29 Apr 1997

Are Per, Clarence and Christoffer gonna start a new band? (IV): TWATG release party

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Per Gessle, Clarence Öfwerman (Roxette's producer and keyboards), Christoffer Lundquist (Brainpool's bass) and Jens Jansson (Brainpool's drummer) have recorded three songs for the new album The World According to Gessle: Stupid, B-Any01-U-Wanna-B and Wish you the best.

Here we have the credits of these songs:

  • Produced by Per Gessle, Michael Ilbert and Clarence Öfwerman.
  • Recorded by Michael Ilbert
at Atlantis Studio, Stockholm, Sweden,
at Polar Studios, Stockholm, Sweden
and at EMI Studios, Skärmarbrink, Stockholm, Sweden
between September 1996 and January 1997.
  • Assistant engineers: Jim Brumby and Lennart Haglund.
  • Mixed by Michael Ilbert
at Mono Music, Stockholm, Sweden
in December 1996 and January 1997.
  • Vocals: Per Gessle.
  • Backing vocals: Christoffer Lundquist.
  • Programming: Clarence Öfwerman.
  • Drums and percussion: Jens Jansson.
  • Bass guitar: Christoffer Lundquist.
  • Accoustic and electric guitars: Per Gessle and MP Persson

Stupid could be the first single in the United Kingdom, ... and the first single for this new team.

Tonight Per Gessle and his band perform live at the release party for the album "The World According to Gessle" in Stockholm (Värdshuset Tantogården).

Per Gessle performed the songs Stupid, Do you Wanna be my Baby, Wish you the Best and Saturday.

The musicians were: Per Gessle (vocals and electric guitars), Micke Nord Andersson (electric guitars and harmonica), Christoffer Lundquist (bass and backing vocals), Mats Myrdal Persson (drums) and Clarence Öfwerman (keyboards).

It seems Chris Lundquist joins the Gessle's band.

Notice the band played two of the three songs that were recorded by Chris Lundquist, Jens Jansson, Clarence Öfwerman and Per Gessle.

We can also read the review of the full album written by Per Gessle in the album's booklet.

PER: (yawning): Tell us more about the songs on the album.
Gessle: Well, it kicks off with "Stupid", which is the kind of song I write after a bucketful of red wine on a Friday night. I really love Friday nights. I also love red wine. And I do love those three chords. We went for a "home studio atmosphere" on this one and then Christoffer Lundquist and Jens Jansson from Brainpool came on and helped me nail it. Isn't it a gorgeous opener?

Well, it's good but I don't know if gorgeous is the right wo...
Gessle:... and then there's the first single, "Do You Wanna Be My Baby?". I like the drum sound. Stolen from Jeff Lynne, probably. I like that. And I like the intro with only drums and vocals. And I really like the "double choruses". Right after the chorus something else hits you. Learned that from Desmond Child when we wrote "You Don't Understand Me". An American trick. You always reach a point in your life where nothing but an American trick can help you out.
PER: Somebody at your record company said you were playing a lot of guitars on this album. But this can't possibly be you, can it?
Gessle: What do you mean? Of course it can. But it's Mats Persson getting low-down and funky.
PER: Funky?

Gessle: Sort of. "Saturday" is written around a drum loop I found in our demo studio in Halmstad. And it's my guitars you hear gently weeping all over the track.
PER: Touching. Have you ever bent a note?
Gessle: I don't believe in note-bending. I don't believe in bending whatsoever. I do believe in "Bend It", though.
PER: That's Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich.
Gessle: What a great memory you've got. Almost too good. If you can remember the 60's you weren't there.

PER: Let's move on. "Kix" is...
Gessle: ...bringing some groove to the record. Every pop album needs a touch of Frankie Goes To Hollywood.
PER: Would you describe the song as dance-oriented?
Gessle: I don't know, I gave up dancing in 1982. I'd be happy if people tap their fingers on the steering wheel.

