Per Gessle on Nordic Rox – December 2023

Per Gessle and Sven Lindström say hi in the December episode of Nordic Rox from Per’s garage. They are in garage rock mood. Sven says the difference between normal garage and rock garage is that here they are surrounded by Ferraris. Per laughs and asks Sven what kind of car he drives. Sven drives a more humble car, a Volkswagen. He doesn’t know if he can get paid for mentioning the brand name on radio, because this is a commercial free station. PG says Volkswagen is pretty good, his first car was a Volkswagen back in the ’70s. An orange Passat. Sven says he saw some pictures.

Getting back to the garage rock topic, Sven says they are celebrating the return of The Hives. Per thinks they are an excellent band. The guys will have a closer look at their new album, The Death Of Randy Fitzsimmons and play a few songs from that one. It’s the first album in 11 years so it’s a blast, but before that they play some other good looking music. They start off with Planet Earth Through A Stethoscope by Ebbot Lundberg from his new EP.

The next song is Joyride by Roxette and then comes Young, Handsome & Fast by Teddybears. After these songs, Sven and Per talk about the Roxette musical. Per says they just announced that there will be an opening of the Roxette musical called Joyride – The Musical in September 2024. Sven is curious if Per can say anything already now about what to expect. PG says it’s a musical based on a book written by an amazing English writer called Jane Fallon. The book is called Got You Back. It’s a feel-good sort of musical and Per is very proud to be part of it. It’s a great legacy of the Roxette songs. Mr. G feels very optimistic and positive about the whole thing. It’s been in the can for a couple of years actually, he says. Lots of people have approached them over the years to do musicals, but it always ended with they didn’t like the script. But this time around, since it’s based on this book and the book is really cool, it just fits the whole thing. PG: „I think. I hope. I wish.” He laughs. It premieres in September 2024 in Malmö, Sweden. Sven says there is gonna be a rush of Roxette fans entering Malmö. Per says it’s gonna be 74 shows in Malmö and after that they move to Stockholm probably and then of course they try to go international. Mamma Mia needs some competition, the guys are laughing.

The next track is Conquer Or Suffer by Nicole Sabouné from her Must Exist album. Let The Good Times In by The Royal Concept is next. Normal Bias by Love People is also played. A brand new, excellent track, Sven thinks.

The guys are ready to go deep down into the garage. To The Hives’ new album. But before playing anything from that album, they kick off with an older track to get you in the right mood. Sven asks Per if he remembers hearing The Hives for the first time. The first song PG heard from them was Hate To Say I Told You So. It was just amazing. Since Per is an MC5 fan, it can’t go wrong. What really sort of knocked you out is when you saw The Hives live, PG adds. Pelle Almqvist is just an amazing performer and the band looks really cool. They are one-of-a-kind. Still are. They took everything a bit further than anyone else you’ve seen or heard, Sven adds. As soon as they got strong material they got some hits and they got some really great records. And they made it basically everywhere in the world where anyone remotely is interested in rock’n’roll. They guys kick off with Walk, Idiot Walk from the Tyrannosaurus Hives album released in 2004.

Taking a look at the new album, The Death Of Randy Fitzsimmons, Sven is wondering who Randy Fitzsimmons is. Per doesn’t know, but if you check out the copyrights of The Hives records, he has written all the songs, so he must be someone. Or maybe it’s just fake. The guys are laughing. Sven says he is rumored as well according to The Hives mythology to have started the band. He is a mysterious, fantasy figure we could guess, but if we had a closer look at today’s songwriters of The Hives, Per realized that there were four Fitzsimmons, four persons with Fitzsimmons as the last name. It’s 11 years since the last album they made, so things change in a decade. It’s still a riddle surrounded by a mystery wrapped up in an enigma, this Randy Fitzsimmons, Sven says. Per thinks it’s a great album. Talking about the music, it’s very much The Hives. Raw, funny, direct and inventive as well. Trapdoor Solution is a one minute and three seconds long song. That makes you think of Ramones. Close to the edge. Per thinks it’s a fun track and it sums up The Hives in the modern age.

Before the guys continue with the second part of The Hives special, they take a short break with some mellow sounds from Gothenburg, Sweden. Midnight Prayer by Bad Cash Quartet is next, a track from 2003.

Digging deeper into the new album of The Hives, Per says his favourite song from the album comes now. It’s called Countdown To Shutdown. Great bass playing, a great song and a great attitude. The countdown to shutdown has begun, which means the guys keep quiet and listen to the song.

Per asks Sven if he is still alive. Sven says he is getting electrocuted by The Hives. A fantastic title is coming up, Rigor Mortis Radio. Per thinks it’s a very cool song from the new album. The Hives are actually touring South America and next summer they will be touring the States supporting Green Day and Foo Fighters. They are busier than ever. They are gonna play the big stadiums, so check them out if you can because they are one of the best bands ever on stage in Per’s opinion. Sven believes PG is right. They are really getting it together in the studio as well, but it is something else to see them live.

The next song is a giant step for Nordic Rox, a lesser step for the rest of humankind, Sven says. They give a Swedish lesson and play a song in Swedish by a great guy who is unfortunately not with us anymore, Magnus Lindberg. Magnus was a prominent figure in the late ’70s. He transferred himself to a new wave artist, like many others, but he was more of a singer-songwriter originally, with a little bit of a country touch. The song the guys play is from 1981. It’s the title track from the album called Röda läppar, which translates into Red Lips. That’s all the help you’re going to get for the Swedish lesson and from now on, you’ll be on your own with Magnus Lindberg, Sven says.

The next song is Belly Shots by Sarah Klang from her recent album Mercedes. Per finds it wonderful and thinks she is amazing. Sven thinks she is a very cool, great, rather new artist and Mercedes is a great album.

Now the guys go quite a distance from Sarah and play a song Ain’t Coming Home by The Sewergrooves from the album Revelation Time. It’s a really great, gross stumper, Sven thinks. Godspell by The Cardigans is next from the Super Extra Gravity album. With this the show ends and the guys say goodbye.

Cigarettes by Anita Lindblom closes the show, as usual.

Photo by Anders Roos (2019)

Thanks for your support, Sven!