Roxette and related artists in Kjell Andersson’s memoir

Kjell Andersson, former Head of A&R and producer at EMI Sweden published his autobiography, Ingen går hel ur det här – Mitt liv i den svenska musiken on 8th February 2021. Over 40 years in the music industry, Kjell worked together with many of Sweden’s greatest artists. To name a few: Per Gessle, Gyllene Tider, Marie Fredriksson, Roxette, Mauro Scocco, Eva Dahlgren, Wilmer X, Björn Skifs, Ulf Lundell etc. In his book he writes parallel stories of different artists over the decades.

Even if the main line is not Roxette-related, there are either longer stories from our idols’ lives, mainly the early career of GT, PG, Marie and Roxette, or shorter stories, when Marie’s or Per’s ways crossed other artists’ paths or they joined projects of various artists. Most of the stories hardcore fans have heard already, but it’s always interesting to hear them from another person’s, another participant’s point of view or hear anecdotes related to happenings we’ve heard about.

I will of course highlight only parts where either Roxette or Gyllene Tider or Marie Fredriksson or Per Gessle is written about – for all non-Swedish speaker fans –, but I recommend reading the book in case you are interested in Swedish music history and you want to practice your Swedish. It’s a very informative reading not only about Kjell Andersson’s life, but tons of artists and the Swedish music industry as well. A real history book in a way.

GYLLENE TIDER

The yellow EP

Kjell writes about how his cooperation started with Gyllene Tider. He received a home-made yellow vinyl EP in January 1979. It contained 5 songs of a band from Halmstad. When Kjell listened to it, he got stuck with Billy. He thought there were vague, yet noticeable, traces of a young John Holm in the singer. Kjell played the EP to his close colleagues at the company and also sent a cassette copy to Ulf Lundell. Calle Bengtsson (photographer) could hear what Kjell heard, but no one else heard the potential. Not yet. Kjell decided to call the number attached to the EP. Per’s mother picked up the phone in their Halmstad home. Kjell asked her if Per was at home and Mamma Elisabeth told him Per was sleeping, but she could wake him up, it was past 12 anyway. Haha. Per came to the phone and Kjell introduced himself. He can’t remember what they talked about, but he told Per he liked their EP and asked if there were more strong songs. Per replied ”There are as many as you want… and only hits!”

Kjell says the guys were determined and anything else in their lives was secondary back then. A couple of weeks later Kjell got a cassette from them and hearing the new demos he realized another side of Gyllene Tider, a playful side. Kjell realized that instead of finding a young John Holm, he came into contact with a young pop band that sounded like a mix of Elvis Costello & The Attractions and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

He played the demos for Lasse Lindbom and Lasse thought there was something in the band, but had to go down to Harplinge to listen to them and then they convinced him. However, he was hesitant to the pop star potential of the singer. Haha.

According to Kjell:

If Springsteen’s Born To Run – according to Greil Marcus in Rolling Stone – is a 1957 Chevrolet running on melted down Crystals, then Gyllene Tider is a rusty Volvo Amazon from the end of the 60’s driven by old Tom Petty, Hep Stars and Nick Lowe vinyls.

Debut single and first LP

Gyllene Tider’s debut single, Himmel No. 7 was released at the end of 1979 with Flickorna på TV2 on the B side. Kjell swears it was planned to be a double A side single, but the record pressing plant in Åmål couldn’t handle double A sides, they got confused. Everyone started playing Flickorna på TV2 , it became a megahit. At some point in the book Kjell adds that it was Niklas Strömstedt who as a DJ first heard the single potential in the song.

The band’s debut album came out in February 1980. It became a huge success.

Moderna Tider

In the summer of 1980 it was time to start recording Gyllene Tider’s second album. Per and MP claimed all songs they wrote were ready and as usual, Per said they are all hits. As soon as Kjell received the demos he listened to them with high hopes, but thought they were terrible. Per stayed with the subject (teenage sex) that worked in their first hits. Kjell thought it seemed like GT’s own parody. He thought Gyllene Tider was much bigger than that.

Kjell called Per and told him his opinion. Per thought 2 months of work was flushed down and it was a diabolic slap while GT were the biggest in Sweden. Kjell thought and still thinks the real diabolic slap would have been if they released the LP with those songs from the first demos.

So the guys started from scratch and by early autumn there were new songs and the recordings for Moderna Tider began. The lead single, När vi två blir en was released in October 1980. When Kjell played it in the office, a girl from the finance department stopped and asked what he was playing. Kjell thinks that’s always a good sign when someone from the „outside” reacts in a positive way, because they are listening to the songs like everyday people, not like those who are dealing with repertoires all the time and thinking and analyzing the songs too much.

Puls

The guys wanted to make GT’s third LP a Swedish pop classic. Per wrote a series of strong and inspirational pop songs: (Hon vill ha) Puls, Vän till en vän and Vandrar i ett sommarregn. Kjell’s favourite from the album is Händerna, but he thinks Puls lacked the charm, joy of playing and spontaneity of the debut album. It often happens when you want to make a masterpiece, you forget to have fun.

When the album was ready, everyone was satisfied with the result, but a single was missing. Kjell was standing in the bus stop Solna Centrum on a sunny spring morning, waiting for bus 503 to EMI and he was thinking about song titles. He thought they needed a summer single – summer and Gyllene Tider – En gyllene sommar (A Golden Summer)? He had some more titles popping up in his head, but he got stuck with Sommartider in the end. Kjell called Per and told him about his idea. Per liked it and immediately wrote a bubblegum pop song.

The Heartland Café

After all their success, GT wanted to go international and record an English album. They were on tours all around in Sweden, they beat the audience record and felt there was nothing more to reach in Sweden. So they recorded The Heartland Café. The album was released as a mini LP with six songs in the US under the name Roxette (from Wilko Johnson’s Dr. Feelgood song). Nothing happened.

Återtåget

Halmstads pärlor – Samtliga hits! 1979-95 was released in May 1995 and Gyllene Tider did a gig on Stora torg in Halmstad in front of 18,000 people and the band was challenged to do a summer tour, which came to life next year. Before the tour, a newly recorded EP with two new hits was released: Gå & fiska! and Juni, juli, augusti. Kjell thinks it’s a perfect pop EP. The tour became a huge success, beating audience records all over the country.

Finn 5 fel!

GT started recording a new album in February 2004 at Aerosol Grey Machine, Christoffer Lundquist’s studio in Vollsjö. Per wanted to release an EP only, but Kjell was nagging an album. Maybe he pushed Per hard he thinks when he is listening to the LP today. It doesn’t stick together like an album should, some songs feel like they are leftovers from Mazarin. The band chemistry was still there though.

