By Andrew Catania
Guitarist John Norum has been the backbone of the band Europe since it’s inception along with singer Joey Tempest. Europe has just released it’s latest album, Walk The Earth, which consists of some of the bands best work. I spoke with John regarding Walk The Earth.
Europe delivers solid records with every release. Did the band do anything different with Walk The Earth?
I think it’s a little bit different compared to the first albums we did. Since the reunion, we’ve pretty much did it like the old days.
We put basic tracks down bass and drums first. Then the guitars and vocals. We pretty much have done it live in the studio. We all play live, and I do the solos on the spot. The vocals are done on the spot too. We go back and fix some things that need tweaking. We’re a pretty solid band live as we have some gigs under our belt. In the old days, we weren’t good enough (laughs)
How does the collaboration happen for writing Walk the Earth?
Joey always writes the vocal melodies and lyrics. It’s a team effort. We all bounce ideas around, and we all put in different things. It’s not like in the old days where Joey was more of the main songwriter. Now everybody is involved.
How long did it take you to record Walk The Earth?
I think it took three weeks before we got to the mixing. So it’s pretty quick. We’ve done it even quicker actually before it was done in two weeks. I think it was over with Kevin Shirley is quick. You finish a song a day. So yeah 10 or 11 songs on the album you’re pretty much done in like two weeks and then a week for mixing, and that one took about three weeks.
Do you feel this is the best Europe album to date?
I think all of our albums are the best. I believe Walk The Earth is more sophisticated than the previous albums. We have taken it one more step further than the earlier albums. I think this is some of Joey’s best lyrics he’s written. Of course, Dave Cobb puts his magic on it.
What kind of guitars are you using?
I’m traditionally old school when it comes to guitars. I have a couple of Fender Stratocasters, A flying V Gibson and a 1967 Gibson 335. I’m a fan of hollow bodies.
How was it to work with Dave Cobb on Walk The Earth?
He’s amazing. We just really love the guy so much is so much fun. We’ve always had this positive. He has a positive energy, and he has a lot of fun to work with you know, and he’s crazy the ideas he comes up with. It’s insane.
You know when we sometimes think a song is done it’s like wow this can’t get better than this. Dave comes around says well I don’t like this part. I don’t like that. Add a different arrangement or whatever and maybe add a riff to a certain part in a couple of notes here and there. That’s how we took it to the next level. Dave is a total musical genius and is great to work with.
Walk The Earth is available via:
Jewel case CD: http://hyperurl.co/EuropeWTECD
Special Edition CD/DVD Digi-book: http://hyperurl.co/EuropeWTESE
White colored vinyl: http://hyperurl.co/EuropeWTFLP
You can follow Europe @