Scorpions Brazil interviews Matthias Jabs: New album to be released in the fall of 2020

Black and white collage with the half photo of Matthias Jabs joung and half of his current face.

Matthias Jabs, in exclusivity to Scorpions Brazil about the South American Tour, showed his love for the Brazilian fans and his excitement about Scorpions being elected the best show of Rock in Rio 2019. Jabs also talked about the new album, which is likely to be released the fall of 2020, and also sent a message to the Brazilian fans: "you need to learn English".

Check it out! (leia a entrevista em português aqui)

Listen to the interview:

Scorpions Brazil - David: Hi Matthias!

Matthias Jabs: Hi David, how are you? Can you hear me well?

S.B.D.: Yeah, very well. How are you doing sir?

M.J.:  Yeah, I’m doing fine. I just come from a very long meeting with a couple of people who are working for us, and Klaus and Rudolf and our lawyer from the office and production manager, and it was like an almost all day meeting, one after the other, and I just rushed home to receive the call now. And here I am.

S.B.D.:  A The first question. Matthias, thanks, of course. How are you enjoying these days off, after the South American tour?

Matthias Jabs playing guitar on stage, opening his mouth as he was screaming, Behind him there is a projection of a Brazilian flag.
Matthias Jabs in São Paulo
M.J.: First of all, I must tell you, the South American tour, especially Brazil, was fantastic. All the shows were great, and the audience is amazing. The last two shows outside of Brazil, like Chile, you know if things changed all of a sudden, and in Colombia was also great. The highlight of all shows was of course Rock in Rio. What a fantastic audience. And we felt great, starting the show 20 minutes after midnight. Normally you would expect to be tired, but the energy of the people and the energy in the band was amazing and I just have the best memories. And now we are home for a week and a bit, and ‚time out‘, ‚time off‘ is not the right expression. As I just told you, I come from meetings which we had, starting at noon. Now it’s like 6 o’clock here in the evening, and we had like a 6 hours meeting with different people. Klaus, Rudolf and myself planning the next year, planning the next couple of weeks, and we have to plan ahead regarding the new album. The producer is coming in over the weekend now, and so then we make plans after we met with him. So it’s always something, and there is definitely no time to relax basically and sit back and do nothing. I can’t remember sitting somewhere doing nothing at all. So, here we are. But we have good shapes, we have great plans for this year and next year, and we are in a good mood and everything is wonderful. 

"I was happy that we were the winner of the day, of our day so to speak and I must say honestly we were much better than Iron Maiden."

S.B.D.: That’s very good to hear. And the next question is…

M.J.: What about you guys? Let me ask you a question! The interview goes the other way round now.

Scorpions Brazil - Roberta: About me? I am at my lunch time now to interview you. (laughing).

M.J.:  Oh. Ok. The interview start now. So it’s my question. How did you enjoy Rock in Rio? Did you like it?

S.B.R.: Yes, I enjoyed it a lot. It was a rush to be there, because we had to go by bus, because plane tickets were too expensive so we were traveling the whole night by bus, but the show was amazing, it was fantastic, a great experience! It was really great to see you there at Rock in Rio! It was my first Iron Maiden concert, so that was the perfect night!

M.J.: Ok, perfect! Super! Going by bus all the way must be a beating...

S.B.R.: What about you David? Did you enjoy?

S.B.D.: Yes, I was the same.

M.J.: I enjoyed it. To be there was, as I said, the highlight, just great. I still have great memories from the first one in 1985. It was fantastic for me to take the same guitar which I presented to the promoter 34 years ago as a symbol. He was for me the symbol for… because I was gonna present it to the entire Brazilian audience. Nationwide.

S.B.R.: Yes it was a connection with the first festival. It was really good.

M.J.:It was fantastic to get the same guitar, the same guy, and to play Rock in Rio again. Fantastic.

S.B.R.: And now since we're talking about Rock in Rio. The Scorpions was elected the best show of the metal day of Rock in Rio through a pool by a giant news media here in Brazil. Globo. And surpassing even Iron Maiden. A few days later, you were elected the best concert of the whole festival, after a tough competition with Bon Jovi for the first position. How did you feel about that?

M.J.:  Great! I was happy that we were the winner of the day, of our day so to speak and I must say honestly we were much better than Iron Maiden. We know them well and we played together many times, but that night we were definitely much better, and so we deserved to win the day. But over all, to win it over all, I was actually, I was thinking, maybe not Bon Jovi, but Pink was there and there were lots of other great artists, and I was expecting maybe the audience goes more to that direction. But Pink didn’t even win her day. There was some other band winning.

S.B.R.: It was a Brazilian singer, I guess. 

M.J.: Yes. It was very close. I saw the results and Bon Jovi was up for quite some time, but then our fans obviously started voting and we were winning in the end. It was very close, I must admit, and Bon Jovi must have had a great performance too, I never saw it. I’m glad we won it, and I think we deserve it.

S.B.R.: Yes, definitely. Do you think it’s possible that you will be back for the next edition of Rock in Rio?

M.J.: I think the winner should be automatically invited to the next one.

