PG Roxette’s second single is out!

PG Roxette released his debut single, The Loneliest Girl In The World on 3rd June. The song was the first taste from the upcoming album, Pop-Up Dynamo!, which will come out on 28th October. Before we get to hear the debut album, Per decided to surprise us with a second single. Walking On Air is released today, 23rd September and just like the first single, it also contains another song that won’t be included on Pop-Up Dynamo! The vinyl single has two B-sides: Necessary and a remix of Walking On Air made by Bridge & Mountain.

You can order the 7” vinyl at Bengans, Ginza and some more Scandinavian online shops. The single is also available on all streaming services. Actually, on streaming it became a mini EP, because now all PG Roxette releases will appear under three “brands”: PG Roxette, Roxette and Per Gessle, to make sure anyone can find them easily. Listen to the EP on Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music or YouTube!

Regarding the vinyl single availability Per says:

It’s up to the local Warner office to order it. If they don’t, you won’t find it in that particular country.

To the question if it was the original plan to release two singles before Pop-Up Dynamo! comes out PG replies:

Well, this album has been postponed a few times for various reasons; Covid – legal things – internal Warner reasons. It was finalized already in April 2021.

This spring we made a plan where Loneliest Girl” became the first single. Then the album-release got delayed again because we couldn’t get any slot time making the vinyls. So we decided to go with a second single before the album comes out. There will be a lyric video popping up soon, too!

The lyric video is set to premiere at 12 pm CEST on 23rd September. Don’t miss it! You’ll be able to watch it HERE! The video was made by Ebba Gustafsson Ågren, based on filmed material and photos by Fredrik Etoall and Per Gessle.

Per tells about WOA:

“Walking On Air” was the very first song written for “Pop-Up Dynamo!” I got a request to write something for the “Top Gun: Maverick”-movie in the fall of 2019. So I wrote “WOA”.

It was actually written for a particular scene in the film where someone was going to dance on a beach (hence the lyrics “oh I’m sure you love to dance on the beach”). However, the movie people involved didn’t use the song. Maybe they didn’t like it as much as I did? Or maybe they took away the scene? I don’t know. I haven’t seen Top Gun yet.

So I kept it to myself and started writing more stuff in the same ’80s-’90s style that reminded me of “Look Sharp!” + “Joyride”. That’s how the whole new PG Roxette album came about.

It’s Helena and Dea combined that sing the lead vocals in the choruses. Helena is the driving force but Dea is overdubbing her and also sings harmony vocals. And they share the “wailing duties”. They have such different styles which I love to work with.

This is the sound, combined with my own voice, that shines through the whole new album. Together they create almost a “third persona”, it’s hard to say who’s who. A little bit like Agnetha + Frida in ABBA.

Btw, there is a version with Helena singing the verses. That’s how I wrote originally for the Top Gun-movie.

Mr. G shares some details about Necessary too:

“Necessary” was one of the songs I wrote for “Pop-Up Dynamo!” It’s one of only three recordings I did with Christoffer producing this time. And only one made the album! You’ll notice!

One of them was actually a different version of “Sunflower” that I didn’t like… I preferred my own version that’s on TLGITW single.

The rest of the album was produced by Magnus Börjeson + Clarence Öfwerman + myself. Christoffer came in late in this production to do some overdubs. Jonas joined us a couple of days as well. It’s basically the same people that did the Metallica-song who are involved.

Besides other Gessleish phrases, there is one that pops out in Necessary. Here is what Per has to tell about it:

Glad you like the “pop just like a bubble”-phrase. “Pop Like A Bubble” was actually the working title of the album!!!

There’s no doubt the new PG Roxette single Walking On Air is keeping the Roxette sound alive. The classic and familiar Roxette ingredients of a smart production with great hooks and a “don’t bore us, get to the chorus”-attitude shine through the entire song.

Per says:

There are millions of people out there who still love Roxette so of course I want to keep our music relevant. At first, I wasn’t sure which way to go but as time passed by it became clear that I want to continue this fantastic joyride. I want to keep the legacy of Roxette alive.

