EUROPE Keyboardist On Next Album: 'We Finally Started Writing Songs Seriously Together Again'

June 9, 2024

In a new interview with Jorge Botas of Portugal's Metal Global, EUROPE keyboardist Mic Michaeli spoke about the band's plans for the follow-up to 2017's "Walk The Earth" album. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We finally started writing songs seriously together again. So we finally sort of got into it, especially Joey [Tempest, EUROPE singer] and John Levén [EUROPE bassist] and myself. So the idea is to write songs as much as we can during the summer, although we have a lot of festivals to play, so it might not be that much. But then in the autumn, we're gonna finish so that we hopefully have songs for an album and then record beginning of next year and then release a few songs before the summer. That's our plan, but you never know what's gonna happen."

Regarding what musical direction EUROPE's new material might follow, Mic said: "I don't think we will go back fully to the stuff we did in the '80s — that's not gonna happen — but there might be some things that might go a little bit closer to that. But honestly, we don't know at this time where this album is gonna go, in what direction. It's really hard to say. It all depends on what songs we feel are great songs. If it's a great song, it's a great song. Let's put it on the album."

This past February, EUROPE drummer Ian Haugland told Stefan Nilsson of Roppongi Rocks that he and his bandmates were "working on new material. And the plan is to go into the studio and start recording and have a new album — well, I guess it would be early next year," he said. "And it's promising. I know Joey has been raving about two of the songs that him and Mic planning on writing on. And him and John Levén have something cooking. So the chemistry is still there. It's still going, and it's great fun."

He continued: "I can't wait to get back into the studio because in the studio that's where you reconnect as bandmembers, that's where you create the soul of the band. To go out on stage and to play the songs, that's just fun, that's just you've done the groundwork, you just go out there and you play and you have a good time. But in the studio, that's where you have the possibility to grow as a band and to develop as a band and as a musician. So, we haven't done that in a long while now, so it's about time to."

Last year, EUROPE released a new song titled "Hold Your Head Up". The track, which is described by the band as "a punchy uptempo rocker with reminiscent elements of early EUROPE," was recorded in August 2023 at Atlantis Studios in Stockholm with producer Klas Åhlund (GHOST, ROBYN) and was mixed by Stefan Glaumann (RAMMSTEIN, DEF LEPPARD),who also mixed EUROPE's "Secret Society" album.

In an interview with Metal Global, Tempest was asked why he and his EUROPE bandmates decided to record and release just one song at this time. Tempest said: "We wanted to get this ready before the [fall 2023 European] tour and the [upcoming EUROPE] documentary. So we focused on this song so we could have something out together with the tour and the documentary. That's why we released one song now. But we have a handful of songs — great ideas."

He continued: "We want to record the album [in 2024]. And whether we do it in the beginning, I don't know yet, but we have some great ideas. And 'Hold Your Head Up' is just the first one, basically."

Regarding the experience of working with Åhlund this time around, Joey said: "It was a great experience. We all liked it. The whole band would like to do more stuff with him. We don't know whether he's gonna be the producer of the [upcoming EUROPE] album yet, but... No, we don't know yet. I mean, it would be an interesting idea, actually. But we haven't decided yet. But we were very happy finding him and working with him. He's very professional, and he's also listened to EUROPE when he was younger and so he knows how we think. And the procedure with him was amazing. It went really smooth, and he's a very talented, very talented man. He's a guitar player as well."

Joey also talked about the musical direction of "Hold Your Head Up", which Botas noted is a combination of the classic EUROPE sound and the band's more recent, bluesier approach. The singer said: "I think it's a good mixture in the song. We never really set out to do that. It was an idea I had, and I sent it to the guys and everybody was, like, 'Yeah, that's great. Let's do that.' So, it's a natural progression, but I think you're right. I think it's a little bit of some melodies, especially in the verses, in the end of the verses there, there's melodies that remind you of some of the earlier stuff. But maybe the chorus and the riff a little bit, it's also quite fresh and more modern, I suppose. So yeah, it's got a bit of everything, but it still sounds like EUROPE, which is really cool."

"Hold Your Head Up" was made available to stream and download on September 29, 2023 across all reputable digital platforms, including Spotify, Apple, iTunes, Amazon Music, Deezer, Tidal, Pandora and YouTube Music.

EUROPE's twelfth studio album is expected to be recorded in late 2024 and released in early 2025.

The "Hold Your Head Up" video offers a glimpse into the brand-new documentary that the band have been busy filming with producer/director Craig Hooper (DEEP PURPLE, SAXON) for Coolhead Productions simply titled "Europe - The Movie". The film will tell the story of the band, from formation until present day, telling of their rise to success in the mid-1980s, through hard times and heartache, to coming back in the millennium, and the current successes the band has achieved. This is set for release later this year.

Last fall, EUROPE completed the "Time Capsule" European tour which included 21 concerts across Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Norway, Sweden, France, The Netherlands, and the U.K., including two nights at the famous London Palladium. These anniversary shows consisted of a career retrospective "evening with" performance featuring all the hits together with deep cuts and fan favorites from all of their 11 studio albums.

"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 Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Cobb (RIVAL SONS, Shooter Jennings, Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton).

Photo credit: Fredrik Etoall (courtesy of ABC Public Relations)

Find more on Europe
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).