Roxette releases debut single

During their long history together, Roxette delivered a catalogue of unforgettable pop rock anthems such as It Must Have Been Love, Listen To Your Heart, Fading Like A Flower, The Look, Dressed For Success and Joyride. Climbing up the charts the world over, Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle sold over 80 million albums and achieved five consecutive UK Top 5 albums. As much as they were a defining influence on the ’80s and ’90s pop scenes, their songs are still being discovered and admired today – as evidenced by 8.5 million monthly listeners at Spotify.

Sadly, Roxette came to an end in 2019 with the tragic passing of Marie. For years, Per was torn between what to do next: Marie is irreplaceable, but he also wanted to celebrate her life and her legacy with the fans that made their journey what it was. Eventually, he reunited the classic Roxette live band – Jonas Isacsson, Clarence Öfwerman, Magnus Börjeson and Christoffer Lundquist – and called upon long-term backing vocalists Helena Josefsson and Dea Norberg as the people most able to channel some of Marie’s immense talent and indomitable spirit.

This new era starts as PG Roxette shares his debut single The Loneliest Girl In The World along with its official video. The song is the first taste from the upcoming album Pop-Up Dynamo!, which follows this September.

The Loneliest Girl In The World feels like a natural next step for Per Gessle. With exuberant energy, the sweetest of melodies and their trademark don’t-bore-us-get-to-the-chorus addictiveness, it’s a song that would fit comfortably into any era of Roxette’s hefty back catalogue. Whether you consider it to be the poppiest rock around or pop with a little rock edge, it’s unmistakably Roxette.

Per says:

I had so much fun making these recordings. I really tried to go back to the writing style I had in the early days of Roxette and it was a blast. Some of the songs are the best I’ve ever done. And to work with all my Roxette-friends once again was amazing. We stick together like glue.

So that’s how PG Roxette came about. But why Per felt the need to return is best told in his own words. He explains:

Since the ’80s, my whole life has been spinning around Roxette and to this day it’s still what excites me the most. There are millions of people out there who still love the band so of course I want to keep our music alive. At first, I wasn’t sure which way to go but as time passed by it became clear that I want to continue this fantastic joyride. I want to keep the legacy of Roxette alive.

I’ve written almost every song Roxette has recorded over the years and they mean the world to me. When I started to write, my ambition was to try to create a sibling to ‘Look Sharp!’ and ‘Joyride’ – and that’s actually exactly how it sounds. I’ve wanted to create a modern production, but with the typical Roxette trademarks.

It’s impossible to replace Marie and that was never my intention. Our Roxette era was an unbelievable fantasy that we got to share together. I’m excited to be able to continue this journey, but in a different way. Needless to say that if Marie was still here, we’d be doing this together.

I feel this is the right decision. I’m so proud of this body of work and I love working with these people.

Tracklist of the single:

A   The Loneliest Girl In The World
B   Sunflower

The physical, limited edition 7″ vinyl single you can pre-order at Bengans, Ginza and other online shops. You can pre-save the digital version – and with this, enter a contest to win a digital meet & greet with Per Gessle – HERE.

Release date is 3rd June!

Start of the PG Roxette era

An era is over. Another one is born.

With the birth of PG Roxette, Per Gessle will continue the adventure he and Marie Fredriksson began, just over 35 years ago. Together with members from the classic Roxette band and a sound echoing somewhere between “Look Sharp!” and “Joyride” Gessle returns to the musical peak of his life – with a new album and plans for a tour.

Per Gessle says:

Since the 80’s, my whole life has been spinning around Roxette and to this day it’s still what excites me the most. There are millions of people out there who still love the band so of course I want to keep our music alive.

Years have passed and Per Gessle has been torn between different visions. The Roxette we once knew no longer exists, but Per strongly felt he wasn’t ready to bury Roxette for good. He still has so much to give, so many more songs to write. Most of all, Roxette brings him nothing but pure joy and energy.

