Per Gessle in radio documentary about Jonas Åkerlund

Swedish Radio P3 did a radio documentary about Jonas Åkerlund’s career. They interviewed Jonas about his collaborations with tons of world famous artists, the music videos he directed, his black metal band, Bathory, his dyslexia he struggled with and also about his movies. Besides his wife, Bea Åkerlund, Jan Gradvall and Per Sinding Larsen, Per Gessle was also interviewed for the docu.

The Roxette-related part starts with Jonas’ collaboration with Marie Fredriksson at 17:21. It’s Marie talking in the Den ständiga resan docu. Jonas tells that during Den ständiga resan project in 1992 Marie and he became good friends which was easy with Marie, because she was so kind and friendly towards everyone, including Jonas who says he was a nobody back then. He is thankful to Marie that he got the job and that led to so many others. It was that half-hour-long documentary and the videos to the album that Per Gessle saw. Then Jonas began to work with Roxette and that was his break-through.

The first collaboration with Roxette was the video for Fingertips ’93. Jonas thinks it’s a good song. Marie was pregnant and she didn’t want it to be visible, so the clothes she was wearing were hiding it. Jonas was working together with Roxette for 25 years. In 2016 they released Roxette Diaries, a documentary made of home videos recorded by Per and Åsa in the 80’s and 90’s during tours and recordings.

Per tells Jonas is an amazingly creative explosion all over. They became very close friends, both are music nerds. Their style is very different, but both of them are workaholic and dedicated to their own job. Mr. G tells every recording occasion with Jonas was an adventure, because anything could happen. Per thinks Jonas is quite organized in a way, but he is also very spontaneous. If a new idea comes up, he is testing it.

According to Per, Jonas’ best videos are like a very good pop song that is interesting in its whole length, no matter if it’s 3 or 4 minutes long. Jonas is very talented in building up a video that you want to watch again. Per feels it’s the same how he works with his pop songs, to make it interesting and catch the attention. That’s what Jonas is doing both when he is filming and cutting.

Per Gessle appears at the end of the docu again (at 1:24:53) telling Jonas will go down in history as one of the greatest music video directors not only because he has been working with many of the greatest artists, but also because his style is so unique and innovative. Mr. G says he is superproud to have been working with Jonas.

During the documentary, you can hear Small Apartments soundtrack several times and of course, part of Marie’s DSR docu and songs, as well as parts of Roxette songs.

Jonas photo by Allis Nettréus/TT/SR, Marie and Per stills are from Fingertips ’93 video

Per Gessle and Roxette in Save Tonight – Swedish hits from the video era

Save Tonight – svenska hits från videoeran (Save Tonight – Swedish hits from the video era) is a music program on SVT. It is produced by the people behind En kväll för Marie Fredriksson, På spåret, Det svenska popundret and Hitlåtens historia, so there is a guarantee for a high quality series. Tonight, 25th September 2021 it’s the premiere of the program and it’s planned to be an annual TV show.

The essence of the program is to pay homage to great musical eras from the last century with live music, interviews and features. It’s the 40th anniversary of MTV music channel broadcasting its first program in 1981, when a new window was opened to the world for people interested in music.

A number of great artists cooperated in Save Tonight – svenska hits från videoeran, Per Gessle is one of them. There is a short interview with Mr. G about Roxette’s videos. This part starts at 46:41 and lasts till 49:29.

Program leader Josefine Jinder tells Per Gessle knew how to write hit after hit, but knew nothing about how to make music videos. So when MTV popped up, he took it as a big, but fun challenge.

Mr. G tells before MTV it was dry. The videos fit Roxette perfectly. They were young and interested in the video format. They thought it was an extension of their pop language. Per thinks it was cool to make videos e.g. to The Look and Dressed For Success, which they made at the same time in New York. He says it was awesome to work together with stylists and choreographers, so you could make more of your song. You quickly realized that you have to have a good video and so it quite quickly escalated the budget. If you are international, you have to work with an international budget and it was extremely lot of money they invested in music videos. Mr. G thinks that big part of their success is due to their cool videos, e.g. Fading Like A Flower in Stockholm City Hall or Listen To Your Heart on Öland. Per laughs and tells that everyone in the US thought that they built the ruins for the video’s sake. Actually, Marie was most often the front figure and Per rather had to strike tough poses and ”power chords”. It was fun, they loved making videos.

Jonas Åkerlund also talks on the program from 1:03:39, mainly about videos in general and the contradictions in the briefs of record labels for doing something cool and shocking that one could have never seen before, but at the same time taking care of not going to an extreme when a video can be censored, because then no one will see it. He says videos became fun again when YouTube appeared.

You can already watch Save Tonight – svenska hits från videoeran on SVT Play (if you are in Sweden) or watch it on SVT1 at 20:00 CET tonight.

