Marie Fredriksson – A Second Chance

Marie: What I have gone through is something very special. That is why I am very thankful that I am sitting here now. I am so happy for that. When I was sick, I tried to be near the records all the time, I wanted to play and sing. I tried to listen to music every day just to get some power.

I think it shouldn’t be so stressful, it should be quiet. How do you feel it? Let’s listen to it once again. Oscar, we will just listen to this once again!

Oscar: Look here, now you can hide.

Marie: I wouldn’t play with Roxette. We had a lot of fun, but... Now I feel very well, I can say. That day, in the morning, Micke said to me that he would go to work with a friend, and then I said: See you later. And he said: Of course. He said he would come home later. And after about 20 minutes I started to lose the sight with the right eye. It was so strange. I wondered: What is happening? For the moment I went to bed to relax a bit. Then... I don’t remember so much now, I just heard Micke’s voice: “Marieee!!” I had hit my head so badly, it was an epileptic falling. I felt really bad, I couldn’t think out anything. Then I remember that the ambulance from Karolinska Hospital came. Yes...you know the rest.

It was very important for me to write about the fact that I had got sick because that shock was huge. That is why I have written the song called “The Change”. It was, of course, very difficult, but at the same time it was liberation to write about it. Then I feel that this song says a lot. It’s clear that I was really astonished for being ill. Where did I get this shit cancer from?

Micke: we had a huge break with Marie’s operation and treatment. We were supposed to record a disk in 2003, but it happened half a year later. We had to play and to write that time, because the material was not ready.  

Marie: One whole year I was thinking that it would not be anything more; we were going to stop everything. I couldn’t stand anymore. So it felt really nice when I got my power back. The more you get involved, the more power you get. I get better and better when I get involved in music. All know that it is awful to be ill. You feel so ugly, it’s incredibly awful.

What I think is difficult is that people having so little respect. I thought it was really damaging. We had to hide ourselves away. The press was everywhere; a lot of people were running around our home. It made us insane. We didn’t have that freedom. I was not able to go out with the children without journalists and photographers who would have been everywhere.  People were waiting for reportage or a commentary or a view or something.

(after singing): It is difficult because I have to breathe; we can try a bit lower.

Micke: This way we haven’t recorded any disk. You can’t record. There is a saying which says: “on life and death”, we have lived with that; we have lived with that shock during the whole recording process. At the same time, we were talking with a neurosurgeon from Lund, who was present there. Everything was upside down. It was a total chaos.  

 

Marie: I think that it took almost half a year for me to understand what had happened, I was blocked. Now I have succeeded to know myself better, I am happier, I feel much better. What I have done so far, I tried to talk about the sickness on another level, a different one. It doesn’t feel so difficult now; it feels that it is ok, actually.

I feel that I have become twice as strong, in fact. I can’t say why, it just feels like that. It seems that the worst is over. It feels so huge, and I am very happy that I can say that, actually.

Micke: When we started with the recording, we didn’t have any clear strategy. We didn’t know what the concept of the album should be. If there was any thread or we just had to create songs. It was nice to record, but when Marie got ill, everything stopped there. Both I and Marie really needed to continue to write, especially about what had happened.

Marie: To start to write songs again is quite slow. We had to rewrite them, to write about what had happened. To write both in the lyrics and in silence. Then I started, little by little, to sing inside myself. And I slowly came back. That’s why I think that music has been a really great support.

 “2nd Chance” talks about the fact that I have got a second chance. When I got sick, I got a second chance to overcome it.

Micke: I think this was the best you have done!

Marie: Yes, I think that, too.

Micke: Both this part and the one you sang before.

Marie: Micke has always been by my side, since I was sick. And took care of me and I don’t understand how he could manage it so good! There is a huge strength that I’ve got from him. I am very proud of that.

Rep: Marie Fredriksson? Or Bolyos?

Marie: No, Fredriksson, it’s my artist name. Bolyos is my private name.

The moment I met Micke was one of the most powerful events in my life. I had travelled so much with Roxette, I had been very lonely, actually. That is why it was a really great experience when we met. It was a big love, love at first sight I can say. Something instant, like you click of a finger. I had met him once before, so I knew who he was, but I didn’t know him very well; I hadn’t spoken to him too much. And he just came to the hotel to visit us. I was so happy to see him.  

This time Micke comes into the room with the two children.

(to Micke): You came exactly in the middle of my recording. Do you know what I was talking about? You. And you came to interrupt me exactly this moment.

Micke: Telepathy. Is it ok?

Marie: Yes, it is very good and very nice. When do they come?

Micke: In about half an hour. Take your time, don’t stress. Bye!

Marie: Of course, bye. You see, exactly when I was talking about him. It was little spooky, wasn’t it?

That day when I met him was like I saw a film. And the same day, in the evening, we became a couple. It was very quick.

