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TDR interview: Micke Bolyos talks about his career, and life with Marie

Written by Jud on November 6, 2006 to .

EDITOR’S NOTE - As you know, even though our online newspaper is called "The Daily Roxette," we try to cover everything related to Per and Marie. For a long time now, we've wanted to allow our readers to get to know Mikael Bolyos better, as he's played a major role with Marie Fredriksson's music both on and off the public stage. In this exclusive interview with TDR News Editor Judith Seuma, Mikael – better known as Micke – reveals much about his career with music and his working and personal relationship with his wife Marie.

VIENNA – Let's start with an introduction about Mikael as a musician. Mikael's recalls that his interest in music started when he heard The Platters' song "Only You" on the radio somewhere around 1963, and he knew he wanted to be a musician when his father asked him to take over his company one day. "He made plastic signs," explains Mikael. But he had considered other lines of work. "My dream was to become a gymnastics teacher," he says.
He started to learn the piano at the age of seven with "a private piano teacher, hated it and quit one year later, so I guess I still haven't learned to play it properly." He can also "play some chords on the guitar." Mikael wrote his first song at the age of 11. "The song was called 'Tell Me Why You Cry' and the lyrics were made up from different Beatles lyrics and titles," he says. The Beatles are one of his musical influences, together with Stevie Wonder and various '70s funk bands.

You compose, tour, play with other artists on albums, produce… Of these various facets of your career, what do you enjoy the most?
Today I'm not touring as much as I used to, but even then, when I used to, I was always happy in the studio. So, composing and recording must be my answer to that.

If you let your imagination run free for a moment (and assume that everyone is suddenly available), with whom would you like to work, that you've never had the opportunity to work with before?
I think it would be my new favorite artist and composer, Rufus Wainright.

How do you compose? For example, some artists rely on their inspiration and write music whenever it comes to them, others are more focused and prefer to schedule time for composing new material.
I wish I could be more scheduled in my work, but I'm quite a lazy guy and wait for the inspiration to come.

What is your prefered piano/keyboard? Do you have many of them in your studio? Do you prefer piano or keyboard?
A nice, well-tuned grand piano is always right. And synthesizers… [Micke goes into deep thought] Hmmm? My old favorites are the Mini Moog, Prophet 5 and the Jupiter 8. Yes I have some old synthesizers, but today you can buy so many good retro synths as plug-ins to your computer. I suppose piano.

What is the studio like in your home? Can you describe it to us?
In the control room we have a large mixing desk, racks of different effects and synths. And in the studio room where we record all the acoustic sounds we have a drum kit, some percussion and some real good microphones.

What do you do when you are not "Mikael the musician"? What other interests do you have?
Except from spending time with my family and friends I like cooking and to watch football.

What do you like to do "just for fun"?
I would be a liar if I didn't answer GOLF.

Simply out of curiosity: you spoke German rather well when we talked on the phone to arrange the interview. Did you learn it in school or did you ever live in Germany or Austria for a while?
Well, thank you! No I never lived in Germany. I spent some summers with my relatives in Austria when I was young, and I have a half sister in Hamburg and she is German. Otherwise, I learned it from a book!

How is it to work with Marie, given that you have both a personal and a professional relationship? Or are these two aspects completely intertwined?
When we started to work together in 1992, both Marie and I were quite experienced in studio work. I mean both technically and psychologically. We had an opinion what's worth spending time on, and the fact that you have to compromise. I found it already from the beginning very easy to work with Marie. She is so talented, she has a great voice and she knows how to use it.
Most of the time both of us want the same result, so it's a matter of finding the best way of reaching it. Most of the time in the studio, I'm programming and taking care of the sound part, but sometimes Marie plays the piano herself and has strong ideas of how the backup vocals or a certain synth or guitar should be played and mixed.

How do the two of you collaborate? Do you have an idea in your mind for a song, and then quickly share it with her and you go on together from there? Or, do you work on the idea for some time and when it's mostly finished, you have her listen to it then?
Yes, I play my ideas to her, and if she likes it I continue in a good mood. If she doesn't like it I continue singing "she doesn't understand me."

If you do work together on one idea, how do you distinguish whose song it is?
I don't know, but so far we haven't had any problems with that.

You wrote about half of the songs for "The Change." Was that album a way to talk about Marie's illness for you as well?
Yes, definitely! There's a lot coming up inside you, when you are approaching real existential angst.

What do you think you bring to Marie's music or how do you influence Marie's music?
I better ask Marie about this one. Hold on…… "[He influences my music] because we think the same," she says.

