EUROPE GUITARIST JOHN NORUM REFLECTS ON HEARING "THE FINAL COUNTDOWN" DEMO FOR THE FIRST TIME - "ARE WE BECOMING DEPECHE MODE?"

Europe guitarist John Norum is featured in a new interview with VWMusic discussing his new solo album, Gone To Stay. During the chat he looked back on Europe breakthrough hit, "The Final Countdown", from the 1986 album of the same name. Following is an excerpt.

VWMusic: It’s been a bit since Europe’s last studio album. Is any new material on the way?

Norum: "Yeah. We are talking about doing a new album next year, and everyone is writing for the new album now. Also, we are in the middle of a documentary on Europe’s history. It starts in 1982 and runs through the present day. We’re filming that – it’s about two hours long, I think – and that will be released sometime in 2023. So, hopefully, Europe will have a documentary and a new album coming out in 2023."

VWMusic: What will be the blueprint for this album? Will it be a return to the roots?

Norum: "I don’t know what will happen yet, but I suggested we go back to the roots a little bit. We experimented with different styles and this and that, and I don’t think we can take it any further. I mean, we have done the nu-metal stuff; we have done some pop things, even some grunge kind of things. I don’t like to put things in different categories like that, but I think the experiment is over now. I think we should go back to what we did on the second album, Wings of Tomorrow, or The Final Countdown, back to more melodic hard rock. That’s what I would like to do."

VWMusic: Speaking of The Final Countdown, what was your reaction when Joey (Tempest) initially presented the title track to you?

Norum: "When I first heard the demo, it was about six minutes long. I was very much into heavy hard rock and heavy guitars – still am – and I was like, 'We can’t put this song on the album. There’s no way. Just listen to the keyboard intro; this is too poppy.' I was like, 'Are we becoming Depeche Mode?' Even though I like them a lot, I hated them in the ’80s, but I like ’em now (laughs). So, I wasn’t very positive in the beginning, but when we recorded it, we had a lot of fun, and all of the other guys wanted to do the song, so I said, 'Why not?' And the solo came out great; I’m thrilled with the way the solo came out. It became a classic, and it’s a lot of fun to play live; you see the people going crazy and jumping up and down. I will say that I like the song 'The Final Countdown' more today than I did when we recorded it in the ’80s."

Read the complete interview here.

 

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