Tracklist (7” vinyl)

Side A

Walking On Air

Side B

Necessary
Walking On Air (Bridge & Mountain Remix)

 

Walking On Air

If you could stick around
No need to bother with the other side of town
Set the mood make it bright
I wanna go and be your Saturday night
Oh oh oh – it couldn’t get better
Yea yea yea – listen to what I say

Hey hey, my eyes just stop and stare
I got it good you got me walking on air
Every time you’re coming around
I wish you were here to stay
Hey hey, my eyes can’t look away
I got it good you got me walking on air
Every time you’re getting so near

Would you mind stick around
No need to bother with the glass on the ground
Summertime within reach
Oh I’m sure you love to dance on the beach
Oh oh oh – it couldn’t be better
Yea yea yea – listen to what I say

Hey hey, my eyes just stop and stare
I got it good you got me walking on air
Every time you’re coming around
I wish you were here to stay
Hey hey, my eyes can’t look away
I got it good you got me walking on air
Every time you’re getting so near
I’m walking on air

WORDS + MUSIC BY PER GESSLE

Necessary

When I walk
I tend to move sideways
When I talk
I only get halfway
Well, you pop just like a bubble
And I only want to keep good company

Oh oh oh oh
I’ve been up all night where I used to be
Oh oh oh oh
Hey I can’t believe my own memory
Oh oh oh oh tell me baby
What are you doing to me?
Is it really necessary?

When I call
It sounds like I’m praying
When I fall
All songs keep on playing yea

Oh oh oh oh
I’ve been up all night where I used to be
Oh oh oh oh
Hey I can’t believe my own history
Oh oh oh oh tell me baby
What are you doing to me?
Guess it’s really necessary

WORDS + MUSIC BY PER GESSLE

Per Gessle interview about PG Roxette on Göteborgs-Posten

Per Gessle had an interview day in Halmstad and replied to Johan Lindqvist’s (Göteborgs-Posten) questions in a video call. Roxette is back with a new single, an upcoming album and certainly also a tour. There are the initials PG in front of the band name to indicate that this is something different than it was before.

For Per Gessle, it’s an obvious choice to continue. He sees it as managing Roxette’s legacy and mentions the Bohemian Rhapsody movie about Queen, Fleetwood Mac’s sudden TikTok hit with old Dreams and ABBA’s project with Mamma Mia! and the new avatar show in London as inspiring ways to keep old bands and songs relevant.

Per says:

75% of everyone who listens to Roxette on Spotify is under 45, which is absolutely fantastic. I’m proud of what we have created and of course want the music to live on.

He continues:

Roxette is thirty years of my life, so it would be strange if I didn’t want to continue. What is important to point out is that it’s definitely not about trying to replace Marie. It’s not possible.

PG says that British journalists asked if, for example, Belinda Carlisle was relevant for the job as a Roxette singer. She wasn’t. It’s Helena Josefsson and Dea Norberg who share vocals together with Per. There are also other well-known Roxette musicians in the band: Jonas Isacsson, Clarence Öfwerman, Magnus Börjeson, Christoffer Lundquist.

Who is missing is drummer Pelle Alsing who passed away in December 2020. It’s drum machines that do the work on the upcoming album, Pop-Up Dynamo! which will be released in September. It will be PG Roxette’s debut album, but it’s clearly inspired by Roxette’s biggest records from the past.

I wanted to write a positive uptempo record but it’s the most difficult thing there is as a songwriter at my age. When you’ve been doing this for so long, you simply know too much and have already used all the tricks in the book.

Per continues:

A really good pop song should come by itself, it’s not possible to sit down and write a “Dressed For Success” or a “Joyride”.

After all, Per Gessle picked up the pace and flow and when the first songs were written, they continued with trying to produce the music so that the new record would sound like a sibling to Look Sharp! and Joyride. Clarence Öfwerman and Magnus Börjeson were able to bring out suitable sounds from the latter’s collection of synths from the ’80s and ’90s.

Per, who is excited about how it turned out, says:

It may sound like 1991, but there must be a modern touch. It should be heard that it has been done now.

He doesn’t count on commercial success:

It’s my kind of pop music, take it or leave it. I really don’t expect a new US No. 1.

The fact that Roxette, or rather PG Roxette, is no longer at a level where football stadiums are sold out also gives Per Gessle artistic freedom.

As it seems right now, he is leaning towards taking down Roxette’s joyride for a quieter ride, a continuation of the acoustic tour that started out as a test at Hotel Tylösand last summer and then grew into a sold-out concert hall tour across Sweden.

