Per Gessle on Nyhetsmorgon

Per Gessle appeared on Nyhetsmorgon, TV4 this morning. You can watch the program HERE! He talked about his success on Billboard, his new solo album, as well as Marie and Bag of Trix.

Program leader Anna Brolin welcomes Per and introduces him as one of the biggest hitmakers of all time. She asks Per how he is doing. Mr. G says he is fine, a bit croaky, but it’s not the program leader’s fault, he jokes.

Anna asks Per if he follows the elections in the US since he has many friends and colleagues there. They shortly discuss a lot is going on in the US now and the corona situation is worrying. Anna mentions that Per got on a unique list in the US. He is one of 18 sole songwriters who had more than two No. 1 songs on Billboard Hot 100. They check the list of all the great songwriters on the screen and Anna is surprised that the number next to Per’s name is 3, because they had four No. 1 songs. Per tells Listen To Your Heart was also No. 1, but there he wasn’t a sole songwriter. He wrote it together with Mats MP Persson. Per is impressed that Anna can enumerate the other 3 songs. They laugh. Anna asks Mr. G which is his favourite from these 3 No. 1 hits. Per picks The Look, because it’s a crazy pop song that is still special and unique in a way. The song’s construction and half nonsense text is contagious in some way. But he loves It Must Have Been Love too, of course. It’s a magnificent song thanks to Marie and she turned it into a firework of film music with her voice. They watch a part of the IMHBL video and Anna says it’s a big song and it’s special to see Marie. She asks Per how it is for him. Mr. G says it’s almost a year ago that Marie passed away. There is emptiness. They had a very long friendship, they met at the end of the 70’s. They played in separate bands, but they shared the rehearsal studio outside Halmstad. Then they lived ”together” during whole their adult life. They had an awesome journey together.

They get back to the list of 18 and Anna asks if there is anyone on the list who inspires Per. Mr. G says all others are rubbish on the list. They laugh and of course he jokes. He says just look at those names: Paul Simon (Jesus Christ!), Paul McCartney (he grew up with The Beatles), Michael Jackson… It’s a fantastic list. Per says the one who inspired him and Gyllene Tider the most was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Tom Petty’s songwriting style and his band made them want to be Halmstad’s Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. They’ve been trying for 40 years, he laughs. He was very much inspired by The Beatles as well and by singer songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and Paul Simon. He likes their music too.

Then Anna asks Per about his new album. Mr. G says it’s a Swedish solo album, Gammal kärlek rostar aldrig. It came to life due to the pandemic. He was isolated in Halmstad this summer and thought he would go to the studio and record something. He had the ambition to play most of the instruments himself. Anna asks if it went fine. PG says it was OK, but he realized he needs some help, so he invited some local musicians to help him with bass, drums and saxophone. It became a cool album. The material on it is his old songs. He went back to the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s and found many Swedish songs he never recorded before or gave them to other artists. Songs he still felt are relevant. Per mentions Tända en sticka till which was released on his first solo album and says it has a warm love text, but he was 23-24 years old when he wrote it. Now that he sings it at the age of 61 it gives another angle to the text. One looks back at that young age and becomes melancholic and sentimental, which is not there in the 1983 version. And some songs change their identity while time goes by.

They watch a short part of the lyric video to Du kommer så nära (du blir alldeles suddig), a duet with Uno Svenningsson. Per says Helena Josefsson also sings on this one, as well as on other songs. She often sings with Per and that’s very lovely. Per thinks Uno has a fantastic voice. Anna asks why he chose Uno and Per says because he is a lovely person. He called Per this summer and asked if they could meet and have dinner together. Per said of course, but first he should come and sing on a song in the studio. He did it and it turned out to be very nice. Uno greets Per via a video message shown on the screen. He sends sunny greetings from the West coast. He thanks Per for the cooperation and says it was cool to be at MP’s studio in Halmstad and sing a little on one of Per’s nice songs. He says he is looking very much forward to Per’s new album and wishes him god luck and that he takes care of himself. Uno has a very special voice and Per says he has a special voice too, so it’s a little strange when they are singing together.

