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.