Per says:

It’s one of the funniest things I’ve been through. I didn’t really feel comfortable at all playing acoustically and talking so much to the audience, but I dared and it turned out great. I am so proud.

He continues:

I’ve learned that I can trust what I have done all my life. It may sound strange considering that I was playing at Ullevi, but you are really walking the plank when you do acoustic gigs.

Per Gessle says that during the concerts he discovered things in his own old songs he hadn’t thought of before. Not least how the Gyllene Tider lyrics he wrote as a 20-year-old got different meaning when the arrangement of the music was changed and they were sung by the 63-year-old man.

So instead of playing in half-size ice hockey rinks, it’s appealing to do the upcoming PG Roxette tour in an intimate format.

We will decide before midsummer, but it would be completely magical to play songs like “Queen Of Rain”, “The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye” and “Things Will Never Be The Same” with lap steel and double bass.

Per Gessle interview and “The Loneliest Girl In The World” premiere on P4 Extra

Svjetlana Pastuhovic did an interview with Per Gessle on Swedish Radio on 2nd June. PG was guest of the day on P4 Extra and he talked about PG Roxette, the debut single, Marie, Roxette, the Roxette musical, Gyllene Tider and songwriting. The interview starts at 28:39 into the program. Listen HERE!

Svjetlana welcomes Per and introduces him as a small town guy who showed great interest in music at a very early age. His nerdiness led him to success and worldwide fame. Now he returns to one of his biggest successes, Svjetlana says. Per thanks for having him on the show. Svjetlana is uncertain, maybe „return” is not the right word when it comes to PG Roxette. Per tells one can say it’s a new chapter in Roxette’s history.

PG can be pronounced the Swedish way or if you want to make it sound cool, the English way, Per says. He laughs. Svjetlana asks Per how HE pronounces it. PG then pronounces the initials the Swedish way. The debut single is out the next day (3rd June), but Swedish Radio got the chance to play it for the first time on radio and they are very happy about it. Svjetlana asks Per how he feels about it. Per tells the whole PG Roxette project is a new chapter, as he already mentioned and it’s based on him and the old Roxette band. He brought in several people who helped him e.g. with the singing and production. It took about a year to record the album and it was much fun. He looks very much forward to release it. Per got very good response from those around the world whom he already showed the songs. It feels great.

Here they premiere the The Loneliest Girl In The World. Svjetlana tells she becomes happy when she hears this song. Per says it’s nice to hear. He tells it’s an ear candy. The album comes out in September. Mr. G tells he tried to write an uptempo album and it’s a challenge to write such pop songs. Especially when you are getting older, because it’s something that you do very easily when you are 20. It becomes harder when you get older, because you have written so much and you become too sophisticated in your writing when you know all the tricks. Svjetlana is curious what Per means by this, if it means you get more serious when you get older. PG tells pop music builds very much on instant energy and it’s just there when you are younger. When you have written hundreds of songs, you learned all the crafts very well and it’s hard to write these 3-chord pop songs when you get a bit older. Per thinks Svjetlana probably has also noticed it regarding other artists that the finest and fastest songs they wrote in their twenties. Svjetlana asks PG if he was struggling with this a bit. Per tells he had the idea that he would make a sibling to Roxette’s albums they recorded at the end of the 80’s, beginning of the 90’s, so he tried to think about how he was working back then. Then he sat down and spent time with writing. Actually, it went very well. The Loneliest Girl In The World was the third or fourth song he has written that immediately felt it had a great chorus.

Svjetlana wants to know if it was an obvious choice to go on as PG Roxette. Per tells it wasn’t obvious at all, because it was really tough when Marie passed away in 2019, so he didn’t really know what to do with Roxette. He knew there is the legacy of Roxette that someone has to take care of. Also, he devoted 30 years of his life to Roxette and he has written almost all the Roxette songs and it would have felt weird not to go on with Roxette in a way. He has the ambition to take PG Roxette on tour and play the old Roxette songs. There is a huge amount of people around the world who still like those songs.

