Hello to all my family, friends I want to send a huge thank you from the bottom of my heart for the thousands of
Adoration is a hard drug to kick.
After 50 years and dozens of tours, German hard rock band Scorpions is back on the road, chasing its next high in stadiums across four continents for its 50th Anniversary World Tour.
“People in Asia love us! I remember when we came to Kuala Lumpur, the fans there were crazy, so we are looking forward to it,” said founding member and lead guitarist Rudolf Schenker.
Asked if he was worried about protestors – as religious and conservatives groups held demonstrations against Scorpions’ show in Stadium Merdeka in 2004 – Schenker gave a hearty laugh.
Not wanting to go where it was not wanted, the band had checked in with local organisers, the Livescape Group.
“The promoters told us there is no problem anymore, rock music is accepted. Now DJs are the guys they are not liking so much,” Schenker explained over the phone from his hotel in Tokyo, Japan.
“Our music is love, peace, and rock and roll. It is the headline of our life,” he said, dismissing naysayers who lump Scorpions with the outdated image of hedonistic rock bands.
Recycling his favourite line, he said Scorpions was meant to reflect post-war Germany’s new generation. “They are not coming with tanks making war, they are coming with guitars and bringing love and peace.”
Through music, Schenker intended to build bridges between generations, different ideas and philosophies.
Booming in his salesman like voice, he points out the success his band has achieved in reaching the next generation of rock fans: 80% of its Facebook fans were between 18 and 28 years old.
“It’s always great to see this kind of generations coming to enjoy the music … at shows we see fans coming with parents and their babies, well maybe not babies, but little kids,” said the 68-year-old Schenker.
Asked if smartphone wielding fans’ insistence on recording concerts live and posting everything mid-show was an annoyance, Schenker strongly disagreed.
“The new fans are fantastic, they are giving us a new feeling into the music,” he said, pointing out that having your phone out was the modern equivalent to holding out a lighter.
He added that the fact people kept coming to live shows meant that they still wanted more than the YouTube experience of other fans before them.
“That’s what we did with Sting Of The Tail (its 2010 album). We did an album the young kids got bitten by. They say, ‘I’ve seen them on YouTube, now I have to see them live, I want to go there and be a part of a rock and roll show’,” he said.
To not to disappoint fans, Schenker and the band make a point to rock their hearts out during live shows, “jumping and playing together like kids”.
“When you’re on stage, you are on stage because you’re excited. You want to give people the feeling they are standing in the spotlight … attitude is the gasoline of rock and roll,” he summed up.
Schenker counts his band lucky to be able to do a 50th anniversary tour, noting that only three other rock bands had done so before them: the Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, and The Who.
He concedes there was an element of nostalgia to Scorpions, but adds “a part is nostalgia, a part is today … that’s the trick!”
However, the Scorpions’ 50th Anniversary tour which followed a not-so-final farewell tour, had drawn some detractors, most notably Schenker’s own brother Michael. During an interview with rock journalist Mitch Lafon earlier this year, Michael had questioned Scorpions’ creative output, its treatment of former members and arguing that the band had not really reached its 50th birthday.
Asked about his brother, the elder Schenker gave a forced laugh.
“I tell you one thing: I love my brother, my brother is my brother, and whatever he says is fine with me and let him say what he wants to say. I have a band called Scorpions that knows what is happening and what really happened. I have patience. It is a very important point, not talking stupid things in the press and things like this,” he said, adding in as diplomatic way as possible, that he would explain this misunderstanding to his brother after the tour.
For the band’s coming performance in Malaysia, he reveals that there will be a big multimedia show, the “good kind with five, six cameras filming, a big live show with a lot of energy and some great ballads in our pockets”.
In addition to the multimedia spectacle was also a new member to the lineup, drummer Mikkey Dee, best known for his 23 years with British rock band Motorhead.
Schenker assures that the band will play its back catalogue from the 1970s, the essential hits and ballads and even make time for material from its latest album, Return To Forever.
Asked if Scorpions intended to keep singing and stinging, he admitted, in perhaps a concession to his age, that the band plans to go on a long break after the tour wraps up in Berlin, Germany on Dec 2.
“We want to be inspired by something that comes. If there is a project that inspires our creativity, we will go for it. If nothing, we will retire. We realise have to have the patience to wait for the right moment.”
German hard rock veterans SCORPIONS took part in a press conference prior to their October 21 concert at at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre in Singapore. You can now watch video footage of the question-and-answer session below.
