27 Jun 2004

P, C & C find GT's five errors and Brainpool's long-running soap opera (III): Per feels quite tired right now, but answers 25 questions; MJs video

Despite he is tired, Per Gessle answered 25 questions by The Daily Roxette
  • Age: 45. Family: Wife Åsa; Gabriel, 6.
  • Lives: House in Sandhamn, apartment in Stockholm.
  • Car(s): Predilection for the Italian ones.
  • Hobbies: Art, racing.
What is the most important record in history?
In the big picture, probably “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley. But for me, I think it was “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” by The Beatles, which was the flip side of “Yesterday.” John Lennon’s voice changed my universe. And for God’s sake, don’t forget the guitar riff in the same song. Help me, that’s great!

First album you bought?
“The Kink Kontroversy” by The Kinks for five kronor (from my brother who needed money to buy cigarettes in secret…)

What record purchase are you most ashamed about?
Never regret a record purchase! I have both Peter Holm and Metallica in my collection.

What is your biggest concert experience?
Pugh & Rainrock at Folkets Park, in Halmstad 1974 I think. Pugh had just shaved off all his hair…. “Bolla och rulla” was the album. Then there are of course a lot of other goodies. Motörhead in London 1977, U2 with BB King in Melbourne 1989, Paul Simon here and there, Tom Petty is the best of all sometimes, Rolling Stones last year at Cirkus in Stockholm. I wept three times… And Hep Stars in Karsefors 1966. “Surfin’ Bird” was great.

Which is the best party album before going out?
Anything by Sweet. Glamrock is extraordinarily underrated!

What’s the best album to have in a car?
Right now I have The Beatles’ “White Album”, but I like mixing it with R.E.M.

Your worst memory from Återtåget?
My slipped disc that almost ruined it all for us. It was at its worst in Lysekil. Ugh!

What do you remember from the Gyllene Tider hysteria during the 80s?
Ugly Esso Motor Hotels! It was obviously very much fun, we never understood how it happened that we got so popular. But usually we stayed on our own, we were pretty insecure back then, we were very young.

What’s the best song on “Finn 5 fel!”?
There are several that I’m very fond of: “Nere på gatan,” “Jag borde förstås vetat bättre,” “Ordinärt mirakel,” and “Varje gång det regnar.” I like all the songs of course… otherwise they wouldn’t have been recorded! But the band really has really impressed me. They all have become “specialists” in their individual field lately. It sounds incredibly cool.

What’s your worst vacation memory?
I was very disappointed with Mauritius this winter. It didn’t suit us at all. Thankfully, I had a happy guitar with me so I wrote some songs to “Finn 5 fel!” there.

What’s the last book you read?
I’ve just bought Walter Yetnikoff’s autobiography. He was the manager of CBS in the 70s. Lots of gossip about people I’ve met.

Are you superstitious and how does that show?
No, although I do spit three times over my shoulder when I see Micke Syd dance.

Do you believe in God?

What pet would you like to have and why?
I’m a cat person. I’ve grown up with cats. But right now, we have a turtle named Göran Persson.

What fast food is your favorite?
None. I’ve really shaped-up the last few years. But sure… if there are French fries around, my fingers get very long.

What do you think about plastic surgery and would you consider it yourself?
I don’t know. Maybe. Guys get wrinkles easier than girls…

Do you ever miss the feeling to have to save money to buy something… or can you appreciate things just as much anyway?
I don’t know. Really hard question. I think one is both a little blasé and very spoiled. But I’ve worked for my money, so I’m not ashamed of the fact that my family and I are well off.

You’ve realized your boyhood dream about gorgeous and fast cars. But what do you do with them, and which is the favorite?
I don’t really like driving awfully fast so I prefer 1.) to accelerate from 70 km/h to 130 km/h nicely, sort of. And 2.) to look at them. I’m a design freak as you know. The coolest car in the market right now is the new Rolls Royce Phantom. I rode in a jet-black one in New York the other week, and I fell totally in love with both my wife and the car! It’s a bit dubious to drive it to the local supermarket to get milk and cinnamon rolls though. So I probably won’t get one.

