Brian Aberback of New Jersey's Steppin' Out magazine recently conducted an interview with vocalist Klaus Meine of German hard rock veterans SCORPIONS. An excerpt from the chat follows below.
Steppin' Out: When the SCORPIONS released their last studio album, "Sting In The Tail", in 2010, the band said it would be its last album and tour. What made the group change its mind?
Klaus Meine: At the end of the tour in 2012, we were proud that we reached the finish line going strong after 200 shows, but we hadn't played all the countries we wanted to, like Spain, the U.K. and a lot of Asia. There's a huge demand from the fans and a whole new audience. We have 4.3 million followers on Facebook and the average age is 17 to 26. There's not a lot planned next year, though. Just a very few select unplugged concerts in Germany and France, plus a few shows in Russia next spring.
Steppin' Out: How did "MTV Unplugged" come about?
Klaus Meine: We received an offer from MTV. How can you say no when an offer like this comes in, to join this very illustrious family of musicians who have done this since the format started in the late Eighties? Even though we did the "Acoustica" album in 2001, this was a new challenge, to make it an attractive concept. We have a few new songs and many songs we don't normally perform live. It's not all mainstream hits. There are also new arrangements of songs. It was a lot of fun to do. We recorded the album at a beautiful theater in Athens on the highest mountain in the city. Our Greek audience has a big heart for our early material. A lot of people joined us from all over Europe, Canada, the U.S., Russia and other countries. It was a very emotional show.
Steppin' Out: Are you surprised that MTV still plays music in Europe, let alone that "Unplugged" still exists?
Klaus Meine: It's fascinating how it changed over the years with the game shows and personality shows. Over here, "MTV Unplugged" is still a very powerful brand. Our show was broadcast to 30 countries. It will be shown in the U.S. on VH1.
Steppin' Out: Does the band plan on releasing additional new music?
Klaus Meine: In the Eighties, we wrote so many songs for each album that there were always leftovers. Two of those songs are on the "Unplugged" album. Those are "Dancing With The Moonlight" and "Rock 'N' Roll Band". Two years ago we started looking at these songs to release, but that project was never finished. Some of the songs are complete, some of them had only working lyrics and I started new lyrics. So we may pick up on that when we have time. Maybe it would be good to put it out in 2015 for the SCORPIONS' 50th anniversary.
The entire interview will be available online on January 8 at Steppin' Out magazine.