How was the work with "Min bäste vän"? Did you work on it for a long period of time or once you started you didn't stop until it was finished?
We started to record some songs in late October and in November we realized that we were doing a cover album. By that time, we had Marie's nephew (Jokke) staying with us, studying guitar in Stockholm. So he was available every evening doing guitar overdubs or backgrounds. That was a creative and fun period, and we were working quite fast.

The songs on "Min bäste vän" sound so fresh and alive, as if they were recorded live and with very little "production." Is this the case?
No, not really! "Min bäste vän" was a lot of programming (which I enjoyed after "The Change"). Only "Här kommer natten " was recorded live. The explanation to this might be that it sounds live with live musicians.

Is there any song (on the album) that also meant a lot to you at that time ('60s - '70s) and that you also "rescued" from your old LPs?
Yeah a lot of them. Marie and I are about the same age. But I used to tour with Pugh Rogefelt back in 1983, so his songs were always close to me. Especially "Aftonfalken."

You have started your own label with Marie and as far as we've heard, soon a new album from Max Schultz should be published under this label. What can you tell us about the album?
Yes that's correct! Since 2003 Max Shultz, Magnus Lindgren and I are recording in our Vinden studio in Stockholm and in our Vinden studio in Spain. Max and Magnus are playing so it's a record with only guitar & sax and flute. They are both such talented musicians, so it's like Christmas working with them. The three of us are writing and producing. The style of the music is very melodical and jazzy. I think you'll be surprised. It's an album that, if we're lucky, will sell 2000 copies.

Are there any other release plans on the horizon?
Yes. We already recorded a cover album with the singer Joachim Bergström with Magnus Lindgren Quartet. It's more like traditional jazz music the old way. I don't know when it's gonna be released though.

You have a unique perspective. What do you see coming up in the not-so-distant future? Can you let us in on anything that may just be an idea or in the planning stage right now?
Well, I shouldn't tell you this early, but I have always had this dream of releasing a record with my own songs. I decided to do this the 6th of April next year, and I promise that you will be able to pre-listen to some songs on the Mary Jane homepage before.
With those words The Daily Roxette thanks Micke Bolyos for his time.


WEOW My im the first!!!! thats great interview from mikael bolyos, well done

wow its finally great to find out alot more about marie’s other partner, he sounds like he loves his synths .

Would love to hear a real synth driven marie album.

but great article.

ps who did the photo lol

Great interview!!!

Great interview Really good work Judith keep on
hmm if I´m not mistaken Micke collaborated with Passagerarna (the passangers) as well, With Pelle alsing,staffan Öfwerman etc?

Thank you very very very much TDR!!! :-)
Micke is such a nice person...I hope there´ll be more to read about him soon.

Yes, thank you, great. I like the guy.

Now please someone interview Asa Gessle haha

Great interview!
Micke,we love you,you’re such a nice and kind person!

Great interview! Looking forward to his album and maybe I am one of 2000. ;-)

it is great to read this articule. nice to hear about micke itself.

he is very talented as we can listen in marie‘s album.!!!


Thank you for this very interesting interview! And the hint about 6 April 2007. ;)

Asa Gessle, that‘s an interesting idea! what was her thing, fotography or I‘m mistaken? I think she took pictures of roxette during some of their tours...

God, I was joking...But thanks for taking me so-so-seriouuuusly.
But well, maybe you’re right, after all it’s not such a crazy idea...

Nice to see that in the “story continues...” part the replies are actually longer than the questions. It’s not cool when it’s like in the only part you can read on the front page...

EDIT: The headache made me confuse the words “questions” and “answers”... LOL :D

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: JUDITH ROCKS

I like this interview a lot. These are questions that do not superficially ask the usual stuff but you get to know things that are really interesting. Thank you Judith, well done!

Really great!!! :D

Really interesting interview. Thanks Judith

Great work! :)

I really really like Micke. I’ve met him twice and he’s one of the NICEST people I ever met in my life. And from this interview we can see what a sense of humour he has.

Cudos to TDR (Judith) for a fun interview, and being very respectful about asking personal questions about Marie.

Hey...a friend just showed me that this interview is on another site. Did TDR give permission for that site to take it????

No, we didn’t... and have asked them to remove it. It’s OK to quote a few sentences from our interview... but we would of course prefer other sites, if they think the entire interview might be of interest, to provide a link to this interview on TDR. They wouldn’t like us republishing their material without prior permission. OK... enough about this... no further comments on this matter here please.

Sings Micke self in the Songs? Can her sing?

I think Mick is a really nice person, big and muscular.
Marie have really luck with him.

Would have been nice with an interview with Åsa! ;).. Haha.. Micke seems like a good guy! Don’t know so much about him actually..

