Kee Marcello confides on Europetheband.fr.His album, his projects and Europe … He says it all and we appreciate his frankness.
His album, his projects and Europe ... He speaks to us without taboos.
Europetheband.fr: Hello Kee and thank you for having accepted this interview for europetheband.fr.
Kee Marcello: Hi, glad to do it.
E: I hope that you and your family are well and that you have not been affected by COVID-19 too much.
K: Not too much, I’m happy to say.
E: By the way, how do you live this previously unseen pandemic?
K: My 19 year old son Tim graduated from high school June 29, but since the schools didn’t shut
down here in Sweden it didn’t effect his studies at all. My wife Pia is a film/TV producer, and for her
it’s been business as usual. A bit more working from home, but I’ve really enjoyed that!
As for myself, even though all my tours disappeared more or less overnight in March, I’ve been
keeping quite busy in the studio.
E: To put things in context, you were part of the band Easy Action from 1983 to 1986 and then of the
band Europe from 1986 to 1993 until the “break”. After that, you have released some albums: Shine
On, Melon Demon Divine, Redux: Europe, Judas Kiss, Scaling Up and Kee of Hearts. This is a preay
busy career already, what do think of all those experiences? Have you any regrets or would you do
the same choices again?
K: Well, you forgot to mention the Red Fun album (1993), which I think turned out really well.
I don’t really believe in having regrets. Regrets in general are kinda futile, aren’t they? When you’re
making a decision, you’re doing it based on the information available to you at that point in time.
Nobody has a crystal ball. Sometimes I’ve regreaed that I joined Europe, mostly cause I never got to
see just how big Easy Action could have made it. At the time I left the band we had massive interest
from Geffen Records and a bunch of other US major labels.
But on the other hand, then you and I wouldn’t be doing this interview! 🙂
E: One of your album that personally left its mark on me is “Shine On”, I really like it but I once read an
article in which you said that you would not redo such an album. Why?
K: Maybe I was extra grumpy the day I said that? Or maybe I hadn’t yet goaen my first cup of coffee?
I’d love to do a ”Shine On II” when I have the material for an album like that.
There’s one problem though, what would I name it? ”Shine Off” doesn’t ring well … 🙂
E: You recently wrote and composed a song for Chris Catena and on which you play the lead guitar, can
you explain how it happened? By the way, do you like to compose for others?
K: Chris invited me to Italy to guest perform with his band in the early 00’s. He later became my main
agent in Italy, and also booked me for the project I did as a soloist with symphony orchestras. ”The
Final Countdown Rhapsody”, we did it in Greece with the Thessaloniki State Symphony orchestra and
in Italy with Bari Symphony orchestra.
He asked me if I could write a song for him, so I made a demo of ”Still A Fool” and sent to him. This
was a number of years ago, but it really works with his new band.
Yes, sometimes it’s fun to write for other performers. I’ve done it with great success over the years,
for instance The Moffaas World wide hit ”Bang Bang Boom”, and ”Shining Through The Rain” for the
soul legend Percy Sledge.
E: You have formed a new project with Tommy Heart. Firstly to make an album, when will it be
K: Sometime in 2021. I don’t have an exact release date for it, but I can reveal that it is being mixed as we speak. I can’t reveal who’s mixing it quite yet, it’s a bit of a surprise.
E: Could you tell us about it?
K: Well, when me and Tommy worked on the Kee Of Hearts album we really hit it off. So we felt we wanted to work together on a more permanent basis, to form a band.
And the bands name is ”Out Of This World”. We chose it because it works very well with our musical style, and obviously also because there’s a bit of recognition in it. Plus I didn’t want to go down the
same cheesy road as a lot of my colleagues unfortunately have, calling it ”Kee Marcello’s Europe”.
That would have been just ridiculous. So Out Of This World it is. This will be the album of the year!
E: What are the guitars you used for this album?