Ullevi 2004

GT set a new audience record at Ullevi in 2004. Kjell was there and it was an uplifting experience for him – from a phone call on a winter morning in 1979 to this. He doesn’t say that Gyllene Tider is his creation or that gig wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t called and woke Per up on that January day in 1979. He is convinced that they would have suceeded anyway. The band’s talent and Per’s and MP’s songs would have probably brought them to that magical evening in Gothenburg on other paths as well. Media or the music industry wouldn’t have missed the natural forces of their magnitude.

MARIE FREDRIKSSON

MaMas Barn

Kjell remembers he heard Marie in MaMas Barn first. He got to know her via Gyllene Tider, because they shared rehearsal studio in the basement of Harplinge’s school. According to Kjell, their strongest song was Det är svårt att bryta upp, a piano ballad Marie herself sang.

It serves as a sample for what she does later. The ingredients are there, Marie’s building blocks: melancholy, contact with the listener and her peculiar warmth and sincerity.

Solo debut

Kjell tells that Marie and Lasse met for the first time when the Lasse Lindbom Band recorded their Romantisk blackout LP. When Lasse couldn’t find a singer to sing duet on Så nära nu, he asked Per to contact Marie and then she sang the duet with Lasse. She sounded young, nervous and extremely enthusiastic, according to Kjell.

When later Marie and Lasse Lindbom became a couple, Marie wanted to be signed by EMI. Lasse found a song he worked on before, but never finished. It didn’t even have a title or a text. Marie loved the melody and wrote lyrics to it. Ännu doftar kärlek became Marie’s debut single as a solo artist in 1984.

Kjell says that from all the artists he had worked together with during his 40 years in the business, Marie was the biggest riddle to him.

Everyone who meets her likes her, even loves her! Even me. She is warm and personal, but at the same time distanced and shy. I can’t state that I know her. I know limited parts of her, her sides she decided to show over the years, but a big part of Marie as a person is a mystery and will always be.

Marie has the peculiar ability only a few artists have; she can sing a catalogue and make the text sound personal, heartfelt, warm and even poetic. When she sings in Swedish, she is undisguised and open like a child or an old person who no longer has anything to hide. How she expresses herself hits the listener in the heart, it’s impossible to defend yourself.

Den sjunde vågen, Efter stormen

Den sjunde vågen was inspired by Henri Charrière’s novel, Papillon which Marie was reading during her journey with Lasse to the Canary Islands to write material for the record. The novel is about a man who escaped from Devil’s Island, a French penal colony of French Guiana. Marie was inspired by the idea that the sea waves had a pattern: every seventh wave was the biggest and the process is repeated forever.

According to Kjell, Marie’s self-esteem and expressing herself improved by every album. Den sjunde vågen was a big step after Het vind and Efter stormen was even bigger. These two LP’s were very important on the way to Marie’s perfection, artistic flowering, her modern and anxious tour blues album, Den ständiga resan.

Regarding the Efter stormen cover photo Kjell says that Marie had a principle those days: Marie in Roxette and Marie as a solo artist dress differently. In Roxette she was modern, wearing e.g. the type of leather jacket she wears in the video of Neverending Love, while as a solo artist, she was more casual, wearing jeans and sweater. This difference disappeared over the years.

Den ständiga resan

Kjell says Marie chose music to convey her tour blues feelings related to the Join the Joyride World Tour and Den ständiga resan became a dark self-portrait. The lyrics are direct, not poetic and that makes them credible.

Marie wrote the songs on airplanes, at airports, in hotel rooms, on tour buses. She recorded the melodies and parts of the lyrics on a little tape recorder she always had with her. On the tapes one can hear the landing and departure messages through the airport loudspeakers.

It was an important album for Marie. She wanted to show that she is more than the extraordinary voice singing Per Gessle’s songs in Roxette.

Äntligen

After New Year in 2000, the CEO at EMI realized that it would be difficult to reach the budget in the financial year, so he asked Kjell if he had any ideas that could help. Kjell and Rolf talked about a Marie compilation album, but the timing never fit. Kjell then called Marie to ask what she thought about it and Marie was positive. Kjell asked if she wanted to write a new song that could be a single and the opening song. Marie wrote Äntligen and recorded it with Micke. The compilation album was released in March and it sold 160,000 copies until summer, so the budget was safe.

The album was such a great success in spring that Marie’s first solo tour in eight years was also planned for the summer.

Nu!

In June 2013 Kjell was invited – together with Marie Dimberg and Thomas Johansson – to Marie’s and Micke’s house in Djursholm to listen to their recordings for a new album then called Vad vore jag utan dig. Kjell was interested in Marie’s songs, but to his surprise, when he asked Marie how many songs she had written for the album, she replied „one and a half”. Kjell doesn’t know what happened to that half song.

Kjell told his opinion, both positive and negative. He stayed honest, but minded his words knowing the difficult times Marie and Micke had gone through. The most important and biggest critique was about the title. „What would I be without you” can’t be an album title, he thought. He asked Marie and Micke to send him the lyrics of all songs, so he would search among the lines for title options.

According to Kjell, as a whole, the album lacks Marie’s brushstrokes, her words, motifs and colours. There is a sense of art falsification, when you are trying to recreate an artist’s expressions. The only song Marie wrote for this album is Sista sommarens vals.

PER GESSLE

Solo debut

All GT guys – except Per – went to the obligatory military service in January 1983. Per released his first solo album instead, a singer-songwriter record, which was probably rather Kjell’s idea than Per’s. Kjell admits that it wasn’t this type of music that made Per unique and world famous.

He is not a rock poet or a troubadour, rather a composer genious and a pop thief of the highest caliber. Per is young, 24 years old, it’s not in his nature to write open and self-disclosing texts that make this genre interesting. His lyrics seek melancholy and romance.

Scener

Kjell says Per’s second solo album is unbalanced, heading into several directions simultaneously. Per didn’t know which way to choose. When the recordings started, it was just a side project that he could afford himself next to GT’s success, but it suddenly became his future after Anders left Gyllene Tider. Kjell’s favourite from this album is Blå december.

Son Of A Plumber

Kjell says Per made Son of a Plumber for himself. He wanted to challenge himself, as well as his audience to dare to go even further into that dream he had lived so long. SOAP is a sentimental journey back to the past, a map of all the pop music Per grew up with and worshiped.

For Kjell it’s SOAP, GT’s first three albums and Per’s solo debut album where he shows himself and his songwriting genius most clearly. He thinks SOAP was one of the strongest pop albums during the EMI years.

En händig man

Kjell thinks it’s difficult to follow up on a success like Mazarin. Ideas get thought out and it loses the spontaneous and natural. EHM lacks the unforced charm of its predecessor. According to Kjell, Per’s music is the best when it’s spontaneous and he plays his way through small light clouds, among new ideas and old influences and steals bits from his favourites.