PER: Someone said your mother liked "I Want You To Know".
Gessle: Yeah, I said that. She does. We allowed ourselves to drift into a non-chemical haze with flutes and distored drums. The band, that is - not my mother and I. "Tomorrow Never Knows" meets "Itchycoo Park", if you know what I mean.
PER: Au naturellement. You've got to have one red hot motherf***er of a record collection.
Gessle: It's not everyone's cup of tea, though. You're more likely to find Doris Day than Luther Vandross there.
PER: Are you crazy? You don't like soul? You don't like the political commentary in rap? You don't like tormented singers wailing their blues away? You like Doris Day? I bet you don't buy magazines with the Gallagher brothers on the cover either.
Gessle: You've been reading my mail. I like Oasis though. Not every band gets sued by The Rutles, you know.
PER: Wait 'til you hear what the Gallagher brothers have to say about your solo album.
Gessle: If they have any idea of what Doris Day was all about, they'll love it.
PER: How come Roxette never got acceptance from the more correct side of the British music press?
Gessle: I don't know. Being Swedish didn't help in the beginning. When we broke through there hadn't been anything coming out of Sweden since ABBA, really. Today it's almost the reverse situation. And besides, our music was always regarded as being too commercial to be credible. I never understood that. Benny in ABBA once said that he was happy that the whole world had the same musical taste as he had. It's like that. You do your thing and hope for the best. And if you have a commercial element in your music, I see no sense in hiding it. Au contraire, as the French say. But we all love England here. Their football, their draught ale, their Dickens, their driving on the wrong side of the road, their MP's with their kinky sex, their music and their art. I think we love all, come to think of it.
PER: As in "love all, serve all".
Gessle: Something like that.

PER: Back to the record. Did you write the song "Reporter" in order to get a psychological advantage with the media?
Gessle:..."she's such a good reporter, working for a magazine"...yeah, maybe. Did you notice the line coming after her getting access to British Royalty..."she wants the management to tell her where she can interview Marie and Per"?
PER: Yeah, I heard that. Why didn't you put that backwards? It's more fun that way. Hidden messages, you know.
Gessle: I did first, but then I realised you can't play CD's backwards.

PER: "B-Any-1-U-Wanna-B". It's got waves, it's got the "Good Vibrations"-organ sound, it's presented as a homage to Brian Wilson. Why?
Gessle: It was a fluffy pop song that I had on acoustic demo. I asked Brainpool to arrange it and Christoffer Lundquist had a field day with all the toys he could possibly find. A zither and a mini-moog, for example.

PER: Let's go on. "Wish You The Best" puts an end to the record's inital hammering of guitars and distorted vocals. I think I like this one the best.
Gessle: I'm so glad you do. I do too. It could easily have been a fat power-ballad, but Brainpool have never listened to that kind of music, so it turned out to be more naked and passionate instead. I'm very proud of this one.

PER: OK. The next song is an old number by Wizzard...
Gessle: No, it's close but...
PER: "No Cigar"? Haven't heard that one. Whose song is it then?
Gessle: Mine, of course. I've changed all the facts to avoid any similarity with anything. I bought a book about Elvis after the song was written and it was actually a very gloomy day when Elvis came to Germany. It rained and stormed and there was no orchestra. My version is the way it should have been, though. I first liked the lyrics better than the music, but then the saxes came along and got the balance right.

PER: Astonishing. Is it true that Marie likes "T-T-T-Take It" and that Roxette almost recorded it for the "Don't Bore Us - Get To The Chorus"-collection, but that you chose "June Afternoon" instead?
Gessle: It's true.
PER: So that's about it, then?
Gessle: No, there's three more songs.

I thought we were talking about a pop record, not a double album.
Gessle: I don't believe in killing ones darlings. I'm a pacifist.
PER: Pacifiction won't get you anywhere, boy. Anyway, Marie is making a guest appearance on "I'll Be Alright". Why?
Gessle: I've already told you that she's the best. And who in his right mind would leave "There Is My Baby" to rot in the drawer? And could you possibly ask for a sweeter goodbye than "Lay Down Your Arms"? Or should I kill a song with a title like that?

