31 Oct 2008

Helena's second album, waiting to be released (II): a small sign of life

Hi!! I believe in ghosts, but I hope not to see any even though it´s halloween...!!! :o)

Soooooon I hope my record will be released, too!!

I just want to say hi and let you know that I am still here! No news about the coming album, we are still working a little with it. Maybe one song is missing! We have to find out…!

Helena Josefsson (Sandy Mouche)

29 Oct 2008

P, C & C become Party Crashers (II): Silly really - Christoffer speaks about the new album


Per Gessle's first single "Silly Really" off the forthcoming album "Party Crasher" is released today October 29. The B-Side is "I didn't mean to turn you on", also included in the album. Both songs and the full album were recorded at AGM Studios by Per, Clarence Öfwerman and Christoffer Lundquist, with Helena Josefsson as backing singer.


'Silly really' was premiered in RIX FM MorronZoo on Friday 24th October 2008 (Swedish TV6).

The full tracklist of Per Gessle's forthcoming album "Party Crasher" has been revealed: 01 Silly Really; 02 The Party Pleaser; 03 Stuck Here With Me; 04 Sing Along; 05 Gut Feeling; 06 Perfect Excuse; 07 Breathe Life Into Me; 08 Hey, I Died and Went To Heaven; 09 Kissing Is the Key; 10 Thai With a Twist; 11 I Didn't Mean To Turn You On; 12 Doesn't Make Sense. Album bonus tracks: I'm Glad You Called (iTunes bonus); Theme from 'Roberta Right' (Telia bonus).

"Silly Really" enters the official Swedish singles chart at #1 this week. "Unusual and unexpectedly strong if you ask me!" comments Per to TDR. The video has been directed by Mikael Wikström and produced by Björn Fävremark (STARK Film & Event, Göteborg).

If you want to know more about the upcoming album, you can read an interview with Christoffer Lundquist in roxette.ro, .

My 3 big influences while working for "Party crasher":
1. Computer:
I have been in and worked with computers in the studio before, but this time I was at home with my computer and played. For me, it was a whole new way of working, and it was truly inspiring. I had not recorded a single demo when we started to record the new disc.
2. Solo band (Christoffer, Clarence and Helena):
Without them, there had never been a new album. It is funny that they like all the songs this time. Many times in the past, I have been struggling to carry out so ruthlessly commercial ideas - now, the wind was in the sails immediately!
3. iTunes:
It has become like a drug - now when everything is available, sit and download the old songs. I have found Culture Club, Human League, Donna Summer and KC & the Sunshine Band.
Per Gessle

“Party Crasher” is a computer-made album. The rhythms are completely programmed for the first time. There's a lot more synthesizers than usual and less guitars. And Per doesn't play a single note on the album! We built the tracks from zero in the computer instead of playing together trying to find an identity to each track. Per wanted it to feel more polished and more strictly organized than the last albums so that's why we worked like this. It's also meant to be more based on rhythm. On the last couple of albums the drums have been kind of quiet and not so punchy; we have looked for more emphasis on melody and harmony for the emotion. This time we wanted a harder, stricter beat, more focus on the beat. By computer record I mean it was not recorded to analog tape like we normally do. And only the rhythms were programmed, the rest of the instruments are played by Clarence and me. Some synths are programmed but not most of them. Since there is so much keyboards on the album we have blended the synths with different acoustic keyboard instruments to try and get a more unique sound and more organic depth. When you use a lot of synths the sound can end up a bit dead so that's why we worked like that. In modern recording (since the introduction of computers as the recording media) you often have the exact same take of any instrument or maybe backing vocals for every identical part of a song. Meaning that when the second chorus comes you hear the exact same bass, guitar and keyboard takes as you did on the first chorus. This sounds more disciplined, strict and "modern" than playing through a whole song and letting every part be a little different and alive. So with this album we worked like this for the first time, we copied and pasted things to get a little more "mechanical", disciplined feel and sound than we have been striving for before. Similarly everything is done to a click track, meaning that the tempo never strays. This is the first time we did this too. I think it's very important for artists to break new ground and to try to vary the way they work to try to avoid repeating yourself. As an afterthought I maybe think that we should have changed directions sooner, "En Händig Man" is not my favorite album. Probably because we were trying to do something in Swedish that we'd already done in English (SOAP) and you find yourself doing the same thing over again. And then it's bound to be not as good as it was the first time, when those particular ideas were fresh and exciting. So I'm very happy about the new album, it's very fresh and exciting to me. I've certainly never done anything like it before even though Per and Clarence have more experience working in a similar manner from the Roxette days. But this was still very different of course. Since I'm a great great fan of Roxette music it was fun for me to get into to this way of thinking.

