ULI JON ROTH Explains Inspiration For His Upcoming Book, 'In Search Of The Alpha Law'
October 10, 2023
In a new interview with Phil Aston of Now Spinning magazine, legendary German guitarist Uli Jon Roth spoke about his upcoming book, "In Search Of The Alpha Law", which is tentatively due before Christmas. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I started writing that book a long, long time ago. I've always been a bit of a closet philosopher, so to speak. And this book has been in the making many, many years. But it was only during COVID that I really had the time to full on concentrate and write it. So I had various versions, I have written various versions before. I was never quite happy with the actual outcome of it. And during COVID, there was nothing much else to do, and I was able to completely focus on that book, and then I did. So, it took about one and a half or two years. It's a huge tome — over 650 pages. And, yeah, I'm very happy with it."
Asked if "In Search Of The Alpha Law" is "going underneath what inspires" him "musically and how music affects people and the effect it has on the listener", Uli said: "It is partially that, but it's more than that. It's all about a certain way of looking at things, which I started to do many years ago. I started investigating, really, what's — I don't wanna say behind the music, but what's deep inside the music, because it's such a fascinating subject, and I always wonder, why is it that certain notes have a certain vibe that others don't have and they all have their own identity? Why are certain chords resonating in a way with us and what's the reason for it? And I found that there's some underlying laws, which are fascinating to look at, once you start to realize it, because these laws that govern music or the essence of music, they're the same laws that govern us, our minds, our spirits, and not to put too fine a point on it, I think the whole universe. So, 'In Search Of The Alpha Law' is about finding or describing a law that is fundamental to all things. It's like the first law of being, of becoming, and then all the other laws of physical laws in the universe are a variation of that. So once you understand the first thing, then you can branch out and start looking at all the other stuff."
This past April, Uli told Canada's The Metal Voice that his book would be incorporated into his upcoming North American tour, although not in a way his fans might expect.
"It's different from any tour I've done before, but it's got elements of what I've done before," Roth said about the trek, which was originally scheduled to kick off in September but has since been postponed until April 2024. "It's different, because it's actually… The show consists of two very different halves. And it's a three-hour show — which sounds scary, but I've been doing three-hour shows for a long time, and we always have an intermission in the middle… So this show is a three-hour integrated show. And the first half is called 'An Evening With Uli Jon Roth'… So in the first half, it will be 'An Evening With…', but I will integrate a 15-minute 'TED Talk'. I've never done that before, but where I'm just introducing the book. There's a lot to talk about in the book, and it's impossible to put 560 pages plus a thousand photographs into a 15-minute thing, but it'll be a nice challenge. And rather than it being all complete, I will just pick certain things and just a taste of what it is, just present it."
He added: "[So] the first half of the show has this 'TED Talk', but it has also quite a few new music pieces which don't really fit into the band format. They're more orchestral. They are very melodic throughout when the guitar is leading, but I have orchestra backing… Then we have an intermission, so everybody can recuperate… But after the intermission, it's a full-on band show. So I'm bringing my band. Because originally I didn't want to do that for the next North American tour, but since it's been such a long time — I think [it's been] four years now since we were last in your neck of the woods — I'm bringing the band because I know most of my core audience wants to hear that and they want to get the full flow of also my earlier musical existence, including, of course, the SCORPIONS, ELECTRIC SUN, some SKY OF AVALON, a touch of Jimi Hendrix. It'll all be there. And that rounds off the show."
This past July, Uli Jon Roth announced his exclusive 2024 "Interstellar Sky Guitar" world tour. The three-hour-plus integrated multi-media show will be split into two parts with an intermission. The first half of the concert will feature a wide gamut of new and old pieces written by Uli, including excerpts from Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" and Uli's "Metamorphosis Concerto". It will also include a brief TED talk by Uli introducing "In Search Of The Alpha Law". The second part of the concert will synchronize with the worldwide vinyl release of all three ELECTRIC SUN albums, alongside all five Uli-era SCORPIONS albums. This will see Uli perform a breathtaking set with his full band, showcasing songs from each ELECTRIC SUN album, as well as tracks from his time with the SCORPIONS.
Roth was in the SCORPIONS for five years before leaving the group in 1978, following the release of the live double album "Tokyo Tapes".
In recent years, Roth has revisited the early music of his period with the SCORPIONS, which resulted in the "Scorpions Revisited" double CD and "Tokyo Tapes Revisited" DVD/Blu-ray releases.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest guitar players ever, Uli pioneered a unique style of guitar playing which — for the first time — combined complete mastery of the instrument with an intensely melodic and emotional appeal.
From his earliest days onwards, Uli has always been a bold and uncompromising musical innovator of the first order. Being the first guitar player in rock to incorporate complex melodic arpeggio sequences, Uli Jon Roth — in the eyes of many of his peers — practically reinvented modern guitar-technique almost singlehandedly during his SCORPIONS tenure, but even more so during his ELECTRIC SUN days.
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