ROXETTE

Neverending Love

Kjell tells that Rolf Nygren had the idea that Marie and Per should sing together. He thought that Marie could lift Per’s songs to a totally different level when she was singing on his demos. During that period in 1986 Per was writing songs for other artists. Svarta glas he wrote for Pernilla Wahlgren, but she didn’t want to record it. Per sent the demo to Rolf with the following text attached: „You always tell we should make an English single when we have the right song. What do you think about the attached tape?” Rolf thought the song was a hit and Per shouldn’t give away such strong song to another artist. PG wrote an English text to it and the song became Neverending Love.

Per needed a new producer. Kjell heard a Py Bäckman single that was produced by Clarence Öfwerman. Kjell knew Clarence as the pianist in Raj Montana and from Ulf Lundell’s autumn tour leg. The three guys met at Café Opera and Per and Clarence found each other despite the fact that they were coming from different musical worlds.

Kjell wasn’t the most positive about the idea of Marie and Per working together. Marie started her solo career with two albums and for Kjell the Swedish market was the territory he understood the most. He thought the international market was an unrealistic dream and he also had low confidence in international EMI.

Kjell suggested they should handle the Roxette project as a test. Their names weren’t written on the single and the sleeve illustration was a couple’s picture taken from a 40’s American weekly newspaper Kjell found in the attic. There was a rule for Roxette: Marie and Per not to be launched as a couple, no passionate duets.

Neverending Love became a hit in Sweden and Roxette started recording Pearls of Passion from the material that was meant to be Per’s third solo album. Clarence brought his musician friends: Jonas Isacsson (guitar), Pelle Alsing (drums) and Tommy Cassemar (bass). Kjell thinks the undisguised in Marie’s voice was partly lost in English, but her passion survived.

Look Sharp!

Kjell tells Roxette’s second LP had Paint as the title for a long time. Per wanted to keep up with the period’s machine-produced pop music and wanted to use drum machines, sequencers and synths. Anders Herrlin had been working with machines since a while, so he was asked to do the programming.

The album sleeve, The Daily Roxette was inspired by Jethro Tull’s Thick as a Brick and John & Yoko’s Some Time in New York City. Marie Dimberg wrote the texts and Kjell built up a newspaper front page. Eminent fashion photographer, Mikael Jansson took the picture. Kjell asked colleagues from the company to be there as extras on the photos next to professional models. Marie Dimberg also appears on the sleeve photo, Alar Suurna became a press photographer, Clarence Öfwerman is the driver on the pic.

Joyride

Kjell tells Per read an interview in Musician with Paul McCartney where he said writing songs with John Lennon was a joyride. Per thought this expression described the feeling he wanted Roxette’s music to convey: joy, excitement and adventure. Joyride contains Kjell’s most favourite Roxette song, Watercolours in the Rain, to which Per wrote the lyrics and Marie wrote the music.

It’s the best-selling album of Roxette and the best-selling album in Kjell’s EMI career. Kjell remembers that before Christmas 1991 Per called him to thank for the year and to wish him merry Christmas and happy new year. Kjell told him he must be satisfied with the album sales, 300,000 copies in Sweden. Per said not really, he thought it could be double. Kjell thought Per was crazy, but by the end of next year the album sold 600,000 copies in Sweden.

Tourism

Kjell calls Tourism his „gold mine”. Per wanted to release a double live LP from the Join the Joyride tour. Rolf and Kjell were hesitant to the idea. On a studio meeting Kjell could convince Per to make a tour LP instead.

That was the first and last time Rolf gave royalty to Kjell. The album sold 6 million copies around the world and Kjell received 3 million SEK. He bought his first apartment in Stockholm from that money.

Crash! Boom! Bang!

While the band was in Capri to record Crash! Boom! Bang!, Kjell got countless reports about how good things were going and that it doesn’t sound like anything else before. When they got back and the team listened to it at EMI, Kjell was disappointed. If he hadn’t received all the positive reports, he would have probably reacted differently. The album contained rather ballads and it needed an uptempo song, a single. Per agreed with Kjell in the end and the day after he called Kjell to tell that he wrote a new song, Sleeping in My Car.

Have A Nice Day

Kjell tells his influence in the circle around Roxette diminished over the years. He ended up in the group that listened to Per’s demos and told what they thought about the songs, but nothing more. When it came to the cover of Have A Nice Day, Per and Marie chose Kjell’s colleague, Karl-Magnus.

Kjell hoped that Roxette would make an album where Marie would get as much space as a composer as Per, they would be less formatted and allow greater stylistic differences. Like a late Fleetwood Mac with three songwriters, Roxette could have done it with two equivalent composers who coexisted within a more spacious framework. Kjell says he got no response to his ideas and he lost interest in the upcoming albums.

 

These are only excerpts from the book mainly for the non-Swedish speaker fans, but there are many more little details in this memoir. Details like the inspiration for the lights settings in Roxette’s She Doesn’t Live Here Anymore video or techniques used during recording sessions, as well as ideas of photo shootings for album and single covers, and of course, more of Kjell’s personal opinions, just to mention a few. So one day, if you have the chance, I suggest you read this book, published by Albert Bonniers Förlag. You can order it from Ginza or buy it in Swedish book stores.

Per Gessle on Nordic Rox – June 2021 – Joyride 30

Per Gessle and Sven Lindström celebrated Joyride’s 30th anniversary in Per’s kitchen in Stockholm in the June episode of Nordic Rox on Sirius XM last night.

There are pictures of Per’s icons in the kitchen. Sven mentions there is a John Lennon poster behind him, Per adds there is a signed poster from Sir Paul McCartney which he got as a birthday present a couple of years ago. There is also a great Anton Corbijn photography of Pete Townshend sitting in a London cab. Sven tells John is above Paul and asks Per if it’s a sign for something. Mr. G tells it’s just because John was already hanging there and when he got Paul’s poster, he just put it under John’s.

Sven tells Per has been around for more than 40 years and kicked off at the age of 20 or so. He asks Mr. G if it means he is getting old. PG tells it means he is getting experienced. Sven tells anniversaries come closer and closer and Per’s reaction is that every time he realizes it, he thinks ”oh, we have to make an anniversary edition!” Now it’s 30 years since Roxette released their 3rd album, Joyride. It will get a 4-LP box set and a 3-CD set anniversary release in autumn. It will contain demos, outtakes and alternative versions as well.

The guys now zoom back to 1991, but besides Joyride, they also play other songs on the show.

The first one they play is Adiam Dymott’s Pizza. Her first, self-titled album in 2009 was produced by Thomas Rusiak from the Teddybears (Swedish band).

