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October 23, 2018

EUROPE Vocalist Credits Group's Longevity To 'Not Listening To Outside Influence'


EUROPE vocalist Joey Tempest was recently interviewed by Metal Wani. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):

On recording the group’s latest album, “Walk The Earth”, at the legendary Abbey Road Studios with producer David Cobb, who also produced the group’s 2015 album, “War Of Kings”:

Joey: “We learned first time around working with him that we could trust him, and how talented he was. By experiencing ‘War Of Kings’ with Dave, we realized we wanted to work with him again, so we asked him, ‘Would you like to work with us again?’ He said, ‘Yes. Where are we recording?’ I said, ‘There’s an opening in the U.K. I’ve been trying to get the band to the U.K. since ‘Out Of This World’ in ’88. There’s an opening at Abbey Road,’ and everybody sort of listened up and said, ‘Oh. All right. Well, yes. Yes — we will come to you this time, Joey.’ We recorded in Abbey Road, our eleventh album. We’ve done six albums since we started again. We’ve been on an amazing journey [and] adventure learning about recording techniques, trying to work with the best producers, engineers, studios… There’s so much to learn as a band. It’s not just improving — which is the most important thing — improving your playing and writing and lyrics, but also to preserve and record rock and roll the best way possible. It was at its peak at the end of the ’70s, and to bring that forward and to do it together with new techniques, that’s also a journey that we’re on. We’re kind of nerdy with all that stuff, so Abbey Road was amazing. They have preamps that John Lennon preferred; they have compressors that he preferred; they have [consoles] that THE BEATLES recorded a lot of their albums through; they have [consoles] that PINK FLOYD recorded albums through. We were in [studio] number three; we were in PINK FLOYD‘s studio. THE BEATLES were in [studio] two and PINK FLOYD were in [studio] three most of the time. We got into number three in two weeks and we made ‘Walk The Earth’. It’s sort of a miracle album. We pushed everything we could. Everybody contributed with the writing, including Dave Cobb. It was truly healthy.”

On the album’s lyrical themes:

Joey: “Obviously, in the world these last few years, there’s been some interesting things happening socially [and] politically. When we started writing the songs, it was very important for me to have an angle. It’s great to have a place to start. I was wondering a lot about democracy, because it was pulling [in] different directions, and some of the lyrics really reflected that. That was really a good start for me, but then again, some of the lyrics and songs are just based on rock and roll and [being] in the moment. It became a great collection in the end with some working in the democracy themes, and some just being rock and roll lyrics.”

On the band’s goals upon reuniting in 2003:

Joey: “There was never any question of looking at what anybody else thought we should do. If it’s a secret or not, I don’t know, but anyway, all the decisions EUROPE has made [are] without outside influence, so all the decisions are in dressing rooms, in rehearsal, and we have chosen the labels to work with. We own our music. We have chosen the studios; we choose the producers. I think we’ve never even looked at the landscape thinking, ‘Oh, no. This is not going to work. We have to do this [instead].’ We haven’t even tailored anything. Everything is organic. We go into a new studio with a new set of thinking, like, ‘This is going to be a new journey. Let’s push the boundaries and go for it.’ Maybe that’s the secret why we’re still here. Maybe it’s because we’re just pushing and not listening to outside influence — just pushing our own thing, and enjoying it. And enjoying it with the fans, too. They seem to join us — new ones, and they stay with us. There’s some controversy some time, because we try things, we push things a bit, but in the long run, that makes us all come together, I think.”

On whether he’d consider recording another solo album:

Joey: “Maybe, but the journey with EUROPE now is very exciting, and it’s also my friends from teenage years. It’s nice to be able to work with people you know and tour with people you know. When I did some solo tours, it was with other musicians, and it was great and inspiring, but there’s something special about people you know. But it’s not impossible. Obviously, I have songs and ideas lying around from years and years, and maybe it’s possible to bring something up again or write something new, but I don’t know. It’s nothing in the cards now, and nothing that I’m planning right now.”

“Walk The Earth” was released last October via EUROPE’s own Hell & Back label through Silver Lining Music.


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