Per Gessle on the phone at "Gomorron Sverige" - February 2011

Watch the interview in Swedish HERE (SVT Play) - video available until 29th of February 2012. 

Rep: Sweden’s biggest music export after ABBA is called Roxette. In comparison with ABBA, Roxette are still active. Yesterday Per and Marie started a new world tour, with concerts in 30 countries. The tour will last the whole spring and the whole summer. The premiere was yesterday, in Kazan in Russia. We have Per Gessle on the phone now, from Russia. Hello!

Per: Hello hello!

Rep: How was it yesterday?

Per: It was really cool. It felt great to start, we sang and we danced.

Rep: How was it with your emotions?

Per: It was great. Really cool to play in Kazan, I think it was the second concert that took place here, after Scorpions in 2005, on Hockey Arena. So almost no one comes here.

Rep: In a little report there was written that Marie Fredriksson had forgot a little part from the text of “Listen to Your Heart”, but I heard that it had been solved in the end.

Per: Yes, well, it can happen, there are many texts to remember. It happens sometimes that she can forget some parts of the texts. But the audience knows the texts, so you just have to read on their lips and listen to them.

Rep: I think that there is no need to know all texts when you have such a big audience who knows them.

Per: Yes, you can say like that.

Rep: There are almost 20 years since you were on your first world tour. Which is the difference, in your opinion, to nowadays?

Per: well, there is not so much difference. This tour includes a lot of greatest hits that we play, old hits. There are also some new songs from “Charm School”, but mainly the concerts are the same. It is fantastic that there are still people who like what we do, that helps us a lot.

Rep: How do you feel this difference, as persons, how do you feel when you are on stage now, when you have got 20 years older?

Per: Well, we are a classical band, today we don’t use computers and other modern things, we have our old style, so that every evening is different from another one. So there is a big difference from what it has been before. We have a very competent pop band.

Rep: You have a mixture of new and old hits. How do you make the balance between the old hits, that all people want to listen, and the new songs that perhaps you really want to play?

Per: We mix them quite well. Every evening we play about 23 – 24 songs and we try to change a bit from one continent to another. For example in South America there are certain songs that are really big, so we try to play them there. In other countries perhaps we play some other material. So it is different, it depends where we play. So 80% – 85% is represented by old hits, something that people want to hear. We haven’t played in South America for 20 years. We haven’t been on tour so much, so it is cool to play some of the greatest hits.

Rep: Which are the biggest hits in Russia today?

Per: Well, first of all, it’s “It Must Have Been Love”, then “Listen to Your Heart”, then all the big hits. “The Look”, of course. Even the new single “She’s Got Nothing on (but the Radio)” was very successful yesterday, so it is very funny to play them.

Rep: It is a miracle that Roxette are back on stage, taking into account the fact that Marie Fredriksson was very sick because of a brain tumour just a few years ago. How does she feel now?

Per: Well, she is very well now, even if she is influenced very much by this sickness. But she is really great on stage; you can feel that she feels better and better with every concert. So this tour that we have started now is very different from the tour I had in 2009, I mean when I played in Amsterdam and she joined me on stage for two songs. I saw that she felt like home on stage. And after that concert she called me and asked: “why don’t you write a Roxette album?” Then I did it, then we recorded it, so we took it step by step. Now it’s time for a world tour. So it’s a fantastic progress she has done during only two years!

Rep: You will play all the time now, until summer. Where will you go now?

Per: We have played in Russia three weeks, we had three concerts here. Then we will go a bit to South America and next month we will play in South Africa and Dubai. At the end of May we will start with Europe until the end of July. Then we will continue in autumn, so the tour will last about two years.

Rep: So you want to continue, you don’t stop at the end of July, you will continue during autumn as well.

Per: Yes, absolutely, we will continue.

Rep: So, you will be in Gothenburg on the 24th of July.

Per: Absolutely. It will be damn cool!

Rep: Per Gessle, thank you so much for talking with us today!

Per: Thank you, too! Have a nice time!

Rep: All the best! Bye!

Per: Bye! 

Watch the interview in Swedish HERE (SVT Play) - video available until 29th of February 2012.