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Love, peas and copy protection: Per talks with TDR

Written by tevensso on October 27, 2002 to .

STOCKHOLM - It’s a neatly dressed but slightly hung over and tired Per Gessle who meets The Daily Roxette at Hotel Lydmar at Stureplan here in central Stockholm. The reason for his tiredness is Bruce Springsteen’s sold-out concert at Globen last night, and the requisite bar hopping that occured afterwards.

  “I was out with Clarence. The man never quits!”

  He’s wearing almost the same clothes as in the recent promotional photos, and the room at the hotel is large and comfortable. He offers me a Coke.

  It’s a day full of interviews with the reporters from various newspapers, and Per’s not quite sure who’s who.

  “The Daily Roxette? Good! I read that all the time,” he says with a smile. “It’s even the home page of my browser. I always get annoyed over ’SmallTalk’ though; there are sometimes really weird ideas… that I want to correct.”

  I wonder if he’s serious, and he claims he is. “Whenever I need to find out what I’ve been doing lately, I consult TDR,” he says with a laugh.

  But the question on the mind of our readers is: how is Marie?

  “Marie is fine, as fine as can be,” Per says. And Per should know: he visited with her Saturday at her home just outside of Stockholm and they enjoyed dinner together. “She looked healthy and is active. She’s just like she usually is again. The surgery went well. The entire tumor was removed, and no others were found. She’s on medication now.” Asked directly, Per said he doesn’t know if the tumor was malignant or benign. “I haven’t asked her really,” he said.

  What disturbs Per is that the hospital staff leaked information to the press even though there was supposed to be heavy security. “The whole press thing got totally out of hand,” he says. Refocusing on Marie, he mentions that the doctors were very pleased with the results of the three-and-a-half hour long operation.

  “I don’t think I’ve fully realized what happened yet; we’re all in a state of shock still,” Per says as he leans back into the sofa he’s sitting on and clasps his hands behind his head.

  It seems like as good a time as any to switch subjects, so we dig into questions about the new songs. The “new” songs are, in fact, not new songs, but rather leftovers from previous albums. “The Weight of the World” and “Every Day” were pulled from Room Service as they thought there were too many ballads already, for instance.

  “Somehow we always end up with too many ballads. Mysteriously…” he adds with a sly grin.

“Stupid” to be released as a bonus track

  Basically Per and Clarence took the existing raw material – the recorded voice and instrumental tracks for each song – and attempted to mix them as best as possible. “They are to be considered bonus material for fans, nothing else,” he said. Speaking of the new songs, “Breathe” will not be a single.

  “There’s a glorious demo of ‘Breathe’ with me singing, we want that to be a B-side”, Per recalls. “We had way too few B-sides on this single…”

  In fact, there will be no more singles before the power-pop hits album – at least that’s the plan. Per explains that “A Thing About You” is planned to last on radio until Christmas, and then there won’t be any more time for another ballad single, as a new up-tempo single will be released before the next album in the spring. This new single won’t be Roxette’s version of “Stupid” however. This song, recorded for Jonas Åkerlund’s movie “Spun,” will be be included as a bonus track. “The movie is wonderful,” Per thinks. He saw the director’s cut, but was “slightly tipsy” when he saw it, he confided to TDR.

  “I don’t even think ’Stupid’ is in the Hollywood cut,” Per broods. “The music by Billy Corrigan is amazing too. Jonas gave me a CD with his material.”

  When asked about what was happening in the UK with “Sleeping in My Car,” Per smiles wearily and says that he doesn’t know yet, but that he’s confident that they will rule in his favor. “Anyway, people say that you’ve never had a career if you’ve never been taken to court.”
  “Malmstedt is a strange character,” he continues. “One thing Malmstedt did during the sessions made the whole court, including the judge, laugh.”

  “Malmstedt realized pretty soon that he didn’t have a case so he starts claiming that if you take the upper part of the ’Jennie and I’ vocals and play that backwards – plus adding a note – then it’s really close to the lead melody of ’Sleeping in My Car’”

  “’Have you never heard of backwards stealing?’ Malmstedt cried out. Apparently not,” Per said smiling, referring to the judge.

  “All in all, it was a very strange experience. He called a lot of witnesses that went against him. By the way, we discovered that ’Sleeping in My Car’ and The Beatles’ ’Let it Be’ have the same first six chords!”

Love, peas and understanding

  “Love Peas,” I start, “…came and went,” Per interjects. “Well, many of our readers were wondering why there were peas to begin with,” I say.

