Per Gessle on Nordic Rox – June 2023

In May it was only Sven Lindström on Nordic Rox, but for the June episode, Per Gessle got back on track and joined him.

The guys focus on one of the biggest legends in Swedish rock history, Pugh Rogefeldt, who unfortunately passed away a couple of weeks ago. Sven says he left a mark on Swedish music and changed it more or less forever. Per agrees. Pugh was probably the first Swedish rock act to sing in Swedish. Nobody did that. Everyone in Europe thought that they had to write in English. Except in France, PG adds. Haha. In Sweden, in the ’60s, all those bands that were big, were either singing Middle of the Road songs in Swedish or they were doing rock and pop music based on Brit pop from the ’60s. Pugh Rogefeldt was the one in 1969 who did an album in Swedish. It took everyone by surprise and it earned him a Grammy. The first three or four albums he did were truly amazing, Mr. G says. Pugh actually influenced him a lot and lots of his peers too. Sven says Pugh made a massive impression on the scene. The guys will play 4 Rogefeldt songs and talk about them in a little while, but before that, they play some fasten-your-seatbelts songs.

Our Own Revolution by Brainpool is the opener. Per says it’s a sadly missed band. Sven adds they were discovered and signed by Per. Mr. G says oh yeah, he forgot about that. It happened once upon a time in the ’90s when he had a publishing company. Per says they were great writers and a great band. He thinks they did three or four albums. Christoffer Lundquist is on bass guitar here. Later he became Per’s producer and also lead guitar player in Roxette. He started out as a bass player. A very cool guy according to Sven.

Driving One Of Your Cars by Lisa Miskovsky is next. A great track according to Sven and Per. Then comes Just Kids by Lowland Circus.

The next song is (Do You Get) Excited? by Roxette. It’s one of the tracks from the massively successful Joyride album from 1991. Those were the days, the guys say. PG says Sven had hair those days. They are laughing. (Do You Get) Excited? is one of Per’s favourite songs from the album. He loves the sound of it. There are great guitar parts by Jonas Isacsson and Marie, of course, is singing the shit out of this song. Sven is curious if Per remembers writing and recording it. PG can’t really remember, but he says they had a big argument, because there is lots of modulations in this song. Per was really into modulations at the time and so he tried to use that in the arrangement of the song a lot. It’s got a little Led Zeppelin riffs, combined with a little drum machine here and there, it’s pretty special.

Broder Daniel’s Underground comes next. A lovely song, Mr. G thinks. Then it’s the Darkest Hour’s turn by Astrid S.

The guys get down to the Pugh Rogefeldt session. Sven says he was 22 years old when he made his debut album. He came from a small town and he was the father of two children. He didn’t expect anything, he didn’t really think anyone would listen to the album. PG says Pugh was lucky in a way, because there was a Swedish producer, Anders Burman, who had a record label called Metronome and he discovered him and put him together with two guys, Janne Carlsson on drums, who came from Hansson & Karlsson. Sven states that Hansson & Karlsson made the song Tax Free that Jimi Hendrix found about and recorded as well. To continue the story, Per says then there was this bass and guitar player called Georg Wadenius, who eventually became a member of Blood, Sweat & Tears three years later. So there is a slight American connection there, Sven says. PG says that Janne Carlsson on drums, Georg Wadenius on guitar and bass and Pugh on everything else, it was a great trio and great songs, unique songs. Like Per said earlier, Pugh was the first one to write in Swedish and he even created his own language on the second album. So three or four songs on that album are in his own language. Weird but nice, Mr. G says. Sven says Pugh was a very creative guy. He didn’t expect anything to happen, but as the months passed in 1969, more and more influential people in the radio and in the newspapers started to discover him. Then suddenly he became declared a complete genius. He said that it took him half a year to come down from that. He was elevated up to the stratosphere. Here the guys play the first Pugh song and it’s from his debut album. Här kommer natten was his breakthrough song. Per thinks it’s very good.