The next song is Santa Monica Blue Waves by Chris Linn. Per would say it’s a one hit wonder, but it’s not even a hit. It was a semi-hit when it came out in 1981. Per bought it on a 7-inch vinyl and still has it and likes it. It’s produced by Ulf Wahlberg, who used to produce and be part of the Secret Service (Swedish band). They had lots of hits, especially in Europe. According to Per, it sounds so 80’s and he loves that.

Unseen Footage from a Forthcoming Funeral by Nicole Sabouné is next, released in 2012. It’s power synth pop and Per loves it too.

Sven asks if Mr. G remembers his plans when he was thinking about making Joyride. Sven adds Per came from being big in Sweden and then breaking through in the world with The Look, so this album was the first for them to be international stars. Mr. G tells it was difficult in a way, because Look Sharp! had 4 huge songs on it, Listen To Your Heart, Dangerous, Dressed For Success and The Look, and then It Must Have Been Love happened from the Pretty Woman movie. In 1990, when they started recording Joyride, they were a very big band all over the world, so of course there was a certain amount of pressure to come up with some more goodies. Per always felt they were on a roll. Their style of music was special, they had a certain sound created in Stockholm by Swedish musicians. Per wrote maybe 30 songs for this album and they recorded 15-16. They took it step by step. Having all the success gives a lot of energy, says PG. It was fun days in the studio. They didn’t have any budgets, because they were big, so they were just hanging out in the studio for 6 months and the record label paid for it.

Sven tells there was no time for chilling. When they were not in the studio, they did promotion trips all over the world. For 8 years they were living like that, Per says. They were either in the studio or did tours or promo tours. On those few days when they didn’t work, Per went back home and wrote songs and made demos. So there was a constant flow of creativity, which he loved more than Marie did. She needed a little bit more space outside of Roxette. Per liked to be in that Roxette bubble 24/7. Sven jokes that for Per life outside of Roxette was overrated. Per laughs and agrees.

Mr. G had an apartment in Halmstad and one day he found a note on the piano from his wife, Åsa. It said ”Hej, din tok, jag älskar dig”, which translates into ”Hello, you fool, I love you”. He thought it was such a great phrase, he had to use that in a song. So he started working on Joyride. The expression ”joyride” comes from an interview with Paul McCartney in which he said writing songs with John Lennon was like being on a long joyride. At the time Per didn’t know what a joyride was, that you steal and crash a car and just leave it. For him it was like a very positive journey. So he came up with ”join the joyride” and that became a slogan for the whole project.

The guys play Joyride in the Brian Malouf mix, which was customized for the American radio. The difference between the album version and this is that the mix got more drums and there is a different groove to it, it’s a little faster.

Joyride became Roxette’s 4th US No. 1. The follow up song was Fading Like A Flower, which peaked at No. 2. It’s probably Per’s favourite track from the album. Marie was outstanding when she was singing this one. It’s just custom-made for her. Per doesn’t really consider it a ballad, it’s a mid-tempo song. He can’t remember writing it, but he has the demo which includes the piano intro, so he wrote the piano intro. Normally, when he wrote songs for Roxette those days he didn’t really write the intros, because he knew they would be going to change them anyway.

Sven asks Per if he heard Marie on his mind when he was writing a song, how Marie would deliver it. Per says he did and he also tried to write the lyrics from a female perspective (he laughs and says it sometimes didn’t go that well), as Marie was supposed to sing it. Per thinks if a song is written from a guy’s point of view and it’s sung by a girl, it gets a different meaning. It’s interesting in duets, e.g. in Paint. He thought FLAF becomes a stronger lyric when it’s sung by a girl. Joyride was meant to be sung by Per. The Look was sung by Per but it was intended for Marie. She didn’t feel comfortable singing that dadadadada. Sven tells Per had no problem doing that. Mr. G laughs and says that was his limit. Haha. PG thinks a love song, like IMHBL, becomes stronger when it’s sung by a girl. It becomes a little bit more fragile. Using this female-male trick Per thinks was one of the reasons why Roxette became so successful.

The guys play FLAF here. Bryan Adams blocked it from the top position on the Billboard.

Sven asks Per about the drama during recordings of the Joyride video. Per says they were sitting on the hood of a fake Ferrari in which there was a hidden driver lying on the floor, so you couldn’t see him. That was a big mess and Marie and Per sometimes just fell off. He thinks it was fun though in the desert somewhere in California. It was in the MTV days and they spent a lot on making video clips.

The FLAF video they did in Stockholm, at the City Hall, in the very beautiful golden room. The video became an homage to Stockholm.

Per picked Spending My Time as the next song to be played. He says it felt like it was going to be the big song from the album, probably because IMHBL and LTYH were so big. SMT felt like a natural follow up to those ballads. Mr. G thinks it’s a great song. He co-wrote it with Mats MP Persson. Marie is doing an amazing job on it, as always. Sven says it sounds really tailor-made for her with this melancholic touch to it.

Per had the idea to write a lyric that starts in the morning and ends at night. He says Marie delivered it so well. It became a big song for them. When they did live shows, it was always a show stopper.

Sven tells he and Per started knowing each other in 1987, when Sven beat Per severely in a pop quiz contest. The guys are laughing. Sven mentions it because he remembers they met at a pop quiz contest in the summer of 1990, when Roxette was recording Joyride and Per was really ecstatic about having written a song. When Per arrived he said he wrote a song including a line ”I leave a kiss on your answering machine”. Per thinks it’s beautiful and very romantic. He says the end melody of SMT was written as the intro of the song. Then when they recorded it, they didn’t have an intro, just Marie starting the song. (Here Per sings ”What’s the time?”.) It’s probably because all the intros, especially to LTYH was so famous, so they tried to do something different.

That concludes the Joyride special and the guys are back to Nordic Rox ”normality”. So here comes a song from The Beathovens from 1966, Summer Sun. Per thinks it’s an amazing track, beautiful noise from the 60’s.

James by Ex Cops is next from Denmark. Per likes them a lot. Sven tells they were based in Brooklyn, but the singer, Amalie Bruun qualifies them for being on Nordic Rox. They broke up in 2015. It’s a trend of this kind of music disappearing up in thin air, Sven adds.

It’s time for some Swedish garage rock – one chord, one riff, what more can you ask for, as Sven says. They play Something Wicked by The Teenage Idols.

At the end of the June epsiode, Sven tells they will celebrate another anniversary in the next one, the 20th of Room Service. Per picks the opening track from the album, Real Sugar as a teaser. He always loved that one.

The guys thank everyone for listening and Anita Lindblom’s Cigarettes is closing the show.

Still is from the 4K anniversary version of the Joyride video.

Thanks for the technical support to János Tóth!

Roxette – Joyride 30 Q&A with Per Gessle & restored 4K Joyride video premiere

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Joyride reaching No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 on 11th May 1991, Warner Music Sweden organized a video Q&A with Per Gessle. Fans could send their questions in video format in advance and Per answered them today at 3 pm CET. It was a 15-minute-long session, but we wouldn’t have been bored even after an hour of listening to Mr. G’s great answers to fan Qs.

