The Roxette Gazette

Erik Borelius

Press release • EMI Svenska AB •

Note: This has been translated from the original Swedish.

It started with organ/guitar/drums in a basement in Malmö eight years ago.

Jens Johansson on organ, his brother Anders on drums and myself on guitar. (Both Jens and Anders are now in the US playing with Yngwie Malmsteen.)

The songs had titles like “Njurdödes punkstövlar,” “Respiratorslem,” “Asfalt i örat” and “Papegojsjuka.” The music was sick too!

Now I’m 23, live in Stockholm and my taste in music has changed over the years. The music has improved and the song titles have changed character. Such as “No Fool,” “Never Been to France,” “My Friend,” “For Free,” “Soft Sea,” “Sun, Summer,” “Black Sunday” and “Devil’s Cry” – songs on my first LP.

Until the autumn of 1982 I played electric guitar almost exclusively. A night-long jam session with one of Sweden’s best acoustic guitarists, however, changed my mind.

I realised that the sound and temperament of the acoustic guitar suited my way of composing and improvising.

After my military service, I started playing full-time in autumn 1983. Being alone with a guitar eight hours a day is quite demanding. But I felt that I had no choice.

In the summer of 1984 I sent a demo to EMI, and it was a wonderful feeling when I got the message that EMI was interested and that there would probably be an LP in the future.

What I know of music, I have learnt by listening. I am completely self-taught. And I have always had a great need to compose. I want my pieces of music to tell a “story.” The most important thing is that there are variations in intensity in the song, so that the “story” does not stand still.

Many people think that musicians with extreme technique lack feeling. For me it is just the opposite. Good technique means that I can realise musical ideas without tripping over the strings. It feels like I’m skipping the step between idea and result, i.e. the technical performance.

The songs on my first LP were originally written for two guitars. But it turned out that several instruments would fit perfectly on many of the songs. We were looking for two musicians, who would provide rhythm and weight, and got hold of a couple of the best, Magnus Persson (drums and percussion) and Teddy Walter (acoustic and electric bass). Claes von Heijne plays keyboards and has a wonderful synth solo on “Exhausted.” Other synths are played by Leif Larsson, who definitely gave my music a new dimension. On tenor and soprano saxophone David Wilczewski. Marie Fredriksson’s lovely voice is heard on the Joni Mitchell song “For Free.”

Many thanks to Björn Norén at EMI Studio 1, who did the recording and much of the mixing.