Rock Believer (Deluxe Edition)

Scorpions

Rock Believer (Deluxe Edition)

“We were not thinking about making a new album at all,” Scorpions vocalist Klaus Meine says of the fateful day in 2018 when Germany’s biggest rock band decided to do just that. “We have such a huge back catalog, so we could probably be touring forever and ever.” Then a longtime friend—and diehard Scorpions fan—from Athens, Greece, encouraged them to write something in the anthemic, MTV-storming style of their ’80s classics Blackout and Love at First Sting. “He said this is what the fans want to hear from us,” Meine tells Apple Music. “We thought, well, that’s 40 years ago—come on! But he threw this challenge at us and then we decided, okay, let’s go for it.” The result is Rock Believer, their first new studio album in seven years, which recaptures their triumphant ’80s sound amazingly well. It’s also their first album with all-star drummer Mikkey Dee, formerly of Motörhead. “Having Mikkey in the band was really like a shot of fresh energy and great fun,” Meine says. “We recorded the basic tracks all together in one room, and I think it shines through when you hear the songs.” Below, he discusses each song on Rock Believer. “Gas in the Tank” “Usually, [guitarist] Rudolf [Schenker] sends me some demos and I start writing lyrics, but this time I started writing lyrics first, so it was all upside down. I sent them to Rudolf when he was down at his studio in Thailand, and he would come back with some killer riffs. It was like, ‘Hey, there’s still gas in the tank, my friend!’ So we rocked through this very difficult lockdown times.” “Roots in My Boots” “With the new songs, we wanted to go back our roots. We simply wanted to reactivate the original Scorpions DNA—great riffs, strong melodies. We tried to bring that feeling into the studio by playing all together in one room. We’re so connected with our music still, after so many decades, and this is the most important part. This is ‘Roots in My Boots.’” “Knock ’Em Dead” “This is about when we played in the US for the first time back in ’79. For a German band like us to play in the US was like a dream, you know? Our first time was in Cleveland at a huge stadium show with so many great bands—Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, Journey. We were the first band early in the morning, and our manager said before we walked out, ‘Guys, go knock ’em dead.’ We had only 30 minutes, but it was a magic moment for us.” “Rock Believer” “Over the years, again and again, we heard them say rock is dead. But there's still millions of rock believers around the world that prove them wrong. Our fans are the best in the world, and when you think about shows like Hellfest in France, where we're booked for this year, there are more than a hundred thousand tickets sold already. Wow. So that means rock is very well and alive. So this album is dedicated to all the rock believers out there.” “Shining of Your Soul” “There is a reggae kind of feel to some of this, and when it came up, of course it reminded us of ‘Is There Anybody There?’ from the [1979] Lovedrive album. Someone asked me who the reggae guy is in the band, and for sure it’s Rudy who came up with this. The song is very hooky, and it’s one of the very few love songs on the album. Sometimes a person enters a room and you can feel how the atmosphere is changing, you know? It feels like the shining of a soul. That’s what the song is all about.” Seventh Sun “When our friend from Athens said in 2018 that we should make another album like Blackout or Love at First Sting or Lovedrive, automatically you think about songs like ‘Animal Magnetism’ or ‘China White.’ They’re very heavy, but they have this kind of laidback feeling. So we were focused on this, and then Rudy came up with this heavy riff in ‘Seventh Sun’ that carries the whole song. It’s in the best tradition of those big classic songs.” “Hot and Cold” “This is one of the songs [guitarist] Matthias Jabs came up with, and I think it’s a cool uptempo rocker. The song takes you to a strip joint on the dark side of town, where you come down with a crazy fever, hot and cold, because you cannot stop thinking of all the craziest things she might do onstage swinging around the pole. The connection to write those lyrics came from when we would go to strip clubs in the ’80s, and many girls would dance to Scorpions songs. One of their favorites was always ‘The Zoo,’ but we never thought about strip clubs when we were writing that song.” “When I Lay My Bones to Rest” “This is a fast rocking track, and it has really great power. I think Mikkey was in a Motörhead mood on this one. It’s a song about my songwriting partner Rudy and myself, after all these years of Scorpions. It’s a song that proves we are still rocking like hell. I think it’s one of the songs on the album where our fans will be surprised that we came up with something in the best tradition of songs like ‘Can’t Get Enough,’ for example.” “Peacemaker” “I was just playing with words, and I came up with the line ‘Peacemaker, peacemaker, bury the undertaker.’ In times when so many people are dying because of the worldwide pandemic, devastating war, and other crimes—the scenarios we see in Belarus, Ukraine, and Afghanistan—it seems like the undertaker is working overtime, you know? But we think the peacemaker should rule the world. And it’s all up to us to support the peacemaker in order to make the world a better place.” “Call of the Wild” “That’s a bluesy song that makes you feel the heat of the night on your skin. It’s got a heavy guitar riff and a groove. It’s another love song, but it’s more of a sexy love song. ‘You’ve got the funky rhythm, girl. I got the rocking drive.’ Nothing more to say. I think you got it.” “When You Know (Where You Come From)” “This is the only ballad on the album. The song is saying that it’s important to be true to yourself. If you reach out for the stars on your way up, you should never forget where you come from. Travel the road of respect and laughter and you always know where you’re going. This actually started out as an acoustic song—the acoustic version is on the deluxe version of the album—but we liked it so much we made a rock version.” “Shoot for Your Heart” “This was really the song that I wrote first, back in 2019. It kicked off the process of writing lyrics. And in this case, I wrote the music as well. It’s another fan-related song in the tradition of ‘Can’t Live Without You.’ We can’t live without our fans. When we’re on the road, our only goal to achieve every night is to have a place in your heart.” “When Tomorrow Comes” “It’s a very uptempo song with unusual lyrics. It was our producer’s idea to record the vocals in the verses so it almost feels like a megaphone. It’s very much an environmentally inspired song—the dirty ocean, climate change, so many wildfires and disasters around the world. Some of it was written during the lockdowns, and it is directed to the young generation to take good care of our planet. You hold the key for the future and hopefully you’ll be smart.” “Unleash the Beast” “That’s a crazy little song that was very much inspired by going from lockdown to lockdown. We were in our own little bubble in the studio here, trying to get away from the cruel reality of the pandemic. ‘We keep dancing in the dust until the super-spreader kills us all’ is one of the lines there. It sounds like a bad movie from the ’80s, but I’m afraid this is 2022, and this is the world we live in.” “Crossing Borders” “This is another song Matthias came up with. In the world of music and the world of emotions, there are no borders. When we’re rocking the global stage, we’re crossing borders every other day, leaving our comfort zone. But this song is more about sex and rock ’n’ roll, I think. This is another bluesy type of song, and Mikkey and our bass player Pawel came up with a great rhythm for this.”

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