Per Gessle interview in Aftonbladet – ”Writing songs is my way of existing and taking care of myself”

The interview for Aftonbladet was done by Håkan Steen in October in Live Nation’s office in Stockholm. Håkan tells Per is sipping on coffee which doesn’t seem to be the first one during the day. Per informs him that in the past he was able to do 15 interviews a day, now he is done after three.

Per talks about his new album, Gammal kärlek rostar aldrig which consists of newly recorded songs from his archive. He says it’s a kind of result of the pandemic. He had started working on an English record when suddenly the song Pappa popped up this spring. This led to another song, Mamma and a double A side single was released on Mother’s Day. Then came the idea of making an entire record while he was staying at home in Halmstad and playing almost all instruments himself.

Per tells Aftonbladet:

I didn’t want to write new music, because I wanted to focus my songwriting on the English record. So I realized that I have a lot of songs that would be great fun to record again.

So he started digging in his archives and found a little Gyllene Tider, some solo songs from the 80’s, some others that he gave away to other artists. Ömhet was also found in the drawer:

It was written a week too late to be included on “Mazarin”. Now that I had recorded it, it first felt a little too commercial, too much pop song for this record. There is always such a song that you hesitate over a bit. But then it’s always the one that gets the most streams in the end.

Per tells Håkan that then he actually wrote two more songs, even though they were very much Gyllene Tider. They are really fast, playful songs. So he thought he would save them for something else.

Regarding Gyllene Tider, Per says he has mixed feelings about their farewell last year. It was Micke Syd’s idea to close this chapter while everyone is still healthy and in good shape and they all agreed to that. But Per thinks it’s a shame too. Because GT is a great band. They have grown up together and have the same love for the same kind of music. Gyllene Tider is a kind of homemade beer in a way, he says.

We’ll see if we live in four, five, six years, what can come out of that.

Besides Per’s new solo album, last week the first of four volumes of Roxette rarities was released on streaming services. Demos, songs in Spanish, odd single tracks and remixes. Bag of Trix is the name of the project, which will also be released physically as a box, just in time for Christmas.

Håkan asks Per if it was difficult to go through the Roxette archives after Marie’s passing. Per says:

It was. There are several professionally recorded Roxette concerts that have never been released and it’s awesome to listen to them. You are struck by what an amazing singer Marie was.

Håkan supposed it was a difficult period for Mr. G last winter when both Marie and his mother-in-law passed away almost at the same time.

It was hard. Marie had been ill for so long, so one had in a way prepared for it to happen sooner or later. But you can never really be prepared. There is enormous emptiness. In the end, Marie and I often talked about the past, the amazing journey we had been on. And it’s really something that only the two of us can share. A lot of moments. Like when we were playing in a giant arena somewhere and looked at each other and I knew we were both thinking “is this really true?”. It’s clear that you miss that. But that’s life.

Håkan asks Per about Around The Corner (The Comfort Song). If songwriting is therapeutical for Per.

Yes, that’s probably what makes you do this. Writing songs is my way of existing, somehow. My way of expressing myself and taking care of myself. “Around The Corner” I didn’t write to Marie, but when it was finished I felt that it must be a song about this situation. And then I added “The Comfort Song” in the title, because it became a kind of consolation song for me.

Håkan realized that Per’s songs became more personal during the past years and he asks if it has to do with what happened around him. Per tells:

Could be. I also think it’s an age thing. It’s not possible to write “Dansar inte lika bra som sjömän” and that kind of lyrics now. At the same time, it’s a very good question, because sometimes I think why should it always be so fucking serious just because you get older? That’s a bit why I want to make this English record now, a kind of uptempo pop record, because no one of my age makes classical pop music anymore.

Per hopes the album can be released next spring.

Mr. G says when they formed Gyllene Tider and then Roxette, he always wanted them to be the biggest and make the best records, the best videos and win win win. But he doesn’t feel like that today. There are other things that trigger his creativity today. Per explains that nowadays he is mainly driven by restlessness and the desire to realize ideas. That’s why first he is jumping in an electronic project with Mono Mind then into Nashville-country.

