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Scorpions vocalist Klaus Meine on the key points to the band’s success

Vocalist Meine shares his thoughts on what it took for the Scorpions to make it in the mainstream

Scorpions singer Klaus Meine knows that it takes perseverance and a collective positive attitude to have a band become successful. Meine has been fronting the German heavy metal/hard rock band since the formation in 1970 and pointed out a critical crossroads before the release of what would become the band’s breakthrough album in the U.S., Blackout, in 1982.

Blackout became a good place to start when Goldmine questioned Meine about the keys to the band’s success.

Klaus Meine: The album (Blackout) was going through the roof, you know, and it was a time where I had just lost my voice and I came back in a strong way. We ended up coming home from months and months on the road in America with platinum albums. It was a great time. And you cannot turn back time. And we were always looking straight ahead, coming up with something new. We had our moments where we lost it a bit, but I think … with Unbreakable [2004], Humanity [2007] — which we did with Desmond Child in Los Angeles — and with the [2010] album Sting in the Tail, I think we [got] back on track where we tried to focus on what makes the Scorpions really strong. And we wanted to come up with something where our fans can be proud of. 

Do you feel you opened the door to a lot of German heavy metal bands that came after you, like Accept and so forth.
Meine: Yeah, I think we’ve opened many doors. Because for quite a long time the Scorpions had been the only band that came from Germany that made a worldwide career. There was nobody really following us up. For a long time the Scorpions were the only German band out there. And from the early ’80s onward, we were always proud to be a part of the international rock family.

What would you like the Scorpions to be remembered for, when it’s all said and done?
Meine: A killer live band. Always a killer live band. And of course there are a few songs that stand out after all these decades. On your side of the world, it’s “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” a monster rock anthem. And for many people on the other side of the world, it’s a song like “Wind of Change” (1990’s Crazy World) that is so much connected with the end of the Cold War. But don’t call us a ballad band. We are always a live band from the heart. And we were never a band that could only produce a lot of noise. We were always a band with great songs, great melodies, and something that can live on forever in the hearts of the fans.

Would you say that your most interesting experience as a member of the Scorpions was actually playing behind the Iron Curtain for the first time? Or is there another experience?
Meine: For our career, and the way the Scorpions started out of Germany in those early days, it was to make it to the top of the world of rock music in the ’80s. To be the headliner in Madison Square Garden, that is something I will actually never forget. That’s a benchmark. Then, of course, to be one of the first bands to go to the Soviet Union and to see the world changing in front of our eyes. Michael Gorbachov invited the Scorpions into the Kremlin in 1991 and we jammed with the Soviet president. So there are a lot of great moments and it was something very special.

Would you still like to be defined as heavy metal, or do you look back and say it was all just good rock and roll?

Meine: Well, when we started we were a hard rock band. Then when heavy metal came out, we were a metal band. It doesn’t matter, really. There are probably a lot of songs you can call heavy metal and there are other songs you can just call timeless rock anthems. But we don’t mind, you know. We’re proud we found our audience in the world and that we never lost the excitement and the passion for the music. The world has changed so much, but we never lost our friendship in the band. And we never lost the passion, and most of all, and most important, to be an excellent live band … to go out onstage. No matter if there are a hundred people out there or a hundred thousand or five hundred thousand, we always give it our best, and we know, onstage the Scorpions, after all, will always sting.

Source: goldminemag