Belgian newspaper articles on Roxette at NOTP
BILTHOVEN (Updated) – Today, two of Belgium's major newspapers published articles on Roxette's 'comeback' at Night of the Proms:
"Swedish supergroup Roxette makes comeback at Night Of The Proms"
"We have missed the stage and our fans"
They were supposed to come seven years ago, if it wasn't for the fact that Marie Fredriksson (51) was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She fought for her life, and kept dreaming of a Roxette comeback. Belgium gets that honor. Tonight she will stand on the stage of Antwerp's Sportpaleis, together with Per Gessle (50). "No-one can imagine how much we are looking forward to this."
One big question remains this year at Night Of The Proms: can Roxette, the Swedish pop duo consisting of Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle, still manage to overwhelm an audience with their hits? And most importantly: is Marie's voice still as good as before 2002, when she was diagnosed with cancer? At the Diamond room of the Antwerp Radisson Blu hotel, Marie left a somewhat weak impression. She was a bit timid, said few words in a slow pace. However, we don't have to worry, according to her entourage. On stage she's still a bomb.
Doing a comeback at the Night Of The Proms. Isn't that bizarre, Per?
Per Gessle: "It's the perfect way to take a new start. We want to take things slowly this time. No world tour, no heavy concerts. Here we can stay at the same place for a long time, we have to perform no more than four or five songs each night. And still it's a huge leap for us. If you would have asked three years ago whether Roxette would ever perform on stage again or not, I would have said no. And look, now I'm sitting here next to Marie."
Is this a one-time pleasure or is it a real comeback?
Per: "We will decide around Christmas time, when the Proms are behind us. But we'd love to pick things up again. One room at our hotel in Antwerp is fully equipped as a recording studio, and on stage we are accompanied by fellow Roxette musicians, so they could come over to the hotel to jam and perform. Chances are big a new album is coming. During my career I finished every album I started working on. I think it will be same this time again."
Marie, you have been very ill. Does your voice still sound as before?
Marie Fredriksson: "I kept singing during my illness. Every day. It has strenghtened me to keep fighting. Fans don't have to worry."
Are you nervous to be in front of huge crowds again?
Marie: "Nervous is a big word. We've done things like this before. I'm very curious on what will happen because I missed the stage and fans. Last year I did some small concerts in Sweden, and then I felt the urge to work with Per again."
Do you think Swedish fans will be disappointed because you picked Belgium for a comeback?
Per: "I think they are rather happy Roxette is back. And Belgium is not that far away. I'm sure a lot of Swedes will pack their bags. Actually, a lot of fans have already mentioned they will head over to Antwerp. There are even some South-American people who will fly to Europe to see us."
Do you know the other guest artists?
Per: "I've met John Miles in 2002, that's the year in which we had to cancel our visit, unfortunately. I didn't know the other artists, but we have been doing some rehearsals now. Toots Thielemans is an incredible musician. My God, how he is standing on stage, at his age. He really blew my socks off. They told me he's 87. Respect! I can only dream I'm still healthy at that age. I thought my mother was the oldest person on earth, but no, it's Toots!" (laughing).
You are staying in our country for a couple of weeks. Any other plans besides performing and recording?
Per: "I have no idea. We will enjoy our stay as much as possible. Maybe I could go buy some diamonds. Or take a visit to the zoo, together with my son who will attend the premiere. I heard a baby elephant was born there. What's his name again? Kai-Mook? We surely have to see that."
"The first Proms night will be very emotional" Gazet Van Antwerpen, October 23 2009.
Per Gessle: "It's unbelievable how often you keep hearing our old songs. That's a sign of above that people are still interested in Roxette. The songs pop up in lists everywhere. Cause they are good songs? It helps, but there are so many good songs. I think another reason is that we always have chosen to keep the production in Stockholm and keep control of everything ourselves. In the USA they were hungry to get us to Los Angeles or New York, but then our records would have sounded like all other records out there while our music definately emerges from the '60s tradition. That's something very different to what you can hear nowadays. There's a big difference between 'The Look' and Lady Gaga. But don't get me wrong, there's nothing bad about Lady Gaga."
Per: "We are not really thinking about a next step."
Marie: "But it would be really great to make a new album together."
Per: "We can't imagine spending time together for a long time without working on new songs. That's an advantage we have when doing the Proms: between the gigs we have time to work on new material, especially in Belgium. However, we don't have any deadlines. There's no urge to release a new album within a certain time frame."
Per: "We have never felt any pressure from the Proms organizers. Since Marie got ill, we received a friendly phone call from them every six months without getting bored. And when the idea of a comeback rose, we immediately came to think about the Proms. They are sweet, professional people. And this is their 25th anniversary. Of course this leads to a strange problem: a comeback tour outside of Sweden. People in our home country have been waiting for Roxette for a long time. I guess things will be alright nonetheless. The Proms tour takes us to three major Roxette markets: the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. We'll see what happens after that. We're still young, we still have the future." (laughs)
Marie: "I'm doing this because I feel well again and want to work. It will be fantastic to be back on stage with my friends, it's been a long time. I've been looking forward to this for such a long time, and in my heart I alway knew this would happen."
Per: "I was less optimistic. I played Roxette songs during my own tour, but it felt different. Now that Marie is back again the picture is right. There are plenty of bands in the world that do not have any problem going further with a new lead singer, just to preserve their branding. Look at Queen and Paul Rodgers for instance. That's not what I want. When I played the Roxette songs in my shows, I tried not to replace Marie. To me Roxette is a holy thing: Marie and I both together, and nothing else."
Per: "The first Proms night will be very emotional."
Translations by Pascal.
Technical errors may occur.
October 23rd, 2009
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