Right after the Q&A, the anniversary version of the Joyride video premiered in 4K! What a wonderful remake it is! So sharp and there are new details in them! No monkey though. Haha.

As the press release says, the beginning of the 90’s was the peak of the MTV era and a powerful – and expensive – video was of course a must for anyone aiming for the top of the charts.

The Joyride video became a really playful and spectacular video, where Marie and Per, among other things, sat on a Ferrari while a driver laying down, being invisible to the camera took care of the gas and brake.

Those 30 years undoubtedly had left its mark on the original video and it was time for restoring it. As part of the celebration, therefore, here comes a 30-year-old version of the Joyride video with sparkling colours and maximum sharpness in 4K resolution.

Per Gessle smiles and says:

The MTV era was a fun period, because everything was so big and you bought all the crazy ideas that came up. There were very few barriers – not even to make a video where you sit in headwind half the time.

Director Doug Freel had done a solid job. In total, he had recorded 186 minutes of raw material for a song that is just under four minutes. After the recordings, 18 rolls of 35 mm film were shipped from Los Angeles to Swedish EMI, where they spent their time on a shelf in the darkness of the basement until the 30th anniversary began to approach.

But the original master of the approximately 4-minute-long Joyride video was not among the materials. So to update the video, there was only one thing to do: start from the beginning and go through all the materials to recreate the video from scratch.

Said and done, box after box of 18 rolls of film was sent to mastering and restoration expert Thomas Ahlén at Filmtech in Stockholm. He immediately noticed that the materials were in unexpectedly good condition and started the work of removing dirt and sharpening colours and details.

Thomas Ahlén tells:

Since the film reels haven’t been used in all these years, they were very well preserved. It’s been a time-consuming job, but at the same time much fun to be able to present a 30-year-old video in the best possible way. The fact that all the raw materials were silent films and then they had to be matched to the single version was just one of the challenges.

In this project of Joyride – the 30th anniversary version, a piece of Swedish pop history meets the enormous technological development that has taken place in moving media since 1991. The result is a version that follows the original video to 75%.

Per tells:

Some so-called “green screen” scenes have been removed, because they were very difficult to recreate. Instead, we’ve found other goodies in the raw material. In the long run, however, we plan to restore the video completely – and perhaps also other Roxette videos – in 4K resolution.

Joyride’s 30th anniversary is celebrated this autumn with a vinyl box that will consist of 4 LP’s and a 3-CD set, which in addition to the original edition will contain lots of unreleased or hard-to-find materials that paints a larger picture of a piece of Swedish music history.

The 4K video is available on YouTube, as well as the Q&A with Per. Stills are from these videos.

Per Gessle invites you to a Joyride 30 video Q&A

This whole year is dedicated to the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Joyride. The album was released on 28th March 30 years ago and its lead single, the title song, Joyride reached No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 on 11th May 30 years ago. To celebrate it, a video Q&A is planned with Per Gessle. It will be broadcast at 3 pm CET on 11th May. The good thing is that anyone can participate in the Q&A, you just have to send in your questions in a video until tomorrow, 6th May!

More than that, an amazing restored video of the Joyride clip will also premiere the same day on YouTube!

Watch Per’s invitation video HERE!

Warner Music Sweden’s conditions of participating in the video Q&A can be read HERE and these are the criteria your video must meet:

  • Try to keep your question to around 30 seconds in duration.
  • The question should be asked in English.
  • Be aware of background noise – something like a buzzing fridge or busy road can make your audio unusable.
  • Your video should be submitted in Vertical Mode.
  • Have someone film you or put your camera on a shelf or desk to keep it steady.
  • Remember that the audience can see what’s in the background of your shot.
  • Film from your shoulders up and leave space above your head.
  • Where possible, try not to read your question.
  • Look directly into the camera.
  • An upbeat delivery is usually best, and try not to speak too slowly.
  • Please leave a pause at the end of your question before you stop recording.

When ready, submit your question by sending it to joyride@warnermusic.com!

Still is from the invitation video.

Joyride 30th anniversary – RoxBlog interview with Per Gessle – „… loved to be in this wonderful Roxette balloon with Marie”

Music-wise Joyride was the first real life-changing experience for me and I’m quite sure I’m not the only one who felt the same when first heard either the title song or the complete record. It’s been 30 years now since we joined the joyride and became magic friends. The little girl who in 1991 was sitting persistently in front of MTV to catch the video certainly wouldn’t have thought that 30 years later she would ask the guy in the world’s best power pop duo about this album. I hope you’ll enjoy the reading as much as I enjoyed doing this interview with Mr. G.

Patrícia Peres: – Hej Per! Your best selling record, „Joyride” is celebrating its 30th anniversary today! Congratulations! It’s a very important album both in your career and in Roxers’ life. How do you feel about this anniversary? Have you already popped champagne?

Per Gessle: – Hello Patricia. And thanks. No champagne yet, still on cappuccino time here!!!
Yea, well… there are so many record anniversaries going on all the time. But of course „Joyride” is special. It’s a very important album for us from every angle. Together with Warner I’m planning a beautiful box set for release later this year.

PP: – After the success of „Look Sharp!”, how much did you feel the pressure to make something bigger and better? How did it effect your songwriting?

PG: – Oh, I was always triggered by success. You have to remember we came from nowhere (spelled S-W-E-D-E-N) so we didn’t take ANYTHING for granted. The more success we got the better songs I wrote. It felt like that anyway. It was the same for Marie. The bigger she became, the better performances she made, both in the studio and on stage. It’s all about self confidence.
However, looking back and checking the drawers, I don’t really understand how I found the time to do all this writing and to record so many demos. We were travelling the world constantly! But I guess I was fairly young, highly motivated and loved to be in this wonderful Roxette balloon with Marie. No rest for the wicked.

PP: – Because of the Gulf War, you had to postpone the album release. What were your thoughts on this?

PG: – Yea, it was delayed a month or so. Maybe six weeks. I don’t know if that mattered, I don’t think so. The basic reason for Joyride’s success was the timing. It’s always the most important thing. The music we made turned out to be the perfect soundtrack to 1991 for some reason.

PP: – The album sleeve became very colourful, it has definitely more colours than the first 2 Roxette album covers. Did you also feel that your music got more colourful?

PG: – We always wanted Roxette to be a colourful band. Personally I wanted us primarily to be more pop than rock. Power pop. Pop with an edge. That was always a constant discussion between Marie, Clarence and myself. What was Roxette all about? For me it was easy. But all of us came from different musical backgrounds so the answer wasn’t easy for everyone.
When I wrote the „Joyride” album my ambition was to write only songs that were strong enough to become hit singles. I didn’t really succeed, but that was my master plan.