Have you ever thought about moving abroad?
Yes, constantly – especially during the Roxette days, when we worked abroad almost all the time. But I find that I miss Sweden very easily. We’ll see what happens in the future. I still don’t know what I will be when I grow up.

Describe a totally normal day, when you don’t work or have any other obligations?
There aren’t almost any of those. If I’m completely free, I sit around fiddling with some lyric or melody, or take care of the office, my mail and e-mail. Of course I try to spend as much time as I can with my family. And the gym at least twice a week, of course.

What’s happening with life after the summer tour? Any new projects or albums planned?
I’ve promised my wife to take a year off! It’s tough times for a dreamer like me to make two albums and two tours in only two years! I went directly from the Mazarin tour to my writing den and started composing “Finn 5 fel!”.

How has Gabriel changed you?
Hard to answer. When you get to become a parent, it suddenly feels like you’ve ALWAYS been one. There has sort of never been a time without children… it’s very natural. I think I’ve become softer and more sensitive as a person. You also get reminded about your own childhood all the time, which can be very painful.

When were you at the County Museum in Halmstad last, and what memories do you have from it?
I hardly remember that. But I interned there when I went to high school. Archeology was my kick back then.

Tell us something people in general don’t know about you?
I’m terribly nearsighted. –8.5 in both eyes. And I’ve always wanted to be able to slalom and ride a horse. Preferably at the same time. By the way, I don’t have tinnitus. That’s an old tabloid hoax that keeps haunting me.


According to metrojets.com, Metro Jets' first single, THE MORNING SHOW, celebrates 10 weeks on the national Swedish radio playlist. Metro Jets are Magnus Börjeson (Beagle, Favorita) and David Birde (Brainpool). Christoffer Lundquist is the producer of their music.

Debut video by Swedish power pop duo Metro Jets featuring Magnus Borjeson and David Birde

3 min 56 s - Directed and drummed by Jens Jansson. check it out!

Brainpool is rehearsing with the Malmö Symphonic Orchestra for this summer premiere of their long-waited "rock opera". Per Gessle talks about GT bestselling album. Meanwhile, David Birde and Christoffer Lundquist speak about the commercialism.

120,000 copies sold of “Finn Fem Fel” in 23 days; 412,000 sold tickets to see Gyllene Tider this summer. My head feels really tired right now. It’s really tiring to write, record an album, go on tour... and then start the process again. I don’t think I will do this again. It is simply too stressful to get involved in such big projects every year. It was possible to release an album every year and be constantly on tour, but now this doesn’t work anymore. But I feel a great energy because it’s very fun to play with Gyllene Tider. It will take some time till the next project. I have to find time to start to write songs again. I have to give myself time to gather new strength so that what I do has substance.
Per Gessle

In 2000, we Brainpool found ourselves in a position where we weren’t popular anymore. And since selling points were no longer an issue, we could afford this “commercial suicide”! A rock opera! We wanted to write something about this commercialism that we find so problematic and omnipresent. It’s a reaction towards the pop music business where one never exists beyond one’s latest hit record and one isn’t permitted to any artistic progress. One is just expected to produce hits and sell records.
David Birde (Junk Musik)
David Birde - Junk Musik

The industry no longer spends years on building up an artist’s career. Today bands aren’t allowed to sell records at a loss for five years before finally making a commercial break-through. Whereas a lot of those artists we now acknowledge as seminal were commercial failures for ages and lost their record labels a great deal of money before turning into a success. But that’s a thing of the past. Record companies don’t work that way anymore. Present circumstances are very different and turn the musicians into renaissance type artists that do an increasing part of the job themselves. It’s no longer enough to be a good musician, you also have to be a salesman, entrepreneur and businessman. Something we’ve never been particularly good at.

Brainpool's new rock opera: the main goal for us is distribution. If none is willing to pay for our music I’d rather give it away for free so that it can reach as many as possible. But obviously I would prefer getting paid for my work so that I can afford to make another record. But distribution is our number one priority. I’m happy if a lot of people download our album for free because it’s not as if those people would’ve bought it anyway. It’s a case of either downloading it for free or never hearing it at all.

