– ROCK SINGER JOEY TEMPEST – “EUROPE
Hello everyone and be welcome to this website. You are very kind to come here thanks to the big love that you have for Rock music, especially the band EUROPE. This site is mainly dedicated to the king and captain of this band – Joey Tempest. Joey Tempest is the brain of the famous band Europe since the beginning. He was writing the very best hits as the anthem “The Final Countdown”, Rock the Night” and “Superstitious.” He was always in a very strongly collaboration with his partners from the band and especially with the guild friend of a lifetime John Norum.
The band Europe is one of the most successful Swedish rock bands, with currently over 25 million albums sold. Their success came with the release of The Final countdown, released in 1986. The song that gives the album name became a worldwide hit and it was ranked first in over 26 countries. The lovely and the very known ballad Carrie reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100. Later, the first guitarist of the band, John Norum left the band in November 1986. Then it came “Out of This World,” released in 1988. Actually, it was the time when the bands as, Guns N ‘Roses, INXS and the US broke the monopoly of the music industry. The disc has sold over 2 million copies. He followed a US tour alongside Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and Skid Row.
– SOLO ACTIVITY –
During 1995, Joey released his first solo names A Place to Call Home. He has called it his “singer/songwriter album”. Europe band mate John Norum guests on one of the tracks. The album, which was produced by Dan Sundquist, was recorded in Stockholm and London using Swedish musicians. Tempest also played guitar on the album. A Place to Call Home sold platinum in Sweden and it was a big success internationally.
In the same year, he commenced his first European tour as a solo artist. The following year he was nominated for a “Best Swedish Artist” Grammy. Four singles were taken from the album, “A Place to Call Home”, “Under the Influence”, “We Come Alive” and “Don’t Go Changing On Me”.
The next album Azalea Place was released in 1997. The next solo album was recorded in Nashville by producer Richard Dodd, known for producing artists such as The Travelling Wilburys and Tom Petty. Where A Place To Call Home had Tempest writing all the material, the new album was written together with others. Among these were Chris Difford from Squeeze and Will Jennings. “Azalea Place was mostly written in the studio and was therefore more improvised and experimental”, Tempest commented on the production “The Match”, “The One In The Glass” and “If I’d Only Known” were released as singles. “The Match” became one of the most played songs on Swedish radio and the album achieved gold status.
In 2002, Joey Tempest released the third solo album which was named Joey Tempest. The first session took place in Konk Studios, The Kinks old London studio, where Tempest jammed with English musicians who had formerly played with Massive Attack. This session produced “Magnificent”, “Kill For A Girl Like You” (B-side of the first single “Forgiven”) and “Sometimes”. He continued his work in Stockholm, but this time with Swedish musicians, including his mate Mic Michaeli. “Superhuman” originated from this session. After that, Tempest kept on working with Adam Lamprell in a temporary studio in London.
According to Tempest’s statement “Dreamless” and “Magnificent” have a lot of London in them. Losers is influenced by both London and Dublin. Living there can be very intense, almost chaotic. Joey said: “They’re tough cities and I’d never have written the lyrics I did without living there”. Some lyrics can also be related to his homeland, reflections on living abroad, and learning to live with new people.
Joey Tempest’s statements during his interviews: “We’re Never Going To Say We’re Doing The Final Tour”. Now, we’ve sort of been joking about that a little bit because there are so many bands that have said they’ve done the final tour for twenty years now. We’ve said we’re never going to say we’re doing the final tour. We’re going to keep going as long as we feel like it’s fun. I doubt if we’re ever going to do something like that. But you never know! If we do it, it will be the final tour because we don’t believe in saying something and then doing something else. I understand some bands — they think they’re going to do their final tour and then they feel like, “Oh, no. We can’t stop.” And there’s a lot of fans coming to see you and they change their minds. I mean that’s okay too. I don’t want to do it to trick people or anything like that. That’s ridiculous. More: JOEY TEMPEST LATEST INTERVIEWS
It’s like an organic natural progression in a way because we get tired of certain sounds and we move on. We dig deeper and find other ways of doing it. We don’t want to repeat any records. So they’re slightly different — all of our records. On the last record [2015’s “War Of Kings”], for instance, we introduced the mellotron which is an old keyboard and we just vibed on a new version of it. It sounds really amazing. We used Hammond a bit more than normal keyboards. We use organic sounding keyboards, not synthesizers, which has been a natural progression for us. It sounds better, and it sounds better in our music on the radio. So that’s it, a natural thing for us. We did pan keyboard and guitar more left and right on this record like they used to do more in the ’60s and ’70s so small changes like that make us evolve and make us do different things. [Producer] David Cobb was very instrumental too in finding a vibe for the record that you could listen back on in a couple years and you know that album has got the sound.
Rep.: Did you ever think the song “The Final Countdown” would be a hit single when you finished it. Were you surprised by how big it got?