S.B.R.: Yes, I believe so.(laughing)

M.J.: (laughing) It’s probably not going to happen. But that would be fantastic, if every time the winner plays the next year as well. But we have plans now for the near future regarding a new album and so that means automatically - I don’t know when the next Rock in Rio is anyway - but that it will take some time until we finish the album.

S.B.R.: 2021 next Rock in Rio.

M.J.: Ok 2021, then it would be possible, because we are planning to release the album - providing we have good songs and we finish recording next year - that we release it in the fall of 2020. Then the touring starts right after it, so 2021 could be a possibility.

S.B.D.: Talking about the Rock Fest in Sao Paulo, was also a big festival with a great audience, it was a different experience when compared it to your last tours here, right? Especially in Sao Paulo, too.

M.J.: Yes. Many many years ago we played also a stadium, I think it was a different one, an older one, that’s about at least 10 years ago, we had - I think - Nightwish and a couple of other bands on the bill in the big stadium, but then recently, at our recent visit to Sao Paulo, we played the…,what’s that place again, the hall, not the Nokia hall? What’s that typical indoor hall called?

Rudolf, Pawel, Klaus, Matthias e Mikkey no palco, em pé, lado a lado, agradecendo e acenando para o público.
Scorpions ao final do show no Rockfest, em São Paulo. 

S.B.R.: Credicard Hall? 

M.J.: Did it change its name?

S.B.R.: Yes. City bank hall, then it came back to be Credicard hall. It always changes name. 

M.J.: Credicard hall, that’s right. It changes the name because of the sponsors all the time. Yea, that hall. That show was also good, but I must say this time the stadium show was much better. So I liked this year’s show much better than the recent shows, even though they were also probably okay. It was good to play some new places. We never played Uberlandia or Florionopolis ever before

S.B.R.: Florianópolis.

M.J.: It’s a mixture of Florida and Indianapolis. So they were also good shows. We played Brasília before and Porto Alegre of course. We played so many cities in Brazil over the last 15, 20 years, everything from Manaus to Bélem to Vitória, whatever.

S.B.R.: You played already 45 concerts in Brazil since 1985.

M.J.:  Did David tell you that? David is the guy who makes the statistics. He makes notes of everything.

S.B.R.: Yeah, he did the map that he put on a frame to give to you. 

M.J.: Great. - Let me ask you a question, you two. What is that city called, I think it’s in the north, on the ocean, a beach, we played about 10 years ago. Is it St. Louis?

S.B.D.: São Luis.

S.B.R.: São Luis. Like São Paulo. But São Luis.

M.J.: Yeah, São Luis. I couldn’t remember the name. That small town. That’s where I think they made like a Scorpions stamp.

S.B.R.: Yes, I caught some. I was there.

M.J.: Good. Cool. I couldn’t remember the name at the moment. São Luis, ok. Cool.

S.B.D.: My next question is about the map. Did you like the map that I did?

M.J.: Yeah, of course! Excellent! I wonder where do you take the time to do all this. It looks like a lot of work, and detailed work. I’m always amazed when I see all the preparation and information.. 

S.B.D.: It’s always my pleasure.

M.J.: Well done!

S.B.D.: Thanks!

S.B.R.: About Curitiba, what a hail storm, we got all those ice rocks in our back, and our head, it was really really painful. Have you ever seen something like that while touring?

M.J.: No. I have seen hail storms, but this has been the worst one. We had one in the 80s in Germany when we were in the studio. And all the cars that were parked outside were damaged. They hail, there were like the size of a golf ball or even like an chicken egg, they destroyed everything. But this one, in Curitiba, on the way to the show we were sitting in this van and heard the sound, wow, it was hitting the car. I felt sorry for the band Europe, because when they played their equipment got destroyed and they had to stop playing, and it was bad for everybody, and a lot of technical failures were… like the water and the ice, it was like 30 something degrees in the afternoon and all of a sudden you see shoving ice on the side of the street.


S.B.D.:  Roberta lost the connection.

M.J.: Yeah, all of a sudden everything was dead.

S.B.D.: I think it’s only we two now. 

M.J.: Yeah, ok. You’re calling from a different number. Can you hear me?

S.B.D.: I can hear you.

M.J.: Good.

S.B.D.: Ok. That was all about Curitiba. I think we can skip to the next question. 

M.J.: Ok, I need to tell you, you have to hurry up a little bit, because I have my next interview in 7 minutes, at half past. 

S.B.D.: Ok. I spoke with Klaus in Sao Paulo that I had the opportunity to listen some unreleased songs, Scorpions material I think that “Pretty At Night”, “Don’t wait too long”, and “New Horizons” are great songs. Do you have any intention to bring those songs for today, like “Rock My Car” and “Rock and Roll Band”?

M.J.: I don’t know. At the moment we don’t look back, at the moment we are focussed on the future and on new songs and on new material. I think we have released old stuff plenty of times in compilations and bonus tracks or whatever. I think the fans know the songs and there is no point to do anything with those old songs. It’s much more important now to write some great material and record it with lot of power and energy and to concentrate on the harder side of the Scorpions.

