Guitarist Kee Marcello thinks he is still legally a member of Europe
Former Europe and current Out of This World guitarist Kee Marcello was recently interviewed on the Focus On Metal podcast. Marcello replaced guitarist John Norum in Europe when the latter left the band about six months after the release of the group’s breakthrough album The Final Countdown. Marcello ended up recording two albums — Out of This World (1988) and Prisoners In Paradise (1991) — before the group disbanded. When Europe reunited in the early 2000s, it was with Norum rather than Marcello in the line-up.
In terms of whether it’s true that the album Prisoners In Paradise was initially rejected by the label Epic Records, Marcello indicated (as transcribed by the Focus On Metal podcast with slight edits): “After we recorded the first batch of songs, four bosses from Epic Records came down and listened to the whole album in the studio and notified us a couple of days later that they weren’t going to release it in that shape. They loved stats and our biggest hit in America up to that point had been “Carrie” so they simply wanted more ballads and we had to kill a lot of the songs. It would have been a different album, a bit darker and more riffy. I’m proud of the album today but I know what an amazing album we had going in there that would have helped us survive grunge and instead what we made was another hair metal album with a lot of ballads, which I think didn’t really worked with the times.”
When asked whether the little darker music that Europe initially had for Prisoners In Paradise had more of a ’70s vibe like the material the group is releasing now, Marcello stated: “No, not really. Maybe darker was a bit of a strange word. I mean it was more riffy and not really as light as the songs tended to be on Prisoners In Paradise. I have to add that I’m not really a big fan of Europe‘s material since they reunited. It’s not really my cup of tea. I’m more a song guy. I’m more melodic and what I basically am at heart is a songwriter and what the band is missing out on now are some catchy strong songs. We all know it’s a great band but where are the songs? That’s my question.”
Focus On Metal noted that in another interview, it was revealed that when Marcello joined Europe, he became a member of the band and wasn’t brought in on a salary so when the band split up, he held onto his membership and when Europe reunited with Norum, Marcello still held his membership. On whether that’s true or not, Marcello clarified: “First of all, let’s get this straight, I’m actually dealing with the papers of all this right now with the accountant taking care of the Europe company. Anyway, when I joined the band, I bought myself a spot in Europe as a fifth member replacing John Norum and he got one million Swedish Krona so I mean really, if you read the law, I’m still a member of the band today.”
You can listen to the interview with Kee Marcello via the Focus On Metal‘s website.