Per Gessle appeared on Nyhetsmorgon, TV4 this morning. You can watch the program HERE! He talked about his success on Billboard, his new solo album, as well as Marie and Bag of Trix.
Program leader Anna Brolin welcomes Per and introduces him as one of the biggest hitmakers of all time. She asks Per how he is doing. Mr. G says he is fine, a bit croaky, but it’s not the program leader’s fault, he jokes.
Anna asks Per if he follows the elections in the US since he has many friends and colleagues there. They shortly discuss a lot is going on in the US now and the corona situation is worrying. Anna mentions that Per got on a unique list in the US. He is one of 18 sole songwriters who had more than two No. 1 songs on Billboard Hot 100. They check the list of all the great songwriters on the screen and Anna is surprised that the number next to Per’s name is 3, because they had four No. 1 songs. Per tells Listen To Your Heart was also No. 1, but there he wasn’t a sole songwriter. He wrote it together with Mats MP Persson. Per is impressed that Anna can enumerate the other 3 songs. They laugh. Anna asks Mr. G which is his favourite from these 3 No. 1 hits. Per picks The Look, because it’s a crazy pop song that is still special and unique in a way. The song’s construction and half nonsense text is contagious in some way. But he loves It Must Have Been Love too, of course. It’s a magnificent song thanks to Marie and she turned it into a firework of film music with her voice. They watch a part of the IMHBL video and Anna says it’s a big song and it’s special to see Marie. She asks Per how it is for him. Mr. G says it’s almost a year ago that Marie passed away. There is emptiness. They had a very long friendship, they met at the end of the 70’s. They played in separate bands, but they shared the rehearsal studio outside Halmstad. Then they lived ”together” during whole their adult life. They had an awesome journey together.
They get back to the list of 18 and Anna asks if there is anyone on the list who inspires Per. Mr. G says all others are rubbish on the list. They laugh and of course he jokes. He says just look at those names: Paul Simon (Jesus Christ!), Paul McCartney (he grew up with The Beatles), Michael Jackson… It’s a fantastic list. Per says the one who inspired him and Gyllene Tider the most was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Tom Petty’s songwriting style and his band made them want to be Halmstad’s Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. They’ve been trying for 40 years, he laughs. He was very much inspired by The Beatles as well and by singer songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and Paul Simon. He likes their music too.
Then Anna asks Per about his new album. Mr. G says it’s a Swedish solo album, Gammal kärlek rostar aldrig. It came to life due to the pandemic. He was isolated in Halmstad this summer and thought he would go to the studio and record something. He had the ambition to play most of the instruments himself. Anna asks if it went fine. PG says it was OK, but he realized he needs some help, so he invited some local musicians to help him with bass, drums and saxophone. It became a cool album. The material on it is his old songs. He went back to the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s and found many Swedish songs he never recorded before or gave them to other artists. Songs he still felt are relevant. Per mentions Tända en sticka till which was released on his first solo album and says it has a warm love text, but he was 23-24 years old when he wrote it. Now that he sings it at the age of 61 it gives another angle to the text. One looks back at that young age and becomes melancholic and sentimental, which is not there in the 1983 version. And some songs change their identity while time goes by.
They watch a short part of the lyric video to Du kommer så nära (du blir alldeles suddig), a duet with Uno Svenningsson. Per says Helena Josefsson also sings on this one, as well as on other songs. She often sings with Per and that’s very lovely. Per thinks Uno has a fantastic voice. Anna asks why he chose Uno and Per says because he is a lovely person. He called Per this summer and asked if they could meet and have dinner together. Per said of course, but first he should come and sing on a song in the studio. He did it and it turned out to be very nice. Uno greets Per via a video message shown on the screen. He sends sunny greetings from the West coast. He thanks Per for the cooperation and says it was cool to be at MP’s studio in Halmstad and sing a little on one of Per’s nice songs. He says he is looking very much forward to Per’s new album and wishes him god luck and that he takes care of himself. Uno has a very special voice and Per says he has a special voice too, so it’s a little strange when they are singing together.
Per tells he started writing songs at the age of 15-16, so of course there are a lot of songs in his archives, the tree is growing. He doesn’t know how many songs he wrote, but someone said it’s 800 or 900 of them are registered at STIM.
Anna asks Per about the Roxette release as well. Mr. G tells he started digging in the vaults in spring and found many Roxette songs that disappeared because they were released e.g. only on CD or maybe on LP as well. Now in the times of streaming services they are not there anymore. He also found acoustic songs, a lot of demos from the 80’s when Marie and he started working on their first Roxette album. He also found unreleased songs from different albums and a Spanish song that wasn’t released before. Per says they were very big in South America and Spain.
Anna asks Per what is on his agenda. Per says artists can’t play concerts like before and technicians and crews are also affected by this. It’s a very strange time in the music business. Mr. G shares that he is working on a new English album and says he always tries to have an ongoing project.
Stills are from Nyhetsmorgon.