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Per leaves door open to more Roxette music in the future

Written by tevensso on October 24, 2006 to .

STOCKHOLM - With Roxette’s 20th Anniversary celebration really picking up steam, Per Gessle is on the road a lot these days, going from Stockholm to New York to Hamburg… with more travel plans in the works. Back home for the moment, he’s agreed to spend some time with The Daily Roxette. As always, we’re full of questions, and we know that this time together is limited, so we dive right in:

  Gyllene Tider is put on ice “forever,” Son of a Plumber is hard to beat in terms of quality, Roxette seems to take a lot of energy from Marie and reports are telling us that you are writing a book about your life. Will we see Per Gessle lying in a hammock on a sunny beach for the rest of his life? Can you tell us about your “secret” plans for 2007 that you hinted at on TV4?

  Yes, there is an authorized book coming out in, I guess, September next year. Sven Lindström is doing all the hard work, I’m just playing the leading role.

  I would love to do another SOAP album some day and yes, there might be some more Rox music in the future. Beyond that, sorry, but I can’t reveal anything [more right now]. But the hammock sounds nice… sunny beach even nicer…

  After having had a few stage appearances with Roxette over the last few weeks, you might be able to forecast how the near future of Roxette – especially regarding Marie’s situation – may look like. Will there be more Roxette in 2007 or will we have to wait until Rox25 for more hits? What options do you see at the moment?

  Same answer as before. I’m working on new things, new songs, new everything like I always do. I like to keep my head busy.

  You once mentioned that with the Mazarin tour you discovered the joy of such concerts. Do you feel like going on a huge tour again in the future? Let it be solo or with Rox or…

  Yes, I’m sure there will be more tours in the future. I like playing and singing my songs. I like getting the reaction I usually get from the audience. It’s hard to beat. It’s like a great go-cart lap.

  Letting Roxette come back after four years of little international attention bears a certain risk. Are you satisfied with the response you received from both your audience and the media?

  I don’t think that there is any risk at all. We have such a strong catalog of songs and we’re professional (read “old”) enough not to release any crap. I’ve always felt there is life in any band/artist if you can come up with the goods. We do our best. What’s there to lose? Getting a bad review?

  Your fans seem to like to discuss the “real” Roxette sound, and most see it as being around the Look Sharp!/Joyride era. But Roxette has evolved over the years of course. Do you think there is now a typical “Roxette sound?”

  Well, I think the old Rox sound is dead and buried. For good reasons. From an artistic point of view it would feel awkward to walk in the same shoes forever. You have to change. That’s the fun of it. The two most recent songs are basically done in the same way as we did Son of a Plumber. Same guys in the studio, same attitude. It’s similar with my writing. I don’t write like I used to. Today I prefer not to make demos, for instance. And I’m much more fuzzy regarding ideas. They have to be really interesting (for me) to shine through… to become a song… that will be recorded.

  We got “Rarities” in 1995, the “Rox Box” in 2006… shall we be patient and wait another 11 years for a third release of this kind? Or will you surprise us in another way? Bad Hair Day perhaps?

  Well, there was an entire CD of only demos made for the RoxBox but everyone involved (EMI people, Marie and Clarence, myself, etc.) fell asleep listening to it. So we decided not to release it and only keep some of the goodies for the box. I still think that was an intelligent choice. But, of course, in due time, more stuff will burst out, steaming, through the Rox Shower!

  There were many complaints about the tracklist of the RoxBox. Today, people can see that you did not put just old demos on it the fans already knew, but you gave them altered versions and “polished” songs which caused friendly reactions so far. Do you think the whole argument could have been avoided by just having explained the Box a bit more in advance?

  No, I think that whole discussion is a joke. It has to be up to Marie and me to decide what to release. If you have a band and want to release 2,000 demos, be my guest! I won’t argue with that, it’s your choice. And, down the road, a little frustration and confusion among some fans only makes the whole journey a bit more fun, don’t you think? Have another coffee!

  After Marie’s latest releases and your SOAP album which were both more acoustic and calm than most productions we have heard from you, the bets were high to see these influences in Roxette’s new music too. Instead “One Wish” is more pop than Roxette has been in a long time. Do you see Roxette as a counterpart to SOAP music-wise and personally?

