The chance was almost zero!

They belong to the 90’s like Discman, Girlies and Inline Skates. After almost ten years break, Roxette announce their comeback. Per Gessle about the sickness of his band partner, Marie Fredriksson and the retro chic-potential of the duo.

Rep: Mr. Gessle, the big time of Roxette was in the early 90’s. How often do people tell you memories that, in fact, they can associate with Roxette songs?

Per: Quite often. I’m joking, this has to do with the fact that I’m getting older. I think it’s cool to live this way, to belong to people, and we can still do this – especially after everything that happened to Marie.  

Per Gessle, 52 years old, wanted to become an architect at the beginning and he played the first acoustic guitar only when he was 17 years old. 1986, together with the singer Marie Fredriksson, 53 years old, he succeeded to create Roxette, one of the most successful Swedish pop-exports.
Roxette could impose, among the other groups, with No 1 hits like „The Look“ (1989) or „Joyride“ (1991), they have sold 70 million albums all over the world. 2002 the doctors diagnosed Marie Fredriksson with a brain tumour. Now Roxette are still together on stage, somewhere around 12.6. in Oberursel and on 16.6. in Köln. Their new album „Charm School“ will be released on Friday.

Rep: Marie Fredriksson was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2002, which has been treated with success. How does she feel today? She doesn’t give interviews anymore.  

Per: This comes from the fact that she cannot talk so good English today. This means that she still talks English, but it is very difficult to express her thoughts spontaneously. This quality she has lost.  

Some of the songs from the new album are very melancholically, totally different from what we had known from them before. Shall we call their return on stage “a comeback” or is it more like a new beginning?

Per: It is a bit of each. It could be a new beginning because few years ago it seemed that the chances were almost inexistent that Marie and me do something together again.

How comes that, during this tour of the new beginning, you want to play mostly your old hits?

Per: It is easy, because we are also fans. When I go to U2, Rolling Stones or AC/DC, I also want to hear the biggest hits. I still remember when I was at a Police concert and they have played only 3 hits and after that there were only unknown songs, it was not so funny. I hated it and I left. When David Bowie goes on tour once again, I want to hear the songs that meant a lot to me. Not those ones that HE wants to play. If I pay, then play for me!!

Roxette is already a name. In which way could it be changed?

Per: In this case, when Marie is back, it would be a stupidity to make one Roxette album with 20 instrumental songs. If we had done such a song, we should have used the most suitable element possible, and that is Marie’s voice.  

Little by little, the ‘90s get the charm of the ‘50s. Will Roxette become retro-cool now?

Per: Until few months ago I hadn’t thought about that at all– until people started to remember Roxette. I would have never thought that these people could remember us in a special way. Probably our time has also arrived.

What memories do YOU have from the ‘90s?

Per: The early ‘90s were of course the high time for Roxette. Three years in a row we were among the first three bands that were mostly played in the USA, for this you should create a lot. On the other hand my son was born; this changes your life forever. Mainly the ‘90s were a huge decade for me.

You like the music of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Is it true that your son was born while you were playing „Yellow Submarine“?

Per: Yes, it’s true, but it hadn’t been planned like that. Each couple has its representative song, for me and my wife it is „Here, there and everywhere“by The Beatles. This is on „Revolver” album. Gabriel came very quickly and I went to the hospital with my CD-player and said to the doctor: please tell me 3 minutes before he comes out into the world, so that he can come out while I’m playing our song. When the doctor said: “Now it happens!”, I started to play „Here, there and every-where“. But the birth lasted 30 seconds longer and the next song on the album was „Yellow Submarine“. This is of course a big difference. When Gabriel gets 18, I will have to talk about that.

I will tell you an older story: when I was a child, I used to sing at the hair dryer, as I thought that nobody could hear me. But it was not like that: one day I came out from the bathroom and found my family on the floor, laughing. Because I had sung „Fading like a Flower“.

Per: Oh. Now you can’t hear that song anymore, for sure.

True. And what memories do you have now from „Fading like a Flower“?

Per: „Fading like a Flower“, it was long time ago. I still remember how we worked for that song. I knew that it would become a great song. And it happened, I don’t know. 1990, when we recorded the album, I was 31 years old. If I had been 21, my mind would have been somewhere else. But anyway, for one or another reason, we knew that: This is the perfect sound for this period.

Interview: Silke Offergeld