Sven says what happened after this album came out was that Pugh basically opened the door single-handedly for rock artists to express themselves in Swedish. And suddenly, from having been deemed impossible, everyone started to discover that Swedish was not that bad. PG thinks it’s cool. He did a couple of albums after this first one of course, which were very successful as well, and the second one was called Pughish. Pugh sort of invented his own language and that was the first album Per heard from him. It was the same for Sven. Per says he was about ten or eleven years old back then, maybe twelve. It’s a tremendous album. Then Pugh did an album called Hollywood, which was probably his bigger success up until the Bolla och Rulla album came in 1974. Sven says that was more of a straight ahead rock album and it was really successful. After that a couple of Swedish artists went on tour and recorded a Pugh song called Vandrar i ett regn (walking in the rain). The backing vocals on this are half crazy. It’s typically Pugh as well. Mr. G says it’s an homage to the Doo Wop ’50s style of music. This live recording is really special for Per, because he was at the show where they recorded it. They played in Per’s hometown and Pugh was a superstar at the time. PG was in the 8th row and just mesmerized by this concert. He really loves this double LP, Ett steg till.

After this live recording from 1974 is played, Sven says he and Per are celebrating Pugh Rogefeldt, the father of rock music with Swedish lyrics in Sweden. Per thinks that the most famous of Pugh’s songs is coming up next. Små lätta moln is also taken from the 1969 debut album. It has been covered by a lot of people, even though it’s a pretty strange song, but it’s beautiful. Sven agrees. He says Pugh is singing it with this original twist. Nobody sounded like him before that. Playful and inventive he was. PG says Pugh has got this very high-pitched voice, using falsettos and he is just doing his own thing. It’s a trademark sound, Mr. G thinks. Sven wants to know if there is anything Per as a songwriter picked up from Pugh that he is aware of. Mr. G says Pugh is a pretty unorthodox writer. He is not following any rules at all. Per was more rooted in the classic songwriting style when he started out, but he was influenced by Pugh for sure. Especially when it came to writing lyrics. Per started writing lyrics in Swedish and Pugh was definitely one guy to look up to. So if Per should say he was influenced by Pugh, it’s more about the lyrics than the music. Små lätta moln is translating into tiny light clouds, the guys say.

The last Pugh song Sven and Per play is from 1974. Per says it’s from a very raw album called Bolla och Rulla, which is a sloppy Swedish translation of rock ‘n’ roll. Sven says it’s also the typical Pugh attitude, twisting the words. By this time he had a good band. Both Per and Sven saw this tour in the summer of 1974. Per adds that Pugh toured Sweden all the time. He remembers going to this show as well and it was really good. The lead guitar player was actually his younger brother, Ingemar. He had a great Les Paul Special and it sounded amazing. Sven says to top it all off, the bassist was Roger Pettersson. He performed this show that Sven saw in a denim skirt. Per says he had that in Halmstad too. Sven says he always thought that Roger lost a bet or something, so he had to perform in that. But then he realized that it was a stage outfit. Per says he looked cool. At the time, it was the glam rock days, anything went. So it was cool. The song the guys play is the opening track on this album, and it’s called Hog farm. It’s about a hippie commune from the States that came to Sweden. Per says it was lots of scandals and drugs and minors and this and that.

Lambretta’s Bimbo is played. Ifrån mej själv by Dundertåget is the next one. Such a great one, Per loves it.

The guys thank everyone for listening, then as usual, Cigarettes by Anita Lindblom is closing the show.

Still is from the Bag of Trix comment videos recorded by Anders Roos.

Thanks for your support, Sven!

Per Gessle on Nordic Rox – April 2023

Per Gessle and Sven Lindström welcome you on the April episode of Nordic Rox. The guys are situated in sunny Halmstad. Per says it’s a sunny day and it’s really beautiful on the West Coast of Sweden.

Sven says they are in a perfect mood for presenting another special show featuring a group from Helsingborg, The Sounds. Per thinks The Sounds is a great band, they had quite a big success in the States as well. Sven informs they made an album and single called Living In America, and it eventually got them there. They toured the States a lot.

Before that, why not kick off with The Hives? Per thinks it’s a good idea, so they play Tick Tick Boom by The Hives. Not to be mistaken by any other band, Sven says. Per thinks it’s a great, great band. The song is from The Black And White Album. The second song is House Arrest by Stella Explorer. Another interesting track, Sven says. Per thinks she is great and he likes that song a lot. She is doing some really interesting stuff. This song is taken from the Dorkay House EP.