After all there are only two options with Roxette: Either to put the lid on or to continue in some shape or form. At first, I wasn’t sure which way to go but as time passed by it became clear that I want to continue this fantastic joyride. I want to keep the legacy of Roxette alive. I’ve written almost every song Roxette has recorded over the years and they mean the world to me. Hence, I feel this is the right decision. I’m so proud of this body of work and I love working with these people.

Because even if PG Roxette surely marks the beginning of a new era, there’s also a lot for the fans to recognize; both in the new music and in the people who’ve created it. For the recording of the upcoming album, Gessle gathered the classic Roxette band – Jonas Isacsson, Clarence Öfwerman, Magnus Börjeson and Christoffer Lundquist with the aim to make a classic Roxette record.

When I started to write, my ambition was to try to create a sibling to ”Look Sharp!” and “Joyride” – and that’s actually exactly how it sounds. I’ve wanted to create a modern production, but with the typical Roxette trademarks.

In 2016 Roxette did their very last concert. Three years later Marie Fredriksson passed away, after her battle with cancer for 17 years.

A Roxette without Marie sheds light on a burning question: Who can fill the shoes left by one of the greatest pop singers of our time?

Simple answer: No one can.

Instead, Per is joined by two other singers very well known to most of the Roxette fans; Helena Josefsson and Dea Norberg. Both have been in the inner circle of Roxette for years.

It’s impossible to replace Marie and that was never my intention. Our Roxette era was an unbelievable fantasy that we got to share together. I’m excited to be able to continue this journey, but in a different way. Needless to say that if Marie was still here, we’d be doing this together.

Next up is the release of the PG Roxette album and eventually a tour with both new music and old Roxette material in the setlist.

I’m super proud of all the amazing recordings Roxette did and the new material really feels incredible. It’s not always that easy to re-invent yourself when you’ve been doing this for as long as I have with a huge body of work as a result. Sometimes you feel you repeat yourself, but then suddenly you tread on unfamiliar ground and you get curious in a wonderful way. That’s when I feel this is my life, this is what I do best, this is where I belong.

The PG Roxette album is set to release mid September, with a first single out end of May.

Per is working with PG Roxette alongside his upcoming unplugged tour in Sweden, which starts April 21.

Pics by Fredrik Etoall

To be among the first ones who can listen to PG Roxette’s upcoming single in May, don’t forget to follow PG Roxette on Spotify!

Per Gessle to release new album under PG Roxette

As Göteborgs-Posten informs, Per Gessle has decided – there will be a continuation for Roxette, under the name PG Roxette and with Helena Josefsson and Dea Norberg on vocals.

Since singer Marie Fredriksson passed away on December 9, 2019, Roxette partner Per Gessle has not really known what to do with the band that made the two friends world stars in the 80’s and 90’s.

Now he has come to a decision. Roxette continues under the name PG Roxette. A new single is coming already in May, an album in September and after that a big tour. Per Gessle will sing together with Helena Josefsson and Dea Norberg, both longtime members of Per’s expanded musical family both solo and with Gyllene Tider and Roxette.

PG says in a press release:

It’s not possible to replace Marie and that is not something I want either. It was an era and a fantastic dream we got to share together. But it feels exciting to be able to continue this journey – albeit in a different way. If Marie had still been alive, we would of course have done this together.

The new album is already done, in the studio there were good old Roxette musicians: Jonas Isacsson, Clarence Öfwerman, Magnus Börjeson and Christoffer Lundquist. Of course, drummer Pelle Alsing, who passed away in 2020, was missing.

Per adds:

The new material feels really fantastic. It’s not always easy to renew yourself when you’ve been around for as long as I have. Sometimes you feel that you repeat yourself, but sometimes you end up on untrodden ground and become so wonderfully curious and then I feel that this is my life, that this is what I can do.

Per Gessle is currently preparing for a twelve-concert spring tour with an acoustic setting where he plays songs from his entire career.

Photos by Patrícia Peres from 2014 (PG + Dea) and 2018 (PG + Helena).

Per Gessle talks about his tribute to Metallica in Aftonbladet

Aftonbladet did an interview with Per Gessle and asked him about his cover of Nothing Else Matters under The Metallica Blacklist project. On 12th August 1991, Metallica released “The Black Album” and it took the band to the charts. Approximately four months earlier, Swedish pop wonder Roxette had released “Joyride” and was at the top of their career. This year, both albums celebrate 30 years.

