The Daily Roxette

Roxette World Tour 2011 schedule

A word with Per regarding the new album

Written by tevensso on May 30, 2007 to . Source: Per Gessle.

STOCKHOLM - Per, the last time we spoke you were doing the final touches of the mixing, now the album finally is mastered and finished and the sleeve is done. Do you still feel it's "tuh-riffic"? Is there anything you are especially happy with this time? Is there anything you aren't happy with?

I'm extremely pleased with the album, I'm a very lucky man indeed, having this profession. I'm also glad that I managed to convince everyone that this brilliant EP had to be included! The four "extra" songs are as important as the other fourteen, no sub-standard third division tracks here, dear boy! And getting Anton Corbijn onboard doing the cover shots was terrific. He's the best there is! And really hard to track down!
The whole package looks fantastic and feels very personal and even slightly "luxurious". Just the way I like it.

You mention in the liner notes that you recorded "En händig man" with horns and that it somehow ruined the song, what went wrong?

Well, nothing went wrong. Clarence and Christoffer wanted to try out a brass and a string section. But I felt my voice sort of disappeared in the arrangement. I had a completely different route planned for this song. The version you hear on the album and single is more or less the way I wanted it to be. But you know, you have to try different things all the time otherwise everything would sound the same at the end of the day.

Which songs on the album are your favorites, at the moment?

"Min hälsning" became an unexpected winner. It's recorded completely live in the studio with vocals and all. "Jag skulle vilja tänka en underbar tanke” became just as good as I had hoped for. That’s probably my favorite track of them all. "Samma gamla vanliga visa" has that lovely '70s pop feeling that I adore. Sort of like "Hjärta utan hem" from "Finn 5 fel!." But I like all the songs, otherwise they wouldn’t have made it to the album, right! "Hon vill sväva över ängarna" from the EP is also excellent in my book. And "Pratar med min müsli" has got a killer organ-intro!

What can you tell us about this year's tour? Have you decided what you'll play yet? "Mazarin," English material, Gyllene Tider, Plumber, a mix? We talked about it the last time as well, but you hadn't yet decided. You did order sun, didn't you?

Yep, I have booked a heatwave and sunshine throughout July and August! You can do that at Ticnet nowadays. But I haven’t, believe it or not, decided what to play yet! We'll try out lots of songs during the rehearsals. But for sure, a few GT sledgehammers will be included but no Rox. Hardly any SOAP, I guess I'll be sticking to the Swedish bonanza.

"Om jag vetat då" was written as "If I'd Known Then (What I Know Now)" for Roxette 2002, but it was never recorded. Was there no time or…? I also happen to know that Gyllene was scheduled to record it for "Finn 5 fel!," but it never showed up there either. What happened?

Regarding Rox, there wasn’t any time, Marie was ill so we had to concentrate on just one track. So we chose "Opportunity Nox" instead. Regarding GT: the song didn't fit the concept. Everyone in the band liked it but we felt we needed another type of material for that particular record. But for this album, it was perfect.

My favorites are, just like yours, "En underbar tanke" and "Om du kommer ihåg." They both have great lyrics and amazing, sweet melodies. I come to think of "Om du kommer ihåg" as a prelude to "På promenad genom stan," am I right or is it subconscious?

The lyrics to "På promenad gemon stan" are quite old so I don't know… I haven't really thought about it. "Om du kommer ihåg" I’m very proud of. It has one of those very intimate lyrics and melody lines that just pops up in your head. In my head anyway… hard to put my finger on it. I wrote the melody and the lyrics at the same time in my library here in Stockholm, they fit rather good together. And my fingerpicking is of course out of this world, ha ha ha…

"Min hälsning" is an old (1978) Gyllene Tider-song, how in the world did you find that again? One can recognize your harmonies from that era, I think, "Parkens paviljong" et cetera, what do you say, old chap?

I was looking for old demos and tapes that looks "vintage" and worn and can be shown in the forthcoming PG-book and I ran into this old cassette. I had totally forgotten about it. I remember I liked the song a lot at the time, but it didn't fit into the concept of the first GT album. Mind you, I kept the old lyrics except two sentences in the second verse that were truly awful. Sorry to say…. I've forgotten who the song was about… such a shame…

I understand. So will there be any record signings, as usual?

Yes, full speed ahead in Stockholm June 13, Halmstad June 15 and Gothenburg June 16.