S.B.D.: What can we expect for this new album with Mikkey Dee on drums, how his experience on Motorhead, can he influence the new songs?

M.J.: Mikkey is a great drummer. And the drumming depends on how the music is and how the songs will be arranged, and we will see. Mikkey is great, he is powerful, I think he fits right in. I’m looking forward to record as we did in the old days, as a whole band in one room, not individually, everybody does his shit somewhere someday, but to really stand in one room as a band and to record simultaneously. That’s something I’m looking forward to. Everybody needs to prepare well and needs to be able to play his shit. Everybody should be on his course, because we don’t want to waste any time. We want to get the capture the sheer energy when everything is new immediately. That’s the best way to do it.

S.B.D.:  Can you talk about the new producer?

M.J.: Not yet. I know who he is, and he comes in the day after tomorrow, but I don’t want to say anything before we don’t agree to go with him. We will publish it as soon as we have an agreement. It’s not fair to say yes, he is gonna be it, and maybe he is not.

Rudolf Schenker, Matthias Jabs e Klaus Meine segurando a cerveja Scorpions e posando para foto no Hard Rock Café de Hamburg
Rudolf, Matthias e Klaus no lançamento da cerveja
Foto: reprodução

S.B.D.: Yesterday [October 20th] you were introduced your new Scorpions beer at the Hard Rock Cafe in Hamburg. How was that?

M.J.: That was good. But you can only talk about beer for a few moments. Not that much to say. But the plan was to release a beer for a long time, and now we found the right brewery. They won a lot of awards and medals for producing the best beer in the world even. Rudolf went down to taste the beer a couple of months ago. He was happy with it. I saw it for the first time yesterday. I had to drive home. So I couldn’t really drink a lot of beer. But I think it’s great, and we will make sure that we have our own beer in the dressing room and on stage in the future. 

S.B.D.: We hope we can get this beer here in Brazil.

M.J.: We hope so too. We don’t know if they distribute it world wide. I think they try to spread it all over the world. That would be nice.

S.B.D.: Last questions, a simple question. There are some rumours among your fans and about your past. Like truth or mith, ok? Is it true that you are a soccer player and stopped after you had an injury?

M.J.: I was a pretty good soccer player, yes, but I was very young. It was not an injury, it was sort of an injury, I was 12, 13 years old. And I think it was about growing up. I just couldn’t run as fast as I wished I would. But later on, it was fine again. But at the same time, while sitting at home waiting of that shit to go away, I decided to pick up the guitar, so first I played 8 hours of soccer every day after school and then I played 8 hours of guitar every day after school, so it was a, I would say, a right hint by destiny. Somebody did way up there to decide for me, no more soccer - guitar, it’s much better, so, here I am today. There are enough soccer players in the world. Especially from Brazil, of course. Germany has a few big ones too.

S.B.D.: You are graduated in law. Truth or mith?

M.J.: I studied law for 3 years in order to graduate to have to do it for 6 years, so I passed the tests at half time, but then I got a call from Rudolf, and now I have lawyers on my pay role.

S.B.D.: Are you feeling ready to get back to the road in a few days?

M.J.: Yes. As I said before, it’s a break now, but we are so busy, and we have so many things to do, it goes right into the next tour. Today is the 23rd, and we are leaving in one week. Exactly in one week I will be already in Yekaterinburg in Russia. Time goes so fast these days and we have so much to do. It’s not really a break. The tour continues, and we are ready for it.

S.B.D.: Me and Roberta we would like to take the opportunity to say in advance happy birthday to you. 

M.J.: Yes, it’s in two days from now. Thank you.
[e.n.:.: the interview was made two days before Matthias' birthday]

S.B.D.: How are you going to celebrate your birthday?

M.J.: My family is coming in, and my father is 97 and half years old. And I am glad that he is making his way to my house and then we go for a nice dinner. I have a special place booked just for us and we will be my family and my wife’s family and of course Klaus and his wife, Rudolf and his wife and his son, it will be fantastic. And a couple of kids, people and friends have young kids now, but we have the restaurant for ourselves and it will be quite cool. 

S.B.D.: Ok, thank you! Do you have any message to the Brazilian fans?

M.J.: Yeah, my message is thank you for your support, the shows were all fantastic, wherever we played, and I love the energy, the way they love our music and know the lyrics and sing along, it’s all fantastic. That’s the first part of the message. The second part is, I wish the Brazilians should speak better English. Because I noticed that wherever we go, even in the hotels, most people don’t even understand English or speak English. I think it’s something you should change. 

S.B.D.: Ok.

M.J.: You speak good and Roberta speaks well, but find somebody in the streets who speaks English?

S.B.D.: No.

M.J.: No. I think that leads to an isolation of Brazil in the world. You need to learn English. Very very important. - Ok, I’m sorry guys. I wish you a wonderful day. I have to take the next call now. I’m sorry.

S.B.D.: Thank you so much!

M.J.: Thank you so much, bye bye.

Audio transcritption: Tamo Tua, from Hamburg, Germany. Thank you Tamo for your support!