SCORPIONS' official French fan club Crazyscorps recently conducted an interview with SCORPIONS frontman Klaus Meine. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Crazyscorps: "Unbreakable", your previous album, was released three years ago. Which opinion do you have of that album today, and what balance would you make of the "Unbreakable" era?
Klaus: Well, I think it's an album which permitted us to have a lot of credibility again after the hard decade of the '90s which was a very difficult decade for rock and hard rock, as not many bands survived the revolution of alternative music of the early '90s. So the '90s were kind of a difficult time. After doing some side-projects with the Berliner Philarmonics and Acoustica, which were really successful, we decided to go back to what made the SCORPIONS the SCORPIONS in a first place, to find our signature sound back, and that's what we tried to achieve with "Unbreakable". We wanted to make sure that people out there knew that this band is still alive, this band is still rocking. This album was a statement: We're back!
Crazyscorps: "Unbreakable" was definitely a kind of "back-to-the-roots" album, and even if it did not have the promotion it deserved, at least in France, you fans really enjoyed it. Why then did you decide to record such a modern album like "Humanity – Hour 1", while it would maybe have been more easy for you to record another "Unbreakable"?
Klaus: Yes it's right. But you know life goes on, after this album we were like on a crossroads, and we asked ourselves: which way to go? With "Unbreakable" we had showed that the SCORPIONS were back on track, but then the question was: do we want to sound like in the '80s, or like a band which is alive and well now, in 2007? With the record, what we tried to achieve is to have the signature SCORPIONS' sound but at the same time we want to move ahead in our career, move ahead as artists, with what we have to do and to say. I think we have made a strong record in a old-fashioned way, in the sense that we see this album as a whole unit, not an album from which people can download one single song on the Internet and never listen to the rest. This whole album is a unit, a statement, and we hope that the fans will listen to the whole album, from the first song to the last song.
Crazyscorps: You, Klaus, have written most lyrics for the SCORPIONS. Yet what struck me when I saw the credits for that new album is that many lyrics have been written by other people. I cannot believe you have lost inspiration!
Klaus: No (laughs). I don't think me or anybody in the SCORPIONS has lost inspiration! When we decided to make a collaboration with Desmond Child, it is not only because we knew him as a producer but also because we knew him as a genius songwriter, who wrote so many anthems for BON JOVI, AEROSMITH, KISS…It was the most important thing for us to find a good producer for that album so that we could move ahead and come up with something not only strong, but also hopefully that could fit in our own history. When we decided to work with Desmond, we told him that he would be involved in the songwriting and that we hoped he would come up with something amazing, so that we could do something great together. But not only Desmond worked on that record, there was also James Michael and some of the best songwriters in the world of rock music, some with whom we had already worked on "Unbreakable", like Eric Bazilian, or Marti Frederiksen. So this was a familiar kind of team with musicians and writers we know for many years and we've been working with before, the difference is that this time we opened up the door and said "Let's do something all together," so the working process was not so much "This is my song, this is your song," we all wanted to come up with something that is just amazing, and I hope this album will be a big step forward in the world of rock.
Crazyscorps: Uli Jon Roth will play with you again for the French shows. We will be very happy to see him, but why did you decide to invite him again on stage?
Klaus: Because Uli also represents the perfect connection between the past and now. The fact is we played with Uli in Colmar and we saw all the excitement of the fans, and also the excitement on stage, as we really had a good time. And also Uli, who was really busy with his own career and had never showed any real excitement to play with the band again really changed after that concert in Comar and so we decided to take it to the next level at the Wacken show last year. We didn't know if this would work in front of so many metalheads but it worked fantastic. We had put 50 songs on the Internet for the Wacken audience to choose our setlist, and they just loved the show. This huge show, with also Michael Schenker and Herman Rarebell was a huge success, and it will be released on DVD, we are working on it right now. We will play with Uli in France, and Michael Schenker will join us in Britain. They are legendary guitar players, and we are happy to have them back in the SCORPIONS' family for these shows.
Read the entire interview at this location.