Per about when he – among 53 artists – was asked to be part of the project:

I was hesitant at first because I didn’t know all the songs, but when I had to choose a song on my own, it was obvious to be involved. It is of course an honor to be asked.

To Aftonbladet’s question why he picked Nothing Else Matters, he replied:

It was on the radio all the time in the early 90’s and Marie and I always joked that it could have been an amazing Roxette ballad. And that’s exactly how I made it. I’ve used the classic Roxette musicians. We shortened the song properly, made a completely new intro and tried to create an atmosphere in the early 90’s spirit. We even added a typical “roxish” key trick. Lovely. I sang the song together with our two Roxette backup singers Helena Josefsson and Dea Norberg.

What Per thinks about Nothing Else Matters from a songwriter’s perspective:

It’s basically a really good pop song. Nice and efficient chord sequence with a few small unexpected twists. Strong melodies that you can stretch. Sensitive text that is open to interpretation. Perfect score in my book.

Aftonbladet asked Per what it was like touching one of Metallica’s most respected ballads. Mr. G replied:

Very inspiring. From my side, of course, it was important to do it my way without directly caring about, or mimicking, the original. It was the song I wanted to work on. I wanted to make a Roxette production out of it. Nothing else mattered.

Aftonbladet asks if Per is afraid of any possible reactions from pure hard rockers who think he has touched their holy ground.

Haha no. It’s only rock ‘n roll but I like it.

Interviewer Per Magnusson notes that PG had a period as a hard rock fan in the early 70’s with Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. Mr.G confirms:

You’re absolutely right. When we were growing up, both Marie and I listened a lot to Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Bad Company and early AC/DC. And I liked Motörhead, don’t forget that!

To the question about his relations to Metallica Per replied:

The first thing I actually heard from Metallica was “Nothing Else Matters” and “Enter Sandman”. Both were played all the time, everywhere you went. It was in the middle of the period when Marie and I travelled the most around the world. I have no other direct relationship with the band.

To the question if Per has ever met any of the members of Metallica he replied:

Absolutely. I have met Lars Ulrich several times. We have mutual friends both in the United States and in Europe. Last time I saw him was at a bar mitzvah in New York. He is a very nice and social person. He talks a lot so I left him to my wife after a while. She also likes to talk.


PG still is from the recordings of Nothing Else Matters.

PG Roxette covers Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters”

Per Gessle – together with Helena Josefsson, Dea Norberg, Clarence Öfwerman, Magnus Börjeson, Christoffer Lundquist and Jonas Isacsson, under the banner “PG Roxette” – is among those 53 artists who have covered their favourite songs from The Black Album of Metallica, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. From the 12 tracks of the album Per didn’t hesitate when asked which one he wanted to interpret – he picked Nothing Else Matters.

The Metallica Blacklist is now released digitally and will be out on 7 LPs / 4 CDs as well on 1st October. All profits will be donated to charities of each contributing artist’s choice along with Metallica’s own foundation, All Within My Hands.

In June, when PG shared the news he said:

I’m thrilled to participate in the “Metallica Blacklist” project. Picking a song to record from their classic “Black Album” was pretty easy for me. “Nothing Else Matters” has always been a favourite of mine. Wow, it’s such a great track!

Under the banner ”PG Roxette” I joined forces with long-time Roxers Clarence Öfwerman + Jonas Isacsson + Christoffer Lundquist + Magnus Börjeson together with Helena Josefsson + Dea Norberg, both closely linked to the Roxette touring band of the past.

My ambition was to treat the song with respect while transforming it to a style of my own. I’m very pleased and proud with the outcome.

All proceeds from the recording will go to Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation and to UNHCR, a charity I chose together with Marie Fredriksson’s family.

Upon the release he adds:

I remember hearing Nothing Else Matters all the time on the radio in the early 90’s when Marie and I travelled the world constantly. We always joked about that it actually could have been an amazing Roxette ballad, hahaha!

We both loved it very much. So what I’ve tried to create now is to make it sound like a classic Roxette song.

