Per Gessle: “I like being an underdog”

STOCKHOLM – In a recent interview in Aftonbladet Per says he keeps "…three damned great Roxette songs sitting in a drawer…"

It's only been about a year since the last album. Why the speed?
– I've made many albums in a short period of time so I shouldn't really make another. But the normal tempo of today's artists is three-four year cycles. That doesn't work anymore, the albums have to get out faster. What else to do?

What do you do inbetween albums then?
– I'm always making albums, laughs Per. There's always a project in the air. I think there will be more Roxette and Gyllene Tider, Swedish projects and English ones.

Anything concrete?
– I have three damned great Roxette-songs sitting in a drawer, and just as many GT-songs. It's all there.

When is this happening then?
– It all depends on what feels right. Gyllene Tider's problem is its greatness. The 2004 tour is hard to beat, so if we are to do something else there has to pass some time to re-energize the guys. Roxette is from obvious reasons at a stand still, but as Marie is out doing "Stjärnklart" now who knows. There may be Roxette.

Does Marie have the hunger as well?
– I'm sure she does. We've recorded songs for the compilation albums so sure, it will probably happen.

Will your age be a problem for Gyllene Tider and Roxette?
– No but the logistics will be different. Just look at Roxette, between '88 and '95 we toured and worked constantly. It was seven years and you only do that once a lifetime.

You turn 50 in January, how does that feel?
– How does a 50-year old feel? I feel great and I think "ageing" has been good to me. I live good life, I'm sound and healthy. In my line of work I get more knowledge and self-assurance all the time. And I think I get better.

No downsides?
– The only thing I feel I can't get back is the naivety. That love song you write when you're 19 you can't just write when you're 49.

Does it feel hard to get older?
– Sometimes I think about what happened to Marie and that you can get sick, but I may also get run over by a car on my way home so you can't think that way. You walk a line and I'm not worried about getting older.

You use make-up, have a cool style and have lost a ton of weight the last few years. How important is your looks as an artist?
– Daaamn, no, you have to stop thinking about that when you get older, but you still do. I don't work out as much as I should. But I want to look good in my videos and at photo sessions. At least as good as I possibly can with what I have.

Does Gabriel like music?
– Mmm, he does. He says he doesn't like my music, but I notice he goes around singing my songs. He likes AC/DC and can play "Paint it Black" by the Stones on the guitar.

Your house in Halmstad is very secure. Have you gotten scared over the years?
– No but more alert. When I built this house a prerequisite was to have it as a breathing place. Before that it happened I was awakened in my hammock by people wanting autographs. People are nuts.

You have a standing invitation to the Eurovision Song Contest. Will you ever accept?
– Honestly, no. There's no upside entering and it all seems so hysterical. Maybe I can write a song for it. But you feel like an outsider when you're not in it. And I like being the underdog!

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

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November 23rd, 2008

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