Stills are from the program.

Per Gessle’s cookhouse

Per’s latest posts made many fans wonder what Mr. G is cooking again. First you see him posting a video, getting ready to work with Clarence. In a different time zone. Okay, it’s music in the making, not just a random holiday. Then bang, there is a Sunday selfie with Anders Herrlin, Clarence Öfwerman and Per. Anders? Hm hm… Then it comes to your mind that Anders is very much into soundtracks and you remember Per said in an interview quite some time ago that he is working together with Jonas Åkerlund again on a soundtrack for Jonas’ new movie. Jonas is indeed working on a new film. The title is Lords of Chaos and it’s based on a true story. It was announced already in May 2015 that Jonas is directing this movie, but the shooting was a bit delayed for whatever reasons. Now it seems Mr. Åkerlund is very busy with it and the project is in pre-production phase.

Back to Mr. G’s new dice, the storyline on IMDb states: A teenager’s quest to launch Norwegian Black Metal in Oslo in the 1980s results in a very violent outcome.

Black metal… Aha… What does Per have to do with black metal??? Oh my… Then ooops, he posts a picture of Christoffer Lundquist and Clarence Öfwerman hanging out with a cutout Alan Jackson (famous country musician) and he writes ”Chris, Anders & Clare preparing yet another heavy metal arrangement.” Heavy metal… so why Alan Jackson? Just to confuse us… Oh, Alan Jackson has a good-looking country bar in Nashville.

Back to the movie. You check anything related to the ”music by” section of Lords of Chaos, but all you can find related to sounds / music so far is that Mattias Eklund’s name is stated as re-recording mixer / supervising sound editor. Mattias was there to edit sounds for Small Apartments as well. You know, the movie with beautiful soundtrack music by Per Gessle.

So is Per making black metal music together with Anders, Clarence and Chris? Or are they all there in Nashville for country music only? Haha. This guy is certainly not running out of projects. Good for us!

 

PerAndersClarence_US
Picture taken from Roxette’s Facebook page

Update on 2nd November 2016: Helena Josefsson joined the gang in Nashville for 3 days & they are recording together with Jessica Sweetman (British singer / songwriter). Jessica says: “Yesterday [1st November] I was recording in the Blackbird Studios in Nashville with Per Gessle from Roxette. I am so happy that I am going to be featured on a song of his that he is releasing next year. Per and his team are such wonderful souls and incredibly talented musicians. I feel blessed I have had this opportunity of collaborating with them on this project.”

Update on 5th November 2016: Drummer Elizabeth Goodfellow joined Per Gessle & Co in Nashville. Elizabeth also worked together with Helena Josefsson and Christoffer Lundquist at AGM a month ago. Elizabeth says: “Just wrapped up tracking drums for Per Gessle! It’s an honor to play for a songwriter I listened to on the radio since before I can remember. So grateful to keep growing and learning. Thank you!”

 

Roxette Diaries at the Berlinale

As we posted about it some days ago, LevelK, a sales company handling international sales and distribution and managing the distribution rights for quality films and TV productions worldwide started to deal with the Roxette Diaries. They bring the documentary as part of their Berlin International Film Festival line-up.

They describe the docu as:

The extraordinary pop documentary ROXETTE DIARIES that through self shot video material presents an intimate portrait and an unique insight into the world of one of the 80’s and 90’s biggest pop bands.

Roxette Diaries is in clear focus. Roxette appears on the cover of LevelK’s festival magazine (click HERE to download) in which you can find 2 pages about the docu, including Rox pics from the past.

Nice promo for this long-awaited film, which is set to be released on 7th March. Now it’s out really soon.

 

rox_diaries_levelk_1_rs  rox_diaries_levelk_2_rs

Thanx for finding the magazine, Roxette Cafe.

 

Roxette Diaries premiere in August!

As we already wrote about it earlier, a Roxette movie is coming. According to Hallandsposten (1; 2), the Roxette Diaries behind-the-scenes documentary directed by Jonas Åkerlund will premiere in August at the Way Out West Festival. The festival is between 13th and 15th August 2015 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

As you know, Jonas got exclusive access to a huge amount of private videos filmed backstage during Roxette’s world tours, in studios, during PR tours and at other places. He received the videos in April 2014 and now he created a story about Roxette. The first updates were about tapes from 1988-2001, but later Per said what you’ll see in the movie is from 1986-1995. Now Hallandsposten mentions 1988-2001 again, but he used our article as reference, so it’s probably 1986-1995 in the end. Let’s see what happens.

Watch the fantastic trailer on Mr. Åkerlund‘s website HERE!

Hopefully, the movie will be available soon to a wider audience, too.

roxette_diaries_premiere

P.S.: Thanx for reading us, Hallandsposten. 😉