Per tells he started writing songs at the age of 15-16, so of course there are a lot of songs in his archives, the tree is growing. He doesn’t know how many songs he wrote, but someone said it’s 800 or 900 of them are registered at STIM.

Anna asks Per about the Roxette release as well. Mr. G tells he started digging in the vaults in spring and found many Roxette songs that disappeared because they were released e.g. only on CD or maybe on LP as well. Now in the times of streaming services they are not there anymore. He also found acoustic songs, a lot of demos from the 80’s when Marie and he started working on their first Roxette album. He also found unreleased songs from different albums and a Spanish song that wasn’t released before. Per says they were very big in South America and Spain.

Anna asks Per what is on his agenda. Per says artists can’t play concerts like before and technicians and crews are also affected by this. It’s a very strange time in the music business. Mr. G shares that he is working on a new English album and says he always tries to have an ongoing project.

Stills are from Nyhetsmorgon.

Interview with Per Gessle in Nyhetsmorgon on TV4

There was a pre-recorded interview with Per Gessle this morning in Nyhetsmorgon on TV4. While program leader Jenny Alversjö introduced the interview Anders Pihlblad did with Mr. G, there were several Roxette photos shown in the background. Jenny says Marie passed away almost 3 months ago, way too early. She mentions Per was devastated and the day after he gathered his thoughts and finished a song, a comfort song, how he calls it.

 

 

 

In the interview you can hear and see snippets from Per’s new song, Around The Corner (The Comfort Song) and its lyric video.

Per says this song was lying around for a while and he finished it the day after. His mother-in-law also died a couple of days after Marie. It was a really hard time and he finished the song actually for himself. He wanted to get it out of the system. That’s how he works. One needs to get rid of things. He expresses himself through his music and lyrics.

It became a comfort song in a way. Per realized it’s a really strong song when he recorded it with Helena and Mats. He doesn’t mean it’s an especially good song, maybe it is, he doesn’t know, but he saw it touched Helena and Mats deeply. So they thought it should be released. He knows there are a lot of people in the Roxette gang, all the fans, all the friends, the whole world were affected by what happened. Almost all people go through this when they lose someone close to them sometime in life. Everyone needs this comfort. Per’s way to get through this was writing.

 

Anders says there are 2 Roxettes. One before Marie’s illness and the one after it. 2 totally different challenges. He asks Per what he was thinking when Marie got ill, how to go on with his career and if he thought they could go on with Roxette. Per explained he didn’t think they could, because it felt that Marie was in really bad shape, so it wasn’t in the cards to continue with Roxette. The first thing he did after Marie got ill was Mazarin, then Gyllene Tider in 2004, then Son of a Plumber, then En händig man, so all his other stuff. So it was really surprising that Marie wanted to make a comeback. Per thinks even Marie didn’t count on it, that she would come back. She came to visit him in Amsterdam where Per played on his European tour. Anders says he talked to a Dutch girl who was there at the concert and said there was a surprise. Per laughs and says Marie and her husband, Micke came to visit him and he asked Marie if she wanted to come up on stage so they would play an old Roxette song. She hadn’t been on stage for 7 years and she said she doesn’t want to do that. But Per knew she was easy to convince if they give it some more time, so the question remained hanging in the air and in the end Marie said OK, let’s rehearse and see how it feels. One could see she really wanted to do it. So they rehearsed and Marie said let’s try it. For the first extra song Per invited Marie up on stage and there was only Marie and Per on stage. Mr. G thinks they played Listen to Your Heart and maybe It Must Have Been Love too, he can’t remember. Per says the audience died of course and he had never seen so many people crying. It was incredible. It was the first thing Marie did and then a few weeks later she called Per if he could write a new Roxette album. That’s what eventually became Charm School. Then there were 2 big tours, maybe with 300 concerts.

