Interview with Per Gessle and Micke Syd on Svenska Yle

Kjell Ekholm from Svenska Yle did an interview with Per Gessle and Micke Syd in the beginning of June in Stockholm. The guys were talking about Gyllene Tider’s history, last album and farewell tour.

When they sat down, there were the recently re-released first 3 GT albums on the table and Micke and Per started discussing people on the covers. Micke Syd recognized his then girlfriend, Per pointed at Marie i växeln. Kjell told the guys he has the first edition of GT’s first album pressed on yellow vinyl and Per asked him if he knows that it was printed in only 9000 copies.

Kjell mentions GT has now sold nearly half a million records, but their career start wasn’t easy. They made a self-financed EP that they sent to various record companies and radio stations, but they didn’t get too much airplay. Per even sent a complaint letter to the local radio station in Halmstad, Radio Halland. That letter is now hanging on the wall framed in Swedish Radio P4 Halland’s studio.

Per told the name of GT came from ”The Golden Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, a single by Mott the Hoople, one of his favourite bands. In 1984, Gyllene Tider tried to launch an English album in the US, and because their name was impossible for Americans to pronounce, they changed it to Roxette after a song by Dr. Feelgood. Per told he didn’t write good songs on that record, especially no good lyrics. It flopped. Billboard reviewed the album and wrote ”nothing much happened here” and that’s how Per felt too. A year later Anders Herrlin decided to leave the band. Per thinks it was probably Anders who suffered the most from this pop idol hysteria. He was voted Sweden’s best looking guy in 1982 and it didn’t fit him at all. He also had other musical ambitions. Per added that Anders’ in-depth knowledge of the digital world was of great use when they made Roxette’s first records.

Even though the band had ended, their songs eventually got an eternal life. They are continuously played on the radio. In 1995 the guys had their first reunion on stage. ”Halmstads pärlor” became Sweden’s best-selling album two years in a row. In 2004, the band had their 25th anniversary and went on a giant tour that became the biggest ever in Sweden and pulled over half a million in the audience. In 2013 they did their third major tour.

Kjell asked the guys what they think makes them unique. Per said he played GT songs with so many other musicians, but they sound totally different when he plays them with others. Micke Syd thinks the songs are made so well and their playing is so personal that it makes a difference. He tells an example that all drummers who have tried to imitate Ringo or Charlie Watts have found out that it simply doesn’t work. There is something unique that you can’t put your finger on but which means that no one in Gyllene Tider can be replaced, because then it creates an imbalance in the whole.

The guys talked about the rehearsals that they would rehearse as little as possible. They wouldn’t rehearse ”Sommartider” for example. The first time they will play it will be in Halmstad. Micke Syd said that those early songs are encoded in their spinal cords.

Regarding the new album, ”Samma skrot och korn” there was no pressure on the guys from anyone else than themselves to do something good. The record stands out among today’s albums. Micke Syd said when he looks at the charts both in Sweden and worldwide, it feels like they came from another planet.

Per told he started writing songs for the album two years ago and then he still wasn’t aware that it would be the last record of GT. He said he wanted the record to feel like they are a band that has been playing together for a long time and has grown up and matured with pop music. He neither wanted nor couldn’t write another ”När vi två blir en” or ”Sommartider”. Mr. G said he wanted to write adult texts with a lot of sentimentality, sadness and contemplation and how it was before. It fits them right now.

To Kjell’s question about why they want to end GT when they still seem to be in top shape and can release such a great album, Per replied they are getting old and it feels good to end it while they are all still alive and in top shape and can do this tour, because who knows where they would be in 5 years.

 

Per Gessle and Micke Syd on Musikplats

Per and Micke were Fredrik Eliasson’s guests on Musikplats on Swedish Radio P4 Stockholm the other day. They talked about Gyllene Tider’s new album and their feelings before the band’s farewell.

Micke Syd says it’s a 40-year-long love story between them and their audience and now that both the audience and the band know it’s the last time, they will make the best out of it this summer.

