SCORPIONS guitarist Matthias Jabs spoke to Joe Rock of The Eagle 103.3 radio station about what it has been like for him and his bandmates to return to performing live after a two-year pandemic-related break. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "After a two-year break due to the pandemic, while we were using at least the majority of the time to record a new album, write new songs, it was a fantastic feeling earlier this year, in March, to hit the stage again finally after the longest break we've ever had. We played a residency in Las Vegas — nine shows in one month — and it was just a great feeling to come back on stage."
Regarding how he is getting ready for SCORPIONS' upcoming North American headlining tour, which will kick off on August 21 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and end on October 21 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Matthias said: "We are having this break, a couple of weeks here, and the break is over very soon. And since yesterday I went back to the studio, to just make sure the fingertips are fine. So I play and get into the playing mode.
"I'm always taking a break after a longer tour just to refresh your mind," he revealed. "If you play the same set for months, it's good to not touch the guitar for at least two weeks. But then you have to worry about your skin, and then you start playing again. So I have to now rehearse and warm up to be ready for the first show and for our tour."
SCORPIONS's latest album, "Rock Believer", was released in February. The LP was recorded primarily at Peppermint Park Studios in Hannover, Germany and was mixed at the legendary Hansa Studios in Berlin, Germany with engineer Michael Ilbert, who has earned multiple Grammy nominations for his mix work with producer Max Martin on albums by Taylor Swift and Katy Perry.
SCORPIONS originally intended to record the new album in Los Angeles with producer Greg 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 SCORPIONS opted to helm the recordings themselves with the help of their engineer Hans-Martin Buff.
SCORPIONS' new album marks their first release since 2017's "Born To Touch Your Feelings - Best Of Rock Ballads", which was an anthology of new and classic material.
SCORPIONS' previous full-length collection of new recordings was "Return To Forever", partially comprising songs the band had in the vault from the '80s. It was the final recorded appearance of SCORPIONS' longtime drummer James Kottak, who was dismissed from the band in September 2016. He has since been replaced by Mikkey Dee, formerly of MOTÖRHEAD.