Second interview for Polish media

Second interview from Polish press - this time from (it's media partner of Gessle gig in Warsaw):

Roxette may come back
Interview with Per Gessle

The male half of one of the most popular duos doesn’t stop working. He’s recently released the fourth solo album in the past five years, he performs a lot too. Yet, he ensures that during the Polish performance we’ll listen not only to songs from "Party Crasher" but also a few Roxette hits.

The is no doubt that 22nd April in “Stodola” the more beautiful half of Roxette, Marie Fredriksson won’t appear as she is coming back to health after winning the fight against brain cancer. Per Gessle will appear with his solo band and with Helena Josefsson, a singer, who has been working with him for quite a few years. The concert will be one of the stops of the tour promoting last year’s album "Party Crasher" (EMI Music).

The album, which is surprisingly full of dance rhythms, was also released in Poland.

Pawel Piotrowicz: Is the title of "Party Crasher"? [person who enters a party without an invitation] is the result of some personal experiences?

PER GESSLE: Absolutely. When I was a kid, I threw a big party at home, the first in my life without parents’ participation. Everything was going fine till a gang entered my house and demolished it it but above all stole a lot of things. One big disaster [laughs]. But if it didn’t happen, I wouldn’t have such a great title.

PP: Your new songs sound very dancy, but you’ve always rather been fond of pop/rock music. Why such a change?

PG: But I grew to this type of music! My roots go back to pop and glam rock, 60’s, 70’s and groups such as KC and the Sunshine Band, Bee Gees and ABBA. But on the other hand, Sex Pistols and The Clash meant a lot for me as well. I like good music, without dividing it into genres.

PP: So you wanted to pay tribute to your favourite music which you hadn’t had a chance to get deeper into?

PG: Partly, but the reason was more complex. In the past three years, I released two albums, "Son of a Plumber" and the Swedish "En Händig Man", which I toured extensively around the country with. Both albums were musically quite similar, based on pop-rock roots. I must admit that I was a little tired of this. When I started working on "Party Crasher", my goal was to create something different, with a higher dose of lightness and melody, not based on guitars this time , but more on modern instruments, loops and electronics. But even if the "Party Crasher" sounds different, it also includes elements that can be found on my previous records.

PP: Do you have impression that today's music so often refers to the past because everything has already been said, so the only thing we can do is to draw ideas from this treasure trove?

PG: I am not able to answer this question from another point of view than mine. Certainly we wouldn’t have the present without the past. It has a continuous influence on us. Personally, I’d rather listen to "Gimme Gimme Gimme" for thousandth time than any of today's songs. I just feel like that. It’s important to stay fresh and creative in what you’re doing. Looking back doesn’t exclude it.

PP: For a few years we’ve been able to listen to Helena Josefsson’s voice. How did she endear you?

PG: She is amazing, really fantastic and very unpredictable at the same time. She never sings a song the same way, she always changes something in the studio or at concerts. When I work with her, I record everything, and then I have a problem, because I do not know what to choose [laughs]. Helena has a really unique voice and talent. In case of "Party Crasher" her vocal role is almost equivalent to mine. From the beginning I wanted her to be part of the project. Together we decided which songs she’d sing and which I’d sing.

PP: Will she go on tour with you?

PG: Of course. In November she became a mother, but it won’t stop her from going [laughs]. She’ll go on tour with her husband and child.

PP: And what can we expect of the Polish concert?

PG: I treat this tour as a birthday present for myself. This will be "Greatest Hits" live, based on my English songs. So we’re going to play a lot of Roxette songs, some from "Son of a Plumber", "The World According to Gessle" and, of course, the latest.

PP: Who will sing Roxette songs?

PG: Me, including those which I have never performed like "Listen to Your Heart." I sang the song only on the demo version.

PP: You mentioned the birthday gift. How do you feel as a 50 year old man?

PG: A bit strange, but okay. I never thought I’d reach this age [laughs]. I live comfortably, I have great friends and family, I release albums and perform concerts. As long as I can continue what I do, I am happy.

PP: You record both in Swedish and English. Which language do you feel better in?

PG: It doesn’t make any difference to me, because I like words regardless of their origin. As I’m fluent in both languages, I feel more comfortable. Sweden is a relatively small country so you have to be careful in order not to tire people with your person. Too much is worse than too little. Therefore after "En Händig Man" I’ll record the next Swedish album in more than two years time. Now I’m focusing on international activities.

PP: Your success is the matter of luck, hard work or talent?

PG: All the elements are equally important. To achieve something, you must have some predispositions, but with talent only, without hard work, you won’t achieve anything. Similarly without luck. I am sure I’m lucky even to the people I work with – I’ve been with EMI since 1979, I met my producer and manager in 1986. I’ve known Marie since the 70’s. I’ve always believed that to achieve something, you must surround yourself with people who are in some things better than you are. Only then you can really learn something. It’s the same as with a successful marriage when your husband or wife makes you a better person.

PP: Do you regret anything?

PG: Probably not. The only thing I might regret sometimes concerns the decision related to Roxette we had to make in 1993. We were then at the top of the international career. We got a proposal to go to the US for half a year, where you can build a really strong position. You know, there is a foundation and if you succeed in America, you can be anywhere. Unfortunately, we said "no". When I strat thinking about it, it seems to me that it was a mistake.

PP: Will Roxette come back?

PG: I don’t know. I wish it could, but everyting depends on Marie. She now has two teenage children, who she wouldn’t like to leave for a long time. Time will show.

PP: How is she feeling these days?

PG: Better and better. I saw her a few days ago and I have to say that she’s feeling good. Before the holidays in Sweden, she played a series of sixteen concerts, which proved to be a success.

PP: Is it true that you wrote a couple of songs for her?

PG: Yes, they’re waiting in the drawer for the right moment. If only Marie say "yes, record something together", I will be ready.

PP: Thank you for your time.

Transated by Kamila Aleksandrowicz @ RoxForum