In a new interview with Melodic, SCORPIONS singer Klaus Meine was asked how he keeps his voice in shape after all these years. He responded (hear audio below): "When we're on the road, I do my exercises. And also, right now, being in the studio and singing every other day, recording [the new SCORPIONS album], I do my warm-ups and my vocal exercises. And so far, it got me through this pandemic times pretty good. We spent a lot of time this year working on songwriting and working on new songs in the studio.
"When we made the decision to make a new album, it's such a challenge after all these years — from many perspectives," he explained. "The voice — how you keep your voice going on this level; it's a challenge for the songwriting; and for the whole process. And so far, I must say I'm very happy especially that my voice, when I need it, like just the other day in the studio, when it comes to a song with these high-pitched vocals, and you wanna hit the tones like you get there very easy; this is what you try to do. And when that works out fine, I drive home every night going, 'Yeah. What a great day.' I enjoyed myself so much singing a new song, recording a new song, and knowing my voice is there. I mean, we're all getting older, but it looks like right now, my voice is still in a very good place, and that makes me feel really good.
"But it's quite a challenge after all these years," he admitted. "And it comes down to, once you make a decision, and we made the decision to make a new album last year — early in 2019 — but if we do it, then you wanna do it right. So in a way, we were lucky that we planned for 2020 to go into the studio. Except for a residency in Las Vegas in July, there were no other shows planned for 2020, because we said, if we wanna make a record, after all these years of touring like crazy all over the world, we have to take some time out and go into the studio and make a new album in 2020. In that way, we were lucky.
"I tell you, in these strange times we all go through, it's such a privilege when you can work, when you can take a deep dive in your own creativity and come up with hopefully something brilliant," Meine laughed and added. "You never know. But it feels really good. And we started last year writing, and we stopped around June last year when we picked up a tour… We knew this was now the time to write new songs and make a new record and then hopefully go back out on the road again with a new production and with a fresh setlist. So it was a good plan."
Meine told the Phoenix New Times in a 2017 interview that the aging process has forced the SCORPIONS to scale down their touring activities — they no longer play three shows in a row or even attempt to perform some of the earlier songs in the original key. He said: "When you listen to songs from 'Blackout', like 'No One Like You', [or] 'Big City Nights', it's physically impossible [now] to do those songs in the original keys. You want to play those songs, but you want to survive 100 shows a year. So some of the songs we play in different keys, but the energy is still there. You're still at the top of your voice. Even now, you've got to go to the edge, but maybe the edge has moved a little bit."
SCORPIONS recently entered Peppermint Park Studios in Hannover, Germany to begin recording their upcoming studio album. Tentatively due in 2021, the disc will mark the German hard rock legends' first release since 2017's "Born To Touch Your Feelings - Best Of Rock Ballads", which was an anthology of SCORPIONS' new and classic material.
SCORPIONS originally intended to record the new album in Los Angeles with producer Greg Fidelman, whose previous credits include SLIPKNOT and METALLICA. However, because of the pandemic, most of the work so far has been done remotely, with Fidelman taking part via Zoom.
Meine recently told Talking Metal that the goal with using Fidelman to produce the new LP is to bring "the old vibe from albums like 'Blackout', 'Love At First Sting' or even 'Lovedrive'. We try to focus on those albums and this attitude," he said. "If we get there, who knows — it's so many years later. But it's the spirit and it's the whole vibe around this album. This time, the focus is on the harder songs."
According to Meine, SCORPIONS' new LP will feature "no outside writers at all," unlike 2015's "Return To Forever", which was largely co-written by the album's producers, Mikael Nord Andersson and Martin Hansen.
Fidelman began his career as the guitarist and songwriter for RHINO BUCKET before launching his career as a producer, engineer and mixer, finding an early mentor in Rick Rubin.
SCORPIONS' last full-length collection of new recordings was the aforementioned "Return To Forever", partially comprising songs the band had in the vault from the '80s. It was the final recorded appearance of SCORPIONS' longtime drummer James Kottak, who was dismissed from the band in September 2016. He has since been replaced by Mikkey Dee, formerly of MOTÖRHEAD.