Per talks about GT as a five-piece puzzle where everyone is important. It’s a kind of magic when them 5 play together it sounds totally different when they play their songs with other musicians. Fredrik asks what’s that Gyllene touch in their songs. Per says there are a lot of things that make their unique sound, but one of them is definitely the Farfisa, which became their trademark. It sets a special tone for the songs.

Fredrik remembers he was sitting in the living room in the ’80s with a cassette and recorded songs from the radio when När vi två blir en came with 40 seconds of Farfisa intro and a little from the first verse. He was stuck in the rhythm and feelings. Per says that’s the fantastic power of music. Certain music and songs are just magnetic, but they are not magnetic to all at the same level and not the same music is magnetic to everyone. Mr. G says he also has songs that turned his own world upside down. There aren’t many forms of art that can do this to you.

The guys are talking a bit more about pop organs. Micke Syd says they were not the first to use this instrument. Per mentions that e.g. in the ’70s Elvis Costello & The Attractions also played something on Vox organ.

Per, Micke and Fredrik talk about the new album. Micke Syd says they recorded 15 songs in 17 days in France. Fredrik mentions that over the years the guys went into different directions. Micke Syd says they all have their own inspirations. Anders works a lot with soundstracks, for example. Per says Göran doesn’t really play music outside GT, but he had a lot of great ideas in France. It seems that everyone is standing on their toes now and it feels wonderful before the tour.

Per says the idea was to write a pop album for GT, but it should sound like the band has become a little older, but kept their roots of course, to keep the Gyllene Tider touch. Fredrik asks Per if he feels it when he writes whether it’s a Gyllene song or not. Per says that with certain songs he felt shit, it’s not really GT, maybe it could be PG solo. He also says that when you have 5-6 midtempo songs of the same style, you need nice ballads too. And there is a song he wrote for Micke to sing, because he sang Min tjej och jag so fine in 1981 on Moderna Tider. Per says they weren’t inside when Micke sang Låt denna trumslagarpojke sjunga! in the studio. Micke says it was challenging for him to sing this song, but it’s nice he had the chance to sing on the last album and he likes it a lot.

Fredrik asks the guys about the cover of Sven-Ingvars’ Någon att hålla i hand. Per had this song on an EP when he was a kid. He recorded an acoustic demo and thought GT could Gyllenefy the song.

About the studio in France Per says Anders went there in autumn to check if it suits them. It’s a spacious studio, great for bands. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Morrissey and Rammstein recorded there too, for example. At this point, a mobile rings and it turns out that Anders calls the guys. They pick up the phone saying he is live on radio. Fredrik asks Anders how it was in France and he says it was awesome, creative and overwhelming. They had a blast.

Regarding the tour Per says it’s going to be huge. They are playing big venues, Ullevi and Stockholms Stadion among them. They have a lot to organize, because it’s a huge production. At the same time they are aware of the fact that the audiences are coming for the songs, so it will be more about the communication between the band and the audience than a lot of technical stuff. Both the audience and the band will enjoy this last, special tour. Per says they are super happy that they are still there and can look back on such a fantastic journey.

Fredrik asks the guys which song they think could summarize the Gyllene feeling, production and sound. Per says it would be Det är över nu. He says it’s funny that when they came back in the ’90s they were actually better than when they finished with GT in 1985.

Listen to Musikplats HERE!

 

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.

 

New Gyllene Tider book in the making

As Hallandsposten informs, there will be a new book about Gyllene Tider. It will be written by Jan-Owe Wikström (Wicke) and photographed by Anders Roos. Both names guarantee a wonderful end result. Title of the book is said to be Gyllene Tider 2.019 – en sista refräng.

6 years ago, Jan-Owe and Anders created the book, Alla tiders Gyllene Tider. Anders says it was like being a fly on the wall while he was around taking photos of the band on tour and in the studio and he thinks it’s awesome to have the guys’ confidence so that he can do his job calmly.

Wicke is the person who actually wrote the very first Hallandsposten article about a young band, Gyllene Tider more than 40 years ago, on 8th July 1978. He has been following the guys ever since and wrote books, as well as a lot of articles about them.

