Interview with Europe’s frontman Joey Tempest!
1- First of all we’d like to thank you for being so kind to give an interview to Delikasap as one of the most inspiring artists of hardrock music and we bow down with respect for giving us, the music lovers, beautiful songs dear Tempest! Let’s get to our questions quickly. Before asking more about music, we would like to enlighten you on a certain interesting situation that you are bound to find yourselves in which surprised many rock bands that visitied our country. Maybe in a different way from other rock concerts around the world, it has become a normal thing to have a protest cry of “Her yer Taksim, her yer direniş!” (It’s Taksim everywhere, resistance is everywhere!) in rock concerts. Most recently in Iron Maiden, Roger Waters and Placebo concerts all of the audience will cry out this slogan independent from the concert. We wanted to inform you so that you won’t be surprised. The çapulcus are a group of rock fans, left wing revolutionaries, musicians, all people that joined forces in Gezi incidents and that are asking for freedom in Turkey, would you shout out with them if they were to shout out their slogans? What are your opinions on this matter?
Delikasap! It’s a pleasure to talk to you. And thank you for informing me about Taksim! I don’t know enough or have enough information to render my opinion at this stage. But it sounds exiting.
2- Can you tell us an album from the history of rock that has influenced you the most, an album that makes you say “this is it”? Besides those your heroes like Thin Lizzy, which are the records that you are inspired by and would call the best of all times?
It all started out when I heard BLACK DOG with Led Zeppelin on the radio as a kid. But the albums that got me exited when I started out were live albums. I wanted to be in a touring band. Here are the three records that changed my life when it comes to rock music.
STRANGES IN THE NIGHT / UFO, LIVE AND DANGEROUS / Thin Lizzy and MADE IN JAPAN / Deep Purple
3- We see a new Europe that has started with 2004 Start from the Dark and continiued with Bag of Bones. The new sound of Europe has upset some of the more orthodox fans but also formed a new audience. What is the motivation behind this new path?
We just started up again with different new experiences. I had been studying lyrics and singer/songwriters during the “break” and made three solo albums and the other guys had been making albums and been touring with various artists, such as Glen Hughes. Norum had been living and writing in LA.
It was just natural how we started the whole thing again. But we always try and find a different expression on each album. Try to grow and challenge ourselves. The listeners sometimes gets surprised but often join us on our journey.
4- As you passed on to blues, there are many new 80’s style sleaze bands in Sweden such as Vains of Jenna. They prefer the 80’s style with highlights in their hair and everything. We guess every generation takes their teenage years as a model nostalgically, can we say that this is the reason you made a blues album?
BAG OF BONES is just a rock record that we made after touring a lot. Its got a great expression, something we never could have done even five years ago. It seems like some new bands are influenced by for instance Europe, and thats great, but we are on a different journey now, especially when we create and record new albums. On stage we still love to mix all our songs together, old and new. It works great!
5- Is there a song in music history that you wish you had written?
The first single I ever bought was SPACE ODDITY by David Bowie. I was amazed by the melody and the production. I wouldn’t mind having written that one! The lyric content of that song inspired the lyrics to The Final Countdown.
6- Do you believe that Europe has kept their original vision intact? If there are any changes, are you happy about them?
The original vision was simply to become a world touring band, and to become better musicians and writers. Its the same today! We also want to push ourselves a bit further with each record. Make them slightly different. Otherwise we get bored.
7- Are there any vocalists that you admire or bands that you admire as a band? If Joey Tempest were to get another vocalist for Europe instead of himself, who would that be?
I like singers with unique voices, with both tone and grit, that grabs you immediately. Singers like Chris Cornell and David Coverdale.
8- A listener who is a beginner in Europe, which song or album shoud he start listening Europe with? Which is the album or the song that you think would define you?
Think LAST LOOK AT EDEN is a good place to start. That record brought a new generation to the band Europe. Its got something special. The title track is becoming our favourite song to play live.
9- Which concert was the one you enjoyed playing the most?
Too many to chose from, but Sweden Rock Festival in June earlier this year was very special. Its coming out as a LIVE DVD in October. 28 songs from our whole career together with some rare tracks and special guest appearances.
10- What makes the world liveable except for music? What can you say about Sweden or Scandinavian social democracy in general?
I’ve travelled a lot and there is good and bad everywhere. I have not lived in Sweden for over 25 years but I do remember having a pretty good childhood.
11- What is your most unforgettable memory as a rockstar?
Recently Europe had the pleasure of touring with Def Leppard and Whitesnake. Just meeting up with these guys again and hanging out after the shows a lot of fun, and singing STILL OF THE NIGHT with David Coverdale on stage was a big honour for me. Really enjoyed it.
12- Does Europe prefer gigs in small venues or massive organizations? What role does that choice play in being a whole with the audience?
After a few songs I am being transported to another place when i play any gig, big or small. Then it does not matter where you are. The whole room/arena becomes one big moment to take with you forever.
13- How did you get back together in 2003? Did you ever think of quitting music? What keeps you going?
It was inevitable! We met up in Stockholm 2013 and decided to do it the hard way! Think long term! Record many new albums and tour as much as we possible. We don’t really know how to do anything else. This is what we do best and we are so lucky to be able to tour and record albums.
14- Have you ever been in Turkey?
I think all of us in the band have had the pleasure of visiting your country for holidays over the years. We are very exited to play our first gig in your country.
15- Last question: What is the best song in Europe’s career?
Impossible to answer but today I feel…..LAST LOOK AT EDEN