The next song is Run To You by Roxette from the Crash! Boom! Bang! album in 1994. Sven says that was the follow up to the Joyride album, if we are not counting the Tourism live thingy. Per says Tourism came in 1992. Sven asks if Per would say that the Crash! Boom! Bang! album was the proper follow up to Joyride. Mr. G says in a way it was. It was a follow up in the sense that it was another studio album. Tourism, the one in between, was basically recorded in hotel rooms and some live shows and this and that, all over the world while touring. Hearing a track like Run To You today, Sven is curious what triggers Per’s mind when he hears it. PG says first of all, he is always knocked out by Marie’s singing abilities. She was an amazing singer and she made his songs so much better than they actually were. She had this ability to make everything come alive. Great, great singer. Per thinks it’s a cool song, a great arrangement. They had a little problem with this one in the studio and he got stuck a bit with the production, but their bass player at the time came up with this idea to build the arrangement around acoustic guitars instead. So it changed shape a bit, but it turned out nice. It was a big hit for them in certain countries in Europe and Australia. Sven says it still sounds good. Per thanks for saying it.

The guys go down to Malmö and play Ray Wonder from the ’90s. We Got To Be Good To Each Other by Ray Wonder feat. Nina Ramsby is next. Then comes a new single by The Black Angels & The Raveonettes, My Tornado. It’s a track The Raveonettes had on their debut mini album, Whip It On, 2002. Sven thinks it’s a cool collaboration, The Black Angels being from Austin, Texas and The Raveonettes from Denmark. A 20-year-old track getting a new life. PG also thinks it’s cool and it sounds great.

Here comes this episode’s special, The Sounds. They are from Helsingborg and were formed in 1999. They have been working really, really hard since their debut in the early noughties. The guys play the title track from their debut album called Living In America. It didn’t immediately break them in the States, but it became a pretty big song, their big breakthrough in 2002. They started touring and really working hard for many years. Per says Maja Ivarsson is the name of the lead singer. Sven says she is terrific. Per thinks she is wonderful on stage, a great front person and a great singer as well. Sven agrees.

Mr. G says The Sounds is one of those bands that has been touring and touring and touring. They did so many shows supporting other bands like the Foo Fighters, No Doubt, and especially in the States they have been touring year in year out. Sven says they are a superhard-working band. Their second album actually brought them to the States for real. They recorded this album called Dying To Say This To You in Oakland, California with Jeff Saltzman. That was really the start of major touring. They played 200 shows in 2006. That’s a lot. Sven asks „how can you get away with that?” Per says „you have to be very young”. Sven says you can hear that they became incredibly tight as a band. He thinks this second album is super cool and sounds really good. Per agrees and they play the next song, Painted By Numbers, which is a great track.

Mr. G says The Sounds is a great band, they are cool, especially live. Maja Ivarsson is a great performer, a great singer and she is really wonderful to watch and listen to. Sven says she is an absolutely terrific rock’n’roll woman. Per introduces the next song, which is from The Sounds’ third album, Crossing The Rubicon. This one came out in 2009 and the first single is called No One Sleeps When I’m Awake. It’s got this really heavy sound to the production and it sounds really amazing still. Sven adds that Per especially likes the snare drum. PG says the snare drum sound is pretty heavy, he likes that. Sven loves the intro, the guitar intro is fantastic.

The guys move on with the fourth and final The Sounds song in this special. The band’s next album, Something To Die For came out in 2011. The track Sven and Per picked from that is The No No Song. PG thinks it’s a really great track and it’s got all The Sounds trademark. Sven says it’s got all The Sound sounds. Haha. The energetic guitar and the synthesizer doing this melody thing. Per thinks it sounds really cool.

Sven introduces the next song, Tuesday Afternoon. He thinks the word Beatlesque is what he is looking for. Per says this is a great band from the early ’90s in Sweden called Stonecake. They came and went. They managed to squeeze in this song in the pop history of Sweden. It was a big hit in Sweden. Sven says this was the first track they made more or less and they never became bigger than this one. Per says it’s a great song, you can hear their inspiration from The Beatles or from Smashing Pumpkins or The Move from the ’60s, Roy Wood’s The Move. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, but it’s a very catchy chorus. It was a big song and Per doesn’t know if it was number one in Sweden, but it was definitely a top five song. Sven says a million dollar chorus is waiting for you right here.

