European Supergroup Out Of This World Hit The Ground Running With Debut Disc
by Geoff Ford
Looking for something to blow away the cobwebs as we enter the New Year? May I suggest something Out Of This World? On their soaring, self-titled debut, melodic hard rock supergroup Out Of This World skilfully underline that a combination of good song craft, passion, production and band chemistry takes some beating. Out Of This World is released through Atomic Fire Records on 14 January.
Forged by guitarist Kee Marcello, of Europe fame, bassist Ken Sandin (Alien), drummer Darby Todd (Devin Townsend, Gary Moore, The Darkness) and the dynamic vocals of Tommy Heart (Fair Warning), Out Of This World is a powerful slice of quality, melodic hard rock with a distinctly commercial edge. This album has already become a massive hit in Japan.
Marcello was introduced to the international stage when he joined Europe, flying high with their anthem The Final Countdown, late in 1986. His first album with Europe was 1988’s Out Of This World and he was a key member of the Europe line-up until the band took a time-out in 1992. It’s no coincidence that Marcello’s latest endeavour bears the name of that legendary multi-platinum Europe album. “When I told people about my new project, someone suggested I call it something like Kee Marcelo’s Europe. But that’s terrible!” he laughs, “I hated it. Tommy suggested to call it Out Of This World, simple as that.”
The vibe, the ear for melody and the hooks that permeate the album were brought to life with the vigour and passion you may not expect in a rock star who’s seen it all and done it all in the past forty years. “I’ve always concentrated on music, and my passion for that never changed,” he says. “I’ve never changed style; I’ve never tried to do anything I’m not doing well.”
Out Of This World oozes a freewheeling and overflowing sense of fun, musicianship, and togetherness. It’s an effortless flux that has hit the ground running at full throttle. “You have to remember that Darby, Ken, and I go way back,” the legendary axe-man notes of his rhythm section. “We did hundreds of gigs together and are as tight as a thumbscrew. Same thing goes for Tommy and I. We clicked instantly when working together for the first time a couple of years ago. We have this almost brotherly connection – we’re literally reading each other’s minds. There was no stumbling block, it was all a self-playing piano.”
German vocalist Tommy Heart has also been around in this game forever, growing his reputation. “You meet, you play, and sparks begin to fly,” he says of the chemistry between the band members. “We don’t even talk that much, we simply let the music speak. We touch our hearts when we play which is something that’s incredibly rare to find. Nobody has to explain himself. Everybody is doing just what anybody else would do at that moment.” Heart was instantly hooked when he realized that Out Of This World was more than a one-off thing between bored musicians in lockdown. “I don’t like these temporary projects,” he muses. “This here is the real deal.”
“With Out Of This World, though, it never felt like a project,” says Marcello. “It felt like a band from day one. This is why the album turned out so well. It has a genuine band feel to it.” At their very first rehearsal session in Marcello’s hometown of Gothenburg, they sketched some of the songs that would later wind up on their debut, namely Twilight, Lighting Up My Dark and In A Million Years. “We actually found ourselves right in the middle of our first recording session without even knowing it,” he laughs. “Everything felt so natural and so good that writing the rest of the songs was a walk in the park.”
Out Of This World reunited with Marcello with Ron Nevison (Kiss, Bad Company, Ozzy Osbourne, Meat Loaf, Heart, Chicago) for the first time since he produced Europe’s Out Of This World some thirty-three years ago. Graced by the additional keyboard wizardry of Deep Purple’s very own Don Airey. and embellished by a Nevison mix, the songs masterfully transport the bygone era of melody driven, anthemic hard rock into the present. From up-tempo rocking first single Hanging On through In A Million Years, originally written for Europe’s Prisoner In Paradise, to colossal anthem Lighting Up My Dark and prog-rock playground Staring At The Sun, Out Of This World resurrects a musical genre that had seemed to be lost forever.
Out Of This World Track Listing:
02. Hanging On
03. In A Million Years
04. Lighting Up My Dark
05. Staring At The Sun
06. The Warrior
07. Up To You
08. Ain’t Gonna Let You Go
09. Only You Can Teach Me How To Love Again
10. Not Tonight
11. Twilight (Demo Version)
12. In A Million Years (Demo Version)
13. Lighting Up My Dark (Demo Version)