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SCORPIONS PRODUCER REVEALS FIVE FACTS ABOUT NEW ALBUM

November 18th, 2021 by

Engineer Hans-Martin Buff Recalls Life Working with Prince at Paisley Park  | GuitarPlayer

Scorpions will release Rock Believer, their 19th album, in February.

The record arrives 50 years after their debut, Lonesome Crow. As the band began working on material for this next chapter, its goal was to return to the sound of classic Scorpions albums like Blackout, Love at First Sting and Lovedrive. The album’s first single, “Peacemaker,” sounds like they’re on the right path.

Producer Hans-Martin Buff checked in with UCR to share five facts about the upcoming Rock Believer.

1. Every member has his own style in the studio.

Part of being a producer is working with each musician’s personality. For Buff, this task was relatively easy. “Klaus [Meine] is probably the easiest singer I’ve ever worked with,” the producer admits. “From the very first day that I recorded vocals with him, he’s just completely open to suggestions. … You go in, and he’s very to the creative point and very accommodating. If you say, ‘Can you try that again and try this?’ and maybe even, ‘That lyric doesn’t flow into that lyric, should we try something else?’ he’s totally open.”

With guitarists Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs, the focus was on getting the right sounds. “They’re both picky in the way that they know what they don’t like,” Buff notes. “They enjoy looking for what they like. I think that Rudolf is a bit more set. He goes, ‘Okay, that’s cool. Let’s do that.’ Whereas Matthias, who does more, he does fills and solos, extra rhythm guitars and stuff, he searches a long time for what he needs. Then it’s just nailing it.”

Meanwhile, Mikkey Dee, who recently joined Scorpions after years in Motorhead, proved to be the life of the party. “Mikkey was a joy,” the producer declares. “It was my first time working with him, and I didn’t know what to expect. He’s bigger than life anyway as a guy. He’s really friendly. He’s one of those people that you’re just part of the family, and I really appreciate that.”

2. The band had some doubts about “Peacemaker.”

“Oddly enough, there was a lot of discussion [about “Peacemaker”],” Buff admits. “Is it too short? Is it us? It’s so to the point, but it’s also the best of what they can do. It’s [bassist] Pawel [Maciwoda] and Mikkey at their best, driving things. It’s Rudolf doing his [imitates guitar patterns] type of thing. I think what really lifts it though is the great guitar licks that Matthias came up with.”

Buff credits the guitar parts for elevating the song “from a funky album track to something that’s really special.” The producer also praises Meine’s uplifting lyrics: “Klaus is one to better the world, as we know. [The way] he fits that into this rockin’ song is really awesome.”

3. Rock Believer couldn’t have been made by anybody else.

The new Scorpions album was recorded mostly live in the studio. Although they’d recorded live together in a room in the past, the sessions for Rock Believer were the first time they utilized the method with the intention of using the recordings on the final album. Beyond that, there was a special bond that was visibly evident as the sessions progressed, which Buff believes gave the band a distinctive energy.

“A band is like a marriage,” he explains. “It can be both types of a marriage. It can be that you’re looking for the smallest common denominator, where nobody’s going to freak out. Or you actually pull the same string until something really special happens, because you trust each other. I think that was the truly special thing for me.”

Buff noticed the camaraderie among Scorpions members from the first day he arrived. “From the get-go, even when they weren’t recording together, but just when they were in the room together, they were enjoying each other’s company,” he notes. “They were talking about whatever they did at home. They don’t live far from each other, but they would be together every day for almost a year, and they really liked it. It was the same in the studio. When they were recording together, there was that sense of familiarity.”

The producer says he “saw friends creating in the studio. It was something that couldn’t have been created by somebody else in there. So if I would have replaced one of them with a studio musician, it wouldn’t have been the same.”

4. The band wanted to revisit the feel of its classic albums but not replicate it.

Scorpions looked back at LPs like Blackout, Love at First Sting and Lovedrive, gleaning inspiration from their past. Greg Fidelman, who was originally going to produce the album, even planned to take things further, hoping to incorporate some of the same gear the band used in the ‘70s and ‘80s. That idea was dropped when Buff took the reins.