 

Anders asks Per how important he thinks it was for Marie to realize that she managed to do it and that it became such a success. Per thinks it was super important for Marie, because she loved music more than anything else. She loved being on stage and she enormously missed the communication with her fans, with their fans. So she wanted to do it at all costs. Her doctor advised she shouldn’t do that, because touring is exhausting with all the travelling, the waiting, the flying, the time zones and so on. But she wanted to do that. Per told her whatever they do, they do it based on Marie’s conditions. If she wants three days between the gigs, that’s how they will do it. Per thought it was amazing that Marie wanted to do it and that they could go on.

Anders says he saw an interview with Marie that was done by Niklas Strömstedt and there she said Per was a big support to her during that period. He asks Per what he thinks about it. Per smiles, drinks a little water and says he doesn’t know. He hopes so, but it’s hard to answer this question. When someone gets ill, you want to help as much as you can, but it’s always hard to help someone without stepping too much into their private lives. People have families and you don’t know how to behave. This is how he felt about his family too. Sometimes you feel that you go one step too close and they want you to leave them alone. They want to take care of their illness in their own private way. So it’s hard to know. But Per also saw that interview in Niklas’ show and he was of course happy to hear that Marie thought so.

 

Anders says Marie and Per had many common memories from Roxette times. He is curious about the greatest ones that Per will remember forever. Mr. G says there are too many. He thinks it’s kind of a fairy tale what they have been through. The possibilities, the chances, the odds for them to succeed, coming from Sweden those days and in this industry were less than minimal. It’s fantastic, all the success they have achieved. But if he skips all the golden records, chart positions and such things, he remembers those days when they were on stage in front of 50,000 people in Chile, in Sydney or wherever and looked into each other’s eyes. And then Per knows Marie thinks ”how the hell did this happen, Per?” and he thinks the same. You see the rolling ocean of people in front of you and they all love what you are doing. Such things are fantastic. But of course there are many more.

 

Anders realized Roxette has extremely loyal fans. He read what they were writing and asks Per how much of that has reached him. Per says he was of course devastated when Marie passed away, but he was also happy to see the response she got from all around the world. From many other artists, producers, radio people and fans, all the people. There are hundreds of thousands of greetings coming in and it’s awesome that Marie gets that appreciation. Per says they definitely have the best fans in the world. They have always been super loyal and followed them in all times. It’s been a long journey.

And here the interview ends with the flame of the candle going out in the lyric video. All in all it was a very touching interview. One can see it’s still hard to talk about what happened and it needs time to find comfort. Per says they have the best fans in the world. What I must add: and we have chosen the best idols in the world. Undoubtedly.

Stills are from the interview.

Per Gessle and Micke Syd Andersson on TV4 about the GT farewell tour

Per and Micke Syd appeared as guests on TV4’s Nyhetsmorgon and were interviewed by Jenny Strömstedt about the upcoming Gyllene Tider farewell tour. Watch it HERE!

When Jenny welcomed the guys, she noticed that they were wearing black clothes and asked if it is kind of grieving the ending of the band. Per and Micke Syd said nah, they are tough. Haha. Micke Syd said they were Sweden’s kindest pop band in the 80’s, so they are working on becoming tough.

Jenny asked what the fans think about the fact that it’s going to be Gyllene Tider’s last tour. Per replied that there are a lot of reactions. Micke Syd started singing Här kommer alla känslorna, but Per told him it’s not a GT song. Micke Syd said but it fits. Mr. G continued answering that GT means so much to a lot of people and it’s awesome. Micke Syd joined in and said fans say for example that their songs are the soundtrack to their lives. They grew up with Gyllene Tider. Per said it’s mainly their 80’s songs that he wrote when he was 19-22 years old. Back then he wouldn’t have thought they would be on a 40th anniversary farewell tour.