What is my favorite song of Per’s on which I have worked? The most difficult question ever! There are soooo many....! "Late, later on" and "Hey, Mr. DJ" off SOAP are big favorites of mine as well as "Vilket Håll Du Än Går" from Mazarin and "Silly Really" from the new album. Right now it's everything from the latest album. The newest one is always the most fun.... And lots more....
Chris Lundquist (Junk Musik)
Christoffer Lundquist - AGM Studios

9 Oct 2008

P, C & C become Party Crashers (I): the upcoming album

Per Gessle has been recording a new album in English between January and September 2008 at Christoffer Lundquist's AGM studio. Per Gessle also went to BMI awards in London October 7. Per was there together with Mats MP Persson to receive a "Million-Air" award for "Listen to Your Heart" which has been played on US radio over four million times.

Per Gessle's first single "Silly Really" off the forthcoming album "Party Crasher" will be released October 29. The single as well as the album is a step in a new direction for one of Sweden's most successful songwriters and artists.

After two solo albums in Swedish ("Mazarin" in 2003 and "En händig man" 2007), another studio album with Gyllene Tider ("Finn 5 fel!" 2004) and a double album under the name "Son of a Plumber" Per Gessle now shows us a different side of himself.

"Party Crasher" is Per Gessle's first international solo album in his own name since "The World According to Gessle" 1997. The album will be released December 3.

This time, P, C & C have not used real instruments, just synths ... well, and Helena Josefsson's voice. Jens Jansson will not feature in this allbum since no drummer was needed (but you can read an interesting interview with him by roxette.ro, 29.10.2008). Christoffer Lundquist also spoke to the same website about recording with Per Gessle.


I don’t really write songs anymore unless there is a purpose. A couple of weeks after the “En händig man-tour” last summer I got into this idea of writing songs based on “grooves” and a steady beat instead of just fooling around on the guitar. I had a field day! Before X-mas I had about 10 new songs.

After all these years you’re always looking for NEW spices, NEW angles, NEW chord progressions. So when this idea popped up writing to a steady beat I knew something interesting could happen. Some grooves I made myself on my computer, some grooves I found in existing songs from The Bee Gees, Chic, Donna Summer, The Human League etc. I’ve heard that Björn & Benny wrote “Dancing queen” to the groove of George McCrae’s “Rock Your Baby”. Check those two songs out and compare and you’ll know what I mean. They’re very different but they have the same mother.

Normally I write the melodies first and then we build an arrangement in the studio. This time I've started with a groove and then written the melody from that, just like when I wrote that little ditty 'The Look' once upon a time. It’s really simple power pop, lots of choruses and such. I’m very pleased and Clarence feels it’s the best album I’ve ever made. The songs are written in the '70s '80s era type of dance music. The result is a fun album that is both immediate and in your face, but also brooding and beautiful. My wife says the album sounds like The Bee-Gees meet Gyllene Tider. I don't really agree, but I can see her point. It has a sweet disco feeling all over it. But recognizing Per Gessle over the beats shouldn’t be a problem.

My whole summer was free and easy. We stopped our studio work in May and didn’t continue until late August so I got my fair share of suntan, go-karts, bikinis and belinis. No demos because C&C hate them!!! MP visited the studio once but only to have dinner and some bottles of Chianti. Clarence, Christoffer and myself played all the instruments on this one. And Helena Josefsson has been a frequent guest, of course. We’ve basically worked with old analogue synthesizers like the Mini Moog and Jupiter-6 etc as well as new computerized technology. No big strings this time, no live drums either. But the Syn Drum made a welcome return!!!

