HE LEFT EUROPE, BUT HE’S BACK. “I HATED THE HAIR” SAYS JOHN NORUM
Benátská hosts the Swedish band EUROPE on 26th July in Liberec. What can fans expect from it? “Expect a lot of energetic rock, we play about one song from each album, from the ’80s and even the new ones,” says guitarist John NORUM.
With the first eponymous album Europe from 1983 you succeeded at home in Sweden and also in Japan. Have you ever found out why among all the Countries of the world it happened right there?
“I don’t know, perhaps it had something to do with the fact that it was a pretty melodic record. The Japanese like melodic rock. The first single ‘Seven Doors Hotel’ was a big hit in Japan. And we did well there later.”
Aren’t you bothered that enough people will probably not know any other hit from the Europe repertoire than ‘The Final Countdown’?
“‘The Final Countdown?’ I’ve never heard of that … No, of course I’m joking. When our third album of the same name came out, it was a great time. I probably wouldn’t need to listen to ‘The Final Countdown’ on the radio, but playing it live is still fun to this day. People respond great to it. So thank God we recorded it in those ’80s. But I am more interested in contemporary new music.”
After all, you didn’t play ‘The Final Countdown’ very often in the ’80s because you left the band shortly after the release.
“Yes, after touring the album I didn’t play it until I returned to Europe. Part of the tour was on playback, on TV shows. That was really boring, but that’s how it was.”
Why did you leave the band?
“No, we had terrible management, basically robbing us in every way. And I hated the image Europe had. You know what I mean? Those big hairstyles and ridiculous clothes. I didn’t want to be part of it anymore.”
But the terrible hair was part of the fashion of the day, wasn’t it?
“That’s right. Paradoxically, I was probably the only one in the band who didn’t do anything with my hair, I just had them, it was all natural. But leaving the band was my best decision. I wouldn’t have released a solo record if it wasn’t for me, I hadn’t gone to the States for ten years, I hadn’t met my wife and had a son with her.”
As far as I know, you are going to release a solo album this year. How will it be?
“It’s done, mixed, and I’m sitting on it a little bit. I can’t release it right away, nobody releases records in the summer. So probably at the turn of August and September. We are waiting for people to come back from the holidays. It will be varied in genre – quite hard at times, but there will be some cheerful songs, one instrumental, it must be. It’s a mix of hard rock, blues rock and pop ingredients. I’m not like AC / DC to publish the same thing all the time. And I also include David Bowie’s cover, he was one of my great heroes.”
Can you tell which song you did?
“So far, this is a secret. I’ll just say it’s one of his weird songs. No famous hit, rather a hidden treasure.”
Credits: Václav Hnátek for iDNES.cz Original article: iDNES.cz