Per Gessle breathes new life into Roxette

Per Gessle gave a Zoom interview to TT News Agency in Sweden. You’ll find it in several Swedish newspapers now, e.g. in Borås Tidning.

After almost 30 years with Roxette, it’s time for a new chapter in the band’s history.

It actually results in two questions, says Per Gessle on a Zoom meeting. It’s possible to think about how and when or in what way and to find out if there is interest out there.

But if you go back to square one, the real question is: should I quit Roxette or should I continue?

For his part, he has come to the decision that feels right. With Marie Fredriksson’s blessing, Per Gessle continues to play Roxette’s songs and also releases new material.

The first single “The Loneliest Girl In The World” is released on Friday, 3rd June along with a new video. The song is the first taster from the upcoming album “Pop-Up Dynamo!”, which follows in September.

Big challenge

The idea was to write poppy uptempo songs, with an ’80s and ’90s feel, which turned out to be a big challenge.

It’s very difficult to write three chord songs at my age. When you have worked with music for several decades, you become too sophisticated in your writing. You know all the tricks and have found your style.

Per continues:

But when the chorus to “The Loneliest Girl In The World” was born, I felt “shit, this is a good chorus”. I was so happy when I wrote it.

Per Gessle emphasizes that the decision to start Roxette again was not something that “came about yesterday”.

I’ve tried to do it in a way that feels relevant. That’s why it felt important not to hire Belinda Carlisle or Annie Lennox or someone to replace Marie. It should be different, but still the same and that puzzle should be solved.

“30 years of my life”

TT: But why not just continue under the “Per Gessle” flag?

Because in the long run I want to tour and play my old Roxette songs. If I tour like Per Gessle, then I play my Per Gessle songs. It’s still almost 30 years of my life that I have given to Roxette and the songs are my little babies. This is a Roxette project, but to mark that it’s not the old Roxette, I have added PG.

And the craving for more Roxette seems to exist. Per Gessle points out that Roxette still means a lot to tons of people, which can be seen not least in the streaming statistics.

It would be stupid to turn your back on it. In my industry, you have to activate music all the time. You have to have people working towards Netflix and Hollywood. Look at Kate Bush who got a US No. 1 now with her song after “Stranger Things”. You have to be active and the one who can be most active when it comes to Roxette is me.

“The world’s biggest band”

TT: But why does it feel so important?

It’s my whole life. It started with Gyllene Tider and then Roxette. And Roxette was one of the world’s biggest bands for a couple of years. Everything I do today is based on Roxette’s success. Not continuing would feel like giving up and it would be such a defeat for me personally not to be able to complete my journey.

Hopefully, there will be a tour as well.

We are looking at getting a European tour together, but it’s tricky to find venues. I hope to know more about it soon.