Oldies and new songs for Europe
I F, on hearing The Final Countdown for the first time in 1986, someone asked "where will Europe be in 25 years time?" very few will have responded with an answer along the lines of the truth. Returning from a hiatus in 2003, over the past ten years Europe have become one of the most consistent rock bands of the 21st century.
Ninth studio album Bag Of Bones was released earlier this year to widespread acclaim and Joey Tempest says: "It's amazing. This is our ninth album and we've found an expression that we never thought we had. We recorded it really quickly and it was only when we got the mixes back that we realised that we'd done something that we could really be proud of."
The new direction taken by the band's studio output has been reflected by a changing audience. Now considered far more than a nostalgia act, younger fans have recently joined their cause and Tempest says: "The last record, Last Look At Eden, has really opened everything up."
Recorded with studio mastermind Kevin Shirley, Bag Of Bones saw the band return to a far more organic set-up than their earlier output and Tempest is convinced that it was the right decision, saying: "We wanted to do everything the old way. All of us stood around the drum kit, recorded four or five takes and then picked the best ones."
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Clearly enjoying this new life in the studio, the band will be on the road through 2013 and beyond. Tempest says: "Our milestone tenth record will be made and released in 2014 and that's really exciting for us."
Even with Bag Of Bones doing its best to dispel the notorious reputation associated with the band's earlier career, Tempest is prepared to embrace the legacy of The Final Countdown.
"With the live shows, there's always a place for nostalgia, it's great to play the likes of Superstition and Rock The Night. Those songs mean a lot to people and a lot to us as well."
This autumn sees the band's tour arrive in the UK after taking in South American festivals and dates across Europe. Tempest is clearly loving every minute – not only has this tour been one of his favourites, it is also one of the most diverse Europe sets. "We've been playing some of the old stuff, songs off Bag Of Bones that we love playing. The acoustic thing is really working well and we're looking forward to taking that to the UK."
The band's tour arrives in Nottingham on November 27, for an evening at Rock City.
"Nottingham always loves a bit of rock and roll – all the shows are special. We have a new set now as well. We've been trying a little acoustic set in the middle of the gig. We'll be sitting out at the front on chairs with three acoustic guitars, a mandolin and Ian (Haugland, drummer) is banging on some weird box."
The Rock City gig should have been the band's second East Midlands visit this year, but their scheduled performance at Download Festival in June fell foul of the weather. Stuck in traffic a few hundred metres from the site, the band saw their allotted stage time come and go from behind curtained bus windows. "It was a horrible experience. We almost made it, but they have been kind enough to invite us again. Who knows... maybe we'll get a better slot this time? We'll be there in 2013."