Swedish hard rock veterans EUROPE have released the official music video for their 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 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. The song, which will be available to stream and download on Friday, September 29 across all reputable digital platforms, including Spotify, Apple, iTunes, Amazon Music, Deezer, Tidal, Pandora and YouTube Music, will serve as a precursor to EUROPE's twelfth studio album, to be recorded in 2024 and released in late 2024 or 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 in early 2024.
EUROPE singer Joey Tempest said: "'Hold Your Head Up' is an uptempo guitar driven rocker about pulling through in difficult times and the influence my father had on me to always do my best and persevere.
"It's been six years since our last release, 'Walk The Earth', recorded at Abbey Road, and we had a great time in the studio with producer Klas Åhlund. He really brought out a hungry, engaged band that's ready to continue an amazing journey. We can't wait to play this song on tour and incorporate it on our next album. We're very proud of this track."
EUROPE is currently undertaking a "Time Capsule" tour which includes 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 will consist 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.
In a recent interview with Mark Jeeves of Planet Rock's "My Planet Rocks", Tempest spoke about EUROPE's plans to work on the long-awaited follow-up to 2017's "Walk The Earth" album. He said: "We're becoming interested and inspired again now. It's taken a while.
"This period with the world made me go back to the roots and write a lot again," he continued. "So I have loads and loads of ideas, but not necessarily all of 'em for EUROPE. So it's been very creative, but it sort of a few gigs last year for us to start — because we're friends from teenage years — but we started connecting again. And we started sending stuff to each other, and we have a few really good ideas now. And that's always great.
"I remember when we did 'Out Of This World' after 'The Final Countdown', and I managed to come up with 'Superstitious'. And I [was, like], 'Thank goodness.' You need something to kick things off, and I think we have one of those tracks brewing. So it's always nice to get going with something really cool."
Tempest also talked about the fact that EUROPE is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its self-titled debut album this year.
"It feels impossible — with the same guys around, actually," he said. "We met when we were teenagers. I saw [guitarist] John Norum play — he was 14; I was 15 — and I thought, 'It would be great to start a band with him.' And here we are. It's incredible. Eleven albums. I wouldn't say that's loads of albums, but it's still fairly okay. We've done six albums since we started again and five in the first era. So we're kind of proud. And we get on now. The egos are sort of put aside and we sort of feel lucky that we have this job. So doing this tour this year, the 40th-anniversary tour, it's a pleasure. And we can dig even deeper; we can play some tracks we haven't played. So it could be fun as well."
Back in July 2019, 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' , 'War Of Kings'  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).
Photo credit: Fredrik Etoall (courtesy of ABC Public Relations)
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