Uli Jon Roth interview

"When I joined Scorpions my motivation was to explore the world of music"

02/06/2013 @ 13:04
The legendary guitarist Uli Jon Roth is paying tribute to the albums he released with Scorpions in the beginning of their career, with a series of concerts in Greece and even in the 11th hour we had the chance to ask him a few things concerning this tour.

Uli Jon RothIt’s been a year and a half since you last visited Greece, and you come back for a mini tour consisting of six live dates this time. What was different this time and you decided to play not only in Athens and Thessaloniki?
I have always wanted to play more shows, but logistically it was not possible. This time we made a decision to try it and it is a very enjoyable tour. We get to meet a lot of new fans and see several beautiful cities.

Which is the exact line-up of your band for the Greek dates?
Niklas Turmann - vocals, guitar
Ule Ritgen - bass
Jamie Little - drums
David Klosinski - guitar
Steve Owen - keyboards

Uli Jon RothAs 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of your involvement with Scorpions, the setlist will be consisting mainly of Scorpions classics. What else the people who are coming to watch you live should expect?
Yes, this tour is devoted to playing Scorpions classics from my era, but each concert is different.

You’ve made four studio albums with Scorpions. Which one is your favourite and why?
My favourites are probably "Virgin Killer" and "In Trance". But there are good songs on all the others too.

Uli Jon RothIs there going to be a live album DVD containing material from this Scorpions Era 40th Anniversary Tour?
We have recorded our US Tour earlier this year for a live double album, but we have not started editing the material yet.

Are you planning to release sometime in the near future a new Electric Sun album or a new Sky Of Avalon album?
A new Electric Sun album is unlikely, but we might do a live album with those songs. I have written a new Sky of Avalon album, but have not yet started recording it.

You joined forces with Scorpions back in 1973. Which were your influences, your motivations and your goals as a band back then?
We all had different influences and motivations. I just wanted to explore the world of music. That was my motivation.

Uli Jon RothWhich is the strongest memory from that era and what has been in your opinion the turning point in the band’s early career?
I have too many memories to single out just one memory. The same goes for the turning point. There were many. Every year and every album brought several turning points. It was like we were climbing a staircase which went up and up…  

Both Electric Sun and Sky Of Avalon could be considered in a way as solo projects. Would you join a new band consisting of well-known musicians?
It would depend on the particular situation and the music. But I have to say that I prefer to work on music alone.

Several heavy metal bands and guitarists cite you and the early Scorpions stuff as one of their strongest influences. Can you recognize that fact and if so, which was the first artist or song that you heard and said 'well, this guy/band sounds just like me/us!'?
It’s true, and sometimes it amazes me, particularly with death metal bands. I don’t know why that is. And yes, when I hear guitarists, I can hear the influences and I know when someone listened to my stuff.

Uli Jon RothYou have visited Greece a several times during the last decade. What do you remember the most of these times? Is anything that you have met only in Greece and nowhere else in the world?
Greece is very special to me. Greek fans are very intense and full of enthusiasm and they love the music. It is always a great pleasure to play here.

Apart from the Greek dates, you lately added two shows in Cyprus. What do you expect of them? It’s the first time that you visit Cyprus, right?
I am not expecting anything. It is always a good idea not to expect. I just go there with a very open mind and I’m looking forward to that.

Thank you a lot about this interview. It has been an honor to talk to you. The last words belong to you.
Tomorrow we are in Athens and that is always a big highlight. I also want to thank the Scorpions Fan Club for their amazing support and friendship over the years. We couldn’t have done it without them! See you in Athens!

Theodore Xouridas