  “I wanted to put LOVE, PEACE and UNDERSTANDING on this suitcase once with the enclosed self-adhesive letters, but there weren’t enough letters… the best I could do was LOVE PEAS.” He has something “even worse” on another suitcase, but didn’t want to say what it was.

  They removed the peas from the album title because the record company felt the title should be something more obvious and clear. So, “The Ballad Hits” was chosen. They chose not to place a photo of Per and Marie on the cover because the songs span so many years and they wanted a more neutral look. There are obviously new pictures inside the booklet.

  He is already in the studio again working on the new up-tempo material, and they will record and add Maries voice tracks at a later date. The forthcoming album’s name is yet undecided, but “The Pop Hits” and “The Power-Pop Hits” are two strong contenders. “A reason for the hesitation is that ’pop’ means different things in different countries,” Per mentions.

  “But we’ll conduct a poll in The Daily Roxette!” he laughs.

“I like albums I can play”

  In previous reports, TDR has revealed that “The Ballad Hits” will be copy-protected. The system chosen is called “Cactus,” and is supposed to work with most CD players, but problems may occur with some DVD players and Macs. Per himself is wondering what he should do, because he has all Roxette’s material on his PC and he wishes to play this CD on his PC as well. Li Eriksson of Capitol Records, who has been working on her notebook computer at a desk in the hotel suite, interrupts us and says that he may and can. “You can apparently play the CD on PCs and even copy it once, but not to MP3 format,” she relays.

  “I like albums I can play,” Per states. “We’re all for that.”

  There won’t be any problems with the sound quality using this system, Eriksson added.

  Will there be a Rox Box?

  “I’m sure there will be, but I don’t know. I don’t even know what has been deleted and not anymore. I have the records, but I don’t know if they are available anymore.”

  He explains that when “The Look for Roxette” comes out, the new discography book by Robert Thorselius, there will be a bonus EP in the first edition – if everything is resolved with the rights. He continues by saying that he actually has no clue what is out and not. He would like someone to tell him.

  When asking about other nice and rare material, like MTV Unplugged, Per says it’s all about rights.
  “EMI had the right to use three songs from MTV for free, which they have. If they want to use the rest it will cost them dearly,” he said. Per disclosed that he had hopes for a CD of the concert. “The CD is even mastered, without the three songs,” he said. One early idea was to include the MTV concert as the bonus CD on this compilation.

  “Why didn’t anyone think of that?” he says to Eriksson, when we raise the possibility of an Unplugged DVD. Once again, the answer is that it’s an issue of rights to the video footage.

“Gyllene Tider gets boring so fast…”

  “Per, what about the new Swedish solo album?” I ask. He says he has lots of demos, but he doesn’t really know what to do with them. He has the urge to put out another solo album, but he is really indecisive.

  Maybe Gyllene Tider should record them?
  After hesitating a while, he says no, or maybe. “Gyllene Tider gets boring after recording like four songs. Everything starts to sound exactly the same!”

  As our time together comes to an end, we decide that 2004 will be the 25th anniversary for Gyllene, not 2003. Why?

  “Well, the Instant Hits album was out in 1989, and that was 10 years… which makes 2004… 25,” Per says with a sigh of relief! He had totally forgotten about the anniversary. “25, it’s a nice and even number, isn’t it?” he grins.


Pity that no more ballad singles of course...
Marie, get well !!!

And we are so waiting of a new GT album...

great, wonderful interview!!!!!!!!!

Wow! Cool!
I may compile a list of what’s available and what”s not, LOL.

Bravo TDR...

...Superb interview.

(Rox fans always make the best interviewers cause they really know which questions to ask)

Best article ever.... at least in a while!!

Nice one, Thomas! :) ...but I’m still waitin... don’t forget now! ;)

Hey Per....
Thanks for the update, Per......

After ranting about copy protection, I have decided to give it a try ( on my car stereo) and buy the Ballad hits. Your sincerity in this article and EMI’s quick update and information about the protection changed my mind. Unfortunately, I still will not be able to use the disc on my imac......