Year of Love by Jenny Hval is next. She is a Norwegian girl. She is one of Per’s current favourites. She is just amazing. She did an album last year called Classic Objects and this is the first song from that album. PG suggests checking her out if you get the chance. He spells her last name, Hval.

The guys play Blue Fun (The Robert Palmer Mix) by Mikael Rickfors. It’s the title track from his 1983 album. This one he sent to Robert Palmer in the Compass Point Studios. Per says Robert Palmer did a great mix of this song. It wasn’t on the original album. It was on a 12-inch single. Sven thinks it came out in 1984. Per doesn’t really know why they sent it to Robert Palmer and why he even bothered to work on this. Mr. G says Micke Rickfors used to be a great Swedish singer, but he also used to be the singer from The Hollies. A terrific singer. Sven thinks the studio version, the Swedish mix of Blue Fun is quite horrible. It’s a lot of echo and 6000 instruments playing at the same time. But it’s a great song, Per thinks. It’s really terrific. Sven thinks Robert Palmer just took basically everything down and then took a couple of things up, which made it so incredibly simple and dry. It’s really hard-hitting and Micke sings so well here.

This wraps up the show. The guys thank the listeners for joining them and as usual, Cigarettes by Anita Lindblom is the closing track.

Still is from the Bag of Trix comment videos recorded by Anders Roos.

Thanks for your support, Sven!

Per Gessle on Nordic Rox – March 2023

After a well-deserved beachtime, skipping one month of being on air on Nordic Rox, Per Gessle is back on the Spectrum with Sven Lindström. Mr. G is taking a break from recording to make this episode with Sven. He is in the studio at the moment. Also preparing for a big summer tour in Sweden with Gyllene Tider, but he says it’s great to be back on the show. Nordic Rox is where it’s at. Sven asks PG what kind of project he is working on right now. Mr. G says right now he is working on some solo material. There will also be a Roxette musical coming out late next year, so he is working on that one as well. There is a movie coming out about Gyllene Tider next summer, so he is keeping himself busy. No peace for the wicked, Sven laughs. Per says it’s good. He just released the PG Roxette album in October last year, so he is still releasing some singles from that one. Some promotion here and there. Sven says as soon as that one is out, they will play it on Nordic Rox. He asks Per when the EP will be available in stores. It’s out mid April and he is preparing some videos and stuff for that one as well.

The March episode has a special where the guys are focusing on a Swedish group called Atomic Swing. They are a great band that started out in the early ’90s. They were big in Sweden, big in Japan.

The first song the guys play is Sven’s band’s new single, Close To You. The only thing he has to say is „here’s Nordic Rox with some good looking music in the shape of Velvet Beat”. After the song is played, Per says Velvet Beat is a Malmö band.

The next track is Gold Rush, new music from Stella Explorer. Then comes Hey Princess by Popsicle. Per thinks it’s a beautiful song. A classic.

Next one is The Loneliest Girl In The World, one of the hits from the PG Roxette album, Pop-Up Dynamo! Sven says they talked about this song earlier, but he is curious how it came about. PG says he doesn’t know, but when he wrote it, he just felt immediately that it’s got a really catchy chorus. He says you feel that in your spine when you are writing songs, when it hits that a chorus is really going somewhere. So he felt immediately that this is going to be a very strong song. He didn’t have a title or any lyric at the time, but it turned out to be the first single off the album. Sven says Per could have written it for Gyllene Tider. They were making an album around the same time. PG reacts that it was a little earlier, but it is sort of the same style, he agrees. The big difference of course is when he works with GT, it’s a very organic band with five people playing all the time, while with PG Roxette everything is programmed. So it’s more like an ’80s-’90s synthesizer based production. Even though the music is quite similar, the end result is pretty different.

Next is Sergels Torg by Veronica Maggio. Sven says it’s always great here on Nordic Rox to grab the chance to polish up your Swedish with the help of Veronica Maggio. Per adds for those who haven’t been to Stockholm that Sergels torg is the big square in the center of town where you are sort of wheeling and dealing, underworld, dark web. Sven adds it’s a place where you can buy this and that.

