INTERVIEW: Mic Michaeli of Europe

Le 10/12/2023 – Questions by Valerie Moulinier from the Hard Melodique blog and Serri Stephan from Europetheband.fr

Mic Michaeli talks on Europetheband.fr and Hard Mélodique Blog...

Thank you Mic for agreeing to do this interview. Really, it is an honor. Before we begin,I wanted
to thank you and the other members of the band for this awesome tour you gave us! The
concert in Paris was memorable, it was a great moment.

You have just finished the Time Capsule Tour celebrating 40 years of your career. How do
you feel after this great tour? 

MM : To me this was the best tour we have ever done. I feel like we could have and should have gone on for at least an other month.

During the tour, we had the great chance to listen to “More Than Meets the Eye” live for the first time! But other songs too, such as “Start from the Dark,” or “Always the Pretenders,” which you had not played in a long time. How did you go about choosing the set-list?

MM: Oh, there was some debate about what songs were to be included and everyone had there own ideas on how to choose them. In the end, I think we managed to put together a show that we all could live with and we were happy to see that the audience liked it too.

You shared your new song “Hold your Head Up” with us! And you played it during the Time Capsule Tour. How did you feel the song was received?

MM : Surprisingly well considering it wasn’t released until the tour premiere.

What did you think of the welcome your French fans gave you at the Salle Pleyel?

MM : Fantastic! It is always a pleasure to play France.

Could you tell us more about the release dates of the upcoming merchandising planned for the 40th anniversary? Especially concerning the documentary, and there issue of all the albums on vinyl?

MM : The dates are not set yet, but hopefully our management can update you on that. Keep your eyes on or Facebook page as everything will be announced there first.

You came back 19 years ago, and since 2004, you released 6 studio albums. How do you feel about all this? What is your favorite album from this time and why?

MM : I think the fact that we have released more studio albums after than before the hiatus shows something. We’re still vital, curious and love what we are fortunate to be able to
do. I think ”Walk The Earth” is our best one so far but that’s the way it goes; your latest one is usually the favorite. Recently I happened to hear ”Secret Society” and there are some great songs on that one too.

The last album “Walk the Earth” dates back to 2017. Fans are eagerly awaiting the next one, and the single got us excited. How is the next album coming along? Can you tell us about it? What style and direction will the album take? Joey recently talked about going back to the basics. Will the album have a more “eighties” sound?

MM : We never really know about what direction our albums will take until it’s more or less done. It often takes a different turn than what we set out to make from the start. So at this moment, I can’t really give you an honest answer.

I think ”Walk The Earth” is our best one so far but that's the way it goes; your latest one is usually the favorite. Recently I happened to hear ”Secret Society” and there are some great songs on that one too.

How does the writing process take place among the band?

MM : We have different ways of writing. There are a lot of ideas being sent back and forth between Joey,Leven and myself.

Joey and I have a process we’ve been practicing sinceway back. We meet up just the two of us, he sits at the drum kit with a vocal microphone and I play keyboards. Then we just jam for a few hours and record it all.

We sure get some good laughs listening back to some of the crap that came out from it, but quite a few ideas from those sessions have turned into tracks on our albums.

You were even more involved in the writing of the last albums. Do you like doing so? Are you going to be as much involved in the next one? 

MM :  I love being creative and I write music all the time, most of it not being suitable for Europe though. I honestly don’t know how much involvement I will have in the forthcoming album but I definitely like the process of writing music.

Since the members of the band went back together, there was a debate betweenfans. Some thought that Europe should have added more of the keyboard like before.
This debate is now closed. What do you think about the role the keyboard plays in a
rock band in 2023?

MM : It all depends on what band you refer to. Rammstein’s keyboard player is a very big part of their sound whereas Foo Fighter’s guy is hardly heard at all. Personally, I don’t have a desire to be heard every second of a song, all I want to do is to play what fits… and have a good time, all the time.

I enjoy listening to some of your songs’ intros you use for the concert (”War of Kings”; “Walk the Earth”; “Stormwind…”). Did you create them?

MM : Yes, I create all the intros.

On the video I saw on your wall a Pro-Ject VT-E turntable. Is this your only turntable? Do you collect vinyls?

MM : It’s the only turntable I know I have. I wouldn’t say I collect vinyls but I buy them occasionally and I still have all my records from back in the day.

If you could return to the past, with the experience you have now, what advice would you give to the 22 or 23-year-old Mic when “The Final Countdown” was released?

MM: Work harder! (And that’s still applicable) But, it would have been no use giving myself advice, I wouldn’t have listened.

In May 2018, you went in Australia for the first time. Is there any place on the planet where you have not set foot yet and where you would like to perform?

MM: Never been to Africa…

Many musicians, and singers more or less famous post covers of your songs on YouTube. Do you watch them and what do you think about some of them that did more
or less well, let’s say?

MM: I never look them up but I’ve stumbled upon a few. Some of them are really clever, sometimes you get a good laugh and other times you wish you hadn’t stumbled across them.

There are many Swedish bands from a younger generation. For instance I think about Heat, Eclipse, or Dynazty among others. By the way, Heat don’t hide their admiration for you. What do you think of this new generation?

MM: They are great! Good songs, fantastic musicians and good sounding albums.

Well, thank you for being available Mic. Any final words for the band’s fan?

MM: Thank you for being there, you are the reason we still do this. We couldn’t have done it without you!

E: Thanks Mic for answering our questions.

Thanks to Michele Coombe and Siren Artist Management Inc. for allowing me to get this interview.

europetheband.fr/Hard Mélodique Blog

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