Roxette singer Per Gessle is in his home country Sweden during the corona pandemic. In the interview, he explains what he thinks of the Sonderweg.
Sweden is going its own way in the corona pandemic. In contrast to most of its European neighbors, there has been no real lockdown so far, restaurants and bars, for example, have remained open. In an interview with the news agency spot on news, Per Gessle (61), singer and songwriter from Roxette, talks about his experiences. After the death of his bandmate Marie Fredriksson (1958-2019), the 61-year-old is releasing previously unreleased songs as part of "Bag of Trix". He is currently not performing, as he reports, because in Sweden no more than 50 people are allowed to attend a concert.
Not a lockdown like in Germany, but a "cultural lockdown"
Compared to Germany, it is great that small shows are allowed to take place, "but of course the artists stay at their expense and earn nothing from these small gigs," says Gessle. "As in Germany, the artists here are disappointed and some are afraid of their existence. Nobody can go on tour, we have a cultural lockdown that affects many people." That is "terrible" for the music business and the people who work in this field. However, Gessle is not one of those musicians who have to worry about their existence: "For me personally it's not that bad, I had to cancel a few concerts."
In addition to the concert regulations, certain corona measures apply in bars and restaurants in Sweden. "For example, if you want to have a beer, you have to sit at a table," Gessle points out. But after all, only those who prefer to enjoy their drink while standing have to slow down. The Roxette singer can understand the special path taken by Sweden: "Since Sweden is quite small compared to other European countries, we may have the situation under control. Not as many people live here as in Paris or Berlin. " But Per Gessle also has doubts: "Here in Sweden, too, it can happen that they soon say: 'Everything closes'. You never know."
"It's difficult to stay positive"
What Gessle is most concerned with right now, however, is not the welfare of the working population. "What makes me really sad is that older people sit completely alone in their apartments and are not allowed to see anyone – no family, no friends. And that has been going on for months. It's difficult to remain positive," he sums up. Many people are fed up with it now. "But it doesn't feel as if the situation is improving. Now winter is coming – and it is well known that it causes more diseases than summer." Gessle's conclusion: "I think Christmas will be very different this year than usual."