 Micke: I remember that we met in Sydney. It was like finding your soul mate. It was great already from the beginning.

Marie: Then we went to New Zeeland, as he was travelling around. Then we talked on the phone in the morning and in the evening, as there are different time zones. So the phone rang all the time, it was expensive, well, I will not say too much about the bills.

If we are involved in music, we speak exactly the same language. We understand each other perfectly. We have the same taste; it is very easy when we both work with music. It’s natural.

Micke: What a good composer I have married to! Marie!

Marie: It’s very funny. I am surprised sometimes. It is very clear between us.

Micke: Sovereign – really good.

Marie: I wanted to go shopping in the city and be myself. I had to go on living. We can’t just do nothing. We must be able to live a normal life. You can’t just hide yourself.

Photographer: Marie, can you just move a little bit this way? Stop, stop, stop, very well.

Marie: when I got sick, I went through so many treatments that I lost my hair. It was difficult because everyone was staring at me and I looked so sick. But I think that it was quite cute, I like short hair. (laughs) I didn’t think that it was so bad to lose all your hair. But then it grew up, of course. I have always had short hair, so it was no big deal.

We are sitting here in the East, chatting a little bit. We are on the way to the studio, where we will meet Kjell, Li, Dimberg, Åsa and who else? We will play 6 songs of our new album, my first solo album in English. Great, I think. It is a master work, just wait and you will see!

I love to sit and play piano in peace and quiet, but I haven’t done so much now than sit here at home and write some songs. I like a lot when I listen, I hear and I sing with a lot of energy. There is much more energy now than before. Therefore I think that my musicality has changed. We are very busy at the moment. It will be great in the end!

One of the hardest things after this illness was that I had to learn to read and count again. I must practice that every day, it is really difficult. It will pass, I believe that, but it takes time, it’s a process.

Oscar: I’m Oscar and this is my friend, Karl...

Marie: The children have helped me very much. Micke has helped me enormously. So thank God that my family has been so strong. They gave me the biggest strength.

The best thing is that I still have the laughter all the time. I was laughing even when I didn’t feel the need to do that. The fact that I could laugh all the time helped me a lot.

 

Marie: A Table in the Sun ... I am very proud of this song, it is the last one that I wrote for this album. And it describes the last 2 years. I think that it is a good song to close the album. The end of the album...yes. It feels very well to end with this, I think.

I keep the contact with God every day. It is very warm and very big. When I was little, it was very difficult to believe that God exists when my eldest sister, Anna-Lisa died in a car accident. So it took a long time for me to like God after everything that had happened. But after a while we became friends, and from God I feel a warm and wonderful support now.

I have always been a strong person, I knew what I wanted, but when I got sick, this strength collapsed. But after everything had been over, there came a new strength, a kind of strength that I had never felt before. I don’t know where it came from, but it came, thank God!

When I became sick, it felt natural for me to start to paint again, but not in watercolours. I used rather coal. And that fits me perfectly. It feels that it goes quickly with coal, it’s violent. You can delete with your fingers, it’s an intense form of art, I think.

 

These paintings show my young years, when I was very glad. A very happy time, really cool. This one shows a very early Roxette time. It was unsecure for me. You know, Per had his wife, Åsa. They were together, but I was alone. And I found that time very difficult, as we were travelling a lot, while all my friends were at home. I never met them because I was away all the time, away from friends and family. So I was very much alone, I felt alone. That is why that time was hard, really hard.

 Marie: This painting is since I got sick, it is difficult to see, because one side is healthy and one side is sick. The 2 sides of me. I have always had 2 sides, as my astrological sign is Gemini. And when I became sick, I could feel this difference.

What is so powerful about The Change is the entire text; I got that spiritual feeling when it was ready. It was like a shocking spiritual power. It’s something magic. I don’t know what happened, but I had never felt that before. It was another world. Very clear. I wrote the text and the song very quickly. And afterwards it felt that it hadn’t been me who wrote it, it had been somebody else. It was a bit strange.

Micke: There is a song that I can’t listen to, and that is The Change, first of all the part with symphonic orchestra. The text that Marie wrote, and the song, was exactly how I felt, too.

Marie: As I said, there are 2 sides all the time. It is really hard, but I am really thankful that I am alive. All the time it is like there are 2 sides. One of them is very hard and you should be grateful that you are alive. You can think that it’s a pity, but after a while you find it nice when all the people care about you, about how you feel, they take care of you.

So it is possible to talk about cancer and not be scared to death. Everyone knows it, it was written in every newspaper. One must learn to get used to it and live with it. It went so quickly. It was great that my happiness came back. It was simply like this. The joy came from nowhere.

In all of this there is a great strength. Even if it is difficult, you feel that strength. It’s fantastic. It feels like happiness has come back in another way. I can’t explain that, it just came back. I am very happy to be able to experience happiness again. It’s also possible to laugh, why not?