If you got to choose the next single (which I know you don't want to,) what would you pick?

Probably "Jag skulle vilja tänka en underbar tanke." I think it can be really really powerful live. It’s got that semi-religious feel to it, hallelujah, have a beer and a smile, you know what I mean?

Actually I do! Now, "En händig man" (the album) both tastes and smells 50 % Mazarin and 50 % Plumber I think, a very nice mix in my ears. Is it the Skåne soil, your cooperation, or what is it that makes the sound so cozy and nice?

Half way through recording the SOAP-album I almost wished it was done in Swedish instead because it felt so damn personal. So very much "me". And in Swedish, of course, it gets even more personal and intimate. So my original idea with EHM was to make a slightly similar album but in Swedish! Something that was improvised, warm and very relaxed. After I had made SOAP I felt that, now I can retire, ha ha ha, this is the ultimate album, the best I can possibly achieve. But then a bunch of Swedish songs kept appearing in my hazy lazy afternoons. Most of EHM was written on the balcony in Halmstad last summer.

I really love working with Christoffer & Clarence, I love their generosity and brilliance and how they transform my usually quite vague and silly ideas into something unique and meaningful, at least for me. It such a treat to have them around.

I know that some fans want the old heavier powerpop sound back, but I'm not in that part of the universe at all at the moment. I want to make beautiful, personal, delicate music showing as little muscle as possible. I want my recordings to sound like springtime forever!!!! I might return to a heavier drum sound and a zillion overdubbed guitars sometime in the future, but at the moment that feels very remote.

The EP feels like an entity of its own, one that could well stand totally alone. What made these four songs end up on it?

We made dozens of different running orders and simply liked the one we ended up with. "Solen kom från ingenstans" was the ending track of the album until "Min hälsning" was born. And we couldn’t find any other position on the album for "Solen…". But on the EP it’s perfect.
In the end it's all about the perfect balance between up tempo tracks and ballads, warm acoustic sounds and young frenzy. And with this running order the album ended up being approximately 40 minutes, which was a target of mine. And…if you want even more, please go ahead… the EP is there for you. Pretty clever, I thought…

Indeed it is! What else can we expect in the future? Demos, iTunes specials, things like that? More Bad Hair Day á la En händig man?

I'm sure, but nothing I can talk about right now.

Are you worried about the alleged bad ticket sales? And is it really that bad after all?

No no no! It was so predictable that the evening/gossip papers should compare EHM with the GT25 tour. And that’s an impossible act to follow. Everybody knows that. GT25 had about 25-26,000 people per show, Mazarin had almost 9,000 which is VERY good in itself and I think that's where the EHM tour will end end up as well.
By comparison the major Swedish tours during the last few years has had an average of around 4,000.
But Jeez… does it really matter? The album is finished and I feel good about it and it's gonna be released soon. That's what’s important to me. If there are 7,000 or 17,000 at my concerts doesn’t really matter really. Except for the hot dog vendors.

True enough, true enough. We get to meet a few more figures from the Gessle universe this time; TomTom, Karolina, Dixy and a girl that has been around before; Hanna (from Gyllene Tider's unreleased song Henry, dansa inte disco), where do these people come from? Do we get to hear more about them? Are they friends with Jo-Anna, Billy, Chrissie and the others?

Yes, they belong to the same sect.


Nice article!
Thanks for the translation.

Nice interview and story, thanks! Oldies songs from 1978 included, cool ;) That balcony in Halmstad must be an inspirationing place, he should spend a lot of time there :D From the little pieces I’ve heard, the cross between Mazarin and Soap, is there and clear. Can’t wait to hear the whole album with ep in full! If only the sun could come back out, and for the rain to leave... hehe.

The TDR interviews are always such a treat - only a real fan with a thorough knowledge of all things Gessle could have possibly come up with these questions. Thanks for sharing this with us, Thomas - and in two languages, no less!

...and I’m happy to hear that Per is consciously choosing to record mellow, sunny, laid back pop tunes for his solo projects - save the overdubbed guitars for Roxette :-D (or Gyllene Tider). To me, that’s the way his solo records ought to sound, it makes for great, timeless records I will play for the next 20 years.

Thanks for the article! I must be getting old because I’m not getting excited for this album like I used to with new releases.

