SCORPIONS Frontman Discusses Label Switch

Mark Carras of RockMyMonkey.com conducted an interview with SCORPIONS vocalist Klaus Meine yesterday (August 21). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Rock My Monkey: If you had to pick out of this album, which song do you think has the power to be another legendary classic like "Rock You Like A Hurricane" or "Winds Of Change"?

Klaus Meine: Probably the title track, "Humanity", because it starts with a beautiful melody, but a ballad-esque kind of feel, like a "Winds Of Change" kind of feel, and then it goes into the "Rock You Like A Hurricane" mood with a heavy riff. That song, like you said, that's a masterpiece, you know? It's so beautiful, and it's a song we play like every night, live, with a couple other songs from this new album. But this song seems like it gets an amazing reaction from all over the world, from fans and critics and reviews. It's a very special song. I think when Desmond [Child, producer] came up with the idea of "Humanity - Hour 1" to make something like a concept record, where, concept album, a concept album where those songs are all connected with a theme, a global theme of humanity. I think he picked it up where we left with "Winds Of Change" in a way. To have an album that is more mature, with lyrics that are deeper than "Hey, baby, let's rock" or chasing girls.

Rock My Monkey: I got to say, personally my favorite on the album is "321", but that's just me.

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Klaus Meine: Ah! (both laugh) Okay. I mean, let me tell you, that's also one of the songs we play live.

Rock My Monkey: Cool.

Klaus Meine: It sounds really, really good, as well. That's really like, it has this strong SCORPIONS riff, trademark sound. It's a very powerful riff, and it seems like "321", I can imagine like live, it's like the whole arena goes "three, two, one!"

Rock My Monkey: Right, right, right.

Klaus Meine: It's really cool. It's really cool. There are a lot of songs on this record, and they are songs that will go down very well on the radio, but there's many, many songs with lots of attitude. It's an amazing record, that a lot of people were not expecting this kind of powerful album coming from the SCORPIONS in 2007.

Rock My Monkey: Many legends that have been around as long as you have blown out their voices. How do you keep those pipes so powerful after all these years?

Klaus Meine: Well, it's an ugly word when it comes into connection with rock and roll, but that's what it is, "discipline," you know. (laughs) So you have to take care of your voice if you want to record a great record, or if you want to stay on top of your game on a long tour. That's what we're doing right now. We're right now we're playing a couple shows in Brazil, and now we're in Mexico and we're on our way to Canada, and then the U.S. I think in the studio this was very different this time working with Desmond Child. He came up with a vocal coach. He put me up with a vocal coach, and said, "This guy is amazing, and I want you to work with him throughout this recording session and the next couple of months. And I want you to stay strong every day we're in the studio working on the vocals. I just want your voice to be just right there." I never did this — I had a vocal coach years ago. And for all the touring and singing live I do my workouts, my vocal workouts every other day, or course. But in the studio I never did this. So this was a whole new issue, and I was very open-minded. And with Eric Vetro, very professional guy. Lovely guy and I enjoyed a lot to work with in his house or in the studio. He opened me up to a lot of new things, and I think you can hear this in this production very well. So it was very good. And one day I remembered. So finally when I was in his place, in his house, and sometimes he has many clients. And when I just left his place, the door opened, there was one very famous Hollywood actor, you know, ready for his first vocal session, and he went, "Hey, Klaus, you don't need a vocal coach!" (both laugh) And I go like, "Man, you check this out. This is very cool, and you will find out this is amazing." So you have to be open-minded. For me the most important thing is that I can deliver, either every night live onstage, or on when you make a record. When you work with top people like Desmond Child and James Michael, it's like a challenge. Every time you make a new record, it really is like a challenge. You have to ask yourself, do I want to go through this? Do you want to go all the way? Do you want to come up with something that is just amazing? Then you got to go and do it, and the answer after all these years is "Yes. Let's do it."

Rock My Monkey: Cool. Now, you guys switched to Universal this time instead of Sanctuary. Why the switch in labels?

Klaus Meine: Well, because, actually to be honest, with Sanctuary we were not very happy with the release of, and the support we had, or didn't have, on "Unbreakable". So we were looking for a label that hopefully will support this record when it comes out here in the States and in Canada, and really gives it a good chance, and supports it the way it deserves. Because it's a strong record. It's so easy these days to come up with something you put so much power, energy, everything in this, and then it just, it goes away. There's maybe a song on the radio, maybe not, and the albums over before you know it. There's so many records out there. And of course every artist is saying with every new release, "Oh, this is my best work ever, this is it." What can you do? Time will tell, and the fans make the decision on that. But we know on this record, and this is what Desmond wants us to do, he wants us to put the SCORPIONS on the next level of a very long career, and hopefully make this another milestone. It would be really bad if this album doesn't get the attention it deserves. That's why we changed and we went back to the Universal family where we enjoyed many, many years of success with so many albums and all those years back in the '80s. But this is not about the '80s. This is about now, and the SCORPIONS are an artist, it's a band that is not about the past. We have a long and glorious past, but we're artists, and we want to move on, and hopefully the fans will go along. It doesn't mean now we come with a big message to change the world. Hopefully this music gets across, and this message of humanity gets across, where it's like hopefully we get our shit together and make this world a more peaceful place. But still, this album is about to entertain our audience, and when the SCORPIONS come to town, hits all these places like in the next couple of weeks, or next year when we come hopefully back for a longer tour, you know, it's still about we rock you like a hurricane, and we enjoy it very much.

Check out the entire interview in text and MP3 format at this location.

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