Watch the interview on Roxetteblog.com
Per: This album is very different from the other albums. It’s an album which contains short specific songs. It’s an album without guitar, without rock. At the same time I wanted to keep those ingredients that make music function for me, I mean the melody and refrains that I like. So it is still my type of music, it’s just a different form to present it. Now I will record Silly Really, song number one.
Christoffer: A good refrain.
Per: So Party Crasher is an album based on the fact that I wrote songs with a groove sound, a beat... which I haven’t done before. I always used to sit at the piano or take the guitar and played the melody. But this one is based on a groove sound...
Perhaps it sounds trivial, but to me there is a big difference. I tried to write it in another way. And this has been the whole essence of the album, even if it became a dance album or a party album, I don’t know, but I tried to make it move more than usual.
Rep: They have sold 75 million disks and have already done two big world tours, opening the doors to China in 1995. They represent Sweden’s biggest music export after ABBA. But everything turned another way for Roxette when Marie Fredriksson was diagnosed with brain tumour eight years ago. Like this she was talking about her eyes when I met her last spring.
Marie: So if I do like this, this is my good eye. If I look at you like this, wait, I have to turn around and follow my head, because I can’t see anything with this right eye. It’s totally dark. I use to hit things sometimes because I cannot see. But now I have got used to it...
Rep: Nobody thought that Marie Fredriksson would be able to be on stage again. But she is back, with Per Gessle. Roxette have planned 42 concerts in Belgium, Holland and Germany, in front of a very enthusiastic audience. Me and my colleague follow them in Rotterdam.
Rep: It starts to get dark in Rotterdam and we are on the way to a concert with Roxette, who have come back. Marie, after 8 years, why?
Marie: Why not? It is fantastic to play.
Marie: Thank you.
Waiter: Here you are!
Per: Shall we take a little of this?
Marie: Yes, that would be good.
Per: If you want to see what people want, you are so nice to them. But when it comes about payment, then it is quite expensive.
Per: Marie is not that person who stays long away from the edge of the stage. She comes and dominates the audience.
MELBOURNE - With just 90 minutes before showtime, I had the great honor of sitting down with Per Gessle back stage at Rod Laver Arena for Roxette's second Melbourne concert. We discussed all topics from Travelling to Charm School to the exciting soon-to-be-announcedNorth American Tour and everything inbetween. Enough talk: enjoy this exclusive Daily Roxette interview.
(Listen to Your Heart)
(sorry, a part of the interview is missing on Youtube)
Marie: It was long time ago.
Rep: Yes, but you told me when you came there and I said that I didn’t have time for you. (Marie laughs)
Marie: It feels that I am so little; I don’t feel like a super star.
Rep: Today you have come here with Per. You are number one in Sweden today as female rock star.
Marie: It’s you who said that!
Rep: Yes, but there is a prize that you have got.
Rep: Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson from Roxette, please! (Surrender)
Rep: What is there in your music which draws attention more than other bands? I would appreciate a short analyse, thanks.
Per: Well, it is not so easy to answer this question. Perhaps there is something, as you say.
Rep: Yes, but this appearance you have just had here was quite good.
Per: I don’t know. Perhaps we share the song together; we don’t get tired very quickly as if there were a single person who sings...perhaps. For example my favourite bands like Eagles, Beatles and others, all of them have had several songs sung by a different person in the band. And all these songs were on the same album. On the other hand it is because we have a very good singer, called Marie.
Marie: Thank you for that!
Per: She is very talented, you can’t doubt at all when she sings.
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!
Watch the interview in Swedish HERE (SVT Play) - video available until 29th of February 2012.
Rep: It must be a bit exciting; we have to play it again. You can call it training playing. Per Gessle, Marie Fredriksson, welcome!
Per and Marie: Thank you!
Rep: We have some party drinks here that I was thinking to offer to you after a while.
Rep: Now you will go on tour with Roxette again. Earlier you played on Wembley, as well as in South America, you were in China, you were all around the world. Now you are here at Kalas TV (Celebration TV) for the first time. This must be the biggest appearance you have had. (all laugh)
Per: Yes, almost, we have already talked about it. So it is true.
Rep: And it’s not the last TV appearance anyway.
Per: Today it is the last one.