I’m very anxious waiting for EHM! the last summer I spend a lot of nights flying with SOAP in my balcony in Barcelona, I thought SOAP was a master piece. I hope that Per have done his good work again and bring us a lot of new sweet summer nights.
And please Mr G. in the tour include some SOAP pearls!!... I only can imagine what I Like It Like That sounds live...

Per: “I might return to a heavier drum sound and a zillion overdubbed guitars sometime in the future.”
Would be great.
Pratar med min musli (hur det än verkar), Fru Nordin, TomTom, Trött and Samma gamla vanliga visa sounds interesting. Only two weeks remains.
Thanks Thomas to translation.

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Per: “I might return to a heavier drum sound and a zillion overdubbed guitars sometime in the future.”
Would be great.
Pratar med min musli (hur det än verkar), Fru Nordin, TomTom, Trött and Samma gamla vanliga visa sounds interesting. Only two weeks remains.
Thanks Thomas to translation.

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As I said before, this is a great piece of reading. And it doesn’t take a careful reader to find that Per is not really into changing his music style at the moment. That is pretty distinct. So, no moaning please, we’ll have to bear with Christoffer for a nother while. Personally, it doesn’t upset me too much. I like the intimate sound we’ve been given since Mazarin times and the air of the golden years long gone lingering in Per’s music.

Can’t wait to put my hands on the new CD... I still haven’t listened to the snippets available online. Waiting is a real torture, but well, who is more used to it than we, fans?

Thanks for the interview! Nice one! Per seems to be very optimistic and happy with his record. I’m looking forward to listen it.

I just feel quite nostalgically about the power pop sound and zillion overdubbed guitars. What a pity that it’s far to Per’s favour!

BTW it was TEN YEARS since TWATG was released and the sound is far not as old. Wohohooo how happy I would be if I could return back to the magical season, when June Afternoon, She Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Do You Wanna Be My Baby & Kix cut air...

...and my neighbours went mad, hahaha. Per, repeat it again! There are new neighbours in queue :)

really true words

Interesting interview. Per seems very well informed about what we write here and there...:) Well...I loved Mazarin and still do but with SOAP I had my problems...too many songs I didn’t like at all. Maybe that’s why I’m a little bit “afraid” for this next album.
Makes me a bit sad that Per is not in powerpop mood anymore right now. Don’t get old suddenly please!
Anyway..let’s meet here again after the 13th June. ;)
Until then I’ll have a drink with Billy and Jo-anna in our clubhouse
(still wondering if theTomTomsong is about a navi-system or a drum)

This article shows once again that TDR is the most important source for Rox-related news there is. Thumbs up for the TDR-team and PG for doing interviews like this! Must be a great relief to get some questions different from the ordinary tv/radio/paper-interviews every now and then!

Thank you so much for the interview and the translation too. Really interesting and fun to read Per so open about his music.

Dear PER,

I have been constantly wondering since I heard all the snippets from EHM and I honestly dunno WHAT the hack IS HAPPENING with your creativity and innovation in your music.

For God’s sake, Mazarin (which was a very good and innovative album at that time of your career), F5F!, SOAP and EHM and even Roxette’s Reveal are all of a same kind. Sound, boring, anticipated and repetitive style in many songs, producers, musicians, instruments, studio, mastering, sleeve design and so on.

Maybe it’s due to the global warming or whatever major or minor unfortunate cosmical - zodiacal event or effect. God knows...

Only Mariah Carey or other dull and terrible R & B artists used to make boring records in a row like this, or Simply Red [(I’ve got headache already :-)))]

I think you should get your stuff and LEAVE Cristopher Lundquist ALONE in that Aero..., whatever studio that is and get back with Marie (btw, her last ones and Mikael’s album as well tend to have the same issues) for a new 14 track Roxette album.

Thank you.


did i call it or what, another song meant for roxette that he decides to dump ontoi a solo album, thanks per :(

Nice interview!

eduard33: I agree with you!
Looking forward to the moment powerpop is back in mr. gessle’s life!

I wish Per would choose the international language or pop for all of his work!

I know I’m gonna come under fire for that....