PP: – On the edge of the sleeve it’s written „Don’t bore us – get to the chorus”. Did you take this phrase as a guiding line during songwriting?

PG: – Hahaha, yes I did. It was something our US manager Herbie Herbert once said and I loved it and thought it made sense in our particular corner of this crazy music biz.

PP: – Different formats played an important role here. 3 tracks were not released on the original LP, but on the CD version. Were you happy for the appearance of CD format in general and in this case?

PG: – No, I never liked the CD format. I like album sleeves. They are bigger and you can present the music and the idea behind the record in a proper way. It’s a piece of art and you should treat it like that. You can’t really do that with a CD.

PP: – How long did you play with the title „Joyride”? Is there a scientific reason behind going for it without the „r” in the end that was still there in the first demo’s title?

PG: – It was called „Joyrider” to begin with. I think all of us felt „Join the joyride” was an excellent slogan for what we were doing at the time. So I guess there were probably a few hours when the song was called „Join the joyride” as well. But, following the Don’t Bore Us-mantra… we made it simple and snappy. „Joyride” it was!

PP: – How should we imagine the day you wrote „Joyride” and „Spending My Time”? You enter the room where your piano is, you see Åsa’s note there and…?

PG: – I have only vague memories of it but I’ve checked my files and it looks like I was at home in our apartment in Halmstad and started the day writing „Spending My Time” on the piano, creating the verse and the instrumental melody in the outro (which was actually written as an intro).
I think the main part of the chorus came from something MP had written. He used to present snippets he had made and sometimes I used them in my writing process. He came by for an hour or two as well.
Then I changed to acoustic guitar and wrote „Joyride” after finding Åsa’s note. It all happened very quickly. I finished writing „Joyride” the day after.
Both lyrics were written basically at the same time as the music. I changed some words along the way but not that many. It must have been a sunny weekend. May 19-20, 1990.

PP: – Were there different whistle melodies or was it this tune from the very beginning?

PG: – It was the same melody from the beginning. I got the idea to whistle from Monty Python’s „Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life”.

PP: – Is „Joyride” a perfect pop song in your book?

PG: – It’s one of my best anyway. I’m not 100% satisfied with the production though. I think it’s a little thick and meaty and the song could go a little faster. Also, I don’t sing it very well, but that was the best I could do at the time. I always feel relieved when the middle-eight comes in and Marie starts to sing… I take you on a skyride… she sounds so much better.

PP: – You have four US No. 1’s! That’s huge! When „Joyride” reached the top, did you feel the same excitement as with the first three No.1’s?

PG: – Yes, I did. It was unbelievable. I was in Paris that day with Åsa, Clarence and Anna, his girlfriend at the time. We all went to La Coupole in the evening to celebrate. I remember staying at the Raphael Hotel. Åsa woke up in the middle of night seeing a ghost (it wasn’t me!) so we moved out. That’s Paris for you! Hahaha, I should write a book!

PP: – „Ghosts of Paris”, would be a bestseller! Haha. Your career was soaring in the US and one would have thought that nothing could go wrong. Then shit happened with EMI. Do you think if „Spending My Time” had been released much earlier, maybe even as the lead single, it could have also reached a No. 1 spot on the Billboard?

PG: – I think the new 1992-regime at EMI USA, led by Charles Koppelman, definitely weakened us in that market. The „new” EMI showed no interest in us whatsoever and certainly didn’t know what to do with two foreigners speaking a strange language even though we’ve had so much success in their country. So they basically just let everything slide.
With the support from the people at the „old” EMI I’m pretty sure „Spending My Time” would have been a Top 5 single. It was climbing fast on the Billboard Hot 100 when the take-over at EMI took place. Then it just stopped.
The whole marketing campaign set up for the „Joyride” album in the US was supposed to peak with „Spending My Time” being released in the winter/spring of 1992. It was regarded as „the big one” on the album. The natural follow-up to „Listen To Your Heart” and „It Must Have Been Love”.

PP: – You wrote the lyrics to „Watercolours In The Rain” several years before „Joyride” was in sight. What project did you write it for originally?

PG: – I don’t know. I wrote so much all the time. Poems, lyrics, phrases. I always liked that title, it makes your imagination tick. As you know, there’s a Swedish song with the same title I wrote back in 1982 (for Gyllene Tider), „Som regn på en akvarell”. Maybe I should have another go in French?

PP: – „Aquarelles sous la pluie”? Hm. It’s the only song Marie wrote the music to. Back then how motivated was she to maybe write more for Roxette?

PG: – Roxette’s fundamental idea was me being the main writer and Marie being the main singer. Marie never really wrote Top 40 songs in those days and Roxette’s only chance initially to go abroad was via „hit records”.
Over the years Marie presented a little bit more material for Roxette, but at this particular time she focused primarily on her Swedish stuff. The main reason was probably that she felt she couldn’t express herself lyrically that well in English.
Also, generally speaking, she didn’t write as much as I did. When we had time off I spent basically every day in the studio, writing and demoing new songs. I was ALWAYS working!
Marie needed much more space outside of Roxette than I did. We were different.

PP: – Music to „Hotblooded” you co-wrote with Marie. It was one of the last demos recorded for „Joyride”. Was it written together to make a difference vs. other songs on the album?

PG: – No, „Hotblooded” was written in January 1990 when Marie came down to the westcoast for a couple of days. We wrote and demoed „Hotblooded” and „Watercolours In The Rain” during those sessions.

PP: – You’re so right! The date of the „Bag Of Trix” demo fooled me, but even in the previous interview I did with you you mentioned that there is an earlier demo of „Hotblooded” with guitars + bass + drums.

PG: – For „Hotblooded” Marie wanted something really simple and sexy to sing so we used basically just one chord in the verse. Marie improvised a bluesy melody to a lyric that I had and it sounded really cool. I think I wrote that Jimmy Page-style guitar riff on the spot, but it was definitely MP who played it on the demo. Too tricky for me.
Later in January and early February Marie, Clarence and Anders joined MP and me at the T&A temple to start the real production of the album. The first song we cut was „(Do You Get) Excited?”. I remember that clearly because the electricity in the studio went down. A total blackout. Tiny village.
We had so many songs floating around the „Joyride” album at the time. Anders and Clarence programmed, for instance, a version of „Shelter From The Storm” („Segla på ett moln”) for Marie to sing. We even demoed two old Gyllene Tider-songs; „Run Run Run” and „Another Place, Another Time”. But we had better stuff coming.

PP: – „Knockin’ On Every Door” started out as „Rocket” in 1987. How can you keep distance from your songs to be able to rewrite them to an extent that even Clarence wouldn’t realize it’s the same song?

