NEW INTERVIEW WITH JOEY TEMPEST – may, 2018
Joey Tempest : “I like that phrase ‘I believe in rock n’roll’ – it’s very important to keep that belief, isn’t it? “Yes. Absolutely”.
Europe’s upcoming tour of Australia will be the first in the band’s thirty five year-plus history. It’s taken a while to finally get around in Australia. For the band’s famed frontman Joey Tempest, this will be an incredible concert as they already know (from social media) that they have some fans in Australia. Also, “ we had a guy working for us who grew up in Australia. He always said you guys have got to go there – you’ve sold albums there, they play you on the radio, Australians are great rock fans!.
“We’ve been trying for years and years, and now at last we’ve found a promoter/agent, we’ve got management that really pushed for it, and the crew and band are really excited. We start rehearsing tomorrow, we’re designing a special setlist… we’re getting ready here!” . So we’ve been trying on every record, and with every management company we’ve ever had… in the eighties it fell through for some reason and as a band we don’t remember what happened. We wanted to go! “Well, we started out in Sweden, doing various small shows. Even before that we put on our own shows. We were called Force. We drove ourselves to shows in schools, places like that, rigged our own gear. This is when we were like sixteen, seventeen. A few years later we won a talent competition in Sweden; We played two songs live, In the Future to Come and The King Will Return. The jury liked it and we won the contest and recorded an album. Then we started to play what in Sweden are called Folk Parks; Venues out in the Styx, where people go in the Summer to drink and watch bands. They are like amusement parks in a way. So we started playing that circuit, that was really our beginning. We played those shows in Norway, Finland and Sweden. Then we got to do some promotion in Japan, and then it really started rolling with Wings of Tomorrow, the second album”.
Coming back to Australian tour, we have to admit that the band would be putting together a special setlist for their concert. Bands these days will often sell a tour on the fact that they’ll be playing a specific album in it’s entirety. “Nowadays people know that when a band is on tour you can guess that the band will pretty much play what it did somewhere else the week before. So yeah, it takes the edge off a bit, which is why we wanted to do something a little bit different for Australia. Bring in some new features, like a guitar feature maybe. I mean, having John Norum in Australia is an event in itself! He’s a legendary guitar player! I’m blown away still by that guy! The other guys will be featured too, the show will be over two hours long, it’s going to be a great night for everybody!”
“We are a well oiled machine now… we have a crew that we want with us, we have two lighting rigs so that we can lay back to back shows with different rigs, it’s kind of a big operation. But we tour a lot, every year, and it’s important to put on a good show. People travel a long way and pay for tickets to see us, so it’s important”.
How much bearing does fan opinion enter into the song selection?
“It takes a bit of time and a lot of emailing! Tomorrow when we rehearse we’ll meet up and we’ll decide the final setlist for Australia. We discuss it a lot within the band, but there is a core number of songs that we all love playing. Then there are some songs on the fringes that maybe some guys like playing and some don’t; You just have to talk and everyone makes compromises. This tour we’ll do this song that I like and the next tour we’ll do that song that you like… We’ve all so started to change things from night to night a little bit now. We are getting a little bit better at that, more creative”.
As a junior rocker, Joey always mentioned going out to see band like Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake.
Are you still interested in this kind of music? “Yes I am. I have two things in my life, two types of music that I like. I still love classic rock-based music, and even new bands like Rival Sons that are rooted in the old stuff. But I also listen to singer-songwriter type stuff, I’ve always loved that. Van Morrison, Neil Young, Bob Dylan – I always check that stuff out. Also Jason Isbell, Ron Sexsmith, artists like that. I have that on my headphones when I travel. But also, with the band, we still like old stuff – Zeppelin, Sabbath. But bands like Rival Sons… it means a lot to us that they came along”.
Europe Australian Tour Dates May 2018:
Wednesday, 16th May – Concert Hall, Perth
Friday, 18th May – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide
Saturday, 19th May – Palais Theatre, Melbourne
Tuesday, 22nd May – Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Wednesday, 23rd May – The Tivoli, Brisbane
Source: The International Press