Deb Rao of Hardrock Haven recently conducted an interview with SCORPIONS guitarist Rudolf Schenker. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Hardrock Haven: The new album, "Sting In The Tail", is phenomenal. One of the great aspects of this tour and album is that the SCORPIONS will be playing to new fans as well as the older fans. How does this make you feel to have inspired four generations of fans plus a lot of the new fans will be seeing the SCORPIONS for the first time on this farewell tour?
Rudolf: This is the reason we announced it. We don't want to leave the scene as if you never knew it. Next year what if a new wave comes and everybody jumps on this wave. In the '90s, metal went away with grunge and alternative. You see how it is. Then nobody cares anymore. We inspired many bands. I heard four days ago, I had a radio interview in America. The DJ, he played me a song from the new Vince Neil album and he covered "Another Piece Of Meat" from the SCORPIONS. I heard the version and it is very good. Vince Neil will also be for a few shows our special guest. It is good if we inspire many new people. It is good when we inspire them with our new album and our live concert. Let's do it. But not four years later and maybe not catch up anymore. That is the point. We want to present a great picture especially for a band like the SCORPIONS who made a big name as a great live band. In this case, I think the momentum is very good. Another thing is we always gave 150 percent. When we can't give this anymore and then we can't deliver. Who wants to be in this position?
Hardrock Haven: You are one of the best guitarists and the SCORPIONS are one of the most influential bands to emerge out of the '80s genre. As founding member and guitarist of the SCORPIONS, what would you say the highlight of your career has been?
Rudolf: First of all, there are many, many highlights. First of all, no question about it, playing in Japan in 1978 when we did "Tokyo Tapes". Then, of course, the first concert we did ever the first festival came to U.S. in Cleveland opening for AC/DC, THIN LIZZY, JOURNEY, AEROSMITH, TED NUGENT, in front of 60,000 people. Then, of course, touring America was the highlight, no question about this and selling out three nights in Madison Square Garden in 1984. In 1985, Rock In Rio, the first festival ever in Brazil, was an amazing highlight. Playing the Moscow Peace Festival was a big highlight because this was the inspiration for "Wind Of Change". This gave us the opportunity of being a part of Roger Waters' "The Wall" in 1989 in Berlin. Then being invited by Mikhail Gorbachev was a very outstanding moment because we were the first rock band to be invited to the Kremlin. Having a talk with Gorbachev in his office for 45 minutes. Working with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra was a moment of glory because it gave us the chance to play with one of the best orchestras in the world. I think this career, which ends in 2012, it has been 40 years after "Lonesome Crow" was released. In this case we end with a happy end with a fantastic outstanding career a journey that made it around the world. It is fantastic.
Hardrock Haven: The new single is released on the radio airwaves on June 21. It is the title track from the album "Sting In The Tail". Tell us about that song. Would you say it represents the illustrious career of the SCORPIONS?
Rudolf: I will tell you one thing. My inspiration was Elvis Presley. I was a fan of his. The most important point of my career of playing rock music was when THE BEATLES and THE ROLLING STONES came. There was a kind of way as a naive boy thought four or five friends traveling around the world and playing music. This was, for me, the inspiration of making and forming a band. My goal was always traveling around the world and four or five friends playing music around the world. When we were well received in Germany, I said let's go to foreign countries and let's play there. When we played in foreign countries, we really felt like a gang. It was like bang-bang rock with a gang. I remember when Klaus [Meine, vocals] called me and said, "I am coming to the studio, I have an idea." He started singing something and I come up with the riffs. Klaus says, "We can't do this. It sounds like LADY GAGA." Then we worked more and more and more. I put the first basic track in my studio and I called Klaus and said we are ready to record. Then it came out bang bang. "Sting in the Tail", it is really a great symbol of what the SCORPIONS are all about. These two songs really giving a great picture of what the SCORPIONS are all about.
Read the entire interview from Hardrock Haven.