Just two weeks shy of embarking on Europe’s “Bag of Bones” 2013 UK tour, and following recent dates on the continent (plus appearing on BBC One’s “The One Show” last week – if you missed it you can view it online via BBC iPlayer http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01nnml9/The_One_Show_30_10_2012/), frontman Joey Tempest very kindly spent some time to talk through all that’s happening in the world of Europe following their return to action a few years ago.
Joey believes that 2009’s Last Look At Eden album was a significant turning point for the band. That album proved to be Europe’s most important record since The Final Countdown. Now, with the release of their current album Bag of Bones, Tempest says, “Europe is ready to do some serious damage.”
Hi Joey and many thanks for sparing some time to talk to Rock-Zone UK.Having been a fan of Europe for many years, I really enjoyed “Last Look at Eden” and the new record is even more spectacular. How do you think the industry has changed over the years you’ve been involved?
The power is back in the hands of the artist. You just got to make the most of the opportunities that comes your way….
Do you prefer it the way it is today?
We prefer it today cause we are a decent rock band! The live scene is doing well.
“Bag of Bones” has a power and, for want of a better word, harder edged that may surprise fans of songs from the 80s. Do you think you have got heavier in musical terms as you have matured?
“Bag of Bones” is simply a touring bands record. Made fast and spontaneous with everything that comes with it. Expression before perfection…..perhaps that translates as more hard-edged….
I remember that it was seeing The Sweet on Top of the Pops as a very small child that first made me want to pick up a guitar and get involved in music. Who were your earliest influences (both personally and in terms of the band) and who do you and the guys listen to today?
The earliest influences for me was Elvis , Bowie and Elton! For us as a band the common musical ground was…..Zeppelin, Purple, Lizzy, UFO, MSG, early Queen. Mahogany and rush, early Whitesnake, Montrose, Rush, Gamma, Uli Roth, Gary Moore amongst others…
Having seen the DVD of the “…Eden” tour and seen the reaction to “Final Countdown” I find it hard to believe reports that I’ve read saying if you could you would avoid playing it. Surely not?
We do perform it acoustically very different, and that could be a way forward. But it’s still explosive the way it is and its very much an important part of our set today….we have toyed with leaving it out on a big festival for instance….to make a statement and to see how it feels but this has yet to happen…..
The process of song writing is something that really interests me, especially when it comes to bands whose success has come about singing in English despite it not being their first language. Do you write in Swedish and then translate or do you “think” in English now?
I haven’t lived in Sweden for 25 years now. I think “Bag of Bones” was the first record where the lyrics came completely automatic….Written purely from an English-speaking/thinking mans perspective.
What/where does the inspiration for the songs come from?
Oh dear! Everywhere! But funny enough often from the actual chords and attitude/mood of the riffs.
What do you think is the best song that Europe have recorded so far, and what’s the best thing about being a part of Europe today
Riches To Rags and Last Look At Eden are pretty decent tunes I’d say. The best thing about being in the band now is the feeling of having a job you like, with people you’ve known from teenage years. Long may it last.
Absolutely! How does it compare with back in the early days?
Only slightly less partying…That’s pretty much it!
You are currently touring in support of “Bag of Bones”, what kind of show can the fans expect? Will there be any surprises or even covers like the stunning version of Gary Moore’s “The Loner” (featured on the “Live at Shepherd’s Bush, London” DVD)?
We’re incorporating an acoustic set in the middle of the show these days. It really makes the show more dynamic and interesting. We’re getting pretty good at what we do. It took some time but what the hell…..
Finally, what’s next for you and the band? Are you already thinking about new material or is it more promotion?
More touring and festivals 2013 for bag of bones…..We will also begin writing and doing demos next year for our 10th album. That will be out 2014. Number 10! What a cracker that one will be!
Many thanks to Joey for spending some time with Rock-Zone UK.
Europe’s new album “Bag of Bones” is available now through earMusic. Tickets for Europe’s November 2012 UK Tour with very special guests “StoneRider” are available now and the dates are as follows:
Wed Nov 21 Birmingham 02 Academy
Thur Nov 22 Glasgow 02 ABC
Fri Nov 23 Manchester HMV Ritz
Sun Nov 25 Newcastle 02 Academy
Mon Nov 26 Leeds 02 Academy
Tues Nov 27 Nottingham Rock City
Thur Nov 29 Bristol 02 Academy
Fri Nov 30 Cardiff Coal Exchange
Sat Dec 01 London 02 Shepherds Bush Empire