Australia's The Rockpit recently conducted an interview with guitarist Matthias Jabs of German hard rock veterans SCORPIONS. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.
Asked about SCORPIONS' decision to scrap their retirement plans, Jabs said: "During the so-called 'farewell' tour, the 'Sting In The Tail' tour, in 2010, in the beginning, the band really believed this is what it will be, and let's tour until the end of 2012. And we had this film team with us, and at the final show in Munich, everybody believed this would be it for a long time. We never said we'd quit. What we said [was that] we would get out of the hamster wheel — touring, making albums, touring, making albums, going on for 35 years."
He continued: "During that tour, we noticed already we have too much fun to really quit. We want to slow down and we don't wanna play that many shows per year anymore. We played always something like 120 shows every year — at least. So we decided to slow down a bit. But when the final show was done, and it was shortly before Christmas, at the end of January in 2013, this MTV unplugged offer came around the corner, and we couldn't say no. We thought, 'Wow! This is great. This is a great new challenge. We haven't done it in our long career, so let's go for it. And at the same time, before that, the record company put two contracts on the table, which is unusual, I think, for a band that says, 'Okay, we wanna quit.'"
Jabs added: "As I said, we just have — still — too much fun. And we have such a younger audience, meanwhile, due to Facebook, I think. At least we have more than six milion Facebook ['likes'], and the research say 80 percent are between 18 and 28 years old. So, for a band that celebrates their 50th anniversary, that's quite amazing. And a lot of them, obviously, rushed to the front, so even though it might be only 10 to 15 percent in the entire audience, those are the ones we see. And this is energy boosting; it's much more fun. So we said, 'Let's do it again.'"
The brand-new SCORPIONS studio album "Return To Forever" will be released on February 20 on CD, Deluxe CD, vinyl, Limited Collector's Box, and several more digital and physical formats. The first single, "We Built This House", can be downloaded as an Instant Grat on iTunes and Amazon MP3 as of now.
"Return To Forever" was recorded with Mikael Nord Andersson and Martin Hansen, who had already produced "Sting In The Tail", and re-arranged the material for "MTV Unplugged" with Jabs.
"Actually, we only wanted to finally record some song ideas for the fans, which we had worked on in the past but never put on an album, and then release them without much fanfare," Jabs remembered. "There had been quite a few over the years, ideas that were really good, but in the end didn't make the cut back then due to the limited space on vinyl and later on CD. We quickly had eight songs, which partly had to be finalized first and were then recorded from scratch. During the work, increasingly new song ideas were added from our end, as well as from the two Swedes. We had so much fun working and suddenly we found ourselves in the middle of the songwriting process once again. And in the end, it turned out to be a brand-new SCORPIONS album after all."