Sweden's Metalshrine recently conducted an interview with SCORPIONS guitarist Rudolf Schenker. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Metalshrine: The new album. What was it like working with [producer] Desmond Child?
Rudolf: A new experience. We had already worked with some good producers like Bruce Fairbairn. We had some other famous names in mind too. We weren't sure whether he would work with us or not, since SCORPIONS isn't at the top of the charts and some of them (the producers) are maybe just looking for the money. But Desmond was the guy who had this vision about making a really outstanding album. In these days you have three possibilities: make an album because it's your hobby, the other one is to let the fans and the people know and the final one is to make if more for us. To make a milestone in our career. We said that to spend the time and everything, it has to be something special. Desmond was the guy who already came with a vision and stuff like "You have to do this and that!" You could see it already, and Klaus and I went to Los Angeles to talk to him.
Metalshrine: Does he always work in Los Angeles?
Rudolf: Yeah, but sometimes I actually think he's in Vancouver as well. But we didn't just work with him. James Michael was the other guy and he was involved in the guitars and the drums and the bass and he wanted the overview and he also wanted to do the vocals. Important for the whole situation was also that he (Desmond) is an amazing songwriter. It was important to have good songs. With "Unbreakable" we made a statement that we were back to where the SCORPIONS are coming from. The '90s weren't good for classic rock so we had two possibilities: split up or make solo projects or side projects. The fans said that it was great stuff ("Acoustica"), but they wrote and said "Can you please do something more traditional like the 'Blackout' album or 'Love at First Sting'?". So, OK, let's go for that,' and that was the situation around "Unbreakable". Traditional SCORPIONS in 2004. But what is the next step? Now we are back on track. With "Eye to Eye" we went one step too far. SCORPIONS is a band of today with the history of yesterday. We want to connect both sides. We don't want to lose the old fans, but we don't just want to stick with them until were dead, because we live for today. We like new music like GREEN DAY and SYSTEM OF A DOWN or whatever, but we also like the old stuff like LED ZEPPELIN. We said to Desmond that we wanted to build a bridge between the old and the new SCORPIONS and that was the basic goal as we went into it and we want to have the right songs which really have a great message. Desmond came in and said, "We're a team of guys which include Eric Bazilian and Marti Frederiksen!" and then, of course, James Michael and Desmond. Desmond knows when the song isn't finished. If you write for so many years, it's important to have new fresh blood. We wanted to make an album that is really outstanding in the world of rock.
Metalshrine: Did he come up with finished ideas for songs or was it a collaboration with the band?
Rudolf: Yeah! We had a lot of songs and it was a process all the time. When we started, the album was a little bit too dark, because SCORPIONS is a band of hope and then we put in a song like "Game of Life" and "Love Me to Death" and took other songs out. It was always a kind of movement until we came to the point where we said "OK, that's it!"
Metalshrine: You must have a lot of old stuff? Do you have any plans of releasing some of that stuff?
Rudolf: No, we have a plan. One plan. With this album we put all our power into it and we want to make it successful. Not just with the closest fans but for the whole picture again. The problem with rock music is, in the '80s everybody was listening. Then hip hop and rap and everything came along and grunge took over. Now we want people to get this music again. After we played Milano we played Rock Im Park because Billy Corgan wanted to play with us, so we played the encore and you could see the audience, how big the festival is. In Wacken nine months ago it was amazing! This music has a lot of foundation, but the problem is the radio format and MTV. The young kids want it fast, fast, fast and they don't have to think because they (media) tell you what to think. With this album, we don't want to preach, but we want to give a message. To give more to music than say, a fashion trip or so.
Read the entire interview at Metalshrine.