Norwegian radio interview with Joey

By: Kristopher Schau         From: XL - 1997        Translated by: Stein-Vidar

Kristopher Schau: "I was very doubtful when you were going to come here. You were kind of a youth idol... I had some expectations. What if you were 140 cm tall? I couldn't know anything about that."

Joey Tempest: "Like Prince?"

KS: "Yeah, it could be that you were very tiny, or that you had become really fat."

JT: "Of course. That could have happened. Everything's possible..."

KS: "But it turned out well."

JT: "Yeah, it turned out pretty well."

KS: "I thought you called yourself something else now that you were going to release a solo album?"

JT: "I thought about doing that, but I thought it was pretty stupid after all. The world got to know me with 'Final Countdown'... I was the guy who wrote 'The Final Countdown', and I don't think there's anything wrong about that."

KS: "How do you pronounce the name of your new record?"

JT: "Azalea Place."

KS: "Azalea... What's that supposed to mean?"

JT: "Azalea is a flower. That's the address... sort of like Abbey Road... the address to the studio in Nashville, Tennessee."

KS: "You said something reasonable to me now, because Hasse said that it's the same as 'Azalea' is in Norwegian... A flower."
(Hasse is another guy from the "XL" show)

JT: "It's really just the address where the studio is, in Nashville."

KS: "So it's nothing more interesting than that?"

JT: "Nah..."

KS: "You've probably heard this before, but when I think about Joey Tempest, I get this Jon Bon Jovi-feeling."

JT: "Do you mean the music?"

KS: "No... First it was big, dry hair, and heavy... then it was a bit quiet, and then back with a solo career and a bit more serious."

JT: "Yeah, he's one year older than me, we're almost the same age. We've probably met four or five times during the years. Maybe it's because we belong to the same generation, we play in rock bands, we're doing the same stuff. The only difference is that he wants to be an actor, but I don't. So we're pretty similar."

KS: "Have you been working with music all the time?"

JT: "Yeah, I learnt to play the guitar when I was 8 years old. And since then I've done a lot of other stuff. I've played ice hockey, actually, and I've also driven go-karts, seriously. My dad was a mechanic, and I drove and competed."

KS: "Did you drive in any competitions?"

JT: "Yeah, we toured around Sweden and drove really fast."

KS: "Were you any good?"

JT: "Yeah, OK. One year I was number 3, I think."

KS: "At what?"

JT: "It was called 'Junior Kart Race'. There were six parts, and you got to drive against the best."

KS: "I listened to your single, 'The One in the Glass'. It was sort of southern-directed."

JT: "Yeah, and it has bit of influence from California, because it was there I came up with the idea. I discovered a poem by a woman called Janet Zuckerman. She's dead now. I tried to find her, because she was the inspiration to these lyrics, but unfortunately I couldn't find her. It also has a bit of dance influence. I've done that a bit on 'Azalea Place', I've improvised a little more, and tried some rhythms, a lot more acoustic guitar. It's a bit personal. I play the guitar, bass and percussion myself."

KS: "I see that you've brought your guitar here. Are you going to play a little?"

JT: "Yeah, I can play a little. But is there any good sound here? Does it sound good here?"

KS: "Do we have any good sound...? Good sound? What is this nonsense from the Swede? Yeah, play a little bit, so that we can understand what you're doing nowadays. What are we going to hear?"

JT: "I've written the lyrics together with a guy from the band Squeeze...
(Chris Difford) If you remember them. 'Tempted by the Fruit of Another'..."

KS: "Squeeze? Was that the guys with the extremely tight pants?"

JT: "Squeeze... Yeah. they had tight pants. More nonsense from the Norwegian..."

KS: "Here's your microphone..."

JT: "The opening song on this album is called "The Match." I'll play some of it."

KS: "Yeah, great."

Then Joey plays a short part of "The Match". During this Kristopher starts playing on a tambourine. Sounds great! :) Joey ends the song with a riff from Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water".

KS: "Say where you're going to play live. You're going to play at some places, in Norway."

JT: "Yeah, I'm going to play next Sunday, July 27 with John Fogerty."

KS: "Together with John Fogerty?"

JT: "Yeah, as opening act."

KS: "Not at the same time?"

JT: "No, but that would be cool."

KS: "Earlier it was said that you were going to play after John Fogerty."

JT: "Yeah, we discussed that. I wanted to play last, for two and a half hour. But then he said, 'No, I want to play last'. So it turned out like that..."

KS: "Thanks for coming, Joey! I'm exhausted after all that tambourine playing."

JT: "It was really good! Thanks for the backing."

KS: "Yeah, any time. Just call me at any time."

JT: "Hey, you could run up to the stage while I'm playing together with John Fogerty..."

KS: "I'm that generous that I'll be there when I'm needed. We can see you on TV tonight, by the way. On 'Sommerċpent'."
("Sommerċpent" is a Norwegian TV show)


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