The Atomic Swing special starts with the guys talking about the band. Sven asks Per if he remembers when they came out. They were formed basically when Roxette were travelling the world in 1992. Atomic Swing made it quite big in Sweden. Per remembers their breakthrough. He liked the band a lot and they sounded pretty different. Per thinks their sound was really fresh. Good songwriting as well and they are a great band with great singers and great arrangements. The first album was a massive success for them. Sven says they made it really big in Sweden and they also broke through in Japan and Australia. Sven thinks the singer, Niclas Frisk has got a special attitude. Nobody else sounds exactly like him and he is also a very good guitarist. Per agrees and says it was a complete band. A really good band and they looked cool too. The first song the guys play from them is Stone Me Into The Groove, their biggest hit from their debut album, A Car Crash In The Blue (1993). The band was definitely influenced by the ’70s, but still there are some new elements to it in their sound. They sound like the ’90s as well. Sven says it’s just like the way Oasis updated the ’60s, to make it into a ’90s thing.

Per thinks that what made Atomic Swing work was that they had good songs. The next one they play, Dream On is an even better song, he thinks. It was a big success for another Swedish artist called Jerry Williams, an old rocker from the ’50s. Atomic Swing made their own version and it’s from another album. They made three albums in the ’90s and split up in 1997, and then they were gone for like 10 years and they reformed to make The Broken Habanas in 2006. Dream On has a wonderful guitar and organ solo where they sort of overlap each other in a wonderful way. Per thinks it’s a great song. He loves the guitar sound and the Hammond thing as well. They used Hammond a lot in the production arrangements. It makes the whole production sound really big.

The next song is also sort of flirting a bit with the ’70s sound. The guys go back to Atomic Swing’s second album called Bossanova Swap Meet. It was released in 1994 and had a track called Soul Free. There is a great little flute melody in the intro. It’s nice. Per thinks flute is a very underrated instrument. You immediately think about Jethro Thull. The flutes were everywhere in the late ’60s, early ’70s and then boom, off they went.

The last Atomic Swing song they play is Lovin’ Out Of Nothing, which Niclas Frisk, the leader of the band wrote together with Swedish singer Titiyo. She released her version in 2004 and it became a big song. A couple of years later, Atomic Swing released their own version on their comeback album, The Broken Habanas. Titiyo’s version is quite different, but it’s a really good song. Per didn’t know that the Atomic Swing had recorded it themselves, but when he heard it, he immediately recognized it of course. Sven was looking for the word „atmospheric” to describe it. Per says why not, it’s a good word.

The guys go back in time to 1995. Sven asks Per what happened in 1995. PG says it’s a long time ago. He was on the Crash! Boom! Bang! tour with Roxette. Sven says in Stockholm, Sweden a young girl was recording her debut album. He talks about Robyn and plays Do You Really Want Me (Show Respect) from her.

Hollow Talk is next by Choir Of Young Believers, a Danish one man band. It was the theme song for The Bridge TV series. Great TV series, Per thinks. Sven also thinks it’s very cool and it turns out Per didn’t see the last two episodes, because for some reason they stopped showing it on the network. That’s what you call a cliffhanger, Sven laughs. Per says he has to do something about that. Haha.

The guys wrap up, thank the listeners for joining them and Cigarettes by Anita Lindblom is closing the show.

Still is from the Bag of Trix comment videos recorded by Anders Roos.

Thanks for your support, Sven!

Per Gessle on Nordic Rox – January 2023

Sven Lindström and Per Gessle had their first chat of the year on Nordic Rox. They wish a happy new year to each other. They ask each other how they are doing. Both feel good and Per adds he survived Christmas and New Year’s Eve… in style, he thinks. Sven had a moment of silence. He thought that would say everything about whether he survived or not. Per says „we weren’t at the same party”. They are laughing.

They think it’s good to be back on the show. This time they plan to turn up the amplifiers till 12, sometimes up to 13.5. The featured band on this episode is The Nomads. Per thinks they are a great, wonderful band. This tradition in punk pop music is just the best there is. Sven says they are kicking some serious ass and they have done that since the early ’80s and still do.

The guys kick off with a wee warm-up here in the shape of Troglodyte by Viagra Boys. They remember The Troggs [English garage rock band] and think they were a great band. Per’s favourite Troggs singles were I Can’t Control Myself and Love Is All Around. „I go for the ballads, you know me, Sven.” PG starts singing Anyway That You Want Me here and Sven says, „OK. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Reg Presley [singer in The Troggs] says hello.” They are laughing.

