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.