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The Daily Roxette meets Per at Night of the Proms


ARNHEM (Updated) -

On Friday the 13th of November, the Daily Roxette joined Roxette at the Gelredome in Arnhem for a wonderful night. During the first half of the Night of the Proms, a Swedish symphony called ‘Midsommarvaka’ magically changed into the first string arrangements of ‘Wish I Could Fly’. After the stunning synergy between Roxette and Il Novecento, the presenter of the evening promised more Roxette during the second half. In the intermission, The Daily Roxette had an exclusive interview with the Man himself.

Update: click here for a fullscreen slideshow

First of all, welcome back in Holland Per! How does it feel to be back so soon after the concert in Amsterdam earlier this year?

It was a different story. But it was great, of course, coming here with Marie, Jonas and everything else - it’s cool, yeah. And we look forward to having these seven nights in a row in Rotterdam. I remember playing in Ahoy before. It’s a great crowd.

So what are your feelings about the Proms, since it’s such a bizarre thing on its own?

It is. Very much so. It’s impossible to understand, unless you see it for yourself. You have to really be a part of it to understand it. It’s really hard to describe to friends at home what we are actually doing - it’s fun, it’s great! It’s also a great step. I think it’s a very clever move of Marie, instead of doing a full tour or a full concert. She’s not ready to do those things. With Night of the Proms you share the responsibility with other artists, and you're just doing your four or five songs. And we're doing lots of shows, so she's getting back into the concert mode.

To the delight of many fans you have regularly been posting videos on roxette.se and youtube – will we see more of those?

Yeah. The only problem is you have to find new angles all the time. Because it's easy to tell Oskar to show ‘Listen to Your Heart’, but it looks the same every night. You have to find new angles and new funny stuff to do. But we're working on it. My plan is to do like three or four a day. Sometimes it becomes eight, sometimes it becomes nothing. I enjoyed them too myself. I love those on the ‘Gessle Over Europe’ dvd. It becomes a tour document for us as well - that's how we remember the tour, much more than the concerts themselves.

 

Will you continue making videos after the tour?

Well, only if there is anything to show. We have started working on a new record, that's the plan. I'm filming a lot of the recordings. But on the other hand, I can't publish them, because I don't want people to hear those songs. So it's like a dead end. But I think it's fun, it's a fun way of communicating and the Internet has made everything so much easier. From a fan's point of view I think it's just fantastic to be able to see what's going on in the studio, backstage or in the tour bus.

So how are those recordings going?

Well, we only just started, but I wrote a lot of songs this year after the tour with Roxette in mind. We have started on two songs, but we have like 13. We have a pretty good idea of what we want to do, which is the hardest thing. So far so good.

Will you continue recording during the tour?

In Rotterdam, yes. But then we will be travelling so much in Germany that we won't have the time. After that we are going to start late January. We're recording in Christopher's studio and then we're doing Marie's vocals in Stockholm.

 

Besides a new record, what do you see in the future for Roxette?

I wish I knew. I think time will tell. I think Marie will decide what she wants to do when this tour is over. It depends on how she feels and what the response is. Obviously the next step should be to ask if there is going to be a concert, but I don't know. Maybe she feels it's a bit too much.

Will we be seeing more of your other projects in the future?

After Night of the Proms I'm going to work on the Roxette album. And then - I don't know. I'm sure there will be another Gyllene Tider tour, and I'm sure there will be another Per Gessle tour in Europe, as well as another Per Gessle album. You know, I'm just writing. Like this summer: we knew that Night of the Proms was going to happen and then I told Marie "let's try to do an album". Then I started working on songs, that's how I work. After that album, who knows? Maybe if we think the time is right for Gyllene Tider to do something, and  then I will start working on Gyllene Tider songs. Maybe a summer tour.

What about Party Crasher? Will there be a release in the States?

The problem that I have with the Party Crasher project is that I have a non-working record company. EMI is really not working anymore. Nowhere. A little bit in England, but in England I'm with Sony. Sony is much better in England. I’ve walked my head into a wall so many times regarding that album. It was the same with Son of a Plumber when that album came out. The response I was getting from the record company was nothing. So I have to find another way. You know, it's a contract thing as well. I have to sort all these business things out. But, of course, I'm very disappointed that there hasn't been a proper American release for Son of a Plumber or Party Crasher. On the other hand, both albums are quite timeless, so eventually something could happen. Maybe if a song from Party Crasher would be in a commercial, then the whole album could happen I think. I'm not really in charge of that, but you know me - my plan is always to dominate the world. It's a tough one, though. In the music industry you’re in between chairs, so to speak. It's really hard to know what's going on and how you're going to work. There's always an opportunity to do an American tour, like I did in Europe, but that costs so much money. Someone has to pay for it, someone has to pay guys like him (Per points at Oskar, the tour manager and tech guy who laughs out loud). But I'd love to do it. The Over Europe tour, the Party Crasher tour, was one of the most fun tours ever made for me. The same goes for the band. Those were great shows, and I love that album. That's why I released a live album. Normally, when you come back from a tour, you feel like: "Yeah, well, that was the tour."  But in this case it actually gave some songs new life and it just is a great testament of my catalogue of songs. I just feel very comfortable.

 

You mentioned demos would be plentiful, “trust me” – any news regarding that?

About the demos? Well, I have a plan for the future but it also has a lot to do with the recording contracts. I thought about something like putting my demos on iTunes or whatever. Basically because I think that if you're interested in my music, it's interesting to listen to my demos. And there are so many of them. For up until the Son of a Plumber album, there are demos for basically every song I have written. Of course some of them have been released, I did this Bad Hair Day thing and some Christmas things as well. But there are so many songs, I don't really know what to do with them, so the idea is probably to make some sort of an archive. Like I said, I have to sort out all this with the record company. I do know there's a big interest. I've been doing this for over 30 years now. When you are my age and you have this - I have written more than 1000 songs in my life - I think it's great to be able to have an archive, one that if you're interested you can listen to it. It's the same with the reason why I wanted Sven Lindström to do that book: because it's been a long career. If you wait too long, people are going to forget. Maybe you will even forget it yourself, or the ones you're working with. It's fun to do it when you're still around and you have the motivation to do it.

The intermission was over and it was time to get back downstairs. Thanks for the interview Per! During the second half of the show Roxette played Their second set: ‘The Look’, ‘Must Have Been Love’ (with a fabulous acoustic intro), ‘Joyride’ and finally ‘Listen To Your Heart’. Marie sounded great and really seemed to enjoy the show.

After the show, Pelle, Clarence and Chris appeared outside on the red carpet to meet a handful of fans who were waiting there, eager to spot one of their idols. Per came outside to accept a special gift by a fan – a homemade Roxette Monopoly - Roxopoly - game. Per and Chris assured the fans they would play the game – who knows if this’ll pop up in a video on roxette.se?

More pictures in higher quality coming soon!

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

  ★ The author:
Colin van der Bel


  ★ Publishing date:

November 15th, 2009


Internal reference code for TDR's Good Reporters: [tdr 111233]

This article was posted here on TDR in these categories:

Archive, TDR:Exclusive, TDR:Live, TDR:Roxette, vintage.

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