I’ve tried to make lyrics psychedelic, sexy and mature (in that order). But sure, when you write songs based on rhythm it is a different thing. I mean, sometimes you write a lyric first and then put music to it. This was never the case here.

I love this album and I love the fact that it sounds really fresh and I adore listening to Helena’s vocal performances. She’s been EXTREMELY good on this one. Wait ‘til you hear it, you’re gonna freak out. People are responding exceptionally so far. Some media people have heard bits and pieces and they’re all quite surprised. But in a positive way. I won’t go into individual tracks at this point for obvious reasons.

I didn’t invent popmusic. Everything I do and listen to have its roots in the music I enjoyed growing up. So, sure, this could have been a SOAP album but then again… the SOAP project is quite different. I preferred this to be a Per Gessle-album. There are a few Nile Rodgers-licks, some Timbaland sub bass, some B-52's jerks and some T. Rex glam and, oh yeah, we listened a lot to the Saturday Night Fever-soundtrack.

The album is made in English to be able to hit internationally but it’s a long way to go, I don’t take anything for granted. It’s not like I’m going to England to sell out Wembley, unfortunately. But at the same time, Roxette's songs are bigger than in a long while, so we’ll see. EMI worldwide is, as I’m writing this, very interested. But that usually doesn’t mean anything ha ha ha… We’ll find out what’s gonna happen in the next month or so. Yes, there will be a standard CD, deluxe CD and a vinyl album. I’ll go as huge as possible!!! I’ll do my best to convince the masters of the universe to do the right thing. I might do a small tour in Europe early next year. If I do I’m sure there will be a few shows in Sweden as well. Time will tell. I take it as it comes. A movie soundtrack could be fun. An acoustic album could be fun. Some more Roxette and Gyllene Tider projects could be fun. I’ve got no plans. And zillions of them in the drawer. As long as C&C are motivated, wear clean shirts and make me a happier person I can’t see any reason replacing them. They are two of the most talented people I’ve ever encountered and a pretty hard act to follow. But you’ll never know. Clarence has promised me to step out of the closet as the next big thing on the dance floor. I’ll sell the tee-shirts… My Rolls-Royce? Oh my God, it’s sooo big!!! But a treat to drive and to have in your garage. I drive it to the local burger stand with Gabriel and his friends watching The Simpsons in the backseat.

2008 music? I like the Sebastian Teller-record. I like the Shelby Lynne-record. I still play Nelly Furtado’s “All good things must come to an end” too much but my most played album this year is a 3-CD box called “Philly sound”, recommended to me by Expressen’s Mats Olsson. A sensational collection of 70’s soul. Mats got such great taste!!!

Per Gessle

Towards the end of a long working day Per Gessle tends to substitute the words he means to say with a totally different word that's got nothing to do with anything. He has a very very quick mind and I think at times his mind is ahead of his mouth and then he can be a bit difficult to understand actually...like calling a "car" a "dog" or a" song" a " car" or whatever. He’s said some hilarious things like that. How many bottles of wine are consumed during the making of an album (for the mood)? It's not that bad really =). We usually work for three days in a row and the first day might get a little heavy in the evening. But then we get so tired the next day we tend to calm down a bit!

