Exclusive interview with Joey Tempest of Europe.

One of the things we enjoy most about doing this site is the opportunity to interview some our favourite people. Regular readers will know that we've been fully behind the resurgence of Europe,  particularly with Last Look at Eden which featured in our Albums of the Year list. So we were particularly pleased that Joey Tempest of Europe set aside some time earlier this week to answer some of our questions...

After the success of "Last Look At Eden" did you feel a greater sense of pressure before you started recording the new CD?

Joey Tempest:  No. We just wanted to break away and go to another place.

So do you start with a blank sheet of paper when starting the process of writing a new CD?

 JT: Yes, just go where the moments leads you. Where the bands spirit is.

 Do you ever go back to any old ideas left over from previous recording sessions?

 JT: There were only two "older" ideas on this one. Everything else just came naturally.

 Did you choose Kevin Shirley to produce the new CD or was it a joint decision?

 JT: I think we came up with the idea of calling him together.

 What especially drew you towards working with him?

 JT: 3-4 years back we started to listen to Bonamassa. We loved his production on, for instance, Ballad of John Henry. We had a vision of how we wanted to sound and Kevin was already doing it.....

Did you do anything differently this time knowing you were going to be working with Kevin?

JT: Not Really. We prepared about 12-13 songs and met him in the studio.

How did the whole process of making "Bag Of Bones" differ from previous recordings?

JT: We worked song by song, which means we more or less finished each song before starting the next. We haven't done that in ages. Its great cause the whole band will be involved until the last day of recording. A real team effort.....We also kept most things from the live takes. Not a lot of overdubs on this one. We had a great time with Kevin, and a fabulous result I'd say!

Where was the "Bag Of Bones" recorded?

JT: In Atlantis studios in Stockholm. A studio with only 60s and 70s equipment. Great studio with a warm sounding Neve desk.

Kevin is well known for recording c.d.'s very quickly how long did it take this time?

JT: One month with Kevin and a couple of weeks more for an additional overdubs and a last minute song “Drink And A  Smile”. Not too fast I'd say.....

Do you see "Bag Of Bones" as the natural successor to "Eden" or is it a logical progression?

JT: It’s a different animal. More of a hardcore classic rock record. Were more on the edge on this record, a place we've never been.

Joe Bonamassa plays slide guitar on the title track from the new cd how did that come about?

JT: We met Joe in Stockholm in 2011 when he came up and played as a guest on our new song “Doghouse”. Great and humble guy. When we were in the studio we asked Kevin to check if Bonamassa would play something on our record. Joe was delighted....and we are very honoured.

"Not Supposed To Sing The Blues" appears to be an autobiographical song for yourself how easy was that to write? And was your father not keen on you having a rock’n'roll career?

JT:  :) "Son" is just an expression. There were other people trying to discourage me from rock’n’roll. My dad was alright with it though.....  I’m so pleased I got  to write these lyrics. It’s kind of a tribute to people like Jimi Page, Angus and Malcolm Young and Elvis amongst others. People that turned the music world upside down and set everything on fire!

Can you give us an insight into what the new songs on "Bag Of Bones" are about?

JT: Lyrically it started from darker more melancholy place with songs like “Riches To Rags” and “Bag of Bones”. It ended upon a more happy note with “Drink And A Smile” ....I have reached a point in my life where i speak, think and dream fully in English. No translation! It’s a different expression. it just happened. And I can’t go back now.

"Bag Of Bones" is released at the end of April and you go straight onto the road how does it feel to be playing at the Download festival at last?

JT: Playing at Donington will be a blast! We have only been there in the audience but never played there before. Looking forward to that one!

How long do you see yourself on the road this time? Any new territories to explore this time? The US maybe?

JT: There will be extensive touring 2012 and 2013. The main Bag of Bones tour in the autumn 2012. Some other territories in 2013. Would love to do something in the US. There will hopefully be the right moment and the right opportunity to start that up again....

We would like to thank Joey for taking time out to talk to us and wish him and the rest of the guys every success with "Bag of Bones" and the upcoming tour.

Europe’s new album “Bag of Bones” is released by earMusic on Monday April 30. The new single “Not Supposed To Sing The Blues” is available from iTunes. Europe play Download Festival on June 8th, followed by their Bag of Bones nationwide UK tour on November 21.  Further info: www.europetheband.com.

UK tour dates as follows:

Credit Card Hotline for all UK shows: 0844 477 2000
Book Online: www.ticketweb.co.uk
(excluding Manchester) - 0844 478 0898
(excluding Nottingham) - 0845 413 4444
(excluding Cardiff) - 02920 230 130

Birmingham O2 Academy (Nov 21)
Glasgow O2 ABC (Nov 22)
Manchester HMV Ritz (Nov 23)
Newcastle O2 Academy (Nov 25)
Leeds O2 Academy (Nov 26)
Nottingham Rock City (Nov 27)
Bristol O2 Academy (Nov 29)
Cardiff Coal Exchange (Nov 30)
London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire (Dec 1)

..and in case you're wondering what they are like live....

Top photo credit: (c) Fredrik Etoall
Middle photo credit: (c) Patric Ullaeus

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