“We decided to not do that,” the producer explains, noting that the band’s “sound has evolved sonically” since that era. “So, it’s not like a copy of the ‘70s and ‘80s approach of what they [did then], it’s just capturing them. That’s what’s different.”

As Buff points out, trying to directly copy that ‘70s and ’80s sound wouldn’t have made much sense. “It’s not like we tried to turn Mikkey into [’70s Scorpions drummer] Herman Rarebell. That wouldn’t have worked, and he wouldn’t have gone for it — and we just didn’t want it. There was talk about how do we get to that [original sound], and then in the end it was just, like, we do what we do.

“But having said that, from the beginning, it was clear that they were going to make a rockin’ album. No whistling, no CIA involvement.”

5. There are several epic Scorpions tracks on the LP.

Scorpions fans yearning for epic-sounding songs should be happy with Rock Believer. Buff points to “Call of the Wild,” “an epic [Led] Zeppelin-esque type of thing with endless solos and everything. It’s just awesome. It won’t be the one that will make the writers rich, but I think that’s the one that will make me get speeding tickets, so I’m looking forward to that.”

Another highlight, says the producer, is “Seventh Sun,” which “really developed as a conscious effort to bring this type of heaviness to the album that is kind of like [Blackout track] ‘China White.’ That’s just a prime example. In the demo process, it had a much quicker melody line with some sounds, and the demo really didn’t go anywhere and nobody was really interested in it. I had this idea and presented a loop of a slow groove and wrote a riff with [their guitar tech] Ingo [Powitzer], and used that demo and put it on there and changed the tempo so it fit.”

From there the song continued to change: Schenker brought the melody heard in the verses, Meine delivered the chorus and lyrics and Fidelman, who was still involved at the time of the song’s writing, made riff suggestions. “It was like a chain letter,” Buff says, “trying to fulfill that ambition of being really, really rockin’.”

SCORPIONS Were Forced To Abandon Plan To Work With Producer GREG FIDELMAN On New Album

March 29th, 2021 by

 

Die Scorpions nehmen neues Album in Hannover auf

https://www.blabbermouth.net/news/scorpions-were-forced-to-abandon-plan-to-work-with-producer-greg-fidelman-on-new-album/

SCORPIONS have abandoned their plans to work with producer Greg Fidelman on their new album.

The German-Polish-Swedish hard rock legends spent the last few months recording the effort at Peppermint Park Studios in Hannover, Germany. Tentatively due later this year, the disc will mark SCORPIONS‘ first release since 2017’s “Born To Touch Your Feelings – Best Of Rock Ballads”, which was an anthology of new and classic material.

SCORPIONS originally intended to record the new album in Los Angeles with Fidelman, whose previous credits include SLIPKNOT and METALLICA. However, because of the pandemic, some of the initial work was done with Greg remotely, after which SCORPIONSopted to helm the recordings themselves with the help of their engineer Hans-Martin Buff.

During an appearance on MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn‘s “No Fuckin’ Regrets With Robb Flynn” podcast, SCORPIONS drummer Mikkey Dee stated about the band’s decision to proceed without Fidelman (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “Unfortunately, because of this corona, we could not come to L.A., and [Greg] could not come to Germany. So we were trying for a whole month, via Zoom, to work on songs. And then he was with us [virtually] in the early evening, and we were working together on certain songs and arrangements. But it was almost impossible for him to get our feeling and for us to understand his feeling. So we decided that it was probably better that we were trying to do this on our own. And that’s what we’ve been doing. But I’m sure Greg would have put his magic ears to this album, and it would have been fantastic too. But, unfortunately, we had to make the best out of the situation. We were even talking about breaking in the fall, maybe in October or something already. We talked about maybe breaking the record and then come back and maybe fly to L.A. in February or March. We thought it’d be open by now. But look, here we are — it’s even worse than it was in October. So if we would have been sitting here now and broke the recording October, we would have wasted six months here.”

