It’s 10 p.m. in Paris and Geico commercial stars Europe just stepped off the stage where they performed with the Scorpions.
Joey Tempest is exhausted but eager to say that Europe is much more than a Geico commercial and the hit single “The Final Countdown.” But he does acknowledge that the TV spot has helped renew interest in Europe.
“We saw another commercial in England Iggy Pop,” Tempest says about the decision to join forces with Geico.
“He did a similar thing with another insurance company. We figured if he could do it, if he could get away with it, then we could.”
Tempest and the rest of Europe bargained with Geico: If they could perform an updated version of “The Final Countdown” and feature their contemporary style, they were into it.
“I mean, we did five albums [since the reunion],” he says. “We had telephone meetings and decided, ‘Cool. Yeah, let’s do it. Let’s work together.’ It was a great experience. They had good directors. They knew what they were doing We had a blast doing that one. It seems like it’s awakening people to this band again.”
The commercial affected fans so much that “The Final Countdown” hit No. 1 for the first time.
“To hit No. 1 after all these years on Billboard, that was pretty cool,” he says.
Tempest is hoping for an equally as successful relaunch of its 2015 album War of Kings. Released December 4, the War of Kings special edition includes its “Live at Wacken 2015” DVD and BluRay. The set is available in three formats (two-disc Ecolbook CD and DVD, two-disc Ecolbook CD and BluRay, limited edition deluxe package with War of Kings CD, DVE and BluRay and Photobook), and an audio-only edition of the Wacken 2015 performance is available via digital format.
“It’s neat,” Tempest says. “We worked hard to put a DVD together. We filmed it at this German festival called Wacken Open Air. We used lots of cameras. Kevin Shirley mixed it. We used our video guy.
“It’s our album, but it has a bonus DVD and a whole gig—17 songs—which we had carefully package to make it as good as we can.”
Europe formed in Sweden under the name Force in 1979 by Tempest, guitarist John Norum, bassist Peter Olsson and drummer Tony Reno. Since its formation, Europe has released 10 studio albums, three live albums, three compilations and 19 videos. They broke up in 1992 and reunited in 1998.
“We’re so lucky,” Tempest says. “We met when we were teenagers. John, the guitar player, was 14. I was 15. Here we are doing what we love still after all these years.
“We’re getting respect. We’ve released five albums [since the band reformed]. We’ve been together longer the second period than the first period. We’re going on 11 years now.”
Tempest explains he and the rest of the band—which now includes keyboardist Mic Michaeli, bassist John Leven and drummer Ian Haugland—are anticipating Europe’s first West Coast run in 10 years.
“We have a lot of great touring memories from America,” he says. “You have to be honest, it’s the birthplace of blues, rock ‘n’ roll, moving pictures. It’s holy ground for us.
“We love coming there and now we’re getting another opportunity to reacquaint ourselves. We’re going to do it our way.”
Europe, Wild Horse Pass’ Ovations Live Showroom, 5040 Wild Horse Pass Boulevard, Chandler, 800.946.4452, wingilariver.com, 7:30 p.m. Monday, January 25, $30 to $60