Your music is amazing and should be protected, I just wish the cd didn’t have to be so expensive! (23 Canadian dollars = 137 Swedish Kronor = 2.5 hours of work for me :(

Love ya Per and Marie

hugs from snowy Edmonton, from a poor unemployed (new grad) history teacher :)

Just wanted to thank everyone with the Daily Roxette for doing such an INCREDIBLE job keeping all of us updated. That was a great interview. THANK YOU

great pic. ;)

and so nice to hear something new. esp from per.

jag tackar dig. :)

Maybe there’s something wrong in my eyes, but I think Per looks like he has spent time in gym! It looks like he has some muscles. Great picture!

Yupy, Marie is fine!!!!!!! I’m soo happy!!!! =))))
Per I love your sense of humor ahahahhahhahahahha so are you a backward thief??? Aahhahahahahaha Malmstedt is mad, he needs a psychologist treatment or maybe a shock treatment .
Per this picture is so beautiful, you are sooooo handsome. I love you man.

Fernanda - São Paulo - Brasil

GREAT interview! Im glad to know that he’s with us in the copy-thing... Otherwise, I wont be able to listen to the CD at work! >.<

ATAY is number 15 on top 100 in Brazil Vivaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

Excellent article! Now we finally know about some things.

From the article above: “You can apparently play the CD on PCs and even copy it once, but not to MP3 format,” she relays.”

Copy it once but not to MP3 format? What exactly does that mean? So I assume you can copy the disc as a whole one time? Then that copied disc will be the exact same, so you would only be able to copy that once as well? *confused* What do you guys think?

Hey, nice interview! I hope the pop album isn’t called The Power Pop hits though. How about “Popsicle” with a picture of an icecream on the front? LOL

Cool. Now I know. And yes I am getting a copy of the album now, thanks much Mr. Gessle!!!

They are even No.1 on list, called “POPlista”, on the most popular radio station (RMF FM) in Poland. ATAY is 4th time on the top!!!

HMMMM so I wander who Per is on here then!!! Per Great interview. You look so much better in this pic without the studio makeup!! So glad to see the compliations coming out as it shows how proud you are of your career and still want them to be remembered. Also what ever happened to the song MYTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
take care and wish Marie well, Also thanx for your song “It Hurts” it is fitting for my life right now, just broke off my rel so “It Hurts to be alone”
Take care
The Big One.


Per is sooooo damn sexy when is tired...
Love you honey NIKY*

PS: Marie you are always on my mind!

Really good interview!

Compliments to Thomas!

Nice to hear from Per himself.

VERY nice interview... this should be dealt out to Reuters and EP and leave Thomas promote Rox instead xD ... Poor Per will have to suffer dumb questions from press asking template questions.

Per, after promo, go home and start some GT stuff...even if it IS just 4 new songs! :)

Peter at g.t. dot com

@tevensso: well done, very nice details included in your interview! And, yeah what a photo :))) I also luv per’s looks when he is tired ;)

great with Stupid as a bonus!!!

and Per: DO release your solo in Swedish... that’s nothing to be indecisive about, WE WANT IT!!!!! :)
för mycket är aldrig nog :)

Thank you for this incredible interview!!!

Thank you all, you make me blush! Thanx is also directed to LEO who set this thing up! And who put the finishing touches to my article! It was an experience, let me tell you! :) Thanx are also in order to VISA and JUDITH who are main persons in this too! Thank them all you can!

What a GREAT interview, very relaxed, sensible (appropriate) questions, for the fans by the fans, the best approach, more articles like this would be great, a regular interview with per and marie would be great!

The best interview ever. And now we Know for shure ... Per is reading the TDR.
Great !
We love you both ! Roxette is great !
Greetings Dany

Per looks fantastic!!! I like his new style (both clothes and hair). I’m printing this picture and putting on the wall right away!

Kisses for Marie!

Eliza from Poland and now from Sweden.

thanks for the statement - bunny!!!!! hope, you really read tdr sometimes =;)

Thank you for the marvellous music Per and best wishes for Marie.

Hej Per!
U know I am from Pakistan!?? Yes... we LOVE you and Roxette here!!!!!!! Hope u travel to Asia someday. You have given me a LOT.. your lyrics have been amazing and they have brought many changes in my life!!!!!!!

I have been a die-hard ROx fan since 1989!!!!!! It is great to see you read our comments and visit TDR!!!!!!

Thanks again Per... KEEP ON ROXING!!!!!!!!!



nice ;)

Great Interview! Thank you!

Wow, nice article! Congratulations!

I want to know something about Marie, PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Per, your shirt is so terrible, please buy a new one.

@LittleJane: if you think that Per’s shirt is terrible...what did you think about his trousers in ATAY’s video?????

