Interview with Roxette - 1991

Rep: We are here with Gun Marie Fredriksson, 167cm, and … 184cm I think…

Per: Why don’t you say it in kg?

Rep: Per Håkan Gessle… You have been a bit on the stage now, right?

Per: Yes, we have been there.

Rep: Do you see this concert like an important event that takes place at Globen, I mean like a 1000m running or like a football match in the evening… but who was the best on the ground this evening?

Per: The audience.

Marie: I can say that Per has been the best on the ground this evening, because I have run into him and hit him, it was almost like a boxing game, I think he has bitten his tongue a bit, perhaps he could get a big mouth after that! (laughs) So I think he was the best…

Per: Did you do that? When we met our audience this tour, I just thought that it was a great one, all over the world, now Stockholm, it is like a story, it is really easy to stand on the stage when the audience is so near, it feel like they hold you in their hands.

Rep: Is there anything special that happens?

Per: Jonas I think, he does many things. Today it was Listen to Your Heart that he was really good at playing.

Rep: It seems that you have to train your physical condition to be able to stand on the stage. Thomas Ledin has done it and he will do it again to prepare his autumn tour. How about you?

Marie: Well, for me it was like that: shall I train the whole August and repeat or... and I got sick instead!

Per: Did you get sick because if that?

Marie: It can be true. I started to take penicillin and it was not good to train in this situation, the fact is that I didn't train so much, so the first shows were the most difficult in my whole life. On the other side, the body gets used to moving, so you have to train your body almost one hour or 50 minutes almost every evening, it's enough.Perhaps you should go to a pub instead, it is much better (laughs).

Rep: You, Per?

Per: Well, I don't have time for pubs during the summer...

Marie: Just once!

Per: I have been there many times in my life!

Marie: Really?

Per: Marie was talking about training every evening. I want to say that we had a promotion few weeks ago and we had a better physical condition than now. So the tour itself was a kind of training.

Rep: So you must have been in a perfect form the last 11 months.

Per: Yes, and we are going to be perfect in September when we finish the tour.

Rep: How much arrangement is there on the stage, who should run where? Or who to say what? Or for example when you, Marie, should hug someone?

Marie: It's a lot of improvisation in this, I am tired of all this, of the huge baskets with flowers, it would be nice if they could change from evening to evening, well, some things are good just to give a good image in the light, but anything can happen every evening.

Per: Well, there are many things that we have, we just have to run among them, we tried to change something last year...

Marie: And we have to carry all those stairs with us everywhere and run up... Anyway, we have grown up with another kind of music, and that is not at all the dance tradition that exists today. We are used to Beatles and Rolling Stones and the '60s.

Rep: What roles are there in Roxette, on the stage and behind?

Per: I think that we have decided the roles quite good. And there is a huge difference between "on stage" and behind it. For the stage, they make me up. (laughs) On the stage, Marie is always the head of Roxette, in the highest way, while I am more the studio guy, with writing and composing. I remember when we were on our first tour in Sweden in '86, I remember we stayed a whole day and made arrangements, it was our first tour together, I was coming from Gyllene Tider, with one style, Marie was used to her solo career... It was really an intern competition between us on the stage, I always tried to be in front, she tried the same thing... But today it is nt the same anymore. I have taken a few steps back because Marie does that job much better. And she could adapt to this much better than I could. Today it is much more interesting to look at Marie who does the things very well, she sings my songs perfectly... She does the things that I should do, in fact.

Marie: Well, now it is me who always goes more in front and sings and you should be a bit behind! (laughs)

Per: It is a good balance, I think. Well, that tour, I remember, we were very nervous, no one knew where to stay, we had to decide who should stay where.

Rep: Now Roxette is one of the biggest groups of the world. Is it true that you continue to decide a lot by yourselves? Other groups have a lot of advisers and so on.

Marie: Well, we have been working with EMI for so many years, they were taking care of our tours, of our money, it is like when I was working with my own record company, well, not really, but it is something. And all of them know our position, what we think. It would be strange if someone came to me today and said: well, you should dress up in this and well... it would sound strange, I am 33 years old now and I can finally decide what I want, I think. And how I can be on the stage.

Rep: You don't have any stylist, because that would be very important nowadays.

Marie: But you can learn that from your own experience, we have learned a lot from the tour we had last year. And more of this, it would be extremely difficult to move to and fro among 5 million people who ask you all the time: shall I help you eat? Some artists have these kind of people, but for me it would be a nightmare!

Per: I think that you should take into account only those pieces of advice that you want to have from a person, not from every idiot. I think that we have everything we need, as long as we work in a nice team, people that help Roxette, we have a good team who help us on tour, we have a strong record company, strong management. All people around us see what is needed, we have meetings quite often. They are not that kind of people who say that we should do one thing if we don't want to do that thing. You remember, Marie, when we were in Berlin in Germany and all those crazy journalists like they were coming from the hospital...

Marie: Yes, some were trying to take us to the make up room, to brush our faces... oh, no, take it away from me now!!

Per: Well, you must feel somehow what a person wants and does not want, because it is not difficult to notice, in fact.

Rep: But, Per, you are a kind of list freak, you have come into many lists..can you maintain yourself on those numbers on the lists around the world?

Per: No, I cannot do that in the way that...

Marie: Don't you do it, really??

Per: (laughs) Well, I am not ready with my fax machine, you know... Our records are on different places in the lists from different countries.

Marie: Yes, you can't say where you are on the list.

Rep: Most of your albums have been No.1.

Per: Yes, it feels like that. I have one company who takes care of all my records, they arrange them. And I think that the songs are really good.

Rep: You have order in everything, I think.

Marie: He just visits them and makes a mess in all the records!! (laughs)

Per: Nooo, you mustn't do that! You are not allowed!

Rep: The first time when you were together on a Swedish list was in '86 with Neverending Love. That time Roxette started as a hobby project! How did you arrive at the conclusion that you two together could be a good idea?

Marie: It just was like that. we were very good friends, we were talking a lot, we wanted to do something in English, just to try it.

Per: But we had done also something in Swedish earlier, when Gyllene Tider was on tour, you came and we worked together. And also on my solo albums. It was a long way until we got the idea to work together in a group.

Marie: Yes, and we wanted to try something in English, to see what impact it would have on people, that is why we didn't want our picture on Neverending Love single, we wanted to see the people's reaction first. And it was great.

Rep: In the future, how big will Roxette become?

Per: I don't think that Roxette is something that will disappear over the night, there will come more and more albums.