PG: – Hahaha, he’s pretty easy to fool! Nah, he’s a tough one. I really loved „Rocket” when it was written, but I had a hard time convincing Clarence and Marie to use it for „Look Sharp!”. So I re-did it (= put a shuffle-beat to it + wrote new lyrics). I think Clarence started to like it when Jonas played that guitar riff in the studio. It was a monster hook!

PP: – Why did you decide to remix „Soul Deep” and include it on „Joyride” instead of a totally new song from the many you had written for this album?

PG: – Because it was Marie’s big showstopper live and we were heading for a huge world tour! It was an amazing song to play in concert, Marie loved it. So did the crowd.

PP: – One can never know when it comes to you: is there any song on the album that has a Swedish lyric too? Except for „Soul Deep”, of course.

PG: – No. Sorry. All custom made.

PP: – I think „Small Talk” is the song you talked about the least. Any confessions that have to be heard?

PG: – All of us felt it was a little bit too similar to „Dressed For Success” stylewise. But not as good. I think it found its place on the album because we needed uptempo songs to get the right balance.

PP: – We are lucky to have „The Making of Joyride” docu where we can follow the process of recordings through „The Big L.”. It’s the only single that wasn’t released in the US. Why wasn’t it considered?

PG: – Because EMI USA wasn’t interested in us anymore.

PP: – „Perfect Day” is a difficult song vocally. Is there a demo that you sing?

PG: – No, thank God! I have a T&A-demo with Marie singing made in August 1990. Haven’t you heard it? MP plays hillbilly accordion!

PP: – The demo you released on „Bag Of Trix” is definitely a fab one. Regarding „Perfect Day”, Marie said it was a song she had dreamed about. Do you remember her first reactions to it?

PG: – She adored it immediately and I knew she would. It’s a tough one to sing and she loved that challenge. She didn’t even use her falsetto voice on the recording. She sang it „au naturel”. Outstanding!

PP: – Once this song was in sight, it kicked away „Queen Of Rain” from its album closer position on „Joyride”. Then there were songs you gave easily away to other artists (e.g. „The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye), while you didn’t give „Queen Of Rain” to anyone even if they asked for it. How did you decide which ones could go and which ones to keep?

PG: – Since I’ve always been an artist as well as a songwriter I’ve obviously saved the best material for my own projects. It’s a big difference compared to being solely a professional songwriter. Then you’re a „hired gun” and have to compromise a bit more to please „the customer”. My priorities have always been Roxette, GT and my solo career. And Mono Mind and The Lonely Boys, of course.
Laura Branigan got hold of both „The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye” and „Queen Of Rain”. I can’t remember how. She wanted to record both of them, but Marie wanted us to keep „Queen Of Rain” for Roxette. So we did.
Phil Ramone produced Laura Branigan at the time. He liked my songwriting and I was really flattered that someone like him took interest in my work. He produced, as you probably know, superb records by Paul Simon and Billy Joel and did some amazing stuff over a long period of time.

PP: – „Church Of Your Heart” was suggested to be a single by the American record company. Did it make sense to release a single that was not on the original album (LP), only on the CD version?

PG: – No, we never understood that. It was a leftover from the LP. Clarence hated it. Jonas loved it, though. I thought it was kinda nice, but I don’t think Marie liked it very much. It wasn’t really her cup of tea. It was more me pretending to be Halmstad’s Tom Petty.

PP: – You wrote so many songs for „Joyride” that it could have easily been a double album. Weren’t you thinking about it back in the days?

PG: – No, we were in the Top 40 game. No double albums allowed. Thank you very much.

PP: – You had quite produced demos, knowing exactly how you wanted the songs to sound. Still if we watch „The Making of Joyride”, we can see there was creativity on the sessions and changes were added here and there, even if the final songs sound quite like your demos. How did that work with the team?

PG: – Well, the more comfortable I felt in the studio the more advanced demos I made together with MP. But the whole Roxette thing was a collaboration and a teamwork and I was always very open to that.
If Jonas presented a guitar sound or a riff we took it seriously, listened closely and had an opinion. The same went for everyone. Marie changed some of the melodies sometimes, Clarence sneaked in a new chord here and there. Or a different modulation. Maybe Anders changed the beat or the tempo to a song. I loved that. It all made the songs better and created that glimmering Roxette Universe.

PP: – Which of your lyrics on „Joyride” do you think is the best still today?

PG: – I don’t know. „Spending My Time” is pretty good. „Excited” is OK. „Joyride” is a good idea.

PP: – Which song was the trickiest to write?

PG: – There were no big hickups with these songs. You start with an idea and go from there. If you get stuck you throw it away and start something new.
I’m a pretty restless person, so I don’t like to spend weeks and weeks on a song. It has to grab my attention very quickly and keep it there until it’s finished. It’s always been like that.

PP: – Which song title do you find the most exciting on „Joyride” and which one you wouldn’t use as a title today?

PG: – Hahaha, I’ve always been a sucker for good song titles!! I actually think all of them are pretty good. The title is often the very first impression you get from a song, so it’s important that it grabs your attention and makes you curious.

PP: – Which song on „Joyride” has the best chorus / best verse / best melody that you are the most proud of?

PG: – Oh no Patricia, so very tricky questions this time! Joyride’s got a great chorus, but so does „Fading Like A Flower”. I still love the chorus in „Perfect Day”. It’s really beautiful. I like most of „Things Will Never Be The Same”. „Excited” stands out because of all the modulations. It opens up new doors all the time. I like „The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye” (great title!), but I don’t know if that counts!

PP: – What’s your best rhyme on „Joyride”?

PG: – Well, „lady” and „baby” in „Joyride” isn’t that good, is it?

PP: – Haha! 4 songs from „Joyride” were later released in Spanish too. Do you remember which of them Marie liked the most to sing in Spanish? And which is your favourite?

PG: – Marie loved to sing „Un dia sin ti” („Spending My Time”). It was HER song. Even in Spanish!

PP: – Actually, it was 30 years ago when you changed my life forever for the first time. After we got access to satellite TV and I first saw the „Joyride” video and heard the song on MTV, I became an instant Roxer at the age of 11. Once a Joyrider, always a Joyrider. How do you see MTV’s role in Roxette’s career?

PG: – MTV was very important for Roxette. The videos made us come alive and become real persons to so many people. It was a new tool, very fresh and we loved it. We spent enormous amounts of money creating all those clips. It was a very exciting era in pop music. Anything was possible.

PP: – You had 6 videos shot for songs off „Joyride”. Which one did you find the most challenging to shoot and which was the most fun?