Holiday Inn by Adiam Dymott is next from her debut album. Mr. G thinks that’s a great album and they played quite a few songs from there over the years. I Miss You, John Denver, Pizza, almost every track. Then comes Sugar, the new single of Tribe Friday.

Sven says they have a kick in the ass section waiting for you out there in the shape of The Nomads and they will play four of their highlights from their illustrious career. But before that, some more songs from the Nordic countries. Smile by Atomic Swing comes next. It’s a great ’90s track, one of their biggest hits.

Headphones On by PG Roxette is next, then Between The Lines by Sambassadeur. Per likes this one, he has never heard that before. It’s a great track. Mr. G thinks she has a great voice and he likes their style and the arrangement. Sven says Per mentioned another track while listening to this one, it was like an indie version of Kiss Me by Sixpence None The Richer. But that’s a little bit more sophisticated and this one is more indie style. Charming, they think. Speaking of charming, the guys get back to Headphones On. It’s the new single of PG Roxette. Per asks Sven if he likes it. Sven thinks it’s cool. PG thinks it’s nice. He is honoured to have the old Roxette lead guitar player, Jonas Isacsson around. He is playing a guitar solo on this one. It’s so rare to record guitar solos these days, he adds. Sven thinks it’s desperately needed. Per thinks so too. Sven asks Per if Jonas was happy for getting the chance to let loose. Mr. G says he is always happy when he gets a chance to play guitar solo. Every guitarist is. „Did you try it, Sven?” Sven says as soon as they are ready, he is going to pick up his guitar and fire away. Haha.

Mando Diao has a new single, Fire In The Hall. Sven asks Per what he thinks about that. PG thinks it’s OK. He thinks Mando Diao has its ups and downs and this is somewhere in the middle for him. But it’s always interesting to hear what they are going through. This song is from the EP Primal Call, Vol. 2.

The excellent new single from Stella Explorer, House Arrest is the next song. The guys think it’s a very, very cool track. They like it a lot. Per thinks this one is also from an EP. It’s very popular to do EPs these days, a shorter version of albums. Sven asks Per if he knows what EP stands for. Mr. G knows it of course, Extended Play. Those things were important to learn back in the days. Per thinks it’s actually good nowadays when you have the streaming services that you can release 4 songs instead of 12. He will always go for releasing albums, but a lot of people are complaining and you can tell by the streaming numbers as well that people are getting bored after four or five songs. He is laughing. Sven says that was a challenge that The Soundtrack Of Our Lives always took up, releasing double albums in the streaming area.

Sven and Per get down to an amazing band that they both like a lot, The Nomads. Sven says they are taking the elevator down to the garage now, the Swedish garage scene. The Nomads kicked off in 1981 and they went ahead of any band in Sweden, against the stream. They kicked off almost alone the Swedish garage rock scene. Per thinks without The Nomads there wouldn’t have been The Hives, for instance. The Nomads were never really a mainstream band. They toured a lot and toured and toured and toured. They are actually still around and it’s amazing. They always kept that garage rock spirit and never really lost their drive or energy. It’s really cool. The guys kick off with Rat Fink A Boo-Boo, showing the listeners a bit what they are all about.

Continuing The Nomads homage, Per says in 2013 they released an EP called Loaded Deluxe and he thinks we should listen to Get Out Of My Mind. This is one of his favourite Nomads tracks.

Then it’s time to slow the tempo down and play not a ballad, but as close to a ballad as what you can find in The Nomads catalogue. The Way You Let Me Down, also taken from the Loaded Deluxe EP is next. It is produced and co-written by a guy called Chips Kiesbye. He is like a household name in Swedish circuit since he produced so many artists for many, many years. And he also started out himself in heavy influence by the new wave era in the late ’70s, in the band called Sator. He tried to polish The Nomads up and the guys think he succeeded.

Sven mentions he wrote a book that came out a couple of weeks ago. It’s about a very narrow subject, the Ramones in Sweden. They played 2263 shows, 18 of them in Sweden. The whole book is about those 18 shows and what the Ramones meant for the Swedish scene. Sven also interviewed Per, for example and he interviewed The Nomads as well. They were heavily influenced by the Ramones. They were actually supporting the Ramones on some shows in 1990 and 1991. They told Sven that once upon a time in a show there Joey Ramone was wearing a Nomads T-shirt, which they of course were incredibly proud of and sometimes he also dedicated the track Pet Sematary to The Nomads while they were playing. During one of the tours in 1990 in Sweden, during the soundcheck, The Nomads went out and played Chinese Rock. Immediately, both Johnny and Joey Ramone were by the stage with a look like you can’t play that track, it’s ours. Written by Dee Dee Ramone. Haha. The guys wrap up this Nomads special with Miles Away from their Solna album.