Elaborating on the early recording sessions with Fidelman, Dee said: “He was listening and working on this with us. But it’s really hard to get that feeling, of course. And when he wanted to change some stuff, we were sitting in the studio going, ‘What does he fucking mean here?’ ‘But it sounds great here.’ So it’s very hard to communicate [virtually]. But maybe next record — who knows? [So] we decided to move forward and continue recording and do the best we could. And we have Hans-Martin as an engineer. He’s brilliant, by the way. He worked on a lot, a lot of stuff for a lot of musicians. And he’s so fast, and he has a great ear, and he feels everybody on their instrument, which is important. He knows drums, he knows bass, he knows guitars, and they speak German as well, so that helps out when they can go at it and work on some stuff. Now, with this done, I think this is the only way we have to do it, and I think we chose the right way. Because if we would have stuck to really have Greg on this, we couldn’t even have started now. So who knows? Maybe we could have started in June or July [of this year]. We captured a moment when we all were fresh and really wanted to make a new album. Who knows what the feeling would have been if we started in June?”

According to Mikkey, the other members of the SCORPIONS should be completed with all the recordings in about two weeks, after which the album will be mixed by Michael Ilbert at the legendary Hansa Studios in Berlin, Germany.

 

MIKKEY DEE Says Playing With SCORPIONS Is ‘So Much More Physically Demanding’ Than Performing With MOTÖRHEAD

February 15th, 2021 by

Asked what the main difference is between playing with MOTÖRHEAD and touring withSCORPIONS in terms of how he paces himself for each individual band’s setlist, Dee said: “A lot of people say, ‘Hey, listen, Mikkey, you’re probably sleeping through the [SCORPIONS] set.’ And I’m telling you, this is so much more demanding than MOTÖRHEAD ever was, physically. Because, as you know, if I was starting to lose my breath here and there withMOTÖRHEAD, I could just shout at your dad or Lemmy and go, ‘Hang on, boys. Have a drink,’ and pretend to tune up the snare a little bit. And Lemmy and Phil, they were not very hard to [convince] to get a break. They went around their stacks and took a drink, and we said, ‘Cheers,’ and you could even actually have a chat on stage for a while. But with theSCORPIONS, it’s all on a click track, because of our screens — the production. And I do play around the click, but it has to work with the lyrics and stuff on the screens and what’s going on with the production, which we never had with MOTÖRHEAD.

He continued: “So every show [with the SCORPIONS] is exactly the same length — on the fucking second or minute… Klaus [Meine, SCORPIONS singer] cues whatever he says. So it could be one or two minutes difference between the sets, on two-and-a-half-hour sets. So it’s very demanding. It goes up and down, the set, and there’s a part in the set after we’ve done the acoustic medley, and then we come up and do ‘Wind Of Change’ — I’m actually freezing on stage. And then it’s about 40 minutes, 45 minutes of non-stop… We do heavy, heavy songs, and a drum solo, straight into ‘Blackout’, straight into ‘Big City Nights’. I mean, there’s 45 minutes where I don’t even have a chance to change drum sticks. So that is very, very demanding for me. But it’s great — it’s a challenge, and I love it. But the more tired I get on stage, the better I play.”

Mikkey added: “We usually did 90 minutes, with MOTÖRHEAD, and when we played with other bands, it could be 60 or 70 minutes. But MOTÖRHEAD, we controlled the set ourselves, and here and there, Phil ran outside and changed his guitar or took a piss, orLemmy disappeared off stage and no one knew what he was doing. We could run it ourselves more in a different way.”

New Klaus Meine Interview with Melodic

December 14th, 2020 by

In a new interview with Melodic, SCORPIONS singer Klaus Meine was asked how he keeps his voice in shape after all these years. He responded (hear audio below): “When we’re on the road, I do my exercises. And also, right now, being in the studio and singing every other day, recording [the new SCORPIONS album], I do my warm-ups and my vocal exercises. And so far, it got me through this pandemic times pretty good. We spent a lot of time this year working on songwriting and working on new songs in the studio.

