EUROPE To Record 'One Or Two New Songs' This Year; Next Album Due In 2024
May 6, 2023
In a new interview with Ernest Skinner of Border City Rock Talk, EUROPE drummer Ian Haugland spoke about the band's plans to work on the long-awaited follow-up to 2017's "Walk The Earth" album. Asked if he and his bandmates have entered the studio to begin recording the new LP yet, he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "No, [we're] not really in the studio. I know the other guys are [writing material]. Actually, Joey [Tempest, EUROPE singer] sent me a demo just the other day with a new song, a brand new song that he's written. A fantastic, great song, so it seems really promising. But we're not in the studio yet. Because the initial plan was to go into the studio this spring and start recording to have a new album out later on this year. But we just realized that we need to focus on the 40th-anniversary tour instead, because that's what it's all gonna be about this year. So instead of mixing it up and getting confused, and confusing the audience as well, we thought it's better to just focus on one thing, and that's gonna be the 40th anniversary."
He added: "We might be looking at recording one or maybe two new songs for the 40th-anniversary tour in the autumn. We're working on that."
Last fall, Tempest told the "Behind The Vinyl" podcast that EUROPE would start recording its next album in 2023, "together with a documentary we hope [to have] out in the autumn — a EUROPE documentary [and] a box set, hopefully, of all the albums. But definitely a 40th-anniversary tour [for the first EUROPE album]," he said. "We don't feel like we wanna compete too much without a new album, so what we're gonna do is we want to record new music and release one or two [pieces] of new music next year, and then will be the big release the following year. That's at least what we're planning right now. 'Cause there's so much going on next year. And [we want to] focus on the documentary and the 40th-anniversary tour and some other things."
Asked if the box set would contain any previously unreleased material, Joey said: "We haven't gotten that far, because the thing with EUROPE is we don't have that much extra stuff. Some bands have loads. Of course we can [include] live stuff — we can do that — but from the studio, there's not much. We've been boring like that. We come in with 12 songs and we come out with 12 songs. How did that happen? We should have 20 and taken 10 and kept 10. So, whether there's gonna be new songs involved in that, I don't think so. But the box set will a great vinyl box set with all the records, hopefully. Whether we put something else in there, we have to talk about it."
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).
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