Producing Per’s albums is a very organic process and it's difficult to tell afterwards who did what. There are some basic things of course: Per writes all the music, I do all the engineering, recording and technical stuff. Whenever there's something difficult to play on keyboards it's always Clarence Öfwerman who plays it since he's technically really good. Other keyboard parts tend to be split evenly between the two of us; whoever has an idea plays it. We often jam together on two different keyboards to see what we might come up with. I play bass and most of the guitars on the albums, as well as most of the other "different" instruments. Per plays a lot of acoustic guitar, he has a very personal way of playing that is really good. When it comes to ideas for arrangements etc it is, as I said, very organic. We sort of work together like one person a lot of the time. Per always has the final say of course. If he doesn't like something it will not go on the album. It happens that Clarence and I do a lot of work in a certain direction and then Per decides he thinks it's wrong. So then we happily scrap what we've done and start over. At the same time it often happens that that we do something with a song that is totally different from what Per had in mind but he really loves it, he thinks it much better than what he had in mind. he's very open minded about his music but he never does anything that he doesn't really really like and he's very sensitive, it must feel absolutely right to him, otherwise he won't settle for it. He really knows what he likes and what he doesn't. We basically have a lot of fun and it's really intense. After three days together we are totally burned out. Per often "steers" the direction of an album by playing music from his iPod. His knowledge and love of pop music is really unbelievable, I never met anyone who's so totally obsessed with pop music.. When we started the SOAP album he only played really old music, like easy listening from the fifties and totally forgotten bands and artists from the 60's and seventies. He always knows what position any song had on the hit list, who wrote it, produced it, who's in the band and what they did later in their careers etc. I've learned so much from him playing things from his iPod. And I've discovered so much great music thanks to him. When we begun work on "Party Crasher" suddenly he only played either old disco tracks or contemporary stuff by Timbaland and Max Martin and people like that. So he kind of puts us all in a certain state of mind, the atmosphere in which he imagines the album should go. Sometimes we stay in that "mode" and sometimes we abandon it completely when something different pops up. It's very inspirational.
Chris Lundquist (Junk Musik)
Christoffer Lundquist - AGM Studios

I think it was a friend of mine who suggested that we should take some drum classes when I was a kid. He quit, I stayed. I'm not much of a hobby person. I have a little son and to hang around with him is a great hobby.I have lots of projects coming up. I expect Per Gessle to have even more. I make commercials and play in other bands. Right now I'm playing with a good friend of mine who lives in Paris. Peter Von Poehl is his name and the music is great.

I met Per Gessle in 1995, when we toured with Roxette, with my band Brainpool. I've actually never bought a Roxette album. The only one I've got is the single I played on, One Wish. But, I like lots of their songs. I really liked Joyride when that came out. Roxette’s music has no influences on mine. Maybe the music that they listened to, but not their music. Per is easygoing, productive, funny, Halmstadish. Marie is friendly, caring, happy. I'm meeting Per today but Marie I have no contact with. Recording with Per feels good. He's a very nice man and it's always very relaxing to make music with him.

I've only done two tours with Per Gessle. The first was the "Mazarin" tour and last summer we did the EHM tour. EHM Tour was a great tour. Everyone in the band are really nice people who are really fun to be around. The funniest moment was when we got attacked by a cover band that plays Gyllene Tider songs at a gas station. Nice, but crazy people. I hope to join next Per’s tour, yes.
Jens Jansson (Junk Musik)
Jens Jansson - Brainpool

Yes, there has been some secret work in the studio with mr Per, and very much fun, too!

Soon, very soon, the new Per Gessle album Party Crasher will arrive to Swedish stores. I sing in many places there. I am so excited- cause fun things will happen!

I haven´t heard the final results yet. But while we recorded it, I felt like: out of all the Gessle/ Son of A Plumber-albums I have participated on since we started collaborating in 2003, this one is my favourite. Actually, I discovered a lot of new things I didn´t know I could do. I don´t think I have ever felt sexy before in a song, but now I did. Then, maybe it doesn´t SOUND that way, but still! It is exciting to learn how to express new things through the singing and improvisation!

One trick I have when I try to dive into my own self when I record, is to turn the lights off. I always do that. It is like, if noone can see me then I can do whatever I want, I don´t have to be shy or afraid of anything. Then I dare to do new things, that I really don´t master. But if I feel viewed or I feel someone is going to judge what I sing, it is impossible to discover something new from my depths. Before I used to do the same if someone was going to take pictures of Sandy Mouche, or making a video shoot. Then I would take my contacts off, so everyone around turned blurry. If I don´t see them, they can´t see what I do :o) Works for the ostrichts, so why not? :o)

Helena Josefsson (Sandy Mouche)

Comments by fans:
Dear Helena! Haven't heard from you for a long time. Today I've read about Gessle's new album - and understood why were you missing..... Good news, as well as I still hope to see you all guys live on the stage again.... Tack sa mycket!! Have a good and sunny day! PS: Some sunflowers, huh?

Ilya Volkov
-(a.k.a. Kreecher)-
Roxette House