  No, not really. I always say that everything I do is coming from “the same tree,” it’s just different branches I use all the time. If you work with other people in a band (in my case Rox/GT) you have to compromise a bit, but that’s fine with me. In this case we wanted, and needed, a duet and a ballad and that’s what I wrote and what we recorded. And that’s how we sounded those days in June.

  Going back to SOAP. You said it is the most personal album you have made. The reviews you received from music critics were very good. Does it make you long for a SOAP II album? Do you already have concepts for this?

  No, no ideas at all… and for the record, I still consider SOAP to be my best work. It sounds EXACTLY how I wanted it to sound. It’s a shame for the human race that it didn’t sell [he laughs]. So many people would have loved it if they knew it existed. It’s almost double platinum in Sweden but it never really took off anywhere else. At least not in any numbers that makes an old fart like me impressed…

  So, what can we expect from your biography? Things we never imagined? Scandals? Inside stories? How personal will you get?

  I dunno! It’s Sven’s book, I’m only answering the questions! It’s written in a “quotation”-style à la “Please Kill Me” (read it if you haven’t already, it’s stunning!!!) which means that everything in the book are quotes from people. The most interesting thing with this technique is that you get different opinions and views regarding the same subject. How confusing!!! Scandals? Hope not…

  You’ve made literally millions of people happy with your music but critics usually regard you as a mainstream pop writer. How does it feel being probably one of the most underrated successful musicians in the world? Does it bother you at all?

  Wow, I don’t think I’m underrated! I think you more or less get the reviews and rewards you deserve.

  I’ve done the best I can, that’s about it and that’s all I can do. It’s not up to me to judge my work from an outside point of view.

  Will you go on an extended promo tour this fall, if so to where? Europe, the U.S., South America?

  Don’t know yet, we’re open to basically anything. So far a few TV’s have been scheduled. I’m doing quite a lot of media, phoners and face-to-face interviews all the time. One day I have to stop talking!”

  Ha ha, like we see THAT happening! Finally, how does it look in the U.S., regarding Roxette? The new CD will be released, but will it be properly supported?

  Hope so, we have a new deal with EMI/Capitol and it’s a completely new company since we left them. The release date is December 26.

  One positive thing is that our presence in the U.S. is as strong as ever with huge back-catalog airplay. So, hopefully something good will come out of it. I’ll let you know in the spring…

  With those words, Per has to take off again… and we take a final sip of that coffee he’s pushing.

thenicekai contributed to this article.


I always love these interviews. But this one is really more especial since it confirms that Roxette is in the US again, Finally!!! :-)

Take care!
Carlos E., New York.

That’s a nice interview - it’s good to know he is still keen on touring and the biography sounds great!!!!

Thanks you, guys from TDR, for this interview.

“a little frustration and confusion among some fans only makes the whole journey a bit more fun, don’t you think? “

If Gessle likes to think so... I do not.

“Well, I think the old Rox sound is dead and buried. For good reasons.”

This is a really, really interesting quotation. On the one hand, I agree that Rox from “HaND” on sounds different from the Rox of the years before, but on the other hand, I can easily hear that “thing” that makes a Roxette song stick out from any other in ALL of their work... so I’m not sure I totally agree with Per here.

On the other hand, it’s interesting to hear that Per has no ambition to try to recreate “The Look” or “SIMC.” Maybe now those who can’t accept the fact that Rox’s sound has moved on will finally do so themselves?


nice interview! Per seems to be quite up to date with what’s going on among fans ;)

Great interview and great questions for once.. well done! :-)

Someone mentioned Per’s quote about the old sounds being dead and buried, and that you can still re similarities with the older material. I agree. I played One Wish for a friend, without telling them who it was, and they knew as soon as Per started singing that it was Roxette. They, Per more, have two of the most distinctive voices in music, and i think that helps. The music is totally different, no one can argue there. Imagine if we had been fed a Joyride ever since 1991. B O R I N G!!!!

Great interview by the way!! :-)) Glad to see the future of Rox in the US is finally happening!

Cool stuff TDR,. thanks! And thanks Gessle for taking the time! I don’t mind falling asleep (though I doubt it), so go on and surprise us one day with the aforementioned Demo CD withdrawn from the RoxBox, thank you.

Now I’m counting the days till the biography is out, this will be really really interesting by the sound of how it is put together.

And yeah, SOAP2 - formidable! But first and foremost obviously, Roxette!

