There are songs that mark you forever. Pure pieces of genius that integrate the history of music. Like Still love youWhere The wind of change, of Scorpios. Fans of the group were not mistaken, because since their first album 50 years ago, the rockers from Hanover have given more than 5,000 concerts and sold 120 million albums.
If the hint of the favorite slows from the nineties teens makes you vibrate, you’ll be happy to hear that the Scorpions will be at a concert at the Palais Nikaia in Nice on June 28th. The opportunity for us to ask some questions to Klaus Meine, the voice that gives chills.
You return to the Côte d’Azur for a new concert. You have come several times, it is almost a habit!
It surprises you? It is so beautiful. We always say to ourselves that Nice and the south of France are probably the most beautiful place on the planet. The first time was somewhere in the 1980s and you were shaken like a hurricane [Rock You Like A Hurricane, en anglais, est un titre de Scorpions, ndlr] !
Do you have a good audience here?
The south of France may not be very rock-oriented, but the audience is great. He prefers ballads, e.g. Still love you. And he has always been very faithful to us.
You released a new album, Rock Believer. It immediately became number two in sales. How do you explain that?
In recent years, we have heard a lot about rap and hip hop being very popular in the new generations, that is definitely true. But rock is not dead for all that. Wherever we go to play, the audience is there. In France, at Hellfest, the public and the rock community are there, and very much alive. It is a privilege to play in front of three generations. It’s not just them who grew up with us in the 80’s. We can see the youngest who discovered us on social networks. They watch what we do, for example on YouTube, and they take their friends with them.
How do you feel when you see that people still love you so much?
It’s almost unreal. It’s crazy to think about it The wind of change, it was three decades ago. And yet I heard it again this morning on the radio. After all these years, we never take it for granted. We have a close relationship with our fans in France and in so many other countries around the world. And it’s never won. Groups and songs, it goes, it comes. All of this shows that you have to work hard to release an album that will delight the fans when you go on stage.
What is the secret behind your longevity?
I believe the chemistry that is in the group comes from friendship. That was the key. It always has been. The foundation of this group is very solid between Rudolf, Matthias and me. Despite the former members of the group’s departures, alchemy remains. Mikkey Dee arrived from Motorhead in 2016. He brought us a lot. There is a very strong chemistry that emerges when playing on stage, as recently in Madison Square Garden, for a concert for Bangladesh. Mikkey Dee has become a real backbone.
When the Scorpions started in the 1960s, did you think you would last that long? How do you imagine your future?
Honestly, we did not even expect to be 30! (laugh). We were kids when we started. I think I was 23 when I recorded the first album, Lonely collar. It was released in 1972. And you can not imagine the feeling of getting in the car, turning on the radio and hearing his music there for the very first time. It was wonderful.
You wrote The wind of change during the Cold War. Do you feel that the winds of change have blown since then? How did you react to the announcement of the war in Ukraine?
I was so sorry. For the last thirty years I have been singing the lyrics to The wind of change: “Follow Moscow to Gorky Park, listen to the winds of change.” When I wrote these words, we were living in a historic moment. The world was changing: We saw the end of the Iron Curtain, the fall of the Berlin Wall … The future had peace, after all these years of living in a divided Germany. The carpet had fallen and we were reunited. In Moscow, young people said: “Klaus we are a new generation, the Cold War is soon over!” When we looked into the future, it finally seemed positive for us after all these years of darkness. We learned that the Russians also love their children [comme dirait Sting, ndlr]. We discovered many fans in Russia during our tours, but also in Ukraine. So to see what happens, it breaks my heart.
Are you ever considering retiring?
Now is not the time to think about it. Who knows what awaits us around the bend? Who would have thought we were going to sing in Madison Square Garden at the end of the confinement? So we focus on the concerts we have to do and we can not wait to meet our fans.
Scorpions for concert. Tuesday, June 28 at
Nikaia Palace and Nice. Prices: from 60 to 100 euros.