BTW I love the shirt, Per, it fits you very well :)

Hej, Per!!! I Got A Thing About You!!hehehehehe!
How coool is that piccie!!!hehehehe!!
Wickid interview....well done TDR once again!!!!

As for Malmstedt....all I can say is....hahahahahahaha, c’mon, man, give us a break!!!! *big cheeky grin!!*

I am so relieved that our little Angel, Marie is doing so well....a big kiss to her and her family!!!And to you Per baby, a huge hug and kiss ....gogogogogogogo ROXETTE!!!!!!!!!

Great interview! Great news! ...And a GREEEEAAAAT PIC!!!!!! Per you’re wonderful! You and Marie are the most beautiful people in the world! Marie we’re longing to see you smilin’ & shinin’ again!!

About the Swedish record... Per please don’t give up that idea! We miss hearin’ you singin’ in Swedish!! Kyssar!!!!

There was a cute pic about Per arriving to the Springsteen concert in Aftonbladet.
They called Per for “Sweden´s own pophero”.

@vivien: can you give us the link?

great news about marie, great interview and a great pic :o)

the best interview i’ve ever read! love the way thomas said “he offered me a coke”! Per, If you disagree with some of the stuff you read, then i think you should say. It would be so cool if you did leave messages once in a while! How about having a day once a month or something when you come in and talk on the net??? love you both so much! read my roxette talk that i got an A* for...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Honey!

I love this interview! Thanx a lot!

Great job Thomas. A really good interview.

Hello Per :)

Go on writing wonderful music and release all the strange stuff you have in Tits & Ass... fans would love it.

We love every demo you release, sometimes is even more interesting to listen to the demos than the actual songs, at least for musicians like me.

Something I always wanted to tell you, (now that I’m sure you read this)... “Som I En Dröm” lyrics are wonderful man... I love that demo ;) (the english version is so “average”)... You should do a own version in Swedish with real instruments and musicians :)

Can anyone tell me what is that “The Look for Roxette”? I’ve never heard of anything like this? I can see it’s a discography book but has anyone heard about this already?
Another EP? I don’t like it as this new compilation is soooooo expensive. I don’t know whether I can afford to buy it.

Sorry, Roxiroxt, I couldn find the pic on the net.
I have the newspaper.
It was in a Springsteen article on friday but only in the paper.
(Pix on all the famous persons who were there.)

“He has something “even worse” on another suitcase, but didn’t want to say what it was.”

SAY IT BUNNY!!! well’ find it out sooner or l8er>:)

some on other sc’s are:

“hi woody”
“baby asa”

for freaks: count the letters left on a samsonite sticker sheet and play scrabble ;)

he didn’t say if he still reads penthouse...or does he only on tour?

hehe expressen used this article to write a new article about Marie :)

@Eva_Roxer: his trousers in the video are terrible too. But he is beautiful with bad or good clothes.
His music is the best , that is more important.

That of the title... euh... in “Sterling sound studio” that is where Roxette records are taken for the mastering it says that the last Roxette record mastered is called Love Peas... (George Marino 07/08/02) So I guess that was actually the official name for the record...
It’s funny that the genre of the record is said to be rock... and these are the Ballads :D Who did say Roxette are not rock? According to George Marino (someone who knows a lot about how rock may sound) Roxette is in the same genre as Bon Jovi’s “Bounce” and “Crush”, The Cranberries’s “Wake up and smell the coffee”, Aerosmith’s “Just push play”, Coldplay’s “Parachutes”, Dream Theater’s “Live scenes from New York”, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Lenny Kravitz’s “Lenny” and Greatest Hits, Nickelback’s “Silver Side up”, The Dandy Warhols... The Wannadies...
And I’m NOT the one who says it, it’s GEORGE MARINO, that mastered all these albums... that knows what he’s talking about :P

So c’mon... what’s the matter with calling the other album “The Rock Set”???? :DDDD

WOW! The interview is SUPER! And I am happy that Marie is fine... :) How often Per go to internet??? This I don’t know :))) I love this web but I love more PER!!!! :-*
I love U Per! :)
P.S. I send kiss from Czech Republic :-*

hehe, i think thomas finishes the interview so well. I can just imagaine Per grinning!!! lol, should have got a piccy of that!!!!

Thomas, you’re the best! Cheers LEO, you’re the great pal! Believing in you guys makes my life happy.

What does “I ‘ve bye” means?
Do you mean “I´ve bought”?


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