RockConfidential.com recently conducted an interview with SCORPIONS guitarist Rudolf Schenker. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
RockConfidential.com: How did Billy Corgan get involved in "Humanity - Hour 1"?
Rudolf: I've watched him for a long time because I like his voice and I like the SMASHING PUMPKINS. It was somehow very special. I found out he's a big SCORPIONS fan. At a huge festival he started out with "Rock You Like A Hurricane" and turned it into one of his songs. When we did a project called "Moment of Glory", I tried to get him as a guest on the project. I spoke with someone at his management company and they told me they weren't managing him any more. They gave me a phone number but they didn't know if it was still good. I called and got an answering machine and it was the wrong number. When we were in production for "Humanity" we were in a meeting with Azoff Management. One of our managers told me he had to leave our meeting and go to the next meeting. I asked him who it was with and he told me the meeting was with Billy Corgan of the SMASHING PUMPKINS. They were recording in Universal Studio. I made sure he got the message to Billy that I said hello. Billy went crazy and said, "Fucking hell! I want to meet this guy!" I met him in the studio and he was completely into his work. He told me had had tons of bootleg tapes from the SCORPIONS. We went out to dinner and I mentioned to him that we had one song on the album called "The Cross" that would be perfect for him. He did it and it was great. Even when the SMASHING PUMPKINS are alternative and the SCORPIONS are classic rock, many of the new bands that were influenced by AC/DC, AEROSMITH and the SCORPIONS came out of the shadow with their own style and are still connected to the guys who influenced them to play. Music can build bridges and that was always our plan. We wanted to build bridges between generations, countries, continents and even religions.
RockConfidential.com: This album is so strong and you can tell when you listen that so much went into it. Why was its U.S. release delayed so long?
Rudolf: The problem is that finding the right record company is not so easy. We changed management in America. Desmond [Child, producer] also didn't want anything going out too early because he was afraid of leaks on the Internet. We had to play it safely. When we signed a contract with management they immediately had to start. I hate this! I would see the album coming out worldwide in August or September. It's never good to split a release up like this because you lose the power and momentum of impacting each market. The contracts were already done to present the album in Europe because big festivals and big shows were set up in the contract. We mixed the album on the road. After we finished recording the album we immediately had to go on the road to the Kremlin Palace, invited by Putin. From there we went to the Baltic States, Ukraine and then we played in Kazikstan. We had to mix the album online! We had to download it and somehow try to get it to the right speaker system so we could make our comments to Desmond via the Internet. It was very different!
RockConfidential.com: I guess it's odd hating the Internet because the songs could leak but at the same time using it to finish the record!
Rudolf: With a hammer you can put a nail into the wall. At the same time you could kill somebody with it. Everything has its good side and its bad side. It's up to you which side to choose.
Read the entire interview at RockConfidential.com.