Marie is obviously crazy about this guy and he played a huge and difficult role in Marie’s recovery... you can’t help but love the guy. I really don’t care for his role in Marie’s music, though... I wish she wouldn’t record his songs (except for “Mother,” which is as good as any of her own on that album). Still, nice of him to take some time out to speak to the fans.

Wow, I really enjoyed this interview. Thanks Judith! :)

Micke is sooo nice ! Met him so often ! He already know who I am when we meet and this feels great !

Thanx so much for this great interview! :D You rule Judith.

I think I’d have a complex standing next to him (as I’m short, he could just squash me into the grass!!!)

Seriously though, awesome read!

Well if his album is going to be like the songs he wrote for ’the change’, I shall not be buying it.. sorry..

What a very good interview that is, Judith! Thank you a lot. Especially the synths part is very interesting to me since I’m a freak as well :))

Now go on with Åsa!!!! :D

Thank you guys for this interview! You did a great job! I liked that the interview was very well structured.

Forgot to add: Looking forward to Mickes album for sure, I’ve always hoped he will release an abum someday :)

thanks for the interview - it‘s great that marie has such a supportive partner in all she does.

i have been a fan of marie (and roxette) since i brought one of solo albums when i was an exchange student in sweden in the ‘80s. as it was all in swedish it was totally different to the stuff i usually listened to but meant i had to learn the language if i wanted to know what she was singing about.

with the way marie has dealt with her illness and the treatment she had to have, as well as the way she has been affected by it has been a great source of comfort to me in recent times. my girlfriend is currently going through chemo. for a brain tumour (and having a really tough time with it) but if marie can make it through this so can my girlfriend.

there‘s been some comments about how micke wrote so many songs on ‘the change‘ - the partners are often forgotten about when it comes to a serious illness such as cancer, so maybe this was his way of dealing with it. i hope that doesn‘t appear rude - it‘s just a thought.

Micke seems like such a sympathetic man, thanks a lot for the interview. I would also like an interview with Åsa, been wanting that for quite a long time actually...

Interesting interview. I saw The Change document and Micke looks like sympathetic man and loving husband to me.
BTW: So Marie and Micke have new one Vinden Studio in their house in Marbella. Interesting if part of possible new album(s) of Marie or Rox will be recorded here. Here in Andalucia she (they) can very well combine holiday and work.

PS: Micke´s “Mother” is gorgeous epos with Marie´s best performance ever. Hope they will record more songs like this one in the future.

I don’t see Per changing the studio. He is bound to record in AGM with C&C...forever and ever lol

But Rox changing their studios (Capri Digital, Isola di Capri, El Cortijo, Marbella). And now Vinden II would be domestic like Aerosol.
But it´s all stupidities. In the begining Marie or Rox must wanna make new album(s). Hope they will.

yeah, a new album was great. So many Bands have next year a Comeback

Backstreet Boys, Ace of Base, German-Idols-No Angels..

And Roxette? Hope so!!!

@ frankie: All the best to your girlfriend+to you!!!

Good interview. I just don’t get the Blur-style in the illustration of Mr. Bolyos... Is he replacing Mr. Coxon?

What a lovely interview, what a nice, intelligent guy and of course I will also be one who buys one of the 2000 copies..hehe...

Backstreet boys are going to have a comeback next year?? I thought they did already have a comeback with Incomplete.. which I loved and the album was amazing too..

What an unexpected and wonderful surprise - the interview with Mikael :) It was really interesting to read. Thank you very much.

I really do think that Mikael Bolyos is an absolutely great musician. I had the chance to see a Sugercane - gig in Halmstad (when Marie joined them) and was fascinated by the way he plays the piano. He grooves! The songs he wrote on “The Change” are great (“All you gotta do...,” “Love to live”... - they are fantastic). And what´s about “Herren ber för dig”? Great music! He´s got blues and funk and the songs and albums he and Marie did together: I think, that is real pure music. And you can hear his influences in Maries music (that´s what I think). She is brilliant in doing her music a little more bluesy, jazzy and funky. I think, she always did it (I think e.g. about the live-versions of Cry or Soul Deep) and Mikael seems to meet her musical at that point. I really enjoy this musician-couple!

Judith and Micke, thanks for this interview!! Wonderful to read what’s on his mind and how he survived during Marie’s illness. He’s a wonderful husband and I have great respect for him!!

One thing I’m curious about...
Quote: “What do you think you bring to Marie’s music or how do you influence Marie’s music?
I better ask Marie about this one. Hold on...... “[He influences my music] because we think the same,” she says.”
>> Did he call Marie there??

Love Nienke


Bravo Marie !!! Your the best !!!
Kisses from Poland :P


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