Get The Moon Up by Daniel Norgren is next. Leaves by Children Of The Sün comes next. Per thinks this is an amazing song. This amazing band is quite new, PG has never heard of them before. When Sven heard them, he immediately thought about Jefferson Airplane around 1969, crossing over to Led Zeppelin between their first and second album. Mr. G says he thought it was reminding him a little bit of the early Heart, which was sort of very influenced by Led Zeppelin, but at the same time when he heard this girl singing, he thought they sound a little bit like ABBA. The guys couldn’t stop talking, they drew in all influences they could hear. It’s fun and it’s very special, they think. Children Of The Sün, they have to remember that name. Great band.

With this, Sven and Per wrap up the first episode of 2023 and promise to be back with more good-looking music. Anita Lindblom’s Cigarettes is closing the show, as usual.

Selfie from Per’s archives (2014)

Thanks for your support, Sven!

Per Gessle on Nordic Rox – December 2022

Sven Lindström and Per Gessle sat together in Halmstad to record the December episode of Nordic Rox. Sven says it’s soon Christmas time and Per has got his Santa outfit on himself because he is ready to present his brand new Christmas single coming up later on the show.

This time it’s The Soundtrack Of Our Lives special, taking a closer look at this Gothenburg band’s songs. Per says they played them quite a lot here on Nordic Rox, because they like them a lot. The band is not around anymore, unfortunately, but they were killer in their heydays.

Before the special, the guys present some weird sounds from the north of Sweden and the first track is Boogie Woogie/Rock ‘n’ Roll by Komeda. Per says it’s pretty famous, because it was part of an ad on Swedish television many years ago. Mr. G thinks it’s a great track and it sounds amazing. Sven adds they just picked out this bababababa from the song for the ad and it was incredibly irritating. Not many people knew what the track was.

The next song is Happyland by Amanda Jenssen. She is from Lund, Sweden. Then comes Different Sound by the amazing Teddybears. Sahara Hotnights is next with Gemini.

Bald Headed Woman from The Hep Stars is the next track. This song was No. 1 on the charts in Sweden in 1965. Sven says it tells you everything you need to know about Sweden in 1965. Per remembers it was on the first Kinks album and Sven adds he thinks The Who as well did it. PG shares the info that the keyboard player in The Hep Stars is Benny Andersson, who eventually became one of the key players and writers of ABBA. Sven says he doesn’t know if you could hear any sort of traces of ABBA here, but he went berserk on that organ at the end of the song. He is a fantastic player. Per says they were a good live band as well. Sven saw them at the end of their career in 1966. Per says he was too young back then. Haha. Sven says Bald Headed Woman was like an old blues track, but he never really figured out the lyrics. He asks Per what he thinks the lyric means. Mr. G laughs and says „well, he preferred women with hair”. Sven adds he didn’t like sugar in his coffee either („I don’t want no sugar in my coffee”). PG says it was tough in those days. Haha. Sven says it was like listening to an old Ramones record. Per agrees.

Sarah Klang’s latest single, Belly Shots is next. Per thinks she is a great singer and it’s a great song. Sven agrees she is a terrific singer.

It’s time for the guys to zoom up to Gothenburg and relive some of the greatest moments of The Soundtrack Of Our Lives history. Per thinks it’s a great band. They started out in 1995 and went on until 2012 when they disbanded. Sven adds they released a final album then. Per always liked them. They had a great sound and were very guitar-driven and very melodic all the time, even though their songs are pretty long. Lots of instrumental passages, but they always had really good melodies and good songwriting as a basic thing. Sven says the first track they play, Instant Repeater ’99 is from their debut album, Welcome To The Infant Freebase (1996). It sets the tone for The Soundtrack Of Our Lives. Some elements of Stones, some elements of psych rock, some elements of punk. A little bit of everything. Mr. G thinks they were great live as well and Ebbot Lundberg is a very prolific singer.