At the same time, I think it would be incredibly fun to have a new hit. But I don’t know how to make it, because today’s music rarely has anything to do with the music I really like.

Per also comments on 5 photos from the Aftonbladet archives.

  1. Aftonbladet interview with Gyllene Tider 1980: “Look at this, damn, how cool. ‘MP’ has his little mustache, he looks really tough. And there I am, my God. A little spotty (laughs). And then a TV of course, because we had just released ‘Flickorna på TV2’. This was in the very beginning. Later, we tried to learn how to look like in order to have good pictures.”
  2. The “Joyride” hairdo 1991: “This is my lovely ’91 hairdo. A completely obvious hairstyle at the time. Damn, how young I was. And a little dumpy too. In fact, I have never seen this picture before.”
  3. Recording of the video for “June afternoon” 1995: “Jonas Åkerlund made that video, wonderful. Marie had a little wig party. The song was actually written for the album ‘The World According to Gessle’, but when we released our first compilation with Roxette, it ended up there. We did the ‘Återtåget’ tour with Gyllene Tider then too, so it’s actually Gyllene Tider playing on that song.”
  4. Per and Marie on the Great Wall of China 1995: “It was great to play in China. And very strange. We calculated that it was 17 meters to the front row of the audience. As soon as someone stood up in the crowd during the concert, the room was lit. You did not get that. When we played “It Must Have Been Love” the whole arena lined up. The guards could do nothing. In addition, banners appeared with the text “one world, one unity”. Afterwards we went out to the dressing room and all cried.”
  5. Press photo for the album “Mazarin” 2003: “An Anton Corbijn picture taken down in Italy. I met Anton when he was going to make the video for ‘Stars’ with Roxette in 1999 and we still have contact. When we were in Nashville recording my country records, he called, ‘I’m in New Orleans shooting Arcade Fire, shall I come by and take the next album cover?’ (laughs) He is a fantastic photographer who manages to do a lot with simple means. He has been here and took photos of my family several times as well.”

Check out the 5 photos in the original article HERE!

Per Gessle on SVT’s cultural news

Kulturnyheterna on SVT did a report on the current releases of Per Gessle and Roxette. They asked Per about his new single, Ömhet and his upcoming album, Gammal kärlek rostar aldrig, as well as Bag of Trix – Music from the Roxette Vaults. The report starts at 8:30 into the program. Watch it HERE!

Kulturnyheterna starts with an old report and shows it to Per who smiles at his young self. He says it’s from the period before Roxette and that was a bit fuzzy time for him. Gyllene Tider has just ended and he made a solo album that wasn’t especially successful. Some of the songs on Gammal kärlek rostar aldrig were written during that time. The album is out on 6th November. Mr. G tells he tried 60-70 songs and chose the ones that felt relevant and he did a minimalist production. It’s acoustic guitar, piano and a little bass.

Regarding Bag of Trix, Per says it’s a collection of so far unreleased Roxette materials, a lot of demos, some acoustic recordings from Abbey Road Studios, London, which are ”one takes”, they played those live. Marie is fantastic on those recordings, she loved them a lot.

Let Your Heart Dance With Me was the last recording Marie and Per did together in 2016, but it wasn’t released back then. Per tells, when Marie sings ”dance with me, let your heart dance with me”, it’s fantastic. Earlier that was a verse, now it’s a statement.

Mr. G says he was quite prepared for Marie’s passing away, she was ill for so long. But it’s a different thing when it really happens. One can’t be prepared for that. There is emptiness. You miss the relationship, to be able to call her, talk to her, fight with her and laugh with her.

Stills are from the report.

Thanx for the hint regarding the TV program, Angelica Stålnacke!

Gyllene Tider’s last album is out!

Samma skrot och korn, Gyllene Tider’s 7th and last studio album is released today. The 43 min 43 sec long album is available on CD, standard black gatefold double LP and limited edition gatefold coloured double LP (Bengans, Ginza, CDON) and on all digital platforms: Spotify, iTunes, Deezer.