Svjetlana tells Marie was ill for many years and she is curious if Marie and Per talked about the future of Roxette. Per asks if Svjetlana means about the future without Marie. Svjetlana says yes, because Marie was ill for a long time, however, when she got better, they went on tour together again. Per tells Marie was ill for 17 years before she passed away. She never really got better, but despite the doctors’ advice, she went on tour between 2010 and 2016. It was fantastic that she did that. In 2018 Per went on a European tour that was called Per Gessle’s Roxette and Marie had no problem with that. She thought like Per, that someone has to take good care of the legacy. If you look at other artists who kept their audience, they worked actively, e.g. Queen with the Bohemian Rhapsody movie or ABBA with the Mamma Mia! musical and movies and now also with the Abbatars in London. Per thinks you have to work actively to keep the legacy alive. You just have to let it go on and who else could take better care of the legacy than Per himself. It’s not about replacing Marie with another singer – even if Per worked together with several female singers on this record. Dea Norberg and Helena Josefsson appear the most on this album. Both of them worked with Roxette as backing vocalists on tours. But there are other female singers as well, so it has Per and his songs in focus.

Svjetlana asks how it was to look back on the 80’s and 90’s, those crazy times when they were touring so much with Roxette. Mr. G says it was crazy indeed. They had their peak for 8 years between 1988 and 1995. They were touring all around the world, they had 4 US No. 1s and they were the most played artists for 3 years in a row. It was a fantastic period. Svjetlana asks how they could cope with their success. PG tells when you are in the middle of it, you don’t think about that. You are working, you go on. He was anyway triggered by it back then. When they toured with and promoted Look Sharp! he wrote Joyride, when they toured with Joyride he wrote their next album, Crash! Boom! Bang!, etc. Svjetlana notices that Per wanted to do more and more. She asks how he felt about it back in the days. PG says he travelled all around the world, but didn’t really see much. He was mainly in hotel rooms and at the concerts. When you are in such busy period, you just can’t make it. After the pandemic it’s fun to travel to cities he knows he had been to before, but doesn’t remember much. When you wanted to keep everything at the same high level as they did their things, you had to work 24 hours a day and stay focused and keep yourself in top shape. It’s like what sportsmen do. They enjoyed being up on stage every night and perform to tons of people who loved what they were doing. That’s the best reward ever. It’s a fantastic job Per has, he says. Even if it was tough at times, it only has positive sides.

Svjetlana says it’s almost unreal what happened with Roxette abroad, all their success. She asks if there is melancholy besides pride when Per thinks back at those times and if such thing can happen again. Per says it can’t happen again, because we live in different times now. It’s 30 years of his life he has devoted to Roxette and he is very proud of Roxette. As he already said, when you are thirty, you are at a certain stage in your life, now that he is 63, he is at another stage. He of course hopes that the new album works well, but it’s not the most important, it’s not why he made it. He made it because he wanted to have fun and he tries to follow his way as a songwriter and artist. He is doing several things at the same time. He has just finished an acoustic tour in Sweden with 31 gigs, they had a Gyllene Tider tour earlier, many other things.

Here Svjetlana plays What’s She Like?, which she knows is a special song for Per. After playing it, she tells how wonderfully Marie sings. Per agrees, she sings fantastically. Svjetlana asks if this song will appear in the Roxette musical. Per laughs and says it’s a very exciting project. There is a very nice script that the musical will be built on, a book written by Jane Fallon. Per thinks that Roxette’s music matches very well in such a conetxt. There are so many nuances in the Roxette song catalogue, one could use really many of them. It’s gonna be tricky to match the songs to the story though. What’s She Like? could be one of the songs used, they both think.

Svjetlana tells Roxette sold more than 80 million records, they had an international career, there are millions of Swedish crowns on their bank account. She is curious what is Per’s driving force still. PG tells it’s about finding your place in life. He is super grateful that he could work with music fulltime, writing songs and playing them since he was in his teens. It’s not just a way he is following all the time, it’s not like he has plans that in 5 years he has to reach this or that. He has a lot of ideas and tries to implement them as well as he can. Svjetlana says, so it’s not fame, not money, not such things. Per says it mattered when he was young, e.g. when they started Gyllene Tider. When they played at schools, they dreamed about playing in Stockholm or Gothenburg, when an album became gold, they wanted a platinum, when they had a platinum, they wanted to have a double platinum. That’s how people work. It was the same with Roxette. The idea at the beginning was that they wanted to go abroad, because he himself felt he covered Sweden with Gyllene Tider’s success. But when Marie and Per talked about abroad, they meant Belgium, Germany or the Netherlands. Or maybe playing in Copenhagen. Svjetlana laughs and asks „no South America or China in your thoughts?” Per laughs and says no and also not the success that they had in the US.