Joey Tempest: Yeah, we were surprised and I was too. I wrote it when I was still in college and that was only a small part of it — the riff, the main theme. When we did our third album which we called “The Final Countdown”, we thought it was special though and we wanted to open the album with it. We wanted to open the show with it. We knew it was special as it stuck out. It was different. It was even different from what we did. Yeah, we knew it was special but we never had an idea that it would have a life of its own and there and still be played so much around the world. No, we didn’t know that. But, of course, it’s flattering and it brings people into the band and people get curious about more songs so that’s cool.
Rep.: When you made the album ‘War Of Kings’; is this type of album for the fans, for you or for both? What went into it?
Joey Tempest: Naw, it’s always for us I’m afraid. We’re a bit selfish like that. We just sort of — we write — we usually take four or five months to write and we record fast these days. Three weeks, all the basics, everything. We just sort of write what comes up. Everybody contributes with ideas these days and we just meet in rehearsal and just knock it out and then we meet the producer. In this case, we met Dave Cobb and he wanted to become more of a band member. He was co-writing on four or five tracks and getting very involved. But everything happens very fast for us when we’re in the studio. The only thing we want to do is make it honest, raw and organic. We rent a lot of old gear to warm things up. We want it to be a classic sound. We think drums, guitar and so forth can only be recorded one way — really great — which was [what was] done at the end of the ’70s, early ’80s and then everything went sort of crazy. But, we sort of, we’re digging deeper in that sort of thing — classic, a little bit of classic rock, a little bit of emotion, a little bit of soul and blues and that comes after all these years of touring I guess.
Speaking about the song “Day Of Rock ‘N’ Roll.” Joey Tempest: That’s the only idea that’s kind of from way back. It was actually a song that was meant to come after ‘The Final Countdown’ album but it was written completely different. I wrote the song on the keyboard. That hook [sings a couple bars] was done on keyboards and it never really worked. A few years ago, I started playing it on the guitar as a ballad and John Leven heard me playing it and he loved the melody. We just redid the shuffle and made it into a straight forward rock song with a great hook. Lyrically you know, it’s just ours. I’m just interested in everybody’s comments about rock n’ roll is dead and we’ve just been circling for ten years and it was just a reflection on that. But that’s just one. It’s just a kind of an up tempo fun track on the album I suppose.
“Angel With a Broken Heart.” What went into that song? Joey Tempest: That one’s completely different! But that’s the latest one [that was] written. So you picked the first and the latest one written. The procedure there was kind of unique for us. Dave Cobb said he heard John Norum in the studio as we were recording the album. He heard John play that riff [sings a couple bars] and went “Hey! That sounds great! Why don’t we write a song around that?” All of us, five of us, and Dave Cobb walked into the studio around the organ and acoustic guitars and we wrote the song on the spot that night. During the song, we found out that Jack Bruce Cream bassist had passed away, it was a text that Ian got and he told us and we were like “Oh!” That’s a sort of strange thing to throw in the mix. Then lyrically, it just went that way, about dearly departed and that kind of stuff. Heaven and earth, dearly departed kind of lyric just because that happened. That was in just about two, three hours we wrote that song with Dave Cobb so that was kind of cool.
On EUROPE’s musical evolution over the years, Joey Tempest said: “We never really wanted to repeat ourselves; it was kind of always that way. And we are always kind of the underdogs as well. We sort of take our turns and try to keep ourselves on the toes and do slightly different things on every album. But we’re still hungry and we wanna make interesting records. Yeah, it’s been an interesting journey coming back. We’ve done five albums now [since reuniting] — as many as we did in the first period of EUROPE. But this is a different adventure. I mean, we try to find a deeper expression, we try to incorporate the blues that we have in us to use that on recordings. We try to incorporate the thousand shows we’ve done together and play live in the studio and really capture the essence of the band rather than overworking it and overproducing it. I think too many bands are stuck in that way of working and need to break out of that and find the essence of every instrument and find a vibe. But it’s easy to say, of course, but if you have guys like [producers] Kevin Shirley or Dave Cobb, they can handle it and they can help you get really interesting records out of… made, basically, performing live in the studio.”
On EUROPE’s musical direction on the upcoming album: “We are very organic in that sense. We don’t decide where to go until we have the songs, until we are in the studio and starting recording. Everything with EUROPE just happens quite fast. We record basic tracks in two or three weeks — that’s it — and then we start putting it together and mixing it. It’s impossible to say. What we like to do is challenge ourselves with every record. We wanna go slightly left or slightly right on every record, and that’s gonna happen again. I mean, I’m sure there’ll be some twists and turns. But we have found a good thread now with ‘Bag Of Bones’ with Kevin Shirley and ‘War Of Kings’ with Dave Cobb. It’s moving organically somewhere, and we’re excited about it, so we don’t wanna analyze it too much; we just wanna go with it. What we want to do is find a deeper expression and maybe mix in blues and soul a little bit. It’s amazing for us; after a thousand shows, a band from Stockholm being able to record songs like ‘Praise You’ or ‘Angels (With Broken Hearts)’ with a bit of a dynamic and depth and expression that we never thought we could do. So if we can explore that even further, that would be amazing.” FOR MORE INFOS SEE: EUROPE