Then a short part of Parkliv tour film was shown and after that Micke Syd told the story that even if they beeped out the sound when Per told the phone number of Micke Syd’s mum’s hairdresser salon in the film, fans could read Mr. G’s lips and Micke’s mum got angry by constantly getting tons of calls after that. Jenny asked what the fans wanted. Micke Syd said ”talking to me” and Per joked ”having their hair cut”. Haha. Jenny asked how it worked with the fans back then. Both Micke and Per said they all lived with their parents and it was quite strange when fans were hanging around their houses. They were stealing washed clothes for example. Per said when he turned 21 he got 3400 mails, so his mum’s house was full of them. They also mentioned they had to check in at hotels on different names,picking different names each time. But of course, over the years it got calmer and the guys in GT also grew up and could handle it better. Jenny said that everyone tells about GT that they are like everyday people and so nice. The guys agree that they are nice.

Jenny mentioned that back in the days there were 2 big bands, Gyllene Tider and Noice in Sweden. They talked about the differences and Per said Noice was a big town band, while GT was a small town band. Micke Syd said this fact also determined that they had different mentality.

Per told that the band broke up in 1985 and since then they have always been doing something together on project basis. Like in 1996 or 2004 or 2013. The guys said they have a unique sound and when they play together it’s fantastic. They can’t put their finger on what it is about that uniqueness, but it’s like them 5 become 1 then. Per said when he plays GT songs with other musicians, they don’t sound like Gyllene Tider at all. There is a special style they have in GT and it shows up only when they 5 are playing together.

Jenny asked what the roles are in the band and if Per is the boss. Per said nah, he comes always as the last. Micke Syd told things are changing, but there are of course things that haven’t changed in the band. They also talked about how they play a song from 1980 these days. Micke Syd said they become young again on the inside despite the fact that he will soon turn 60. Per’s reaction to that was ”60?! Shit!” Haha. Jenny asked if it is the same feeling to sing about love now, when they are a little bit older. Per said when you sing a song you also act. Of course, when there is a song you wrote when you were 19 and sing it when you are suddenly not 19 anymore the song becomes different, it gets another meaning.

Per said GT is loved by so many people and one can’t take that for granted. It’s awesome to look back on their 40 years history. Micke Syd said there are so many memories related to their songs one can also see that on fans’ faces on the concerts.

At the end of the interview Jenny asked the most important question, if the guys can guarantee that this will really be a last time they go on tour again. Micke Syd nodded and Per replied ”it feels like that”. Jenny said it was quite a diplomatic answer.

 

Massive birthday celebration of Per Gessle’s 60th on TV4

TV4 already did a short phone interview with Per Gessle on 11h January. Per said that he was in the US, working a bit on Mono Mind, his new project under which he released an album the next day, on his birthday. Mr. G said he would be celebrating his 60th birthday in Florida. Åsa organized a surprise party for him. The program leader asked what the most heart-warming moments in his career are if he looks back and Per said there are so many, but Roxette’s greatness at the end of the 80’s and in the 90’s is sure one of them. He said he is fortunate that he can work with his hobby and to the question if he likes getting older he replied that he still feels quite young and he still doesn’t know what he will become when he grows up.

Then on 12th January TV4 shared a video report about 5 times Per Gessle made whole Sweden sing along. With Gyllene Tider, Roxette and as a solo artist. The video is based on footages from some concerts during the past 40 years and earlier reports, as well as some photos from the past and PG walking on Tylösand beach recently and some years ago. Watch it HERE!

Nice to see Mr. G on TV so many times, but the main thing came on Nyhetsmorgon on his birthday. TV4 invited Per for a longer interview in the morning show. Watch it HERE! The interview was recorded some days before. The reporter, Anders Pihlblad and Mr. G talked about Per’s career, aging, success, future and his actual project, Mono Mind.