“When we made the decision to make a new album, it’s such a challenge after all these years — from many perspectives,” he explained. “The voice — how you keep your voice going on this level; it’s a challenge for the songwriting; and for the whole process. And so far, I must say I’m very happy especially that my voice, when I need it, like just the other day in the studio, when it comes to a song with these high-pitched vocals, and you wanna hit the tones like you get there very easy; this is what you try to do. And when that works out fine, I drive home every night going, ‘Yeah. What a great day.’ I enjoyed myself so much singing a new song, recording a new song, and knowing my voice is there. I mean, we’re all getting older, but it looks like right now, my voice is still in a very good place, and that makes me feel really good.

“But it’s quite a challenge after all these years,” he admitted. “And it comes down to, once you make a decision, and we made the decision to make a new album last year — early in 2019 — but if we do it, then you wanna do it right. So in a way, we were lucky that we planned for 2020 to go into the studio. Except for a residency in Las Vegas in July, there were no other shows planned for 2020, because we said, if we wanna make a record, after all these years of touring like crazy all over the world, we have to take some time out and go into the studio and make a new album in 2020. In that way, we were lucky.

“I tell you, in these strange times we all go through, it’s such a privilege when you can work, when you can take a deep dive in your own creativity and come up with hopefully something brilliant,” Meine laughed and added. “You never know. But it feels really good. And we started last year writing, and we stopped around June last year when we picked up a tour… We knew this was now the time to write new songs and make a new record and then hopefully go back out on the road again with a new production and with a fresh setlist. So it was a good plan.”

A New Mikkey Dee Interview

November 27th, 2020 by

Mitch Lafon Interviews Mikkey Dee (Oct 2020)

October 26th, 2020 by

Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon… and Alan Niven present the Scorpions’ Mikkey Dee (October 2020 interview). Alan and I sat down with the Scorpions Mikkey Dee to discuss the band’s upcoming new album, the Motörhead 40th anniversary deluxe edition Ace Of Spades box set, hockey and Alan explains to Mikkey why he wasn’t considered for the drummer position in Guns N’ Roses after Steve Adler left.

New interview with Klaus Meine on Dennis Miller

July 20th, 2020 by

The Dennis Miller Option

 

Talking Metal 879 Klaus Meine of Scorpions

July 8th, 2020 by

Talking Metal 879 Klaus Meine of Scorpions and Udo and Sven Dirkschneider of U.D.O.

Klaus interview starts at 9:15

On this episode of Talking Metal, Mark Strigl interviews Klaus Meine of Scorpions.

The interview is with Klaus and topics include the new song Sign of Hope, the new music the band is working on, the song the Zoo, Madison Square Garden, the band’s future touring plans, working with Roger Waters, Bon Jovi, tennis and much more.

Scorpions Klaus Meine talks New Song and New Album on Zoom Chat July 2.

July 6th, 2020 by

Scorpions Frontman & Rock Legend Klaus Meine promoting New Song “Sign of Hope,” talks about Covid-19, New Album Challenges, Songwriting Process, Touring, Mikkey Dee, his vocals, thanks 1st responders, thanks publicist Jody Best and so much more!!!

Pollstar Live! Digital Session: The Scorpions

July 1st, 2020 by
Scorpions Band Members Stock Pictures, Royalty-free Photos & Images
Pollstar took a close look at the incredible career of the Scorpions, which came out of West Germany in the late 1960s and conquered the world “one sting at a time.”
It’s an incredible 55-year history that would require several books to be told in all detail. We focused on the live milestones, like the Scorpions’ first concert in North America at the “World Series of Rock” in 1978; the 1983 US Festival, where some 300,000 fans saw the Scorpions steal the show; the Moscow Music Peace Festival in 1989, also known as the Russian Woodstock, and many more.
The band has sold more than 100 million records to date, which makes them the most successful rock band of Continental Europe.
We sat down with front man and vocalist Klaus Meine, lead guitarist Matthias Jabs and Scorpions founder Rudolf Schenker for the latest installment of the Pollstar Live! Digital Sessions series of interviews – to delve a bit deeper into some of the most significant moments in the band’s career, and to find out how the production of their 19th studio album is going in times when the band cannot meet LA-based producer Greg Fidelman in person.
Check out the full interview below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-GPYpchlik&feature=emb_logo

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