Categories » ‘Interviews’
The most successful German rockers of all time have sold more than 100 million records and given thousands of concerts. They expected to be done in 2012, but things turned out differently. In this interview, singer Klaus Meine, guitarist Rudolf Schenker and lead guitarist Matthias Jabs talk about saying farewell to the farewell, the challenges of unplugged concerts, the band’s upcoming 50th anniversary, the DW documentary film “Forever and a Day” and the album they’re currently working on.
DW: In 2010, you announced you would end your career together after a three-year farewell tour. In early 2013 came the decision to keep going. Why?
Klaus Meine: When you start a three-year farewell tour, you know you’ve got a long time ahead of you. But that long period went by much faster than we imagined. The closer we got to the goal – Munich in December 2012 – the stronger the feeling was that we hadn’t come to the end at all. There were so many images in our minds and so many emotions in our hearts. Everything we experienced between 2010 and 2012, the 200 concerts – it was all so powerful. You stand on stage, look down and see so many fans – including the younger generation, who are really getting into it and saying: ‘Guys, this is so cool. We’re seeing you for the first time. When will you be back?’ It’s so motivating and inspiring to play for three generations. We’re all having too much fun to put down the guitars.
Rudolf Schenker: The success of the farewell tour bowled us over. When you see you’ve got a whole new generation in front of you – lots of 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds – then you get a whole new kick out of it. Essentially, we announced the farewell tour because we didn’t want to be standing on stage and not able to deliver what people expected from us.
Matthias Jabs: At first, there were plenty of arguments in favor of stopping. But we were quickly overshadowed by the feeling of how much fun it all is. It doesn’t matter where we went, the shows were packed – in South America, the US, throughout Europe. So, we just thought: This can’t really be the end.
Then came the offer to play an MTV Unplugged concert in Athens, which would later be put out on CD and DVD. What does the Unplugged series mean to you?
Klaus Meine: It was early 2013 when we got the MTV Unplugged offer. That really brought out the thrill of the chase in us, and we said: ‘MTV Unplugged? Are we supposed to say: too bad, but we just quit? Of course not.’ So, we all quickly agreed that it was the next challenge. MTV Unplugged really is a brand, even if MTV is no longer what it was during its 80s glory days. But there’s a really strong story there. Really the best musicians in the world have participated, and you want to be part of MTV Unplugged history. So, for us, that was an invitation we really couldn’t turn down and accepted with total passion.
What’s the challenge when it comes to MTV Unplugged?
Matthias Jabs: The acoustic guitar is completely unforgiving. You have to play with much greater concentration and precision. With an electric guitar, particularly with some distortion, you can just go at it, and the sound lingers. But with acoustic guitar, every note has to be played at the right time. That just makes it tougher.
What role does social media play for you?
Klaus Meine: For a live band as globally present as Scorpions, the internet has become an ally – in the sense that people can watch songs on YouTube after almost every concert. Then young people see them and say: When Scorpions come to my country, I want to go check it out with my friends because it’s definitely full-service rock’n'roll, and we’ll have a good time. Then they leave the concert and talk about having seen it and how cool it was – that it wasn’t just some old man rock combo on tour, but a band whose music really spoke to them.
Next year, you’ll celebrate 50 years of Scorpions. What are you planning for the anniversary?
Klaus Meine: In 2015, when we celebrate – and it’s almost hard to say it – the 50th anniversary, then of course we’ll want to put out a strong album. We’ve been in studio the last few weeks, continuing with what we started in 2011. We’re calling the project “Outtakes.” We’ve gone back and listened to songs from the 80s, going through our archives, opening all the drawers. We found a lot of material – many tracks we never released, including some we didn’t finish composing. There were also drafts of lyrics, and I sat back down and wrote new ones. There was a gem or two in there. The album will also have new material – songs we’re putting together now. It’s a really exciting project.
What’s the latest on the documentary film “Forever and a Day” that DW and German broadcaster ZDF commissioned from director Katja von Garnier?
Klaus Meine: It’ll also be released in 2015. A camera team followed us around the world in recent years – in Bangkok, Berlin, Munich, Paris, Los Angeles and Moscow. Recently, we had a screening of the final version of the film. It was really crazy because there’s so much material we couldn’t even remember, like Scorpions on tour with the old band bus in the early 70s. There are so many pictures there that no one but us has seen. I think it’ll be a really special film for our fans.
Rudy,Klaus and Matthias were interviewed:
The event is breathtaking and beautiful, and Scorpions founder Rudolf Schenker sat down with Goldmine Magazine to talk about how the show came to be, why the band never did MTV Unplugged during their 1980’s heyday, and how he wanted other musicians to arrange the songs for the special event since he was ‘too close’ to them, as their creator.
During the interview, Rudolf admits the band is still on the ‘Farewell Tour’, and they are indeed beginning their descent into retirement. However, he also tells of a documentary and a new album that are in the works, assuring the Scorpions will continue to sting us with new releases, at least for a few more years to come.
This interview was conducted by Jeb Wright from Goldmine magazine
Full interview – http://www.classicrockrevisited.com/show_interview.php?id=1053
go jimmy go recently spoke with Matthias Jabs about MTV Unplugged and got an update on the band’s current activities. We also discussed the 30th anniversary of the band’s monumental album, “Love At First Sting”.
A little teaser for American fans:
Q-Is the band planning any U.S. tour dates this year?