9 Jun 2004

P, C & C find GT's five errors and Brainpool's long-running soap opera (II): Finn 5 fel, released

The long awaited “Finn 5 fel” (Gyllene Tider's first new album in 20 years) is out in the stores in Sweden today, as written in TDR. Per Gessle and Micke “Syd” Andersson met with the press last Friday to listen through the album and comment on the songs.

The album is produced by Christoffer Lundquist and Clarence Öfwerman. Will it be a bestseller or a flop? Christoffer Lundquist is about to release a "rock opera" with his band Brainpool about the recording industry. Christoffer spoke about it from his studio, AGM, in a Swedish documentary recorded by Hampus Linder.

2004 Gyllene Tider

1. En sten vid en sjö i en skog
  • Micke: It’s fun because Per has played a lot of guitar on this album, and here he plays the guitar solo.
  • Per: Yes, they are nice to me in this band… The song was written up in Stockholm October 2003 after we had decided to try to cut another album with Gyllene Tider.

2. Solsken
  • Per: It came to a very late and wet night. I found one of those dictaphones with a lot of old song embryos on. I played it to the producers Clarence and Christoffer who liked it. I wrote the lyrics the day after.
  • Micke: The best song, absolutely. This you should play in your car along the coastal highway down in Halmstad with a cute girl next to you… You should play it when everything is great. I get a smile on my face when I hear it.

3. Tuffa tider (för en drömmare)
  • Per: I went to a music store to get a ukulele, because I’d heard that George Harrison always traveled with one. I bought two and got one for free so I left the store with three ukuleles. I sat down trying to learn how to play it and realized you tune it as a violin and so I wrote “Tuffa tider”. The others wanted to turn it into a reggae so I left the room! But it turned out as a reggae finally and I guess it’s fine.
  • Micke: There’s a melancholy sound to it, but it’s special. When a friend of mine heard it he thought “what a fun song” but after a while he heard that it actually has sad lyrics.

4. Ordinärt mirakel
  • Per: I don’t quite remember how this song came to me, we tried it out anyways, and it became a nice and pretty song. Anders plays a horrifying great bass on this song.

5. Ta mej… nu är jag din!
  • Per: We were listening to a live album by The Who and heard that riff in “Summertime Blues”, then this song came alive. It felt like something we’ve never done before.

6. Jag borde förstås vetat bättre
  • Per: This is sad, it’s about a guy who still is hoping… this song is one of my favorites.
  • Micke: There’s a bridge there that is the best we’ve ever done… it’s a waltz beat and Fritzon who isn’t a pro was totally unstoppable on the piano! He didn’t need a long time before he was going.
  • LJdM: Strings arranged by C. Lundquist and C. Öfwerman; backing vocals: by Helena Josefsson.

7. Du måste skämta
  • Per: Was written during my vacation in Mauritius this January. I always travel with a guitar and some simple recording equipment. The original demo was made on the plane though, in my cell phone. I still have that version…

8. Nere på gatan

  • Micke: I’d say this is more “Mazarin” than Gyllene Tider, but I like the beat in this song. This is also a melancholy song.
  • Per: The idea behind this song was a falsetto melody. Gives the album a little more weight to counterbalance all the summer hoopla.

9. 72
  • Per: This song is about the year 1972 when I was 13 years old. I actually wrote it for “Mazarin” but my producers felt it was too tough. I saved it and now it fits better.

10. Ande i en flaska (Gabba gabba gabba come on come on karma karma)
  • Per: This is a tribute to “Ramones” which I actually wrote for Roxette, but it suits Gyllene Tider much better. It was ment to be on “Have a Nice Day” and was named “Ghost in the House”.
  • Micke: I like it, it has such a nice beat.

11. Varje gång det regnar
  • Per: I wrote this exactly when “Mazarin” was finished, in April 2003, and is probably closer to “Mazarin” than Gyllene Tider. One of our two ballads.
  • Micke: Absolutely the most beautiful song I think.
  • LJdM. Backing vocals by Helena Josefsson and Jennie Löfgren.

12. Hjärta utan hem
  • Per: This is the kind of 3-chord song that you think you’ve heard before. It was written on Mauritius early this year. Micke also sings the lead here, we sing about the same girl.

13. Speciell
  • Micke: The first singing here sounds almost like a stubborn teenager. It’s just two minutes long, this song.
  • Per: Was supposed to be more acoustic, but became power pop anyways.