PG: – „Joyride” was fun, it felt like everyone was waiting for it! The hype around that song was huge even before people had heard it. It was certainly a thrill to go to the desert shooting the video. Even though the Ferrari Dino was fake!
„Fading Like A Flower” was a beautiful one paying homage to Stockholm. We had a great time freezing in the cold. Guess we were used to that.
„Spending My Time” was also nice, sensitive and intimate. Fit the song perfectly.
„Excited” was wonderful. It was entirely Marie’s show. Outstanding and really beautiful. It was supposed to be a single but never happened.
„The Big L” was hilarious and totally over the top. Big crazy production staged in Stockholm.
„Church Of Your Heart” I can’t remember. Was I involved?

PP: – Well, if it’s not you boogieing around that Sydney church, I don’t know who that guy is. Haha. Marie loved acting, so shooting for her must have been a fab experience. How about you?

PG: – Oh, I liked it as well! The first big ones, „The Look” and „Dressed For Success” were amazing to be part of. It felt like we had landed on Mars. Buying clothes at Trash & Vaudeville in New York City late 80’s was definitely science fiction.

PP: – Did you get scripts in advance for the videos? Were there different scripts vs. the end results in any of the videos’ case?

PG: – No, not really. We had meetings discussing the general idea, the direction, the location, the budget and so on.

PP: – Getting back to MTV, you won the International Viewers Choice Awards with „Joyride” in 1991. How did it feel to win this award for the second time?

PG: – Amazing, of course. To get an award based on the exquisite taste of the audience is always the finest achievement.

PP: – Which video did you like the most in the sense of standing out from the mass of music videos at the time?

PG: – Of all our videos „Crash! Boom! Bang!” felt very innovative at the time. I still think it looks great. And „The Look” is really cool. Always loved that one.

PP: – „Things Will Never Be The Same” has always been an amazing song, but after Marie left us, it has a different meaning to all of us. If you did a video to the song back in the days, how would it have been?

PG: – Who knows? I can’t answer that.

PP: – „Join The Joyride!” was your first ever world tour. How did you prepare for it and how was the rehearsal period with the band?

PG: – Everyone was really triggered by the success. We knew we were gonna play big arenas, maybe even moving to stadiums later on. It’s easy to work when you’re on a roll.

PP: – Of course you already had great hits, but the Roxette catalogue back then wasn’t as big as today. How did you decide what to include in the setlist?

PG: – First of all, we wanted to please the fans playing the songs they wanted to hear. Then we wanted to show the world what a great band we were. People, and media in particular, didn’t expect that from a Top 40-act.
Jonas was amazing. That’s why we did those long intros and solos on „Soul Deep” and „Cry”. Clarence and Anders were world class players. Pelle solid as a rock as well as Vicki and Staffan. I was the weakest musician in this gang, but I did my best to put my fingers on the right frets. Like always, I spent most of my time „directing”, changing the setlist, suggesting different visual things etc.

PP: – Songs on tour sounded more like the album versions back then. How was it with the arrangements? Would it have been too early to change it live (e.g. do an acoustic version of „Spending My Time”)?

PG: – We had a very distinct sound on the records and we tried to duplicate that live as well. It was hard to do sometimes. Some songs had pre-recorded tracks, like the bass sequencer on „The Look” and „Dressed For Success”, but we tried as much as possible to avoid technology. We didn’t really need it since everyone (not counting myself…) were superb musicians.

PP: – You were supposed to start your tour in the US, but because of the Gulf War the American part was postponed and became reality only in 1992. Do you think Roxette’s American history would have been different if you could have started touring there already in 1991?

PG: – We will never know. Doesn’t matter now. Things turned out amazing the way they did.

PP: – I think you have a definite main act character, but was it ever an option to be the support act to a big American band to make Roxette more known among US people?

PG: – No. We never did any support act gigs. It’s always gonna be a compromise, so we never bothered.

PP: – You experienced a kind of hysteria with Gyllene Tider in Sweden earlier, but how different was the worldwide hype of fans around Roxette those days?

PG: – The same but much bigger. I was ten years younger when the GT frenzy started. I think that experience helped me focus on the most important thing for me in Roxette, which was the songwriting and the guiding.

PP: – Already back then the age group of the crowd at your concerts was very wide from kids to grandparents. What do you think made all generations interested in hearing you live?

PG: – I don’t know. It just happened. What we did appealed to a lot of different people for some reason.

PP: – Marie definitely stole the show on tour. She was an amazing perfomer and perfectly owned the stage and the crowd too. How did you feel about it?

PG: – It was never an issue. I was used to be the front figure in Gyllene Tider, but most of the songs in Roxette were sung by Marie, so it came natural that she stepped up and became the leader on stage. She did an amazing job. I think those hours performing was what she loved the most.

PP: – Even if pyrotechnics were used, as a backdrop you only had some playing with the lights and screening some words. Was that minimalism on purpose or was it rather budget-related?

PG: – Oh, I thought we had a big production even back in 1991!

PP: – You didn’t have a big guitar pick holder on your stand like you have nowadays. How did you manage with only a few picks during a whole show?

PG: – The big guitar pick holder wasn’t invented in those days! I think I had my picks gaffa-taped close to the lukewarm water beside my amp.

PP: – Marie also got a guitar on „The Look” and „Joyride”. Did she use your picks or did she have her own?

PG: – Can’t remember. She probably stole mine. Everyone did.

PP: – Both you and Marie wrote songs during the tour. Yours were rather bright, while Marie wrote the darkest album of hers to date. How do you look back on this busy touring period from a songwriter’s point of view?

PG: – I think I enjoyed the touring part more than Marie. It’s sooooo much more than just the two hours you spend on stage. We were different people. In the end of the day that’s what made Roxette special.

PP: – Back in the days there was no iPhone and sound recording apps. What device did you use to record your song ideas while on tour?

PG: – Oh I had my gadgets. My favorite one was a dictation machine that made me feel like a Hollywood-lawyer. Still have it. Two tapes still exist with sketches and rough demos on them.

PP: – You know how to tease! Haha. Now 30 years later what advice would you have for yourselves in the „Joyride” era?

PG: – Looking back I’m pretty pleased with the whole ride. It was a remarkable thing to be part of. I feel truly blessed to have experienced it. I know Marie felt the same.

PP: – As a last question, you talked about a 30th anniversary „Joyride” release and we can see from your updates that you are digging deep in your drawers again. Could you share some more details with us? What can we expect? And of course: when?

PG: – We have a few ideas to stimulate your eyes and ears. I guess the boxes will be out early autumn. 4 LP’s and 3 CD’s. Including unreleased stuff, demos and a fab booklet with lots of hidden secrets and shameless hairstyles revealed. I hope we can release some unseen footage as well. Maybe some of the old videos in HQ? And a „Joyride” live album would be nice. There’s no set date yet. But hey, who’s in a hurry?

PP: – We’ll give it a warm welcome anytime! Thank you so much for your time, Per! Congrats once again on the anniversary and please, let it be a BIG FAT box!

PG: – Fat is my middle name!