Marie Fredriksson is free of cancer

STOCKHOLM - "It's been three very difficult years," but in an interview with Jens Peterson published today in Aftonbladet, Marie Fredriksson says she has won her fight against cancer. "I'm healthy," she says. "I'm not receiving treatment anymore."

  She also explains that she hasn't closed "any door" to future work with Roxette. "Sometimes I look forward to it. We will see. I'll take it easy for now," she tells Aftonbladet.

  Besides that, Marie and Micke are writing new music. "But it’s nothing yet, it takes the time it takes. I’m just enjoying life right now, I do what I want, I don't have to release any album," Marie continues. "It will be released when we feel it’s ready."

Here is the full-text translation of Aftonbladet's exclusive interview:

By Jens Peterson

  Marie Fredriksson raises her glass of champagne and smiles happily.

  She welcomes people to her gala premiere as an artist. She puts three heavy years behind her.

  "I'm healthy," Marie says to Aftonbladet. "I no longer get any treatments."

  It was September 11, 2002. Marie Fredriksson fell down in her kitchen after jogging and the doctors found she had a brain tumor.

  Last fall she released the album "The Change" where she wrote about some of the feelings and pain around the disease.

  Now it's "After The Change". Time to move on.

  In the last song on the album, Marie sings that she dreams about sitting at a table in the sun.

Is that still the dream?

  "It goes along with me being well," Marie says. "That I can, after all, sit at a table in the sun. It's been three really hard years."

Are you still receiving treatments?

  "No, I don't."

I assume that your career and work don't become as important when a disease like this strikes you.

  No, of course not. I want to be with my kids and the family. Live for the moment."

Vernissage with husband

  Happy. Wonderful. Healthy.

  Those are words that keep popping up when Marie tells about her drawings and life today. You can see her art for 10 days at Galleri Doktor Glas in Kungsträdgården in Stockholm. Her charcoal drawings cost 18,500 SEK each, but if there are any left to buy is uncertain.

  Many drawings were sold already during the Thursday evening vernissage where Marie, along with her husband Mikael Bolyos, greeted friends like Per Gessle, Lasse Berghagen, Lena Ulvaeus and Marie Ledin.

  The charcoal drawings are all 50x70 cm in size and have names like "Wind Cries Mary [in English],"
"Tired," and "I Miss You." That drawings named "Lena," "Dear Efva" or "Mother” are portraits of others one can guess. One drawing named "I Am $" looks like a sarcastic grimace directed at Marie's fame.

What are the motives in your drawings? Are they self portraits?

  "No… I guess they aren't. Some are friends and some are from my imagination."

Are you inspired by any other artists?

  "Yes, many. But it comes and goes who you are impressed by."

"Proud that I made it through that"

Some of your work brings to mind Finland's pride Helene Schjerfbeck?

  "Yes! That's my big idol. But I don't want to compare, her art is so great. Fantastic. It's lovely to have a role model. There's something in her art that makes me so happy. You can't stop looking."

When did you discover Schjerfbeck?

  "Oh that was a long time ago. When I was young. About the same time I discovered Joni Mitchell, and I think they both have been equally important to me."

What do you feel when you see your work?

  "You know, I feel so proud that I've seen this through. But now I've delivered them. You have to let go."

Do you feel any angst when you see any of your work?

  "No, if there's anything dark there it's totally my imagination, and that's not angst. I started drawing in charcoal more than a year ago. It was a fantastic way to start with art again. Wonderful."

Per Gessle is known to collect a lot of art, and has lots of exhibitions at his hotel in Halmstad. Are you an art collector too?

  "No, not that way. I think it's fun and buy some. I like photo art mostly. Photos of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, stuff like that."

Do you and Per talk about working together again, to once again become Roxette?

  "Sometimes one can long for that. We'll see. I take one day at the time. We haven't closed any doors.

Have you continued drawing and painting by yourself all these years?

  "Yes, off and on. When we were doing Roxette I didn't have time for it, the music took all my energy then. When I became ill I dropped everything. Now it feels incredibly great to draw."

Are you more nervous to exhibit art than when you release records?

  "This is a lot worse!! I've never done this before."

Leaving the sickness

  There's a book called "After the Change" that contains Marie's works from the exhibit, and photos of her working. On the record sleeve, that came a year ago, you could first experience the kind of art she now exhibits.

  "'The Change' stood for what happened to me with the illness. Now those years are over. Everything feels much better after three heavy years. It's liberating to go into something totally new, to leave the disease behind."

You have sued the newspaper Expressen, for the things they wrote when you were ill, but the trial has been postponed due to your health. Will it happen now?

  "I can't comment on that."

What has art meant to you to feel better?

  "Drawing is my great security. It's absolutely good for the health. Everything becomes easier and more fun.

Writing new music

  She's not a pensive or brooding artist.

  "My style is direct. I sit down with my pen or pencil and just drive. The pedal to the metal. That's also how I do it when I write music. It's either on or off. I can't do anything half way."

Some days she doesn't paint. Still days. Other days she writes new music and records in her inhouse studio.

  "Yes, Micke and I are at it. But there's no rush. It will take the time it takes. That's the best thing about life right now. I do as I please. I don't have to release an album. It will come when we feel it's done.

"Nice to live"

  She won't fill her calendar with record releases, tours and musts.

  "I only take one day at a time."

No longterm planning?

  "No, it's nice to just live, not to plan."

Try to enjoy the moment?


Describe an ordinary day?

  "I love the silence, so I like to keep it silent, and what's best is when I can sit and draw a lot. Maybe Micke and I play some music. Other than that we share the household chores, make sure that the kids get to school. All that normal life, that is like what everyone else has."

"Fun to go to a party"

You go out and shop in the grocery store?

  "Yes, yes of course. But we haven't been out enjoying ourselves that much. Therefore it will be fun to go to a party tonight, and hopefully meet a lot of old friends."

  Some of them are here right now. They congratulate her for her charcoal drawings. She takes another sip of champagne. She looks very happy.

Translated by Thomas Evensson, The Daily Roxette

This article was written for an earlier version of The Daily Roxette.
Technical errors may occur.

  ★ The author:

  ★ Publishing date:

October 21st, 2005

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