MJ-Yes, we’re working on playing some U.S. shows maybe in late summer.
knac.com recently had the chance to sit down with legendary vocalist Klaus Meine of SCORPIONS to discuss their newest project MTV Unplugged. Recorded live in Athens, Greece to a crowd of about 3,000 under the stars, it’s available now on CD/DVD/Blu-Ray. Klaus was very excited about it, and rightfully so. We also talked about what the future holds for the band. Check it out: http://knac.com/article.asp?ArticleID=10902
SCORPIONS Recording Cover Of RAINBOW’s ‘Temple Of The King’ For RONNIE JAMES DIO Tribute Album and a Matthias Jabs interviewFebruary 4th, 2014 by Scott
SCORPIONS guitarist Matthias Jabs revealed in an interview with Classic Rock Revisited that his band is recording a cover version of RAINBOW’s “Temple Of The King” for inclusion on the upcoming Ronnie James Dio tribute album. The collection, which is being assembled by the singer’s widow and longtime manager Wendy Dio, will also tentatively include contributions from METALLICA, ANTHRAX, JUDAS PRIEST’s Rob Halford, MOTÖRHEAD’s Lemmy Kilmister, DEEP PURPLE’s Ian Gillan, Alice Cooper, Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH), HALESTORM, Sebastian Bach (SKID ROW), Chris Jericho (FOZZY) and Dave Grohl (NIRVANA, FOO FIGHTERS).
“I’m letting them pick what songs they wanna do in the way they wanna do it,” Wendy told Artisan News in 2011.
The Dio tribute album will see Grohl covering BLACK SABBATH’s “The Mob Rules”, Halford contributing a version of RAINBOW’s “Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll” and HALESTORM delivering a rendition of “Straight Through The Heart”.
“We reached out to Wendy Dio about wanting to be a part of the Dio tribute that’s getting put together,” METALLICA singer James Hetfield told U.K.’s Metal Hammer magazine. “We’re very honored to be a part of that, and to be a part of a celebration of Ronnie’s life and his great contribution, man.”
In an interview with Guitar International, former ANTHRAX guitarist Rob Caggiano stated that the band’s cover version of “Neon Knights” “came out pretty smoking.”
Ronnie James Dio, best known for his work with BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW and his own band DIO, died of stomach cancer on May 16, 2010 at the age of 67.
Matthias Jabs interview at www.classicrockrevisited.com – http://www.classicrockrevisited.com/show_interview.php?id=1029
We were beyond saddened to learn a couple of years back that Germany’s finest Rock & Roll export, the Scorpions, had decided to begin unwinding their career as a live touring band, yet they alluded to the fact that there might be more music released over the years. Already, we have something new to celebrate. On the heels of their LIVE 2011 release and 2010 studio album, “Sting in the Tail”, the band has decided to strip things down again. Not since their 2001 release, “Acoustica”, has the band taken such elaborate steps to offer more with less. Assuming, of course, one views acoustic as somehow less or inferior. Even a cursory look at the new DVD/CD “Scorpions: MTV Unplugged in Athens” will dispel any notions of anything construed as less; the stage is teeming with performers, a coterie of female background singers, an accordion player, harmonica, piano/keyboards, beautiful, exotic looking instruments, a string section and in the middle of it all Klaus Meine resolute and confident in the eye of the storm, his domain. Matthias Jabs is on fire from the get go, his picking style of guitar playing really lending itself to an acoustic performance, Rudolph Schenker plays a wide range of guitars, sneaking in a bit of electric, and even offers some sitar and a lead vocal too. The Polish prince, Pawel Maciwoda, stoically lays down fluid bass lines propelling the delicate yet powerful band throughout the evening and American James Kottack is so tasteful and in the moment on his drum kit that he’s sometimes forgotten. From note one, Scorpions lay down a nasty groove that persists throughout the evening. The completely rearranged “Sting in the Tail” begins the set and sets a tone. This show, all two hours of it, is something special. Visit at The-Scorpions.com
Klaus once said to me the European audiences seem to enjoy the slightly softer side of the band where the Americans wanna rock more. Likely, “Humanity” was more in line with Europe in its scope, “Sting in the Tail”, perhaps more USA. There’s very little to not enjoy in this sparkling set from Athens. It’s an ornate and beautiful show, powerful in performance, symphonic in scope. Their songs take on a new dimension, they resonate differently, they’ve been given new life and we cannot imagine any band performing at this level calling it quits anytime soon. Scorpions give us the hits we want, offer five new songs and have structured their set so it all flows beautifully as well. A terrific new song, “Dancing with the Moonlight” is followed by “In Trance” (for longtime fans) featuring a duet with Klaus and Cathe intertwining her made-for-rock voice with his. Arrangements are so clever at one point Meine teases the audience to identify the song the band is playing under him. They can’t….until the chorus of “Blackout” removes any doubt. Something special for sure.
Join us for Klaus and Matthias from the Scorpions on the next Rockine!
On September 11,12 and 14, German hard rock legends SCORPIONS will play three concerts in Athens, Greece under the banner “MTV Unplugged – Scorpions Live In Athens” at the Lycabettus Theatre over the roofs of the ancient city. For the first time in the history of the “MTV Unplugged” series, a concert in Greece under the open sky will take place.
The SCORPIONS will perform their biggest hits, album classics as well as some exclusive new songs in the typical sound and arrangement of “MTV Unplugged”. They will be supported by national and international surprise guests, to be announced at a later date.
Says the band: “‘MTV Unplugged’ was already top on our wish list and therefore we have gladly accepted the offer to stage these concerts as part of our farewell tour. We are [happy to be working] together with MTV on this very special event in Athens.” “MTV Unplugged – Scorpions Live In Athens” will be released at the end of 2013 on CD, DVD and Blu-ray disc. Below is the full interview with James Kottak