K: I used my 2 Gibson LP:s with True Temperament frets and Lundgren’s ”Heaven 57” pickups. They
sound amazing. But the coolest thing with the guitars on this album is that I’ve recorded everything
with ’Number One’, my Tommy Folkesson-modified 1980 Marshall JMP that I used to record (the
Europe album) Out Of This World with! A couple of years ago I got a phone call from Anders Möller,
lead singer and guitarist in the Swedish band ”Black Ingvars”. He said, ”- I think my son Simon has your amp!” So thanks to Simon it came back to daddy after all these years. He let me buy it back for
the same price any used JMP would be. What a generous guy! He could have taken advantage of the
situation and asked me for a shitload of cash, but he didn’t. God bless you Simon Möller!
When I received it, it was in bad shape, which I knew beforehand. Tommy Folkesson always ’encapsuled’ his modifications so people wouldn’t copy his ideas, so the owner before Simon never
got it to work after it suddenly died one day. So I took the amp to Jönköping where Tommy lives today, and left it with him for a total renovation. When I got it back it was like Christmas eve, cause it
sounds just as good as I remembered it, if not even better! Thanks Tommy!
So, all fans of that iconic record are going to recognize that legendary guitar tone when you play back
the debut album of OUT OF THIS WORLD!
E: You were about to go on a tour in September during which you were supposed to play songs of the
albums Out of this World and Prisoners in Paradise of Europe but songs of your own repertoire too,
from Kee of the Hearts and from Tommy. Where does this project stand? In this time of pandemic,
are you planning to stream a concert on YouTube or another platform?
K: No, because of the pandemic, it’s impossible at the moment. Tommy lives in Berlin, Darby Todd
lives in London, and me and Ken Sandin live in Gothenburg. We just have to wait and see how the
covid-19 situation changes before we now when the next live situation is coming up.
E: I know that you must be asked this question all the time but I have to ask you otherwise the visitors of my website are going to blame me. Is there any chance that you will one day play with Europe
again as a guest maybe? Have you kept in touch with some members of Europe?
K: Yes, I do get that question a lot! 🙂 I don’t want to disappoint the fans, but I really can’t see that ever happening. For starters, I would refuse to play any songs from any of the mediocre albums they’ve released the past ten years.
But if it would be one of those theme concerts like a lot of bands do nowadays, you know when the band does all the songs from one particular album, start to finish, it would be a different issue. Like
doing the whole of Out Of This World or Prisoners In Paradise. If such a thing would came about, I’d consider it, under the condition that I was the only guitar player in the band.
E: Your way of playing the guitar is quite masterful and melodic. What are its influences?
K: I grew up listening to Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, and Ritchie Blackmore and Deep Purple eventually made me wanna pick up the guitar. But my biggest influence is Ollie Halsall from the British band Patto.
E: By the way, what do you listen to these days and on which medium, on vinyl for instance?
K: This sounds strange, but I rarely get the time to sit down and listen to music. Since I work with music 24/7, the few hours I relax I don’t want music in the background. When I’m driving longer
distances I listen to music on Spotify through my car stereo, which is preay badass, and when I’m traveling by plane or train through my headphones, but that’s about it. I’m thinking about buying a vinyl record player though, I love that format.
A funny fact: When I’m listening to music it’s rarely new rock albums. It’s a lot of Jazz and fusion, and
sometimes classical. Lately I’ve been going through everything with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, and on the classical sides, the russians: Tjajkovskij, Prokofiev, Stravinsky …
E: Do you have anything you would say to your fans?
K: Hi all my faithful fans! I’m so glad for your support and I hope to see you on the road with OUT OF THIS WORLD once this pandemic is lightening up! Until then, stay calm and stay safe, And most importantly: STAY ROCK!
E: Thank you Kee for having answered my questions! I wish the best.
K: Thank you!
Thanks to Pia Löfbom and Gothenburg Entertainment & Music for allowing me to get this interview.