Final Countdown is on for Europe; MICK BURGESS chats to Europe's Joey Tempest ahead of the band's gig at the O2 Academy Newcastle this Sunday.
plus. 12 You're back over in the UK for nine dates starting tonight. Are you looking forward to playing for your UK fans again? It's always a hoot! It's great to bring Bag of Bones to Britain. It's like giving something back after all the inspiration this place has given us all through the years.
What sort of show can people expect from Europe in 2012? "Everywhere I''m We're putting together a more dynamic rock show with an acoustic set in the middle. It really sets the second part of the show up good and proper.
of Will you be adding any vintage songs to the set alongside the classic material and newer songs? We're not known for being the most adventurous of bands when it comes to changing the set list. We play what we love to play and that's that. But lately we have been throwing in a song here and there that we haven't played for a long time. But by having around five to six songs from our new album it's a new kind of show in any case. Throw in some of the big classics and "Bob's your uncle"!
Are you finding that each time you go out on the road you are seeing more and more new faces in the crowd as word gets out as to what a great show you put on? Last Look at Eden really opened things up for us and invited a younger generation on board. The North of England holds a special place for you as your wife is from up here. Will you find some time to visit some friends and family while you're here? I love the North of England. You can frequently hear proper classic rock on the radio stations. Great people too! It's really good to play our kind of rock up here. The audience really connects. Your latest album Bag of Bones came out a few months ago and received great reviews. Do you tend to read reviews these days or do they not bother you that much anymore? Always nice to have a few favourable words said about your music. If someone writes something not so good it doesn't really stick with you and bother you any more.
How do you see Bag of Bones as a progression from your last album, Last Look at Eden? Bag of Bones is a touring band's record. It was done spontaneously and quickly with lots of attitude and emotion - how rock albums should be made!
Is your first single, Not Supposed to Sing the Blues, your response to those who say a band like Europe should not sing music that is based in the blues? Perhaps, but even more so a response and reaction to ourselves and our own past and history. I'm still kind of shocked that a band from the suburbs of Stockholm can express themselves this way. All traces of where we come from more or less obliterated!
Some people still associate Europe with the 80s, but you have now released four albums since you reunited a few years ago and are very much different musically than you were back then. Do you feel you have more in common with the classic bands such as Deep Purple, UFO and Thin Lizzy than the 'hair metal' bands of the 80s? We were part of the 80s. But we grew up listening and taking inspiration from the bands from the 70s and perhaps some early 80s records. We weren't really that inspired by the 80s bands around us. Def Leppard opened a lot of doors, though. They were the first hard-rock band to be cross over and be played on commercial radio. Bands like Bon Jovi and Europe were not far behind.
Do you have more musical freedom these days rather than being pressurised by a record label? Although we always wrote and decided what music to produce and release, these days it's even more rewarding. We control all aspects - touring, merchandise and image control. Being on the biggest label in the world in those days, CBS/Sony, there would be compromises. But these labels were powerful. If a band needed an extra "push" they had the capacity. These days it's very different. The power is in the hands of the artist. You just got to make the most of the opportunities.
While many of your peers from the 80s seem to be struggling, Europe are thriving. Why do you think you have managed to survive in the fickle music business where many others have fallen by the wayside? Surprise yourself and your fans and believe you can better yourself with each record. That's a good platform. Also, there's a special chemistry between these five band members that makes all the difference. We're blessed in that sense.
Most great bands through the ages are based around the singer and lead guitarist. What is the connection between you and John Norum that gives Europe its spark? We've always been like brothers since we started the band together. We have fallen out sometimes but always found our way back due to mutual respect and admiration of each other's work. It goes a long way!
John is a great guitarist both technically and melodically. Do you think he gets the recognition that he deserves? I think he's beginning to. More front-cover stories around the world with each record we make. He's one of the greats of his generation. Your reunited line-up has been together over a decade now. What is it that keeps you all going as band? We just try and communicate with each other. Good or bad stuff. It's just one of those things - five guys who were meant to crash into each other and create something.
It's almost as if Europe have had two distinct phases. What words of wisdom would you give to Europe at the start of their first phase? Don't take it too seriously!
Christmas is just around the corner. What will you be doing this year? We tour all the way up to December 22, so collapsing in a big heap most likely - part of it in London and part of it in Stockholm.
all of shocked I've I''m still kind the suburbs "Everywhere from of obliterated! that a band can express " this way. of Stockholm. Some 80s, albums and are themselves the