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Metal Edge, November 1985

Fans of the Scorpions have a lot to shout about this summer, with the release of Worldwide Live, the German metal masters’ first live album in seven years. Powered by Klaus Meine’s driving vocals, the Scorps have been making headbangers happy since 1971, when Klaus formed the band with guitarist Rudolf Schenker. Eleven albums later, they’re still going strong. Klaus called us from his home in Hannover, Germany shortly before the record’s release.

Which concerts were recorded for the album? How’d you choose the songs?

Klaus Meine: We recorded it at many concerts. We chose the tracks with the best atmosphere. Most are from California, from San Diego and the Forum in L.A. we also have a track from Paris. There are 18 songs, a mix of the last albums. Exactly the material we played on the Love at First Sting tour. We see it as a document of our concerts. It’s in the same order we did it live. The whole idea of a live album is to give the fans something extra, a memory of the concert. A live album is something special for us. We’re a live band. We enjoy playing live much more than to be in the studio.

Do you notice any differences in the audiences as you travel?

Meine: They’re pretty much the same. They’re crazy all over the world but very crazy in the States. There are more girls at the concerts than there were in years before.

Are you happiest when you’re on the road?

Meine: Yeah, I would say so. Listen to “Coming Home” – it’s our philosophy. The place we feel the best is on stage. 13 months is a long time, you get a little tired of traveling and living out of a suitcase but everybody was sad when the tour was finished.

Where haven’t you played that you want to?

Meine: Australia, we haven’t been there. Mexico, and Greece.

Do you write when you’re on tour?

Meine: No, not really. There is no time. We have some ideas on the road, we come back with the stories and get together. Everybody comes with bits and pieces. This year we want to spend working on new material. We want to have a new studio album out next year and we want to go out on the road for another long world tour.

Do you write in English or German?

Meine: In English. We have so many people working with us from England or America we talk in English most of the time anyway. I start thinking in English when I write a song.

What about video? Has MTV made a difference for you?

Meine: Not as much as for some other people. Video is important, of course–it is for every band today, but for us it’s much more important to play live for the people.

Are you happy with the videos you’ve done?

Meine: I think with “Rock You Like A Hurricane” we did a first-class video but we were not happy with our video for “Still Loving You.” We were touring then and couldn’t work it out the way it should have been. Of course, we’re musicians, not actors.

Any new videos on the way?

Meine: We had a film crew with us on the tour and there will be a 50-60 minute videocassette. We hope it will be shown on HBO or MTV. It shows the band on stage and behind the scenes.

You’ve been together longer than most marriages. Are you best friends as well as a band?

Meine:Yeah, I think so. When you’re on the road for such a long time it would be hard to get along if you can’t stand each other. We’ve worked together for a long time, we know our good points and our bad points.

Do you ever want to escape the band, just turn off the music for a while?

Meine: Not really. Rock and roll is a lifestyle, you live it 24 hours a day.

Don’t you have any outside interests, like sports?

Meine: A few months ago I started to play tennis. It’s great fun.

If you could change anything about your career so far, would you?

Meine: No. Every step was important. We are a German band and the doors to the world of rock and roll were closed. We played every little hole in England, we built our self-confidence. We went to Japan in ‘78 and Virgin Killer was very successful there. Then our guitarist left and it was like chapter one. We went through the hard times and now we enjoy the good times. We know exactly where we are and how we got there. And we know where we want to go.

Do you have a game plan?

Meine: The only plan we have isthe next album must be a killer album. The only thing that counts is the music. We don’t care at all about fashion. We want to write great songs, hit the people straight in the heart with the music.

Can you see this for 20 more years?

Meine: I don’t know. Who knows? But the Stones are still playing rock and roll. It’s their life. It’s not how old you are, it’s how you feel.

Did you always want to do this, when you were growing up?

Meine: I knew I wanted to be a singer for sure, at about 8 or 9 years old. When I heard the Beatles and Elvis, the picture became clearer.

Who else influenced you?

Meine: Little Richard and later on Led Zeppelin, a very big influence. They have heavy riffs but also songs that are melodic. It’s important to show all the emotions.

Did your family support your choice to be a musician?

Meine: Yes, but in the beginning my father thought it was important to have a proper job. Music was just for fun.

Did you get one?

Meine: Yes. [laughs] I was a window dresser, and playing in a band at that time. When I came to my job on Monday I was totally exhausted. Then, we were driving our own truck, moving the equipment, taking the record to the clubs. I’d need money to buy cigarettes and Rudolf would say ‘sorry, we need money to buy gas.’ So I quit smoking.

You had throat problems when you were recording Blackout. How are you now?

Meine: Fine, fortunately. It was a bad time for me but when I look back I realize it was a very good experience. The band came together very tight, supporting me. And Blackout was our first platinum album in America.

Which is your favorite album to date?

