Interview given by Joey Tempest to Swedish Television, after Europe got inducted into the Swedish Music Hall Of Fame. It was really a big pride and great honour, that a rock band from Upplands Väsby has ever know it.
If you could choose to either win 208 million in the lottery or top the charts in 26 countries with your song, what you would accept? I would top the charts in 26 countries. EUROPE did it with the big hit “The Final Countdown”. Welcome Joey Tempest!
JT: Thank you
Rep: And that is the part of the reason why you were inducted into the Swedish Hall of Fame.
JT: It could be. We stumbled into the establishment last night. Hard rockers from Väsby; but, it might not be something we’ve been striving for, but now it feels great! Earlier, this year, we won a Swedish Grammy too, We’re like : “What’s going on”? Really cool!
Rep. It is not just because you have worldwide success, but also because you changed Swedish music history. What was it that EUROPE could contribute when you burst onto the scene?
JT: We started early. We played Hard Rock and there weren’t that many other band like us. We met record companies and they turned us down before we won the “Rock – SM” contest.
Rep: Could you name those who turned you down?
JT: Nah…..Maybe some other time; They were like, “You should sing in Swedish and your guitars shouldn’t be so loud…..” ; So, we followed our own path and won “Rock- SM” after playing two songs in the final. And, the prize was to record an album. That’s were it started.
Rep: It’s nice that you mention guitars, because guitar based music has been on the decline.
JT: Yeah, I hope so?
Rep: It’s unfortunate…. You hope so?
JT: Really! (laughs) No, but it is very important to record like they did in the 70’s. That’s what we do. We recorded “Walk The Earth” at Abbey Road.
Rep: What was like that?
JT: That was fantastic! They still have all the old equipment. I sang with the compressor that John Lennon had used. We used some equipment that Pink Floyd had used. So, we were like: “That’s great!” We’re on an adventure. So, we done six albums since we came back.
Rep: What does a week in EUROPE‘s life look like in 2018?
JT: If we’re on tour it’s full-on. Business, as usual. At home, I have two sons and it’s a blast.
Rep: You live in England?
JT: Yeah, I lived there for a long time.
Rep: Why did you choose that?
JT: I was in London early on, when I was 12, 13. Mom and Dad took me there. I felt at home there already back then. Later on, I met the woman who is now my wife in 1992, in London. So, that became our city. I’ve been there, ever since.
Rep: Your mom was with, last night.
JT: Yes, she was at the Hall of Fame ceremony.
Rep: What did she think?
JT: She thought it was a great night; she got to sit up front, but they had set up five chairs for EUROPE. But, we managed to get one more chair, so it was the six of us, including Mom. So, she got to be in the band. That was fun.
Rep: What it was here role? Was she in the background back in the day, baking buns?
JT: Mom and Dad were there. They were surprised that I started to play guitar before and after school. So, they started to look at me like: “What is he doing?”But, they’ve always supported me. Both Mom and Dad have stayed positive over the years.
Rep: Do you still have a relation to Upplands Väsby?
JT: Yeah, Mom and Dad still live there, and so does my brother, Thomas. So, I am there, pretty often. Now, there are rumors about making a memory plaque or (…..) I don’t know what they’re going to come with. They can’t make a statue for someone who’s still alive (laughs)… That’s the rule. But, we thought that when you’re on your way from the Arlanda Airport towards, you could see a Mount Rushmore! (big laughs) Five faces or six, if we include Mom.
Rep: That would be really funny!
JT: That would be fantastic!
Rep: Where do you find the drive and desire to tour all the time?
JT: We’ll be going to Australia in a few weeks to do a big tour over there.
Rep: For the first time, right?
JT: Yeah! We’ve toured everywhere else but never there. But, they have been pushing for it and we have many fans there. Where do we find the inspiration? We’re five guys who met each other when we where teenagers. We took the train to the Johanneshov Stadium to see Deep Purple and Thin Lizzy. We had dreams and started to rehearse. And it’s the same guys today. So, we have so many memories together and we have so much power together. There’s a collective soul. We write together nowadays.
Rep: Have you gone to therapy like Matalica did?
JT: Laughing, let me put it, this way. We’ve gone through various stuff with certain band members….Things have happened. Not any big brawls or anything. But, we have gone through everything and now, we’re on the other side and can be grateful for everything that happens.
Rep: It’s like a marriage! (laughs) The hardest part is the first 50 years! 40! Then it all works out!
JT: Thank you!
Rep: Thank you for coming! Give your Mom our regards!
JT: I will. Thank you.
Source: Nyhetsmorgon Interview, SVT, Sweden.