Per talks with Cape Town

CAPE TOWN - With the release date South African edition of "The Pop Hits" just around the corner (according to the local EMI branch it will be released early next week), EMI granted a couple of local radio station the opportunity to speak to Per Gessle via phone. Cape Town’s biggest radio station, KFM, aired their interview last Tuesday on the breakfast show.

  The interviewer starts the interview asking Per if they are still touring, "Not really. We tend to travel a lot for every release apart from the current one," Per says, "it’s not like the olden days; we haven’t worked American for a while – North America, that is. The touring the last time concentrated in Europe. We did a big tour there, but it was basically just in Europe." Per explains that this is a "a natural development" since they both have their families now. Marie has got two children at school, so it's difficult for her to be away for a long period. "It was different when we were younger."

  But there's still time for big parties, "we still have big parties though," Per says with a big laugh, "I think it’s got to do with changing your priorities in life and especially when you’ve got kids."

  One question that couldn't be missed is Marie's health. "She had a terrible blow last year but she’s recovering a lot and she’s been in a much-much better shape than she was before Christmas. So she’s coming back but I don’t think there’s gonna be anything heard from her, professionally." Marie will take a lot of time off, "but she’s gonna be fine," Per asures, and goes on telling that he sees Marie every second week and that he has seen how Marie's state has improved, "just two months ago she was in a much worse state," but now "it's very different."

  The interviewer sends Marie best wishes from South African fans, who have been very supportive - as all the other fans around the world. "Oh yeah, thank you very much," Per answers and goes on, "it’s been a shock to everyone involved and the fans. It came out of the blue. We were supposed to do a big tour in Europe last autumn, which we had to cancel. It doesn’t really matter that much. What matter is that she’s coming back and she’ll be fine."

  Per then explains how it feels to have so many good singles and to release not one but two albums with their hits, "a double CD is too much material so we thought it was a nice idea to divide them up in one ballad album and one up-tempo album," of which he confesses his favourite would be the ballad compilation "I always felt that the ballads were our strongest songs. The ballad album’s quite impressive." "The ballads seem to come out easier for me than the up-tempo songs. It’s always a struggle to write the classic three-cord pop song. It’s not so easy to write. I tend to be very happy when a song like “The Look” or “Dressed for Success” or even thee current one “Opportunity Nox”, sort-of, happen. It feels very good cause I know it’s very tough to create."

  One of these songs, "The Look", was recorded back in 1989, and the interviewer wonders if many things have changed since then, "yeah. Everything has changed, of course. I mean it was a different ball game in those days when we recorded the “Look Sharp” album. We only had success in Sweden. That album was basically made for our fans here. Still “The Look” is one of my favorite Roxette tracks. It hasn’t dated that much – it still sounds like a hit record to me." And for Per this song is also Roxette's ultimate track, "for most people in the world I guess it must be “It Must Have Been Love”. It’s the most popular song and the song gets the most airplay. But my personal favorite is still “The Look”." This song has the right ingredients that Per likes in a pop song. "It’s got the… it’s full of gimmicks and has got a great dance groove and got a great guitar riff. It’s a classic one!"

  Per is not sure when Roxette will come back, but one thing is for sure: they WILL come back. "We have no plans to hang up the coat. So, I guess, were going do some work later but not this year."

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

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March 28th, 2003

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