Per speaks out in The Daily Roxette fall interview

STOCKHOLM – Per has kindly delayed his trip to New York to meet with The Daily Roxette… Well, not really, it's actually his wife's stomach flu that keeps him from going, which is great (for us, not her!), since we can interview him instead! And this time around we've gotten the questions from the fans.

So Per, let's fire away: what can we expect from Roxette at the Proms? Did you find any new dimensions in the songs?
– First of all this is a great opportunity for Marie and myself to get back together again without trying to do a full-scale Roxette concert. At this point we'd like to take everything concerning Roxette step by step. Also, of course, it will be thrilling to perform some of our biggest songs (especially "Wish I Could Fly," "It Must Have Been Love" and "Listen to Your Heart") with a big orchestra & choir. Clarence's & Christoffer's arrangements are truly stunning. And the idea of having strings on "The Look" sounds very South Park to me. I love it.

Sounds nice. And how will you meet Marie's nowadays more limited mobility on stage?
– Well, like I said, we take everything step by step. Time will tell how much she wants to work the stage. I don't know yet. But I don't consider this to be a problem. Her voice and presence are still magical.

Any advice regarding fans' (un)realistic expectations?
– No. Enjoy the shows. We certainly will.

Is there a possibility to see all the Prom versions get released after the tour? – How about a full orchestral album, like Metallica's "S & M"?
– Hmpff… I'm sure there will be DVD:s released with our Prom-performances. Full orchestral album? Not on the agenda at the moment, no.

How will you spend your spare time on the road? Songwriting, business or simply relaxing?
– We're actually bringing a serious amount of equipment to Belgium & Holland to make some groundbreaking recordings in the hotel corridors… How about that?

Aha, I know that concept, the last time that happened the nice "Tourism" album surfaced! In that regard, what Roxette songs do you regret to not have released as a single?
– You know me; I'm born, raised and bred on 7"-singles. Every thing I create starts off as a "single" in my head. That's the way I am, that's how I work. But the decision what should/shouldn't become a radio-single or the lead teaser for an album is basically made by the various record companies. You have to trust that they know their own markets. At least, that's what you would expect in the olden days when we were having tea with the Queen.

And on the other hand, what Roxette singles should have never made it?
– Same answer there.

Continuing that thought, what's the reason for ignoring "Fireworks" in all the hits compilations, even the Rox Box?
– I guess it wasn't big enough. There are so many other Rox tracks that kick its ass. And on the RoxBox we decided to use demos and other uplifting stuff instead. If you desperately want "Fireworks," I recommend a purchase of the magnificent "Crash! Boom! Bang!" album. No serious collection is complete without it. I hear it's out soon…

What are the plans for Roxette after the Proms?
– We'll see what happens and check our pulses. But yes, we'd love to make some more recordings.

So you are longing for a new Roxette studio album after all those compilations and solo releases?
– Well, I'm a writer. I love to write songs. Then I love to record them. So yes, I always find myself halfway into a recording situation and it would be lovely to make some new splendid landmarks with the divine Ms. F.

What about those Roxette demos you mentioned on The ones not included on the re-masters.
– They're still in the vaults. They will be released eventually, I'm sure.

Speaking of releases, how about finally releasing some of Roxette's live material on DVD? Also, will there be some Roxette DVD remasters? The ones released are quite bad, quality-wise.
– Yea, I know. Most of the stuff that you're interested in is owned by jolly EMI and at the moment it's really hard to get any answers or directions out of them. They're in a complicated state of business. I guess big things will happen in due time. However, we try to be on the case as we'd love to have everything available just as much as you do. Trust me.

How about including some behind-the-scenes material? Åsa films a lot, right?
– We all shoot film all the time. We'll use the best parts down the road, like we've always done.

Is there still some dream you'd like to fullfill with Roxette?
– Yes, I'd love us to do another great album and a world tour. I won't promise it will happen though. But it certainly would be great fun.

How does it feel to work with Roxette again?
– Halleluja!!

On a totally different matter, have you seen Jonas Åkerlund's latest video: Rammstein's "Pussy," if so, how did you like it?
I know Jonas very very well. I know how all this happened. And he did a great job as always. It's nothing I would've participated in but it's OK by me.

Will you ever work with Max Martin?
– I don't know. I don't know him. What should we do? And why?

Ha ha, OK, we'll find a reason. Before you used to make demos with drum machines and loops, but also with Micke Syd. How do you handle demo rhythm tracks these days?
– I only make acoustic demos these days. No arrangements, no intros, no solos, no double choruses. I leave all that to the real studio sessions. It's more fun like that. Much more creative. I love the input I'm getting from C&C.

Are you going back to the US with Roxette, or Plumber too for that matter?
– Hope so, yes. We're still trying to grab a decent record deal for these two up and coming youngsters, Marie & Per.

And finally, over to Gyllene Tider. Both you and Mighty Mike Syd have mentioned you are interested in a continuation…?
– I'm sure that will happen one of these years. It's a great little band.

With that our date with Per is over for this time. We thank him and leave him packing for The Big Apple. Meanwhile, enjoy a clip from the new DVD.

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

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September 23rd, 2009

Internal reference code for TDR's Good Reporters: [tdr 111248]

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Archive, TDR:Exclusive, TDR:Per Gessle, TDR:Roxette, vintage.

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