Anders first asked Per how it feels turning 60. Per said it’s surreal in a way, 60 is very much. At the same time it’s awesome, because he is reminded that thanks to his age he has been through so many things and lived a lot. Anders is curious if Per has ever worried about his age. Per says kind of. He realizes that time goes by and he sees for example that a lot of his friends or relatives have health problems when they are getting older and this is how they are reminded of getting older. Then he thinks that he is not 58 anymore. It was tough for him to lose his mother, brother and sister after one another in a short period of time. But nothing stands still and you have to learn to live with it. It’s hard to understand though, but you have to find your place in life. The Earth is actually still spinning. When people close to you die you feel emptiness and all people are handling it differently. Per says he partially uses his songwriting for that.

Anders and Per talk a bit about the book Att vara Per Gessle in which Per’s mother and his siblings also talked about Mr. G. Anders asks Per how it feels to have all this documented. Per says it’s awesome. He says that he learned it over the years that documenting as many things as possible is important. For example tours, recordings, projects. Nowadays it’s getting easier with mobile phones. They already recorded a lot of backstage videos and album recordings, as well as took photos during the 80’s. The quality of those materials is catastrophic though, but it’s of course much fun to have them anyway.

Anders reads a short part of the book. It’s when Per’s mom tells about Mr. G’s dolls. Per says he had a little Barbie doll collection. He has always been into style and design and it probably comes from his mother, because she was always good at such things. She was kind of a female Ernst, fixing everything. (Ernst Kirchsteiger is a Swedish interior designer, also program leader on TV4. – PP) So Per learned a lot from her and he likes when everything is in order and likes nice things. His mom was always quite modern and supported him even when his conservative father – who died in 1978 when Per was 19 years old – said he should have get a proper job. His mother bought his first guitar for example and encouraged him to play and sing. She thought it was fantastic that Per was creating his own world and wrote songs. So she was Mr. G’s first and biggest fan for sure.

Anders says Per was his first big idol. Per says ”wow!”.  Anders says he brought some stuff from his collection. Per says ”shit!”. Haha. Anders shows the first LP he bought and it was Gyllene Tider’s ”Moderna Tider” that came out in 1981. Per says everyone felt that it was a great record, but they expected to sell like 10000 copies. They sold 140000 in the end. Per says it was awesome and they were so young back then. They were suddenly superstars, but also very uncertain and didn’t know much about anything. They did only 6 shows in public before they became No. 1 with ”Flickorna på TV2”. Per says they learned quite soon that as soon as you become successful it also has it’s backlashes that some wouldn’t want to deal with you anymore because they think you became too commercial. It was the same with Roxette and that also happened to ABBA in the 70’s. One has to be persistent, have the self-confidence and move forward.

Anders shows ”The Look” maxi single. Per looks at the cover and says ”tough guy and girl”. Haha. He says that Roxette had a fantastic journey. Roxette was huge during the first 10 and the last 10 years, but actually it’s still huge. The songs live on.

Anders shows a picture from 1988. Per smiles and says ”shit!” again. He appears in the pic and Anders is there too. He was interviewing Mr. G back then when Roxette had their tour premiere. Per says he looks like he wanted Anders to understand what he was saying, his gestures show that. Anders says then he asked if they would hit other countries too and Per replied they will hit the world. And some months later they became No. 1 in the US. Per says he can’t remember he was that optimistic, but he remembers he printed T-shirts with the text ”Today Sweden – tomorrow the world” and the Roxette logo. So he was determined and focused. He tells that they always wanted to work under their own terms. When they broke through in the US, their American record label wanted them to move there and work from New York or Los Angeles, but they didn’t want to. They wanted to keep their Swedish team and work from Stockholm. This is how they could keep their very own sound.

 

Anders and Per talk about Marie that she had to retire from touring. Per says she lives a quite private life nowadays, but they talk once in a while. It’s very sad what happened, but they had a wonderful journey together with Roxette.

Anders says it feels like Per is still curious and is trying out new things. He asks Per if he is satisfied with his success. Per asks back if one can be satisfied with his own success. He doesn’t know. He likes the creative work and write when he feels like it. The whole creative journey is very attractive for him and of course he wants as many people as possible to listen to his songs and sing along.

