Posts Tagged ‘Scorpions’

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Doro Pesch! 25 Years of the Warlock

November 4, 2010

Not that I like to brag, but Doro Pesch called me this afternoon. I’d missed her at Bloodstock because my phone decided it had better things to do other than work. Nevertheless, here we are on a gloomy November afternoon to have a chat.

“We’ve been going 27 years and it’s the first time you’ve seen us?” asks Doro, as we get straight down to business and talk about the tour. I probably shouldn’t mention the fact that I was born in 1986. “We’ve just come back from Japan, we had an amazing time and it’s such a great place to go and visit. We’ll be about again around Christmas time with Motorhead in Europe, but not England sadly”

The 25th Anniversary show took place in December 2008, in Dusseldorf. The new DVD, 25 Years in Rock hits shelves at the end of the month which includes a three hour concert with guest appearances from someone of the many high-fliers Doro has worked with over the years; “There are so  many of my friends on there who made this night very special for me! I asked Klaus Meine (of Scorpions) if he could do it and he said he’d look in his schedule but I didn’t hear back so I assumed he couldn’t do it. But I was so happy when he said he could! There are so many other great people too, Tarja Turunen, Bobbi Blitz, Warrel Dane. We met him when we toured with Megadeth and Sanctuary in the US back in the 1980s”.

Admitting to having sixteen records over four decades, there is a wealth of material to draw on for live shows, including the experimental albums in the 90s, foraying into experimental and rockier territory. “When we only have a sixty minute festival show, it’s really hard to sometimes pick the ones you want to do, so we go for the really big songs like All We Are and Burning The Witches. We love playing these songs so much, even when we came to England in 1986 on the True As Steel tour and played Castle Donington, we never get tired of playing these songs. And the newer stuff is a lot heavier so we can play that. It’s what most fans want to hear, and we do it for them!” Mentioning the eighties, I bring up the jump of model career to being a metal queen. “That never happened! People keep saying this and it’s on the DVD cover I think too, but I was never a model. No, I started singing when I was three years old and I loved it! I eventually got into a band called Snakebite in 1980 and then I eventually joined Warlock and we got a deal with a Belgian record label to release Burning The Witches. It was very strange, there was no metal press in Germany really. The UK had Kerrang, but the only real thing in Germany was stuff that people were photocopying and handwriting, and it wasn’t until a few years later when in 1986 we suddenly had a succesful album. I was a graphic artist, and told my boss I was quitting and he said I was mad! But that year we went on tour with my favourite band, Judas Priest. It’s all I’ve ever want to do, since I was three!”

“When I first began singing in metal, there was already many women singing in rock and metal bands at the time. My absolute favourite was Jody Turner from Rock Goddess, if you remember them?” Well, I was born in 1986. “Haha, but yes they were great and many others, Lita Ford and Joan Jett. And these days there are many others doing different things like Tarja and Sabina Classen, so it wasn’t really that very different. And obviously Girlschool as well, they came and played at the 25 years show”. Interestingly, Motorhead, who are taking Doro on tour, were the only band that’d take Girlschool on tour, on account of others refusing because of the all-girl lineup. “I’m really looking forward to the tour, really sorry we’re not coming to England! I love the English fans so much and we were here last year with Saxon and we had so much fun. But no, after that we’re going to South America for a tour”.  Any news on a follow-up album? “Well, we’ve started thinking about it. We have a couple of ideas that are floating around and we know what we want…some really heavy songs, then some dark gothic ballads, like what we’ve done before.”

But as for current events, it’s no secret that First Lady of heavy metal is thrilled about her upcoming release. “It’s out November 26th and it has so many great things on. We played for three hours and then there’s a documentary and interviews with some of my great friends saying so many wonderful things. Have you seen it yet? No? Well, you should because it’s really great. I love the artwork as well, it’s by an Englishman who lives in France called [someone tell me his name, I didn’t catch it!] and he did this great artwork for the music. When we did the orchestral album we had a very simple black and white photo that was really suited to the music, but this new cover is just what the music needs!”

So, there we have it folks. Doro Pesch, the undisputed queen of metal is still going strong after nearly thirty years. Look at it this way, you can tour the world and make awesome albums, but a door to door salesman will still come and interrupt your interviews.

Twaddlefish

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Scorpions – Sting In The Tail

June 3, 2010

File:Scorpions - Sting in the Tail.jpg

Since 1972, Scorpions have been at the forefront of the German invasion of heavy metal and despite a wobbly period in the later 90′s and early 00′s where they went a little bit airy fairy, and despite writing some really killer alt-rock tunes, it wasn’t really the kind of stuff you play on a black and white Flying V. So, Sting In The Tail is the swansong of one of the stadium killers that have last the entire course since the early days of metal.

The word ‘rock’ appears in no less than three song titles on the album, and there’s some kind of self reference in the album title, apparently.  The long and short of it is that SITT is probably the best album that they’ve done since Love At First Sting back in 1984. The 80′s pomp and the 90′s self consciousness of one’s own output that was prevalent in the grunge scene is now gone, and all that remains is a string of riff-laden anthems with sing-along choruses. It’s not particularly smart or thoughtful, but the Scorps were never about that.

Not to say that there isn’t any variation. We have a couple of those ballad type things that I’d rather forget, Lorelei and SLY which are interchangeable and rather forgettable. If you liked the Eye II Eye album, you’ll appreciate them but Klaus and the boys just seem to be trying to recreate Wind of Change again.  Of the remaining ten tracks, at least seven are fist pumping, foot stomping rock n’ rollers, the title track’s chorus goes as such:

“Hail, hail! The sting in the tail!”

That’s it. Genuinely. You’ll know if you like the Scorpions or not from their history, but if you don’t like the majority of this album you cannot legitimately claim to like hard rock. Nigh on forty years of song writing has paid off in their final hour, having crafted an album that is intensely listenable, accessible and very danceable. The grand finale The Best Is Yet To Come is a real tug on the old heart strings, finishing the album in a beautifully triumphant fashion without being overblown and pompous, and actually leaves me wishing they’d make another album.

The final Scorpions tour kicks off this summer. Once it’s done, they’re over. My advice is buy this album, learn the words and rock out like it’s 1976.

8/10

Twaddlefish