Roxette.co.za EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW! 11 May 2011 - Written by Hanro Manefeldt

Ladies & gentlemen! May I have your attention please?! For the first time on the South Africa web: an exclusive interview with the man himself, Mr Per Gessle!

RoxSA Are you enjoying the tour so far? With so many sold out concerts, did you guys expect this overwhelming welcome from the fans - old and new - around the world & here in South Africa? It must truly be the "best medicine" for Marie?

PG Yes, it is. Everyone's blown away by the love and affection we get everywhere. Loads of tickets sold, smiling faces everywhere. How can we ever stop?

----------

RoxSA The question a lot of fans would like to ask is: is there a Tourism Vol.2” in the making? It’s not the first time this question’s popped up. During the Crash!Boom!Bang! & Room Service tours we were all holding thumbs. Is this something you would do again?

PG Well, we have plans but then again... we always do... It’s very tempting to try to catch that very special energy a band acquires on the road. A “Tourism 2” or similar is not a bad idea. We know that. Time will tell if we succeed doing something worth releasing.

----------

RoxSA You’ve been to South Africa a couple of times over the years - do people recognize you while doing shopping or walking around exploring (like at the V&A Waterfront the other night)?

PG Some do, most don’t. We like that!

----------

RoxSA Roxette’s previous tours had a lot of “glitz, glamour & (my personal favorite) fireworks/pyrotechincs” on stage. This time around it’s more band focused with none of the latter. Was this a deliberate decision and why?

PG Yes, it was a very early decision that we wanted the songs to be in focus, not the production. It’s the same with the arrangements. We don’t use computers or backing tracks or clic tracks or anything, it’s 100 % live because we want this band to stand out in the crowd. Just because we can!

----------

RoxSA Speaking about fireworks…. You'’ve said before you have “fallen out of love” with one of your biggest South African hits “Fireworks” (it spent 2 weeks at #1 here). Does it happen often that you fall out of love with songs you wrote?

PG No, not really. It’s not the song I get tired of, it’s the production. Some songs are hidden behind a wall of sound that suddenly feels very old and tired. For me Fireworks feels like that. On the other hand, I may change my mind.... after a few more years the productions might sound cool again. Weird but true.

----------

RoxSA As you know "“She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)"” is the 6th most played song on radio stations around the world this week. Does this create a hunger in the band and for you to get back on the chart-topping roller coaster as you have previously said Marie & yourself aren't too bothered with the charts these days?

PG No, not at all. Those days are gone. We’re very surprised that "“She’s Got Nothing On" is doing so well. Normally people over 50 don’t spend too much time in Top 10 Singles charts!!!! It feels fab. We only try to make great Roxette songs and Roxette records just like before. We can’t change our taste in music. To seriously take part in today’s hit parade you have to think very
differently than we do... so it won’t happen.

----------

RoxSA A question on every Roxette fan's mind currently is: Who is directing the “"Way Ou"t” video, what can we expect and will we get a video for “Speak To Me” as well?

PG "Way Out" will be done by a Swedish film company called Arena Grande and will be shot in the style of "Run To You." No video in the can for "Speak To Me" at the moment.

----------

RoxSA Will we be able to purchase an official Live DVD of this world tour in the near future?

PG Working on it.

----------

RoxSA At the end of 2010 you Tweeted that you'’re in studio with Mats Persson. Has Per Gessle gone back to his “roots” with regards to demos at Tits&Ass? Anything you could share with us to look forward to?

PG Not really. I write songs all the time. Some for Marie, some for GT, some for myself. Just like before. Nothing has changed. I like working with MP, doing really simple demos. I hope we can continue down the road.

----------

RoxSA You currently have a documentary crew following you around. Word on the street is that it’s about Roxette’s tremendous come-back. Do you believe that Roxette is 100% back for good? It surely seems like it!

PG Knowing what has happened in the past to Marie I can only say we'’re taking it step by step. Things are looking really swell right now and I do hope it continues like that.

----------

That's all folks! I would thank MrG for taking the time to answer these questions - we used some of his precious wine tasting time to get this for you. Also a special shout-out to superstar Thomas Evensson for organising this interview.