  1. Skrot och korn (3:03)
  2. Det kändes inte som maj (2:27)
  3. Jag drömde jag mötte Fluortanten (3:56)
  4. Någon att hålla i hand (2:42)
  5. Vid hennes sida (3:13)
  6. Aftonstjärna (3:12)
  7. Vanliga saker (3:01)
  8. Bjud till! (3:08)
  9. Låt denna trumslagarpojke sjunga! (3:54)
  10. Mannen med gitarr (3:15)
  11. Bara i en dröm (3:06)
  12. Henry har en plan på gång (3:06)
  13. Allt det andra (3:49)
  14. Final (1:51)

This is what Gyllene Tider told about the record:

We are terribly pleased with our very last album. Our ambition was to maintain our tireless love of pop music while the time has passed and we have grown older. It’s been 40 years since we started playing together. Everything has changed, but everything has also stood still in some strange way…

The guys can be very proud of what they have created. If it is really the end of their career as Gyllene Tider, this album is a fab last one. You can hear the unique GT sound as well as fresh melodies. You can dance along the uptempo and midtempo songs and get sentimental during the ballads. The Gessleish rhymes can’t be missing of course, there is a great dose of them.

While listening to the trumslagarpojke song I’m wondering why Micke Syd didn’t sing too often in GT. He sounds amazing! Helena Josefsson and Malin-My Wall provided backing vocals on Samma skrot och korn and they also sound great. Mr. G shows well his high and low voices. His vocals are powerful on the uptempo songs and soft on the ballads.

Göran’s Farfisa magic is outstanding, but you can hear several other instruments playing, including saxophone and trumpet too. MP’s guitar-playing and Anders on bass sound perfect too, not to mention Harplinge Ringo’s drumming.

By each and every re-play of the album you can discover new elements of the songs. A sound you didn’t hear before, a vocal addition you didn’t pay attention to for the first time you listened, an instrument that your ears couldn’t recognize until you heard the song for the third time. Those tiny little details that make the songs so enjoyable every time you listen. Hats off!

Samma skrot och korn cover (photos from Gyllene Tider’s archives)
Samma skrot och korn LP on the inside (photos by Anders Roos)

Roxette Diaries – a review!

Photo: Nico Radoi

Today was the day – time to watch the Roxette diaries. Yes, the film is out for a while now, but I didn’t bother to watch it any earlier since I had ordered the wrong version without English subtitles and I really didn’t want to watch it without them. Waking up today I decided to give it a try. My Swedish is not the best, but I learned enough from Per, Marie and Kent that I can at least read it very good. So I switched on the Swedish subtitles and the fun began.

It took me two and a half minutes to get into tour mood again. There are two simple reasons for me: There’s a very special energy between Per and Marie in the beginning and it lasts until 1993, I think. It feels very special to watch both of them interact. You can feel in every scene how much fun they had in the 80’s and in the early 90’s. They just did what they know best: music. And they had fun together, all of them. And this is maybe what most fans search or long for the most: They want to be sure that their favourite band is nothing but a big family, having fun together, on and off stage, create great music and conquer the world. Yes – this movie transports this feeling very well. At least the first hour. The whole band is just easygoing, lighthearted, happy, untroubled. My heart leapt watching this! And I remembered how much I love them – and we have a silver wedding this year. It’s been 25 years of unconditional love of my part this year. Can this be called the love of my life then?

The second reason why I suddenly can’t wait for June to roll on: I suddenly remembered that they still have an awful lot to give. They are not finished yet. Seven years have been stolen off them. Seven years of nothingness and yet seven years time to heal a strained friendship. I need to see more of this healed relationship between them. It has never been nicer to watch them on stage together.

And what I implied here I honestly mean: While in the beginning Marie and Per seem to be a unit, they certainly are no longer from 1993 on. Of course, this can be due to the cutting of the film, but did anyone else notice that Marie is almost not to be seen in the last 30 minutes of the film?

There’s one scene at the end where someone asks (is it Per?): “Where is Marie?” right before a performance. Yes, folks, I wondered the same. Where was she? And someone else in the film replies: “Ingen aning.” No idea. I had no clue either.

What we all knew to be true suddenly becomes real – yes, their friendship turned from friendship to business somewhen between 1992 and 1993. There’s no way to deny it. There’s no more fun around. And this is the shocking part of the diaries: Interviews, travelling, TV shows, promotion, concerts – there’s a 90 minute development of wearout to witness. It almost broke my heart to watch this. Smiles got less, fun got less, friendship almost not detectable.

