Per Gessle - interview before the concert in Malmö (4 Nov. 2011)

Per Gessle and the fans. "This tour is going to be Roxette’s biggest tour ever!" Photo: Wenn

Per Gessle: It’s incredible

He began as a seller of the Kvällsposten newspaper and used to buy disks for the money he gained.  
It seemed to be a good investment.  
40 years later he meets 10,000 fans in Malmö during the world tour which has been seen by millions of people.  
The biggest superstar from the South Sweden talks about the fans, Marie, family, the private plane and his preference for candies.

Last Friday Roxette played in front of 10,000 fans at Malmö arena. It was one of the many concerts that the most well-known Swedish musicians from Halland, Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson had during a long world tour.
Before the concert Kvällsposten succeeded to make an interview with Per Gessle – but this happened via e-mail. The reason: Per Gessle wanted to keep fresh his vocal cords.
- Yes, you get scrubby in your throat because of the air conditioning from the plane, from hotel rooms and other places.
So, are you obliged to rest your voice between two shows?  
- I talk quite little just to save my voice. I spend a lot of time to take care of Roxette Official on Facebook. I post videos from the tour, commentaries, as well as wonderful albums and films every day. Then I read a lot, now I read a biography of Joe Meek. My wife thinks that this is an exemplary behaviour.

"Totally incredible"

700,000 people have seen Charm School tour so far. And a few hundred thousand will see you before you pack your guitars. Perth (Australia) next year. An amount of 89 shows, if I count correctly. 
- Yes, it is really incredible. The tour will continue in the same rhythm until October 2012! I guess there are 50-60 concerts more after Perth. It’s just that it’s not officially right now. The transport will be solved, the haircuts as well, and so on.
25 years since you and Marie have built the group. Can you talk about your relation today? 
- We have a little child together who is called Roxette. It is of course the most important thing we have together. Sometimes in everyday life we have lunch together with our families. In winter we go together on vacation. Marie’s journey has been extreme and unbelievable. She should write a book.
What is the greatest thing in all this?  
- When we think about what we are doing now, we can say that this is a great thing. It is awesome that Marie can do all this after all the nightmares she had. She just gets better and better. And we have never imagined that there could be such a fantastic audience all over the world. This tour will be the greatest Roxette tour ever! Fantastic, isn’t it?

"Laughing at the same things"

Yes, indeed! How do you do not to lose the contact with the reality when are like sailing on a cloud?  
- This is my reality. I know that I live a comfortable life and that I feel really well here. I feel better now than ever. It feels like life has become easier over the years.
How is it to be a teen-ager’s father?  
- "Gabbe" (my son Gabriel) turned 14 in August. I hope and I think that I am ok as a teen-ager’s father, we are quite the same. We laugh at the same things and have a lot in common.
Do you still have dreams that should come true?  
- The years that have passed have made me a bit calmer and I am not so stressed with my job. For example I don’t have the same ambition to be on top of the charts, which was a must for me 20 years ago. I just want to survive and to have fun. And moreover, the music industry is not the same magic and exciting as it was when we started.
What are you most proud of when you think about everything you have done so far?  
- Roxette’s career is number one, of course. Nowadays it’s almost impossible to get again what we have already accomplished. At the same time, I am thankful and happy that my Swedish projects, both Gyllene Tider and my solo career, went so well. Gyllene is much bigger than Roxette, but here, at home in Sweden.

"No candies should be there"

Is there anything that you regret? 
- What I regret mostly is that we, from Roxette, have been too shy when it came about our American record company at the beginning of the ’90s. We were one of the three most played artists on the American radio stations three years in a row, but EMI/Capitol had never succeeded to sell Roxette-disks, despite our success on the radio.
Which is the craziest thing that has happened during the tour?  
- Christoffer’s wonderful intro to “Joyride". Every evening he makes something special of this song, that means that he plays a part from a well-known local song (from the town or village we play in). He plays it on his own, together with the audience. This way “Joyride” has become a super hit and everyone has noticed that. The fans love it. And we love Christoffer.
What should it be there in the backstage, for you?  
- Well, we are not exaggerated with our requests. Little Champagne, little Chianti wine, local types of food, some ginger, tea, fresh fruit and a good internet connection.
- That’s all, mainly. There shouldn’t be any candies because I eat them up.
Can you tell us something about RoxJet! 
- RoxJet is a private plane that we use when the journeys become too strange. The only difficult thing with such tours is the journey itself. The journey and the fact that you have to wait. Sometimes you can save a whole day if you travel privately. It means a lot when you are 20 months on tour!
Which country has surprised you mostly?  
- If I should name a special country, then I say Germany. We have played 15-16 gigs there this year and it seems to be a special love between Roxette and Germany. Fantastic reaction everywhere. But of course, nothing can be as nice as to play in the South America. There are always 500-600 shouting roxers who wait for us at the airport, TV-teams everywhere as well as policemen who try to face them. It feels like we have been part of The Monkees. Wonderful.

"A break for sure"

You are well-known everywhere. How is it to live with this fame? 
- Without our fans it wouldn’t have been possible. Everywhere we go, they stand in front of hotels and they are wonderful. Flowers, presents, photos and poems are offered to us together with a lot of love. And all these just for an autograph and quick pictures with us, taken with mobile phones. There is never any problem. .
You play, mostly, the same songs every evening. Some new ones, but many old hits. Is it still cool to play "The Look"? 
Absolutely. We have had 67 concerts so far this year and after about 45 shows we succeeded to make a nice order in the songs. We don’t use any digital help on stage. Every evening becomes a unique one. Exactly as it should be with a pop band.
What happens with Roxette after that? 
- After the end of the tour in October 2012, there will surely be a break. I think that Marie wants to release an own disk and I always have 1000 things to do. It would be cool to keep on working with the band. This is the best band I have played with; I am looking forward to each concert!
What happens with Gyllene Tider? 
- The group will surely announce something. We played some songs together last year.  
We haven’t finished yet!
Solo album? 
- Absolutely. When I have material for such a disk, I will just make it.
Tour break in December and January. What will you do then? 
- Two things. A nice holiday in a warm country with good friends, as well as to finish “Tourism II", an album that has to be mixed and released.
20 years since "Joyride" single was Number One in the USA. When will be the next one? 
- Hahaha... If it is to happen again, it will surely be a cover-version of "Listen to your heart" or "It must have been love".

 

SOURCE: Expressen