14. Har du någonsin sett en dröm gå förbi?
  • Per: I hadn’t made a demo for this song. I came down to Skåne a Monday in February and I presented the song in the studio. They liked it, we recorded it and it was done before dinner.

It’s easy to become cynical towards the recording industry but that’s just pointless. None will thank you for whining. It’s rather a question of having distanced myself to the industry. I no longer find it important. Now I only care about our music. At the same time, the record industry is going through a lot of changes and none knows what the outcome of it will be, which is very exciting. Hopefully these changes will boost creativity and constitute a rebirth and provide a better musical climate than the one we have today … But to be bitter and cynical – it’s just a waste of time!

The traditional methods of music distribution are gone. You can no longer record an album, release it on vinyl or cd and expect people to buy it. These days there exist plenty of other distribution channels like the internet, where it’s still quite hard to buy music legally. So in effect, music has become a free commodity. A lot of people aren’t prepared to pay for it any longer.

2 Jun 2004

Helena Josefsson, backing singer at Tambourine Studios and Gula Studion (X): Stockfinster - Red wood

Stockfinster - Red wood (2004)

stockfinster is from Malmö, Sweden and consists mainly of Sebastian Borg (a.k.a. Batti) who writes, plays, arranges and mixes everything and sometimes with a little help from his musical friends. stockfinster was a year ago a real band, with Kerim Arhan (vocals), Jonas Hult (bass), Jens Jungmark (guitar) and Ola Strandh (drummer), but they decided to disolve the project and Sebastian used the name for his bizarre own compositions. Batti himself is a sound-engineer/producer and co-owner of the recording studio Gula Studion in Malmö. Batti is a good friend of the Swedish band the Mopeds and Helena Josefsson, singer in Sandy Mouche.
2005 Sebastian Borg ("Batti") - stockfinster

Red wood, his first work, has been uploaded today in Bandcamp.com and can be download for free. There are no plans to release officially the album as a real CD and stockfinster has signed no record-label contract. The album includes six songs recorded during the last year.

ergo 05:48

last laugh 05:08

dismantled 04:34

ponder 02:51

push push 04:02

last report 08:47

This is what Sebastian Borg himself tells about these songs:
"01. 'Ergo' is one of the few tracks that were completely written in ProTools. The bulk of the track was done in one sitting, which is why the track was called ”A Day’s Work” for a long time. Jonas Hult plays the bass. Soundwise, I guess I tried to do something like Air. I can’t play the acoustic guitar part in the outro anymore. I don’t remember the tuning.

02. 'Last laugh' has a kinship with other track, ”Last Report”. I came up with the idea while working on ”Last Report” and it features a lot of the same sounds. The laughter is my sister-in-law’s son, two years old, or something, at the time. He’s seven now…

03. In 'Dismantled', I wrote the piano part myself, which is hard to believe, considering what a lousy keyboard player I am. On the actual track, Markus Slivka plays the piano and he came up with the variations at the end. I was influenced by the track ”Unspoken” by Four Tet when I programmed the rythm track. I scoured my Reason library for strange sounds and then randomly programmed patterns to create what became the percussion track. The idea to use the poem ”Stop All the Clocks” by W.H. Auden as featured in the film ”Four Weddings and a Funeral” had been in my head for a long time. I am really happy it happened to be featured on this particular track. I had to play the slide guitar using a battery, because I could not find my slide. Helena Josefsson put down some lovely vocals.

04. In 'Ponder', the piano theme is nicked from the film ”Angel Heart”. This track was featured in the film ”Last Day”, which I wrote the music for. I had to come up with another piano part for the film, though.

05. 'Push push' was created while trying out some of the samples and loops from a magazine called Studio. Almost everything on this track is more or less distorted.

06. 'Last Report' contains a lot of sounds from another stockfinster song, ”Last Laugh”, but this is actually the original. I had such a hard time mixing the track I eventually left it to Ola Strandh (my mastering guy). I was giving him such a hard time, I doubt he will ever mix another track for me."

Helena Josefsson's voice features in "Dismantled". A new collaboration of the singer in a bizarre style. However, it sounds really well.