Late night with Per at Leif’s

HALMSTAD – Per Gessle enters one of the conference rooms at Hotel Tylösand around midnight, after a massively successful mini concert and a chaotic, but peaceful, record signing session. He looks very happy. On the whiteboard is the play list. It ends with “Billy”, a song we never got to hear (due to Per’s blistered fingers).

  “Will there be a tour?” TDR wonders after greeting Per and Li Eriksson, from Capitol Records.

  “The question of the day. I can’t answer that yet. We don’t know yet. Jens is busy. I’m a bit funny, I need my
key personnel when I tour… like Oscar who does my monitor sound. There are a lot of logistical problems, but if they are
solvable, then yes, I feel up for it. This I say without even having the album out yet,” Per laughs.

  But with this response from people and media regarding the single and all? “Yes, I know, these guys really love playing these songs. Christoffer on guitar is great, and during rehearsals we’ve really had fun. No prestige whatsoever. We all had fun.” Per talks at lengths about the recording sessions and rehearsals and he seems to glow when he does. One can tell this is something he has enjoyed immensely.

  If there will be a tour, will there be a big tour or a club tour or…? “If we do decide to go on the road it will be a summer tour, an outdoor venue tour, like Sofiero, Skansen, venues like that. Maybe 10-12 gigs. All the songs I do work so much better when you get that sing-along feeling, you know? Just look at Återtåget with the 24,000 plus audiences. That worked great! But at the same time I’d hate losing Jens… We will decide this week, we really have to.” He also reveals that the possible tour may even include Norway, Denmark and Finland.

  When asked about the reason for not having a video for the new single Per says “No one cares about a video anymore, who’d show it? ZTV??” “ZTV may very well play this video,” Li interjects. But Per is reluctant, “It would be more expensive to make a video than the whole album. Maybe a low budget thingie but…”

  Will there be a second and a third single?

  “Yes I’m sure, this guy at Capitol demands at least four singles! We’ve discussed which song it should be but we’ve reached no decision yet,” Per says. “We’ll have at least two singles,” Li says. “The song also depends on which
direction the album goes, and if there’s a tour,” Per states. Per also mentions that he stays out of the single decision making these days. “Denmark will release ‘Gungar’ as a
single. EMI Denmark is crazy about it. What do you think should be the next single?” he continues. TDR suggests “Spegelboll”, “Tycker om när du tar på mej” or “Om du bara vill”. Li and Per agree that they all are good choices. “This is of course a very pleasant problem,” Li smiles.

  Will there be any record signings for the album? “Yes I think so, at the department store Åhlens in Stockholm and in Halmstad. Also Gothenburg and Malmö. Nothing up north this time. But if there’s a tour, I want to play up north this time, I haven’t been in Norrland [up north] in a hundred years!” he says (conveniently forgetting that he was up there in ’96). Li explains that the signing sessions – due to obvious reasons – work better when there’s a crowd.


  We asked how it feels to have people from all over the world at Leif’s in Halmstad. “It feels great to have these hardcore fans here. And especially at a gig like this! Like I’ve said to all the newspapers, it’s totally amazing to see them all. I feel it’s fantastic that they take their time traveling here.” There were people from Germany, Denmark, Finland, Spain and the Netherlands in attendence. 

  So, does Per Gessle “rage” against music pirates? “Well, that was taken out of context, and quite frankly, it wasn’t really an interview. I see it from two sides. I don’t think you should feel that all music should be free. On the other hand, I think that it’s up to the record companies to deliver good products, like nice sleeves. I remember when the CD killed the LP, I hated the sleeves. So I think that the record companies must concentrate on making more ‘money’s worth’ products.” Per also mentions that his first CD was “Illuminator” by ZZ Top, which had an awful CD sleeve. “And I also don’t think that 150 kronor ($19) is too much for a CD.”

  Why Per gets more ‘cred’ when singing in Swedish he doesn’t know, he says. “Maybe there’s something in my vocal cords?” he jokes. “I have no idea really”.

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

  ★ The author:

  ★ Publishing date:

June 12th, 2003

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