PER: Easy now...don't get excited...it just seemed a bit long, that's all.
Gessle: It's less than an hour. 52 minutes if you count it. I've spent my whole life listening to pop music. You mean you can't spend 52 minutes listening to it? You're that busy? You sleep with a mobile phone under the pillow? I've suffered for my art - now it's your turn. Too long, my ass!
PER: Don't get me wrong, I love the record. It's clearly a step forward for you as a writer and performer. It reveals your personal roots as well as being firmly rooted in today's music scene. And it's got a lot of balls and...electric guitars.
Gessle: You really mean that?
PER: I honestly do. But what about Roxette?
Gessle: In October we'll go into the studio to start work on a new album.
PER: Well, see you then.
Gessle: Don't count on it. Too long, huh? Jävla grönsakshandlare. (damm vegetables salesman-- n.t)
Per Gessle

19 Apr 1997

Are Per, Clarence and Christoffer gonna start a new band? (III): The world according to Gessle

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The world according to Gessle (TWATG), the third full-length studio album by Per Gessle, his solo debut in English, has been released today, April 19th. Last April 4th the first single, Do you wanna be my baby, was published in Sweden, France, Japan, Australia, Netherlands, Italy and South Africa. It has been made in the Netherlands and will be released in Europe in April and May. It includes two old demos (Always breaking my heart and I wanna be with you).

The new album by Per does not mean the final of Roxette. In February 1997, Per and Marie signed a new contract with EMI for another 10 years. By the way, Marie sings in a song of TWATG, I'll be alright, so she is also there.

In my opinion, The world according to Gessle is more than a solo project. It could mean two important facts:

- In some songs, the band Gyllene Tider (and its lost English version, Modern Times) is back, with Per Gessle, Micke Andersson, Mats MP Persson and Anders Herrlin (this time, without Göran Fritzon)

- Gessle, Clarence Öfwerman (Roxette's producer and keyboards), Christoffer Lundquist (Brainpool's bass) and Jens Jansson (Brainpool's drummer) play together in three songs of the new album: Stupid, B-Any01-U-Wanna-B and Wish you the best.

- What's more, the producer, mixer and engineer of all the disc is Michael Ilbert, former producer of the last albums of Brainpool (Soda, 1994; Painkiller, 1995) and Gyllene Tider's last new songs with The Lonely Boys and Halmstads Parlor (1996). Ilbert has also worked with Ulf Lundell and The Wannadies. With him as producer, it seems that Gessle has found the "retro-sound + pop" that he was looking for.

TWATG is in some ways the opportunity of listening Gyllene Tider in English again; very good songs after "She doesn't live here anymore", one of our favourites, but nothing new indeed.

On the other hand, we have three pop songs with Brainpool's air due to the alliance between Gessle and Öfwerman with Lundquist and Jansson. We'll keep waiting for more.

PER: Why do it in English?
Gessle: Stupid question coming from you. I wanna go world-wide of course. Wouldn't you?
PER: If Roxette had released an album 1997, would it have sounded like "The World According To Gessle"?
Gessle: "The World According To Roxette"? I don't know. This is how I want a pop record to sound today, anyway. Marie may have another vision. It takes more than one to tango, you know.
PER: Does it - we're tangoing alone right now?
Gessle: Everything's possible in pop interviewing. But Marie likes the record. She sings on one of the songs too.
PER: Why?
Gessle: Because she's the best.

PER: Your music isn't always pure pop. Looking back it seems you've been all over the place. And there are tendencies to that on your solo album as well, even if it's a more...coherent noise. Why's that?
Gessle: I listen to a lot. I like a lot. And so I do a lot. That may blur the overall identity, but f**k that. I'd rather have fun and skip the format-thinking. The unifying thing is probably that I generally write potential singles with distinct verses and choruses. I've never liked "album tracks". Leave them to Pink Floyd.
PER: Yes, please. Did you hear that Monty Python will reform next year?
Gessle: Great. And in Las Vegas too. Brilliant. Must go there. But it probably collides with some Formula 1-race.
Per Gessle