Seventy Klaus became mine on 25 May. And although the Scorpions announced a few years ago that the band was going old, the opposite is the case. When we meet her front man, he is already sitting on packed suitcases again for a mini tour through Mexico. And the man with the leather cap, which has been covering his thinning head for many years, is still excited and euphoric when it comes to concert tours even after half a century in the service of the hard rock formation. In an exclusive conversation on his birthday, the worldwide celebrated star looks back on his life in business for us.
Conversations with Klaus Meine quickly take on the character of an exchange between old acquaintances. It doesn't matter if you call him at home or on tour. But it's especially true when you're personally sitting opposite the freshly baked 70-year-old: in a Berlin Nobelhotel at promotion days for a new album, backstage, on a studio couch in Holland or as this time in a restaurant for dinner. Mine, who sometimes appears casual in various television interviews, seems cool in a superimposed way, is someone on a small scale who listens attentively to his counterpart and is humorous and self-critical. You can also only see the celebrity Rock'n'Roller at second glance. "Klaus is just a damn nice and pleasant guy," says Michael Schenker. The former Scorpions guitarist has been in a clinch with his brother Rudolf for some time now, and he likes to sound it out into the world - just to emphasize in the next sentence that he has no grudge against "Klausi Mausi" (Michael Schenker). The Lower Saxon is really not very big, but he makes up for it with a healthy self-confidence. Without, however, too often in conversation to ride on the fact that he is the world's most famous German rock singer. He does not want to go into the quarrel between the brothers, "let them clear it up among themselves. I've always got on well with Michael and I'm happy that he's been going his musical way without substances for years."
eclipsed: Not only Michael Schenker had his problems with intoxicating substances. Your last personnel change at the Scorpions also had this background.
Klaus Meine: I think when we met the penultimate time, I didn't believe we'd ever have a drummer other than James Kottak.
eclipsed: He was with you for twenty years, but in 2016 you had to pull the rip cord. Although Rudolf says that James, no matter how full he was, was always reliable on stage.
Mine: That's right, I did. However, it was better for him that we said: It's over now, James, get a grip on your life.
eclipsed: And did he get a handle on it?
Meine: It actually seems that he has fundamentally changed some things. I got an e-mail from him all those days. On the other hand, I'm astonished how much our new drummer Mikkey Dee is now whipping us forward. Although musically we never had anything serious about James.
eclipsed: Mikkey you knew from gigs together with Mötorhead. However, it was surprising that this speed drummer changed to a band like the Scorpions.
Meine: Mikkey is a total Scorps fan and knows our songs inside out. And the energy he gave us with his drumming and all his positive charisma has given us a kick in the buttocks, so that we have increased again.
eclipsed: Michael Schenker told me that the Scorpions weren't really a rock band before you and him joined in 1969. Only you would have made sure that it slowly became the band you could see a few years later on "Lonesome Crow" and "Fly To The Rainbow".
Mine: That was also the change of times at the end of the sixties, when the band started to write their own songs. Before that, in Germany, there was almost always only a cover. And Michael has always been a musically creative person who wanted to do his own thing. At that time he was very enthusiastic about Rory Gallagher's key and Led Zeppelin, which clearly left its mark. And his guitar playing was great even as a teenager.
eclipsed: Are there any recordings of Copernicus, the band you played together with Michael in before you joined Scorpions?
Mine: No, I'm afraid not. Or maybe I shouldn't.