Jan-Owe and Anders spent some time with GT in France this year while they were recording their last album and will be there with Per, Micke Syd, MP, Anders and Göran on tour. They will accompany the Golden Guys on several shows, especially in key locations like the premiere gig in Halmstad, then Ullevi in Gothenburg and they go to Stockholm as well. They of course won’t miss Fredrikstad, Norway, the last concert either.

Wicke says the book will be a time travel, about all the years passed and since a big part of GT’s history is about others’ experiences related to Gyllene Tider’s songs and concerts, they will also ask other artists to share their memories.

It’s not only artists who will be asked to tell what GT means to them. Fans can also contribute to the book by sharing their personal memories. Anders says they already got appr. 70 mails. They will choose some stories to be published in the book, but it’s important that those picked anecdotes represent various events and happenings. As a fan, you can send your stories to: minnen@gyllenetider.com. Per says any craziness is encouraged! 😉

It’s going to be an intense summer not only for Gyllene Tider and their fans, but also for Wicke and Anders who have GT’s full support in this project. Per says it feels safe and great to have exactly this duo writing about the band. He looks very much forward to the book and hopes he can get a signed copy. Haha.

 

Gyllene Tider’s last album to be released in June

The waiting is almost over! Gyllene Tider have announced today the release date of their farewell album and the first single from it.

As the press release says, in March 2019, Per Gessle, Mats “MP” Persson, Anders Herrlin, Göran Fritzon and Micke Syd Andersson – also known as Gyllene Tider – gathered to record their farewell album in the recording studio La Fabrique in Saint-Rémy de Provence in southern France. On Friday, 14th June, the result will see the light of day as Gyllene Tider’s 7th and last studio album, Samma skrot och korn (”Birds of a feather”). But already on 10th May it’s time for a taster in the form of the single Jag drömde jag mötte Fluortanten (”I dreamed I met the dental hygienist”).

Per Gessle had spent most of 2018 writing new golden gems such as Skrot och korn (”Birds of a feather”), Henry har en plan på gång (”Henry has a plan in progress”) and Det kändes inte som maj (”It didn’t feel like May”). A total of 15 songs were recorded, of which 14 made it to the album – by accident, exactly as many as The Beatles used to have on their LPs.

And for the first time since the intro track on Gyllene Tider’s debut album, a cover has been added. That time it was ”Skicka ett vykort älskling”, Gyllene Tider’s powerpop version of Shocking Blue’s hit, ”Send Me A Postcard”. Now it’s Sven-Ingvar’s 1965 single Någon att hålla i hand (”Someone to hold a hand”) (of which Brad Newman made the original version, ”Somebody to Love”) that gets a Gyllene tackle.

Per Gessle says:

In the past you often played some covers to show where you came from and pay tribute to your role models. That’s why we did ”Skicka ett vykort”, ”Tylö Sun”, ”Marie i växeln”, ”Vill ha ett svar” etc. You manage a music heritage and then you try to do something of your own of what you love.

And what do they say about the album in general?

Micke Syd Andersson says:

The last album was one of the most fun ever to record. We have a special contact where you just start playing a song and hardly need to look at each other.

Per Gessle adds:

It has become exactly as I hoped: you can hear that it’s a band that has maintained its sound, but still that it has actually been 40 years since they started out.

After four decades, an already legendary Swedish pop band says goodbye with an album that miraculously indicates continued top shape, even though the band has not even existed for long periods. And with a farewell tour that currently sells out more and more places, yet another Swedish music summer will be dominated by Halmstad’s pearls. 40 years of Gyllene Tider reaches its climax here and now.

Tracklist:

  1. Skrot och korn
  2. Det kändes inte som maj
  3. Jag drömde jag mötte Fluortanten
  4. Någon att hålla i hand
  5. Vid hennes sida
  6. Aftonstjärna
  7. Vanliga saker
  8. Bjud till!
  9. Låt denna trumslagarpojke sjunga!
  10. Mannen med gitarr
  11. Bara i en dröm
  12. Henry har en plan på gång
  13. Allt det andra
  14. Final

You can already pre-order the album (CD-hardbook, standard black gatefold 2LP, limited edition gatefold coloured 2LP) at the usual sites: Bengans, Ginza, CDON.


Photo by Anders Roos