Regarding keeping the legacy alive, Svjetlana asks Per if he is doing it because he thinks Roxette would be forgotten. Per says he knows there is a fantastic power in Roxette’s music. Also in his Swedish music. It’s not that he thinks that „oh, maybe in 30 years we would be forgotten”. He wants to experience it again, to be standing on stage, singing his songs and feel the communication with his audience. It’s the most awesome feeling. The acoustic tour he did was one of the most amazing things he did so far. It was so intimate in those small theatres in an acoustic arrangement. Sometimes it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. In certain songs he played only one string at a time, because it was so quiet. It was awesome that people were sitting there and listening. It was also fantastic that he played some old Gyllene Tider songs in a totally new arrangement. Lyrics of songs like Ljudet av ett annat hjärta that he wrote when he was 22, had a totally different meaning, both  for him and for everyone else, now that he sang it as a 63-year-old. There is another thing in there what wasn’t there in Gyllene Tider in 1981. There is a different energy as well, but the core of the song changes. And it also feels good for Per as a songwriter that the time goes by and the lyric becomes a different thing. It’s the same with What’s She Like? When he wrote it, he wrote it for Marie, because he knew that when Marie sings it, it will have a totally different meaning when he sings it. If he sang it, it would have been What’s He Like? That’s awesome in music. You can change it all the time.

Svjetlana tells she asked people about Per and most of them said he is an ordinary guy. She asks Per if that’s correct. Per says he doesn’t know what „ordinary guy” means and it’s hard for him to judge, but he is happy that people think so, because he doesn’t think he is an unusual guy, even if he has had an unusual life. He had much luck in many ways, but he is also very ambitious. His family and friends often say that he is working too much, but that’s in his personality and he knows you have to work much to get to where you want to be. He is not talking only about commercial success, but also about his writing. He wants to do his best all the time, otherwise he can’t sleep well at night. He laughs. Svjetlana notices Per has high expectations of himself. Per agrees. Svjetlana says the other thing people mentioned was they were wondering how Per keeps himself in shape. PG says he tries to pay attention to what he eats. When he was a kid, he looked quite like a meatball at school. That was always his Achilles heel, but especially during the past few years he tried to shape up. Svjetlana asks if Per is training. He quickly reacts he isn’t at all. He is rather walking and listening to things he is working with or tries to hatch an idea and to find answers to all the weird and stupid questions about his projects. So he sticks to his headphones, he is antisocial and he is in his own bubble then.

As a last question, Svjetlana asks Per about Gyllene Tider. PG says it’s a nice little band. Svjetlana thinks it’s a damn good band. Per says it’s also something he is very proud of. He is very proud of them being good friends and that they have fun when they meet. He can’t promise anything, but he hopes that there will be more Gyllene Tider in the future. But he doesn’t know anything yet.

Svjetlana thanks Per for coming to the show, PG also thanks for having him.

Aftonbladet interview with Per Gessle about PG Roxette

As Per Magnusson from Aftonbladet informs, Per Gessle had just been in Halmstad City to leave a picture for framing before the interview. He had just got back from London where he saw the Abbatars (ABBA Voyage – and thought the first twenty minutes were absolutely fantastic) and met his British record company (which is very enthusiastic about his new music). He also discussed the upcoming Roxette musical with author Jane Fallon (who is Ricky Gervais’ partner).

But above all, Per is in full swing to start a new chapter in Roxette’s life. Before he has come to a decision, he had spent lots of months staggering back and forth about what he would do next.

I’ve been thinking for a long time about what I should do with Roxette. It’s not an easy question and there is no obvious answer, because Roxette is so much the bond between Marie and me. But I’ve been writing these songs my whole life. Leaving them behind and not using the legacy feels very strange. But replacing Marie with another girl and starting a new duo has never been on the agenda.

Per Gessle began writing songs that eventually ended up with Clarence Öfwerman, Roxette’s producer and Magnus Börjeson, bass player in Roxette. The music became like a sibling to the records “Look Sharp!” and “Joyride”. The rest of Roxette’s live band came in: Jonas Isacsson, Christoffer Lundquist, Helena Josefsson and Dea Norberg. The result is PG Roxette, a development of Roxette based on the frontman. The first taster was released on 3rd June. In the 3:01-long single, “The Loneliest Girl In The World”, it feels like Per Gessle has released all the wounds and sad memories. Just another classic pop song, one last time.

