Jeb Wright of Classic Rock Revisited recently conducted an interview with vocalist Klaus Meine of German hard rock veterans SCORPIONS. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Classic Rock Revisited: As the farewell tour goes on, are you starting to get emotional that the end is near?
Klaus: It is a weird thing to think about after forty years with this band. We are family. On the other side, we are a band that after forty years has survived punk and grunge. Classic rock music seems to be very popular with the new generation. Right now, we can put all of our energy into our concerts. We are going to be doing the biggest heavy metal festival in the world called Wacken. People come from all over the world to see this show. We are really happening right now and we feel the energy. Our fans around the world will keep this energy going until the very end. They will keep it going until our rocking hurricane is downgraded to a tropical storm.
Classic Rock Revisited: On the [“Get Your Sting And Blackout – Live in 3D”] Blu-ray, during the song “Still Loving You”, the camera pans the audience and every person in the crowd knows every word to your song. That is amazing.
Klaus: I don’t need to sing at all anymore as the audience sings all the words to all the songs. It is quite something. We have a whole new audience, which makes a nice mix with those fans who have been with the band for thirty or forty years. There are young fans standing right in front of the stage going totally nuts to “Blackout”, “No One Like You” and “The Zoo” and other songs that were written way before they were even born. It is wonderful to have those classics like “Still Loving You” and no matter where we play, the fans react the same way and sing along. SCORPIONS fans make every show a lot of fun and it feels great. We can play Russia or New York City or somewhere in the jungle and the fans sing all of the words to the songs. It is a wonderful, wonderful feeling.
Classic Rock Revisited: I’ve got a bone to pick with you. I thought “Sting In The Tail” was supposed to be the last album by the SCORPIONS. I am holding in my hands the new album “Comeblack”.
Klaus: It was. We announced the album “Sting In The Tail” in conjunction with this tour that will take us all over the world and it became such a huge success that Sony said, “Okay, we want to support this with some product.” What can you do? We just announced our last album and then things are so huge that they want us to get back in the studio. We decided that if we were going to do that, then we would just go in and have some fun. We decided to re-record some of our classics like “The Zoo” and “Rock You Like a Hurricane”. The idea was for us to blow off the dust from those vinyl records and to present them to a whole new audience in the sound of the 21st century. It was a lot of fun because you can do so much more today in the studio. At the same time, we thought that this can’t be enough as we didn’t want to put out a new album without some new songs on it. We thought about recording some covers and paying tribute to some of the legendary bands who inspired us in the ’60s. We had a lot of fun trying things out and seeing what worked and what didn’t work. We really were enjoying playing music from all of our heroes like THE BEATLES and THE STONES. We did songs like “Tainted Love”, which is a song that many people might not expect to hear us do but the riff worked well. We gave it a try and it worked. We did “Children Of The Revolution” by T.REX, which was outside of us in a lot of ways. They are all great bands.
Classic Rock Revisited: You really put a SCORPIONSstamp on these songs. Was that part of the reason these songs made the cut? You could pay homage to them but you can still be yourself.
Klaus: Those are all legendary compositions. You have to find your own adaptation of that music. You better do good. It doesn’t make sense to record any of those songs unless it is going to be great. At this point, we had to be convinced that is was not only a great song but we had to put our own SCORPIONS DNA onto those songs. It was a very difficult issue to even choose the songs. You can’t go in and choose “Hey Jude” or “Strawberry Fields”, no way. When I did “Across The Universe”, it worked well with my voice and everyone said, “Let’s do it.” Then Matthias [Jabs, guitar] said we should do a ROLLING STONES song. It is impossible for me, with my voice, to sing a soul song. We found “Ruby Tuesday” and it came out not too bad. Then we went to LED ZEPPELIN and we figured out, no way could we do that. We love LED ZEPPELIN and they are one of our favorite bands of all time, but at the end of the day it was impossible to pick any of those songs. I think we were talking about “Good Times Bad Times”, but it didn’t work. At the end of the day, we took a deep bow to Jimmy Page as we couldn’t do justice to any of their songs. Doing this album was so much fun that if someone had not told us it was time to stop then we would probably be in the studio still recording. We didn’t need to write songs and we didn’t need to write lyrics. We just had a great time.
Read the entire interview from Classic Rock Revisited.