Shelly Harris of KNAC.COM recently conducted an interview with SCORPIONS guitarist Matthias Jabs. An excerpt from the chat follows.KNAC.COM: I've heard that you've done it in the past, but on the world tour this year you are letting the fans in the different countries vote on the set list, which means you have to quickly get ready to play different songs for each country's leg of the tour. Do you already know which songs you'll be playing on this American leg? Jabs: "I've seen the final result of the vote for the U.S. [the web site vote ended on Sunday, July 27], and we always sit together the day of the show, in the afternoon, because we need to let the lighting designer know — you have to program the desk for the order of the songs — so the crew needs to be informed exactly, but we are much more flexible. And we have a different situation in the first three shows, because we are playing with Sammy Hagar as a package, and that means in California, because of the strict curfews, and the situation — there are three bands I think — we don't play as long as we normally do. In Europe we play like two hours and twenty, and here it's just like 90 minutes, so that automatically changes the set, because we have to leave quite a few songs out. So, we will talk about the setlist when we all meet [before the first show] in a few days." KNAC.COM: So, even though SCORPIONS obviously have a very long and extensive song list — at least a hundred — it's like you're ready to wing it and play whatever you have to play, really? Jabs: "Yes, yes — there's not one song that we don't know. Some of them, like #89, those songs are not so popular, and with us they're not so popular either. (laughs) And therefore we haven't played those, and if we don't have to play them, we won't, but everything in the top 50 we know right away. Also, we keep changing the set around. You can imagine the votes, the results in Russia, are totally different from the ones in the U.S., or in Spain, they vote for different songs than in England or Japan." KNAC.COM: I know your most recent album, "Humanity - Hour One", came out last year, and will you also be playing some of those songs? Jabs: "A few but not too many — it has to be the right proportion. People don't like it if you play too many new songs, but we play three or maybe four. They [Americans] want to hear the back catalogue — the 'Rock You Like A Hurricane', 'No One Like You', 'Holiday', 'The Zoo' and all that, and once you do that, the first hour is gone!" Read the entire interview at KNAC.COM.
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