But thinking about the recent years they gave to us, I can only say: We are the luckiest fans in the world. I don’t know how they did it, maybe it’s just the happiness, the gratefulness to have survived this bad illness Marie had, but they certainly overcame their problems and enjoy their time together again. And it’s something different now, when Marie isn’t doing interviews or doing all the other promo crap stuff that comes with being a pop star. We all do understand it and maybe we even understand it more when we know now what it did to them in the early 90’s.

Yet, this is a brilliant movie and my only criticism would be that there were too many concert parts at the end. I would have loved to see more of the Tourism and Crash!Boom!Bang! recordings. Maybe we get to see the rest of it soon. Per’s “soon” would suffice here, though. And I would also love to see the 2009-2016 footage. You know why – just to get me in the tour mood again and again and make me fall in love with them again and again. Nothing and nobody compares to Marie and Per.

Songs on the new Roxette DVD / Blu-ray and live CD

Last week we already informed you about the content of the upcoming Roxette DVD / Blu-ray and Per added his comments on it regarding what the DVD and the Blu-ray really contain.

Now the lists of songs are also published on a Bulgarian website (Radio N-JOY) both for the live part of the DVD and the live CD. The text says the DVD presents a complete live show including 90 minutes of the most inspiring and energetic performances on stage by Roxette, recorded in Curitiba in Brazil, Cordoba in Argentina and Santiago in Chile. They are not mentioning any other countries, so there might not be that much of a mix of the crowd scenes as in the TV cut. Not sure if the stage views are not only from Santiago as it was in the TV cut. At least, it gives us hope that constant cuts in the DVD version are also changed. We’ll see it when the DVD is out on 6th December, 2013.

Roxette – Live ‘Travelling the World’ 
Tracklist  (DVD + Blu-ray)

1. Dressed For Success
2. Sleeping In My Car
3. The Big L
4. Silver Blue
5. Stars
6. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
7. Perfect Day
8. Things Will Never Be The Same
9. It Must Have Been Love
10. It’s Possible
11. 7Twenty7
12. Fading Like A Flower
13. Crash! Boom! Bang!
14. How Do You Do!
15. Dangerous
16. Joyride
17. Spending My Time
18. The Look
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. Church Of Your Heart


Live CD
Roxette Live at Caupolican, Santiago, Chile May 5th 2012

1. Dressed For Success
2. Sleeping In My Car
3. The Big L
4. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
5. Perfect Day
6. It Must Have Been Love
7. It’s Possible
8. 7Twenty7
9. Fading Like A Flower
10. Crash Boom Bang!
11. How Do You Do!
12. Dangerous
13. Joyride
14. Spending My Time
15. The Look
16. Listen To Your Heart

Bonus tracks (will be available only digitally)

17. Silver Blue
18. Church of Your Heart


Regarding ”Silver Blue” as a bonus track the article says: ”fans’ favourite song for live performance all around the world, forcing Roxette to add it to the setlist”.

In one of our earlier posts on Facebook we shared a link Roxette Cafe found and there we could see the teaser for the docu and the cover of the docu part. Not sure if it’s still the real deal, as Per posted another pic as how the DVD cover will look like.

flyer-roxette-recto_lo_res                DVD-BLURAY _cover


Update at 14:30 CET, 1st November: this might be the real deal (however, the letters in the title are not put down in a straight line… hm… hm…). Cover pic shared by Orpheus Music in Bulgaria. Looks better than the one Per shared (I guess that one was a draft attached to the documents to get the certificate in Germany), but still not as energetic as the one shared by GAD. That cover pic is expressing more what the World Tour was about.


Photo on the cover is from 24/07/2011, Slottsskogsvallen, Göteborg (Thanx, Roxette Cafe for letting us know.)


Update by Per regarding the cover – the one HE shared earlier:

Yes yes, this is the upcoming Dec 6 release of the DVD/BluRay. Lots of covers are floating around, I’m getting dizzy!

Thanx for finding the source of info and letting us know, Celestte Williams.