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Europe’s Joey Tempest admits it was a “drag” having their looks compared to Bon Jovi.

The ‘Final Countdown’ group’s frontman admits teen magazines made up the “rivalries” between Europe and other 80s bands, including the ‘It’s My Life’ group, but they couldn’t “complain”.

Speaking to Classic Rock magazine, the 59-year-old rocker said of the comparisons: “It was quite a surprise for these suburban kids from Stockholm.

“We had done two albums, but then the promotion for ‘The Final Countdown’ kicked in and suddenly the teeny magazines were all over us. My initial thing was that I wanted to look like Robert Plant, but [the big hair] became something. We were being pitted in rivalries with these other bands, which was not the case. Right from the start we had wanted to be a touring rock band like Deep Purple, and suddenly these stupid questions [from pop magazines] were coming left, right and centre. We hadn’t expected that. It was kind of a drag for a while but we’re Swedes, we work hard and don’t complain.”

The band are embarking on a 40th anniversary tour entitled ‘The Time Capsule’, which kicks off in Switzerland on September 30, and Joey has confirmed new music is in the works.

He said: “Some writing has been going on and we’re at the stage where we are listening to what we have. It seems as though there’s more than we need. Some of them are amazing. I would like to release a couple of songs before the anniversary tour, though I’m not going to promise that will happen – because we want them to be special – but we will try to make it happen.”