EuropeEurope is the band that brought you 'The Final Countdown' and 'Carrie.' They've also released a slew of heavier albums, including their new one, 'Last Look at Eden.' Because of 'The Final Countdown,' Europe frontman Joey Tempest says the band was inaccurately portrayed as "pop metal." For the band, that distinction meant more fans, but also a collision course of identity and style.

"[The pop metal badge] really started with our third album, 'Final Countdown,'" explains Tempest. "We worked with Kevin Elson, who produced Journey's albums -- who we loved and everything -- but the mix became a little more keyboards and less guitars. We brought in our audience, but it sort of gave a slightly different impression. We're more of a guitar-based, heavier band. We like melodies and we like to throw in a ballad when we play live. Fundamentally, we like it loud and we like it hard. We're fans of great melodies, so we try to balance as best we can."

According to Tempest, the band as a whole doesn't necessarily set out to write "loud" tunes. That happens because of guitarist John Norum. Even in practice, Norum plays at concert level, meaning all the other members of Europe have to match his volume. This naturally translates to the recording studio.

"[Norum] always plays so loud on his guitar, everyone else has to play loud to match him. It ends up being a mayhem of loudness," laughs Tempest. "Maybe we get into a kick of writing things a certain way because of the way we rehearse. We like it loud. It really gets you excited. Some bands don't have any volume when they perform in the monitors, but we blast it to get into the mode. Same thing with the videos. It's full, full blast."

Europe has tour dates booked through March 2010 for Scandinavia, the U.K. and Asia.