Anders wishes Per a fantastic birthday and Per thanks and says it was nice being there.

Then later during the morning show there was another report with Per about Mono Mind. Anders tells a bit about the project, that it has 4 fictive band members and they are releasing an album on Per’s 60th birthday and it’s actually Per Gessle behind this project. Watch it HERE!

There is manager Wicked Pete talking first and Harriet, the dog appears too, as well as Dr. Robot dancing in the crowd. Then Per starts talking and says he felt he wanted to record songs in a different way. He felt his voice limited his possibilities, because as soon as he starts singing everyone knows it’s him. So he tried out different manners, singing in various octaves and wrong keys, changed on computer. This way he found a new voice which is quite technical and maybe not too easy to recognize. It was exciting to record the songs this way and new ideas came up during the recordings. Then there were so many songs that he thought it could become an album.

The guys are talking about the 4 characters and Anders asks Per which one is him. Per says it’s Dr. Robot, the one who sings. He has a very similar personality to Per’s. Mr. G tells in pop history there are a lot of projects with fictional characters. He for example didn’t know David Bowie in 1973. Back then everyone was a figure, a character. Per says the fun thing is that a fictive band like Mono Mind can do anything.

Anders asks about the future, about touring with Gyllene Tider, as Per Gessle or with Mono Mind. Per laughs at the thought of Mono Mind touring. He says MM got 2 nominations on the NRJ Radio Awards in France and they were thinking as a fictive band how they could accept an award if they win. Haha. He also mentions that he would like to see the band members appear in a Family Guy episode. Why not.

 

Bäst när det gäller – Gyllene Tider’s new song is out!

Gyllene Tider together with Linnea Henriksson made the official Swedish Soccer World Cup song. “Bäst när det gäller” (Best when it counts) premiered on Nyhetsmorgon, TV4 today. Per Gessle, Micke Syd Andersson and Linnea Henriksson were on TV to talk about the song and soccer. It was also revealed that a video to the song will be shot this weekend. Cosmos Music made available an official lyrics video until then.

“Bäst när det gäller” is available digitally on the usual platforms. There will be a physical release as well, a 7″ and a 12″ vinyl single on 1st June. The 7″ version is a limited edition single, released in 500 copies. The guys are in blue jerseys on the 7″ sleeve and in yellow on the 12″ sleeve. You can pre-order the singles at Bengans or Ginza or CDON.

Tracklist for the 2-track 7″ single:

  1. Bäst när det gäller
  2. Bäst när det gäller (Instrumental)

Tracklist for the 4-track 12″ single:

  1. Bäst när det gäller
  2. Bäst när det gäller (Bridge & Mountain Remix)
  3. Bäst när det gäller (Galavant Remix)
  4. Bäst när det gäller (Instrumental)

Per says, to write the official song is of course a huge challenge and you can’t say no to that. The guys in GT were extremely proud when they were asked. Mr. G says he already had the title in his mind for a while, but now he had the reason to write the text as well. It became a little story about a couple who are the best when it counts, but also a text filled with soccer references that most recognize.

Bäst när det gäller

När vi träffades i vimlet
Det var ett hat trick att minnas
jag kom från farmarlaget
Du var populär

Du sa du älskade fotboll
Jag såg en sol igenom fönstret
hur kan man låtsas att det regnar
när du ser ut så där?

Vi är bäst när det gäller
Vi är bäst när det gäller
Vi är bäst då när allt står på spel vi är bäst då när allt kan gå fel

Liksom dårar på nätet
Gillar vi ringarna på vattnet
Vi vill att världen ska få veta
Vår karaktär (eller vad säger du, Per?)

Att aldrig tappa kontrollen
Att aldrig ta nåt med en klackspark är aldrig tvåa på bollen
När du ser på mej så där

Vi är bäst när det gäller
Vi är bäst när det gäller
Vi är bäst då när allt står på spel vi är bäst då när allt kan gå fel

© Per Gessle