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On the straight
everything went wrong

Imagine what a single line in Gyllene Tider's Harplinge song has confused a whole popbranch:

"I just denna kurva har MP haft bekymmer…" (In just this curve MP has had trouble..)

-I have no idea of what he means and have never had troubles there, Mats Persson smiles and looks against Per Gessle, well aware of that the original text was "I just denna kurva har MP bränt sitt gummi". (In just this curve has MP "burned his tires")

But all of a sudden he becomes serious.

-But for nine years ago it could have gone really bad some hundred metres down the straight directly after that curve, he comments.

And tells about that he at the entrance to Studio Tits & Ass almost got hit from behind. The car was thrown over to the other side of the road and was wasted. The fuel tank was broken without ignition and MP injured his head and had to have a number of stitches.

-That affected me for a long time ahead. During a period of two years I always looked back several times extra when I was about to make a left turn and turned on a safe place several kilometres later to get a right turn instead.

-But it had to be some meaning that my car didn’t ignite. Otherwise I wouldn’t be alive today. So you sure get a different view of live after such incidents even though I believe that you older you get - the more you care about and enjoy the small details.

Now we come in on the subject of belief. And destiny.

-Yes, I believe in God in some form. On the contrary I am more uncertain that if fate all together should be written somewhere. At the same time I sometimes have a feeling inside that I’m waiting for something to happen. It can be both a good and bad thing.

-Like when I was pretty fed up after five years playing the trumpet in a youth gang and suddenly, as a flash from the sky, got into my head that now I shall begin to play the drums. It wasn’t anything I had seen or heard. It was just such a strong feeling, almost a incredible passion.

Then it all happened. Status Quo and the whole 70´s-rock with Deep Purple and Nazareth came in picture. First band Audiovisuellt Angrepp was formed with for example Pedda Nilsson and Martin Sternhufvud.

And a year later brought Pedda and Per together.

-Per and Pedda wanted me to help doing a recording with acoustic guitars at Pers house in Vilshärad. I took a long a copper-bit and prepared flexes.

-But as soon as the next time just me and Per met. It was an unspoken feeling that we could give to each other something.

MP started to learn how to play guitar. And the 19th February 1977 was Grape Rock formed.

-I was curious about all instruments and if I couldn’t fix something I trained until I could. That’s it.

-We were beginners and extremely creative. There was no such thing as how to do things. And therefore all that time was a way to find my identity. Four years studying technique at Kattegatt was a blind choice.

So much that he with bad grades after two years, decided to take a year off and work as a builder for his father.

-After that I studied a two year long course "electric and telecommunications technique" instead. It was more my thing and I have use of that even today.

MP had already shown in young age his technical and musical talent. Four years old he sat and played on the piano and took some songs out.

-Dad got pretty suprised when I got the lawn-mover started which he had failed to do. Then I was six, MP says.

Later he pulled apart his tape recorder and put all on plywood to see how it worked and got famous as Harplinges best moped trimmer.

-There were many who did that. But the mopeds I trimmed was the fastest. And that was perhaps all that counted.

He was an only child in the family shy and a little bit withdrawn. And almost never played some tricks.

-Well, once, when I was six, seven years old. Me and a friend went to a house they were going tear down where a farmer kept seed-sacks. And went berserk. But we were caught and was punished, after that hurting lecture I watched myself not do it again.

It was MP who suggested his old class mate from 4th grade to second year of college, Janne Carlsson on bass when Grape Rock-duo expanded to Gyllene Tider-quartet.

And which therefore got in a hard conflict situation when Per through a casting saw that Janne, which didn’t go down too well with Janne, he decided to get out of the picture.

-I never understood that it was like that. But realised in the long run that it wouldn’t work with two strong wills in the band. So to some part I had a bad conscience towards Janne.

But I was also the only one in the band who talked with him afterwards and that felt good.

MP himself has after two occasions felt let down.

-Yes, once when Gyllene quit 1985. I was extremely disappointed and completly lost of what to do. All of a sudden I didn’t know what was going to happen and all the visions just disappeared.

-Then Jonas Isacsson became Roxette's new guitarist in spite of me who has been playing on "Neverending love".

-But on the other hand I had a lot to do in the studio and when Per and I started to write songs again for Roxette, then it all felt OK.

-Then I was actually thinking about, beside the aeroplane, all my jobs had been projects. OK, it is more unsafe. But much more stimulating.

MP, who isn’t friend with the iron, has no problem with cleaning, dishes, doing the laundry and dealing with organisd chaos, not to say it is finished for playing for Gyllene Tider.

Just another break.

-Well, now it’s time to take on the other projects again which were put aside because of the Gyllene-tour. As in my case Watherwhirl which means a lot. And Back on Stage on Mallorca where MP joins on the 15th august for three weeks ahead.

-But when that was decided was the thought that we should play for ourselves after having mixed Husbands a whole summer.

That didn’t really happen. A whole Återtåg (Triumph Train) came in the way.


Name: Mats Arne "MP" Persson, 37.

Family: Single.

Previous Jobs: Builder, flight loader.

Bil: Volvo 850R -97, Harley Davidson Lowrider Custom -93.

Hobbies: Motorcycles & cars.

Last film: Waterworld.

Latest Book: An encyclopædia.

Listens to now: Classical Music. "There is stuff to be learnt".

Sport (To Practice): Badminton.

Sport (To Watch): Handball, tennis, billiards.

Favourite Team: Drott.

Drinks: Beer and alcohol in "nice" amounts.

Favorite food: Spanish food and Asian food "Strong with lime and some cocos"

Good Side: Diplomatic, tender.

Bad Side: Bad patience.

How I manage the tour life:
By sleeping and eating healthy.

MP on Fritte:
Extremely funny. It was a long time since we had seen each other and it was like I had to "rediscover" him again. And then realised that we are on the same level.

© Photos & Layout: 1996 Hallandsposten
© Translation to English: 1997 Fredrik Sundqvist & Paul Rands