On November 10, BackstageAxxess conducted an interview with singer Klaus Meine of German hard rock veterans SCORPIONS. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.
Speaking about the departure of longtime drummer James Kottak — who was dismissed from the band during his well-publicized his battle with alcoholism — and addition of former MOTÖRHEAD member Mikkey Dee, Klaus said: "With Mikkey, it's fantastic. It really gives the band a fresh shot of energy. Mikkey, [he] joined this band where we just played the big encore. And at the end of this year, we all need a break. And Mikkey is, like, 'C'mon, guys. We've gotta keep going. This is so fantastic. We have such a good time. The fans are amazing around the world. And let's keep going.' And we say, 'Okay.' But at this point, we've played everywhere. We've been everywhere — we've played all continents, and even in Australia. So at the end of this tour, we all need a break. But, of course, we will pick it up at some point, because it really feels great with Mikkey."
He continued: "James [had] been with us for twenty years; it's such a long run. And we're still in touch, and it's great to hear from him. He's feeling much better now and he's getting back on track. We said to him, 'James, it's so important… You're a healthy guy. You're the guy we all love so much — the band, your family, the fans — so you've gotta really take care of yourself and really think of you first and your health situation. So he went into a long rehab and was really taking it serious and really taking care about himself. And we gave him all the support we can give him. And it looks like he's really in a good way, and his health at the end of this year is so much better than it's been ever before. So that's really good."
Klaus added: "But what can I say? There came a point in the spring when we had to make this decision and really what's great is that Mikkey came in and joined the band. He's a great drummer, a great musician, a very powerful drummer and very well respected after more than twenty years with MOTÖRHEAD. It's all about attitude, and he's a great guy. The chemistry between us worked right away. We had a great time between when we played the Carolina Rebellion in early May until now. We had a lot of fun, and the SCORPIONS fans welcomed Mikkey. And at the same time, they're sending their thoughts and prayers to James, which is a wonderful thing."
Kottak rejoined the SCORPIONS on the road in November 2014, eight months after he spent a month in a Dubai, United Arab Emirates jail in April for insulting Islam.
Kottak released a statement in June 2014 in which he said "this entire incident caused me to realize that it is time to stop drinking once and for all so that I can become the father, musician, and friend that I know I can be."