When such a chorus is born, you become so happy. The most difficult thing that exists nowadays is to write uptempo songs. It’s probably because you have used all the tricks already and it’s hard to surprise yourself. It’s easier to write a sophisticated ballad, it’s more where you are in life. But writing a clever three-chord song is tricky if you’re not 22. I already thought so when I was 35.

Per Magnusson is wondering if one can even make such happy and uncomplicated pop music in 2022. At the same time there is a bittersweet undertone that goes all the way back to “Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång”.

It’s fun that you say that, because there are many who have said the same thing. The production is very ’89-’91. But the presentation feels modern, I think. What is retro is my style of writing songs. Almost no one writes pop music that way anymore. The album is übercatchy, but doesn’t sound like anything on Spotify’s top 50 – and I think that’s good.

Aftonbladet asks if Per can tell anything more about “Pop-Up Dynamo!” coming in September.

I won’t reveal too much, but there are more singers on the album that fit into the context. In the end there will be eleven songs. It’s same as the single. Classic Roxette, just like we worked on “The Look”. There is an acoustic song, but otherwise it’s full blast. I’m very happy with this record.

Aftonbladet is curious if it was a difficult decision to make the album without Marie.

Yes, it was difficult to make the decision to take the step. But I hope to be able to play Roxette songs around the world more times. Of course, I can play twenty-five Roxette songs and call myself Per Gessle, but the brand is still Roxette. It feels strange not to use something that I’ve been involved in and built since 1986. But of course, there is nothing I want more than that Marie was involved and sang on this record. On the other hand, I know how difficult it was for her to work with “Good Karma”, the last Roxette record. It is as it is. What can you do? But sure, it’s hard.

Per Magnusson tells Per Gessle is extremely productive as a songwriter and artist. The projects have taken turns throughout his career. He is curious what PG’s driving force is.

I actually don’t know, it’s an interesting question. I just like playing pop music. I just got home from these thirty-one gigs we did acoustically. It was great to sit down and feel the power of, e.g., “Juni, juli, augusti”. Many of these songs mean so much to me that I just have to do it. That’s me. There is no direct driving force, I just can’t help it.

Aftonbladet wants to know if it’s more about the creative process than a fifth Billboard No.1 nowadays.

I want everything to be as big as possible, but it must be based on it being fun. The way Roxette succeeded is completely incomprehensible. But I have no idea how it happened. Therefore, I can’t try to do it again. If you want to do music for a long time, you have to do different things and stop staring blindly at old successes.

Per Magnusson is curious what the dream scenario looks like with this project.

I hope to be able to gather the whole band and play live someday. Now, unfortunately, Pelle Alsing, our old drummer, also passed away. Huge loss for all of us. But it would be fun to tour for real. These songs still have their power. It would be great fun to do a world tour of course. Damn, I’m young!

In the article Per also tells he has no special plans for the summer. He will probably spend most of his time in Halmstad.

Album image “Pop-Up Dynamo!” PG Roxette. Photo by Fredrik Etoall.

Per Gessle wants to “keep Roxette’s legacy alive” – SpotOn News

SpotOn News did an interview with Per Gessle about PG Roxette. Here you can find the original text in German.

The first single is here! Per Gessle takes off with his new band, PG Roxette. After Marie Fredriksson’s death in 2019, it was not easy for him to decide on the new project, as he explains in an interview.

Per Gessle (63) is back with his new band, PG Roxette. After the tragic death of singer Marie Fredriksson (1958-2019), the cult duo, Roxette was also history, but Gessle is now reviving their legacy with his new project. The single “The Loneliest Girl In The World” is released on June 3rd. It is the first taster of the upcoming September album “Pop-Up Dynamo!”. In an interview with the news agency SpotOn News, Per Gessle reveals how difficult it was for him to decide on the new band. With PG Roxette he wants to “keep the legacy of Roxette alive”.

SpotOn News: Title of the first single is “The Loneliest Girl In The World”. What is the song about?

Per Gessle: Well, that’s really up to you to decide. I never explain my lyrics. That’s the magic of songs, the lyrics mean something different to everyone. I don’t want to destroy that. Sometimes I hear a song that feels like it’s written about me and only me, a song that goes straight to my heart. I keep hearing the same thing from people listening to songs I’ve written. It’s amazing. That’s the power of music. So you have to interpret all my songs yourself, including “The Loneliest Girl In The World”. Maybe it’s about you?

