SCORPIONS Guitarist MATTHIAS JABS On Key To Group's Longevity: 'We Don't Sound Like An Oldies Band'

August 13, 2017

Jackie Donovan of Classic Hits Q101.7 recently conducted an interview with SCORPIONS guitarist Matthias Jabs. You can listen to the full chat in three parts below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):

On SCORPIONS' longevity and continued relevance:

Matthias: "I think internally speaking, a band needs to be a band in the sense of, here are five friends, or four friends, whatever the band's configuration is. You need to like each other; otherwise, you couldn't spend so much time with each other in the same hotel, same bus, same plane, same rehearsal room, same studio. We spend a lot of time with each other creating the music and performing it on tour. That's part one. The other part is you have to have the same musical ideas — not exactly identical, [as] it's good to have a few tensions there, but you need to have a certain vision about what you want to do. Third, you need to be able to refresh your style, and I think the SCORPIONS have done that over the last couple of years, that we don't sound like an old band — like an oldies band — but we sound fresh from today, even though some of our songs are, like, 35 years old."

On the importance of having a signature style:

Matthias: "Once you've found your signature sound, it's something you should not experiment with too much. We did — lots of bands did — in the '90s, when grunge and alternative killed classic rock for a few years. Everybody was like, '[Yuck], this is old-fashioned now, '80s, forget about them' — but 10 years later, the '80s were great again. [Laughs] I noticed that when bands change their formula, their style, their sound, the fans didn't want to follow those changes — they wanted the band to sound the way they liked it. We realized that too. No point in changing your personal favorite sound; just keep doing it, and write new songs and the fans love your sound."

On how touring changes as a band ages:

Matthias: "When you're starting out, everything is new. Everything is exciting, and everything — you see it for the first time, or the second time, maybe. But we have so much experience now. We treat this all with more like a selective kind of view — I don't need to go to all the clubs in town to check it all out; we've been there, done that. We have different priorities.”

On the band's 1988 "Monsters Of Rock" tour with VAN HALEN and METALLICA:

Matthias: "The 'Monsters Of Rock' tour was something that was really exceptional. The lineup was fantastic, with VAN HALEN and SCORPIONS and METALLICA. It was a festival on tour, which I think the first time this has ever been done. To tour the more regular way, like we are doing it now again with MEGADETH this time, is something that's obviously easier to handle, and you get the fans that come specially for your music, but 'Monsters Of Rock', I will always remember as one of the greatest tours we've done.”

On why the band's upcoming tour is called "Crazy World":

Matthias: "If you look at what's going on in the world today, we couldn't think of a better title than the 'Crazy World' tour."

SCORPIONS' North American tour with MEGADETH will kick off on September 14 in Reading, Pennsylvania and conclude on October 15 in Tampa, Florida. The 16-date trek celebrates SCORPIONS' 1990 LP "Crazy World", which was the band's last album to feature bassist Francis Buchholz and was the most recent effort to feature the group's classic lineup.

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