Per Gessle and Micke Syd Andersson on P4 Extra

Per and Micke Syd were guests on Swedish Radio P4 Extra. Listen HERE! Their part starts at 28:40 and lasts until 53:35.

Reporter Titti Schultz asks the guys how long they have known each other. They say too long. Titti asks Micke if he worked at a bar before and what he did there. Micke Syd says he did everything except for doing the washing up.

Titti is curious if it is really going to be the last tour and the guys confirm it is. She asks how many summer songs they promise to release on the new album. Per says he doesn’t know, but there will be a lot of summer songs on tour.

Det är över nu is played and Titti shares with the listeners that Micke was air drumming in the studio during the song. Per says Det är över nu and also Sommartider, Det hjärta som brinner or Tylö sun for example are songs that can’t be rehearsed, because it’s a bit comic without an audience.

The guys say it’s the ’90s when they sounded the best. It was the period when they came back for the first time, with songs like Det är över nu, Kung av sand, Juni, juli, augusti, Gå & fiska!

Titti says one of her absolute favourite GT songs is Juni, juli, augusti and asks the guys if they have any favourite GT songs. Micke Syd says Juni, juli, augusti is much fun to play live. Per picks Faller ner på knä.

Talking about the new album, Samma skrot och korn, Per says it’s a bit more adult, more thoughtful and also sentimental and sad vs. their previous albums. It’s very nice pop music. The title refers to the band members. The guys recorded it in France and they went through a creative process that couldn’t have happened in a studio in Stockholm.

Regarding the tour Per and Micke say there will be some unexpected happenings, surprises, but they can’t tell anything about it yet. Micke Syd jokes there will be pole dance. Haha.

Titti asks if the guys are sentimental and feel nostalgic now that all this comes to an end. Micke Syd says he became sentimental already in France. At last there is a song again that HE sings, Låt denna trumslagarpojke sjunga! Titti asks if she can get a little snippet a capella. Per jokes that then he has to go away.

To the question if they get together often, the guys replied that they didn’t meet the five of them together since the last tour, but the recording sessions in France were fantastic and much fun.

About the new single, Jag drömde jag mötte Fluortanten, Per says there is a little Van Morrison turn in it, which is a little unexpected. Titti says this must be the very first song about a Fluortant. The song is played on the radio.

Titti asks Per if he could write a song like Flickorna på TV2 today and Mr. G replies he couldn’t. Titti asks if they will play it this summer. Per says for sure, because it’s great to play it. Regarding the setlist Per says they circulated a list of 51 songs that they will narrow down to 25-26 songs. There are 17-18 songs that they MUST play, but then they also want to include surprises and songs from the new album. The concerts are planned to be 2 hours long.

Titti thinks fans in the ’80s were different than fans today. Per says they are not, it’s juts that we live in a different era. It’s just that there is social media and mobile phones nowadays. Titti asks if there are groupies around, Micke Syd says no, they never really had the talent for that, to have groupies waiting for them at the hotel.

Faller ner på knä is played, but cut short due to news.

Titti asks Micke Syd if he has become a better drummer over the years. Micke says he has, just not technically, but how he plays. When he plays elsewhere, even when he played for Roxette in June Afternoon or She Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, it’s different vs. when he plays in GT. In Gyllene Tider it’s like coming home. In France for example the recordings went so fast, because they went with the flow.

Titti asks how they know a song is ready. Per says a song develops all the time. When they play it live it becomes different. He thinks sometimes it’s a pity that one writes a song, they record it in the studio and take it to an audience only later. It could be the other way around, playing the song for an audience 20-30 times before recording it.

 

Per Gessle about Gyllene Tider’s new single

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

First they are listening to this part of the song:

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

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

The other part they are listening to is:

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

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

Sing along HERE!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© Svenska Dagbladet, Andres Lokko, Staffan Löwstedt

Interview with Per Gessle by Variabeln

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then there are 4 quick questions:

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