EUROPE in the studio

By: Anders Grønneberg            From: Dagbladet - March 30, 2004            Translated by: Stein-Vidar

80's heroes EUROPE are back, and promise to stay together until they grow old. The "Greatest Hits" album is climbing the charts, and a brand new album is on the way. Many people would say that they didn't play heavy rock, but hairy rock. Like Bon Jovi, EUROPE are loved and hated. Not just for the soft, melodic rock, but also for their big hair and wardrobe. Today the album "Rock the Night: The Very Best of EUROPE" climbs to number 3 on the VG chart. (Norwegian album chart)

"Now it's our turn again. The Darkness have brought back the 80's rock. They are fans of us, and we are fans of them," says EUROPE guitarist John Norum.

These days the five members will go to the studio to revive old memories and record a new album. Meanwhile the record company warm up the audience with the "Greatest Hits" CD.

"It was the millennium concert on New Year's Eve 1999 that brought us together, but we haven't had enough time until now. This is not some desperate and forced attempt at a comeback. We're back - For good. Now we'll grow old together," says Norum. Since the split-up, lead singer and front man Joey Tempest has lived in Dublin, while Norum settled down in Los Angeles. Now Stockholm will be the base for the next months. A new album will be recorded during the spring, and there will be a big festival tour in Europe during the summer.

Norum insists on keeping his heritage as a Norwegian. "I was born in Vardø, but moved to Sweden at the age of 2. Lack of work made my parents move. I've got many relatives in Finnmark (Norwegian county), and I'm there as often as I can," says Norum. "I'll never get a Swedish citizenship. I'm Norwegian, and I have a Norwegian passport."

After breaking up with EUROPE about ten years ago, Norum moved to the USA. There he's released a handful of solo albums, and played in the heavy band Dokken. He's married to Michelle Meldrum, who also plays in a band.

Heavier and darker
Norum guarantees that the new version of EUROPE will not be a pale copy of the 80's version. He'll make sure of that, having written several of the new songs. "It will sound more like Audioslave and somewhere between Thin Lizzy and Black Sabbath. We'll use more dark guitars, combined with less keyboard use.

TNT's Ronni Le Tekrø is one of Norum's few guitar heroes. "Ronnie's a fantastic guitarist, I've played together with him."

EUROPE will start the European tour in Hamar on June 11.

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