Sven says the band had wonderfully psychedelic titles for their albums. The next album they released in 1998 was called Extended Revelation For The Psychic Weaklings Of Western Civilization. They also made very long records. In the vinyl era these would have been double albums. The first one was 70 minutes long and the second was 62 minutes. PG says they didn’t believe in kill your darlings. Sven says he doesn’t think they were ever aware of either darlings or killing. Haha. According to Mr. G, it’s good anyway, they have their own identity and he really likes the style of the guitarist. They have these guitars all the time that are really melodic and they sort of create all these patterns in the music, which is really interesting. It’s very special and he likes it a lot.

Sven thinks there is some sort of Stones element to it and it also adds some psychedelic thing to the melodies or the whole attitude. That becomes very clear in the next song, Bigtime from their fourth album, Origin Vol. 1. Per says this is probably his favourite track from them. He thinks it’s really cool, it has a great groove to it and it’s just so exciting to listen to all the time.

Per says every time he hears this band he is getting more and more impressed. They are a whole great package of wonderful musicians and great melodies, great songwriting. And Ebbot, the lead singer has got a great voice. Sven also thinks that most of the things they did was fantastic. Just take a look at the cover of the album they made in 2008, Communion. Sven can never stop being fascinated about that cover. It looks like a middle-aged couple in a spa, drinking some greenish smoothie. Per thinks it’s a great sleeve. They are talking about it, so it must be good.

The Soundtrack Of Our Lives made it quite big with the third album in the US and also other countries. The guys plan to play 2 songs from Behind The Music. Per says the first one they play is Nevermore. It’s got a little more acoustic touch to it, but it’s a great track and also it’s a beautiful melody line. PG always goes for the melodies, as we know. The album is from 2001 and this is the one that sort of cracked the US market open for the band and especially the next track Sven and Per play, the Sister Surround single. Per adds they toured the States as well, in 2002 they were supporting Oasis. Sister Surround is a terrific track, a classic rock and roll kind of rock music that became rarer and rarer until it almost became extinct, Sven says. PG thinks it’s a great way to end this homage on the show with the highlights of their career.

A song spinning heavily on Swedish radio right now is Stockholmsvy by Hannes & Waterbaby. The title translates to View of Stockholm. Per says the song is in English except for the title, which is in Swedish. He thinks it’s a good song. When he heard it for the first time, it felt like it was like a Leonard Cohen track from his late era. Really smooth and mellow and beautiful and sparse. Mr. G also thinks that it’s nice that they are getting some really good airplay here.

Next song is Waterlily Love by Per’s partner in crime, Helena Josefsson. This is from her debut album in 2007. Mr. G thinks it’s a beautiful song and Helena is a great singer.

Ifrån mej själv by Dundertåget comes next. The title translates roughly to Beside Myself and the band name translates to thunder train. The guys think it’s a good name and a good track as well.

Here comes a Christmas celebration from Per Gessle and PG Roxette, Wish You The Best For Xmas. Per says it’s time for another Christmas song. He wrote one in 1987, which was called It Must Have Been Love. Sven says he doesn’t think Per has to introduce that song, but maybe he has to introduce it as a Christmas song, because probably nobody remembers that it started out as a Christmas song. Per says the reason for writing it was that Roxette tried to get airplay in Europe and it was impossible. Their German record label suggested that Per should write a Christmas song, because then it could be easier to get on the radio for Christmas. And so he did it and wrote It Must Have Been Love (Christmas For The Broken Hearted) and presented to them. They didn’t like it, so they never released it. However, Roxette released it in Sweden and it became a big hit for them as a Christmas song in 1987. And then of course, three years later it popped up in the Pretty Woman movie. Without the Christmas reference in the lyrics, that went out the window. Now it was time again, so this summer PG decided to write an uptempo Christmas song. It’s a great tradition in pop music generally when it comes to Christmas songs. Per has his favourites, e.g. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday by Roy Wood’s Wizzard, Merry Xmas Everybody by Slade or all those songs that were big in Sweden when he was a kid. Once in a while, you have to make a Christmas record, Mr. G thinks.

At the end of the show, the guys wish merry Christmas and happy new year to all listeners. They promise to be back early January.

Anita Lindblom’s Cigarettes is the closing song, of course.

Photo by Anders Roos (2019)

Thanks for your support, Sven!