Europe singer Joey Tempest said he sometimes wonders what would have happened to the band if they never had a worldwide hit with “The Final Countdown.”

Released in 1986, the song became their signature track and took them from being a respected European band to a global success. In a recent interview with Classic Rock, Tempest said it's possible that the band, which has become more of a hard rock outfit, could return to their more melodic ‘80s sound.

“We knew we were going places but we could never have dreamt what that song gave us,” he reflected. “As international rock bands, Def Leppard and Iron Maiden had opened a lot of doors. And for a short period, we were the biggest band in the world. Suddenly we were playing festivals with Duran Duran and it was like, ‘OK, we’re here for a while, are we?’ We became a crossover band. I don’t know whether that’s good or bad.”

He admitted it was unlikely that he’s ever given an interview without discussing the song. Asked how it feels to perform it so often, he said the band doesn't “really think about [that]. It’s an in-the-moment song because it brings everybody together. … When we play heavier festivals like Bloodstock or Hellfest, it unites people from all kinds of genres, which is amazing.”

Watch Europe's 'The Final Countdown' Video

Tempest said that new Europe music was on the way, and added that it may connect strongly with their ‘80s material. “Had we been having this conversation 10 years ago, that would have been completely impossible,” he explained. “But we have reached a point where it’s no longer the case, and the great thing is that it happened in a completely natural way. I’m realizing that my writing has returned to its roots. The melodic elements connected to that era have returned.

“I find that quite exciting because it wasn’t premeditated. Had I suggested ‘doing an ‘80s album’ then [the band] would have shot me. But it turns out they are also thinking, ‘This could be pretty cool,’ so we will see where it goes.”

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