Brilliant as always!!!
Can’t wait to listen and to buy this cd!!!!
Per, you are my idol!
LOt’s of love from Brazil,

I will be patiently waiting for new roxette album with Marie and…yes heavier drum sound and a zillion overdubbed guitars, that phrase has also caught my attention, I really miss that. But Gessle, whatever you do is nice to the ears. I like Swedish language, it’s beautiful, but if you only knew how damn hard to learn it really. Maybe I am the only one in Kazakhstan who learns Swedish, so thank you for taking part in my education. Anyway I hope the moment for zillion overdubbed guitars would come sooner than you think. Per&Marie I love you. Roxette is MY WORLD, MY LOVE, MY LIFE.

Svetlana from Uralsk, Kazakhstan

Per and TDR, thanks for this nice interview!

I’ve to confess I’m with the ones who long for a return of mighty powerpop, or call it roxpop! Mazarin was really great, F5F boring, SOAP interesting but very soft again. I’m getting tired of the sugarsweet aerolsol sound, especially when it’s difficult to get the personal meaning of the swedish songs. So the new album is 50/50 Mazarin/SOAP, that means no space for new inspiration? I’m sorry, but there’s very little excitement left in me.

I hope if Per and Marie decide to reform Roxette they dare to start something fresh and work outside the aerolsol bubble and get some energy back into the songs. Why not try some fresh producer next to Clarence, get back your trademark guitarplayer Jonas into the studio? Yes, we fell in love with Roxette’s old heavier powerpop sound, with it’s heavier drum sound and a zillion overdubbed guitars! And yes, we’d love to get it back, anytime! Not out of nostalgia, just the lust for some catchy powerful music again! Maybe, when the händig man is done, Per will feel that lust himself.

We don’t know yet how the album turned out actually, so there’s still room for good surprises. Let’s hope the best!

The sollution is actually quite simple in my opinion:

Michael Illbert and Clarence has produced the best Rox sound so far. (starting with SDLHE, TWATG and HAND, and also GT)

But they could work with Max Martin or other world famous swedish producers as well if they want to try different sounds.

Jonas, MP and Mikael ’Nord’ Andersson (this guy is amazing, see the Johannesburg concert and TWATG recordings) are the best guitarists on the Rox and related albums.

Last but not least, nobody I think would have a problem with Anders and Pelle Alsing getting back in the business.

Leaving Christopher and his studio is a MUST! Everything should start from there!

i’m very glad to read per’s interviev.but that’s very bad that he don’t want’s to making such music,as he used to some years ago,and wich is much more better than his solo singles. i think he become famous via roxette with marie. i love he’s song i love him,but i think he had not being such popular without marie and roxette.s powerpop songs. but maybe he get bored of such songs,and don’t care about rox fans, or grow old and don’t wants to be again on the head of top hits .hge’s satisfied to be famous among swdish fans. what a pity :-(
keti from georgia

i’m very glad to read per’s interviev.but that’s very bad that he don’t want’s to making such music,as he used to some years ago,and wich is much more better than his solo singles. i think he become famous via roxette with marie. i love he’s song i love him,but i think he had not being such popular without marie and roxette.s powerpop songs. but maybe he get bored of such songs,and don’t care about rox fans, or grow old and don’t wants to be again on the head of top hits .hge’s satisfied to be famous among swdish fans. what a pity :-(
keti from georgia

i miss of such song’s like was “knoking on every door”,”church of your heart”,or she does not leave her anymore”.........much more alive and unforgettable songs.
old roxette was perfect.........but all the great bands eventually dying. roxette is already legend although whatever they will made made..

Nice interview :-)

About the “zillion overdubbed guitars” comment, i’d like to hear them as much as the next person, but in the end it’s Per who makes the decision on what music he creates. If you don’t like this album, maybe the next one might be what you want.

And “If I’d Known Then (What I Know Now)” sounds great for a song title. I can only imagine what this would have been like as a Rox track. Will be interesting what the handyman has come up with for this album.

I agree Rob, as soon as I read the song title I thought it’d be great. Uptempo or ballad? Hard to tell isn’t it.


Great interview! I look really forward to the album now...


I wanna have a handy man ;-)

Om jag vetat då is a mid tempo song. :)

I agree with Sascha and Robbie.

I have one question to Thomas. Samma gamla vanliga visa 30 secs snippet sounds really amazing, so is this song really so good as it looks like? Can´t wait hear it.

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I haven’t heard the snippet, but yes, the song is nice. We will get back with a full review in a few days or weeks.

I’m looking forward to reading the TDR review of EHM. They’re are always good to read!!

Thanks for the info about the tempo of the song Tev!!


Thank you for the interview :)

The moon is alright


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