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EUROPE To Begin Recording New Album In 2023

In a new interview with Sonic Perspectives, EUROPE guitarist John Norum spoke about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the follow-up to 2017’s “Walk The Earth” album. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I don’t know if we’re gonna start recording this year, but we’re definitely gonna start recording next year, for sure. All the guys are, at the moment, just writing songs and putting ideas down. So I don’t know if it’s gonna happen this year, but I hope so. I started preparing and doing demos and things like that. But mainly now I’m just gonna focus on my solo stuff, because we don’t really have much things going on right now. We have a few gigs [scheduled] here, and we’re going to South America later this year — in December, I think. So mainly I’m just gonna focus on doing the solo stuff.”
Norum, who is promoting his upcoming ninth solo album titled “Gone To Stay”, went on to compare his songwriting process for his solo material to that for EUROPE. He said: “EUROPE is more kind of like a… They have their thing, and it’s more like a confined box, whatever you call it. And it’s five guys with opinions and this and that, and you have to do some compromises. So I feel like it’s very important for me to do solo stuff on the side of the band, because I can’t just be doing the same thing over and over again; it just gets boring. I mean, when we do an album and then [we have] new material [to play] on tour, it’s fun. But now we haven’t done an album for a few years, and the setlist hasn’t changed that much either. So I feel like it’s very important for me to do other things or my solo stuff. Because being a musician is about doing new stuff and keep moving forward and things like that. And that happens every time there’s an album, but now it’s been such a long time ago. And when the COVID thing hit, I just thought, ‘Well, I can’t just be sitting around here. I’m just gonna do a solo album.'”
Back in July 2019, EUROPE frontman Joey Tempest told Finland’s Kaaos TV that he and his bandmates don’t “write so much on the road”. He explained: “We’ve never been like that. We’re a soundcheck band as well. So we always soundcheck. We soundcheck whenever we can. Festivals is more difficult, as you know. But it’s possible sometimes — you can go in the morning and do it.
“What happens to us is usually we write for six months when the touring has come to an end on an album,” he continued. “So it takes us about four to six months to write, to get everything together, get 75 to 80 percent ready, music and lyrics. Then we go into the studio and then we work fast — record everything live in two weeks. This is how we’ve done it on ‘Bag Of Bones’ [2012], ‘War Of Kings’ [2015] and ‘Walk The Earth’. The last three EUROPE albums were recorded fast, because those fast decisions are amazing in the studio — everybody’s there; everybody’s on fire. That’s how those great albums were made in the ’70s — on the spot, when that glow and that fire is there.”
While stressing the importance of improvisation in the studio, Tempest said that “you should be prepared. You don’t wanna waste time in the studio and waste anybody’s time. So if you’re 75 percent ready, the last bit the producer can help out with or the circumstances, or whatever happens happens in the studio. But we’ve been so lucky working with Dave Cobb — a great musician and producer and a great guy to just hang with. He’s now part of the band. Like he works with RIVAL SONS, he also works with us. He’s part of the band when we’re in the studio with him. He writes with us. He comes up with great ideas. He sits and plays the songs with us in a circle in the studio before we record it, and then we just slam it down live, three or four takes, and pick the best takes to work on and to finish up. And the nerve is there, the decisions were made right there, and that’s how you make great rock records.”
“Walk The Earth” was released in October 2017 via Hell & Back Recordings (Silver Lining Music). It was recorded at famed Abbey Road Studios in London with the aforementioned Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Cobb (RIVAL SONS, Shooter Jennings, Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton).
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