RM: If you’re talking about classic ’80s albums, you can’t go past Love At First Sting. In 2014 you celebrate the 30th anniversary of this iconic album, do you have something planned to celebrate this milestone and why do you think this album has become a jewel in the crown of your catalog?
MJ: I mean, it has the songs, it has the right energy, we were flying really high in the early 80’s and some people say it was our most creative moment like Blackout and Love At First Sting and you know, it really is the moment we achieved status. headlining and multiplatinum sales and all that. In the meantime there are takes from those two albums and in early 2012 during the tour we take a break and look at those leftovers, so to speak, and there is very interesting material, so we fill them in, we have them as basic. tracks, you know, they had no written lyrics, they were just demos, but very good ideas from that particular era. In the meantime we have some basic tracks and we want to finish them, maybe towards the end of this year.  and releasing them in early 2015, because Rudolf founded the band in 1965 and called it Scorpions, when it was still like a school band, so if you take this as the beginning all of a sudden I know it sounds strange, but then we have 50 years of Scorpions and we could release those shots next year.
RM: Love At First Sting has so many important songs like Bad Boys Running Wild, Rock You Like A Hurricane, Big City Nights and Still Loving You, at the time you recorded it, did you know you had something special on your hands?
MJ: Yes, up to a point. Songs like Rock You Like A Hurricane, but you get feedback from abroad, our agent in America was crazy about it when he heard it on the phone, and we hadn’t finished it yet, and songs like Still Loving You or Big City Nights, but especially Rock. You Like A Hurricane and Still Loving You, which turned out to be two of our biggest songs, people outside said “You have something special there.” As a musician, I don’t remember ever thinking that way, because if you’re still in the process of recording and creating things, you don’t think that way, at least we don’t, we’re just too focused on the songs and how to play. and singing them well and once the material is released, you get a more neutral perspective and if it succeeds, you say “Oh, now I understand why.” [laughs] but while you are near him you don’t think that way.
RMIf I can take you back to 1991, you had a worldwide hit on your hands with Wind Of Change, at the time, were you surprised by how widespread the success of that song was?
MJ: Yes incredible. I mean, first of all, at first, people from the record company came in, we liked a preview thing in the studio and they said “yeah, okay, but take that hiss off” and in America they released it. [laughs] We didn’t even consider the song to be important, it was just too different from everything else we had been doing. And then we played the first show of the European tour, right after the launch in Brussels and a French TV crew came and filmed the song live with a camera and made a video, without asking us and the song and the video. We went to number 1 while we were playing in the States and we said “Oh this is amazing” and all of a sudden the song took off and we didn’t do anything for it. So obviously, you know, this is a hit and since you’re from Australia I should mention that it was even on the Australian charts and we made the mistake of not going to Australia because we were already on tour. And at the end of the tour it was like one of the longest we ever done, like two and a half years, and then someone said “Okay, now you can go to Australia” and we said “Oh next time” and we didn’t. and we still feel that it was the biggest mistake. Because that’s what’s missing in our career that we’ve never played in Australia, I think it’s a shame.
RM: Of all the albums you have recorded, are there one or two that stand out as personal favorites and why?
MJ: My personal albums, I think Blackout is one of my favorites. Blackout and Love At First Sting, we mention the ones that are now my favorites, because it shows how the band went from being professional. Yes but do you know? so much and so successful you know With those records we did it big we have a different sound, we sound more, although we sound young and energetic, suddenly we sound more mature, I don’t know if that’s the right word, but we sound like world class all of a sudden. That’s when we really took off in the 80s, I must also mention that I really like the album Sting In The Tail that was released in 2010, our last studio recording, it is also an album that I am totally happy with, because like all songs and that is not the case on other albums.
RM: When you play your last show and put your guitars away for the last time, how do you think the pages of music history will remember the Scorpions?
MJ: Definitely the most successful international band from Germany, that’s already a fact. I don’t see anyone who can follow us and because we are one of the few bands that can play in almost every country in the world. Yes, I think the most successful international band from Germany comes to mind, the rock band.
RM: Again, congratulations on the release of MTV Unplugged In Athens, on behalf of everyone here at Full Throttle Rock, I would like to wish you all the best for the future and thank you so much for all the years of great music you have given us.
MJ: Yes, thank you very much.