TDR interviews are always the best, thanx for that! :-)

And Per’s hints about the future sound interesting: He’s working on songs for something... There might be some rox music but he won’t reveal... and no ideas for a SOAP II. What do we mix out of this?

If you had one wish – what would it be? If you had one wish – could it be with Marie..? ;-p

..if Per would only dare to make a SOAP II my life would be much easier. And more beautiful.

I hear Per has stocks in Starbucks... since he’s peddling that coffee all the time...

LOL @ tevensso

Excellent interview once again.

Nice to finally hear what happend with the demo’s that were talked about so much, and the possibility of more to come.

You’ve got to love the fact that Per always has something up his sleeve and is willing to try something different, from Rox91 to now, SOAP, gessle etc...

“a shame for the human race...” i cracked up over that!

I want that Rox Shower to start :)

Excellent interview, I enjoyed it - but how come it’s not on the front page?!!

Awesome news! Per is so witty and fun at the same time and everytime I read an article or interview, he’s always making me laugh. Great to hear about the US deal. Hopefully now we can drop the old disaster and never mention it again. Cross your fingers folks, we may get another joyride out of Roxette....

Very nice and great work from TDR... I hope that Per understands that us, the fans, really love the RoxBox (I certainly do), despite the fact that we will always want more unreleased stuff. We’re insatiable for Roxette!

Great work Thomas, thanks!

Roxette is back and it’s incredible!
I love them!I’m sure the future will bring back more than we spect!

Great article guys!

But I have to agree with Krischan though.

wicked interview thomas :D

Excellent interview, as always :)

It’s always wonderful to enjoy Per’s sense of humour!

Roxette is back!

Per made some interesting and wise comments good interview

Kudos TDR. This is why this “paper” is the best!

It was said elswere in the forums, but Thomas is a star!

Pumped about the US release. It’ll be nice to buy something domestically again.

Please Per, come to South America. Please!!!! We miss you so......
After this fantastic interview a big hope grows inside of me again :D
I’m sure we gonna see them alive again :)

I had the best laugh my whole life with this interview:

1. The sound from the past being buried and dead. When will ever rox fans get used to that idea? Maybe one day but not now...

2. Falling asleep with the demos LOLLLL You really have to dislike your demo work so much in order to dare not to release it. What’s the point of releasing demos only because the fans want them? I don’t mind not having them ... They will come eventually but they don’t have to come out now only because I want to. They aren’t even mine. Another aspect that most Rox fan still haven’t quite undetstood... the music specially the demos are only theirs. They will show them if they feel like it’s worth. What’s the point of doing something that goes against your will? Life usually tends to answer saying “No point at all”.

3. Frustration from hardcore fans and some others for the RoxBox tracklist. If only people knew what Per meant with that! LOL Try the re-read those words in between line like I did. I might not like to know it ... but I did It was fun, Per! :)

Great to read anything Per says, it’s sence of humour and sarcasm reveal his honesty towards what he really thinks and feels. I guess that the people that will never accept that and make pace in order to go along his thoughts are actually, and ironically, the most hardcore fans. Which makes this whole thing for me more interesting as the type of fan who is able to listen to a The Look or a One Wish and enjoy them equally because the only thing one has to do very naturally almost unconscioulsy is to follow the road and understand what is behind it all before missjuding. Time passes, nothing remains the same not even we can be 5 years old forever LOL so why should they?

It’s funny to confirm that Reveal and One Wish are exactly two songs that are so influeced from the SOAP sound ... I mean why shouldn’t they be? Especially if the SOAP record is Per’s ultimately favourite project. If he liked it, no wonder he loves the new songs and trusts them amazingly. The problem is only on the perception that fans have on the music which remains the same: no evolving no going through time, still wanting things to sound like they used to ... 20 years ago! If my grandmother could have been 30 years old now like she was back then .... LOL Thanx Per Bring the beer!

Yeeesss!! Promo tour in South America, please!!
Great interview.

Sorry to disappoint... really I am... trust me on this... but it’s Swedish coffee, not beer that’s being offered. Sober up! (heheheh)

If it was Swedish beer you’d need Per’s bank balance!!! lol

The future is all very exciting!! :-) I pretty much get the idea that there is gonna be new stuff from them next year. Maybe not a full album. An EP? Who knows? Do they even though? But I reckon that Marie seems to be enjoying being on the stage again, infront of that large audience in Germany. Might give her the urge to do more? Only time will tell


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