SON: What role does Marie Fredriksson’s legacy play in PG Roxette?

PG: Well she was half of Roxette so she will always be there in spirit and in my heart. She was one of my best and oldest friends. After Marie passed away, I had two options for Roxette. One was to close the door and stop, the other was to keep going. I decided to keep going. I wrote almost every song Roxette ever recorded and it would have felt strange to turn my back on more than 30 years of my life. My goal for the future is to write more music and lyrics, make new recordings, play live and keep the Roxette legacy alive.

SON: Are you still in touch with Marie Fredriksson’s family? Did they support your decision on PG Roxette?

PG: Yes, I know them very well and of course they support what I do. Why shouldn’t they?

SON: What can fans expect from the new album?

PG: I wanted to make an uptempo album based on the sound that’s in my blood and DNA. That’s the sound of the late 80’s and early 90’s. But I wanted to give it a modern twist. I didn’t mean to sound too retro or nostalgic, but you can definitely hear the classic Roxette elements in it. I have a specific writing style that shines through. It’s always like that, no matter how hard I try to develop it.

Musically, I used the “classic” Roxette musicians: Jonas Isacsson on lead guitar, Clarence Öfwerman on keyboards, Magnus Börjeson on bass and Christoffer Lundquist on guitar. They still sound great. I love working with these guys. I’m sure you can hear that. We had so much fun making Pop-Up Dynamo! The production was in the hands of Clarence (who has produced all the Roxette albums since 1986!), Magnus and myself.

SON: How difficult was it for you to decide to continue with PG Roxette after Marie Fredriksson’s death?

PG: It’s been a tough few years in the Roxette camp. Not only has Marie passed away, we’ve also lost our original drummer, Pelle Alsing. That came out of the blue. It was a difficult decision because it’s impossible to replace Marie. And that was never my intention. But I still wanted to play my Roxette songs and keep the legacy alive. Of course, if Marie were here, she would have been a big part of all of this. But that’s not the case. It’s really sad, but there’s nothing I can do about it. I have to carry the Roxette torch myself.

SON: With PG Roxette you have two singers, Helena Josefsson and Dea Norberg on board. What do you appreciate about the two and how is your cooperation with them?

PG: PG Roxette is not based on the voices of Dea and Helena. I also have other female singers on the new PG Roxette album. And I do most of the singing myself. You’ll find out.

Helena and Dea are both fantastic. Both as people and as musicians. If you compare their voices, they sound very different. They have completely different styles. I like that. When mixed together, they almost sound like a “third” person. It was the same with Agnetha and Frida in ABBA. When you combined their voices, the result was very different vs. how they sounded individually.

Helena and Dea have toured a lot with Roxette, so we’ve all known each other for a long time. I’ve been working with Helena for more than twenty years now. Time flies when you’re having fun. I’m glad to have her around.

SON: Roxette’s last concert was in 2016. How do you feel now ahead of a tour with PG Roxette?

PG: Excited. Curious. Happy. Blessed.

SON: How happy are you to be back on stage with Roxette songs, among other things?

PG: If it happens, I’ll be a happy man. I look forward to meeting all the fans around the world. Roxette has some of the best fans out there. So many of them come to Sweden and follow and support my Swedish band and solo projects year after year. I can’t thank them enough.

SON: The pandemic has paralyzed the music and events industry. How did you survive the long lockdowns in the corona pandemic?

PG: Of course it was a psychological nightmare. Everyone has suffered. Last summer, after a year of isolation, I finally started to think positively and decided to play some small acoustic shows at Hotel Tylösand on the Swedish west coast. The restrictions allowed us a maximum of 500 seated guests (with plenty of space in between) and I was supposed to do two one-hour evenings. Before I knew it I had made ten! And that 60 minutes turned into a two-hour show. It was incredible to be back on stage.

So I expanded the whole thing into an acoustic tour in theatres and concert halls. Then new Covid restrictions came along and we had to postpone them. Finally we started again and in May this year it was over after 31 shows.

And of course I’ve spent much of the last two years writing and recording the PG Roxette album. I think I wrote about twenty songs before I chose the eleven that are on the album. I’ve been lucky.