I’m extremely proud to be part of this Blacklist-project that connects artists and bands from all over the world for good causes. Thank you Metallica.

Watch a short video of the recordings HERE!

You will find PG Roxette’s interpretation of Nothing Else Matters on Disc 4 on streaming sites.

Listen here at the song’s direct links: Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, YouTube!

Credits
Produced by Magnus Börjeson + Clarence Öfwerman + Christoffer Lundquist + Per Gessle
Recorded at Farozon, Malmö + Sweetspot Studios, Halmstad + Aerosol Grey Machine, Vallarum, Sweden in January 2021
Engineers: Magnus Börjeson (Farozon) + Staffan Karlsson (Sweetspot) + Christoffer Lundquist (Aerosol Grey Machine)
Mixed by Ronny Lahti at The Lahti Headquarters, Stockholm, Sweden
Played by:
Magnus Börjeson: Programming + keyboards
Clarence Öfwerman: Programming + keyboards
Christoffer Lundquist: Ondes Martenot + keyboards + electric guitar
Jonas Isacsson: Lead electric guitar
Helena Josefsson: Vocals
Dea Norberg: Vocals
Per Gessle: Vocals

 
Metallica photo by Patrícia Peres, WorldWired Tour 2018, Budapest. PG still is from the official trailer.

What you’ll find on Spotify as the artist details of PG Roxette:

Per Gessle is one of Scandinavia’s most successful artists and songwriters of all time. With a gift for catchy hooks, both musically and lyrically, he has composed chart-topping pop hits for more than four decades. Starting his career in 1978 as the songwriter and lead vocalist in Swedish early 80´s pop phenomenon Gyllene Tider, he and singer Marie Fredriksson teamed up in Roxette with the humble aim to conquer the pop world. Which they did like no other Scandinavian act. Breaking big all over the world in 1989, they would score four US Billboard Hot 100 Number One’s – “The Look”, “Listen To Your Heart”, “It Must Have Been Love”, and “Joyride”.

When Marie Fredriksson sadly lost her long battle to cancer in 2019, the Roxette saga seemed to be over. But the songs were still here, there and everywhere. And so were the fans. A new chapter had to be written. Which it is. And it’s called PG Roxette.

Per Gessle is determined to keep the Roxette legacy alive. Always being the main songwriter and driving force in the band he continues to work both in the studio and on the road. For this project Per has joined forces with long-time Roxette collaborators Clarence Öfwerman, Jonas Isacsson, Christoffer Lundquist and Magnus Börjeson together with the amazing vocalists Helena Josefsson and Dea Norberg, both closely linked to the Roxette touring band.


PG Roxette “Nothing Else Matters” header pic is from Spotify.

Update on 17th September 2021: a music video has been published and some more info from Per.

Wanna know how NOTHING ELSE MATTERS came about in the studio? Here’s the story.
I’ve always thought NEM was a beautiful song. It’s got strong melodies, pretty straightforward but smart chord progressions, a lyric you can interpret in many different ways. It’s epic. If I should cover it I would love it to sound like a classic Roxette ballad! Shorten it a bit + create a magnetic intro.
We noticed at the Marie Tribute in Gothenburg 2020 how amazing Dea + Helena sound when they sing together. They sang FADING LIKE A FLOWER at the concert and we were all blown away.
So the basic idea for the vocals on PG Roxette’s take on NEM was to use that particular sound you get when you mix two very different voices and blend them. That’s what we did in the verses and in the outro. Dea + Helena share the duties. The choruses were mine to sing. It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to work with three distinctive voices in one song. It certainly appeals to my restless mind!
The programming was done primarily by Magnus + Clarence, then Christoffer came aboard and did some overdubs. His recent baby, an Ondes Martenot from 1928 came in handy. Jonas did his guitar parts in Stockholm and he sounded like he always does; out of this world.
It was an amazing journey from start to finish. Ronny Lahti, who worked many times on Roxette albums in the past, did some extraordinary mixes. He’s another master.
And hey, here’s some footage from the recording sessions filmed by Anders Roos.
Badabam from P.