Tempest performing in 2014
|Birth name||Rolf Magnus Joakim Larsson|
19 August 1963|
|Genres||Heavy metal, hard rock, glam metal, country rock|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass, piano, violin|
|Labels||Polar, Polydor, Sonet|
Rolf Magnus Joakim Larsson (born 19 August 1963), professionally known as Joey Tempest, is a Swedish singer, most well known as the lead singer and main songwriter of the rock band Europe. He has written hits which include "The Final Countdown", "Rock the Night", "Cherokee" and "Superstitious".
Before becoming the artist Joey Tempest, Joakim Larsson learned how to play the piano and the guitar. He played football, ice hockey and competed in go-cart racing; he once came in fourth place in the Junior Cart Race, a Swedish championship. Like many of the other Europe members, he grew up in Stockholm suburb Upplands Väsby. His biggest idols were Thin Lizzy and Led Zeppelin. During his teens, he played in a number of bands such as Jet, Blazer, Made in Hong Kong and Roxanne. At that time he alternated between playing rhythm guitar and bass, in addition to lead vocals.
In 1979, Tempest formed the band Force with guitarist John Norum, bass guitarist Peter Olsson and drummer Tony Reno. Force immediately began building a reputation and a fanbase in the suburbs of Stockholm. In 1982, they changed their name to Europe and won the music competition Rock-SM. The first prize was a record deal with Hot Records. Europe released five albums between 1983 and 1991, with Joey Tempest as the lead singer, frontman, and songwriter.
"The Final Countdown"
During the years with Europe, Tempest wrote numerous international big hits. "The Final Countdown" was the biggest; it topped the sales chart in 26 countries, sold 15 million copies, was played at the closing ceremony of the 1987 EuroBasket and 1988 Summer Olympics, became the musical theme of the millennium celebrations and a ringtone in hundreds of thousands of mobile phones all over the world. After Countdown, Europe released two more albums, Out of this World (1988), and Prisoners in Paradise (1991), before their final concert in March 1992. Europe ended their final tour in Portsmouth and did not perform together again until New Year's Eve 1999 to 2000.
In 1995, Tempest's solo debut A Place to Call Home was released. He has called it his "singer/songwriter album". The album, which was produced by Dan Sundquist, was recorded in Stockholm and London using Swedish musicians. Europe band mate John Norum guests on one of the tracks. Tempest also played guitar on the album. A Place to Call Home sold platinum in Sweden and it was a big success internationally.
Later the same year he commenced his first European tour as a solo artist. The following year he was nominated for a "Best Swedish Artist" Grammy. Four singles were taken from the album, "A Place to Call Home", "Under the Influence", "We Come Alive" and "Don't Go Changing On Me".
The next album Azalea Place was released in 1997. The next solo album was recorded in Nashville by producer Richard Dodd, known for producing artists such as The Travelling Wilburys and Tom Petty. Where A Place To Call Home had Tempest writing all the material, the new album was written together with others. Among these were Chris Difford from Squeeze and Will Jennings. "Azalea Place was mostly written in the studio and was therefore more improvised and experimental", Tempest commented on the production. "The Match", "The One In The Glass" and "If I'd Only Known" were released as singles. "The Match" became one of the most played songs on Swedish radio and the album achieved gold status.
In the autumn of 2002, he released his third solo album, Joey Tempest. The producer team behind the album was "DeadMono", consisting of Malcolm Pardon and Fredrik Rinman. The team has also worked with Eskobar, Lisa Miskovsky and Stakka Bo. Also collaborating on the album were Chris Difford, former Europe member Mic Michaeli, and guitarist Adam Lamprell. The first session took place in Konk Studios, The Kinks old London studio, where Tempest jammed with English musicians who had formerly played with Massive Attack. This session produced "Magnificent", "Kill For A Girl Like You" (B-side of the first single "Forgiven") and "Sometimes". Work continued in Stockholm, this time with Swedish musicians, including Mic Michaeli. "Superhuman" originated from this session. After that, Tempest kept on working with Adam Lamprell in a temporary studio in London.
Of his song writing Tempest has said, "Dreamless and Magnificent have a lot of London in them. Losers is influenced by both London and Dublin. Living there can be very intense, almost chaotic. They’re tough cities and I'd never have written the lyrics I did without living there." Some lyrics can also be related to his homeland, reflections on living abroad, and learning to live with new people.
Tempest played the keyboards on the first two Europe albums before the band decided to recruit keyboardist Mic Michaeli in April 1984. A couple of years earlier, Tempest had borrowed a keyboard from Michaeli and used it to compose the main keyboard hook of the song "The Final Countdown". After a jam session in 1985, Michaeli and Tempest co-wrote the ballad "Carrie". Later that year, Tempest wrote the soundtrack for the Swedish film On the Loose, as well as the song "Give A Helping Hand" for the benefit project Swedish Metal Aid. The song was produced by future Europe bandmate Kee Marcello. In 1986 Tempest wrote and produced the album One of a Kind for Tone Norum, John Norum's younger sister. Tempest also collaborated with John Norum on the single "We Will Be Strong" from Norum's album Face the Truth in 1992. This was Tempest and Norum's first collaboration since Norum left Europe in November 1986.
After Europe went on hiatus in 1992, Tempest released three solo albums. The first album, A Place to Call Home featured a guest appearance from John Norum on the song "Right to Respect". Several songs on the third album, Joey Tempest, were co-written by Mic Michaeli. 2004 saw the release of Europe's comeback album, Start from the Dark, featuring the band's classic Final Countdown line-up with John Norum on guitar. The follow-up, Secret Society, was released in 2006, Last Look at Eden in 2009, Bag of Bones in 2012, and War of Kings in 2015.
Tempest currently lives in London, England with his wife Lisa Worthington and sons James Joakim and Jack Johnston Larsson. Tempest talked to Bruce Dickinson about his decision to live in London on the latter's BBC 6 Music radio show in 2009. He does not have any social media pages apart from the official ones for Europe listed on their website. Asked in 2009, by the BBC's Liam Allen, "Are you ever embarrassed by some of the hairstyles and clothes you wore back in the day?", Tempest replied, "Not really, we were very young, we were MTV generation - we were one of the biggest bands on MTV. I just wanted to look like Robert Plant, to be honest."
- Europe (1983)
- Wings of Tomorrow (1984)
- The Final Countdown (1986)
- Out of This World (1988)
- Prisoners in Paradise (1991)
- Start from the Dark (2004)
- Secret Society (2006)
- Last Look at Eden (2009)
- Bag of Bones (2012)
- War of Kings (2015)
- Walk the Earth (2017)
- 1982-1992 (CD booklet). Europe. Epic Records. 1993. EPC 473589-1.
- "RATHOLE.com - Fireworks Magazine: Issue 18". RATHOLE.com. Archived from the original on 2007-12-14. Retrieved 2008-04-15.
- "Joey Tempest and wife welcome a son – Moms & Babies – Celebrity Babies and Kids - Moms & Babies - People.com". Celebritybabies.people.com. 2012-03-22. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
- "Dubbel bebislycka för Europe | Rockbjörnen | Musik | Nöjesbladet | Aftonbladet". Aftonbladet.se. 2014-03-04. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
- "Bruce Dickinson Friday Rock Show: 11/09/2009". BBC Online. BBC. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
- "The Official EUROPE Website". Europetheband.Com. Archived from the original on 2014-09-22. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
- Allen, Liam (15 September 2009). "Talking Shop: Europe's Joey Tempest". BBC News Online. BBC. Retrieved 22 January 2017.