Speaking about what keeps SCORPIONS going five decades into the band’s career, singer Klaus Meine said: “When we started the band, it was about the passion for music, love for rock and roll. We shared the same visions, and we shared the love for music, and [the desire] to be in a band. It was always… all those years, especially in the early years, about chemistry. Of course, you have great musicians — a great drummer, a great guitarist — but it was also about… You know, you spend so much time [together] being in a band, it’s like your second family, it’s your rock and roll family. And the guy can be the best musician in the world, but if he doesn’t fit right in, if you don’t feel comfortable spending so much time [together] — 24 hours [a day] and month after month and year after year. It’s very important to have a good company, and in a way, this was the foundation for the SCORPIONS — to have not only great, talented musicians, but also good friends, and travel the whole world. So there was this vision from the early days on — we take our music all over the world, and we did.”
He continued: “We’ve been pretty much all over the globe all those years, but the passion for what we’re doing is still there, the fire is still burning very strongly. And we feel a very strong connection with our fans all over the planet, in so many places, and therefore it’s so great to come here back to Singapore. We believe we have a great show this time around, and we wanna share it with our fans, and it’s a wonderful thing.
“Yes, we celebrate fifty years of SCORPIONS, but I guess it’s much more than that. The fact that the band is still together and we still put on a damn good show. And with Mikkey [Dee, drums; ex-MOTÖRHEAD] just joining the band, there’s a fresh wave of energy, and it’s a lot of fun, and we enjoy every night.
“So we’re still excited about doing all those trips and taking our music all over the world. This vision never left us. And at the same time, creating new songs — playing not only the big classics on our show, but also to present new material, new songs from our latest album, ‘Return To Forever’. So it’s the whole package, I guess, that makes the band very, very special. And we still enjoy it very much — not being superstars or anything, but being musicians, being artists, and expressing ourselves though the music and having a wonderful time with our fans all over the world.”
SCORPIONS in September announced the addition of former Dee as a permanent replacement for SCORPIONS‘ longtime drummer James Kottak. Dee had spent the last few months filling in for Kottak, who was said to be on break while he sought medical attention.
REVIEW / CONCERT
SCORPIONS – 50TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR – LIVE IN SINGAPORE
Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre/Last Friday
Veteran German rock band Scorpions’ energetic 50th anniversary tour performance in Singapore last Friday – a classic rock showcase, complete with all the bombast – would put many younger rockers to shame.
Like the well-oiled machine their compatriots are famous for producing, they proved they very much still have drive and performance, delivering a stellar 90-minute set to a sold-out crowd of 7,000 at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre.
Whether Scorpions played a classic number such as Always Somewhere or a newer track such as We Built This House, most of the crowd faithfully woah-oh-oh-ed along.
The audience – which included middle-aged men and women, as well as 20somethings decked out in tour T-shirts – was largely an enthusiastic bunch who, at points during the concert, literally made the ground shake with its foot stomping and cheering.
But no matter how much the band tried, they could not get the seated audience in the venue to join in the party that was happening in the standing-only section.
Even then, they did an excellent job of playing to the adoring mass, with lead singer Klaus Meine frequently throwing drumsticks into the crowd and guitarists Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs throwing down face-melting licks with plenty of style.
Wind Of Change, as was to be expected, saw the most spirited interaction between the band and the audience, with the energy in the room lifting as the crowd sang along on the classic in full voice.
Drummer Mikkey Dee, in particular, was a scene stealer with his mop of grey hair flailing as he thrashed away on the drumkit. There was a nod to his former band as the Scorpions performed Motorhead’s Overkill, which segued into a blistering five-minute drum solo that ended with the stage screens filled with Scorpions’ album covers.
It was one of many triumphant moments on a night that culminated in an encore of Still Loving You and Rock You Like A Hurricane.
Scorpions, who played here in 1994 and 2001, belong to a small group of old-school bands who are still going strong after decades. Like The Rolling Stones and The Who, they proved last Friday night why they have such longevity – they can put on a rocking good live show.
One may think it cheesy that Meine’s leather vest was emblazoned on the back with the words “Rock ‘n’ Roll Forever”, but they are living out the truth of those words.
Their tale still has sting.
Another Concert review from Singapore – http://www.metaltalk.net/columns2016/201617368a.php
ROCKERS: German band Scorpions, comprising (from left) bassist Paweł Maciwoda, guitarist Rudolf Schenker, vocalist Klaus Meine, drummer Micael Delaoglou(Mikkey Dee), and Lead guitarist Matthias Jabs, celebrating their 50th anniversary with a cake.