Meine: It’s hard to say. Blackout is one of them. I think the new one will blow you away. It brings back all the good memories of the tour.Fans of the Scorpions have a lot to shout about this summer, with the release of Worldwide Live, the German metal masters’ first live album in seven years. Powered by Klaus Meine’s driving vocals, the Scorps have been making headbangers happy since 1971, when Klaus formed the band with guitarist Rudolf Schenker. Eleven albums later, they’re still going strong. Klaus called me from his home in Hannover, Germany shortly before the record’s release.

Which concerts were recorded for the album? How’d you choose the songs?

Klaus Meine: We recorded it at many concerts. We chose the tracks with the best atmosphere. Most are from California, from San Diego and the Forum in L.A. we also have a track from Paris. There are 18 songs, a mix of the last albums. Exactly the material we played on the Love at First Sting tour. We see it as a document of our concerts. It’s in the same order we did it live. The whole idea of a live album is to give the fans something extra, a memory of the concert. A live album is something special for us. We’re a live band. We enjoy playing live much more than to be in the studio.

Do you notice any differences in the audiences as you travel?

Meine: They’re pretty much the same. They’re crazy all over the world but very crazy in the States. There are more girls at the concerts than there were in years before.

Are you happiest when you’re on the road?

Meine: Yeah, I would say so. Listen to “Coming Home” – it’s our philosophy. The place we feel the best is on stage. 13 months is a long time, you get a little tired of traveling and living out of a suitcase but everybody was sad when the tour was finished.

Where haven’t you played that you want to?

Meine: Australia, we haven’t been there. Mexico, and Greece.

Do you write when you’re on tour?

Meine: No, not really. There is no time. We have some ideas on the road, we come back with the stories and get together. Everybody comes with bits and pieces. This year we want to spend working on new material. We want to have a new studio album out next year and we want to go out on the road for another long world tour.

Do you write in English or German?

Meine: In English. We have so many people working with us from England or America we talk in English most of the time anyway. I start thinking in English when I write a song.

What about video? Has MTV made a difference for you?

Meine: Not as much as for some other people. Video is important, of course–it is for every band today, but for us it’s much more important to play live for the people.

Are you happy with the videos you’ve done?

Meine: I think with “Rock You Like A Hurricane” we did a first-class video but we were not happy with our video for “Still Loving You.” We were touring then and couldn’t work it out the way it should have been. Of course, we’re musicians, not actors.

Any new videos on the way?

Meine: We had a film crew with us on the tour and there will be a 50-60 minute videocassette. We hope it will be shown on HBO or MTV. It shows the band on stage and behind the scenes.

You’ve been together longer than most marriages. Are you best friends as well as a band?

Meine:Yeah, I think so. When you’re on the road for such a long time it would be hard to get along if you can’t stand each other. We’ve worked together for a long time, we know our good points and our bad points.

Do you ever want to escape the band, just turn off the music for a while?

Meine: Not really. Rock and roll is a lifestyle, you live it 24 hours a day.

Don’t you have any outside interests, like sports?

Meine: A few months ago I started to play tennis. It’s great fun.

If you could change anything about your career so far, would you?

Meine: No. Every step was important. We are a German band and the doors to the world of rock and roll were closed. We played every little hole in England, we built our self-confidence. We went to Japan in ‘78 and Virgin Killer was very successful there. Then our guitarist left and it was like chapter one. We went through the hard times and now we enjoy the good times. We know exactly where we are and how we got there. And we know where we want to go.

Do you have a game plan?

Meine: The only plan we have isthe next album must be a killer album. The only thing that counts is the music. We don’t care at all about fashion. We want to write great songs, hit the people straight in the heart with the music.

Can you see this for 20 more years?

Meine: I don’t know. Who knows? But the Stones are still playing rock and roll. It’s their life. It’s not how old you are, it’s how you feel.

Did you always want to do this, when you were growing up?

Meine: I knew I wanted to be a singer for sure, at about 8 or 9 years old. When I heard the Beatles and Elvis, the picture became clearer.

Who else influenced you?

Meine: Little Richard and later on Led Zeppelin, a very big influence. They have heavy riffs but also songs that are melodic. It’s important to show all the emotions.

Did your family support your choice to be a musician?

Meine: Yes, but in the beginning my father thought it was important to have a proper job. Music was just for fun.

Did you get one?

Meine: Yes. [laughs] I was a window dresser, and playing in a band at that time. When I came to my job on Monday I was totally exhausted. Then, we were driving our own truck, moving the equipment, taking the record to the clubs. I’d need money to buy cigarettes and Rudolf would say ‘sorry, we need money to buy gas.’ So I quit smoking.

You had throat problems when you were recording Blackout. How are you now?

Meine: Fine, fortunately. It was a bad time for me but when I look back I realize it was a very good experience. The band came together very tight, supporting me. And Blackout was our first platinum album in America.

Which is your favorite album to date?

Meine: It’s hard to say. Blackout is one of them. I think the new one will blow you away. It brings back all the good memories of the tour.